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Modernizing Physical Access for US Federal Agencies and Military Bases

With personal identity verification (PIV) and common access card (CAC) credentials, US federal agencies and military bases have issued the most powerful ID credential for their employees and contractors.  PIV/CAC credentials provide a secure, standardized identification that can be trusted across US government organizations thanks to the use of US Federal Bridge Certificate Authority.  PIV/CAC credentials are used to login to computer, network and applications; digitally sign emails and documents; encrypt/decrypt data; provide visually identification and physical access to secure sites. 

 

The physical access itself is more secure and more interoperable than traditional physical access solutions thanks to the use of digital certificates and PKI (Public Key Infrastructure).  There are more than 5 million active PIV/CAC credentials in use across the US Federal Government.  However, by design, the PIV/CAC credentials do not cover all people that need access to federal facilities. For example, federal employees and contractors that need access to a government site for less than 180 days are not eligible to be issued a PIV credential.  The population that is not PIV-eligible covers short-term employees/contractors (e.g.: seasonal workers) as well as visitors that may be at a site for short term (from a day visit to a few weeks).

 

This creates a challenging situation for security teams where they have high assurance credentials in the form of the PIV/CAC credential for long-term employees/contractors but still have to rely on traditional physical access credentials for the rest of their population.  Mixing technologies can make things more complex and does not provide a uniform security posture.  In addition, agencies are being encouraged to modernize their physical access systems and discontinue traditional physical access control badges and only rely on PKI type credentials for physical access.

 

To address those challenges, agencies have a few options available to them:

 

Option #1  If they already have a PIV/CAC issuance system, they may be able to configure the PIV/CAC issuance system to also issue short term credentials that are PIV-like (that is, behaves like a PIV/CAC credential from an interoperability standpoint, even though they would not be recognized as proper PIV or CAC). A very large number of agencies do not have a PIV issuance system and instead rely on a managed service, like USAccess, to provide PIV credentials to their users.  The DoD issues CAC credentials from a central location as well. In these cases, standing up a PIV/CAC issuance system may not be economically realistic due to the cost of deploying and manning a PIV/CAC issuance system.

 

Option #2  Issue PIV-I credentials to short term employees and visitors. PIV-I credentials are very similar to PIV/CAC credentials but can be issued to personnel that are not PIV-eligible. The challenge with this approach is that PIV-I credential’s cost is comparable to PIV credential’s and this may not be economically viable for the short-term population, since those credentials are personalized with the user information and cannot be reused after the user complete his short term visit.

 

Option #3 Issue a temporary card credential solely for the physical access control system that does not require the identity proofing of a PIV or PIV-I card, but still rely on the PIV standard for technical interoperability.

 

Option #3 could be the most cost effective by far. The HID Crescendo Temporary Access Card is the first trusted credential available on the market that can be used for option #3. The Crescendo Temporary Access Card comes pre-initialized from the factory with digital certificates and can simply be registered into FIPS 201 compliant physical access systems and is ready to use right away.  A PACS that is tested in the GSA’s FICAM lab will fail should it recognize an access card that is not created using the FIPS201 standards.   By using the Crescendo Temporary Access Card for visitors, the same security features of a PIV/CAC, including PKI @ the Door, can be maintained by the physical access control system.  Because the Crescendo Temporary Access Card does not contain user information, the Crescendo Temporary Access Card can be reassigned to a different visitor and reused many times over, lowering costs for agencies.  And Since the Crescendo Temporary Access Card comes pre-initialized from the factory; agencies do not need to deploy additional software.  No need for additional PKIs, credential management systems or hardware security modules.

 

Those new Temporary Access Card options provide ways for federal agencies and military bases to:

 

  • Modernize their physical access systems
  • Retire traditional physical access credentials and focus on PKI/PIV-like credentials
  • Increase their physical access security posture
  • All the while, doing it in a cost conscious way by avoiding the need to deploy and manage additional software
by Yves Massard, Dir. of Product Management for IAM Solutions

Government Terminates Protection Program for At-Risk Central American Children

Photo by Lara604.

