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Trends in airport security: meeting the challenges

Trends in airport security: meeting the challenges

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by Siemens Enterprise Security | Updated: 11/4/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

The challenges facing today's airport security decision makers become ever more complex, as additional processes traditionally outside of their scope of responsibility have to be considered. These include passenger flow management, higher capacity aircraft, differing passenger security classification criteria, legislative compliance and the increasing pressure of operational uptime and profitability. The security industry is responding to all of these challenges, and as it does, there are several discernible trends coming to light.

Trend 1: Use of intelligent, wide-area surveillance
The implementation of any comprehensive security policy usually involves a multi-layered approach with the first line of defense being the surrounding airport perimeter. There have recently been a number of highly publicized incidents at airports, which were initiated as a result of a perimeter security breach - both inadvertently and deliberately. Such incidents not only pose an immediate threat to operations as well as passenger and airport asset security and safety, but can damage an airport's reputation in today's competitive market and undermine trust and confidence of business partners and customers.

The current sophisticated solutions for effective perimeter security detection include, amongst others, long-range, thermal-imaging surveillance cameras, false alarm resilient presence and motion-detection sensors, as well as ground-radar detection and tracking. Once deployed, these external detection systems can be operated through intelligent management platforms to automatically qualify and identify unauthorized attempted access well beyond the airport boundary and contain a potential risk before it poses a threat to operations and assets.

The benefits associated with the live tracking of qualified objects, vehicles and people via video analytics have also assisted airport operators to effectively manage all ground activity in a typically busy and dynamic environment. All movement and activity is automatically mapped against planned and authorized routes with real time integration of other airport databases. This facilitates airport security operators to be alerted and react to extraordinary events and suspicious behavior aided by pre-defined and approved workflows. Today's large-scale surveillance solutions filter critical events from camera and other sensor input, graphically displaying results via a comprehensive digital map on a single screen. Integrated three-dimensional analytics determine particular object attributes, supporting operators in pre-qualified classification of all activity and incidents. Using intelligent policy zones and virtual barriers, these systems detect, track, and classify activity, enabling operators to see what is happening throughout the whole area in real time.

Trend 2: Protection of the apron
The airport apron, where aircraft are parked, loaded, unloaded and refueled, is an extremely high-risk and sensitive area. To counter the threat of unauthorized access, state-of-the-art video systems with intelligent algorithms are being implemented to track objects and persons, and to interpret and define routine aircraft servicing operations while parked within the apron area. These solutions facilitate the immediate detection of extraordinary activities and maintain a constant state of vigilance, ensuring the security of aircraft and associated assets.

Current solutions available to airport operators make use of surveillance cameras to create virtual barriers or zones, around fences, buildings or areas within the apron, that trigger automatic alerts when unauthorized activity occurs. Images from cameras covering the area are automatically displayed to the operator, tracking and classifying activity in real time. Operators simply view one graphical display of the entire apron area showing all the necessary information. When an incident occurs, the exact location is pinpointed and the fast and efficient deployment of security personnel or suitable resources facilitated.

Trend 3: Optimization of existing terminal infrastructure
The need for controlled and efficient transfer of passengers travelling to or arriving from destinations with differing security credentials within a common terminal area is a challenge facing many of today's airports. In Europe, for example, there is need for the measured, controlled and secure segregation of passengers travelling from Schengen* and Non-Schengen countries. Globally, many international airports face similar passenger segregation requirements when looking to process domestic and international passengers in their ever busier terminals.

In these situations, immigration and customs procedures are performed in segregated areas under particular conditions, but often use the same terminal infrastructure. Solutions are needed to eliminate the possibility of passengers or objects being transferred from one controlled zone to another. Unique measures are now being installed in many airports to facilitate the automated transit between only predefined and pre-approved areas. A major European airport, for example, is currently installing a solution to allow passengers to access existing common use elevators to travel between terminal levels with differing active security policies. When an elevator is called, the absence of passengers or objects is assured through detailed scanning of the elevator cabin by multiple surveillance and thermal imaging cameras, together with 3D motion detectors. The process is completed within seconds, ensuring the elevator is empty before setting off and no breach of security through the transfer of persons or objects is possible.

