With a new year upon us, it's a good time to look ahead and forecast what might be next for data centers and biometric technology. In 2014, data theft and hacking were stories so common that few people were overly surprised when the Sony hack came to light. Staples confirmed a major hack had occurred in the fall and it barely made the front page news. In short, it became clear that the measures many companies had in place to protect their digital assets were inadequate.

Biometric security represents a possible solution. By using an individual's unique physical identification metrics, like fingerprints, biometrics protect assets from the wrong hands. Companies that use these platforms can protect their data in an era in which no online asset is safe.

Building the next generation of data centers
Even though data centers have the leg up on many company IT departments in terms of security, they cannot become complacent. Threats move quickly and centers must work to maintain a strong defense and remain a step ahead of cyber criminals. In the next five years, data centers may look and operate much differently, but security must also remain the priority.

A critical component of any business venture is a good team and a detailed plan, according to FCW. As data centers move into the future, these fundamentals will only gain in importance. Staffers must be well-trained, trustworthy and onboard with the company's vision. The plan must take into account a number of variables and have an answer for any situation. If there is one thing we know about the future, it's that it is unpredictable – having a contingency plan is a must. Biometric access control is a good option for the future data centers because it is scalable and nearly impossible to fool.

Many centers are moving toward consolidation, using fewer resources to control more data. The trick for these projects is to move incrementally, show return on investment as they go and determine all the interdependencies of various operations. But above all, consolidation cannot get in the way of security. Biometrics can protect assets at every step along the way from the front door to the server cabinet.

Biometric technology set to expand
Data centers are not the only ones likely to embrace change in the coming years. Biometric platforms themselves are constantly evolving. Because individuals have such unique characteristics, there is nothing stopping biometrics from taking advantage of any number of physical attributes as means of verification, according to Popular Science. Hackers are always working to find ways around every security system – as soon as a new one arises, a hacker is making it his or her priority to beat it. That's why security technologies must always be vigilant.

Biometric systems that rely on a fingerprint reader are reliable enough, but a new system requiring simultaneous fingerprint ID from two separate individuals is the best in the business. Even if a hacker manages to beat one reader, he or she will need to provide a second print at the same time for a second reader, presumably out of immediate reach. This dual system is the most effective biometric security system on the market.

Iris, heart rate and vein analysis are all other attributes biometrics may turn to for added security markers, according to Popular Science. Even noses and ears are unique enough to distinguish one individual from another. The options are virtually limitless, so as long as the industry keeps moving, cyber threats will be unable to keep up.