IT managers for manufacturing companies will tell you that they have one of the most challenging jobs in the world. They are responsible for ensuring that their company’s online platforms are secure amidst a very diverse operational landscape.

Manufacturers employ a broad spectrum of individuals with vastly different backgrounds, roles, and permissions. The typical manufacturer has an executive team, directors, managers, administrators, marketing department, sales team, shift leaders, factory workers, delivery drivers, vendors, and customers.

Managing the revolution at the gate is critical for IT managers. Many manage a security infrastructure that requires developing a role-based authentication model. Their objective is to secure the company’s online assets, without impeding workflow.

Are sophisticated passwords the answer?

A wise CEO once said sarcastically, “Passwords are very secure. That is right; passwords are secure if they are a combination of 16 characters, letters, and numbers and you change your password every other day.”

So true, yet so unrealistic for today’s enterprise world.

Manufacturers in all types of industries are starting to recognize just how costly it can be to rely on passwords to protect the company jewels. What started as a somewhat minor concern about the disruption of passwords and password resets, has festered to expose much greater security issues.

Recently, a manufacturing company in the Midwest reached out to BIO-key after experiencing an internal breach. The companyzs factory housed several shared workstations which employees used to process orders. Their IT department created a universal password to simplify the sign-in process and expedite workflow.

The result was disastrous, as a rogue employee sent a colleague an inappropriate message after accessing the program with the universal password.

This compelling event created an immediate cause for action!

Sadly, over time the organization had witnessed several issues due to compromised passwords. What the company considered as “minor incidents” should have been recognized as a warning sign for more significant security challenges ahead.

It’s situations like this that are motivating manufacturers of all sizes to take action, and that action is adding a layer of biometric technology to their online authentication process.

Just commenting on the inconveniences and vulnerabilities of passwords should not be considered light banter. Today, these circumstances are labeled “red flags” by the more visionary IT managers.

Those with vision are finding more good news. BIO-key fingerprint biometric sign-in solutions provide not only a positive form of authentication, but they also provide an audit trail of activity, allowing organizations to track and monitor every transaction.

There are many benefits of deploying a biometric sign-in and software technology. From a security standpoint, fingerprint authentication addresses the shared, forgotten or stolen password. Biometric sign-in can reduce the frequency of password resets, which impede workflow and have a negative impact on revenue / profitability. From a workflow standpoint, the one-touch instant sign-in ensures optimum speed of operation and is preferred by the vast majority of end users.

Yet, many have a fear of change, and this holds true not only for individuals but also for organizations.

To remove any reluctance an organization may have about testing the value of biometric technology in their native environment, BIO-key has introduced a “MFG Proof of Concept Program.”

The MFG Proof of Concept Program provides organizations with an opportunity to test fingerprint authentication for up to 25 users for a 15-day period.

Therefore, there is no need to wait for your company to have what we at BIO-key call a “compelling event.” Simply ask yourself, if passwords are your long-term security solution? When the answer is evident, the solution is to contact BIO-key.

Scott Mahnken
VP Marketing
BIO-key International

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