Multi-modal biometrics refers to a technology that combines a number of biometrics working together as a multifactor solution Global terrorism is on the rise. For many years, the West felt immune to these incidents, often asserting that these were problems felt only in countries with heated conflicts, such as Syria, Iraq, Israel and Nigeria. However, recent terror attacks have taken place in both Europe and the United States: Belgium, France (Paris and Nice), Orlando, various cities in Germany, Turkey, and the list goes on.The intelligence community is constantly looking for a single-point “source” to help prevent the next terror attack. However, in my experience serving as Head of Military Intelligence of the Israel Defence Forces, and through my work with the international intelligence community, I have learned that such a single source does not exist. There is no simple solution to terror prevention.Proactive and combined approachBut taking a proactive approach can help the fight against terror. To be proactive, the intelligence community must create an ecosystem of information—a network of interconnected sensors that combine to provide a clearer picture of the situations that security agencies must assess to prevent attacks from happening. The intelligence community must create an ecosystem of information—a network of interconnected sensors that combine to provide a clearer picture When it comes to preventing terror, this network might include an array of sensors: signal intelligence, cyber intelligence, visual intelligence—not only from satellites—surveillance balloons, drones, special forces, human intelligence, interrogations and others. Any of these sources alone would not get the job done; combined, however, they provided a clear picture of the security landscape. Intelligence agencies collect all these single points of information and fuse them together. Almost in real-time, this fusion creates actionable intelligence for end-users (special forces, air force, any actor who can utilise the intelligence). This combining of sources we employed in my career led me to understand the power of fusion.The power of fusion is the key to effective preventative security.Global megatrends and demand for convenient securityThere are two relevant megatrends in the world right now: Urbanisation and the rise of the megacity, which inevitably leads to rising crime rates The need to prevent terrorism With these two relevant trends, increased security has become a necessity. However, there is a misconception that increased security means increased inconvenience for people. As such, there is a need to create systems that provide the high level of security necessary in today’s world, given the aforementioned megatrends, while still maintaining the convenience and pace in our everyday lives. Biometric technology provides an answer to this. If we can quickly and securely identify individuals before they enter a building—or prevent them from doing so—many security crises can be prevented before they take place. Power of fusion and multi-modal biometricsThis is where the power of fusion comes into play. Any biometric sensor on its own – facial recognition, fingerprints, iris recognition, voice recognition—cannot provide the accuracy, speed, or ease of use needed for strong security that is also convenient for the public.Developing an effective biometric technology for secure access requires us to build a new intelligence ecosystem—a fusion of technologies that provide speed and accuracy, and are simple for the end-user. The most secure and convenient biometric technologies for identity verification must use the power of fusion. We find these types of solutions in multi-modal biometric technologies. Multi-modal biometrics allow people to move freely, yet securely, through their daily lives Multi-modal biometrics refers to a technology that combines a number of biometrics working together as a multifactor solution. This can include software that uses a fusion of biometric technologies, smartphones that require access via a fingerprint and PIN code, or access through voice and facial recognition, to name just a few. The primary advantages of such systems are the heightened levels of accuracy and security, as well as greater levels of accessibility and flexibility for users.The industry is trending towards adoption of multi-modal biometrics. This is because stand-alone biometric technologies, such as iris scanning, face recognition, fingerprinting or otherwise, are exposed to a) questions of accuracy and b) the ability for fraud to attempt to trick the system. But, by fusing a number of technologies such as face, body and voice, we can create a system that is highly accurate. In cases in which in-motion identification is part of the technology, a user may not even be required to stop for identification. This fusion of sensors allows us to identify a person in real-time, with high accuracy and speed. By employing the power of fusion, neither security nor convenience need be compromised. Adoption and real world use of multi-modal biometrics The use of multi-modal biometrics is expanding, and is being sought after by some of the largest companies in the world to secure facilities. Market research firm Technavio predicts that the global advanced authentication market (multi-factor and biometrics solutions) will experience a CAGR of 17 percent between 2016 and 2020. Lead analyst Amrita Choudhury commented that threats in the realm of digital security in retail, healthcare and the banking and financial services industry are driving companies toward multi-modal biometrics. According to Choudhury, multi-modal biometrics will likely gain widespread acceptance over the next four years. The use of multi-modal biometrics is expanding, and is being sought after by some of the largest companies in the world to secure facilities While we often see multi-modal biometrics in homeland security, military and law enforcement applications, more often, these technologies are being deployed for consumers. For example, certain smartphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy 5S, utilise face and voice biometrics for greater authentication accuracy. We can also see these technologies in banking apps and cloud platforms focused on the enterprise security market.However, multi-modal biometrics are certainly not limited to the digital/cyber realm. In fact, physical locations – buildings, healthcare facilities, corporations, schools and universities, stadiums and airports could all benefit from more secure and more convenient access made possible by multi-modal biometrics.We live in a world in which we contend with new threats created by rising crime and terror. By applying the power of fusion to physical secure access technologies, we can increase the level of security that is necessary without feeling that we live in a police state. Multi-modal biometrics allow people to move freely, yet securely, through their daily lives, providing access to those we recognise, and allowing the power of fusion to prevent access to those who are unfamiliar. In this way, we can practice proactive preventative security without encroaching on the pace of life.
