ImageWare Systems: The Future of Secure Biometrics

Jim Miller, Chairman & CEO Biometrics is on its way to make identity theft and fraud a thing of the past. The pace of innovation around biometric technology is generating new creative use cases across the enterprise realm today. From commercial mobile user authentication using voice, face, fingerprint, to enterprise employee identification with multi-modal biometrics, chances are high that you will find the work of ImageWare Systems (OTCQB:IWSY) behind it.

As a pioneer in the biometric industry for two decades, ImageWare Systems is a leading developer of mobile and cloud-based biometric identity management solutions. Its core offering, GoVerifyID, is fully integrated with CA Single Sign-On and allows users to simply use a fingerprint, take a selfie, or speak a passphrase on their mobile devices to authenticate themselves. GoVerifyID is a complete, end-to-end, turnkey security solution that can be seamlessly integrated into any existing CA SSO authentication process. It includes a mobile app end users can download from an app store and install on their tablets and smartphones.

This past fall, ImageWare also announced GoVerifyID Enterprise Suite, the first enterprise-ready, end-to-end, biometric authentication solution for the Microsoft ecosystem. It provides high assurance authentication for both mobile and stationary workforces without sacrificing agility or user experience. GoVerifyID Enterprise Suite integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Active Directory and Microsoft Active Directory Federated Services to provide strong, multi-factor authentication and single sign-on for all of your computers and apps.

Scalable for worldwide deployment, ImageWare’s patented biometric product line also includes the highly scalable, multi-modal IWS Biometric Engine® that is capable of working with a wide array of sensors, modalities, and algorithms. The company's identity management products run secure credentials, national IDs, passports, driver’s licenses, and smart cards as well as application and physical access control systems for thousands of clients across the globe. By supporting a wide range of biometric modalities, including face, voice, fingerprint, eye and DNA, ImageWare is revolutionizing today’s identity management landscape.

For instance, take the case of Canadian Air Transport Security Authority’s (CATSA) biometric credentialing system. The Restricted Access Identity Card (RAIC) program is the world's first dual-biometric airport identification program for accessing restricted areas. In combination with Physical Access Control Systems (PACS), these systems prevent unauthorized access to restricted areas of the airports. CATSA deployed the RAIC system with a custom solution that used a multi-biometric iClass credential— the RAIC Renewal Application (RRA) was created by ImageWare Systems, with their patented Biometric Engine at its heart.

So where does all this data get saved and how does the software manage the whole process? “We have built a powerful, big data Biometric Engine to handle the data and processes, which allows users to run as many different biometric modalities as required,” reveals Jim Miller, Chairman and CEO, ImageWare.

We have built a powerful, big data biometric engine to handle the data and processes, which allows users to run as many different biometric modalities as required

The Core of ImageWare

Armed with a real-time, high performance database that takes less than one second to respond, the IWS Biometric Engine assists organizations in setting up a hassle-free authentication system that is pocket friendly and can be used in a pay-as-you-scale model.

Available as part of a web-based biometric enrollment and biometric identification technology, as well as a Software Development Kit (SDK), the IWS Biometric Engine enables system integrators to build custom biometric identity verification applications or incorporate biometric technology enrollment, search, and authentication functionality into existing applications. Most importantly, the engine conveniently, inexpensively, and securely provides indisputable proof of identity across large-scale populations and distributed enterprises. It is based on field-proven biometric technology that has been used to manage millions of biometric identification templates and algorithms for virtually all leading biometric types. “The brain of our solution is built for high volume, real-time, one second response to successfully address the growing security needs,” elucidates Miller.

Combined with the power of 20 patented technologies, ImageWare has included a plethora of security features, into their Biometric Engine, that allows for anonymous matching in the cloud. The company stores the biometric characteristics in an anonymous proprietary binary format. So even if the data is somehow compromised from the secure cloud data center, the data is not usable and it’s not associated to any person – so it does not provide any value to a would-be thief. For instance, if hackers got through all the firewalls and encryption protection, what they would get is a list of meaningless zeros and ones attached to no identity. “My fingerprint or data is of little use to them if they don’t know who I am,” states Miller. “With two-thirds of all data breaches caused by faulty passwords that have been compromised, this methodology allows enterprises to secure their touchpoints,” affirms Miller—a reason why many are turning towards biometrics to combat the growing crime.

