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From automating mundane and repetitive tasks to optimizing business processes, AI is already having an impact on many workplaces. Generally, users are able to reclaim time, focus on high-value activities and unearth opportunities that would otherwise lay dormant in massive data repositories.

But there’s more to AI than efficiency gains and fatter profit margins. Properly harnessed, AI can make the lives of IT professionals less stressful and help office workers navigate the workday with greater ease. AI can also help create compelling and more empowering app experiences that enhance worker productivity and make getting the job done feel less like a chore.

What roles can AI help your organization? Datamation gathered some insights of technology leaders and professionals on how AI can contribute to the workplace. Here’s what they had to say.

Buoyed by surging business demand, the cloud computing market is growing by leaps and bounds. Although most enterprises are lured in by the promise of low-cost, on-demand IT services, many quickly discover that managing their cloud-enabled environments can be just as challenging and costly as their on-premises systems, if not more so.

“AI-enabled cloud management uses analytics and machine learning in order to analyze big data from various IT operation tools and devices. As a result, it is able to automatically spot, and more importantly react, to issues in real time. Think of AIOps [Algorithmic IT Operations] as continuous integration and continuous deployment for core IT functions,” said Rayapati.

“AI-enabled cloud management is not just an option anymore but a necessity for businesses with dynamic and complex IT environments. With the rise of cloud, distributed architectures, containers, and microservices, a rise in data overload is the end result,” continued the executive. “The only way to help CIOs and IT managers reduce their cloud costs, improve cloud security compliance, and reduce alerts fatigue is by bringing intelligent machine operations online.”

The bad news: Cyber-attackers are adding AI tools to their arsenals in 2023, predict top executives at data security and compliance solutions vendor Semafone.

“Cyber criminals will increasingly use artificial intelligence and machine learning to create automated attack systems that learn how to defeat security barriers as they spread,” warned Semafone’s CEO, Tim Critchley, Global Solutions director, Ben Rafferty, and head of Information Security, Shane Lewis.

“Network security will ultimately be driven by machine learning and artificial intelligence. Machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies at the security layer are going to be extremely dependable sentinels. Unlike todays network security systems which are largely human administered and maintained, ML and AI will be constantly vigilant against threats and vulnerabilities and will allow us to use the ‘P’ (prevention) in IPS [Instrusion Prevention System] with confidence,” stated Bae.

“The current thinking as a security professional is that if you have an updated database, secure firewall, patched OpenSSL, etc., you’re secure – but this presents a false sense of confidence that can be fatal to the security of the network,” cautioned Bae. “Machine learning and AI technology don’t suffer from over confidence and preconceived notions of security. It will simply do the job of identifying anomalies and mitigating threats, but far faster and better than today’s, largely human latency bound, security posture model.”

In the past, using business applications involved staring into interfaces littered with arcane menus, countless keyboard shortcuts and an ever-growing mental list of do’s and don’ts. Now, thanks to smartphones, cloud applications, the consumerization of IT and other recent technology trends, folks expect user-friendly interfaces that get the job done with a minimum of fuss, both at home and at the office.

Businesses may balk at the effort and expense required to drag their pre-internet and 90s-era applications into the modern day. Luckily, AI is here to shoulder some of that burden.

“Artificial Intelligence has without a doubt been a hot topic of 2023. In most cases, AI is discussed in a long-term capacity, but in 2023 we expect to see AI leveraged to help drive application efficiency and adoption by optimizing the user experience,” predicted John Carione, strategy and product marketing leader at low-code application development firm Quick Base.

“For low- and no-code applications, this means using AI to help app development tools understand usage patterns in order to automatically adapt to their specific role,” Carione added. “This creates a more fluid experience for the end-user and helps automatically tailor the right set of functionality for the right role, ultimately improving productivity and reducing security or compliance risks.”

In today’s workplaces, there are many reasons why projects stall and things fall through the crack, but few are as reviled and morale-deflating as office meetings.

