Interest in biometric applications is growing, but concerns about complexity and the need for highly specialized expertise has deterred some customers and municipalities from adopting the technology. With the introduction of Identification-as-a-Service (IDaaS), however, organizations have a faster path to realizing all the benefits of this proven technology.
Biometrics, which uses biological or behavioral characteristics to recognize and verify individuals, is considered more effective than traditional identity verification measures like passwords and key cards because they are more difficult to steal and replicate. Additionally, biometric-based identification is the most reliable way to know if someone has been identified before.
While the technology is gaining traction in large-scale deployments, for small entities that lack the scale and resources of a larger enterprise, deploying biometric capabilities remains daunting. IDaaS changes that equation, serving up identification and verification capabilities as an on-demand, cloud-based offering like the genre of popular Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) enterprise applications. According to Research and Markets, the global market for identification (or biometrics) as a service will grow 17.11 percent year over year through 2020.
In the same vein, this approach makes biometric capabilities for enrollment and matching available as a callable, pay-as-you-go service, in turn speeding up biometric deployments by minimizing the need for extensive consulting engagements along with upfront hardware and infrastructure expenses.
Leveraging biometrics as a service has other benefits as well: In addition to lowering upfront costs, IDaaS encompasses state-of-the-art security functionality. This allows customers to focus on how to best leverage biometrics for their specific use case versus devoting limited time and resources to non-value-added activities such as configuring firewalls and creating specs for VPNs.
Like other cloud services, IDaaS also mitigates the need to update software and maintain physical hardware, letting customers easily scale biometric capabilities based on need. This makes biometrics accessible to organizations without deep IT expertise and resources to handle administration.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of IDaaS is faster time to deployment. Unlike traditional biometric system rollouts, which can take months given the heavy emphasis on consulting expertise and customization, customers who sign-up for IDaaS can start submitting biometric service calls in a matter of minutes, utilizing a web portal, and can integrate service calls into existing systems within hours or days using an application programming interface (API).
The Leidos Solution
Leidos, a leader in biometric solutions, is a pioneer in the IDaaS category with its IDHaystackSM offering. The turn-key biometric matching service offers a simple web portal for immediate use and is easily accessed through an API. The IDHaystackSM API delivers the building blocks necessary for creating a biometrics matching system. The offering currently supports an array of modalities, including finger, face, and iris. Leidos’ expansion plans call for adding voice, DNA, and palm modalities in the future.
IDHaystackSM is applicable for many biometric uses cases, from standard identification services to logical or physical access control, for example. The service is also robust enough to handle more sophisticated biometrics use cases for law enforcement, border control, intelligence, and military applications.
To get started, customers need an understanding of their repository size requirements, enrollment and search throughput rates, required response times, and their preferences for biometric modalities. They can also choose between running the IDHaystackSM service in a public or private cloud, depending on their needs, while working directly with the APIs to develop and customize applications for their specific use case.
Biometrics has proven valuable to organizations of all types and sizes, but many still have not taken advantage of this powerful technology. A service-based cloud offering provides a fast track to deployment, democratizing a once exclusive technology for mainstream use.
Beth Stackpole is a veteran reporter who has been covering the intersection of business and technology issues for 20+ years.