Exabeam, the smarter SIEM company, announces that it has closed $75 million in Series E funding to accelerate worldwide efforts to displace legacy security management vendors. The latest round is jointly led by new investor Sapphire Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners, which have collectively backed nearly 40 IPOs. Other existing investors also participated. The funds will be used for expanding sales reach and to expedite new product features and configurations. In the last 12 months, Exab...
FIREX International, alongside the co-located IFSEC International, Safety & Health Expo and Facilities Show, has announced that the Protection & Management series of events will be moving to a new dateline of 19-21 May for the 2020 edition at ExCeL, London. FIREX International 2019 Dates Unchanged Gerry Dunphy, Exhibition Director, FIREX, explains: “Major business decisions are made at FIREX every year, and the event has been in huge growth in its home in London, as we anti...
School shootings continue, as does a search for answers. What solutions are there to prevent school shootings and/or to improve the response (and thus minimize the death toll)? In the physical security industry, we like to think we have solutions that can help, if not “solve”, the problem, but realistically speaking, how effective are they at the end of the day? We like to think we have solutions that can help, if not “solve”, the problem: but how effective ar...
Live events at large venues like arenas, stadiums or convention halls – whether they involve wrestlers breaking chairs over each other’s heads, Axl and Slash letting bygones be bygones and reuniting Guns ‘n’ Roses, your favorite NFL team annihilating the opposition 62-3, or a convention involving anything from politics to food to Star Trek – are exciting affairs that channel the camaraderie of the crowd into a powerful collective energy. But they also are vulne...
Several recent terrorist and mass violence attacks have been directed at soft targets, or relatively unprotected locations where people gather such as outside a music venue or in the unscreened passenger areas at airports. Attacks in public areas have led to the development of new security technologies aimed at protecting soft targets. One company addressing the challenges is Evolv Technology and its Edge automated high-speed personnel screening solution. The system integrates walkthrough fire...
Trace Eye-D, a South Florida security technology company, has announced that they have received ISO Certification 9001:2015 from BQC Certifications. ISO 9001:2015 is the international standard for specifying requirements for a quality management system (QMS) used by organizations to demonstrate the ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements, according to the American Society for Quality. Trace Eye-D underwent a stringent evaluation...
The launch includes more than 70 new security features that enhance all aspects of Palo Alto Network’s Next-Generation Security Platform It’s no secret that attackers and their methods have become more targeted, sophisticated, and automated. What followed is also an evolution in needs and demands of security teams to tackle new threats and risks. To address the ever-changing threat landscape and provide organizations with the best security capabilities possible, security vendors must continue to evolve as well. Palo Alto Networks announces the PAN-OS 8.0, the largest product and feature release in the history of Palo Alto Networks. The launch includes more than 70 new security features that enhance all aspects of Palo Alto Network’s Next-Generation Security Platform. The company is building upon the existing capabilities of its natively engineered cybersecurity platform to provide organizations with the ability to safely enable applications, content and users regardless of location, prevent successful cyberattacks, simplify security operations, and safely embrace the cloud. New Features The new capabilities in PAN-OS 8.0 will help customers: Enable Cloud Adoption – Enhancements support migration to diverse, multi-cloud environments, providing consistent, scalable, and advanced security, as well as industry-leading integration with key-providers such as AWS and Azure for operational agility and automated scale out. Greater visibility, policy enforcement and actionable dashboards improve security capabilities for SaaS applications, and an expanded line-up of VM-Series virtual firewalls meet a variety of performance needs and use cases. New VM-50, VM-500 and VM-700 provide leading industry performance of up to 16 Gbps for small remote offices to data centers and service provider deployments. Prevent the use of stolen credentials by providing a policy-based multi-factor authentication framework natively in the next-generation firewall Detect & Prevent Evasive Malware And Credential Theft – PAN-OS 8.0 includes several first-ever innovations focused on advanced threat prevention techniques and credential theft preventions. These include a newly 100% custom-built anti-evasion analysis environment for WildFire; a heuristic engine to dynamically steer highly evasive threats to a bare metal analysis environment for full hardware execution; a fully automated payload-based command-and-control signature generation and delivery mechanism; and the new MineMeld application for Autofocus for automated action driven by correlated threat intelligence. Prevent the use of stolen credentials by providing a policy-based multi-factor authentication framework natively in the next-generation firewall. This new and unique capability makes it very easy to enforce multi-factor authentication from the firewall to stop cyber adversaries from moving laterally in a network and accessing sensitive resources with the help of stolen credentials or compromised endpoints. This is achieved by working at the network level in conjunction with authentication and identity management frameworks, such as Single Sign-On and Multi-Factor Authentication, and integrating with a number of new-age identity access management vendors including Ping Identity, Duo Security, and Okta, in addition to tools such as RSA SecurID to enforce policies. Scale With Predictable Performance Across A Variety Of Use Cases – Designed to handle increasing throughput needs due to increased SSL encrypted traffic, data center consolidation as well as increased traffic at the internet gateway, 6 new models of appliances, PA-5260, PA5250, PA-5220, PA-850, PA-820 and PA-220 enable advanced security protections for large data centers to smaller environments and branch offices. Management features that provide administrators fast and accurate insight delivered by Panorama, and include ingestion of Traps (Advanced Endpoint Protection) logs as well as firewall logs to enrich correlation of indicators of compromise and automate actions to update the next-generation firewall with new automated actions to prevent adversary lateral movement and alert IT via third-party service ticketing systems such as ServiceNow, lowering operational burden for security teams.