By by Katie Shepherd

The Trump administration announced on Wednesday that it was terminating the CAM (Central American Minors) Parole Program, a special program which allows certain at-risk children in Central America to enter the United States and be reunited with their legally residing parents. This is yet another example of the administration’s increasingly cruel disregard for vulnerable immigrant children and is at odds with their recent crackdown on human smuggling.

The CAM program was first implemented in December 2014 as a response to the uptick in violence facing Central Americans and served as an in-country processing program for minors. It sought to “provide a safe, legal and orderly alternative to the dangerous journey” that many children were taking attempting to reach safety in the United States. Thus the end of this program may lead to an increase in the number of children fleeing for their lives who fall into the hands of human traffickers.

The CAM Program entailed a thorough vetting process. The child and their family members underwent a series of detailed steps, including DNA testing, security checks, medical clearance, and a refugee interview to confirm the child’s eligibility for the program. Minors who qualified could enter the United States on a two-year, renewable parole, but it did not lead to a permanent status.

Those eligible for the program were children in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala who were found to be ineligible for refugee processing but were determined to be “at risk of harm” by the Department of Homeland Security. The majority of the applications processed under the CAM program—about 70 percent—was for children who fell into this category.

Since the program’s inception in December 2014, almost 1,500 children have been paroled or allowed into the United States to reunite with their parents. Not only does the termination of the program prevent children from benefiting from this program in the future, but it also cancels the 2,714 applications for children who have been granted conditional parole and are waiting to enter the United States.

Ending the CAM Program is tantamount to delivering a death sentence to many unnamed children in Central America who are in fear for their lives. It’s bad enough that we’re locking kids in a burning building, but now we are taking away the key we gave them to get out.

BrainChip Studio Awarded New Product of the Year for Video Analytics by Security Today’s Panel of Independent Judges

AI-powered software is easily deployed in existing infrastructure, where it rapidly searches archived video or live streams to identify objects or faces

 

BrainChip Holdings Ltd. (ASX: BRN) ("BrainChip" or "the Company"), a leading developer of software and hardware accelerated solutions for advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning applications, has won the Security Today’s New Product of the Year Award 2017 in the Video Analytics category for its BrainChip Studio software suite. The award honors the outstanding products considered to be particularly noteworthy in their ability to improve security. The trophy will be accepted by BrainChip during the ASIS International 63rd Annual Seminar and Exhibits, September 25th – 28th, Dallas, Texas.

BrainChip Studio aids law enforcement and intelligence agencies to search vast amounts of video footage many times faster than previously possible, enabling them to quickly identify patterns or faces. Most significantly, the software can be utilized with existing infrastructure.

The software suite simulates the spiking neural networks found in the human brain. It works with low-resolution video, even in noisy environments, and requires only a 24x24 pixel image to detect and classify faces and objects. Furthermore, BrainChip Studio can be trained on a single image in milliseconds and does not need the vast datasets, extended learning time or substantial compute power associated with other forms of video processing using artificial intelligence.

Now in its ninth year, Security Today’s New Product of the Year Award is selected at the sole discretion of an independent panel of judges from the security industry.

“At a time of heightened global security, BrainChip Studio meets the urgent need for a rapidly deployable object and facial search technology to tame the massive volume of video footage already created and in the making,” said Bob Beachler, BrainChip’s SVP of Marketing and Business Development. “We are extremely honored to receive the Security Today New Product of The Year Award, which validates the groundbreaking nature of BrainChip’s technology.” 

BrainChip Studio software runs under Windows or Linux. It is compatible with all major video encoding formats and is available to select law enforcement and intelligence agencies. For more information on BrainChip Studio please visit: www.brainchipinc.com/products. To schedule a demonstration of BrainChip Studio at the ASIS conference, please visit: www.brainchipinc.com/contact.

