Not even the most scatterbrained employee can forget his password when it's literally at the tip of his finger. Fewer lost passwords means fewer IT interruptions and improved productivity, according to Digital Persona, a company that's been providing fingerprint authentication software since 1996. That's one of three main advantages the company said its DigitalPersona Pro SBS Edition offers small businesses running Microsoft's SBS 2003 R2.
The Pro SBS Edition is designed to provide small businesses with the type of secure, sign-on and password management capabilities typically available only to large companies. Digital Persona targets a server/client software-only version of the product at SMBs that have notebook PCs with embedded fingerprint readers. Companies with desktop PCs and notebooks without embedded readers can purchase the version that includes both software and fingerprint readers.
Amr Assal, Digital Persona's senior product marketing manager, said that in addition to helping small businesses increase productivity, the Pro SBS Edition also improves security and helps companies comply with regulatory requirements.
"Small businesses can use the product as an added layer of security," he said. "Employees frequently lose or share passwords, which increases security risks and productivity delays. Pro SBS offers a convenient and easy-to-use way for your employees to sign on and access files on the company server. And unlike other authentication tools, fingerprints are unique to the individual. They can't be lost, stolen or used by anyone else."
Assal also noted that the Pro SBS Edition supports Microsoft's Active Directory and lets you centrally manage, enforce and audit security policies for all the people who can access the network files and applications. "It's not a good practice to let everyone access every file on your network," said Assal. "This software lets your people access the information they're meant to use with the swipe of a finger."
In addition, Assal said that Pro SBS Edition comes with log and audit tools to help you achieve compliance with mandated regulations such as HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley and Gramm-Leach-Bliley.
DigitalPersona makes its own line of fingerprint readers, and Assal said that the Pro software also works with a wide range of third-party fingerprint readers -- both external models and embedded versions. Here's a list of notebooks with embedded readers that Digital Persona supports.
DigitalPersona offers Pro SBS Edition configured for 10 or 25 people, and also as a five-person add-on license. These are available as a software download or as a physical Pak with software and readers. The DigitalPersona Pro SBS (software only) for 10 people sells for $999, while the DigitalPersona Pro SBS 10-user Pak (software and readers) costs $1,689.
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