The walk-through metal detector automatically counts people and alarms, allowing only authorized personnel to access the control panel for secure operation ZKAccess, a division of ZKTeco and leading provider of biometric and RFID security solutions, is pleased to announce the introduction of three new metal detectors. Ideal for locations vulnerable to the risk of public shootings and stabbings, such as schools, concert halls, nightclubs, theaters, shopping malls, etc., these new metal detectors enhance safety and detect hidden metal weapons including guns and knives. HMD100 Handheld Metal Detector The HMD100 handheld metal detector is lightweight and portable. It's equipped with programmable alarm settings, so the user can choose from either a sound and light alarm, or vibration and light alarm. WMD118 Walk-Through Metal Detector The WMD118 walk-through metal detector features six over-lapping detection zones with multiple alarms. Sensitivity for each zone is adjustable in increments 0-100. Sound & LED alarms located on both sides clearly indicate precisely where metal is detected. The WMD118 also automatically counts people and alarms and, for secure operation, only authorized personnel can access the control panel. WMD218 Walk-Through Metal Detector The WMD218 walk-through metal detector features 18 overlapping detection zones with multiple alarms. Sensitivity for each zone is adjustable in increments 0-255. It features a 3.7 inch (94 mm) LCD screen and sound & LED alarms located on both sides clearly indicate precisely where metal is detected. Like the WMD118, it also automatically counts people and alarms and only authorized personnel can access the control panel. “The marked increase in the number of public shootings in recent years is a very concerning issue," says Larry Reed, CEO, ZKAccess. "Our new metal detectors can serve as a strong deterrent while enhancing public safety and security." Save
Once operational these scanners will be able to check both clients, visitors and staff for contraband Netherlands based security manufacturer, OD Security announced that they have been awarded another contract to install 2 SOTER RS Through Body Scanners, this time in Kentucky County Jails. Measures To Prevent Contraband The contract is to supply 1 each SOTOR RS Through Body Scanners to Puleski County Detention Center and Boyle County Detention Center in Kentucky . Once operational these scanners will be able to check both clients, visitors and staff for contraband in an effort to reduce items like; drugs, tobacco, weapons and cell phones from being smuggled into the prison. The use of Through Body Scanners in prisons is regarded as the most effective way of countering the smuggling of contraband material without subjecting inmates and visitors and staff to intrusive body searchers. The SOTER RS is a low dosage full body scanner which combines ultra-low radiation with maximum visibility, for use at airports and prisons. Within seconds the SOTER RS reveals hidden items, such as weapons or narcotics, diamonds, or any stolen or smuggled goods. It doesn’t even have to be metal. The SOTER shows a clear difference between human tissue and other materials. Even ingested or camouflaged items will be shown. Improve Security Operations The SOTER RS will increase the level of security operations previously possible through the use of conventional metal detectors. Non metallic objects hidden under clothes, in natural cavities or within the human body cannot be detected by conventional metal detectors and typically, these non-detectable items, such as narcotics, explosives, precious stones, plastic weapons, or other contraband, can only otherwise be detected by highly intrusive total body searches. SOTER RS is successfully deployed in prisons, in airports, detention centers, police and customs facilities worldwide including; Australia, Denmark, Ghana, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, The Netherlands, The United Arab Emirates, The United States of America, The United Kingdom, Chile, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
GJD Manufacturing will also feature its new Clarius Plus LED illuminators and Pearl triple tech curtain detector GJD, the leading British manufacturer, designer and supplier of professional external detector equipment, has recently announced its attendance at this year’s ISC West, Las Vegas exhibition, at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, (15 - 17 April), on booth 29009. ISC West is the largest physical security event in the Americas and is attended by over 28,000 industry professionals, who represent over $50 Billion in Buying Power. Featuring on GJD’s booth will be an interactive display including a new generation of IP detectors and innovative external wired and wireless detectors. Intelligent lighting solutions will also be on display, demonstrating the company’s comprehensive range of products including the new Clarius® Plus LED illuminators and the Pearl triple tech curtain detector. Ana Maria Sagra-Smith, International Sales and Marketing Director commented: “We are extremely pleased to be involved in this prestigious event. It is a privilege to be able to demonstrate our products to attendees at ISC West where we will be showcasing the world class technology behind our new IP detector range, combined with our most recent innovations and case studies. Highly trained technical engineers will be available on the stand to highlight the unique features and benefits of GJD’s security technology, including a smart interchangeable lens diffuser system, which provides a quick and user-friendly method to easily alter the angle of illumination on the Clarius Plus LED illuminator range. As well as manufacturing top of the range products, GJD has an ardent philosophy of producing reliable, durable equipment, of the highest quality, matched with a dedication to after-sales and technical support.