Who is in and out under the RAISE Act

The Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act (RAISE Act) seeks to dramatically reshape American immigration by favoring youth and a narrow set of skills over family values and diversity.

It does so by virtually eliminating all family-based legal immigration categories, except for some immediate relatives. In addition, it eliminates the Diversity Visa, which has long ensured America welcomes individuals from countries with historically low levels of migration to the United States.

The bill also legislatively caps refugee admissions at a significantly reduced level of 50,000 per year—taking away the president’s prerogative to set refugee admission levels annually.

The bill also outlines a points system which places significant emphasis on having an advanced degree, especially in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), proficiency in English, and a highly-compensated job offer in the United States. There is little consideration for other skills or talents, unless you are an Olympic medal winner or Nobel Laureate.

Points systems place value on people in terms of their supposed human-capital attributes—such as a professional degree, earning potential, or extraordinary ability—and therefore, their presumed capacity to produce economic value. Switching from a demand-driven model (based on employers’ needs) to a human-capital model entails some risks. Both Australia and Canada use points-based systems to select economic migrants. In both cases, research has shown that some individuals selected through such systems often have difficulties finding or maintaining employment in their professions—mainly, because they are not admitted based on a specific labor demand.

The points system also raises significant concerns about potential gender bias, specifically against women. Women, who tend to be underrepresented in STEM fields, would be systematically excluded. In addition, many immigrant women perform their work in other important occupations (such as child care, elder care, and domestic work), which are not valued skills in the proposed point system.

This is not the first time Congress has explored this change in how we select immigrants. When the Senate last took up immigration reform in 2013, the bill created a points system as well. However, it contained a dedicated path for low-wage immigrants and attempted to address the gender gap by including points for being a caregiver. Low-wage immigrants play a fundamental role in the “essential economy,” which encompasses the food services and hospitality industries, construction, agriculture, elder care, and manufacturing. The RAISE Act does not even attempt to acknowledge or remedy this concern.

This points system may also result in a nationality bias, which will be translated into a systematic exclusion of immigrants from countries with lower levels of human-capital. The diversity component, which has been an important part of the U.S. immigration system for more than twenty years, would be terminated for good under this bill.

While experts and economists have thoroughly detailed how this legislation is bad for the economy, analysis must also consider how this new system would impact our immigrant admissions into this country and how this would fundamentally change the complexion of America.

GSN announces winners and finalists for the 2017 Airport, Seaport, Border Security Awards

Government Security News is pleased to announce the Winners and Finalists in its 2017 Airport, Seaport, Border Security Awards Program -- and to thank Chuck Brooks for his fifth time serving as lead judge of a GSN awards program.

Before moving on to the Winners announcements, we’d like to congratulate Mr. Brooks for his fine work in the fourth annual Cyber Security Summit at DC Metro – a powerful conference, with each city in the conference bringing its personality to the table.

Panel 2 of the Summit was moderated by none other than Chuck Brooks, President for Government Relations and Marketing at Sutherland Global Services, who ran the most interactive panel of the day. With all guests being members of DC’s IT Tech elite and the subject of the panel being future threats and new defense technologies, the ballroom was buzzing with questions and discourse. It’s safe to say that this panel ran much like a think-tank, comprised of DC’s greatest tech minds and fueled by the spirit of collaborative learning.

Chuck has also been cited by Linkedin as one of the top 5 out of 500 million members to follow for emerging technology issues. Linkedin will also be featuring Chuck in their upcoming blogs as a cyber security SME and advisor.