Trend 4: Measuring of passenger flow
Despite recent economic setbacks, air travel continues to grow globally. Code-sharing between carriers, the use of larger aircraft and the ‘hub and spoke' system offer tremendous efficiency gains to airlines, but have also resulted in increased passenger numbers being within the terminal at any one time.

The resulting formation of bottlenecks and queues is a key issue facing today's airports. Stringent security procedures compound the problem, necessitating passengers to arrive hours before boarding and restricting their movement within the terminal. Adequate numbers of staff must be in position to manage all corresponding processes and the expected facilities must also be available. Balancing this provision of optimum service against cost and the consequences of unexpected delays is a truly complex task.

The ability to measure and manage queues at all key points within the passenger flow path is a key element in optimizing airport operations. Intelligent solutions are now available to assist staff in tracking, managing and sharing information about passengers and their luggage. Technologies such as flow-monitoring and predictive analytics can enable airports to capture and access data in real-time, supporting them in making the most effective decisions. Examples of technology supporting airport queue and passenger flow optimization, whilst reducing operational costs, include the automated validation of boarding passes and automated staff scheduling and dynamic deployment of resources in response to real-time passenger activity. Utilizing accurate passenger flow data offers airports the opportunity to enhance operational efficiency, optimize terminal layouts, and to reconfigure retail areas and increase revenues as a result of a better understanding of passenger behavior. Real-time data of expected and actual waiting times is increasingly being provided to passengers and has been proven to reduce the potential for passenger frustration and dissatisfaction, in turn improving the airport's reputation and securing repeat business. Monitoring capabilities can be used to track assets such as wheelchairs and vehicles for passengers with reduced mobility, ensuring their availability when needed.

Trend 5: Biometric identification and verification
For a number of years, researchers have been developing highly secure authentication techniques that use the recognition of measurable biological characteristics for enhanced security and improved convenience.

There is an increasing demand from the airport sector for the more wide-spread use of biometric verification technology to compliment and increase the security of traditional access control and identification solutions. Unauthorized access tops the list of airport security threats according to a recent survey of airport security managers. The potential mis-use of staff and contractor ID badges to gain access to unauthorized areas within an airport requires a highly effective yet user-efficient means of providing additional security levels. As biometric solutions become ever more cost effective and reliable, their use is expected to increase. Several technologies such as fingerprint, face, iris and retina scanners for identity validation have been used for a number of years, with differing levels of success. Palm vein detection is among the latest technologies being introduced into the market, utilizing one of the most effective and widely accepted identification techniques, through the contactless and safe scanning of human vein patterns within the palm of the hand. The unique palm vein patterns of each human individual are extremely complex, and the position of the veins remains unchanged for life, ensuring identification is extremely reliable with even skin defects or superficial injuries not affecting the performance of the reader.

Verification readers use infrared technology to scan the blood vein patterns within seconds and typically validate the pre-stored characteristics of the registered user's card, ensuring the card is only used by the true owner.

Meeting the challenge with the right partner
These trends ably demonstrate that the security industry is responding to today's challenges and addressing the needs of airport operators. Within an airport however, certain security solutions can compromise the efficient flow of passenger and air traffic. It is therefore important that problems or threats are identified early and dealt with reliably, with systems working together to ensure an optimum level of reaction and response. Integrated solutions enhance security, increase efficiency and reliability while reducing airport operators' exposure to risk and improving the overall passenger experience. Command and control platforms from leading manufacturers are a critical part of the day-to-day running of an airport and provide a coordinated, timely and appropriate response to all security and safety incidents.

Only a limited number of security solution providers can offer a bespoke airport portfolio, the necessary knowledge, global reach and project experience required to meet the demands of today's airports. Fewer yet are fully able to deliver integrated airport projects, supporting clients through technical design and specification, project management, training and long term service and support.

Modern airport security is a complex and dynamic subject, but, with the support of the right security solution provider, a most effective solution is more accessible than ever.

(*The Schengen Area is a group of 26 European countries which have abolished passport and immigration controls at their common borders, utilizing a common Visa policy.)

