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The biometric technologies business case: a systematic approach

Richard A. Riley Jr (College of Business and Economics, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA)
Virginia Franke Kleist (College of Business and Economics, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA)

Information Management & Computer Security

ISSN: 0968-5227

Article publication date: 1 April 2005




This paper aims to assist readers to develop a compelling business case, including quantifiable and non‐quantifiable costs and benefits, for the deployment of biometric technologies in information systems to enhance corporate security for access control, identification and verification applications.


The paper reviews the strengths and weaknesses of leading biometric technologies, while commenting on their practical applicability in real world implementations. In addition, the paper develops a process for ensuring that the best biometric applications are chosen, considering both the technology and related business issues.


The paper suggests that biometrics must be carefully selected to achieve a good fit to the security problem, giving examples of how a good fit might be evaluated by the user. The one‐time and recurring charges associated with the typical biometric implementation are evaluated, arguing that these costs must be offset by a formal risk evaluation. The paper presents a user's guide for sensible implementation evaluations. Finally, the paper emphasizes that the use of biometrics in systems security implementations is one tool among many, and must thus be viewed as only part of an overall information security management infrastructure.


In order to select biometric technologies, buyers must choose solutions to business problems, solutions that demonstrate that the biometric makes sense from a cost‐benefit and business perspective. This paper, in a step‐by‐step manner, walks readers through the decision‐making process and assists them in making compelling business arguments for biometric applications.



Riley, R.A. and Franke Kleist, V. (2005), "The biometric technologies business case: a systematic approach", Information Management & Computer Security, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 89-105.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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