updated 6/2/2011 8:16:51 AM ET 2011-06-02T12:16:51

WALL, N.J., June 2, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BIO-key International, Inc. (OTCBB:BKYI), a global leader in finger biometric identification technology solutions, today issued the following Letter to Shareholders, Customers and Industry Leaders:

To all Interested Parties,

Over the past ninety days there has been a dramatic increase in the incidence of security breaches resulting from failures of previously adequate strong authentication measures. Before this latest rash of attacks, mass data breaches were often facilitated by corrupt insiders, data file loss or theft, social engineering, or other "back door" techniques. Even companies which could be expected to have the strongest cyber-security measures in place are not immune: Lockheed Martin, Sony and PBS are just a few of the companies that have recently reported breaches of their security systems.

Some of these companies were compromised through their reliance on tokens. Such an attack just took place at Lockheed Martin, reportedly using the SecurID token source code which was stolen from RSA several months ago. According to their website, RSA is responsible for protecting the identification of over fifteen million users of sensitive data and applications.

Is it possible the market has reached a tipping point, requiring a fresh look at how we authenticate users?

Obviously, traditional security measures are simply an insufficient deterrent to today's sophisticated hacker community. The stakes have only increased as companies want to provide access to valuable company, customer and financial data on tablets and mobile devices, making strong authentication more and more necessary to securing these assets.

We believe the market needs to rethink their existing strong authentication concepts and consider new solutions and technologies such as biometrics.

We are confident that BIO-key's fingerprint biometrics proven advantages and marquee partnerships with IBM, Oracle, CA, McKesson, Epic, Allscripts, and Radiant Systems etc... can be a major part of the next generation of strong and secure authentication solutions.

During the past thirty years there has been an effort to augment and replace the age old "what you know" password system; first requiring they are more complex, and therefore harder to compromise. In the 90's, tokens such as the SecurID device replaced passwords as the strong authentication technology of choice, albeit at a great inconvenience to end users, who almost universally find the devices inconvenient and problematic. Similarly, cards put another "what you have" element into user's hands; the result is that users have to endure the risk of lost, misplaced, unavailable and inconvenient apparatus every time they needed to prove their identity to a remote system.

How can this work in today's fast moving, multi-device, highly mobile environment?

The number of devices a person uses to access systems is going up, not down, as lower cost and specialized form factors of mobile devices enter the market. One look at the forecasted demand for cellular transmission chipsets points to an explosion in the number of connected devices serving us in our daily lives. The fact that new model cars can be started remotely from a phone app is cool, but doesn't that just demonstrate the critical need to know who is accessing these apps? The presumption that your phone will be your new token in mobile payment systems and granting secure access to data is fundamentally flawed, as phones are routinely shared among family members, including children, who have no business starting cars, making in-app purchases for games, nor sending emails to their parents' boss. The future will enable the phone as a multi-user device as laptops are today. Biometrics makes that transition a painless one.

Contrary to the frequently heard claims that biometric data is more vulnerable in a central database than other authentication data, because it cannot be replaced or reissued, reveals a misunderstanding about biometric systems. Biometric data is unique in that it does not presume nor require that the stored sample be kept from public view. You more specifically, your fingers are your credential, not a fingerprint stored somewhere. Through patented secure communications, combined with interfaces to secure fingerprint scanners, BIO-key ensures that an imposter – even one with perfect digital copies of your fingerprints – cannot subvert a BIO-key protected system. You remain the only person who can match that stored sample using your real fingers.

Today we are witnessing broader acceptance of biometric technology as a practical, secure, and convenient solution for authentication challenges. The past two decades have enabled businesses to better understand the facts-versus-myths when it comes to biometrics, and their application in the business world. Unlike most security upgrades, both users and their security staffs have found that biometrics not only work to assure identity, but that it also offers the most convenient access to their applications and data. The high friction associated with tokens and complex passwords can now become a thing of the past.

Our industry is evolving at a rapid pace and it requires a voice that can represent the various alternatives in identification and biometric technologies available today. The International Biometric and Identification Association (IBIA) has created such a platform and I agreed to join the Board of Director's as a catalyst to attract not only developers of advanced identification and authentication solutions but also companies that are in dire need of these solutions. Inspiring companies such as AT&T, Lockheed Martin and IBM to join the IBIA is very rewarding. It's always been my vision to champion the benefits and capabilities of biometric technology; even when it wasn't popular. As a Co-Chair of the Public Policy Advocacy Working Group of the IBIA we are working to garner support for biometric solutions at all levels of the legislative process.

Most everyone involved in the biometric market either as investors or executives have been frustrated with the rate of adoption, flat or lumpy revenues and declining valuations. But what is most frustrating are serious security risks and breaches that a number of government and commercial entities experienced could have been avoided had they transitioned from less secure traditional technologies and installed biometric solutions. The past ninety days was proof positive that the business of security will be stronger with the integration of biometrics.

Many authentication companies, and many authentication concepts have come and gone since BIO-key's inception in 1993, and we believe the time to reap our reward for working through many challenges and developing marquee relationships is upon us.

On behalf of the entire BIO-key team thank you for your continued support. We are confident that by taking a leadership role and continuing to pursue the vision that launched BIO-key in 1993 that our shareholders and customers will benefit from our steadfast commitment.

Regards,

Mike Depasquale

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About BIO-key

BIO-key International, Inc., headquartered in Wall, New Jersey, develops and delivers advanced identification solutions to commercial and government enterprises, integrators, and custom application developers. BIO-key's award winning, high performance, scalable, cost-effective and easy-to-deploy biometric finger identification technology accurately identifies and authenticates users of wireless and enterprise applications. Our solutions are used in local embedded OEM products as well as some of the world's largest identification deployments to improve security, guarantee identity, and help reduce identity theft. BIO-key's technology is offered directly or by market leading partners around the world. ( http://www.bio-key.com )

BIO-key Safe Harbor Statement

Certain statements contained in this press release may be construed as "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "Act"). The words "estimate," "project," "intends," "expects," "anticipates," "believes" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are made based on management's beliefs, as well as assumptions made by, and information currently available to, management pursuant to the "safe-harbor" provisions of the Act. These statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected on the basis of these statements. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, our history of losses and limited revenue, our ability to develop new products and evolve existing ones, the impact on our business of the recent financial crisis in the global capital markets and negative global economic trends, and our ability to attract and retain key personnel. For a more complete description of these and other risk factors that may affect the future performance of BIO-key International, Inc., see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009 and its other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. The Company also undertakes no obligation to disclose any revision to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

CONTACTS: BIO-key International, Inc. 
          Scott Mahnken 
          732-359-1113

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