                                                   - By Steve Batt, Market Manager Airports, Siemens Enterprise Security


Click here for more information about airport security solutions by Siemens Enterprise Security


Identity management solutions keep intruders at Bay

Identity management solutions keep intruders at Bay

Editor / Provider: William Pao, a&s International | Updated: 11/4/2014 | Article type: Tech Corner

Identity management has become an increasingly important method of protecting assets, data, and premises by organizations, many of which have thousands of workers on their payroll. Making matters worse, these workers include not only full-time employees but temp workers and contractors as well. Determining whether these people are who they say they are and allowing them access to critical areas or secure networks has become a major focus for end users, who can be aided by advanced technologies such as multifactor authentication.

Identity management is a growing sector. A recent Research and Markets report indicated that the industry stood at a size of US$5.1 billion in 2013 and is expected to hit $10.4 billion in 2018, translating into a compound annual growth rate of 15.1%. Growth is driven by strong demand from organizations seeking to protect premises and sensitive data from intruders. Being able to identify people accurately is critical, especially for large enterprises that maintain thousands, if not tens of thousands, of workers around the globe. Further, the roles assumed by workers have become more diverse. For enterprises nowadays, staff does not just include full-time employees but also part-time workers, temp workers, and contractors. The need to effectively manage these workers and grant them access to company premises or data has therefore spawned advanced management solutions. “The process of managing identities and authorizations should be straightforward and user-friendly in order to manage many different identities quickly, while at the same time decreasing the chance that human mistakes occur,” said Arjan Bouter, Head of Sales at Nedap Security Management. “If you use temporary staff to make the most of seasonal peaks, you set (the system) so they're only authorized to access your production facility for a specific period. When this period ends, their access rights are withdrawn automatically.”

Multifactor authentication
Multifactor authentication involves vetting one's identity based on two of the three factors: “what you know” (a password), “what you have” (a card or token), and “what you are” (biometrics). It has become an important identity management method, especially for access into critical areas. “Organizations with high security requirements such as financial institutions and government agencies tend to adopt multifactor authentication to grant access. For example, the Department of Defense in the U.S. has incorporated fingerprint biometrics and facial images into its common access card (CAC), which controls entry to DoD facilities and information systems,” said Jordan Cullis, Head of Identity Assurance for APAC at HID Global.

The need for multifactor authentication arises amid the sense that using one single factor is not sufficient to prove one's identity. “Single factor is normally an RFID token ‘what you have' factor. These are easily shared or lost, and they do not guarantee identity,” said Steve Bell, CTO for Security at Gallagher. “Adding a PIN does provide a much higher certainty of identity.”

Most experts agree that passwords are an ideal second factor that is relatively inexpensive and easy to deploy. “For instance, there are many readers that have a keypad built in, and they are wired in the same fashion as those without. In this way, the readers can use a passcode and smart card for dual authentication without the added installation cost of installing two separate readers,” said Jeremy Earles, Credentials Business Leader at Allegion. The third, and final, layer of security is biometrics, which identifies a person based on his or her biological attributes. “Biometrics is available with different ways, like fingerprints, finger veins, or facial recognition,” said Tom Su, Sales Manager at Hundure Technology.

While effective, concerns over biometrics continue to linger. One of the major issues is cost, which could be twice as much as a standard card reader. “Adding biometrics may additionally require a network connection to the reader, as biometrics templates are larger data packets. It will be more expensive,” Bell said.

There is also an inconvenience factor, especially for people in a hurry to get to work. Furthermore, “some people don't like to use biometric readers for personal hygiene reasons and feel reluctant to put their hands or fingers on something that everyone else has touched,” said Jerry Cordasco, CTO at AMAG Technology.

According to Bouter, eye identification — based on retina or iris recognition — offers the best accuracy and gives good identification results. “The better you understand the various benefits and shortcomings of a biometrics system, the better prepared you are when it comes to the implementation of that system,” he said.

Multifactor vs. Single-Factor
Choosing between single-factor and multifactor authentication is an act of balancing between cost, convenience, and the risk level of the end user organization.

