By Maria Pihlström. 

We all have several things to open, access and unlock, multiple times daily. Buildings, devices, padlocks, vehicles, servers – the list goes on. Current processes, however, can take up a lot of time and offer poor user experiences as well as being less secure. After all, who hasn’t lost or lent out their keys, or forgotten a PIN number, and had to deal with the resulting delays and frustration?

Sadly, the days of PINs and passwords noted in the back of diaries are not yet gone, but their days are numbered. The surge in hacking and digital crime is driving the world towards more robust forms of access management.

Digitized identity verification has increasingly become a cornerstone of today’s society, bringing greater security and convenience to the things we access – physically or digitally – every day. Crucially, though, it’s essential these solutions offer an intuitive and seamless user-experience, while only authorizing approved individuals.

With use cases multiplying rapidly, biometrics is gaining traction as a means of “accessing” things securely, without harming convenience.

Well established in the smartphone world, the benefits of biometrics are gathering momentum across a broad spectrum of other industries, adding value to access control use cases in both the physical and logical arenas.

“The last five years have seen a rapid increase, not only in adoption, but also in the range of market sectors and targeted consumer activities. Adoption of biometric technologies should continue to accelerate and expand across all user domains and market sectors.”

Current Biometric Adoption and Trends, Rachel German and K. Suzanne Barber, The University of Texas at Austin.


As the number of digital devices and services grows, the need for seamless and secure access to locations, devices and applications is essential to remove the hassle and insecurity of PINs and passwords.

“Research shows over 80% of data breaches are caused by stolen, default, or weak passwords.”


In addition to the well-documented challenges of physical keys, PINs and passwords, the market is driven by a number of factors:

  • Increasing crime rates globally;
  • Technological advancements and deployment of wireless technology in security systems;
  • Adoption of IoT-based security systems with cloud computing platforms.

Because of this, the access control sector is set for growth with MarketsandMarkets predicting a CAGR of 8.24% between 2018 and 2024, which will see the market grow from USD 7.5 billion in 2018 to USD 12.1 billion.

The highest growth within the access control sector is seen in the residential vertical.  For smart homes, with more and more connected IoT devices, access control systems are being used to enhance security. A few key factors to contribute to growth include the rise in crime rates, and ongoing technical advancements. Not to forget the possibility to control different access rights such as for certain areas like medical cabinet or certain rooms. As well as permission to access certain times, for example package delivery, cleaning personnel.

Healthcare is one vertical sector set to drive growth as it seeks to protect access to critical health and patient information. Key industry players have even identified smartphone-based fingerprint recognition as a key means of tying medical data to patients. And biometrics is increasingly set to be used to ensure that only authorized medical staff can access sensitive information, reducing the risks of data breaches and theft.

Looking geographically, North America is leading the way in the adoption of access control solutions. Growth in cyber and malware attacks has led government and security agencies to enhance security. Alongside this, many companies are turning to next-gen access control to address both physical and logical access challenges with strategic IAM (Identity Access Management) strategies, such as shifting from passwords to biometric authentication. In countries such as China, India and Brazil biometrics is already well adopted to access buildings, offices etc.

So, with new devices – from myriad door lock types and apps, to cryptocurrency cold wallets and automatically adjusted car settings – and digital services – like employee portals, cloud platforms and online payments – requiring authentication, biometrics look set to help overcome the limitations and irritation of traditional authentication modalities.



Source: Fingerprints consumer research 2017


The benefits of biometrics are not theoretical. With confidence in biometric authentication proven by the mobile sector, consumers increasingly want biometrics to access other areas of their lives.


A combination of human error and laziness with today’s complex password requirements has created the environment for biometrics to rise to the top as one of the best authentication solutions to increase security hand in hand with convenience.

Historically, people viewed biometric authentication as futuristic. Today, biometrics is proven by the mobile sector, and being recognized as a convenient and secure path to user authentication for any digital device or service.

Keen to learn more biometrics and their benefits of access control? Download the eBook now.

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