Linear LLC, the leader in residential and commercial access control, emergency response and security solutions, announces Copper Cop, a new copper theft security solution designed to protect commercial HVAC units, one of the most frequent targets of metal thieves, from being stripped of copper piping and hardware. Designed for easy installation to the exterior of a commercial HVAC unit, Linear's Copper Cop includes a unique wire harness and patent-pending spring-loaded clips enclosed in a durable bright yellow casing that provides "Protected by Copper Cop" warning signage to deter would-be thieves. As simple as it is effective, the Copper Cop goes to work when anyone tries to remove the HVAC cover or disarm the unit. If breached, Copper Cop connects to a local siren while also transmitting an alarm signal to a Linear or other security system which then alerts the proper authorities. Copper Cop has advantages over existing HVAC metal security solutions as well. Since it is an alarm activation device, licensed security system installers can retrofit existing HVAC units without needing an HVAC installer's license or an electrician's license. Security system installers can install Copper Cop for commercial customers directly, or work with HVAC contractors to install and monitor. Integrating with existing alarm panels is easily accomplished with Linear's wireless Transmitter/Receiver Pair (DXS-31 / DXS-702). Copper and metal thefts are especially destructive because the cost of repair, replacement and insurance premium increases far exceed the value of stolen metal. A $10,000 HVAC unit can be rendered useless when the $75 worth of copper tubing is removed. This imbalance makes simple, affordable solutions like the Copper Cop even more appealing. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NCIB), metal thefts have increased 81 percent since 2008, with copper by far the most frequently stolen material. Critical infrastructure sources like traffic lights and railway signals, farm equipment, construction sites and unoccupied buildings have all been targeted by thieves willing to risk personal safety and cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage for a few hundred dollars worth of metal. "We've seen countless cases of schools, businesses, churches and construction sites targeted by metal thieves, often because of inadequate security," said Duane Paulsen, senior vice president of product and market development for Linear. "Copper Cop is the simplest, most affordable and effective solution to combat copper theft because it provides a visual deterrent on the HVAC unit, an audio deterrent with the siren, and an immediate security response via integration with existing security systems." Even the federal government recognizes the threat caused by metal theft in an unclassified FBI intelligence assessment that states, "Copper thieves are threatening US critical infrastructure...and present a risk to both public safety and national security." For more information about Linear LLC, please visit www.linearcorp.com or call 1-800-421-1587. Linear can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and LinkedIn.
