Internet and mobile technologies advance by leaps and bounds on what seems like a daily basis. As a result, recent focus has been on device and online security. But there is still a real and present demand for advanced building security tools to keep unwanted individuals from accessing a company's safe, hardware and material belongings.

Fortunately, those building security technologies have grown just as complex as their web-based counterparts. There are biometric security measures that use an individual's unique physical aspects to unlock doors, cabinets and other locked access points. Fingerprint, hand print and retina scanners and even lip readers can give specific individuals exclusive access to classified data and important company belongings.

Small businesses should consider some of these measures as a way to enhance security and prevent theft even by their own employees.

More than just a key
Biometrics are better than digital lock passwords or physical keys in that they cannot be lost, transferred, guessed or stolen. You carry your fingerprints and eyes with you wherever you go, so there is no danger that you will misplace the key or forget the code. But the real value lies in biometrics' one-of-a-kind pattern. It is, at best, extremely difficult to replicate a physical ID signature. In this way, potential forgeries or password guessing matrices are useless. The only way to get through a door locked with biometrics is with the corresponding physical identification.

This type of platform can be used as a last line of defense for a safe, lockbox or cabinet, or as a total building solution. Either way, you can limit who has 100 percent access to the company's assets. Some employees – even company officials – could use their inside knowledge of a building's layout to their advantage by stealing valuable materials. Through a biometrics system you can neutralize that threat.

ScaleMatrix CEO Mark Ortenzi uses fingerprint scanners to restrict access to his San Diego data center, according to While his security cameras and personnel offer the first obstacle for unauthorized staff or intruders, it isn't always enough.

"That's extremely important," Ortenzi says, "but you still have to be concerned with controlling what an authorized person can access after entering the data center."

Two is better than one
Even your must trusted advisors, to whom you may give heightened security clearance, can prove capable of betrayal. In some cases, a small business might elect to use a dual-mechanism lock. That means that two separate biometric patterns would be necessary to unlock a door or cabinet – which would require two different people to simultaneously provide their fingerprint or retina.

It may seem excessive, but it is better to be safe than sorry. A system calling for two people to give their identification means it is far less likely for a breach to occur due to a rogue actor.

New developments in biometrics
Physical attributes vary widely from person to person – and not just fingerprints and retina. A team of developers at University of Mu'tah in Jordan are researching ways to use lip movement as a method of biometric security, according to Digit. Ahmad Hassanat created a software program capable of reading lips, identifying unique characteristics and even recognizing the speaker. So far the platform is 80 percent accurate and could be closer to 100 percent in time. It works off the basis that no two people say words exactly the same every time, based on pronunciation, jaw makeup, lips, teeth, and so on.

As the need for security increases, expect more new biometric technologies to emerge.

Security equipment and surveillance industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, leaders in security equipment financing. Marlin is a nationwide provider of equipment financing solutions supporting equipment suppliers and manufacturers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.