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Changing tides

Changing tides

Editor / Provider: John Shi, a&s Editorial Director | Updated: 5/29/2013 | Article type: Hot Topics

With the successful conclusion of the three major international physical security trade shows ISC, SECUTECH, and IFSEC this year, new waves of change rippling through the industry were reflected at the show floors. Here are some major trends observed at the exhibitions:

1. Regional market shifts
The US security market is rebounding especially in the education and government vertical markets, with school administrators and parents being especially supportive of security investments. The stabilization of the US economy and the conclusion of the presidential elections, has contributed to the increase of security budgets. In contrast, the European market appears to be more conservative. Nevertheless, Northern Europe, Germany, and Eastern Europe markets still remain promising. The Middle East's security demands are driven by its continual infrastructure investments. There is also a higher quota for IP applications in this region, as the technology has not been implemented in the past.

2. High-end market saturation
Affected by tightened security budgets and a highly competitive market, the security industry's high-end market is gradually becoming saturated. Manufacturers have taken two extreme approaches, with some climbing upwards to even more sophisticated markets, such as Genetec's migration from VMS to solution-based projects, or Nice Systems promotion of PSIM products highlighting event management capacities. Others have chosen to move into entry-mid level markets, for instance Milestone Systems's release of Arcus, an entry-level VMS that can be embedded into cameras or NVRs. Axis Communications has also released cameras with front-end storage and back-end cloud services, while many other companies have promoted price/performance ratio products.

3. No new technologies
There has been a lack of major developments in video surveillance technology and products. Instead, video surveillance cameras have turned to more functions, easy-installation, user-friendly, and maintenance-friendly.

4. Diverse back-end storage
Unlike the CCTV era, where DVRs was the only storage method, there are now five different types of storages—storing directly on camera memory cards (decentralized system), server grade storage, NAS, embedded NVR, cloud-based storage or services. How these storages technologies will evolve in the future is worth following up on.

5. Access control shines
Similar to the video surveillance industry three to five years ago, the access control sector is quickly shifting towards IP. Besides integration demands, of special interest is the integration of new technologies, for instance, wireless door locks that are easy to install, RFID technology for asset management or employee management, biometric identification (including fingerprint, facial and iris), identity management for government and financial industries, and lastly NFC. The introduction of these technologies will urge the upgrade of access control devices, and drive market adaption, especially in universities, hospitals, and government agencies.

6. HD demand evident
IP-based video surveillance has established itself as the mainstream technology in U.S, due to good IP infrastructure and mature cloud services. However, labor remains expensive in U.S, which is why IP over coaxial cable solutions is still highly popular. SDI technology is still in the minority, but there is still market for the product. Some have observed the lack of Internet concepts among most engineering companies and no Internet maintenance at the end-user level. Compared to the limitations of HD-SDI transmission, storage, and costs for one cable per camera, Taiwan IC company's ccHDtv solution can connect 16 cameras over 500 meters.

Major European security markets that have made large investments in CCTV in the past, such as UK, Germany and France, are more keen on HD-SDI. Although, UK's acceptance for IP technology has increased since last year, demands for HD-SDI remain high. Recently London upgraded 4 million analog cameras to HD.

7. Civilian security
The rapid growth of smartphones and hand held devices has propelled the demand for home security and cloud-services. Companies trying to tap into the home market include telecommunication companies, Internet companies, civilian cloud-based services, and security companies. The targeted users are homeowners and SMBs, which is expected to spur large demands for entry-level surveillance cameras, and even impact 4-channel DVR manufacturers market and distribution channels.

8. Chinese manufacturers
Hikvision Digital Technology's performance in many countries reflects the results of setting up local branches, while Dahua Technology has invested heavily at major security trade shows, greatly increasing its visibility.

9. Asian manufacturers
Asian manufacturers have increased their presence at international trade shows, by staging independent exhibition booths or joining country pavilions.

10. US analog market
Although analog video surveillance has a 70 percent market share in U.S, profits remain extremely low. Will it be possible for a professional manufacturer to take on this highly standardized field in the future?