“Many public sector organizations and banks need to be open to the public, while their employees have to be separated from this same public by a ‘Chinese wall' of heavy security. And, in the same organizations, behind this wall, employees have to be authorized for different areas or rooms. In these cases it can be worthwhile installing PIN or iris-scans to your access security,” said Bouter. “This doesn't really work in locations like hospitals or offices, where many people enter and leave the building frequently. In these situations, the security threat shouldn't be the only factor that determines access security; the type of organization and the system's users are equally important. If ease of entry is of greater value than security, then a PIN or biometric system simply doesn't work.”Ultimately, the number of factors to grant access to employees depends on the user's needs and requirements.

Physical and logical access integration
While identity management solutions can effectively control who can enter a physical premises, they can also control who should enter a company's network, where sensitive information is kept. And in the same way multifactor authentication is used to grant users access into a building, it can be used to authenticate users seeking to log on to the company's network.

“Each level of identity verification adds a further layer of protection. Seventy-two percent of network intrusions in 2013 exploited weak or stolen credentials. Strong authentication technology significantly strengthens the fabric of the layered security,” said Jennifer Dean, Identity and Access Marketing Communication Manager at Gemalto. Integrating both physical and logical access on a single device, be it a card or mobile phone, has become more common. There are many benefits, with ease of management being one of them. “You can terminate an employee, and someone could take their access to the building out. But if somebody forgets to take their access to the network out, they are still able to log into the network and cause damage,” Cordasco said. “It's just the simplicity for managing the top-level identity that draws people to physical and logical access integration.”

With near-field communication (NFC), authenticating users for physical and logical access via their mobile phones becomes a possibility. “If we see the adoption of NFC being the key to go forward, the future is such that for any company with NFC capability on their door latches, the central server that controls those can be connected to other servers. Once those connections are in place, your phone will allow you to open door at your company and log on to PC,” said Andy Kemshall, Co-Founder and Technical Director at SecurEnvoy. But NFC has yet to become a norm, due to several reasons. NFC-enabled phones are still a novelty, with Wired Magazine predicting that by 2016, only a quarter of Americans will have NFC smartphones. With this, companies may decide that investing in NFC-based access and identity management technologies is not worthwhile. Security also plays a role, especially with increasing prevalence in phone hacking. Pointing an NFC-enabled phone to a malicious NFC tag may allow hackers to take control of that phone, which nowadays contains lots of user information like social security number and credit card number.

Collaboration With IT
Since most integrators are more proficient at physical access, integrating physical and logical access requires cross-departmental communication and cooperation. “The integrator will have to collaborate with the customer's logical access team and the physical access team as they used to operate independently. Bringing all the parties together at the beginning of the project and communicating the project goals and its impact on team's funding are critical,” Dean said.

Peace of mind
Modern ID management solutions, supported with multifactor authentication, can effectively determine whether people are who they say they are. Access to company facility or network by those who are not supposed to can be prevented, and end users can take comfort in the fact that their important company assets are protected.

Networked security system for major hotel development in Turkey

Networked security system for major hotel development in Turkey

Editor / Provider: Bosch | Updated: 10/31/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Bosch Security Systems has delivered a networked security solution for one of Turkey's major hotel developments: the new Hilton complex in Bursa. It combines the 5-star Hilton Bursa Convention Center & Spa with the 3-star Hampton by Hilton Bursa. Located close to Bursa city center, historical heritage sites and the business district, the visually striking Hilton Bursa Convention Center and Spa offers splendid views of the majestic Ulu Mountain and is only a short distance from the Intercity Highway, linking the major cities of Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir.

The two hotels are located next to each other, but operated as two separate entities. However, the management required an integrated security system covering both Hotels and allowing central management and operations.

The 5-star hotel features 187 guest rooms, twelve meeting rooms, two ballrooms with capacities of 1,200 and 800 people respectively, a spa and wellness center and multiple restaurants. Hampton by Hilton Bursa offers 107 guest rooms, a fitness center, a restaurant and a fully equipped meeting hall.

To protect guests, employees and visitors of both hotels, Bosch partner Ateksis designed an integrated security solution with fire detection systems, access control, video surveillance and voice evacuation. All these systems are networked and centrally managed and operated via Bosch's Building Integration System (BIS). Next to the security systems, Bosch also delivered thermo technological equipment, such as three Buderus heating boilers and their control technology.

