STE March Online Exclusive: Biometric Technologies Power Data Center Security

Physical security can be just a hand or fingerprint away

Once enrolled in the biometric system, the customer’s biometric identifier acts as a badge in the data center’s primary access control system. The system administrator can simply enable or disable an account to control access by a specific customer, and input a six-hour window, for example, after which authorization is automatically disabled. This ensures nobody can enter the data center that should not be there at a certain time.

The most common way to integrate biometrics is through “card reader emulation” — which is especially effective when integrating into existing card-based systems, because the wiring is identical to the card reader’s wiring. In this mode, the biometric device essentially works with the access control panel in the exact same way that a card reader does. The “card reader output port” of the biometric is connected to the panel’s card reader port. When a person uses the biometric, it outputs the ID number of the individual if, and only if, they are verified.

The format of the output is consistent with the card technology used by the access control panel. Once an ID number reaches the panel, it is handled as if it came from a card reader, and the determination of granting access is made by the panel. The access control panel, not the biometric, handles door control and monitoring.

Emily Flink is biometrics Product Marketing Manager for Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies. To request more information on IR, please visit