A force of 85,000 police and military will patrol the Olympic grounds and environs to provide security A week before the Rio Olympics were slated to begin, Brazil fired the private security firm assigned to hire personnel to screen people entering the various Olympic venues located around Rio De Janeiro. The security plan called for 3,400 screeners. The security firm had only found 500. What happened? Today, prospective security officers must undergo background checks that do not raise red flags. Observers noted that unsatisfactory background checks and drug tests probably explain why it has been so difficult to find and hire the large numbers of security people needed in the short period of time allotted. That problem aside, a force of 85,000 police and military will patrol the Olympic grounds and environs to provide security. “Security officers and soldiers have different ways of thinking,” says Ron Lander, a principal with Norco, Calif.-based Ultrasafe Security Specialists. “Soldiers may be more aggressive than security officers. That may be appropriate for an event like the Rio Olympics.” “Then again, security officers are trained to de-escalate aggressive behavior and calm unruly customers so that everyone walks away with a handshake,” says Lander. “The army may not have had that kind of training.” Olympic Security Technology Olympic size events make liberal use of technology. The Olympic grounds in Rio have surveillance cameras as well as access control points. In addition, there are cameras connected to facial recognition systems. “Facial recognition is getting better and better,” says Lander. “Camera placement is an important key. There are mullion cameras placed in doors that take head on video that is required for reliable facial recognition. As the camera system clears people, the access control system checks them in.” Checkpoint technologies also include magnetometers that check for metal weapons. It is recommended to create two or more concentric security circles around the perimeter of an event, with attendees passing through access points in the circles Concentric Security Circles Lander recommends creating two or more concentric security circles around the perimeter of an event. Physical barriers and ropes can create the barriers and funnel people to checkpoints that also provide access. Why concentric circles? “It is a security technique called progressive redundancy,” Lander says. “There could be many steps. In a security facility, for instance, you lock the door, place an alarm at the perimeter, put up a fence and assign a patrolling guard.” So security at an Olympic-style event will feature two concentric security circles around the location of the event. Attendees will pass through access points in the circles. At one checkpoint, they may pass through a magnetometer. At the second, two officers will check purses and bags, while a third officer looks for telltale behavioral recognition signs — individuals who are nervous and sweating, wearing a heavy coat on a warm day or exhibiting behavior that is unusual in some way. Video Analytics “Today, some organizations are moving toward video analytics,” Lander says. “There are cameras with analytics software and network video recorders with analytics inside the engine. I prefer analytics on the front end.” Users can program video analytics cameras to look for and alarm on certain kinds of video. For instance, analytics can be set to alarm when people run through a camera’s field of view. Analytics can look for motion in a place and at a time when nothing should be moving. The technology can identify abandoned packages and alert security to investigate. There are a number of security scenarios that video analytics can stand in for human beings, who often get tired. Video analytics don’t tire out and fall asleep. In the end, the role of security technology is to support security officers, and their role is to remain alert, aware and responsive to alarms. Save
On event days, representatives of emergency response & security agenciesare together and running sports venues as a unified group In the world of sports security, alliances are bringing together personnel and agencies that once only talked to each other during an emergency. Consider the recently announced agreement between the Security Industry Association (SIA) and the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4). This memorandum of understanding (MOU) is designed to foster collaboration in addressing the unique security challenges facing stadiums and other sports venues and how best to use security technologies to up the security ante. SIA And NCS4 Stadium Security Partnership “SIA being the leading trade association for electronic and physical security solution providers gives NCS4 the capability to collaborate on identifying current and new products and services that address the future industry needs,” says NCS4 Director Lou Marciani. NCS4 has developed best practices and training programmes including certifications for sports security professionals. As venues have begun installing cameras and made increasing use of metal detectors to screen fans as they enter the ball park, this new deal will help ensure that security directors are installing the right kinds of equipment for their sport. As part of the agreement, the two organizations plan to develop a series of quarterly webinars, create presentations, speak at each other’s events, promote each other’s activities and programs, publish articles in each other’s publications, and eventually develop joint vendor-neutral guidelines and best practices for stadium events. This alliance is just the latest step in the sports security’s profession move toward creating even greater collaboration. The National Incident Management System (NIMS) provides a standardized approachfor security personnel & emergency responders at mass gatherings Emergency Personnel Planning For Incident Management “I would have to say that [collaboration] has become the operating norm,” says Paul Turner, Director of Event Operations & Security for AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys. “Whereas in previous days a venue would have some police and some fire personnel and medical personnel assigned to that venue and they would just be like another resource that would be onsite. Now the intent is for everyone to do integrated planning where you have a group together of police, fire, medical stadium operations even federal agencies that are all part of building your event plan and then you’re doing unified command.” In this new era, on event days, representatives of all these agencies are together and running the venue as a unified group. Gone are the days when a venue operator would call for help after an incident occurred. “We’re operating in a regular mode and if an incident presents itself then we’re commanding that incident,” says Turner. “It’s not like you have to bring a whole bunch of people together to deal with a particular incident because you’ve been running that event.” The development of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) provided security personnel at venues with a standardized approach to incident management. Developed by the Department of Homeland Security, the program facilitates coordination between all responders including all levels of government with public, private, and nongovernmental organizations. “More and more mass gatherings are being managed under that kind of a structure,” says Turner.
