Browse Prior Art Database

Original Publication Date: 2002-May-11
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19

Publishing Venue



Smart cards and biometrics are not being developed as methods to increase the validity of a user gaining access to a client system. The premise being that the smartcard adds an extra item that must be present at the time of login. Obviously by associating biometrics such as a fingerprint or retinal scan as the password, unauthorized system access becomes almost impossible. However this only address the problem of gaining access to a system. What hasn't been addressed is how to keep the system secure once access to the system has been allowed. For example, a user inserts their smartcard and places their finger on a scanner to gain access to a system. Now imagine the user leaving the system without locking it, there will be several minutes until an automatic lock such as a screen saver secures the system. There is no way for the system to know whether the person that logged in is present or not. One solution on the market today is a proximity smartcard. This means the smartcard must be present for the system to be accessible. Although this is an improvement, this method can be easily defeated by a lazy employee. Out of mere convenience the user leaves the proximity badge with or near the system and walks away. What is needed is a method to link a user to a system by use of biometrics. This invention describes a method to link a user to a system by use of biometrics. Once a user is authorized to access a client system a link is established by biometrics monitoring. Monitoring of the biometrics link eliminates the potential for a security breach while the authenticated user is momentarily away. Whenever the biometrics is not detected the system is locked out requiring the user to re-authenticate their self with the system and re-establish the biometrics connection. This is an improvement over automatic keyboard locks since it is instantaneous and eliminates the potential for a user leaving a proximity at the client while away.