And now, with no further ado, here are the Winners and Finalists in this Awards Program

 

ACCESS CONTROL/IDENTIFICATION

Best Facial Recognition Technology – Stonelock Pro – WINNER

Best Identity Management Solution – Ping ID - WINNER

Best Physical/Logical Privileged Access Solution – Gate Keeper Security - WINNER

DETECTION SOLUTIONS

Best Active Shooter/Gunshot Detection Systems – Shooter Detection – WINNER

COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS

Best Acoustic Hailing System – Acoustic Technology, Inc - WINNER

Best Satellite Communications –  SafeKey – WINNER

Best Mass Notification Systems – Desktop Alert - WINNER

Best Emergency Beacon System – Metis Secure Solutions WINNER

Best Man Overboard Tracking – McMurdo Group – WINNER

SURVEILLANCE SOLUTIONS

Best Video Surveillance Storage Product – Pro-Vision Storage Product – WINNER

Best Video Surveillance Storage Product – Qognify – FINALIST

Best Long Range/High Res Camera – Cohu Costar’s 4290H - WINNER

MARITIME/PORT SECURITY/UNDERWATER VEHICLES

Best Maritime Persistent Surveillance ISR Platform – TCOM 28M AEROSTAT – WINNER

Best Search and Rescue – McMurdo Group – WINNER

Most Notable Naval Market Situational Awareness – TCOM – WINNER

BORDER SECURITY AND IMMIGRATION

Best Long Range Surveillance System – PureTech Systems – WINNER

Best Long Range Surveillance System – CohuHD RISE 42980 – FINALIST

Best Entry Solutions – LRP, Undervehicle Sensers – Gate Keeper Security – WINNER

Best Fencing, Gates, Barriers, Guard Booths – BIG Enterprises – WINNER

Best Mobile Surveillance ISR (Tactical, Micro, US Towers) – Provision WINNER

CYBERSECURITY SOLUTIONS

Best Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM) Solar Winds Worldwide – WINNER

Best Data Security/Loss Management – Kingston Technology – Winner

BEST 2017 GOVERNMENT EXCELLENCE AWARDS

Most Notable Critical Infrastructure Protection Program – Qognify In Collaboration with Navi Mumbai Police

Most Notable Implementation of new Technology – Solano Country Implementation of Desktop Alert and Safekey… Winner

PERIMETER PROTECTION/PHYSICAL SECURITY SOLUTIONS

Best Perimeter Protection - PureTech Systems – Winner

Best Perimeter Protection - AXIS Communications – Finalist

Best Disaster Preparedness - High Rise Escape Systems - Winner

 

SPECIAL FOLLOW-UP  Beginning in the week of July 17, GSN will publish detailed descriptions By Winners and Finalists of the reasons their entries were selected by the Judges; Don’t miss these in-depth descriptions , which will be available every day in the GSN Airport, Searport, Border Security Weekly; the Daily Insider and Cybersecurity Weekly newsletters!

O'Hare site for latest Customs biometric exit technology pilot

CHICAGO July 11, 2017 U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced today the deployment of facial recognition biometric exit technology to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) for select flights from ORD. The deployment builds upon a June 2016 pilot at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport using facial recognition. CBP recently deployed the technology to Washington Dulles International Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. Future deployments are planned for additional airports this summer.

“Through our consultations with the airlines and airport stakeholders, and based on the success of several pilots, CBP determined that facial recognition was a viable exit solution,” said John Wagner, Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations. “With the expansion of this technology we will be looking at different flights, airports, lighting conditions, and internal IT configurations to demonstrate to our stakeholders that this solution is flexible, reliable and easy for travelers to use.”

Using the flight manifest, CBP builds a flight specific photo gallery using photographs from the travel document the traveler provided to the airline. CBP then compares the live photo against the document photo in the gallery to ensure the traveler is the true bearer of the document. If the photo captured at boarding is matched to a U.S. passport, the traveler—having been confirmed as a U.S. citizen—is automatically determined to be out of scope for biometric exit purposes and the photo is discarded after a short period of time. CBP remains committed to protecting the privacy of all travelers.

Delta and JetBlue recently announced collaborations with CBP to integrate facial recognition technology as part of the boarding process. Delta is testing eGates at John F. Kennedy International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and JetBlue is testing facial recognition technology at Boston Logan International Airport that allows passengers to self-board without scanning a boarding pass.