11. Smart buildings and safe cities
IP integration has brought forth two major technologies, smart buildings (energy efficient and green) and safe cities. Compared to Taiwan, most countries safe cities have developed at a much slower pace and at a smaller scale.

12. Factors accelerating change
Challenges in product value and IP network applications is accelerating industry changes, whether it is the reshuffling of major security component manufacturers and the rise of Hilsilcon; the restructuring of foreign companies and traditional distribution channels; the convergence of IT channels that are rapidly entering the security market; or Asian manufacturing companies in China, Taiwan and South Korea that are facing pricing or technology reshuffling and replacements.

13. Fierce competition
As China's cheap products pour into the international market, the result is most companies have earned little. Domestic sales account for most of Hikvision and Dahua's profits.

Value-added biometrics

Value-added biometrics

Editor / Provider: Compiled by a&s International | Updated: 5/28/2013 | Article type: Tech Corner

In science fiction, biometric identification represents a futuristic icon. Today, biometrics have become more commonplace, with mobile devices incorporating biometric authentication to replace weaker security measures, such as passwords. Many have turned to biometrics not only for the added security and accountability, but also for the value-added services and limitless possibilities.

Homeless Service Management
In the U.S., one recent application demonstrates the development of a centrally managed homeless management information system (HMIS). It helps manage data on homeless individuals and analyzes who received services in order to pinpoint demand. However, tracking and managing homeless individuals require a great amount of labor as they lack fixed addresses. Before, the only way to track them was through signature-based sign-in forms when they entered homeless shelters. However, these hand-written forms were prone to fraud, which led to more work and waste in resources. To address this problem, Bergen County — part of the New York City metropolitan area and the most populous county in New Jersey — turned to fingerprint systems for its Department of Human Services for more accurate identification and efficient data management to manage part of its homeless service program.

Each individual who wishes to come for a meal or access the shelter for the first time is asked for a fingerprint scan on an Internet-based platform deployed in the caseworker's computer. The fingerprint file will be stored in a single fingerprint database under the country's data center for client identification at their subsequent accesses, to allow for quicker entry by placing their fingers on the sensor. In the same manner, user access to the system is also guarded by the technology where system operators are also required to be fingerprinted to log in. The database system is based on Fulcrum Biometrics' modular development framework and managed by Eyemetric Identity Systems, a biometric solution provider. The system was designed to operate independently from New Jersey's HMIS while maintaining automated information exchange with the federal system to keep both databases updated. Furthermore, the database has restricted interoperability and cannot be checked against any law enforcement databases. “To meet this requirement, the application is configured not to save the raw fingerprint images. The system only saves the fingerprint template required for matching and client identification,” said Ray Bolling, cofounder and President of Eyemetric.

The system has helped the department efficiently document the use of other services such as showers, caseworker appointments, and computer and telephone use. Bergen County's system has been running as a pilot since 2009, serving as a test case statewide and nationwide. The adoption of biometrics in social services is expected to expand. “The first step in delivering social benefits is to identify clients,” Bolling stressed. “Given current conditions, it is time to explore new ways of delivering services more effectively and efficiently while remaining humane and respectful to clients. Biometric identification is the ideal means to meet that challenge.”

Self-Service License Renewal
Self-service is largely praised for time and labor savings. In some parts of the world, automated machines are gradually taking over in restaurants and movie theaters where, traditionally, the presence of service attendants was required. In the U.S., self-service has entered the public service sector. Since the early 2000s, US citizens have been able to conduct online driver's license renewals, although they are still required to visit the motor vehicle office to have their photos and signatures taken, depending on the state.

In 2009, Mississippi became the first state to deploy self-service driver's license renewal/replacement kiosks with a photography function that incorporates a facial biometric identification system. Cooperating with MorphoTrust USA (a Safran Group company), the Mississippi Department of Public Safety adopted a system that streamlined the licensing operations and reduced customer wait time. Mississippi is followed by a number of states, including Delaware, Indiana, Alabama and more. Tennessee deployed its self-service solutions in the beginning of 2013.

