How Michigan State Univ. Relies on Biometrics to Safeguard Research Lab

MSU selected a multifactor authentication biometrics system by ZKAccess to secure its research laboratory from unauthorized personnel access.

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University (MSU) is a public research institution with an enrollment that exceeds 50,000 students. MSU ranks among the top 30 public universities in the United States and the top 100 higher education research facilities in the world.

Vital to MSU’s research work and education endeavors is the Computer Science and Engineering Department, with lab facilities that include expensive high-speed servers, more than 100 workstations and countless proprietary research documents.

Given the sensitivity of the laboratory, the university had a pressing need to overcome the challenge of preventing unauthorized access due to antiquated systems that relied on keys and ID badges. Administrators decided that a security upgrade would include a biometric access control system.

MSU selected the ZKAccess ProBio-ID multibiometric reader to control door access to the research lab. The reader features a fingerprint sensor and a face recognition camera, thus providing multifactor authentication.

Face recognition provides users the added convenience of true hands-free door access. This feature is especially convenient when a user’s hands are occupied with books, computer equipment, pushing carts or when wearing gloves.

“I can’t tell you how much I love not having to worry about forgetting my keys or locking them in my office,” comments MSU Researcher Chris Perry. “The readers work exceptionally well and I’m particularly impressed at how well the face recognition works given the conditions.”

Major features of ProBio-ID include:

  • Reads RFID cards and PINs (4 different credentials in total)
  • Stores/matches up to 4,000 faces and 4,000 fingerprints
  • 8-in TFT-LCD touchscreen
  • Lock relay output, alarm output/auxiliary input, exit button/door sensor, doorbell output
  • Wiegand-out port for connection to access control panel
  • TCP/IP communication (also USB for offline data backup)

The unit also offers standard functions such as access levels/groups/holidays, DST/bell schedule, duress mode (password), anti-passback, record query, custom wallpaper and screen saver.

“ProBio-ID has the unique ability to read faces, fingerprints, RFID cards, PIN codes or any combination of these four credentials,” notes Larry Reed, CEO, ZKAccess. “It also includes ZKAccess’ next-generation SilkID fingerprint sensor which provides superior accuracy and speed matching.”

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