Los Angeles International airport has upgraded its security cover with NICE systems
NICE Situator is fusing various safety and security operations systems at the Los Angeles International Airport

 NICE Systems Ltd. announced that the City of Los Angeles' Department of Airports (also known as Los Angeles World Airports, or LAWA) has implemented NICE Situator, an open platform situation management offering. LAX selected NICE Situator in 2010 for its new consolidated Airport Response Coordination Center (ARCC) at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The LAX ARCC is the coordination hub for all LAX airport operations and response activities.

LAX is considered to be the world's seventh busiest airport by passenger traffic. NICE Situator is fusing various safety and security operations systems into a cohesive platform, analysing and correlating data to streamline operations and help LAX enhance its situational awareness and response capabilities to address multiple types of operational challenges, emergency situations, aviation incidents and security threats in real-time. NICE Situator's open architecture will be leveraged to integrate more than a dozen third party systems in the new Airport Response Coordination Center. These include video surveillance systems, access control, radio and telephony communications systems, video walls, CCTV, CAD (computer aided dispatch), GIS (geographic information system), emergency/mass notification, PDA servers, a global aviation notification system, life safety/security command software, an airport Part 139 compliance system, and NC4 (The National Center for Crisis and Continuation Coordination) solutions for 24/7 proactive incident information.

"LAX is a major airport for one of the world's most populous metropolitan areas, and as such we encounter many daily operational challenges, from the ordinary to the unexpected,..."

NICE Situator's GIS integration will enable LAX officials to view rich, multi-layered information on an intuitive map-based interface. The system is capable of distilling complex sets of information into a Common Operating Picture and then overlaying it on a map, so LAX officials will be able to get a real-time visual of what's going on, by simultaneously viewing the different "plots" of an incident, whether it involves aircraft on a runway, vehicles on an airfield, or other tracked assets in terminals or on airport roadways. ARCC personnel are also able to interact with objects on the map-based interface to access real-time information to respond immediately and effectively.

"LAX is a major airport for one of the world's most populous metropolitan areas, and as such we encounter many daily operational challenges, from the ordinary to the unexpected, many of which require real-time response and impact," said Jacqueline Anna Yaft, Deputy Executive Director of Operations and Emergency Management for LAWA. LAX will use NICE Situator to achieve its vision of taking operations and incident management to the next level by improving situational awareness and automating our response plans.

"We believe the LAX Airport Response Coordination Center and its innovative use of situation management technology will certainly be a model that other airports will want to emulate," said Yochai Rozenblat, CEO & President, NICE Americas. "We are honored to have been chosen by LAX and look forward to helping LAX streamline its operations and achieve greater situational awareness. This win also reflects NICE's leadership position in providing security for aviation and other mass transit organisations. NICE is committed to continue enhancing security with advanced situational awareness capabilities for the world's airports, other mass transit systems, city centres, and critical facilities."

The NICE Security offering addresses the needs of governments and enterprises with intent-based solutions for fighting crime and terror, by anticipating, managing and mitigating safety, security and operational risks. The offering enables capturing, analysis and correlation of data from multiple sensors and systems, including audio, video, radio, geo-location and web, providing a framework for fusing data silos into a single, holistic operational view. NICE Security solutions empower organisations to act effectively in real time to prevent, manage and investigate incidents, ensuring fast resolution and debriefing, and continuous security improvements. NICE Security solutions are deployed worldwide in transportation systems, critical infrastructures, city centers and enterprise campuses.

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COVID-19 worries boost prospects of touchless biometric systems
COVID-19 worries boost prospects of touchless biometric systems

Spread of the novel coronavirus has jolted awareness of hygiene as it relates to touching surfaces such as keypads. No longer in favour are contact-based modalities including use of personal identification numbers (PINs) and keypads, and the shift has been sudden and long-term. Both customers and manufacturers were taken by surprise by this aspect of the virus’s impact and are therefore scrambling for solutions. Immediate impact of the change includes suspension of time and attendance systems that are touch-based. Some two-factor authentication systems are being downgraded to RFID-only, abandoning the keypad and/or biometric components that contributed to higher security, but are now unacceptable because they involve touching. Touchless biometric systems in demand The trend has translated into a sharp decline in purchase of touch modality and a sharp increase in the demand for touchless systems, says Alex Zarrabi, President of Touchless Biometrics Systems (TBS). 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Contactless and hygienic, the 2D Eye system is a hybrid system that combines the convenience of facial technology with the higher security of iris recognition. The system recognises the face and then detects the iris from the face image and zeros in to scan the iris. The user experiences the system as any other face recognition system. The facial aspect quickens the process, and the iris scan heightens accuracy. TBS also offers the 2D Eye Thermo system that combines face, iris and temperature measurement using a thermal sensor module. TBS's 2D Eye Thermo system combines face, iris and temperature measurement using a thermal sensor module Another TBS system is a 3D Touchless Fingerscan system that provides accuracy and tolerance, anti-spoofing, and is resilient to water, oil, dust and dirt. The 2D+ Multispectral for fingerprints combines 2D sensing with “multispectral” subsurface identification, which is resilient to contaminants and can read fingerprints that are oily, wet, dry or damaged – or even through a latex glove. In addition, the 3D+ system by TBS provides frictionless, no-contact readings even for people going through the system in a queue. The system fills the market gap for consent-based true on-the-fly systems, says Zarrabi. The system captures properties of the hand and has applications in the COVID environment, he says. The higher accuracy and security ratings are suitable for critical infrastructure applications, and there is no contact; the system is fully hygienic. Integration with access control systems Integration of TBS biometrics with a variety of third-party access control systems is easy. A “middleware” subsystem is connected to the network. Readers are connected to the subsystem and also to the corporate access control system. An interface with the TBS subsystem coordinates with the access control system. For example, a thermal camera used as part of the biometric reader can override the green light of the access control system if a high temperature (suggesting COVID-19 infection, for example) is detected. The enrollment process is convenient and flexible and can occur at an enrollment station or at an administration desk. Remote enrollment can also be accomplished using images from a CCTV camera. All templates are encrypted. Remotely enrolled employees can have access to any location they need within minutes. The 3D+ system by TBS provides frictionless, no-contact readings even for people going through the system in a queue Although there are other touchless technologies available, they cannot effectively replace biometrics, says Zarrabi. For example, a centrally managed system that uses a Bluetooth signal from a smart phone could provide convenience, is “touchless,” and could suffice for some sites. However, the system only confirms the presence and “identity” of a smart phone – not the person who should be carrying it. “There has been a lot of curiosity about touchless, but this change is strong, and there is fear of a possible second wave of COVID-19 or a return in two or three years,” says Zarrabi. “We really are seeing customers seriously shifting to touchless.”

