Non-Biometric Security Solutions

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Not all the airport security solutions are related to the much-discussed biometrics segment. Here's what other companies are doing:

  • White Hat Technologies: The Denver-based network security company is working with resellers to protect airports from Trojan horses, password crackers, spammers, worms and other systems violators. "Airports need to protect the travelers' data as new wireless networks are being rolled out at major airports across the country," says White Hat CEO Thubten Comerford. "The technologies are being developed to meet the data security needs of travelers, but there's still no 100 percent secure solution."

    White Hat provides network-security assessments from the point of view of the intruder, Comerford adds. "Other security companies provide assessments from the security professionals' point of view. I don't know of too many certified security professionals who intrude into airline or airport networks," he says. "The networks need to be defended against the real threat, a malicious attack, not what the security textbook says. Tools don't break into networks, people do."

  • Intelli-Check: The Woodbury, N.Y.-based company's ID Check systems are being deployed at Logan and Baltimore-Washington International airports. ID Check is a scanner that immediately detects fake IDs by reading the bar codes and magnetic stripes encoded on legitimate IDs.

    "Our patented technology reads all currently encoded U.S. and Canadian driver licenses, state-issued ID cards and military IDs that conform to the standards of authorities such as the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators," says Frank Mandelbaum, chairman/CEO of Intelli-Check, who cites a recent test of airport security that aired on CBS, showing that of 20 attempts to board aircraft with fake IDs in California and Nevada, all were successful--post 9/11. "In literally seconds, we can validate the authenticity of all currently encoded licenses. As long as the events of 9/11 remain fresh in our minds, the public outcry for enhanced security at airports will fuel growth in this area."

  • Zebra Technologies: The Vernon Hills, Ill.-based bar-code/plastic card ID/data collection company, is working with resellers to provide technologies to enhance faster, more secure baggage handling. "As a result of the events on 9/11, we've established a special airport/airline security solutions," says James Young, senior manager of alliance development at Zebra. "Also, since the attacks, our custom development program is integrating highly specialized security systems--including higher levels of encryption--into our products for airport-security applications. We anticipate that the need to implement higher-level security protocols will extend to virtually all public sectors."

  • Cernium: This St. Louis-based company has developed "intelligent" video-surveillance systems for airports and other public and private facilities based on behavior-recognition technology, including the reseller-distributed product, Perceptrak. Perceptrak integrates closed-circuit TV systems and detects and alerts to suspicious behaviors, such as a fallen or erratic person. "The system simultaneously monitors and analyzes an entire network of camera views, filtering out mundane, unwanted surveillance video, allowing a single guard to monitor hundreds of cameras effectively," says Sean Patty, Cernium president/CEO.

    Perceptrak also provides "advanced object selective digital recording," which allows security personnel to focus their attention on busy, high-traffic areas within the garage or airport grounds; and the industry's first-ever "query-by-content" feature, offering a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface so security staff can instantly search thousands of hours of digital video archives for a specific incident, sorting it out by date, time and location.

    Additionally, Cupertino, Calif.-based Broadware Technologies is working with systems integrators to deploy remote video systems, to allow federal aviation officials--as well as FBI and CIA authorities--to view activities onboard aircraft while in flight.

  • I.D. Systems: The Hackensack, N.J.-based company views potential unauthorized use of aircraft ground-support equipment as a growing concern, and is working with resellers to ensure that authorized airport staff use access badges and/or PIN codes to start up a particular vehicle. "At every major airport in the world there are typically between 1,000 and 8,000 pieces of ground-support equipment," explains Ken Ehrman, president and COO. "And there are almost no access control or fleet management solutions currently in place, so the field is wide open."
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