With great interest, I read your special issue about biometric computer authentication (March, 2014). My firm has been looking for a viable biometrics solution for quite some time and several of the products you reviewed look promising.
However, we have one question that remains unanswered by any of the articles in this otherwise excellent issue: Do any of these products work for the undead?
You see, we take being an equal opportunity employer quite seriously. Hiring the undead keeps us in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and contributes to a diverse work environment. We also recognize that there are certain advantages to hiring people who have risen from the grave. For one thing, they seldom object to working the night shift. In fact, they prefer it. As long as the shift ends before sunrise, you can count on zombies to remain alert and productive way into the wee hours of the morning. They also tend not to require expensive health benefits or group life insurance.
But for these prized workers, traditional passwords don't do any good because people tend to forget them when their brains rot and leak out of their ears. Unfortunately, biometric authentication often brings its own set of problems.
It's hard to log in to the network with a fingerprint reader when your fingerprints have decayed and your finger tends to remain in the reader after you pull your hand away. Likewise, iris recognition devices are problematic when the eyes keep falling out of the head and dangle well below the beam from the reader. Face recognition? Forget it. As the face deteriorates, new patches of mold or the continual changing of the shape of a rotting face with its sagging skin and ever-more-deviating septum renders such systems useless.
Some of our employees have suggested that it might be useful to have a device that allows the employee to pull the bowels from his belly and run them through a scanner. This might help solve the problem, but it raises an obvious security issue: What's to stop somebody from pulling the guts out of a coworker and using them to gain access to a restricted system? DNA-based devices have similar security problems. We even tried odor-based biometrics, but quickly learned that this type of device overloads and fails when the workplace houses more than a small number of rotting corpses.
As you can see, current biometrics don't work for an organization like ours. In this economy, more and more people seem to be dying every day, and as they venture forth from their coffins to seek suitable employment, biometric authentication seems like the way to go.
If the research you did for your special issue provided insight into how to use biometrics for this under-appreciated segment of the workforce, we would love to hear about it.
VP of Security
Liquid Putrefaction, Inc.