Do you have the right accountability in your workplace facility to keep your employees and your products safe?
Most of us have gone to work at an office, warehouse, manufacturing facility, school, or remote mining site and swiped an RFID card to gain access (or entry). Some of us have even just pulled the door open and walked in. As we move throughout a building or from site to site, we probably swipe that RFID card or enter our passcode multiple times before heading home. When we visit other offices or facilities, how often do we sign in and get a sticker with a really poor image of our face on it? Or even get a temp badge that lets us swipe to open doors? This level of access control accountability has become the norm. It was a quantum leap forward from the days of physical keys, visitor management based on an honor system, and non-existent headcount accountability. Like most evolutions, we have gone from cutting-edge to having our feet up on the counter and doing the same thing every day because it hasn’t caused a problem…yet.
Shareable credentials, poor visitor management processes, and slow ingress are all the standard today. But that no longer needs to be the case. Biometric entry, specifically facial authentication(FA), is changing how we think about and experience workplace access control and accountability. As an operations manager or head of security, you might think, “I’m never going to get the budget I need for this, and I’m going to have to rip out everything I’ve installed over the last 20 years.” Not true. As an employee, you might say, “My employer just wants to track my every move and squeeze the last few drops of productivity out of me with this new technology.” Not true.
Companies like Wicket (www.wicketsoft.com) are taking cutting-edge FA technologies, creating simple integrations and installations, and making the deployment of these tools a straightforward process. By using mathematical representations of key zones of a person’s face, Wicket’s FA algorithms quickly and accurately make decisions that are fed to existing infrastructure like access control panels, payroll systems, and, most recently, payment systems. These new algorithms are based on responsible training data sets, put bias and data security at the forefront, and possess the necessary controls to ensure that only the right faces get through. The use of FA in the workplace also makes it cost-efficient and operationally effective to properly credential visitors without the additional costs associated with traditional methods. With project timelines measured in months instead of years and implementation costs more in line with the benefits, more and more property managers are looking to biometric credentials as the path forward.
The word accountability does not get its due often enough in these conversations. Workplace accountability is less about tracking people and more about keeping everyone safe, ensuring that bad actors, known or unknown, are kept in check, and that company assets are secure. Employees equate accountability to a “Big Brother” approach by the employer. Security and Ops personnel consider true accountability as the only path forward. Employers think of accountability as a nebulous concept with a hard-to-assign value during budget season. This is no longer the case. With proper messaging and education, employees quickly learn that using their face as their credential comes with many perks. You can’t forget your face at home. You don’t need a good cell or wifi signal to use your face. And you don’t need to stand in line when transaction times are faster than half one second. When Security and Ops personnel realize that they can finally credential everyone on the property and do it riding on existing access control infrastructure, the art of the impossible becomes a reality. For you Chief Executives out there, remember that when employees are safe and have a better experience, their productivity goes up. And, when you protect your product, whether IP or physical, your risk profile is lowered, and your profitability is dramatically increased.
So, where do we go from here? Now is the time to look at the status quo, evaluate better, cost-effective access control options, and consider secure, fast biometric credentialing for your property or workplace.