There are several legislative mandates that direct the Department of Homeland Security to record the arrival and departure of non-U.S. citizens by collecting biometrics. CBP first established biometric screening procedures based on digital fingerprints for certain non-U.S. citizens in 2004 to secure our borders and ensure that the foreign travelers presenting themselves for admission to the United States are who they claim to be.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

CBP unveils new mobile application for aspiring agents and officers

WASHINGTON July 10, 2017 U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced today the launch of CBP Jobs, a new mobile app for prospective agents and officers to track their progress through the hiring process. CBP Jobs offers frontline applicants updates about the status of their application and provides important notifications about upcoming appointments and next steps.

“CBP is focused on improving our recruiting and hiring processes, and we heard from prospective applicants that they would like regular communication during the application process,” said Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan. “With CBP Jobs, prospective employees will now have their hiring information at their fingertips and will stay connected with CBP through the entire process.”

The CBP Jobs mobile app enables CBP Officer, Border Patrol Agent, Air Interdiction Agent, Marine Interdiction Agent, and Agricultural Specialist applicants who have already received a temporary job offer to view their status in the hiring process by downloading the free app on an Apple or Android device. Future versions of the CBP Jobs app will enable applicants to self-schedule interviews, fitness tests, and other requirements to help speed up the application process.

“This new mobile app gives a reliable and convenient way for prospective applicants to stay informed and up-to-date on their hiring status,” said Linda Jacksta, Assistant Commissioner for CBP’s Office of Human Resources Management. “Leveraging advancements in technology has the potential to be a game changer for CBP as we continue to transform our hiring processes.”

Beginning in 2015, CBP reengineered its entire pre-employment process by implementing more than 40 process improvements that collectively transformed its frontline staffing capability. As part of this effort, CBP developed a new expedited hiring process that significantly reduced the time-to-hire for qualified applicants. Based on a hiring hub model, the new process allows CBP to identify and remove unqualified applicants more quickly and prevent bottlenecks in later phases of the process. The CBP Jobs app is the latest initiative designed to further improve a prospective applicant’s experience within CBP.

For more information about careers at CBP, visit www.cbp.gov/careers.

Drone maker says UAVs set to take over at border patrols, criminal hot spots

CAPE TOWN July 7, 2017 Autonomous drones are set to take over border patrols, crime hotspot monitoring and more, says South Africa'sAirborne Drones.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)s, commonly known as drones, will soon be a common sight over border zones, crime hotspots and city streets, as public safety and security officials and police departments discover the cost saving and efficiencies offered by drone patrol 'armies', says Airborne Drones, a South African-based international manufacturer of enterprise-grade drones.

"Drones provide the ideal solution to the problems and limitations faced by other surveillance methods such as GPS tracking, CCTV camera observation, biometric surveillance and ground patrols," says Airborne Drones South Africa. "Aerial surveillance is increasingly being harnessed for security monitoring; but traditionally, this has been carried out using helicopters - which are costly to deploy - and with drones controlled by a user - which can be somewhat limited in terms of operating hours. However, drone surveillance does present an easier, faster, and cheaper method of data collection, as well as a number of other key advantages. Specialised security drones can enter narrow and confined spaces, produce minimal noise, and can be equipped with night vision cameras and thermal sensors, allowing them to provide imagery that the human eye is unable to detect. In addition, these UAVs can quickly cover large and difficult-to-reach areas, reducing staff numbers and costs, and do not require much space for their operators."

"Autonomous, long-range security drones are at the vanguard of new policing methods", says Airborne Drones South Africa. "Offering live video feeds to ground control stations, these drones can range autonomously over pre-programmed flight paths for extended periods of time, allowing for ongoing routine patrols across wide areas such as borders, maritime regions and high security installations. Should an incident be detected, ground crews can then follow objects or intruders from a safe distance, providing visual support to safety and security teams. UAVs can provide detailed visual documentation of sites, enabling effective analysis, risk management and security planning."

"Numerous countries are already rolling out security drones to support their public safety and defence initiatives", says Airborne Drones. UAVs are also instrumental in managing transport infrastructure safety and security and event security, from event security infrastructure through to spectator and crowd control and safety, to overall health and safety planning around the world.  