Sports stadiums and leagues are constantly pushing for higher security standards& best practices to strengthen venues that may be perceived as "soft targets" Terrorism threats have focused the attention of sports security professionals like Paul Turner, Director of Event Operations & Security for AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on how to more effectively screen guests and ensure that fans and athletes are kept safe. It has made the sobering reality that stadiums are “soft targets” a part of their daily approach to doing business. Everything changed on 9/11. Transformed as much as anything else by the terrorist attacks has been security for sports venues. “9/11 was a huge catalyst for a lot of things when it comes to securing public places, especially sporting venues,” says Paul Turner. “A lot of what we’re doing today was put in motion when 9/11 happened.” Intelligence Through Close Communications One of the most dramatic changes in stadium security has come through close communications between agencies at every level including new access to intelligence gathering. “One of the big things has been communications,” says Dr. Lou Marciani, executive director of the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4). “The different law enforcement agencies, emergency managers, event people are all communicating together. Intelligence was the next improvement. So we’re on the cutting edge of situational awareness.” High Security Standards At AT&T Stadium, where the NFL Dallas Cowboys play, security is guided by standards created by the National Football League. These standards and practices are mandatory for all NFL venues and run the gamut of daily operations all the way through event-day operations for games. “We’re all being held to those standards,” says Turner. “Then the league put in place an auditing mechanism where they come and evaluate each venue each year and they give you a score on how you are performing based on those standards.” The National Basketball Association and the National Hockey Association have created similar rules for their own venues. Guards And Metal Detectors At Stadium Entrances These security procedures have changed the way fans enter the stadium. Security officials now use hand-held security wands at gates and limit the size and type of bags that can be brought in. Last summer, the NFL added full walk-through metal detectors to its list of "best practices" for stadium security. Next year all 31 stadiums across the country must install them at entry points. Some venues, including Lambeau Field and MetLife Stadium, are using them now at certain gates. Entry points to a stadium may be secured by walk-through metal detectors, staffwith security wands, guards and sniffer dogs When terrorists struck in Paris a few months ago, they also attacked a soccer stadium where a match was taking place. Observant security personnel stopped the attackers from entering the stadium and, in the process, saved lives. That event prompted stadiums across America to up security with more guards and even bomb sniffing dogs. Balancing Sports Security With Guest Experience Each time security is increased, professionals are faced with an old problem – how do you keep the stadium safe without creating unacceptable obstacles to getting people into the venue? “You want to make sure you have adequate resources so that you can consistently deliver the level of security,” says Turner. “It’s trying to balance security with the guest experience. It’s making sure that you can conduct that search consistently, but you’re not having excessive wait times of your guests and they’re getting frustrated with the time it takes for you to do that screening.” The need to keep lines moving without missing a potential threat requires the right number of trained personnel and entry points that are designed to accommodate the movement of crowds. There also must be sufficient personnel inside the venue itself to respond to fan concerns, according to Turner. Retrofitting Older Stadiums And Extending Security Perimeters While newer stadiums such as the one being built by the Atlanta Falcons are incorporating security into their design, older venues have been compelled to retrofit their facilities. “It’s making sure you’ve got equipment inside the building whether it be cameras or other access control equipment,” said Turner. “It’s ensuring you’ve got a good view and good control of the exterior of the building as well. It’s also trying to design for entries and other access ways that are going to provide the appropriate footprint to do patron screening and to make sure you can set those areas up correctly. It is always a challenge, but you’re seeing a lot more attention being paid to newer venues because we all know it’s something we have to do.” In recent years, stadiums have realised they need to extend their field of view and security outside the venue itself and into the parking lots around the stadium. “So if you’ve got gathering areas outside your building such as for tailgating and parking lots or areas where people are going to gather for queuing to get into the building, we’re considering that as also being under our protective umbrella,” says Turner. “We’re paying a lot more attention to how we manage those resources that we put out to help provide for safety and security in those kind of extended perimeters.” Security procedures such as bag checks are designed to infringe on the guestexperience as little as possible, but to be thorough and consistent SAFETY Act Certification Hosting large numbers of people in one place has also increased the financial risks for stadiums and sports league even with greatly increased levels of security. Now an increasing number of organizations and venues are seeking certification through the Support Anti-terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act of 2002 (SAFETY Act). Bestowing liability protections for providers of certain anti-terrorism technologies, the SAFETY Act provides incentives for the development and deployment of these technologies by creating a system of risk and litigation management. “On the one hand it’s looking at the how and what you do and how effective that is, and on the other end it’s actually capping your liability costs,” says Richard Fenton, Vice President of Corporate Security at Ilitch Holdings Inc., which includes the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings and MLB’s Detroit Tigers. “If you get certification you get all of the benefits of designation, but you also get to exercise the government contractor defense and in essence there is a presumption of immunity because you’ve been thoroughly vetted by the Safety Act office.” The NFL was the first sports league to submit its best practices and security protocols to Homeland Security and be awarded SAFETY Act certification. By granting the certification to the NFL, venues can acquire and lose it on daily basis. “When the Detroit Lions are playing a football game, they are covered by that certification,” notes Fenton. “The next night when they’re doing a Taylor Swift concert and they have the same security protocols and systems and technology and very same staff that’s been trained the same way, they’re not covered.” Rising Opportunity For Security Companies The elevated need for security has also created new opportunities for security companies. “There are expectations for a higher level of performance and professionalism,” says Jeff Spoerndle, Vice President of Whelan Event Services. “Our organization has been doing special event security since the 1970s, but we did a major expansion into the marketplace in 2009. At that time, we saw there was really a weakness in the marketplace for somebody who was a professional providers of services.” These days Whelan is providing personnel who are able to handle all aspects of stadium security from ticket taking to the operation of cameras and metal detectors.