Such kiosks help initiate the applicant enrolment process and enable self-service and cashless transactions; one can make payment on the machine with a credit/debit card. Customers are guided through a series of prompts and are asked to securely enter personal information on the kiosks' touch screen menus. For identity theft prevention, the facial recognition technology and image verification software are embedded in each kiosk. The machine will take a photo of the applicant, and the software matches it against with the existing photos in the database networked with state driver's license records to verify the person's identity. After the identity confirmation, an interim receipt will be printed out for temporary use until the secure card is mailed out from the central issuance facility.

“This new technology makes the renewal and replacement process simple, and gives Mississippians the option of visiting one of our driver services' buildings or one of the kiosk machines,” said the Mississippi Department of Public Safety in a prepared announcement. Bill Gibbons, Commissioner of Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, agreed in an interview with MorphoTrust: “In some cases, we're saving our customers a nearly 20-mile drive plus the time spent waiting in line by placing our kiosks in locations that are convenient to them.”

Enhanced Airport Experience
On top of the stress from organizing trips, many travelers dread the long lines at the airport check-in counter. Trying to navigate the airport causes more headaches, taking all the joy out of a not-yet-begun journey. While compromising security for speed is not an option, many airports have reexamined the bottlenecks and turned to technology to speed up the processing of travelers. They automate procedures and take care of the chores that ground crew used to handle.

Gatwick Airport is the second largest and busiest international airport in London. According to its website, 34.2 million passengers passed through it in 2012 alone. Aiming to reduce queues generated by heavy foot traffic and ensure each passenger is treated like a special guest, the airport recently tested the use of biometric and analytic technology to personalize and improve travel experience. HRS Systems, a British biometric solution provider, was approached to help demonstrate this capability.

According to HRS, the concept of the trial was based on what travelers wanted from airports in the future and the airport's customer-focused commitments — to create a more personalized airport experience. The journey begins when travelers are identified using facial recognition upon their arrival at the parking barrier. The barrier is then opened after the verification, which triggers the system to send an email or text via the Gatwick mobile app to the traveler's cellular phone and guide them to the parking space reserved for them. “The modality of the biometrics used may vary; for simplicity's sake, the concept used facial biometrics via strategically placed cameras to identify the traveler. It then checks this ‘template' against the database and opens the barrier once a positive match has been made,” said Ian Cushion, Marketing Manager at HRS. “The database is based on frequent registered passengers who are already known to the airport with an existing biometric and user profile enroled in the airport system.”

A series of personalized guidance messages following the first are set to be delivered to the traveler's smartphone along the way. Once they enter the terminal, the app sends another message to notify the passenger of their flight information and the location of their check-in counter, along with a general welcome message. “This welcome can be personalized to advise the traveler of any events or offers that are currently running that they may be interested in based on their previously stored profile,” added Cushion.

Based on the traveler's stored profile and previous purchases, the system feeds personalized adverts as they travel through the airport. In addition, the airport also plans to deploy iris recognition technology that is currently under live trial at the airport's auto-boarding system. “At check-in, travelers use designated self-service bag drops to deposit their hold luggage and enroll themselves biometrically via unobtrusive iris recognition.” Cushion said. “Enroled travelers can then utilize automated self-service gates to board the aircraft through a combination of iris recognition and presenting a valid boarding card.”

The trial demonstration is part of a US$1.8 billion investment program to modernize Gatwick Airport's facilities and improve the overall passenger experience. In 2012, Gatwick Airport won the Best Security and Immigration Experience Award for improvement on its security and immigration process and the implementation of biometrics.

The next killer app for NFC will not be mobile payments

The next killer app for NFC will not be mobile payments

Editor / Provider: Smart Card Alliance | Updated: 5/20/2013 | Article type: Hot Topics

With half a billion NFC-enabled handsets expected to hit the market in the next year, according to an ABI Research report released in March 2013, industry experts agreed that the major first step to broad NFC adoption has been accomplished. But discussion and debate continued as to what the killer app will be to get the technology to take off. Experts concurred in a recent meeting that the next NFC application might not even be mobile payments anymore.