Instead of enlightening employees and getting everyone on the same page, meetings often become productivity-killing time sinks. Agendas meander, topics become unfocused, urgent emails pile up and the path forward becomes murkier than when attendees first file into a conference room.

AI can help keep meetings on-track, and perhaps, turn meetings into one of the office rituals workers really look forward to.

“Cloud-based video conferencing solutions give us access to huge amounts of data about meeting habits. This data, aided by artificial intelligence and machine learning, could allow us to optimize the use of the platform and increase the effectiveness of meetings – many of the other trends (e.g. virtual assistants, facial recognition) are, in effect, powered by AI,” stated Bobby Beckmann, CTO of enterprise video conferencing specialist Lifesize.

“At a basic level, AI could enable us to determine optimal meeting length, ideal number of participants, or best time of the day to hold a meeting to improve productivity,” Beckmann added. “Voice recognition could analyze the content of meetings, compare against other meetings in the same organization, and make suggestions as to connections between people with complementary skills or knowledge.”

As workforces grow ever more distributed and folks come to rely on collaboration apps to connect with far-flung team members, a lot of the unspoken information and nuances of face-to-face interactions wind up lost between the ones and zeroes that comprise text chats and video calls.

AI can help fill in those gaps, picking up behavioral cues and helping users better connect with colleagues on the other side of the screen. AI will bridge virtual experiences with the emotional and conventional intelligence that people use to instinctually navigate new introductions, intense negotiations and other facets of business life, according to Jim Somers, vice president of Marketing at LogMeIn’s Collaboration unit.

“It’s been proven that face-to-face interactions improve relationships – both in business and personal life,” said Somers. “In 2023 and beyond, we’ll start to see artificial intelligence play a larger role in the process of relationship building among colleagues, customers and partners.”

Thanks to AI, cameras can pull double duty. Not only do they capture visuals, they provide AI systems with data that can be turned into insights about users state of mind. “Facial recognition technology will be built into remote collaboration tools to read visual cues,” Somers said.

“This ‘meta meeting,’ which focuses more on the feeling of the meeting (body language, tone, etc.) rather than the actual conversation, will gather insights and learnings that help the meeting host facilitate better human connections and drive positive results,” Somers concluded.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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Mobile Security Drives Demand For Android In The Enterprise

For the enterprise market, and for financial services in particular, it’s been hard to move on from the previous generation of mobility platforms. Traditionally, banks have relied upon old devices’ proven mobile security features, particularly their ability to protect confidential information through encryption and remote wiping when a phone is lost or stolen. However, a quickly changing mobile market has driven some enterprise users toward alternatives.

Android™ has stepped in to fill the gap. In IDC’s report, Worldwide Business Use Smartphone 2014–2024 Forecast and Analysis, Ramon LLamas, a research manager with IDC’s Mobile Phones team, predicts that Android “will have tremendous traction within the enterprise and mostly through enterprise-liable smartphone shipments.” Improved mobile security and widespread corporate adoption will drive banks away from legacy platforms and toward issuing their employees with Android devices. It will also open the door for banks to implement bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies.

Increasing Android Support for the Enterprise

In early 2024, Google introduced Android for Work™ to help adapt the platform for enterprise use. A large focus of this initiative is around secure app development. In a 2024 interview with the Financial Post, Rajen Sheth, director of product management for Android and Chrome at Work™, posited that Android’s greatness in the enterprise will come from partnerships in custom app and software creation for specific workplaces, such as financial institutions.

Still, one of the lingering worries for Android in the enterprise has been fragmentation of versions as well as perceptions about security. According to mobile expert Benedict Evans , “Android fragmentation is both massively overstated and massively understated, depending on what you want to do.” Evans argues that it’s next to impossible to avoid fragmentation in a landscape where both $600 and $50 devices coexist; differences in capabilities just comes with the territory. However, he notes that Google has been successful in minimizing Android version fragmentation. Furthermore, the latest version of Android v5.1 adds support for enterprise customers’ desired features such as Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), which answers any lingering concerns about platform vulnerabilities.

