Feeds

Police fingerprint themselves

Biometric bobbies

Top three mobile application threats

West Midlands Police are trialing a system that controls police access to buildings and computer systems using a fingerprint scanner.

Before now this technology has been used mostly in prisons, intelligence HQs, and schools.

West Midlands Police support manager Fred Tracey said the pilot, being implemented by Wetherby firm Enline, uses biometric readers to mark where people are in police buildings and control their access to computer systems.

Imprivata is the only other company to have a single security measure to control access to both places and systems.

Geoff Hogan, senior vice president of business development and product management and marketing at Imprivata, said the system allowed security managers to tell, for example, if someone was in a particular room in a particular building, another person trying access computer systems using their identity from an outside location would be a fraud.

Tracey said the police system will allow security experts to "know exactly where they [police] are in the building".

"But it's not necessarily where they are in the building, it's whether they are somewhere they shouldn't be. It's not big brother, it's managing the life of an individual in West Midlands Police without a bureaucratic overhead."

The pilot would have fingerprint scanners on just a handful of rooms. The police force could extend the scheme by putting more scanners in, or use other methods, such as RFID chips on pass cards, which would allow them to tell where civilian employees were on police premises.

The global positioning system tied into police radios does a similar job.

Tracey said his aim was to make the administration of the police force's security more efficient. He said there had been no data leaks that prompted him to fork out on the system.

"It's about getting more boots on the beat," he said. "We're spending about 10,000 man hours a year managing the system. We reckon we can reduce that by two thirds," he said.

For example, 10 separate directories of access rights are used to restrict the activities of 15,000 people in the West Midlands force to computer applications like the Police National Computer. There's a churn of about 2,000 people a year. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Canadian taxman says hundreds pierced by Heartbleed SSL skewer
900 social insurance numbers nicked, says revenue watchman
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
Burnt out on patches this month? Oracle's got 104 MORE fixes for you
Mass patch for issues across its software catalog
Reddit users discover iOS malware threat
'Unflod Baby Panda' looks to snatch Apple IDs
Oracle working on at least 13 Heartbleed fixes
Big Red's cloud is safe and Oracle Linux 6 has been patched, but Java has some issues
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.