Applications like wine tracking and device pairing that fulfill unmet needs and simplify activities may be the “world-winning NFC solutions,” according to Koichi Tagawa of Sony and Chairman of the NFC Forum. In another example, Tagawa noted that Japanese airlines using NFC can board a 450-person plane in only 15 minutes, as opposed to the standard boarding process for a 150-person plane without NFC in 40 minutes.

Other experts agreed that loyalty programs and offers are great first steps for consumers to use NFC technology.

Lynne Barton, VP of Marketing with Jamba Juice, which has been participating in the Isis Mobile Wallet pilots, said that NFC creates “more meaningful and personal conversations with customers.” She said that she “sees a future with NFC, but it will take consumers a little bit of time to get there,” adding that coupons and offers are “the gateway” to get consumers using the technology.

Lydia Martinez, Store Marketing Specialist at Whole Foods, concurred that “for the short term, loyalty and the value of the couponing is the gateway for people.” She said that the appeal of NFC is to help “drive brand and drive loyalty while giving customers a faster experience.” Martinez described an upcoming holistic marketing campaign where NFC-enabled coupons and loyalty will work with in-store displays and social media to promote local farmers and producers.

NFC should “create, communicate and deliver value to customers,” said Mohamed Awad of Broadcom and Vice Chairman of the NFC Forum. He said that creating value for NFC is about “simplifying with the way we act with the more and more sophisticated set of microcontrollers around us.” To this end, Awad described several use cases where organizations are communicating the value of products to customers by differentiating with NFC, including smart home appliances, interactive games, travel services, opt-in magazine ads, and even tombstones.

Other experts discussed mobile security features that could allow consumers to become more confident in using their devices for more sensitive transactions. Sebastian Taveau, Validity's CTO, described a vision of fingerprint biometrics providing consumers with a fast and secure way to unlock the NFC applications on their mobile devices. Citing that 90 percent of user-generated passwords are vulnerable to hacking due to being stored centrally in the cloud, Siva Narendra, Tyfone CEO said, “Consumers demand convenience and expect security.” Narendra unveiled Tyfone's new Connected Smart Card that enables the secure storage and use of multiple IDs that can be placed in a microSD, a key-chain, an iPhone case, or a wearable device.

But while speakers and panelists didn't reach consensus on what the so-called “killer app” for NFC will be, speakers conveyed the great potential for NFC including mobile payments in the longer term. When asked the question “Is NFC dead?” compared to alternate technologies such as cloud payments, Glenbrook Partners Consultant Allen Weinberg stressed that all these technologies are still in the early days and it is too soon to make judgments on what mobile commerce technologies will be the winners and losers. “At the end of the day, we don't have a widespread, commercialized anything yet,” he said.

S. African mines undertake holistic approach to health, safety, HR and security compliance

S. African mines undertake holistic approach to health, safety, HR and security compliance

Editor / Provider: G4S | Updated: 5/13/2013 | Article type: Commercial Markets

About three years ago, G4S Secure Solutions South Africa (then under the Skycom banner), became involved with projects aimed at enhancing business support systems, especially in the HR and payroll sectors of South Africa mining operations business. Different projects were initiated and aimed at replacing outdated time and access management system with a new comprehensive access control system utilizing smart card readers, portable card readers, fingerprint readers, facial recognition and access control software.

Mining in South Africa has been the driving force behind the history and development of Africa's most prestigious economy. Gold mining has accounted for 12 percent of the world's production in 2005, although the nation had produced as much as 30 percent of world output as recently as 1993. Despite declining production, South Africa's gold exports were valued at US$3.84 billion (£2.5 billion) in 2005. Almost 50 percent of the world's gold reserves are found in this country. Global mining houses and local mining companies throughout Africa employ well over 450,000 people across all the extraction sectors and platforms.

G4S was tasked with the provision of various hardware and software platforms tailored to the specific requirements of each business. These platforms were then integrated into the existing operations to provide site managers easy and efficient control over access, time recording Health and Safety requirements, movement patterns and environmental situations. The intention was to create software that allowed ease of use to both the end user and management. From the employee clocking into work to the HR team collating reports and gathering management information.

To keep out illegal miners, the solution introduces fingerprint technology to control access to mining facilities; proximity based card readers solutions for mass gatherings; facial recognition deployed for meal issuing and control at canteens plus various accommodation facilities; access control management of shift work or group access to mines as well as health management of workers.