The Growing Demand for Android

The worldwide success and continued growth of Android across markets, segments and geographies has reached new heights. According to a 2014 report from IDC, corporate-liable smartphone sales were expected to hit 111 million units in 2014, up nearly 14 percent over the previous year. Though they’re not accelerating, sales are forecasted to rise at a rate of nearly 9 percent annually to 150 million units in 2023. In a sense, therefore, the enterprise market is following the global rise in demand for Android. As was widely reported, the number of Android activations had risen dramatically to reach more than 1 billion activated devices in late 2013. Now, the platform owns an estimated 78 percent of the consumer smartphone market, according to a 2024 IDC study, so it’s no surprise that the enterprise market recognizes the need to support it.

While most security-conscious companies will want to support Android by providing corporate-liable devices that ensure greater control over security settings, IDC points out that the BYOD market is larger. In fact, employee-liable devices are forecasted to grow from 221 million units in 2014 to 331 million in 2023, a higher growth rate than corporate-liable devices at 15.3 percent. Morgan Stanley rolled out the first corporate app to run on Android in 2010, oriented toward financial research for banking institutions. Today, there’s a much wider set of company apps for Android.

Mobile Security: The Key to Unlocking Higher Growth

Two factors are key to enabling Android’s growth within the enterprise market: improved platform security and more enterprise security solutions. Android’s changes through successive versions reveal numerous improvements, from the security framework enhancements of version 4.3 to device protection in the latest version, 5.1.

Beyond Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), third-party software companies have helped to improve the security of Android devices for both consumers and the enterprise. One such company, Lookout, started as a successful consumer app and was able to gain traction quickly based on building a more positive and rewarding security experience for consumers, unlike the traditional desktop security players. As a result, Lookout has seen a strong demand from enterprise customers, said Jenny Roy, Head of Consumer Marketing for Lookout.

“People don’t typically use the word ‘love’ and ‘antivirus’ in the same sentence when referring to desktop security. So when it comes to something as personal as someone’s phone, security has to be a better experience, to not only win over the consumer but also the enterprise, as employers look to roll it out to all their employees,” says Roy.

In addition to its consumer-friendly interface, Lookout emphasizes predictive security and offers solutions such as mobile threat protection and support for enterprise customers who use corporate liable and BYOD programs.

Changing of the Guard: Moving From Legacy Devices to Androidsmartphones

As noted earlier, the enterprise market, and financial services in particular, have been slow to shift to the new device generation. However, the market is changing: IDC’s report said Android will grow in the corporate market from 2014 to 2024. Benedict Evans and others have pointed out that Samsung maintains a firm lock on the upper end of the Android market. Therefore, it’s likely that enterprise clients, including banks, may increasingly turn to Samsung Galaxy S® 7 smartphones and Galaxy Tab® tablets, which feature great enterprise features like Samsung KNOX™.

It can be hard to change perceptions, but given the trends outlined here, experts predict that the enterprise market for Android will increase significantly over the next several years.

Five Ways Ai Can Help Your Production Processes With Cnc Machines

Here are the five ways AI can help your production processes with CNC machines

The past few years have seen an increase in the use of AI in CNC machines in the manufacturing industry. Looking at industries ranging from the medical industry to the automotive, oil and gas, aerospace, and warehousing industries, they are all employing the use of these machines.

If you see a machine somewhere, a certain product, or even a part that has been molded, chances are that CNC machines have been used for what you are seen to come to life.

The increased use of CNC machining has made it possible for production industries to catch up to the quick production and high accuracy needed today. This has, however, been made possible by the incorporation of modern technology into the production processes.

CNC Machines and Artificial Intelligence What are CNC Machines?

CNC machines refer to the equipment used to automatically control machining tools such as mills, lathes, 3D printers, and drills among others through the use of a computer. 

A CNC machine can be used to process different pieces of metal using programmed instructions to ensure that they meet certain criteria of specifications. This is done without direct human intervention.

Today, there is increased incorporation of AI into these CNC machines. Production industries are seeing machines that respond to commands and come with predictive capabilities and other modern features.

