100% Burglar Proof–Tell Me Another One

Burgler_proof

So I saw this advertisement for a “100% burglar proof” system and I was just bewildered.

Does anyone really think we can be 100% sure of anything–let alone security?

Everyday thieves rob the safest banks, cyber criminals hack the most secure systems, and crooks break into the most secure sites.

Everything we do comes down to risk management–assessing and classifying risk, selecting controls to mitigate risk, and monitoring those for effectiveness and necessary modifications.

For children, maybe things are basic black and white–it’s simpler that way “good guys” and “bad guys” and so on, but for adults we know there are at least “50 shades of grey” and that means that there are no certainties in life–whether security, sure financial bets, or perfect opportunities–everything is a gamble in some respects.

I remember someone once joked about even marriage being somewhat chancy, since “you never really know the person until you wake up with them in the morning every day.”

With 20-20 hindsight, all the pundits seem brilliant, but only the prophets can predict the future with accuracy.

As to any product or vendor that markets itself as having a 100% success rate, you better get yourself a money back guarantee on it, because you will definitely need it! 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

>Advanced Biometrics for Law Enforcement

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Homeland Security Today Magazine (March 2010) has an interesting article called “Biometrics on the Battlefield” about how the American military has had significant success in Afghanistan taking biometrics and in using it for “vetting, tracking, and identification.”

Here’s how it’s done:

The biometrics system uses HIIDE (Handheld Interagency Identity Detection System) devices, which is “similar in size to a large camera, [that] connects directly to the BATS [Biometrics Automated Tool Set] database and matches inputs against a biometrics watch list of 10,000 individuals.”

The database “BATS uses a combination of fingerprints, photographs and iris scans, in addition to an in-depth background examination” to “screen potential local employees, identify detainees, and differentiate friendly individuals from insurgents and terrorists.”

How successful has the use of biometrics been?

“The use of biometrics has clearly thwarted security breaches and helped prevent unwanted activities by the enemy. Additionally, in 2008 alone, hundreds of HVTs (high value targets) were identified through the use of this biometrics technology.”

The article suggests the application of this biometric system for domestic law enforcement use.

Currently, fingerprint cards or stationary scanners are common, but with the proposed military biometrics system, there is the technology potential to use mobile scanning devices quickly and easily in the field.

The article gives the example: “if an officer came into contact with an individual under suspect conditions, a simple scan of the iris would ascertain that person’s status as a convicted felon, convicted violent felon, convicted sex offender or someone on whom an alert has been placed.”

In this scenario, quicker and more accurate identification of suspects could not only aid in dealing with dangerous offenders and benefit the officers in terms of their personal safety, but also contribute to ensuring community safety and security through enhanced enforcement capabilities.

Of course, using such a system for law enforcement would have to pass legal muster including applicable privacy concerns, but as the author, Godfrey Garner, a retired special forces officer, states “hopefully, this valuable technology will be recognized and properly utilized to protect law enforcement officer in the United States. I know that I’ve seen it protect our sons and daughters on the battlefields of Afghanistan.”

We are living in an amazing time of technology advances, and the potential to save lives and increase public safety and security through lawful use of biometrics is a hopeful advancement for all.