In addition, the system also enables contractor management; visitor management; fuel management; inventory management by making sure workers receive the correct equipment. Through XTIME command and control software, the system can be integrated with building alarm and security systems. Video surveillance systems can also be integrated into the system.

As a direct outcome of the success of the initial projects with large multinational mining houses, a technology partnership was formed with G4S and a number of the big mining companies to develop well suited, efficient technology solutions in accordance to specific requirements at various global mining sites with the use of the time and access management systems. The high end security plant systems were also converted to XTIME which was custom developed for mining and industrial sector customers that had a need for a high security environment such as gold plants and high risk areas. The system handles full search facilities with intelligent routines which are set up by users of the system to cater for different conditions that occur in the plant. The graphical maps feature available provides control and situational awareness from a single screen. This ultimately results in the business being able to view the various platforms in one single view. The overall success of the solution across South Africa has led to implementations within other customer operations in Ghana, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia.


Precise Biometrics' iPad 4 sleeve approved by Apple for payment applications

Precise Biometrics' iPad 4 sleeve approved by Apple for payment applications

Editor / Provider: Precise Biometric | Updated: 5/6/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Tactivo is the first mobile smart card and fingerprint reader based on the new Lightning connector, which has been approved by Apple. This new version also supports payment chip cards.

Thomas Marschall, President and CEO of Precise Biometrics, says: “We are pleased to announce that Tactivo for iPad 4th Generation has been MFi approved by Apple and thereby is ready for global launch. We already have pending orders from both old and new Tactivo customers.”

Tactivo for iPad 4thGeneration is the first mobile smart card and fingerprint reader, based on the new Lightning connector, available in the market. It proves, once again, the market leading position Precise Biometrics has within this segment.

Together with apps and solutions from Precise Biometrics' partners, Tactivo enables government agencies and companies to maintain a high level of authentication and security when employees use mobile devices to access sensitive information. Tactivo supports both traditional smart cards, such as the US Government PIV and CAC cards, as well as payment chip cards.

Precise Biometrics releases 2013 Q1 financials

Precise Biometrics releases 2013 Q1 financials

Editor / Provider: Precise Biometrics | Updated: 5/1/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Precise Biometrics ,Interim report for the period January – March 2013
The group's net sales for the first quarter was US$ 2.56 million (SEK 16.8 million)
The group's operating result for the quarter was $ -0.15 million .
The group's net result for the quarter was -1.3.
Earnings per share for the first quarter was $ -0.00.
Available cash at the end of the quarter amounted to $ 1.17 million.

Important event during the quarter
A global provider of financial information services chooses Precise Biometrics as their new fingerprint algorithm vendor following a thorough test of the market. The customer is aiming to increase the performance of existing and forthcoming fingerprint enabled devices by using Precise Biometrics' technology.

One of the largest mobile Operators in the US has started selling Precise Biometrics' Tactivo The Operator has placed an initial order of 5,000 Tactivo units. The order has been delivered during March.

Precise Biometrics announced that the Company will shortly release Tactivo for Android. Development of Tactivo for Android and further mobile platforms is already in progress and will be launched end of Q2, with prototypes available for selected partners in May.

The credit facility that was obtained during the first quarter 2012 was re-paid in January 2013. The company utilized, before the repayment, $3.05 million of the credit facility of $4.57 million. Within the framework of the credit facility agreement, and until the end of May 2013, the company can obtain order financing.

The Board of Directors of Precise Biometrics has proposed the Annual General Meeting on April 23, 2013 to decide to undertake a rights issue with preferential rights for Precise Biometrics' shareholders of approximately $8.39 million. The rights issue is implemented to finance increased working capital due to new orders, continued development of Tactivo by increasing resources for production, product development and sales and marketing efforts worldwide. The rights issue is guaranteed up to a level of 70% of the rights issue, approximately $ 5.87 million.

