NEC hands the office keys to a biometric smartcard

NEC has launched a biometric smartcard system that combines access to both corporate buildings and networks

NEC has launched a biometric smartcard security system that combines the technologies needed to authorise a user's physical access to corporate buildings with their network and application access.

At the Compsec 2003 conference in London on Thursday, NEC said its Two in One solution, which the company has already deployed for internal use by its 40,000 staff, comprises of a smartcard containing a photograph and printed name -- for visual checks -- and an encrypted digital security certificate with fingerprint details for network access. Information stored in the smartcard is compared to a reading taken using NEC's Positive Identification (PID) fingerprint recognition system to confirm the user's identity. The smartcard can also be used for gaining access to buildings or rooms, depending on the user's access rights. Alternatively, users can authenticate themselves by physically signing an electronic pad, which checks the signature for direction of writing, pressure exerted and speed to ensure maximum accuracy.

Carl Gohringer, head of new business development at NEC, said that companies can save time and money by combining their security systems. "This has been designed to be the definitive word in authenticating and authorising who can access your office and your network," he said.

NEC said Two in One can also be used to manage access to office services such as the photocopying machine, vending machine or access to the corporate library.