Here's a solution that uses a millimeter-wave (mmWave) frequency-based solution that provides a 3D image of what is inside a mail or a package.
Dangerous and suspicious mail and packages are a major concern to public safety. Over the past three years, the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and ATF responded to an average of more than ten dangerous mail or package incidents per day, often targeted against large corporations and government agencies.
Most mail security tools are positioned to identify large threats, like a bomb or gun, but the bulk of mail threats today come in the form of smaller powders and liquids. The industry has traditionally used X-rays to deal with threats, but these can't spot such potentially dangerous contents in packages or envelopes.
Now RaySecur, a Westwood, Massachusetts-based company, offers a solution to this problem.
A 3D scanner for mails and packages
MailSecur is a solution that uses a millimeter-wave (mmWave) frequency-based solution that provides a 3D image of what is inside a mail or a package. It offers a safer alternative to X-rays and does not require trained professionals to use it. Most importantly, it can detect more threats than conventional solutions, including liquids, powders, explosives, illicit items, contraband, chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear materials.
Speaking to asmag.com recently, Alex Sappok, CEO of RaySecur, explained that mmWave scanners like MailSecur are 300X more effective at detecting liquids and powders. It sits on a desktop and weighs 10X less than the traditional X-ray machines.
"MailSecur generates no hazardous radiation and provides 3D video imaging vs. the static 2D imaging with conventional X-ray," Sappok added. "Our solution is the only one on the market that makes it easy to protect against physical mail threats by ‘seeing inside’ of objects in real-time. We also offer 24/7 on-demand support from leading military threat experts on how to handle a suspicious package."
What are the limitations and challenges?
Dense materials like metal test the limits of any scanning technology. Fortunately, some of the most dangerous threats are low-density materials, like liquids and powders. Millimeter-wave solutions can be used to detect them, but the market requires more awareness of the different technologies and their advantages.
"While large mail bombs will always pose a threat, it's more likely that the next major security incident will be a more inconspicuous chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) or powder event," Sappok said. "MailSecur, which is no bigger than a desktop printer or scanner, can be deployed anywhere to mitigate these kinds of threats and keep organizations safe."
Also read: Is this product the answer to landside airport security challenges?
Who is the target customer?
At present, MailSecur is used by 4 of the five largest US companies, governments, and heads of G8 countries. Customers span tech, social media, financial services, manufacturing, chemical/pharmaceutical, etc.
"Recently, we've seen an uptick in interest for our scanners from corrections facilities," Sappok said. "Mail is the primary means of communication between inmates and the outside world. This creates a significant vulnerability for drugs, contraband, and other prohibited items to enter these facilities. Most don't know that mail marked as legal correspondence cannot be opened and inspected by corrections officers, creating a loophole to transport illicit materials into the facility. With MailSecur, correctional officers can inspect every piece of mail."
Can it integrate with other physical security systems?
MailSecur fits into existing security programs because it requires no modifications. It can be kept on a table in a mailroom or reception area to scan all incoming items. Teams can implement the device into their programs right upon delivery and immediately improve their security capabilities.
"Further, MailSecur scanners are integrated with solutions from Johnson Controls, the global leader for smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings," Sappok added. "This means that scan results can drive configurable responses across building systems to help mitigate incidents - e.g., trigger a building lockdown or evacuation and support communications with the building's HVAC system to prevent the potential spread of contaminants or smoke."
The threat of dangerous packages and mails continues to be a major issue worldwide. In the last 16 months alone, AstraZeneca's Covid Vaccine Plant, Subway Sandwiches Corporate Headquarters, and Dr. Anthony Fauci have all been victims of dangerous mail threats.
X-ray has been effective to some extent. But the technology is old and cannot keep up with the emerging threats at the required pace. Solutions like MailSecur can go a long way in improving security in this area.