How is AI Helping in Production Processes with CNC Machines? Increases Efficiency and Productivity

The most important things when it comes to the incorporation of AI in CNC machines are efficiency and productivity. With the use of artificial intelligence, CNC machines can analyze all the data they produce during production and provide real-time results to their operators. This is important in boosting productivity.

When the data is analyzed, the machines can suggest any changes to their operators. With this, the operators can make the changes, affecting how the machine operates. This ensures that the machines’ efficiency is improved.

Boosts Performance Through Machine Learning

Initially, industries relied on human operators when driving changes in machining. However, this is changing due to AI. Today, they can rely on analytics, real-time data, as well as machine learning to dictate how the CNC machines learn, respond to requests and optimize performance.

AI has allowed operators to get insights on things such as how CNC machines operate, function, and perform. In addition, this has opened a wide view into how all the CNC machines work and perform with each other. 

With that, operators can see the performance of each machine and eliminate anything that slows performance. The machines are also learning about ways to boost their performance and giving suggestions to their operators. This boosts the machine’s performance.

Lowers Production Costs

If you ask any manufacturing plant managers today, they will tell you that their production costs are affected by their ability to service their machines in good time. They need to know when the machines should be tuned, calibrated, and parts adjusted. This always requires time.

However, artificial intelligence is making things easier for them. It is making it possible for industries to predict the time needed for servicing or doing any maintenance activities on the CNC machines. AI uses data to drive the machines and offers the operators real-time data on how the machines perform. 

This allows the operators to predict when the machines might need servicing, or when a certain part might need to be replaced. With that, they are able to save money by making sure that the machines are always operational and servicing them at the right time.

Transforms the Production Processes

The use of AI is transforming all the industries that rely on CNC machines for their production processes. Introducing artificial intelligence into these machines has not only seen increased levels of production but also a lot of technological transformation.

For instance, CNC machine operators

can use IoT devices to control the machines

, rate their performance, and make any required changes no matter where they are working from. This has been made possible by AI.

Promotes Automation

Similarly, some production processes with CNC machines have been automated especially due to the incorporation of AI. These machines are learning what they need to do, and receiving commands from their operators. 

In addition, industries are using

collaborative robots to revolutionize their automation

. With AI, these robots can operate the CNC machines, increasing productivity, reducing the chances of human errors, and ensuring that most processes are automated.

With that, they are working on their own and streamlining their operations. This is made possible by AI.

Conclusion

Enterprise Unix Roundup: Oracle, Enterprise Linux Pioneer?

They call it Unbreakable Linux, although if the rumors are true, Oracle may need to call it something else. Unbearable? Overbearing?

The reason behind the jibe? Well, it seems Marten Mickos, CEO at MySQL AB, has let it be known that one of his biggest competitors, the aforementioned Oracle, might be planning to pull an end-run and release and support the open-source MySQL database themselves — just like Oracle is doing with Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Mickos doesn’t seem to concerned, and he’s a pretty unflappable guy. And while such an attempt tends to rub my sense of fair play the wrong way, the truth is that Oracle may be starting a trend that will ultimately be good for the enterprise … even if the company is doing it for purely selfish reasons.

Short term, MySQL isn’t worried about Oracle encroaching on its turf because the company believes that such a move from Oracle would only endorse MySQL. This is probably the case. When I got over my initial reaction of Oracle = Arrogant, though, it occurred to me that this kind of play will have long-term benefits as well.

The crux of the argument is simple: Someone should have thought of doing this before.

“This” means what Oracle is doing right now — taking pre-existing free/libre/open source software (FLOSS), changing it to something it can support, and releasing it as its own product — can be done simply because it’s FLOSS. There’s no rule that says you can’t do this. In fact, the rules encourage such sharing of innovation.

Under no circumstances should it be thought that Oracle is doing this out of any sense of altruism, and therein lies the rub. Oracle wants to knock Red Hat off the top of the enterprise Linux mountain — no ifs, ands, or buts. And, if Mickos is correct, it will want to do the same to MySQL. Even with selfish motivations, Oracle may have stumbled on the formula that only FLOSS allows.