The global market for security as a service is set to grow from $921 million in 2016 to $1.49 billion by 2020 The global security as a service market is made up of video surveillance as a service (VSaaS) and access control as a service (ACaaS). With video surveillance as a service, the user pays on a yearly, quarterly or monthly basis for the ability to view live or recorded surveillance data. Using access control as a service, the customer pays a subscription to have a server which manages the access control system. The global market for security as a service is set to grow from $921 million in 2016 to $1.49 billion by 2020, according to a new report. Market research company Technavio says the market for security as a service will grow by a compound annual growth rate of 12.7% a year during the period 2016-2020. Currently, according to its new report ‘Global Security as a Service Market 2016-2020’, the Americas is by far the largest region showing 2016 revenues at $595 million; with Asia-Pacific at $142 million; and Europe, Middle East and Africa at $185 million. “The increasing need for high-level data and identity security in corporate firms, coupled with an increasing amount of critical and confidential data, is compelling large enterprises and SMEs to implement ACaaS,” explains Technavio analyst Amrita Choudhury. “The increased use of mobile devices for professional and personal use makes the devices vulnerable to attacks. Enterprises are adopting ACaaS for greater control over access to applications and sensitive information from remote locations.” Fighting retail shrinkage with VSaaS Choudhury says the market is split into three end-user segments – commercial, government, and residential. The commercial sector is the largest, accounting for around 56% of the market. Within this sector, retail firms are the biggest users of security as a service, as many already have in place video surveillance, electronic article surveillance and radio frequency identification systems. Increasing retail shrinkage will encourage more retailers to adopt effective strategies such as the installation of advanced surveillance systems to enhance their security Retail shrinkage in the US rose from around 1.27% of sales in 2013-2014 to over 1.96% of sales during 2014-2015. Shoplifting was the biggest cause of retail shrinkage in most countries in 2015. Since users in the retail sector need to have significant space for video storage and tamper-proof or tamper-evident systems, it is not surprising that they are major potential users of security as a service. Increasing retail shrinkage will encourage more retailers to adopt effective strategies such as the installation of advanced surveillance systems to enhance their security solutions. These are increasingly using high resolution cameras which are bandwidth hungry and more expensive than conventional surveillance cameras. Similarly, the financial sector is a big user of security systems such as surveillance in banks and at ATMs. US to dominate international markets In the United States, the increasing demand for real-time identification of threats and transmitting information to law enforcement officials is driving the adoption of advanced security systems in the region. Analysts estimate that the Americas will account for more than 64% of the total revenue share of the market by 2020 and will also dominate the market throughout the forecast period. “From criminal activity to predictive analytics and marketing, organisations in the public as well as the private sector are benefitting from video surveillance,” says Choudhury. “The accuracy of the video surveillance technology has completely changed the way criminal cases are being tried. End-users are becoming aware about the benefits of video surveillance that provide a good amount of information to help manage, monitor and resolve some of the critical situations.” Suppliers of video products and solutions are also upbeat about video surveillance as a service. “The two main advantages of VSaaS for the customer are function and finance,” says Xander van Baarsen, Marketing Manager for Panasonic Cloud Management Service Europe. “VSaaS comes with low start-up costs and low recurring costs, making it easy to start and easy to scale. Because of constant development, the customer is never out of date: every month comes with new features, bug fixes and application updates.” One brake on the rapid growth of video surveillance as a service is the cost of providing a hosted video service Measured growth for VSaaS But despite the optimism, van Baarsen sounds a note of caution. “VSaaS hasn't yet shown a rapid growth but it has been proven to have both functional [and] financial advantages compared to traditional systems. In the coming years, we expect to see growth for VSaaS in the SME and SOHO markets. With upcoming features like improved, user-friendly software and cameras that connect not only over Wi-Fi but also via mobile networks, we predict the VSaaS market will grow beyond the traditional [user markets].” Panasonic offers several VSaaS products, such as Cameramanager, a cloud-based surveillance solution which comes with desktop and mobile applications, as well as a range of indoor and outdoor cameras. The Cameramanager video stream is available as an API, so it can be integrated into range of solutions. In addition, the recently launched Nubo – claimed to be the world’s first monitoring camera that connects over 4G – opens the market to areas which may be isolated or outside Wi-Fi locations. Meanwhile Bosch Security Systems, which offers a range of remote video services for central monitoring stations, says with its cloud-based monitoring services, central monitoring stations can prevent damage, verify intruder alarms, increase the safety of employees and support business processes – all remotely. "VSaaS hasn't yet shown rapidgrowth but has been proven tohave both functional andfinancial advantages comparedto traditional systems" “The central monitoring station does not have to invest in an expensive video platform to do remote video monitoring,” says Bosch’s Head of Cloud-based Services Michael Gürtner, “and due to the seamless integration of our solution in the existing alarm automation platform, the CMS can operate the video services very efficiently. Customers benefit from less hardware costs and less installation time compared with traditional on-site surveillance, since no DVR and no VPN is needed. The camera connects directly and securely to the cloud and can be configured remotely.”Barriers to expansion So are there any barriers to the rapid deployment of security as a service around the world? While the security systems market is becoming increasingly global, expanding business across Europe is still problematic, due to the “complex and restrictive nature of security product certification” in these countries, according to Technavio’s Amrita Choudhury. “Manufacturers are facing uncertainty regarding the standards against which the security solutions should be developed,tested, and certified.” Another brake on the rapid growth of video surveillance as a service is the cost of providing a hosted video service. Another is the nature of broadband connections – many are asymmetric, meaning that the upload speed is often much lower than the download speed. India is one of the fastest growing markets in the region, with Indian organisations using on average around 250 cameras per installation. The surveillance market in India is expected to grow at a rapid pace because of the country's focus on developing smart cities and the increasing need for better security and safety. “The primary reason for the growth of the region's market is the emergence of many SMEs, which are rapidly adopting video surveillance devices. The region is also predicted to adopt new technologies such as cloud-based services.” Save Save