 Australian shopping mall operator locks down back-of-house operations with high tech

Australian shopping mall operator locks down back-of-house operations with high tech

Editor / Provider: Morse Watchmans | Updated: 4/29/2013 | Article type: Commercial Markets

At Westfield Shopping Centers throughout Australia, the organization has implemented a key control and management solution with fingerprint biometrics that allows pre-approved personnel streamlined access to and from authorized center locations with comprehensive monitoring and report functionality. The solution is based on Morse Watchmans' key control and management system integrated with the National Work Authorization and Induction Training (NoWAIT) fingerprint recognition system, and was rolled out in shopping centers throughout Australia since late 2012.

Developed for Westfield by Blue Glue, an Australian system integrator, and their technology partner Morse Australia, the biometric security system known as contractor and visitor validation system seamlessly integrates with existing key control and management system for secure issuance of keys to pre-authorized individuals while touchscreen video technology provides for safety messaging to staff.
"Key control and management is an essential element in administering the security aspects of a large retail property,” said Alan Jones, Director, Blue Glue. The integrated solution at Westfield puts together Morse's key control with biometric technology and real time, centralized remote monitoring for an optimized system to enhance the security of back-of-house and operational areas.
With the new system, contractors, consultants and others will no longer have to sign in and wait for a key to be issued. Emergencies that occur during off hours can be more readily acted upon because contractors can access keys without having to wait for property management to arrive on scene. Enrollment in the system is through fingerprint identification and a one-time registration allows access at any site in the program. The system additionally issues a durable identification wristband with the name, date and time stamp and all access activity is recorded for auditing purposes.
According to Jones, a range of Westfield properties had been using Morse key control cabinets for the past 10 years to store, release and track keys used throughout a property. With the Morse's key control and management system, each key is locked into place inside the key cabinet using a locking device which has an integrated chip, so a user can only remove a key which he or she has permission to use. The other keys stored in the cabinet remain locked in place when the user enters his or her access code or scans their card or fingerprint. In doing so, the Morse system automatically controls who is able to use which keys.
Because the key control and management system was designed for interoperability with other systems, Blue Glue was able to seamlessly integrate the NoWAIT biometric system and have control through their Blue Glue net enterprise. “Key control and management system is a quality product with an RS-232 communications port and the assistance provided by Morse Australia for the protocols made the integration process very easy,” Jones added.
Proof of concept trials were performed at four shopping centers in the Sydney area and, based on their success, the program was rolled out on a national basis in late 2012.

Suprema partner Entertech embeds HID card tech into fingerprint reader

Suprema partner Entertech embeds HID card tech into fingerprint reader

Editor / Provider: Entertech Systems | Updated: 4/10/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Suprema partnered with Entertech Systems announced the launch of the next generation access control BioEntry W biometric reader embedded with HID Global's iCLASS SE smart card technologies and HID Prox Credentials. Available for the North America market, Suprema's new generation reader with Genuine HID Technology is now offered by Entertech Systems.

"At Entertech Systems, we believe strongly that technology integration milestones like this with leading organizations such as HID are essential in providing the latest smart card and biometrics for multi-factor authentication, ensuring customers have more options to address their particular access management needs," said Rob Douglas, CEO of Entertech Systems. "The new Suprema BioEntry W biometric reader integrated with HID Prox and iCLASS SE offers customers a significant step forward in having further assurance of “true identity” for access control in both indoor and outdoor applications."

"HID Global is committed to providing the latest innovations in the market and increasing customer value through partner solutions that extend the use of Genuine HID Technology," said Kerry Reid, VP of HID Connect with HID Global. "The BioEntry W from Suprema and Entertech Systems is a robust biometric reader that is ideal for customers seeking access control systems in outdoor environments using our next generation iCLASS SE smart card or existing HID Prox technologies."

US university pilots biometric access at dining hall

US university pilots biometric access at dining hall

Editor / Provider: Natural Security | Updated: 4/9/2013 | Article type: Education

Natural Security (NS) announced a new partnership with Spartan Shops, the retail and residential dining service provider for San Jose State University (SJSU) in California, to implement biometric authentication at the university's residential dining hall. Biometric authentication used for the SJSU dining hall that receives up to 7,000 customers a day, combines mid-range contactless technology. Biometric information is stored on student's mobile phones, while fingerprint readers are employed at the hall entrance. The project is to start in July this year.

