CBP Bringing Facial Comparison to Brownsville Port of Entry

Customs and Border Protection has deployed facial comparison technology to pedestrian lanes at the Brownsville, Texas, port of entry to enhance the identity verification process for lawful entry into the U.S. When a traveler arrives at the pedestrian lanes, he or she will pause for a photo at the primary inspection station. A CBP officer will review and query the travel document, which will retrieve the traveler’s passport or visa photo from a government database. The new photo of the traveler will be compared to the photo from his or her travel document within seconds. The process is more than 97 percent accurate. Participation of U.S. citizens in the biometric-enabled process is voluntary and they can opt out in favor of a traditional manual document check. CBP says that since Sept. 2018, it has used facial comparison to interdict more than 250 impostors who attempted to cross the southwest border using another person’s travel document. To date, CBP has also introduced biometric facial comparison technology to the Progresso Port of Entry and nine other locations at the southwest border.

CBP Adds Facial Recognition to International Arrivals Process at Houston Airport

Customs and Border Protection in late February introduced facial comparison technology at Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport to enhance security and streamline the international arrivals process. The addition of the biometric technology to the arrivals process complements CBP’s use of facial comparison technology for international departures at the airport. All the airport’s international departure gates have the automated facial comparison technology. “The speed, accuracy and reliability of facial comparison technology enable CBP officers to confirm a traveler’s identity within seconds while further enhancing the customer experience,” says Judson Murdock, CBP’s Houston director of field operations. International travelers arriving at the airport will pause for a photo at the primary inspection point and the facial comparison technology will compare the captured photo to images the traveler previously provided to the government, such as passport and visa photos. If a traveler cannot be matched to a photo on record, the CBP officer will process the traveler manually. Travelers may opt out of the process. If they do so, they must present a valid travel document for manual identity verification by a CBP officer.

Genetec Introduces Airport Security Management Platform

Canada’s Genetec has introduced Security Center for Airports, a security management platform for airports of all sizes to optimize their security and airport terminal operations. The company says the platform enables security managers, control room operators, terminal and ground handling staff, and passenger experience managers to work together using a single unified product tailored to their unique needs. Security Center for Airports features video management, access control, automated license plate recognition, flight information, boarding and deplaning operations, intrusion detection, and analytics for passenger counting and queues.  “Traditionally, airports would have to work with a multitude of single-purpose products that don’t interconnect to build their global security operations centers,” says David Lenot, airport practice leader at Genetec. “With Security Center for Airports, control room operators, terminal operations, and ground handling can all work in sync to ensure their airport runs like clockwork.”

Raytheon, IronNet Team on Cyber Security for Critical Infrastructure

Raytheon [RTN] is partnering with the cyber security firm IronNet to develop solutions to protect operational and information technology systems of critical infrastructure and national security entities. Raytheon says the solutions for enterprise security will integrate managed services, advanced analysis, and threat sharing tools such as IronNet’s collective defense platform and its network traffic analysis software. “Protecting critical infrastructure is no long a private sector concern, but a national security imperative,” John DeSimone, vice president of Cybersecurity and Special Missions at Raytheon’s Intelligence, Information and Services segment. “We know malicious actors seek to disrupt global economies through attacks on technology systems that keep our lights on, food supplies safe and militaries prepared. This partnership offers the integration of advanced cyber products and operations experience to the global market.” IronNet was co-founded by retired Army Gen. Keith Alexander, the former chief of U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency.

Wolf Assigns Advisory Council New Taskings for Biometrics, Economic and ICT Security

The Department of Homeland Security’s external advisory council has been tasked with four new assignments, including a review of its approach to biometric identity management, risks associated with information and communication technology (ICT), and how the department can help secure the nation’s economy. Under the new taskings, which were announced by Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf during a meeting of the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC), the panel will form new subcommittees to assess each issue. Wolf said the Biometrics Subcommittee will review existing DHS “authorities and governance to assure it has a single and reliable approach to biometric identity management both internally and with its external partners.” Another aspect of the review will include a look at the existing biometric vision and plan “to include effective performance metrics and oversight.” The ICT Industrial Strategy panel will examine risks from the technology, recommend how the government and industry can collaborate on a “shared understanding of supply chain vulnerabilities and threats,” and assess how well the government is doing in acquiring secure ICT technology, he said. The Economic Security Subcommittee “will explore the elements of economic security as they relate to the department’s authorities and provide recommendations to ensure that the department is optimally positioned, resourced and organized to safeguard this important component of the American market system and way of life,” Wolf said.