Biometrics may be too pricey, complex for data center

Tuesday, 30 September 2003, 3:51 PM EST

Gaining access to data centers in the not-too-distant future may be as easy as slipping your hand into a fingerprint reader or palm reader, or flashing your eye in a retina scanner.

These James Bond-type technologies are available today and are known as biometric tools. Biometric technologies rely on the complexity and individuality of body parts as a form of authentication.

Conventional authentication technologies, like ID badges and access codes, ensure that only authorized people gain access to a data center. However, both forms of authentication can be transferred to another person.

Biometric tools are different. They are based on what a person is, not on what they have or know. A person cannot give another person his hand or fingerprint. In fact, as morbid as it may sound, some biometric scanners can check to see if the hands being scanned are actually alive.

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