“With almost 2,500 unlimited-entry meal plan members at the university, we needed a more efficient system for authenticating students to access to the residential dining hall,” said Brian Mitchler from Spartan Shops. “The NS authentication method improves security and will allow us to monitor access more effectively, improving internal processes.”

Students will be able to enter the dining hall by simply placing a finger on a biometric reader situated at the entrance and without the need to handle or expose their personal device. The end-user biometric data is only stored in the personal device the user carries so it is always under their control.

 “As each device contains the students' unique biometric information it cannot be used by anyone else,” said Cedric Hozanne, CEO at Natural Security. “This removes many of the usual issues surrounding security, for example impersonation, because of loss or theft.”

The project aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the technology and collect feedback on usage experiences from the participants to feed into future projects. Following a successful trial the new system will be rolled out to all 3,000 students accessing the residential dining hall. This same method of authentication may also be extended to other university areas such as access to premises, access to online resources or even transport.

Belgian and Dutch ports entrust security to biometric smart cards

Belgian and Dutch ports entrust security to biometric smart cards

Editor / Provider: Lumidigm, Ingersoll Rand | Updated: 3/28/2013 | Article type: Infrastructure

Under the International Maritime Organization's International Code for the Security of Ships and of Port Facilities, Belgian and Dutch seaports have turned to smart cards and biometric systems to help track access by employees and visitors across private terminals. Port of Antwerp and Zeebrugge in Belgium recently replaced its old biometric system at registration stations with Lumidigm multispectral imaging fingerprint readers. The Port of Antwerp is Europe's second largest port, while Zeebrugge is the central port for Europe's automotive industry and has the largest liquefied natural gas terminal complex in Europe. Alfapass, the provider of security smart card system at the ports, is in the process of enrolling 17,000 truck drivers and 10,000 longshoremen at the two ports on the new system.

The Port of Antwerp has been using a biometric system since 2005, but the former system could not differentiate one person from another at the required level of certainty and security and had high FAR, explained Piet Hadermann, Operations Manager for Alfapass. One major access control requirement at the port was the efficient identification of individuals that travel between multiple port facilities.

The solution was a single ID card that covers all facilities. Therefore, visitors to both Belgian ports carry an Alfapass smart card that includes the visitor's biometric template. By checking and verifying the information stored on the card, facility personnel can assure that the card is being presented by its rightful owner. Alfapass enrolls user cards with two fingerprints. When a card is lost or stolen, or the person no longer works for the company, the card is automatically blocked from all participating facilities. All port visitors are now being enrolled with the Lumidigm fingerprint readers. The readers are placed and used at port registration offices and administrative kiosks located at the “gate in” for truck drivers and elsewhere.

Previously, The Port of Antwerp deployed a hand geometry access control system from Ingersoll Rand that recognizes a person hand's 3D features. The system consisted of 71 individual terminals, and issued more than 8,000 credentials. RFID smart cards stored employee information, work experience, access restrictions and biometric identifier. The system's open architecture design enabled terminals to integrate additional security and safety technologies, such as video surveillance and time-and-attendance. In addition, a web-based card management system was used to carry out the credentialing process across the terminals and other systems.

In 1998, a similar Ingersoll system was installed in Port of Rotterdam in Netherlands. As one of Europe's largest container ports, the port required an access control system that was robust enough to withstand the North Sea's severe weather conditions, easy for truckers and stevedores to use, fraud-proof, portable and flexible enough to integrate with the port's logistics systems. Ruggedized biometric readers were installed at the port's gates, plants, loading docks, staging areas and other critical entry points to meet this demand.

Ingersoll outlined the hand geometry system was chosen because of its automatic identification capacity, and because truck drivers refused to use iris recognition. The system was also more accurate than fingerprint recognition and offered lower FAR when used en masse, claimed Ingersoll. Drivers were issued smart cards that were embedded with chips that contained their personal personal identification, company information and a biometric template of the driver's left hand. Implementation of the system has helped the Dutch port avoid costly transport delays while ensuring security.


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