Defense office getting biometrics software

More than 250 employees in the Office of the Secretary of Defense Comptroller's Office will use biometrics security software and hardware products built by Saflink Corp., of Bellevue, Wash.

OSDCO has placed an initial order to deploy Saflink's SAFmodule software solution and SecuGen Optimouse fingerprint readers. Both products eliminate the need for passwords and PINS, according to a company release.

"We have found that our systems - which currently rely on passwords or PINS for authentication - are not adequately protected, because even strong passwords can be cracked in a matter of hours. They can also be borrowed, lost, or stolen," said Clarence Hoop, Information Services Security Manager at OSDCO, in the release.

"Since it is not practical to ask users to change passwords every hour to protect our network and data assets, we needed a solution that would be difficult to crack and is also convenient for users. Biometrics is the answer, because authentication is based on a user's unique individual characteristic, which is more convenient for users and much more secure."

Hoop said his office needed a system that would be compatible with numerous other DOD systems and access points.

"We work with many groups within the DOD, including the armed forces, and authorize expenditures of more than $400 billion a year. Saflink's architecture offers us security which is interoperable with these systems, standards-compliant, and supports a large variety of authentication devices," Hoop added.

The OSD Comptroller's Office is responsible for approving the budgetary expenditures of the Defense Department.

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