Johannesburg Water rolls out biometric technology

By 19/08/2016 News No Comments

Johannesburg, 12 Aug 2016
– By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb’s portals journalist.

Digital security solutions company AWM360 Data Systems has completed the rollout of biometric-based technology at the Johannesburg Water offices.

AWM360, a supplier to human capital management (HCM) workforce and HR markets, says the state-owned water utility required a service provider with access to technology that was SAP-certified and could be integrated to address indoor and outdoor security requirements while providing maximum infrastructure security.

According to AWM360, the biometric-based time and attendance technology was integrated with the utility’s existing SAP payroll systems. The solutions are designed to integrate with – and enhance – payroll systems and address issues that eat away at productivity levels, such as payroll errors and inefficient time logging, accurate reading, monitoring and managing staff while ensuring utmost security.

The fingerprint authentication technology replaces the employees’ user ID and password system, which was previously used on many platforms such as the ERP systems, to granting employees the access to sensitive data, and for ensuring access control at buildings’ entry and exit points.

Guenter Nerlich, MD of AWM360 Data Systems, says the SAP ERP links directly to payroll and supports different working models, so the employer can manage flexitime, fixed time, shift rosters, and significantly reduce payroll costs.

“We have positioned this solution to help Johannesburg Water manage individual employees’ time, covering all aspects including leave, overtime as well as compliance aspects. The advantages of this technology include scalability, and the ability to link directly to your enterprise resource planning system to automate data collection and evaluation,” he explains.

South African companies are increasingly turning to biometrics technology for various security and business purposes. As criminal enterprises become more sophisticated so should corporate security measures, he adds.

“Cards can be cloned, however, fingerprint templates cannot. Biometric-based technology also provides secure algorithms instead of photographic fingerprints, this provides maximum data protection as the fingerprints cannot be copied or reconstructed. It also provides secure data encryption for the stored enterprise data and the subsequent sending of this data to servers is monitored,” he points out.

The security system, which is now running at the Johannesburg Water headquarters and its depots, will be implemented at other remote locations within the next weeks, notes Nerlich.

“All master data protection is from SAP and all collected time goes back to SAP for time evaluation in SAP’s Time Managers Workplace software. The system also ensures employees’ compliance with working-time rules and regulation, and this level of flexibility and practical functionality is invaluable to a public services venture like Johannesburg Water,” he elaborates.

In February the World Hacker Team hacked the Department of Water Affairs Web site, and leaked a massive amount of sensitive data online, which included real names, e-mails, and ID numbers of over 5 800 government employees and collaborators, as part of the group’s #OpAfrica and #OpMonsanto campaigns.

David Yates, information security consultant at MWR Infosecurity, says there can also be a knock-on effect of this type of breach, because it exposes the organisation to additional attacks through the use of spear-phishing and other targeted social engineering techniques.