One-stop shopping.

The idea that an enterprise customer should, in the near future, be able to go to one vendor and get an entire stack’s worth of products and support from that single vendor is something people have been aiming for for years. Even in the open source community, various Linux distributions have formed partnerships and alliances with other FLOSS vendors, to get their product offerings aligned.

Oracle, through sheer chutzpah, did them all one better: It reached out and took what it wanted. In other words, it out-FLOSSed the FLOSS companies.

This is because, up until Oracle, everyone wanted to play by the old rules. The ones where you made business deals and got permission to use code. Larry Ellison and crew figured out something that even the new FLOSS companies weren’t willing to: They don’t have to play by the old rules.

The old rules work for proprietary software. The new rules are where you take what code you need, build a product, and ship it (ideally with good support). What’s interesting is that Linux distribution companies have been doing this all along. A distribution is just a collection of many different FLOSS apps, all wrapped up in a neat package. When these distros were put together, there weren’t a lot of business deals. If a distro needed a text editor, it would just build packages for whatever editors it wanted: emacs, vi, gedit, kate … No one has a meeting or issues a press release when GNU GCC is included in a distribution.

Oracle seems to have figured out how to apply this take-what-you-need model to the stack — that catchy name for a collection of servers designed to interface the customer with the data in whatever particular manner the customer needs to interface. Instead of an application distribution, Oracle is building a stack distribution — without any “overhead” of a partnership arrangement.

What may be embarrassing for the FLOSS folks is they didn’t figure this out on their own. But before heaping too much praise on Oracle, there is something to be said for politeness and fair play.

Oracle may have made the next intuitive leap in the evolution of the software business, but it must also to be able to provide some really solid support to customers to make this work. They way it is building its stack distribution has precluded getting much help from the actual product sources. True, it has avoided the need to share revenue with any partners, but it has also burned a few bridges with the FLOSS community. This may prove key in the months to come.

Whether it turns out to be good or ill, however, Oracle may have started something big within the enterprise. Sooner or later, another vendor is going to figure out how to put stacks together without a lot of fuss and without ticking everyone else off. These kinds of integrated solutions will be a huge draw in the enterprise space.

More to the point, such customized solutions would be available only from FLOSS vendors, because only they can freely share their code. Such on-the-fly solutions would be impossible for proprietary vendors because of the sheer hassle of getting closed-source applications to efficiently work together — not to mention all the potential license headaches.

In its effort to dominate, Oracle may have paved the way for FLOSS to really succeed in the enterprise.

Brian Proffitt is managing editor of JupiterWeb’s Linux/Open Source channel, which includes Linux Today, LinuxPlanet, and AllLinuxDevices.

This article was first published on chúng tôi

The Five Forces Of Context Marketing

A book review of Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel

This book provides a summary of current thinking in providing effective customer experiences to support commercial goals. It’s not a “how to” guide, but summarises current thinking which should inform digital strategies.  So what exactly is context marketing? Essentially, it’s about combining insight about customers and prospects combined with personalisation to deliver the right content to the right audience of users at the exactly the right time to satisfy the users requirements and as Hubspot states:

‘A decade ago, making personal connections with people on your website was no more than a pipe dream — the technology simply wasn’t available. Today, we have the technology to truly deliver the right message to the right person at exactly the right time. It will fundamentally change the way we do business…’

Hubspot have created a useful briefing on the elements of context marketing available for download if you’re interested in more detail.

In this book, authors Robert Scoble and Shel Israel have created the 5 Forces of Context Marketing in their book, Age of Context.

They identified the convergence of five key components helping to fuel the growth of context marketing and helping to set the stage for a future digital world that will be re-defined through these 5 forces of: mobile devices, social media, big data, sensors and location based services.

5 Forces of Context Marketing

1. Mobile Devices

Mobile devices outnumbered humans in 2012 according to a report by Cisco. Author Mitch Joel refers to the The One Screen World where we should stop counting screens and create our content, products and sales channels for the one device in front of our customer’s eyes, whether that’s a smartphone, tablet or desktop.

