***** Biometric Technologies and Verification Systems. By John R. Vacca; published by Butterworth-Heinemann; available from ASIS, item #1735, 703/519-6200 (phone), www.asisonline.org (Web); 625 pages; $65 (ASIS members), $71 (nonmembers).
Security professionals looking for texts on the cutting edge of technology—topics like biometric authentication, identification, and system design principles—often find few on the shelf. They will, however, benefit from this finely honed text by John R. Vacca.
Right from this book’s introductory lines until the end, Vacca demonstrates his excellent acumen in expressing a complex subject in very accessible prose, making it easy to understand. The book also uses numerous visuals to great effect, including graphs and charts that illustrate statistical details and data analyses.
The author has divided the book’s 30 chapters into nine sections by topic, each encompassing an area of biometrics in great detail, from facial recognition to fingerprints. For each technology, Vacca discusses theory, result-oriented solutions, and likely future developments.
Parts 5, 6, and 7 deal with systems’ core analytics at work, tackling the nuts and bolts issues of verification and authentication. One chapter, for example, discusses the verification algorithms used in biometrics with precision-laden care.
This text would be extremely useful as a ready reference for a seasoned security professional or as a primer for a novice. It richly deserves a place on the shelves of all corporate security and other security-related businesses.
The author has struck a fine balance between the details and the “big picture,” and his book amply lives up to the desired purpose of the book.
Reviewer: Col. Kuljeet Singh, CPP, is chief technical consultant and security advisor for The Wright Group, Inc. He is a member of ASIS.