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Recap of Homeland Security Finance Forum 2014

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Washington DC   |    Tuesday, March 25, 2014   |   

What an interesting HSFF! Homeland Security Finance Forum 2014 was held March 25 at the Council on Foreign Relations’ beautiful 17th Street location in Foggy Bottom, Washington, D.C. Despite the spring snow (and there was a lot of it) the event got solid turnout. It featured seven panels and/or speakers, each discussing a different aspect of homeland security – policy, technology, business and more. Our own Anath Hartmann was in attendance and gave the following highlights:

“About the only people who still like passwords these days are criminals.” – Paul Donfried, CTO, LaserLock Technologies

LaserLock has developed some pretty impressive password-alternative authentication systems – because given how easily hacked passwords are, it’s amazing we’re still using them, Paul Donfried said at the conference. LaserLock’s solution can be categorized by three factors: the knowledge factor, the biometric factor and the possession factor. LaserLock has introduced system-access authentication that asks for a specific color (that’s “knowledge”), identifies facial movement and geometry (“biometric”), and locates you via the gadget you’re using (“possession”).

“Why can’t I take a bottle of water through TSA checkpoints? …. That, to me, is a big problem.” – Bill Kalin, senior manager, Border Security Deployment Program, Dept. of Homeland Security

Kalin admitted to ongoing frustrations with TSA-compliant commercial travel – within DHS. He said even he can’t bring a bottle of water through Security when he flies. When asked about trends that will pick up momentum in 2014 and beyond, Kalin said, “Biometrics.” They could help put an end to shoe-removal, carry-on-liquids volume limits, etc., which just irritate travelers, he said.

A void at DHS

Wanted: reliable mobile apps for border agents “in the middle of nowhere.” This came up a few times at the conference. Border patrol agents in the field need better and more apps for data sharing and access. Also, in general agents need to be able to safely and securely share data across networks, apply proper analytic technique to that data and make better resource-allocation decisions.

Phillips works directly with clients and the government on Homeland Security issues. Learn more.

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