The PalmSecure LT single sign-on device is targeted at healthcare, financial services, and government. The biometric technology is meant as a replacement for passwords in providing authentication for logging on to a PC.
The PalmSecure LT plugs into a computer's USB port and uses an infrared light to scan a user's palm-vein pattern. The device generates a unique biometric template that is matched against pre-registered users' palm-vein patterns. Fujitsu claims the device is highly reliable and generates extremely fast authentication.
The new product is a compact, less expensive version of Fujitsu's PalmSecure model used in the healthcare industry for patient registration and time and attendance systems, as well as for other security applications. Fujitsu did not release pricing of the PalmSecure LT.
Fujitsu's PalmSecure technology supports IBM's Tivoli Access Manager for Enterprise Single Sign-On. The software eliminates the need for multiple passwords in accessing corporate assets, such as Web site, desktop, or network resources, while also enforcing protection policies across an organization.
The use of passwords for accessing corporate systems can be a headache for organizations, particularly if employees have to remember multiple passwords. Security can be compromised when people choose passwords that are too simple or share them with other employees.
A study conducted by Unisys about a year ago showed that more than 70% of Americans were comfortable using biometric technology as an alternative to passwords. Unisys specializes in integrating biometric technologies.
However, biometric technology also has its own risks. Experts, for example, have found that face-recognition software that provides authentication on laptops sold by Asus, Lenovo, and Toshiba can be bypassed if the attacker is able to capture a picture of the user.