Ateksis implemented the Modular Fire Panel 5000 Series in both hotels, which can be operated independently but are managed as a single integrated solution. In public areas such as lobbies, meeting rooms and ballrooms, Bosch's series of invisible fire detectors were used to support the classy architecture. For the same reason, the integrator chose to use elegant dome cameras in these areas. In total, approximately 250 IP cameras were installed together with the Bosch Video Recording Manager as a distributed network video recorder solution. The cameras support intelligent video analysis to alert the operator whenever specific, pre-defined events occur. Private areas with limited access are secured by Bosch's AMC access control systems, using card readers for general purposes and fingerprint readers in high security areas such as the IT room.

In case of an emergency, the digital PRAESIDEO public address and evacuation system from Bosch can be used to deliver intelligible evacuation instructions. All 59 zones of the system, matching the zones of the fire alarm system in the building, can be reached individually by PRAESIDEO to ensure targeted addressing. In addition to the security solution, Ateksis also implemented a comprehensive Audio/Video system in the ballrooms and the conference center.

With the networked and integrated security solution covering both hotels, the operator was able to combine highest security standards with great operational efficiency. Using specific cameras and smoke detectors also allowed making the entire solution very inconspicuous, not disturbing the luxury ambience of the hotels.

MorphoTablet wins ID Award

MorphoTablet wins ID Award

Editor / Provider: Morpho (Safran) | Updated: 10/23/2014 | Article type: Security 50

MorphoTablet was selected by an independent panel of experts, in the category “Secure Identity”. The ID Award is granted for outstanding innovations and underlines the growing and cross-sectorial importance of the technologies for the identification of people and objects.

The prize winner is a compact touch screen tablet that guarantees secure mobile data operations using biometrics (fingerprint and facial recognition), e-document reading capabilities and cryptographic functions. It combines mobility, versatility and security in a single platform. MorphoTablet supports KYC – Know Your Customer, robust processes to validate and verify the identity of a person – and offers trusted services in any sector, anywhere and at any time.

Benefits that MorphoTablet can bring to society in general can help:
• provide services to a majority of people (financial inclusion, access to social or healthcare services, etc.),
• establish democratic processes (voters' ID verification),
• fight against fraud (examinations, public transport, workforce time and attendance management, etc.),
• make communities safer (on-the-spot ID checks),
solve more crime (crime scene investigations).

The award ceremony of the prestigious ID Awards will be held during Euro ID 2014(Frankfurt am Main, November 18 to 20). MorphoTablet will be presented to visitors on the ID Award winners stand.

Suprema launches new models of fingerprint embedded modules

Suprema launches new models of fingerprint embedded modules

Editor / Provider: Suprema | Updated: 10/9/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Suprema launches the new SFM5500 Series fingerprint embedded modules.

The new SFM5500 Series modules feature range-leading 533 MHz DSP with a high precision capacitive sensor as well as an optical sensor offering superb image quality and a highly durable sensor surface. With the enhanced DSP and functions, the new module offers far faster verification and identification time than its predecessor, SFM3500 Series. It also enables users to manage and transmit biometric data more securely and faster since it is equipped with WSQ (Wavelet Scalar Quantization) image compression technology.

SFM5500 Series products provide versatile external interface including RS232, RS422/485, Wiegand and LED control functions, readily applicable to access control applications. They feature a FIPS201 approved algorithm, which compliances to ISO and ANSI standards.

“The new SFM5500 Series will provide our customers with more confidence in designing devices for various applications requiring high-volume processing, as it offers flexible customization as well as enhanced performance thanks to an upgraded CPU.” said Young S. Moon, Vice President of Suprema Inc. “With biometric technology becoming more popular for mobility, such as with smartphones, the SFM5500 Series will bring our customers more opportunity to expand business across various applications.”

Suprema's fingerprint algorithm has been ranked top in a number of international algorithm performance tests such as FVC and MINEX.