Israel has long harnessed advanced drones for military surveillance, and recently sold a fleet of so-called 'spy drones' to the Irish army; the US FBI has also used drones for surveillance and tracking for several years. In Australia, a new $50 million Defence Cooperative Research Centre will develop long-range drones, automated vehicles and robots to help Australian soldiers fight the wars of the future. India is currently looking to military-grade UAVs for maritime and other surveillance and intelligence gathering, Brazil's São Paulo last month became the first Latin American city to use drones for public security surveillance, and the German city of Hamburg this week said it would deploy surveillance drones as part of its arsenal against an expected 100,000 demonstrators at the G20 summit this weekend.

In Australia's New South Wales, the authorities are even using helicopter and drone surveillance along the coast to protect holiday makers from rip currents and sharks.

"Drones are ideally suited for reconnaissance or rapid situation awareness with application for ground force units to detect and monitor potential threats; and they also provide an additional oversight in instances where security guards are deployed to ensure their adherence to patrolling routines. Their speed, size, maneuverability and additional technologies make UAVs the perfect supplement to ground security teams seeking to perform monitoring tasks more quickly and efficiently. Drones have a competitive edge over stationary cameras, as intruders can't easily step out of sight, and they can cover areas that are normally out of reach. Security drones add a whole new dimension to surveillance, safety and security, and as such, we can expect them to be commonly in use in every country in the world within just a few years," says Airborne Drones.

Organization speaks out against Texas 'Show Me Your Papers' bill

McManus

SAN ANTONIO July 6, 2010 Today, at the 88th LULAC National Convention, leaders gathered to stand against the most controversial anti-immigrant legislation in recent years. Known as the “show me your papers” bill, SB 4 requires citizens and non-citizens alike to check their citizenship status. Taking this even further, law enforcement officials, who fail to comply with SB 4 will be fined $25,000 and face criminal charges.

“The statute is unconstitutional, and the most anti-immigrant legislation passed to date,” said LULAC National President Roger C. Rocha, Jr. “This bill will only result in the breakdown of trust between law enforcement and the community and discriminate against and victimize a vulnerable population. LULAC will continue its fight along with the ACLU, MALDEF and the cities of El Paso, Houston, San Antonio and El Cenizo."

LULAC filed the first complaint against SB 4 on behalf of El Cenizo, a small town surrounded on three sides by Mexico. El Cenizo has had a “safe haven” ordinance since 1999.

“We are the leading case in opposition to SB 4,” said LULAC General Counsel Luis Vera. “We filed it 22 hours after Governor Abbott signed the bill. The Trump administration declared war on people from Mexico and we need people of good conscience from all backgrounds to stand with us. LULAC cannot do this alone, we need the ACLU, MALDEF and other organizations to help us fight against this oppressive bill whose only purpose is to discriminate against the minority community. We have to believe that we will prevail because there is no other option for minorities in Texas.”

In addition to it being unconstitutional and a violation of federal law, SB 4 is an unfunded mandate. Once it takes effect, local law enforcement will be forced to redirect limited resources away from the community in order for innocent people to be deported.

San Antonio’s Chief of Police William McManus has been vocal about the negative impacts of SB 4. “I could talk all day about what’s wrong with it,” he said at the LULAC National Convention. “For every second that an officer spends dealing with an immigration matter, that's a second that responding to your emergency calls is lost.” He also condemned SB 4 as being a racist bill. “How else do you determine to ask someone for their papers, if not their accent or their skin color? That’s profiling in its purest form.”

El Cenizo Mayor Raul Reyes, himself, has been a victim of racial profiling. “I am an American citizen. Yet, because of the color of my skin I have been asked to show my papers. So we’re very thankful to LULAC, because any attempt that suppresses and violates human rights and civil rights is worth fighting for. We know we are on the right side of history. This is bigger than LULAC. Bigger than El Cenizo. Bigger than Texas."

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