Looking to build on its legacy work with the Department of State for credentialing solutions and the FBI as prime contractor for the agency’s authoritative Next Generation Identification biometric repository, IDEMIA’s National Security Solutions (NSS) business is looking to expand its work in key federal sectors in digital identities for enterprises, protective solutions, and tactical operations, says Andrew Boyd, the new head of NSS.

Boyd, who joined NSS as CEO from Science Applications International Corp. [SAIC] in September, says he was attracted to IDEMIA because the company is in a position to bring “commercial innovations and disruptors” to the federal market given its past performance in areas such as mobile user onboarding, ongoing border crossing work, network and user protection, and security and efficiencies for the Internet of Things.

IDEMIA’s portfolio of products and capabilities have substantial room to expand into additional national security agencies, in particular the Defense Department, intelligence community and Department of Homeland Security, Boyd said in interview with HSR earlier this month.

NSS operates independently of the France-based parent company through a special security agreement with the U.S. government and is aligned within Identity & Security, N.A., IDEMIA’s U.S.-based subsidiary.

In the area of enterprise level offerings, Boyd said that agencies need greater capabilities in the area of identification and verification as users traverse the “IT ecosystem.”

The company recently won a contract for identity verification with a customer that will showcase the solutions IDEMIA can provide in this space, Boyd said. IDEMIA is working with the customer to be able to disclose the customer and the work, he said.

“And what we’re working across the community right now is to make sure the same person who credentialed themselves into the device is then the same entity that is accessing the data,” Boyd said of the identification and verification work that NSS can bring to its federal clients. “And so, to have this end to end recognition that you’re the right person from an identity assurance perspective is very important.”

The second area where IDEMIA can bring emerging capabilities to bear for its federal national security customers is protective services, Boyd said. The goal here is to go from the current manually intensive  and lengthy processing of visitors for entry onto a military base or federal facility and enable remote enrollment to allow for vetting to be done and then enter the base or facility quickly upon arrival rather than having to endure a time consuming process at an entry processing station or guard house before being granted permission to enter.

Once remote enrollment has been done that incudes biometrics, when that individual arrives at the facility, contactless fingerprint, facial recognition or even iris recognition sensors can be used at the gate to allow quick entry, Boyd said.

IDEMIA’s facial recognition sensors and matching algorithms can peer into a car and verify the identities of all the occupants, whether they are in the front or back seats, he said. This has the benefit of reducing labor costs associated with the current processing of individuals to gain access to a base, speeds entry onto the base, and reduce traffic congestion at the entry point, he said.

In addition, the use of sensor technology on the base or installation can alert guards in real time if someone is deviating from the route to their destination within the facility, Boyd said.

A good example of the protective services solutions that IDEMIA offers will be demonstrated through a recent contract from the Air Force’s innovation program called AFWERX, Boyd said.

NSS said in September that for the Air Force Base of the Future initiative, it “provides a comprehensive, biometrically-enabled, facility security solution.” It added that the “proven solution includes visitor management and vetting, fast employee access, and intelligent surveillance throughout the base.”

Boyd also said that biometric-enabled security solutions for access control can be applied to border applications at land ports of entry. NSS is in talks with Customs and Border Protection about “next-generation” capabilities that allow the agency to use face recognition to identify and verify a vehicle’s occupants as they enter the U.S. at speed.

The final area of emerging capabilities that Boyd says NSS can bring to bear for the national security space is in tactical operations. Here, he said, IDEMIA has been working with FLIR Systems [FLIR] to integrate biometric capabilities into aerial systems and ground platforms for stand-off and long-range identification of people for military, law enforcement, intelligence and homeland security applications.

“You don’t have to put your people in harm’s way to understand who you’re dealing with,” Boyd said. “As you integrate biometrics into the sensors you can conduct standoff operations, long range collection, targeted intelligence for friend or foe, and also understand from a common operating picture perspective who is outside your installation, who has interest in you, who’s coming in and where they’re coming.”

The information can be displayed on mobile devices, making it easy for users, he said.

IDEMIA and FLIR last year said they have demonstrated facial recognition using nano and small unmanned aircraft systems. Boyd said the companies have done multiple demonstrations for DoD and the Justice Department, including at the annual Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota.

Boyd said NSS worked with the DoJ for the Sturgis rally to “understand whether or not this type of technology would work with different sensors and we were able to identify multiple persons of interest using our technology.”

NSS is targeting 2021 to begin seeing the application of its emerging capabilities into federal markets as revenue drivers, Boyd said.