Saflink is a well-known and well-respected company within the biometrics arena, with many successful customized implementations to its credit. It seems like a natural progression, therefore, for it to bring its experience and expertise to the broader commercial product area.
The SAFSolution Workstation Bundle uses the popular Upek (Formerly STMicroelectronic) TouchChip fingerprint reader and combines this with a robust Windows logon routine to replace the standard password.
The product provides a quick start card and a printed manual and two CDs, one of which provides useful corporate information.
The installation routine was faultless on the Windows 2000 SP4 test workstation. Users may choose which fingerprints to enrol (it is a good idea to enrol more than one in case of accidents) via an intuitive dialog with an attractive feedback graphic which lets them know exactly what is going on, and it is possible to choose to fall back to the password if all else fails.
However, the system worked perfectly throughout a prolonged test, never rejecting the authorized user, but immediately blocking an impostor. This product is simple in concept with a single function – replacing the Windows password with a fingerprint biometric.
It installs and de-installs cleanly and works exactly as it should, replacing the standard Windows logon dialog with its own attractive version that prompts for the fingerprint when appropriate. This can be configured as a "fast" logon whereby all the user needs to do is provide his or her fingerprint.
There is even provision for first-time users to practice giving their fingerprint via a separate utility, although we cannot imagine any user having difficulty in either using the Workstation Bundle.
Furthermore, it is possible to upgrade to an Enterprise edition, which stores and manages the biometric templates centrally and uses the Windows Active Directory.
This product is a welcome addition to the ranks of off-the-shelf fingerprint packages for Windows, and an ideal introduction to biometrics for those seeking a more secure method of accessing their workstation.