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For Proactive Security, Build an Aquarium

This year there has been a significant increase in global terror. From Nice to Baghdad, Istanbul to Belgium and Tel Aviv, security agencies around the world are fully engaged in trying to prevent the next attack. In my extensive career in the Israel Defense Forces, and in particular within the intelligence community, I was constantly trying to create a “formula”, to look for that magic source of information that could help us prevent future attacks.

And in that process, I learned two important truths:

1. Such a solution does not exist. There is no one source of information that can help security forces prevent the next terror event.
2. The next best thing is to build yourself an aquarium.

Yes, that’s right. An aquarium. But, this aquarium isn’t filled with fish and a sunken plastic pirate ship. This is an aquarium of information, an ecosystem of sensors that combine to provide a clearer picture of the situations that security agencies must assess to prevent attacks from happening.

This “intelligence aquarium” was filled with 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 do us no good; combined, they provided a clear picture of the security landscape.

We fused all of this information, almost in real-time, into actionable intelligence for end-users (special forces, air force, any actor who could utilize the intelligence). This led me to understand the power of fusion. This real-time data fusion allows agencies to approach security with a preventative philosophy. We don’t want to look back at events after they happen, or learn lessons after another tragedy; we want to stop it before it happens.

The power of fusion is the key to effective preventative security.

How Global Mega Trends Lead to the Demand for Convenient Security

There are two mega trends in the world right now: 1) Urbanization and the rise of the megacities, which inevitably leads to rising crime rates, and 2) the need to prevent terrorism, which has become greater in the past year. With these two trends, increased security has become a necessity. But, security must also fit the pace of life. We do not want to live in a police state.

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 situations can be prevented before they take place. However, the lessons I learned from my intelligence experience apply to biometrics as well. Any sensor on its own – facial recognition, fingerprints, iris recognition, voice recognition – cannot provide the accuracy, speed, or the aesthetics needed for strong security that is also convenient for the public.

Developing an effective biometric technology for secure access requires us to build an aquarium again – a fusion of technologies that provide speed and accuracy, and are simple for the end-user.

The most secure and convenient biometric technology identity verification must use ‘the power of fusion.’ By fusing face recognition, body behavior analytics – including height, gait and body type – and even voice recognition, we create a fusion that is highly accurate, and does not require a user to stop for identification. This fusion of sensors allows us to understand a person’s identity in real-time, with high accuracy and speed.

Building this aquarium and utilizing a fusion of technologies for multimodal biometrics, we can make identification and secure access simple and secure. And most importantly, we can apply the power of fusion to prevent incidents before they happen.


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