Suprema's latest fingerprint WSQ algorithms cetified by FBI

Suprema's latest fingerprint WSQ algorithms cetified by FBI

Editor / Provider: Suprema | Updated: 10/6/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Suprema, a leading global provider of technology in biometrics and identification, announced its fingerprint image compression algorithms received the latest version of FBI WSQ (Wavelet Scalar Quantization) Certification which requires highly accurate implementation in the WSQ Gray-Scale Fingerprint Image Compression Specification, Version 3.1.

The WSQ Specification V3.1 sets the latest standard for the exchange of fingerprint images within the biometrics and law enforcement community. Specifically, it is for the exchange of 8-bit, 500ppi fingerprint images by defining a class of encoders and a decoder that is capable of decoding compressed image data from any compliant encoder.

The certification program is designed to facilitate interoperability between agencies and ensure efficient access to FBI criminal justice information services. Version, 3.1 is the latest standard for the exchange of fingerprint images within the biometrics and criminal justice community.

“Standardization in biometrics becomes more essential for advancement and growth of the market and industry as larger scale applications are needed from them,” Said Young S. Moon, Vice President of Suprema, “With the current FBI certification of the WSQ algorithm, we can now provide a complete set of certified fingerprint live scan solutions including FBI approved live scanners and PIV approved fingerprint recognition algorithms."

Dutch healthcare organization to implement Suprema fingerprint systems

Dutch healthcare organization to implement Suprema fingerprint systems

Editor / Provider: Suprema | Updated: 10/3/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

The Customer
De Hoop Foundation (De Hoop ggz) is a Dutch mental and addiction care center in Dordrecht, Netherlands. Founded in 1975, De Hoop has been involved in the care of addicts.

The organization used converted factory building for care center and in 1996, it started construction of De Hoop Village on 11 hectares of land in Dordrecht. At De Hoop Village, the majority of De Hoop's centers and work projects have been centered at one location. The amalgamation has increased efficiency and has made it possible to create more work experience projects.

At the facilities of De Hoop Village, the organization required to have sophisticated control over commuting patients, staffs and to offer security and privacy for residing patients.

The Solution
To meet De Hoop's challenging requirements on access control security on its facility, Suprema biometric IP access control system was selected. EasySecure International, the Suprema's local partner in the Netherlands, was responsible for design, installation and maintenance of the project.


Each patient's room at De Hoop is equipped with BioEntry Plus reader and provides enhanced biometric security and convenience without carrying access cards. During their stay at De Hoop, the patients gain access to rooms and facilities with the use of Suprema fingerprint access control systems.

With the residing patients, the facility is operating 24 hour basis. To gain more control over staffing, De Hoop implemented Suprema biometric time attendance system. BioStation terminals were installed in multiple locations to enable staffs to check-in and out with one's fingerprint, eliminating hassles filling time sheet. Suprema system also enables real-time staff monitoring and security controls from remote locations.

Biometrics is the government's new black

Biometrics is the government's new black

Editor / Provider: Eifeh Strom, a&s International | Updated: 10/1/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

No longer just a technology used by spies in movies and science-fiction novels, biometrics technology has found a very real use in everyday applications, particularly by government entities looking for more efficient identity management of its citizens. In the form of biometric national identification cards and even e-passports, biometrics is fast becoming the new black for identity management.

Biometrics technology often finds itself the center of attention in spy movies — a spy cuts off the finger of a high-ranking official to access a secret off-book site or lifts a fingerprint from a coffee mug to access top-secret files. Oddly enough, these examples are also reasons people have hesitations about biometrics for security purposes — if it is that easy to hack in a movie, what about in reality? This is a common concern especially now that an increasing number of governments worldwide are choosing to use biometric information for identity management. In fact, the use of biometrics technology is growing quite rapidly throughout the world in various applications.

According to a report by Transparency Market Research, the global biometrics technology market is projected to reach a value of US$23.3 billion by 2019, at a CAGR of 20.8 percent from 2013 to 2019 — APAC is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR of 22% from 2013 to 2019.

Growth of biometrics technology has in large part been due to recent government initiatives in regions around the world. Projects such as e-passports, national identification programs, and various border control projects such as the European Dactyloscopy (EURODAC), the European Union Visa Information Systems (VIS), and new generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) are propelling the biometrics market forward, according to Transparency Market Research. The report further pointed out that the transport/visa/ logistics and government segments made up more than 50% of the total biometrics technology market in 2012, due to the growing need to examine travelers' credentials.