Sports security has always played a crucial role in securing major sporting events around the world. Ensuring the safety of millions of spectators who throng the venues during such events is not an easy task. Apart from the usual surveillance cameras and barricades that are put into place, to prevent overcrowding and stampeding, other security measures are also implemented. The Super Bowl is one of the biggest events of the year in the United States, so no wonder it’s also a huge event for security. Endless festivities are the norm, and ticket re-sales for the big National Football League championship game averaged more than $4,500 per ticket. 2 Years Of Planning Amongst Security & Governmental Agencies The over-the-top security effort involved dozens of federal, state and local jurisdictions and thousands of law-enforcement and private security personnel. The security plan had been in the works for more than two years, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security designated Super Bowl 50 as a Level 1 Special Event and a possible target of terrorism. It goes to show what can be accomplished security-wise if there is enough time and planning involved – and almost unlimited funds. At the game, soldiers stood guard next to armored Humvees, machine guns strapped to their chests. Fans faced bag checks, metal detectors and pat-downs. Other extreme elements included hovering helicopters and military fighter jets on standby at Levi’s Stadium, restricted flights around the event, and a no-drone zone near the stadium. Canines sniffed for body-worn bombs. Robots were on hand to detect and disarm any explosives. Advanced Security Technologies: CCTV, Social Media Monitoring, Data Analysis In addition to people power, technology played a role, including equipment familiar to our market, such as 600 video cameras positioned around the stadium. Computer analytics were used to target social media, sifting through data for any social media posts involving threats or other questionable content (in a previous year, a social media post had threatened to “shoot the place up.”). Other data came from phone tips, traffic reports and patrolling officers. Overseeing the total effort was a Security Operations Center in an undisclosed location about six miles from the stadium. Computer processing was at the center of Super Bowl security, aggregating multiple data streams and providing real-time information on what’s happening in the stadium and surrounding areas, all displayed on a big digital map. All in all, Super Bowl 50 was a great testament to our market’s expanding technology capabilities, and how those technologies interface with and/or complement other elements of the security “big picture” – from aircraft to robots to bomb-sniffing dogs. It’s reassuring that these capabilities exist, and looking back, it’s great that Super Bowl 50 came off without a hitch. It helped that the Super Bowl is a predictable event that happens with plenty of prior notice, and with a profile so high that the cost of protecting it is almost irrelevant. A Successful Security Strategy Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos were the big winners at this year’s Super Bowl, but anytime we can make it through a big event without a terrorist attack or other significant security mishap, we are all winners. Too often, current events are sad and require us to look back and question what went wrong with security. In this case, all the news is good, and we can acknowledge what went right. It’s unfortunate that we can’t take such things for granted, but gratifying that we have the tools, resources and will to keep a big event safe. They were all on full display at Super Bowl 50.
