Is Now the Time to Jump on The Multifactor Biometrics Bandwagon?

The following is a guest post submitted to M2SYS by Brent Whitfield. He is the CEO of DCG Technical Solutions, Inc.

Multifactor Biometrics

Multifactor Biometrics

For many security and technology experts, the advantages of multifactor biometrics have been becoming increasingly clear as criminals and security gurus alike continue to pick holes in standalone biometric authentication systems.

Now, for the first time, serious financial forecasts have outlined the potential size of the biometrics market to global infrastructure protection up to 2020 – and it’s pretty big!

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Training Video on How to Use the M2SYS Palm Vein Scanner with Fujitsu PalmSecure Sensor

This week, M2SYS created a training video on proper and improper scanning techniques for the M2 Palm Vein reader that uses Fujitsu’s PalmSecure sensor.  If you are a new or existing palm vein customer, this video demonstrates the correct placement of the hand on the hand guide to ensure an accurate read of the end user’s palm vein pattern as well as incorrect placement of the hand that will cause difficulty in obtaining a proper scan.

Please take a moment to view the video and contact us if you have any comments or questions:

 

How To Properly Clean Biometric Hardware

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Unintentional Consequences Resulting From Good Intentions

Recently, an end user contacted us to report that one of their fingerprint readers had mysteriously been damaged and unable to properly scan.  Turns out that the glass surface where the finger rests during the scanning process had become scratched and thus could not properly capture a fingerprint image.  Although no one on staff was claiming responsibility for the damage or the cause, management suspected (due to another fingerprint reader being damaged in a similar way a few months prior) that it was due to someone improperly wiping the surface with a prohibited cleaning agent.

Taking into consideration that fingerprint readers and other biometric hardware devices are an investment and have a shelf life just like most other electronic equipment, it prompted us to think that perhaps it was an appropriate time to write a blog post on how to properly clean biometric hardware to prolong the hardware longevity and get the most out of your investment.  Since regular use of biometric hardware devices (especially fingerprint readers) leaves residues or other foreign materials on the surface, this post will offer tips on how to properly maintain the devices.

fingerprint reader Wear And Tear More Prevalent For Fingerprint

No matter where you have a biometric system deployed, your hardware will undergo wear and tear as your end users place their fingers or palms on the device for recognition.  However, fingerprint readers tend to have shorter life spans due to the fact that an end user must make physical contact with the fingerprint sensor in order for the device to capture a print and identify through a biometric software interface.  Within environments where staff is prone to having dirty, greasy, or grimy fingers due to their job responsibilities, we always recommend cleaning your hands before using either of our fingerprint readers.  Remember that dirty residue, oils or other materials on the surface of a fingerprint reader can obscure the image causing performance degradation in terms of false acceptance and false reject rates.

CLEANING THE M2-EASYSCAN FINGERPRINT READER:

Dampen a lint-free cloth or cotton swab with alcohol or acetone. Gently rub the cloth across the sensor

surface in a left and right direction.  Move slowly down the sensor to cover the entire surface area. Repeat this process 2-3 times. Visually observe that no residual solution remains on the sensor.

Caution: Abrasive materials are not recommended for cleaning the M2-EasyScan.

CLEANING THE M2-S FINGERPRINT READER:

The scanning surface of the M2SYS fingerprint scanner is coated with a thin film of silicone.  This silicone layer helps the reader capture more ridge detail from rough, dirty, and other potentially difficult prints. The silicone layer is not removable or replaceable, so please make sure to treat it with care.

As far as cleaning, it is NOT recommended that you regularly use industrial cleaning solvents (especially those that are alcohol-based) on the scanning surface.  The repeated use of such products will definitely lead to the silicone layer on the scanning surface becoming damaged.  Such damage will result in decreased capture sensitivity, and will negatively impact the scanner’s performance.  A piece of scotch tape, placed sticky side down and then peeled off, should be sufficient to remove any dust or latent oil or dirt buildup caused by normal use.  The frequency of use for the tape will vary depending on the amount of traffic a scanner experiences.  Typically, once a week should be reasonable.

