The technical description in this Wi-Fi Networking piece about a new product from Shimon Systems is a bit of a trial to follow. But it's worth it. The company -- whose name means "fingerprint" in Japanese -- has developed a system that marries biometric security to Wi-Fi.
Biometrics uses fingerprints, iris and other physical characteristics to ensure that a person is who he or she claims to be. It's most commonly seen today on laptops and desktop PCs.
It seems like a good idea to marry such an approach to Wi-Fi networks. For one thing, the technology itself, which is based on 802.1x, seems solid. Perhaps just as important is the fact that businesses need to feel as secure as possible about their internal wireless local area networks (WLANs). The addition of such a security adjunct will do as much for the image of secure Wi-Fi as for the security itself.
We hope that biometric Wi-Fi security moves into the public hotspot sector. Clearly, there are more security issues in this arena -- starting with the fact that corporate IT departments have no control over the security on a specific public network. The best they can do is allow or prohibit its use by employees. High-quality biometric security could put many of those doubts to rest.