How to maximise your body temperature detection systems
How to maximise your body temperature detection systems

There are many companies jumping into selling temperature detection systems to the state, local governments, hospitals, airports and local businesses, but do they know how to drive one? Anyone can get behind a car and drive it into a wall by accident. The same can happen with a temperature detection system.  The first thing you should ask is “does my firm have a certified thermographer?”. If not, the firm are at risk of getting a low quality system that is being resold to make quick cash. Businesses that are doing this do not know how to operate it properly. Asking the right questions Secondly, you should ask whether the system is NDAA compliant. NDAA compliance means that your temperature detection equipment is protected by U.S. law. Does your system have a HSRP device (blackbody)? HSRP (Heat Source Reference Point) is a device that will allow the camera to detect the correct temperature a distance. Even if the room temperature does change throughout the day, treat it as a reference point for the camera to know the temperature at that distance. Can your system scan mutliple people at once? Can your system scan mutliple people at once? This is a bad question but often asked since most systems will say yes. For ease, everyone wants to scan many people at once, but the best practice according to FDA and CDC guidelines is to run one person at a time for best accuracy. Why? The HSRP (blackbody) device tells the camera what the correct temperature is at a given distance away from the camera. Every foot you are away from the HSRP device will be off by 0.1 degrees roughly. If you are in a room full of people, let's say 6, in view of the camera, every person that is not next to the HSRP device (5) will be given an inaccurate reading. Hence why it is so important to run the system correctly with just one person at a time. You will also need to follow the 6 feet rule. If you take that into consideration, one at a time at 6 feet apart, the device should tell you how you need to run the system. Sensitivity of thermal imaging Is your system’s sensor accurate enough? The FDA recommends an error of ±0.5°C or better. When looking for a system, make sure it is better than what they recommend. I would recommend ±0.3°C or better. Do not purchase a system over ±-.5°C degrees as you are doing yourself and your customers or employees an injustice.  Another thing to look at is how many pixels it can determine the temperature from. Some cameras can only tell the temperature of 6 points on the screen, whilst others can take a temperature reading from each pixel. Take a 384x288 camera, for example, which would be over 110,000 points of temperature taking on a single image.      Thermal cameras are very sensitive, so there are a lot of do’s and don’ts. For example, the system cannot see through glasses or hats. On the below image you can see a person with the visual camera on the right, whilst on the left side is through a thermal camera.  Both are pointing at the same area. It is clear the person on the left side is “invisible” to the thermal imaging camera. Demonstrating the sensitivity of thermal imaging If you are a company who wants to detect the temperature of customers or employees though the front door, window or a car window, the answer would be no. You need a clear line of sight without any interference to scan for temperatures. Other things you need to look out for is wind and distance away from the HSRP (blackbody) device. Air and distance away from the HSRP device will make the system less and less accurate the more space between the device. Air and distance away from the HSRP device will make the system less and less accurate Thermal imaging and COVID-19 If you have a clear line of sight, is there anything I need to know? The answer is yes. Reflective materials such as metal can interfere with your temperature readings. Reflective materials are easily picked up from the thermal side so pointing at a medal, glass or anything reflective can cause inaccuracies within the system. In the age of COVID-19, temperature detection systems are more important than ever. Organisations must get a system in place to help scan for high temperatures in order to reduce the spread of the virus.

What are the security challenges of the oil and gas market?
What are the security challenges of the oil and gas market?

Protecting the oil and gas market is key to a thriving economy. The list of security challenges for oil and gas requires the best technology solutions our industry has to offer, from physical barriers to video systems to cybersecurity. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: what are the security challenges of the oil and gas market?