Backscatter x-ray is a full-body scanning technology, typically used for passenger screening at airports and to detect plastic bombs and other hidden weapons. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has taken backscatter x-ray machines out of U.S. airports because of changing requirements, although they are still used internationally and at other venues, such as courthouses, prisons, etc. Controversy has plagued the devices since they were introduced in 2009, including concerns about safety and privacy. But how well do they work? More to the point, could a group of intrepid terrorists figure out a way to outsmart them? Several U.S. scientists from three universities decided to find out, and their results include a list of multiple ways to get around the detection provided by backscatter x-ray machines. Here are some ways a terrorist could do it: He could strap a metal weapon at his side under his clothing, or sew it into his pants leg. The metal of a gun or knife would scan as a dark area that blends in with the background, leaving the lighter body scan clear (as long as the weapon doesn’t overlap with the body image). She could mask a gun or knife using a significant thickness of PTFE plastic (Teflon), carefully tapered to avoid hard edges and shadows. Affixing a masked knife, for example, to align with the vertebrae or other bone could also help avoid detection against the darker areas that bones generate on a body scan. He could press plastic explosives into a tapered “pancake” and strap it to his belly. The required detonator could be positioned to approximate the location on the scanned image of a belly button. After hours, she could hack into the scanner’s computer system and load software programmed to replace one scanned image (that might show a weapon) with another, clear image so the operator would never see the weapon. The terrorist could also create a simple quick response (QR) code using lead tape that scans darker than the human body and is applied to an undergarment. The code would trigger the hacked software to substitute another image. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has taken backscatter x-ray machines out of U.S. airports because of changing requirements, although they are still used internationally and at other venues Scary stuff. The researchers’ report makes a distinction between the effectiveness of the system in everyday use or against a “naïve attacker” versus how well it holds up to an “adaptive attacker.” Also, effectiveness of the some adaptive techniques could be eliminated by simple operational adjustments, such as scanning passengers from the side as well as from the front and/or back. The researchers admit that employing one of these strategies would require some trial and error, which would almost require that the terrorists own an X-ray backscatter machine to do their testing (as the researchers did). Availability of the machine might not be that big an obstacle, however, given that the researchers obtained a previously unused machine on eBay from a seller who acquired it at a surplus auction from a U.S. government facility in Europe. “Keeping the machine out of the hands of would-be attackers may well be an effective strategy for preventing reliable exploitation,” say the researchers. Another vulnerability of the system is the possibility of a so-called “side-channel attack” to obtain images from the system that include private and sensitive information, including anatomical size and shape of body parts, location and quantity of fat, existence of medical devices such as implants or prosthetics, etc. A scenario here might include using a secondary external x-ray backscatter sensor to access an image (of a celebrity, perhaps) that spills over from the device to, as the researchers note, “create a kind of physical side channel that potentially leaks a naked image of the subject to [a] nearby attacker.” The researchers attempted a “proof of concept” test, obtaining a less-than-detailed image, but suggested that a determined attacker might achieve better results. The researchers are from the University of California, San Diego; the University of Michigan; and Johns Hopkins University. Their results were presented in a paper at the USENIX conference in San Diego in August 2014. Here is a link to the paper included in the Proceedings of the 23rd UNSENIX Security Symposium. X-ray backscatter is just one body scan technology used at airports and other facilities. Also used are millimeter wave scanners and 3D body scanners, supplied throughout the world by a variety of manufacturers. The researchers offer some advice to manufacturers: “The root cause of many of the issues we describe seems to be failure of the system designers to think adversarially.” They recommend “independent, adversarial testing” of advanced imaging technology systems, especially considering software security.
Thruvision, a provider of next-generation people screening technologies, announces that the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) has deployed the Thruvision TAC mobile stand-off people screening solution to enhance LA Metro’s transit security and counter-terrorism capabilities. The Thruvision TAC addresses the growing need to protect public transit, surface transit and public venues from the threat of personnel-borne improvised explosive devices (PB-IEDs), explosives, weapons and other threats. A 2015 MIT study concluded that terrorists have shifted to attacking surface transit using these types of concealed threats. Unlike metal detectors, which cannot detect non-metallic threats such as plastic explosives, the Thruvision TAC can detect any concealed objects at distances up to 25 feet. Unlike airport body scanners, it does not reveal anatomical details and it emits no energy or radiation. Detect Potential Threats “As recent terrorist attacks indicate, public transit agencies such as LA Metro need to be able to quickly, safely and effectively identify potential threats in crowded venues,” commented Kevin Gramer, Vice President of Thruvision Americas. “The Thruvision TAC provides immediate identification of concealed items. Due to its compact design and mobile configuration, LA Metro will be able to deploy it rapidly based on changing security requirements.” In a statement issued by the US Transportation Security Administration, which performed extensive testing of Thruvision’s technology, TSA Administrator David Pekoske hailed the deployment of Thruvision’s system to improve transit security: “TSA applauds the leadership of L.A. Metro for its proactive efforts to evaluate, procure and use state-of-the-art technology designed to detect potential threats to the transit system,” said TSA Administrator Pekoske. Metro has been testing new technologies to meet evolving threats to our public transportation infrastructure"Testing New Technologies “TSA is pleased to have been a partner during the evaluation and testing process, which ultimately led to the purchase of a recommended system to help detect and deter potential acts of terrorism while keeping the traveling public safe.” In the same press release, Sheila Kuehl, L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair, commented: “Metro has been testing new technologies to meet evolving threats to our public transportation infrastructure. This new technology will augment our already aggressive safety and security measures and help us proactively deter potential attacks to our system.” Originally developed by government research labs in the UK and US, the Thruvision system uses passive terahertz technology that detects the natural energy emitted by a person’s body and can determine if a concealed object is blocking this energy.