If something unusual does happen, like something sticky gets spilled on the scanner surface, a small amount of mild ammonia-based cleaner (e.g. Windex) can be sprayed onto a cloth (not paper) and blotted or gently wiped on the problem area.  Blot the area dry and use scotch tape to remove any leftover particulate.  You should not use paper-based products (e.g. paper towels) to clean the surface as they will leave small paper particles stuck to the silicone.  You should not spray any cleaners directly on the scanning surface. You should never use an alcohol-based cleaner on the scanning surface.  This procedure is only to be used in the rare case that something out of the ordinary gets onto the scanning surface – scotch tape alone will be sufficient for normal maintenance of the scanning surface.

It is possible that with heavy use the silicone layer on the scanning surface may become slightly cloudy over time.  Use of a mild ammonia-based, as described above, may help to remove this cloudiness.

Vascular Biometric Readers – Finger Vein and Palm Vein

Luckily, the dawn of vascular biometric readers meant that end users no longer had to make contact with the sensor that captures the image of the finger or palm vein for recognition.  It did not mean that these readers would not be susceptible to becoming dirty but cleaning frequency dropped significantly and the contactless sensor meant a longer life for the hardware.  Here is the breakdown of how to clean each M2SYS vascular reader:

M2-FV (Finger Vein) Scanner Maintenance:

  • Before performing the M2-FV Scanner maintenance, remove the USB cable. Keeping the cable connected with the USB connector during maintenance may cause failures.
  • For M2-FV Scanner maintenance, be careful not to allow water to come in contact with the inside of the M2-FV Scanner.  This may cause malfunctioning.
  • Do not clean the device using organic solvents such as gasoline and alcohol. This may cause malfunctioning.

Maintenance of the external part of the M2-FV Scanner should be about once a month or whenever required according the condition of the scanner.  Clean the external part of the scanner by rubbing it with a soft piece of cloth.  If dirt is not removed by doing this, soap the surface to be cleaned with neutral detergent and clean using a tightly wrung out piece of damp cloth.  If dirt remains, immerse the piece of cloth into water and cleaning detergent, wring tightly and apply to remove the dirt.

  • Scanning area maintenance. (About once a month or whenever dirt from fingerprints is detected.)


Scanning Area Maintenance Method

  • Use a soft piece of cloth to clean the scanning area.
  • Lift up and remove the front part of the device where the finger is placed (support).
  • Clean the scanning area using a soft piece of cloth. In case of big and obvious dirt particles, remove these before cleaning.
  • Place the support back into its position once the cleaning is finished.


M2-PV (Palm Vein) Scanner Maintenance:

Before performing the M2-PV Scanner maintenance, remove the USB cable. Keeping the cable connected with the USB connector during maintenance may cause failures.

  • For M2-PV Scanner maintenance, be careful not to allow water to come in contact with the inside of the M2-PV Scanner. This may cause malfunctioning.
  • Do not clean the device using organic solvents such as gasoline and alcohol. This may cause malfunctioning.

biometric software systemMaintenance of the external part of the M2-PV Scanner is required according the condition of the scanner. Clean the external part of the scanner by rubbing it with a soft piece of cloth. If dirt is not removed by doing this, soap the surface to be cleaned with neutral detergent and clean using a tightly wrung out piece of damp cloth. If dirt remains, immerse the piece of cloth into water and cleaning detergent, wring tightly and apply to remove the dirt.

 

Hope that this post has been helpful and we are always available for help if you need to contact us.

Cliff Notes On How To Navigate M2SYS Software Licensing

 

 

 

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Software And Hardware Installation Can Be Confusing

At times, software and hardware installation can seem confusing.  Not only do you have to spend time identifying how software can benefit your business and which software and hardware would do the best job at the most affordable price, then you have to figure out how to load the software on your server and client (PC) post-purchase so that it works effectively.  There are probably occasions where you may have to call or e-mail technical support just to get the software working properly which eats up time from your schedule and can be frustrating.  We hope that this blog post can avert problems with licensing your software and provide you with a seamless installation.

