City of Stockholm School System

Precise Biometrics

Precise Biometrics simplifies login procedures at the Kvarnby School.

Schools in Stockholm Stad (City of Stockholm, Sweden), consisting of 170 individual schools and a total of 80,000 Novell network users, starting their computer education in the first grade and continue using computers through high school. Initially 450 users at the Kvarnby School were provided with biometrics.

Challenge: Although the Kvarnby School in Stockholm had come a long way when it came to IT, the school still suffered from password administration problems. While younger students found it difficult to remember passwords, older students occasionally borrowed user names and passwords belonging to other students and, for example, accessed unapproved websites from the computer lab. In addition, the school needed to find an easy-to-use solution that saved classroom time and could be installed, operated and maintained without becoming a major drain on the school’s budget.

Solution: After extensive research, the IT group decided that a fingerprint based solution for login would eliminate the identification problems. Precise Biometrics distributor, Data Construction, provided the login solution at the Kvarnby School and made it possible for the IT administrators to be sure that people were who they claimed to be. Students did not have to remember passwords any longer, or worry about someone misusing their login ID.

Schools in Stockholm Stad

Fingerprint readers: Precise 100 A
Login application: Saf Module for NMAS from Saflink

Result: With the fingerprint readers in place at the Kvarnby School’s workstations, problems with forgotten or misused passwords have practically been eliminated. Now all 450 students and teachers are logging on to the computers using their fingerprint, which has not only made the login routines easier, but also saves valuable classroom time—up to 50% on a 40 min lesson. EUR 100-300 per year and users is expected saved on IT administration costs. Other schools within the Stockholm school system are now considering implementing the same fulfilling solution.

Precise 100 A: The fact that Precise Biometrics' readers save the school's money as well as valuable classroom time are not insignificant bonuses.

fingerprint readers

Why Precise Biometrics? Precise Biometrics offered a cost efficient solution that was easily integrated in the client’s current environment, worked smoothly among the users and solved the school’s identification issues. Precise Biometrics offered sufficient support during the test period and, moreover, was the only company who could offer a fingerprint reader working for both USB port and parallel port.

An easy game: Passwords replaced by fingerprints at the Kvarnby School

When Stockholm municipality chose the Kvarnby School to test fingerprint readers in a pilot project two years ago, it was because the school already had a very advanced IT program. But network administrator Linus Gustafsson had his hands full. “We had big problems with children forgetting their passwords. It’s hard enough for us adults to remember both our login names and passwords, but it’s even harder for children.”

fingerprint readers i

With the fingerprint readers in place at the Kvarnby School’s workstations, problems with forgotten or misused passwords have practically been eliminated.

Identifies people—not passwords
On average, half of the lesson time would pass before teachers could help children sort out their passwords. They frequently had to go to Linus to change their passwords. It went so far that the children’s passwords were written up on the blackboard in the classroom. And the older children sometimes bullied the younger ones into giving up their passwords and had unauthorized access to the computers. “With the fingerprint readers all the problems disappeared. It was much better from a security perspective and we saved lots of teaching time,” explains Linus Gustafsson.

Suitable for all users

fingerprint readers i

In parallel with Precise Biometrics’ fingerprint readers, three others were tested. Precise Biometrics was chosen not least because it was the only system where the readers worked on both USB ports* and parallel ports*, an important condition for the schools, which all use different operating systems. At the beginning of the test, Precise Biometrics had problems because the children’s fingers were too small for the readers. They simply didn’t contain enough information. But after going back to the drawing board, Precise Biometrics came back with a matching method specially adapted for the children’s fingers, which worked 100%.

Saved classroom time & reduced costs
It was considerably easier for the children. They sit down at the computers, type their login, which is based on their names, and put their left index finger on the reader beside the keyboard. The children’s fingerprints have been pre-registered by network administrator Linus, in an “enrollment”. The fact that Precise Biometrics readers also save the schools money is not an insignificant bonus. The average organization counts on spending SEK 1,000 to 3,000 per user per year in helpdesk expenses and lost work. In school, they also lose lesson time for the children—rather an important factor in the balance sheet.

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