By John Villegas, Elatec RFID – Enterprise content management (ECM) capture, also referred to as document management, helps companies control costs and protect confidential information while enabling document sharing within an organization. But what’s the best user identity authentication solution?
PIN- or password-based systems are the default and are the most commonly used solution across the industry. But radio-frequency identification (RFID) provides significant advantages in security, speed, simplicity, savings and user satisfaction. Here’s why more companies are moving to RFID for their ECM capture needs.
Passwords and PINs are easily compromised when users share them with colleagues or a bad actor watches over someone’s shoulder to steal their information. Pins can also be easily mis-keyed, and incorrect destination folders selected, accessing the wrong folders compromising secure or sensitive information. Whether accidental or intentional, if the documents accessed includes confidential information—say, HR records or company financials—company security is compromised. RFID cards, which are typically assigned as employee ID and door access cards, are less likely to be shared between employees and cannot be easily duplicated or hacked. Card readers can be configured to read different outputs (e.g., binary, decimal and hexadecimal), adding complexity that makes it nearly impossible for the information on the card to be copied or stolen.
Whether printing, copying or scanning, the control panel or user interface on multi-function printers are not designed for easy entry of complex information. Frequent miskeys slow employees down and result in queues at the printer during busy times of the day. Usernames and passwords offer superior security compared to PINs but take much more time to enter—especially if employees must toggle between keyboards for lowercase and capital letters, numbers and special characters. While the time may seem insignificant, it can add up to a surprisingly large frustration for employees with frequent visits to the device. RFID readers improve productivity and speed up lines at the printer—employees just scan their card, upload or download their documents and leave.
RFID readers take advantage of technology that companies are already using. Employees can use the ID cards they already carry to get into the building to upload their printed material. (If ID cards are not already RFID, a special RFID sticker can be added to them.) Since employees typically have their ID cards on their person at all times, there is nothing additional to carry and no new pins or passwords to remember. And RFID cards are easy to use, with virtually no training required—employees just wave their card in front of the reader.
The number one job for most IT departments is changing passwords and unlocking accounts. And no wonder—29% of employees in the U.S. enter more than 11 passwords a day! As we make password criteria more complicated and prompt employees to change passwords more frequently, it’s easy to understand why employees are often locked out of their accounts. RFID cards eliminate IT time spent troubleshooting for employees locked out of their print job, which translates into measurable savings in IT time and expenses. Employees can also easily self-register their cards for ECM capture, further reducing IT time for setup and ongoing support. Since the readers can use existing employee ID cards, there is no additional expense in producing and distributing new cards.
Time-savings and simplicity translate into higher satisfaction for end users. Users don’t need to carry a second card, remember a new pin, fumble around with a tiny MFP user interface to enter a username and password and select a location to upload to, or call IT to have their pins reset. The RFID reader just works, every time.
These advantages add up to real, and measurable, benefits for companies that move from PIN/password entry to RFID readers for ECM capture and other applications.
ELATEC is a world leader in identity authentication and extended access control solutions for enterprise content management, print management and numerous other applications. For more information, contact John Villegas at 772-210-2263 or firstname.lastname@example.org.