Our digital strategy should be encompassing all of these together, not treating each one in a silo.

We are also witnessing mobile by its very definition to begin to redefine and flourish into new and innovative products such as the growth in wearables and the launch of Google Glass being the classic example. Juniper Research estimate the unit sales of wearable’s will rise from 15 million in 2013 to 70 million by 2023.

It is estimated by Gartner that apps were downloaded 45 billion times by 2012.

2. Social Media

Social Media provides the basis for real-time, online conversations. It is expected that social will further integrate with these four other forces, providing a real time platform for people to connect, interact and share personalised content which can be distributed through your social connections based on your location and what you’re doing.

Market research Company Forrester predicted that investment in social networks will increase by 300% over the next 5 years, a growth fuelled by the desire of individual and organisations to distribute timely content with their community.

Social Media has ‘matured’ to become a channel that directly supports and complements other digital tactics employed by organisations, in particular SEO where the social signals are becoming a more important source of information to search engines to define the relevancy. As with the growth in mobile devices and the explosion in Apps, most if not all successful apps contain a social media component.

 3. Data

IBM estimates that 90% of the world’s data was created in the last two years. This perhaps fuels the phrase, ‘Big Data’.  But it isn’t Big Data we should be addressing, it should be about how to dilute the size of the data and make this actionable data, i.e. data that can provide insights, forecasting and opportunities for your organisation.

The ability to disseminate, extract and segment data are the skills required by organisations in ensuring the data being monitored and measured is the data, data-sets that can have a positive impact on the business.

The demand for analytics provides a level of quantitative analysis on key data sets impacting a business and more importantly, where informed decisions can be taken.

For example, measuring data to understand how effective an organisation is in engaging and driving a reach objective through digital channels is essential in order to understand which channels need to be resourced and invested in. Avinash Kaushik, author and founder of Market Motive defined web analytics as ‘the objective of tracking, collection, measurement, reporting and analysis of quantitative internet data…for marketing initiatives’.

With the explosion of data so there required organisations to provide data storage centres but at the same time, an ability for ‘Joe Public’ to easily access and identify what data sets they were looking for, enter Google. What Google quickly realised was the requirement for this data to be categorised in a logical manner and PageRank was born, a complex grouping of algorithms to determine the relevancy of search engine pages.

We’ve seen more recent entrants into this data market which have looked to create a niche and exploit opportunities in different ways to categorise such data with the arrival of Facebook and their focus on data sharing between groups of people and using your friends understanding of social behaviour patterns.

 4. Sensors

Simple little things that measure and report on change and in doing so emulate the five human senses. Although having been in existence for more commercial, industrial requirements such as in factories, it wasn’t until 2007 and the launch of the Apple iPhone which introduced a sensor to provide the facility of a touch screen. Other sensors were also included such as the ability to change to horizontal or vertical view and finding Wifi.

Since 2007 the growth in sensors has exploded through mobile apps using sensors to understand where you are and what you’re doing, mobile apps which alerting shop stores when a loyal customer walks through their doors, when your running shoes need replacing or even tracking shark movements in the water to alert surfers of imminent danger

 5. Location

The authors view Google as the ultimate contextual company. Recalling some of the innovative products Google has launched, it looks as though this is their ultimate goal, e.g. the development of their own Android operating system will provide them with the ultimate research in data sets of what audiences are doing, using it for, downloading and engaging communication with.

A similar approach to why Google launched Google+, it is not wanting to compete head on with Facebook as the lead social network, more so, it is used as a vehicle to support the ever growing list of digital products developed by Google and in turn to create a rich data set on who and what their audience is e.g. Gmail, YouTube, Google Shopping, Personalised Search – Google wants to answer the question: “We can predict what you’re going to do next”

Google Glass could prove to be the ultimate product in determining a suite of location based products in further building a complete picture of their audience.

Biometrics Not Quite Ready For The Enterprise

Little yellow sticky notes cling to computer screens throughout American

offices, displaying users’ passwords for coworkers, bosses… and

possibly hackers to see.

