Digitus Biometrics shows networked access control solution

Published 12 February 2008

Georgia-based biometric specialist shows a networked version of its stand-alone fingerprint access control system; the new version adds encrypted TCP/IP communications, enabling security administrators to control Digitus units anywhere in the world from a single location

Savannah, Georgia-based Digitus Biometrics is shipping a networked version of its fingerprint-recognition Digitus Access Control System. The company says that during the past five years the stand-alone version has been deployed in nearly 200 installations, with no security breaches reported. The new version adds encrypted TCP/IP communications, enabling security administrators to control Digitus units anywhere in the world from a single location. One of the first installations to upgrade to the networked units is the U.S. Army’s Hunter Army Airfield (HAAF), which had used stand-alone Digitus units to secure access to all major airfield buildings. While upgrading the HAAF units, the Army also upgraded units at Fort Stewart, thirty-five miles away, and units at both locations are centrally administered from HAAF. “I now have full, centralized control of security access throughout entire airfields at multiple locations,” says David Loiacono, Information Management Office/Network Administrator for Hunter Army Airfield and Fort Stewart. “From one office, I can now constantly monitor who has accessed which areas, and when. I can instantly administer privileges for any secure access point. And I can do all this without any of the drawbacks and risks associated with card readers or key management.”

Each Digitus unit includes two components: A fingerprint reader with keypad for placement outside a door, and a controller located securely behind the locked door. The fingerprint reader uses biometrics technology to detect a live fingerprint and communicates with the controller using Digitus’ proprietary code hopping encryption protocol. Digitus units also have the capability to integrate with virtually any existing access control system if required. In the new networked version, Digitus’ proprietary encryption secures TCP/IP communications between the central management software and the units. Each unit functions independently of the central server during its general operation, requiring network connectivity only for such administrative tasks as user enrollment and access reporting. Christopher Marsden, CTO and founder of Digitus Biometrics, said, “Our biometric fingerprint recognition offers tremendous advantages over card-reader and proximity-based systems, which we are often selected to replace. With our networked version and its simplified administration, we’ve opened up huge advantages for network administrators who are responsible for multiple access points, whether across a campus or around the world.”

Digitus Biometrics units range in price between $750 and $2,500, depending on configuration, quantity, and purchase terms.