Why Governments are Going Biometric
As terrorist attacks and other crimes continue to be a threat, it has become all the more important for governments to make sure its citizens are safe by taking measures to not only tighten security, but to keep better track of its citizens.

Convenience is a big plus for governments looking for a better way to manage identities, as well as the many other benefits biometrics technology brings. One big positive that comes from using biometrics is the integrity and credibility it provides to databases and transactions. “One of the attributes of biometrics is that in the enrollment process there is a de-duplication or adjudication of the data to assure that one person is enrolled at a time,” said Bill Dumont, EVP of M2SYS. “This gives the database integrity and assures things such as one person, one vote or one family gets one helping of food rations.”

Standards Play Their Part
When a government decides to utilize such technology, high standards for the equipment used must be met. However, like for anything, there are many different standards and certifications that are issued by many different existing institutions and organizations. There are, however, certain certifications that are more commonly used such as those issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) or US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Dumont said. “Most countries rely on quality standards from the NIST or US FBI such as appendix F certification (Appendix F has stringent image quality conditions, focusing on the human fingerprint comparison and facilitating large scale machine many-to-many matching operations) or PIV (personal identity verification) certification (PIV-071006 is a lower-level standard designed to support one-to-one fingerprint verification.”

Some countries, such as India, have their own standards for biometric use by the government. As part of the Unique Identification (UID) program in India, also known as AADHAR, the Standardization Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) organization was created to develop standards to assure quality of the biometric data. As the world's largest rollout of biometric national IDs, making sure that the rollout went as smoothly as possible was not only important for the sake of efficiency, but money as well. “This organization [STQC] worked with vendors and subject matter experts from around the globe to develop standards for the UID program,” Dumont said. “By having quality standards, it makes it possible to have a valid database of 1.2 billion citizens.” With roughly 17% of the world's population, poor quality enrollments by substandard biometrics devices would only cause problems further down the line; problems a rollout of this magnitude cannot afford.

In Bolivia, biometrics devices are tested and rated before a purchase decision is made, according to Dumont. “For instance, in Bolivia, they tested and rated the 10 print (fingerprint) devices and chose the one with the best quality to assure that their registered voter's data was of good quality.” Whereas countries like Bolivia test products before making a decision, countries like China make assessments of companies before R&D for products can even begin. “In China, the government has strict requirements and standards for the official suppliers [of biometrics devices],” said Anna Liu, Marketing Manager at ZKTeco. “Suppliers need to pass a lot of assessments on the company size, production ability, and patents before they can start the R&D on national ID products.”

Smartphones Provide Renewed Interest in Biometrics
Although, biometrics technology is in no way new, it is only more recently that it has found more widespread use across different verticals. While government usage of biometrics is definitely helping to drive growth, many in the industry believe that commoditization of biometrics in the form of fingerprint identification in smartphones is the real growth driver.

“The main driving force as we see it is biometrics of different modalities making its ways to the public in the new generation of smartphones. This will commoditize usage, and while people learn about the possibilities and more openly embraces the technology, more synergies will be possible with national projects such as ID card rollouts as well as global projects such as payment cards,” said to Håkan Persson, CEO of Precise Biometrics. “When the citizen remains in control over their biometric information (as with a fingerprint stored in a smartphone's secure element), storing and matching the biometrics on a smart card ID will open up for new and stronger business opportunities.”

Kim Humborstad, CEO of Zwipe also noted the importance of biometrics in smartphones: “Since the integration of a fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 5s, the market has been buzzing about other applications, such as mobile banking, mobile payments, and government identification. In five years' time, you will see the biometric card with implementations in many different card segments both within the access control industry and outside.”

Fingers, Eyes, or Veins?
With the many different types of biometrics technology out there, including fingerprint, face, iris, palm prints, and vascular biometrics such as a finger vein or palm vein, what type a government chooses to deploy depends on several different factors. “In some countries, capturing two fingerprints will suffice while in others they want their database to contain multiple biometric modalities such as fingerprint, face capture, and iris capture,” Dumont explained. “In some cases the modality is chosen for hygiene reasons, choosing a non-touch modality such as iris where you can capture an iris without touching the citizen. In some cases where they have a high percentage of their population involved in heavy manual labor they choose either 10 fingerprints or vascular modalities because many times fingers are missing or the finger is so damaged that it's impossible to get a clear image.”

