IT Security: An Open Market For VARs
Why should VARs sell IT security? Because the need for it is stronger than ever. Advances in biometric and smart card technologies make this an ideal time for VARs to enter the market.
The need for IT security is stronger than ever. Advances in biometric and smart card technologies make this an ideal time for VARs to enter the market.
Whether in the form of unwelcome access to desktop systems or employee theft at cash registers, breaches in security cost companies of all sizes billions of dollars annually. The growth of Internet B2B and e-commerce opens the door to cyberspace thieves, adding to the vulnerability of those using the Internet to conduct business. Security has become such a paramount issue in today's business world that many large organizations now employ IT personnel whose sole function is to protect company assets from computer-savvy thieves. Companies are looking for answers to the nagging security issues they face, and VARs can solidify relationships with their accounts by suggesting and implementing suitable solutions.
Access Control And Fraud Management Opportunities
In the late 1990s, companies were consumed with Y2K issues. After the dust settled, many found themselves with gaping holes in the security systems that e-business environments demand. IT departments have been playing catch-up ever since. As a result, access control and fraud management represent an attractive market that is bucking the trend in a slow economy. End users want reliable solutions that are quickly implemented and simple to use.
Easy Integration Appeals To VARs
Biometric technology is an ideal solution for access control. While this technology is multifaceted, fingerprint recognition is quickly establishing itself as a popular choice for file protection. The systems simply allow or deny access to a computing station based on authentication of a user's fingerprint. Recent advances in fingerprint recognition software make installations quick and easy for VARs.
The benefits of fingerprint recognition systems are many, with the elimination of passwords leading the list. Passwords can be lost, they can be forgotten, and they can end up in the wrong hands. These problems cause lengthy delays in a workflow and put unnecessary strain on an IT department.
Low-profile, stand-alone fingerprint recognition devices can be installed easily throughout a workplace. Technological advances have led to the integration of fingerprint recognition hardware into devices such as monitors and keyboards, providing an ergonomic advantage to workstation management. Biometric and smart card equipment will push outdated locks and passwords into obsolescence, replacing them with fingerprints that can't be lost or stolen.
Combining Biometric And Smart Card Technologies
Biometric technologies combined with smart cards add an extra measure of security. The government sector has led a surge in smart card-type applications recently. Target Corp. recently announced an initiative to roll out smart card equipment this year. Smart cards have also gained acceptance thanks to the embrace of credit card companies that have featured them in high-profile marketing campaigns.
Smart cards and biometric technologies together provide two forms of authentication working in concert. The smart card chip, for example, can store multiple fingerprint templates. When the cardholder places a finger on the biometric reader, his fingerprint is matched to the template stored on his smart card and access is granted.
Both smart card and biometric technologies have proven themselves in demanding environments and applications. The hardware has evolved to the point that telephone, kiosk, POS (point of sale), and industrial customers, to name a few, are taking advantage of the solutions.
In order to tap into these markets, a VAR must understand the variety of biometric and smart card offerings. While acceptance has been slower than anticipated, the advantages both offer make them impossible to ignore. End users want and need these solutions.