Problem Statement

Current biometric systems are generally inflexible and not optimized for use within an enterprise. Most biometric systems are monolithic, thick-client or standalone applications with very little ability to interface to enterprise management information systems (MISs). Many biometric applications do offer some interoperability and integration points with and for established MISs such as PeopleSoft, SAS, Oracle and the like for personnel and accountability functions.  However, the ability of such enterprise systems to collaborate across a diverse set of biometric systems is limited because of the lack of standardization and enterprise architecture support amongst the various biometric systems. Likewise, there is a distinct lack of robust architectural support within the security and legal domains when using biometrics in those business contexts evidenced by the significant investment in stovepipe biometric systems. This problem is widely recognized in the various biometric communities, including the public sector (i.e. government civilian agencies), as evidenced by the testimony of Mr. Rand Beers, the Under Secretary, National Protection and Programs Directorate, Department of Homeland Security to the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs when asked about Terrorist Travel[1]

Thus, the biometric market today is continuing a trend towards monopolistic stovepipe systems risking higher prices and less innovation.  Small scale, open-source initiatives however demonstrate the opportunity for improving biometric system collaboration and performance through higher quality and modern architectural choices. Our intent with this project is to highlight alternatives for implementing biometric architecture for favorable consideration across an enterprise. This project could become the basis for goals to which an enterprise could subscribe when looking to improve their biometrics-business function capability sets. This could be considered whether an enterprise is updating or upgrading present, existing biometric infrastructure, or is considering a wholesale reconfiguring, re-architecting, or re-implementing of business functions supported by biometric identification capabilities.

The purpose of this project is to document and demonstrate the comparison and trade-off of current systems within their current architecture to like systems supported by a more robust and modern architecture.

[1] “Statement for the Record, by Rand Beers, Under Secretary, National Protection and Programs Directorate, Department of Homeland Security, Before the, United States Senate, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Washington, D.C., Terrorist Travel, December 9, 2009.” (