The passwords, generally as simple as a relative’s birthday or a pet’s

name, have long been too easy to steal, and they’re just not working

anymore, analysts say.

What’s the solution?

Biometrics and smartcards are the best solution, according to industry

watchers. But don’t throw your password away quite yet. For now, just

keep changing it every few months and rip that sticky note off your

monitor because the biometric industry may need up to five years to work

out all of the kinks.

With passwords continuing to become more of an IT security nightmare,

analysts agree something needs to change because too much vital corporate

information is at risk simply because of weak passwords. Analysts are

looking at smartcards, along with biometrics — authentication techniques

that check a person’s physical characteristics, like a fingerprint or

iris pattern — and some behavioral aspects like keystroke patterns.

”The password is becoming obsolete and hackable,” says Mike Miley, vice

president and chief technology officer for Science Applications

International Corporation (SAIC), a research and engineering company

based in San Diego, Calif. ”You never want to rely on any one identity

anymore.”

With passwords wearing out their welcome, biometrics and smartcards are

next in line.

Biometrics are just further down the road. Analysts agree that smartcards

will be more widely utilized in 2005 than biometrics. But they say the

combination of the two identity verification methods will be the most

effective way to access networks in the next five years.

Smartcards the first step

”The (smartcard) industry is a slowly building industry,” says Earl

Perkins, vice president of security strategies with META Group, an

industry analyst firm based in Stamford, Conn. ”Many computer companies

are starting to install contact or contactless readers for smartcards

right into PCs.”

But credit cards, drivers licenses and other forms of ID are lost

everyday. The smartcard holder, however, will have an easier way to get

their card back, quickly.

”You need an easy way to re-enroll or get a new card,” says David

Fisch, a consultant with the International Biometric Group, LLC, a

biometric security consulting and services firm with bases in New York

and London. ”The template takes random parts of the fingerprint and

stores it so the user can easily get a new one.”

This use of multiple forms of identification is the key to securing

privacy, analysts say.

”Combining something you have, something you know and who you are is

much stronger than anything else,” says Miley.

Richard Fleming, chief technology officer and co-founder of Digital

Defense, Inc., a security services firm based in Dallas, says biometrics

are the pinnacle of authentication.

”You are identifying the individual person by the fact that you know

that this is your thumbprint attached to your warm body. It is a step up

and beyond all other authentication methods.”

Miley says the next five years will see a large focus on identity

proofing, using the combined powers of smartcards and biometrics. He says

the cost of installing biometric tools onto PCs is coming down, which is

greatly due to the U.S. government’s interest in the industry.

”The government is dedicated to testing biometrics for large- scale

deployment,” says Miley, noting that the U.S. is interested in using

biometrics in areas such as immigration and Homeland Security.

With the government pouring money into the research and development of

biometrics, analysts say, the technology will become cheaper and more

widely used by the year 2010.

The Financial Angle

A major driver in the deployment of smartcards this year will be money,

according to industry observers.

While a smartcard with a Simchip will cost a company about $10 to $15, a

biometric devise, such as a fingerprint reader, runs at about $80 to $200

per user, Perkins says. ”When you multiply the (biometrics) costs by 10

or 30 employees, it is just not cost effective.”

Fleming says the high cost of biometrics has been prohibitive.

”Biometrics have been increasingly expensive to date,” Fleming says.

”The security component of IT budgets will increase over the next two

years to 18 months, and will continue to increase after that.”

But Fleming says the cost for companies to install biometrics has already

started to decline, and will continue in the same direction.

Fleming says the biggest challenges for biometrics at this point remain

in infrastructure and levels of standardization.

”People may not want to buy another devise and install it onto their

computer,” Fleming says. ”The industry will have to agree on what kind

of technology to deploy. If users don’t know what to use and when, they

may just decide to do without.”

Miley says while there will always be privacy concerns, the ability to

use biometrics as protection will become commonplace.

”There are lots of efforts now to use biometrics as a way to protect

one’s privacy, not as an invasion of privacy,” Miley says. ”In five

years, we will see biometrics as a primary component of security

management.”

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