Scan-X Security solutions will help protect high profile patrons and visitors to the National Assembly Scan-X Security, specialists in security screening, security x-ray machines and metal detection archways, landed a deal to secure the National Assembly of Wales in order to protect high profile patrons and visitors to their main site. The Aldridge based security firm operates globally and has invested over £250,000 over the last twelve months following year on year growth with turnover increasing by 30% in the last year. Complete Security Solution Rob Wallader, Managing Director at Scan-X Security said, "We are very proud to have been contracted to secure such a high profile site as the National Assembly of Wales. We were chosen due to the high quality of x-ray machines and metal detection archways we provide and also because our experience enables us to provide a complete solution that also makes life easy for both our client and site users. For example, in addition to installing security equipment, we also provided a tray return system to save our clients work and also put in place wheelchair access through the security screening area for those visitors who require it. "Although we are well placed in our market and regularly supply security machinery for the likes of: government contracts, facilities management, asset protection & large scale events, we pride ourselves on delivering a personal service to all of our clients - something which is making us stand out in our market". Nuctech 6040 X-Ray Machines To secure the Welsh Assembly site, Scan-X Security installed three Nuctech 6040 x-ray machines. These are dual view machines, which take images of whatever is being screened in two different directions. Providing two views of items that are being screened gives the security operatives a better picture of what's inside and therefore a greater chance of spotting potential threats. In addition to installing x-ray machines, Scan-X also supplied three metal detection archways from leading brand Ceia, whose products you would normally see in airports. As well as priding themselves on their extensive range of security products, the Scan-X team boast a wealth of experience in the security industry as a whole, and have supplied machines to some of the UK's largest sporting events, AGM's, facilities and conferences.
Morpho will supply cabin baggage X-ray systems & walkthrough metal detectors for a multilayered approach to checkpoint security Morpho (Safran), through its subsidiary Morpho Detection, recently announced a contract with U.K.’s Cornwall Airport Newquay to supply and service advanced detection solutions that screen passengers and baggage for explosives and contraband. Screening Passenger Baggage Following competitive tendering, Cornwall Airport Newquay selected Morpho's compact CTX 5800™ explosives detection system (EDS) to screen all passenger checked baggage. In addition, Morpho will supply baggage handling system (BHS) components, including conveyers, to enable a fully-automated hold baggage screening program. As a result, Cornwall Airport Newquay will be the first U.K. Airport to comply with Department for Transport regulations mandating Standard 3-approved EDS to screen all hold baggage by September 2018. At the checkpoint, Morpho will supply cabin baggage X-ray systems and walkthrough metal detectors to facilitate a robust, multilayered approach to checkpoint security. "Morpho commends Cornwall Airport Newquay for being the first U.K. airport to meet the September 2018 mandate and is excited to be their partner in upgrading and expanding hold baggage and checkpoint screening capabilities," said Karen Bomba, President & CEO, Morpho Detection. "By investing in localised sales and service support, Morpho has created unmatched, field-proven solutions for airports of all sizes to meet current and emerging security challenges and regulatory mandates." European Civil Aviation Conference Approved Richard Thomasson, Operations Manager at Cornwall Airport Newquay, added: "As a rapidly growing regional airport we want to stay at the forefront of security, service and facilities provision. The new screening equipment shows our commitment to customer service improvement and will help us continue to provide a high-level of aviation security at the airport." Designed to allow small- and mid-sized airports to plan for evolving threats and future expansion, CTX 5800 combines industry-leading imaging and data collection in a smaller and lighter solution. The CTX 5800 is approved by the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) as meeting Standard 3 requirements and certified by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). Morpho's CTX family of EDS are the most widely used in the world, with nearly 2,000 units deployed worldwide.