Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How are blogs useful to organizations?

The number of organizations using blogs for many purposes is currently on the rise. In fact, quite a few of the Fortune 500 companies currently have a blog. These blogs are useful as they allow information regarding products, services and customers to be shared. Blogs can be used as an effective marketing tool in order to create awareness about certain aspects of the company. Companies can also have internal blogs which allow employee interaction, the sharing of relevant topics, and the ability to gather intelligence and expertise from all their employees. Blogs can really provide businesses with a boost as they allow them to reach a segment of consumers which they may not have been reaching before. Businesses can also gain extra revenue by the sale of text links, advertising, affiliate programs, etc. Since blogs are interactive as opposed to static websites, they give your customers a chance to communicate with you and provide you with feedback which you can use to satisfy them better. The negative effects of a blog for a company can be, for example, an employee losing his job due to something he said on the blog. Also, sometimes employees can leak commercial secrets of a company using the blog which can prove to be harmful. If the company blog is not maintained this will set a bad impression for the company. The organization has to ensure that the blog enhances their image and does not damage it.

Snapshot of a company blog:

Companies Ponder the Blog Option
Organizations Putting Blogs to Good Use
Benefits of Blog Marketing

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What are the potential disadvantages of this technology?

There are also a few potential disadvantages of using retinal scanning for the purpose of identification/recognition:

1. As compared to other methods of automated recognition (such as fingerprints or facial recognition) this method is expensive to implement and maintain as the equipment is costly.

2. The user has to remove his/her glasses in order to make the eye available for scanning. Some people may not be comfortable with removing their glasses and resent the fact that a sensitive part such as the eye has to be brought into close proximity of an electronic scanner.

3. Some individuals may not want to allow a machine to store information regarding their body and may consider it as a violation against their privacy.

4. The measurement accuracy of the scanner can be affected if the user suffers from a disease of the eyes such as cataracts. The measurement can also be obscured by eyelashes, lenses, reflections.

The Pros and Cons of Biometrics
Retina scans for better security

What are the advantages of this technology?

Retinal scanning is an advantageous biometric technique because of many reasons and has been used in various industries. Initially, it was mainly used for the purpose of identification by organizations such as the CIA, FBI, NASA and government agencies in order to protect confidential information but in recent times the technology has gained commercial acceptance. It can now be seen used in ATM identity verification, security check for employees, prisoner identification in prisons and also to reduce welfare fraud. It also has medical advantages since the signs of many diseases first show up in the eyes and retinal scans provide medical science with another method to detect sicknesses. The advantages of the techonolgy include:

1. The retina/iris is universal and unique, meaning that all individuals possess one and it is distinctive to them. It is a permanent characteristic since the retina or iris pattern of a human stays constant over time.

2. The retina scanning machine accurately and easily collects the data which is to be collected and stores it.

3. The technology allows fast and speedy verification of the identity of an individual and therefore saves time.

4. It is hard to deceive this technology since it is impossible for an individual to somehow alter the image of their retina or iris to match someone else’s.

5. Retinal scanning is also a fairly acceptable method of collecting biometric information and is not considered to me a massive intrusion upon privacy for most individuals, although some consider it to be intrusive.

6. This method also has a very low false acceptance rate and false rejection rate, which implies that most of the time it is absolutely accurate and seldom makes errors.

Individual Biometrics - Iris Scan
Biometrics Using Retinal Scan
Retina and Iris Identification

What technology/techniques do these devices replace?

Retinal/Iris scanning devices will most likely replace other methods of identification such as passwords and ID cards. Passwords can be guessed and ID cards can be stolen so since retinal images cannot be imitated by anyone else, this method guarantees security and accuracy. Passwords and authentication codes can also be forgotten by users so using a biometric characteristic to prove one’s identity is like carrying an extremely strong unforgettable password with you 24/7. Although the technology has been around a while it has not yet replaced most methods of identification since it is expensive to execute and is not particularly considered user friendly by some individuals.

This technology is also proving to be quite useful to doctors as it allows them to detect multiple diseases in a patient just by the use of a retinal scan. Previously, many different tests needed to be carried out before the doctor could reach a conclusion regarding what was wrong with the patient but now many diseases and conditions including malaria, AIDS, syphilis, Lyme disease, and chicken pox all show up in your eyes and can therefore be determined by a retinal scan.

Panasonic Iris Recognizer:

Your Body is now your New Password
Retinal Scans Do More Than Just Let You In Doors
Scanning the Future of Enterprise Security

Monday, November 17, 2008

What are these devices and what do they do?

Biometric devices are used to electronically verify the identity of individuals or recognize them using various biological traits. Using these devices, we can use our fingerprints, handprints or voices to gain access to computers, rooms, online accounts etc. We can use ID cards or passwords for personal identification but both these methods are susceptible to being lost or stolen. Biometric devices use physiological or behavioral traits in humans which are unique to them and therefore serve as a great measure for identity recognition or verification. This blog will discuss the purpose and usefulness of biometric devices that use retina and iris scanning to identify people. This technology functions on the basis of enrollment and testing. First aperson enrolls his/her biometric information (a digital image of the scanned eye) which is stored by the device for later comparison. Then later on when they provide their retinal scan to gain access to a restricted area/workstation, the scanned image of their retina is compared to what was previously stored on the machine. If there is a match then they are granted access, if not then they are rejected. Iris/retina scanning is an effective way to recognize or verify the identity of an individual since no two iris patterns are alike, in fact, studies show that the probability of two fingerprints being alike is higher than that of two iris patterns being alike.

Global Security - Biometrics Overview
Encarta Encyclopedia: Biometrics
BioVeriCom - Retina Biometric