Unique Security Solution

ImageWare has partnered with leading tech companies, including CA Technologies, Fujitsu, Deutsche Telekom, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, SAP, Lockheed Martin, TransUnion, and Verizon to provide solutions in the market. For example, ImageWare’s end-to-end, enterprise-ready security solution, GoVerifyID, has been integrated with CA Technologies’ Single Sign On that is used by tens of millions of people around the world. It provides unparalleled user authentication assurance while eliminating the issues regarding implementation complexity and user adoption. GoVerifyID’s patented, multi-modal biometric fusion identity authentication can be used in place of passwords or as a strong second factor authentication method.
The enterprise suite is provided as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution; thereby, eliminating complex IT deployment and unnecessary costs. “CA is a great company to partner with. We joined the advanced technology program and have been working with CA to enhance the single sign on product with biometric authentication,” says Miller.

GoVerifyID also works as a mobile biometric authentication solution that can be used to verify a user’s identity prior to granting access to secured physical or digital sites or to protect transactions. Users can enroll their face, fingerprint, and voice biometrics; then use their biometrics just like a password. “It works with ImageWare’s secure cloud service to deliver fast, accurate identity authentication that protects all of your important applications, systems, and data,” adds Miller. “GoVerifyID concentrates on the working of client side, fitting in the backend of our biometric engine,” adds Miller. “While users are licensing GoVerifyID, they are also getting the incredible power of the IWS Biometric Engine, because it is always operating in the cloud.

"GoVerifyID, is integrated with CA Technologies’ Single Sign On that is used by tens or even hundreds of millions of users around the world."

ImageWare’s unique solutions are used by clients across various industries—from voting cards in Uganda, to work visas on the Guatemalan-Mexican border, to the U.S. Veterans Administration. ImageWare also works with the Transportation Security Administration of Canada as well as Los Angeles International Airport and several police departments. Miller states an example emphasizing the need for biometrics, where remote access—be it VPN or mobile device—can be authenticated without hindrance, yet providing the ultimate in enterprise security. Biometrics offer a second or third factor authentication in addition to, or in place of an already existing authentication system. “Our system assists organizations to check if the correct person is logging in. Biometrics are an infallible process; as soon as the user logs in, the system automatically generates and sends a message asking for authentication,” explains Miller. “Since we are vendor-agnostic, companies can use as many modalities as they want to provide the desired level of user assurance and security.”

Transforming Identity Management

Today, biometrics have culminated into a secret weapon, which can identify an actual person as opposed to just identifying a piece of information or a device. And owing to the fact that they are difficult to steal as long as the biometric vendor uses appropriate architectures and security methods, biometrics are surging ahead to transform identity management. ImageWare has positioned itself well to be a leader in this space, with its real-time biometric identity authentication as a cloud service that has massive scalability and unparalleled authentication provided in seconds, even across hundreds of millions of identities.

The company is investing in R&D to further enhance their technology to better protect users, making sure that information does not slip through firewalls or security protocols. With over two decades of experience in the biometric identity authentication industry, ImageWare is surging confidently towards the future. “Imagine a life without passwords, where your customers can log into any application or system or even make payments using their own physical traits. Biometrics provide a secure, easy— and can I say, it’s even a fun way – to verify who we are; and the most important thing is, it is available right here, right now,” concludes Miller.

ImageWare Systems

San Diego, CA

Jim Miller, Chairman & CEO and Robert Brown, VP, Sales & Business Development, David Harding, VP, Chief Technical Officer, Wayne Wetherell, SVP of Administration & CFO

Delivers next-gen biometric authentication systems as an interactive, scalable, and cloud-based solution

ImageWare Systems