By Connell Jones, Katherine Groves, Justin Mathews, and Taylor Duffy
SimVentions is always looking for better ways to help the Warfighter complete their mission. On October 9th of this year, a demo was held in our Fredericksburg office to present one of our latest projects, BEACH, which stands for Biometrically Enabled Access Control Husbanding. Our employees Connell Jones and Katherine Groves, alongside our Navy customer, demonstrated the technology to the project sponsors, Physical Security Enterprise & Analysis Group (PSEAG) and the Rapid Reaction Technology Office (RRTO). The team also demonstrated the technology to other interested parties including Defense Forensics and Biometrics Agency (DFBA), PMS 408, and Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC).
The BEACH project provides enhanced security to the Warfighter and ship by requiring those boarding the ship in a foreign port to be biometrically verified against an access list. Currently, this is a manual process where individuals are compared against a physical access list and photo identification to gain entry. Creating the linkage of a person’s identity and ID through biometrics and verifying that the holder of an ID card is who they claim to be, helps to prevent malicious graphic designers and tech gurus from altering cards to gain access under false pretenses. The BEACH project also enhances the vetting procedures by expanding reach from local law enforcement to multiple intelligence agencies including the FBI and NCIS.
The BEACH demonstration proved the effectiveness of biometric verification in mitigating security breaches due to falsification of badges or manual verification using physical access lists. The highlight of the demo occurred when the team showed the result of a falsified badge presentation. The badge contained a valid bar code of someone else’s badge and the photo of the person presenting it. Based on looks, it appeared to be a valid badge. The person presented the badge, attempted to gain access but was denied. When the badge holder presented their fingerprint for verification, the actual photo of the real badge owner was displayed to the entry control point operator. This made it very clear that the person was not who they claimed to be and was in possession of a falsified badge.
The demo was very successful and presented the audience with possibilities for a more effective and efficient entry control point verification system. The demo served as a precursor to a live event with security forces of the USS Theodore Roosevelt based in San Diego, CA. With its enhanced vetting and biometric credentialing, BEACH is proving to be a valuable layer of security, with the ability to provide peace of mind to all serving at the ship port.