In light of increased implementation, concerns regarding privacy have only increased alongside. One way to address this issue is through the use of multimodal biometrics systems instead of uni-modal systems. The benefits of multimodal systems include the capability of using “more than one physiological or behavioral characteristic for identity verification and use technologies such as fingerprints, facial features, iris/retinal scans, and vein patterns in conjunction to provide highly secure and above average accuracy,” according to a report by ResearchMoz. Such a system helps to combat the “shortcomings of uni-modal systems such as fingerprints, faces, and iris/retinal recognition systems, as such systems in isolation can be susceptible to errors arising from non-uniform natural and other surrounding factors such as faulty data, human aging, light fluctuations, etc.” In addition, multimodal systems can more effectively prevent spoofing techniques used to hack biometric systems, as duplicating multiple biometric traits instead of just one is exponentially more difficult. For this reason, the adoption of multimodal systems by governments is expected to increase in popularity in the coming years.

Trends for the Future
While barriers, such as high cost and privacy issues, to adoption still exist for biometrics technology, the industry will continue to find ways to break through these walls. Furthermore, as governments find more uses for biometrics such as for voting, food rationing, vehicle registration, etc., and as more solutions come out allowing the holder to be in control of their biometric data, such as cards that store all the biometric data on the card itself and not in a database, giving end users more peace of mind, government applications for biometrics technology will only continue to facilitate and reduce the amount of end-user resistance to government biometrics projects.


Suprema provides biometrics access control solution to hotel in Spain

Suprema provides biometrics access control solution to hotel in Spain

Editor / Provider: Suprema | Updated: 9/4/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

The Customer
The Alma Hotel in Pamplona is a luxury boutique hotel located in city of Pamplona which is famous of its internationally well-known San FeminFestival. The hotel has been opened just before the start of the 2010 San FeminFestival and it features latest high tech equipment and amenities in guest rooms, public areas and various hotel facilities.

The management also decided to implement cutting-edge biometric access control in each guest rooms and around the property to increase intelligence and efficiency in hotel operation by introduction of real time monitoring on facilities and staff available.

Precision Consulting in Spain, designed, planned and executed the Alma Hotel project. Suprema'slatest IP-based biometric access control system has been installed throughout the hotel including guest facilities (such as rooms, spa, parking, restaurants and bar), staff facilities and payment systems. The system also features real-time staff monitoring and housekeeping management. In addition, the client set strict requirements on its access control system for both operational and design aspects. The Suprema BioEntry Plus EM devices were installed to rooms, public areas and staff's access points, and BioStation fingerprint terminals were selected for time attendance control for staffs. Overall system was to be controlled by Suprema's BioStar IP-based distributed access control system software.

The installation of BioEntry Plus was well integrated with hotel's interior design concept and also enabled easy maintenance. The system also allows users to choose between fingerprint and RF card for their authentication. Suprema's system provided variety of RF cards, fingerprint and PIN access.

The Solution
80 units of BioEntry Plus have been installed over the Hotel Alma Pamplona. BioEntry Plus have been installed on all 60 guest rooms and other facilities such as entrances, spa, parking ramps, warehouses and 2 units in reception for registration.

The devices installed at the reception are to guide check-in guests to register on the same device to be found in rooms and other access points throughout the hotel.

BioStar software was set and configured to control the entire access control system as well as time attendance management for the hotel's employees.

Each access control devices were connected into TCP/IP network and connected to AC switch with their own relays. This minimizes possibilities of system crash and communication failure by isolating problems to each connection points.

Highlights of Biometrics Readers and Technical news

Highlights of Biometrics Readers and Technical news

Editor / Provider: Erica Lin | Updated: 8/29/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

While government agencies and enterprises nowadays require higher-and-higher level verification systems for better managing personal-identification operations, biometric solutions have shared a vital part of market with its reliability and uniqueness. The biometric technology progress never stops for wider and wider applications.

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