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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  29 Apr 2010

BIOMETRICS: Biometrics on Show at IFSEC South Africa Securex 2010


Recent Gauteng Business News

Following a successful event in 2009, South Africa’s premier security exhibition, incorporating the broadest range of security companies, products and services in Africa under one roof, IFSEC South Africa Securex 2010 will once again be shaping the industry from 31 August 2010 to 2September 2010 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

The inaugural IFSEC South Africa Securex 2009 proved to be a huge success.
The event enticed more than 200 companies and in excess of 5 500 security
professionals from 48 countries, cementing the show's place as the
definitive security, safety, fire and protection, and safety and health event
for the African market.

This year’s show promises to be even better with the event attracting
attention from South Africa, our northern neighbours and even the Far East.
This year also sees a scoop for the show organisers as the Security
Industry Alliance’s annual conference, which will be held alongside IFSEC
South Africa Securex 2010. Another area of the security industry that will
garner attention at this year’s show is Biometrics.

SIA conference

The SIA conference, following the successful 2009 conference, this year
will include another set of industry leading speakers from South Africa and
abroad. While the full agenda is still to be finalised and will be included
in a future exhibition preview, we can announce that David Evans, the
British Security Industry Association’s project director for the Olympic
Games 2012, will deliver the keynote.

Evan’s role in the BSIA involves fostering an environment whereby BSIA
members are recognised as the leading resource for private security
services in the UK, and ensuring that BSIA members are fully aware of the
opportunities available to them.

The pulse of biometrics

Biometrics is becoming more important in the South African and global
market. Adelaide Taylor, marcoms manager for ADI in South Africa, says that
biometrics is something that will become a global mindset. “With crime
occurring all over the world, this is probably the only way to secure your
assets and also to protect the people on the premises in future.”

HID’s John Lakin says biometrics have been in extensive use in South
African businesses for a number of years and “will remain an important part
of an overall security strategy for the foreseeable future. Increasingly
they are being used less in isolation and more as part of an integrated
security policy. Emerging biometrics, as they prove increasingly reliable,
are being adopted in different industries as those businesses continue to
search for the perfect solution.”

Rory Webber, national sales manager at Elvey agrees, noting that, from an
integration point of view, biometrics are vitally important. “Security
solutions are designed with different levels of cover, however with
biometrics being able to control both access and time and attendance we
have found this to be of great value. Biometrics is not only being used by
corporate SA, smaller companies have latched onto the enormous benefits
that can be gained by using a biometric system as well.”

Organisations are increasingly switching to biometric solutions for these
applications as replacements for legacy card systems, which reaching the
end of their lifecycle, say Marius Coetzee, COO of Ideco. “The ROI on a
biometric solution far outweighs that of a traditional card-based solution
and security is increased as a fingerprint cannot be lost, stolen or

“Companies considering a biometric solution must, however, be aware of the
risks associated with installing a lesser biometric system, which may seem
to be a cost-effective option at the outset, but often ends up costing the
clients a lot more when the system proves ineffective and has to be
replaced with an accurate and reliable biometric solution. The key to
making an informed decision on which biometric system to install lies in
understanding how biometric technology works and the experience and track
record the supplier has in the field of biometrics.”

Privacy concerns

The question of privacy always comes up when biometrics are concerned. Few
people realise that the actual images of fingerprints are not stored in
biometric devices, but a mathematical algorithm. Michelle Korff, marketing
manager at Norbain SA says only the Department of Home Affairs and the SAPS
are legally allowed to save the actual image of a person’s fingerprint.”

“Hygiene is also a concern and falls into the second most common objection
to using biometrics. Here we suggest that the fingerprint reader is as
unhygienic as a toilet room door. We simply suggest that cleaning staff’s
to do list includes cleaning the reader optics on a regular basis with a

Erich Glatz, from GSC Systems explains that the company’s biometric systems
do not store an image of the fingerprint but only the position of certain
features (minutia) of the fingerprint. Therefore it is not possible to
reconstruct a fingerprint from this information, and therefore privacy is

What’s on at the show

All the companies mentioned above will be at IFSEC South Africa Securex
2010 and will be demonstrating their biometric solutions. Coetzee says that
Ideco will promote various applications of biometrics, including both
logical and physical access control, time and attendance as well as identity
management solutions through its certified partner network.

“These partners focus on a wide variety of industries, and address specific
market needs. Ideco is again sponsoring the main entrance to the show and
visitors registering on the EVIM units will receive a voucher for a cup of
great coffee at the Ideco hospitality lounge.”

ADI’s Taylor says, “We had a huge success last year with around 15
suppliers that participated at our stand and this year will be very
similar, with a lot more focus on what the client needs, rather than what
the supplier has for them.”

Norbain will be promoting its new access control range, Infinity Access,
along with Sagem.

“HID Global will be promoting a number of products at IFSEC SA this year,
including the new range of Fargo DTC printers,” says Lakin. “The stand will
also be used to increase the awareness of using genuine HID products and
services rather than those grey imported products. This program is being
marketed under the "Genuine HID" program and IFSEC SA will follow the stage
set during the year at ISC West and IFSEC UK.”

Zane Greeff, technical director of Elvey adds that the company intends to
place more focus on IP access solutions and the seamless integration to
intruder security systems. While GSC Systems will focus on its ProxNet-Pro,
a Web based access control system as well as facial recognition.

IFSEC South Africa Securex 2010 promises visitors the most comprehensive
overview of the African security industry under one roof. From protective
clothing to the latest technology, it's all there. Make sure you are there

between from 31 August 2010 to 2 September 2010.

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