Introduction: why Behaviour Detection?
The concept of behaviour detection, or Behaviour Risk Assessment, as a method of detecting suspicious individuals continues to occupy the headlines. As a recognized layer of security screening that has been successfully deployed in Israel and other countries, it is part of considerable efforts worldwide focusing on reforming the existing legacy approach to security into a more risk-based system (read about Focus on Intent).
In recent years, two international bodies, IATA and ICAO, have been leading the way by advocating a transition from the current “one-size-fits-all model” of security to a model where passengers are screened based on established or perceived levels of risk. As part of a risk-based model, all passengers would be divided into Low, High, Unknown groups according to information available about them to security personnel in advance (e.g. Passenger Name Record) and identification of any suspicious indicators in real time. Various countries, such as the US, Canada, UK, France and Australia have been studying the subject very closely including in pilot projects and research studies to determine best practices and/or validate the approach.
A feature article in the September 2013 issue of "Passenger Terminal World" is dedicated to the coverage of Behaviour Detection as one of the risk-based screening methods applied in modern mass transit (e.g. airports) settings.
CHI Security's Michael Berk was interviewed by this leading industry magazine to provide insights into this highly specialized trade. Read the feature article here on-line or in the digital format here
(see page 18).
Note: the authors have incorrectly associated the Passenger Behaviour Observation pilot program with Transport Canada, as oppose to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority. We asked them to update this (as well as the full name of our company) but the issue went to print already...
We live in exciting times. Those who can see or feel subtle changes in the matrix of our socio-economic system will understand what we mean. While some of these changes may be positive or negative, depending on where one stands, paradigm shifts take place everywhere. When observed in the ossified system that is Security -- a slow, legacy-based, mostly reactive and heavily tech-equipped giant -- the signs of changes coming present new and interesting opportunities. One of the fundamental changes we observe is the shifting of focus towards 'Intent' in security operations. Focusing on those who have the motivation, intent and capabilities to execute an attack makes security more proactive, risk-based and agile.
Just came across an article in LA Times entitled "Randomizers' could ward off airport profiling accusations" stating that one of the reasons for deploying them "is so TSA officers can't be accused of profiling passengers when they direct some fliers to a line for regular screening and others to a line for a faster, less-intrusive search". This is peculiar, I thought.
This philosophical question continues to occupy the minds of many security professionals and interested commentators. The answer, in most cases, is somewhere in the middle but this team believes that in a truly proactive security system Human Factor should-be the determining element.
While there are many security threats and risks outside, the reality is that we mostly fear those coming from other humans. In simple terms, this inherent mistrust in other humans, whether as risk factors or performers, is what causes us to look for technology as a solution. The problem of course is that humans in general (and evil-doers in particular) are quite inventive in circumventing various static barriers put in their way, be it a sensor-wired wall, a sophisticated X-ray machine or biometric devices (not to mention another apparent problem -- these 'solutions' have humans attached to operate them, oops). In reality, most security systems we witness today are passive and inefficient. They perform 'law enforcement' duties (e.g. CCTVs -- a post-event information collection), are not flexible to deal with evolving threats and in many cases contribute to the 'security theatre' perception.
CHI Security team includes professionals with diverse backgrounds and experiences. In this blog we share our musings on how to build a resilient security force. Hardware comes later...