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News

Biometric Fingerprint Authentication For Fire Brigade Personnel

DigitalPersona : 06 December, 2010  (Application Story)
An American county fire brigade is using biometric fingerprint verification to authenticate IT users as an alternative to password login
DigitalPersona has announced the Ventura County Fire Department (VCFD) has deployed DigitalPersona Pro software and U.are.U fingerprint keyboards to reduce the security risks they had been facing from the use of common logins to shared PCs. VCFD has disallowed all staff from the use of password logins to Windows, standardizing instead on biometric fingerprint authentication to verify and track users when they go online. DigitalPersona Pro enables staff to log on from any of the County's 31 fire stations or other facilities and access their same Internet settings.

VCFD is an all-risk, full-service fire department that provides fire protection, medical aid, rescue, hazardous materials response and a variety of other services to the public. The department has 547 firefighters and civilian personnel and covers 800 square miles. Each VCFD firefighter has a unique online profile which includes their Department e-mail, a personal user folder and saved Internet favourites, providing them with a single point of entry for work-related items that they can access from computers at any Ventura County fire station. DigitalPersona Pro enables the Department to tie a user session on the computer with the specific user's online profile through biometric fingerprint login. This use of strong biometric fingerprint authentication provides heightened security for the Department's IT systems and information, as well as identity protection for the firefighters.

"With a highly mobile workforce such as ours, it is important that we make user profiles as portable as possible while ensuring that our security and access control measures are maintained," said Pablo Parades, IT account manager for the Ventura County Fire Department. "DigitalPersona Pro enables us to entirely remove passwords from our environment. We no longer have shared login issues and can easily deploy and manage user profiles, making our environment more secure and our staff more accountable."

DigitalPersona Pro is a centrally-managed suite of security applications that guards business information against unauthorized access. The solution protects data and controls access to computers and applications, providing features such as strong biometric fingerprint authentication and single sign-on that enable businesses to increase security and achieve compliance while reducing costs. DigitalPersona Pro integrates into existing IT infrastructure such as Active Directory and can be deployed via Group Policy Objects to ensure that identities are easier to maintain and portable across geographically distributed locations.

"Organizations with mobile workforces struggle with identity management because they consistently attempt to use authentication methods that weren't designed with portability in mind," said Jim Fulton, vice president of marketing, DigitalPersona. "DigitalPersona Pro leverages fingerprint authentication that gives organizations such as VCFD a unique and verifiable link to each staff member, instead of passwords which can be shared, lost or stolen."
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