P.S. – At the end of this blog post, we assembled a Glossary of Licensing Terminology.  Words marked with a * next to them are defined in the Glossary.

Tips On A Successful Client And Server Licensing Experience

In order to use M2SYS hardware and software, a license (LID)* must be generated either for the client (PC)/server or both.  We thought it might be helpful to take a moment and explain how licenses are generated, why they are needed and how to navigate the M2SYS License Page.*

Client (PC) software can be licensed in the following ways:

  1. If the client and server are running on the same PC, the client is automatically licensed by the server.
  2. M2-EasyScan Fingerprint Reader – licensed automatically by the internal code within the device.
  3. M2-S Fingerprint Reader – when prompted by a software license screen*, type the LID from underneath the device.
  4. M2-FV Finger Vein Reader and M2-PV Palm Vein Reader – license generated on the M2SYS License Page.

Server software can be licensed in the following ways:

  1. Connect a USB Smartlock.*
  2. Generate a license ID from the M2SYS Licensing Page.

Here are some tips that can make licensing and your installation a little easier:

Tip #1 – Let’s start with the most important tip – make sure to thoroughly read the installation guide(s) and the license page information first before attempting to generate licenses.  Installations will go much smoother if you take the time to go over this information prior to loading the software and connecting the hardware.

Tip #2 – DO NOT plug in the hardware (fingerprint, finger vein or palm vein reader) before installing the software.  Wait until you have started installing the software which will prompt you when it is time to plug in the hardware.

Tip #3 – If you need to generate a license from the M2SYS Licensing Page, make sure that you type it correctly into the prompt during installation.  To help prevent typing errors, use your mouse cursor to highlight the installation ID* and copy and paste it into the license page.  Repeat the same procedure to get the generated license ID back into the software license form.

Tip #4 – If you rename or replace a client or a server, this causes previously generated licenses to become null and void.  You must generate a new license upon renaming or replacing a server or a client.

Glossary of Terminology

  1. License ID (LID) – code used to activate M2SYS client or server software.  Can come from biometric device (client only) or M2SYS license page (client or server).
  2. Installation ID Machine-specific code displayed in M2SYS software after installation.  Used to generate license ID on M2SYS license page.
  3. M2SYS License PageWebpage which can be used to generate a client or server license ID by entering an installation ID.
  4. USB SmartlockUSB dongle which will activate the software when connected to a computer running M2SYS server software.
  5. Software License ScreenThe form where you are prompted for license activation within the M2SYS software.  The installation ID and license ID are displayed and entered here.  In the client software, this form automatically pops up when a biometric operation is attempted and the client software requires activation.  In the server software, this form is accessible via the M2SYS biometric server entry in the Windows Control Panel.

We offer these tips to make your life easier and your experience with our software pleasant and positive.  If you are still experiencing problems, you can always call our support team or visit our support portal at http://support.m2sys.com/

Do you have any suggestions on how we can make licensing our software and hardware easier and more efficient?  Please leave us a comment below.

 

Installation Guides Are Key Documents For Biometric Software Deployments

The Importance of the Software Installation Phase

In the world of software, few things are more important than following directions when you are in the installation phase.  In the world of biometric software, following installation instructions can make or break your experience and the overall functionality of the system.  As biometric software and hardware providers, M2SYS Technology has  gone to great lengths to ensure that our installation guides are clear, easy to understand and comprehensive without being overwhelming and confusing.  Even though we try our best to be clear and succinct with our instructions, we still run across end users who contact us for support that have not fully read the installation guides or followed the proper steps to successfully install our biometric software.  We are happy to help in any way we can, but also want to empower end users with information and knowledge to understand the installation process and create a smooth experience that could potentially be disrupted by snafus and problems which could otherwise be avoided.

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