Today the entire NEC family celebrates the announcement of Dr. Kathleen Kiernan as permanent President of NEC National Security Systems, our FOCI-mitigated subsidiary that provides advanced technology solutions to the federal government. Raffie Beroukhim, Senior Vice President and Chief Experience Officer of NEC Corporation of America spoke for all of us when he said, “Kathleen is absolutely the right fit for us.”
Beroukhim went on to say, “In her almost three decades of experience in federal law enforcement, she’s seen it all and it’s that public-sector security expertise we want guiding us well into the future.”
NEC NSS was created to provide the world-class innovations of NEC Corporation in a specialized manner to the United States government. This mission has established the company as a leading provider of digital identity solutions and AI technology across defense, intelligence, law enforcement, homeland security and other agencies.
With Dr. Kiernan at the helm, we know NSS will continue to do all this and more.
While she has served as Interim President of NEC NSS for just two months, Dr. Kiernan’s combination of leadership experience and industry expertise has already proved invaluable to the company.
Dr. Kiernan is a 29-year veteran of Federal Law Enforcement and one of our country’s foremost experts in threat detection. Having previously served as Assistant Director for the Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), she knows firsthand what it takes to lead expert organizational strategy based in intelligence.
Her impressive resume reaches further, as Dr. Kiernan is also the Founder and CEO of Kiernan Group Holdings (KGH), a women-owned global consulting firm specializing in intelligence, law enforcement and national security. She is a recognized expert in strategic thinking, strategy development, and facilitating critical incident management exercises for senior leaders across public and private sector organizations.
You can see why she was our first choice for the position.
On making the transition to permanent President, Dr. Kiernan stated, ”These past two months at NEC NSS have been simply outstanding. Our focus on cloud-enabled digital identity management solutions and cutting-edge technology is being at the speed of need in the global environment, while also providing shared value to our communities is an unbeatable combination.”
As technology and our industry continues to evolve, visionary leadership that can see what’s coming around the corner and adapt as needed is more important than ever. In the years to come as NEC NSS continues to grow under Dr. Kiernan’s leadership you’ll want to stay up-to-date with news emerging from the company’s social media channels. You can follow NEC NSS on Twitter at @NECNSSFed and on their LinkedIn page.
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As announced in May, NEC Corporation of America recently launched NEC National Security Systems (NSS), a Foreign Ownership, Control or Influence (FOCI)-mitigated subsidiary under an anticipated Special Security Agreement (SSA) with the U.S. Government that will allow us to provide world-class, advanced technology to the federal government.
Backed in part by NEC Corporation’s 122-year heritage and history of innovation and $1 billion in research and development, the new company’s mission is to deploy groundbreaking, end-to-end systems for access control and security, identify verification, scene processing, advanced analytics and intrusion detection.
Today, I am pleased to share that Dr. Kathleen L. Kiernan will be joining NEC NSS as Interim President on July 1. As a 29-year veteran of Federal Law Enforcement and one of the country’s foremost experts in threat detection, Dr. Kiernan will play a fundamental role in helping to lead NEC NSS into the next phase of development. Her extensive government experience and many accomplishments, coupled with her expertise in ID management and biometrics, make her an incredible asset to the future of NSS.
Currently, Dr. Kiernan is the CEO and founder of Kiernan Group Holdings (KGH), a women-owned global consulting firm specializing in intelligence, law enforcement and national security. She is a recognized expert in strategic thinking, strategy development, and facilitating critical incident management exercises for senior leaders across government and private sector organizations. She brings to NEC deep expertise in understanding the needs of federal governments and private sector organizations and creating common-sense approaches to society’s most complex problems.
On behalf of all NEC, I’d like to welcome Dr. Kiernan to NEC NSS! Under her leadership, paired with our distinguished Board of Directors and talented staff, the future looks bright for NEC NSS.
Mike brings with him a diverse and prestigious work history and background within the public safety industry space, including service on numerous national policy boards, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Advisory Policy Board (APB), the National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact Council as well as SEARCH, the National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics.
NECAM is proud to announce that Mike Lesko has joined our team as Senior Director of Government Technology and Services. Mike comes to us from the Texas Department of Public Safety, where he served as Division Director, overseeing the Law Enforcement Support Division (LESD).
His familiarity with NEC is unmatched. He has served as Chair of the AFIS Internet Board (recently renamed to International Biometrics Association—an annual conference of NEC AFIS/MBIS users), as well as being well known among our user community. We are excited to share that his role within NEC will concentrate on three strategic objectives:
Strengthening our public safety and law enforcement product roadmap
Enhancing ARS’ strategic direction of extending our services beyond identification bureaus.
Representing NEC in key national and Federal policy boards.
Mike and his family live in Austin, Texas, where he enjoys cooking Texas barbeque, the occasional round of golf, and cheering on the Texas Longhorns.
Our 32nd Annual AFIS Internet Users Conference, held in Reston, VA, was a highly successful event. It brought together professionals from around the globe, and with its proximity to our nation’s capital, we were pleased to host a number of our Federal clients as well. Together, we explored opportunities and issues impacting the public safety and law enforcement community in the near and long term future. In this time of digital transformation, attendees learned more about new techniques in forensics, experienced the latest in identification technology solutions, and how biometrics and AI can help provide a more secure, convenient and frictionless experiences for all of us.
Our keynote speaker, none other than Secretary Tom Ridge, the First Secretary of U.S. Department of Homeland Security and former Governor of Pennsylvania, kicked off the three-day event discussing the evolution of our country’s security profile, the role technology plays in securing our borders, and the trends impacting local, regional and state public safety officers and investigators.
In parallel, NEC showcased its latest identification technologies that are helping federal, state and local agencies with new ways to solve crimes, predict threats, capture data, improve public safety and security. Some of the highlights include:
Interactive expertly guided tenprint workshops with hands-on experience with NEC’s Integra-ID® iBW, the latest in fingerprint technology processing
eGate Solution for Airport and NeoFace® Express showed how frictionless identification can simplify and enhance a passengers experience while increasing security
NEC Enhanced Video Analytics (EVA) represents the latest biometric and video analytics technology allowing for instant detection, identification and tracking of suspicious individuals in a crowd
NeoFace® Reveal and SmartScan exhibits gave an up-close and personal encounter for many AFIS Internet members as they transition to facial recognition disciplines in addition to fingerprint and tenprint identification work
One of the highlights of the conference is the opportunity to network and socialize with other like-minded professionals who are facing the same issues and daily challenges. The Winery at Bull Run was a unique venue that provided a fun atmosphere of comradery for our two groups!
The conference closed with the 2018 AFIS Awards Banquet. This was a time to recognize the newly elected AFIS Internet, Inc. Executive Board and to honor recipients of the AFIS Internet 2018 “Biometric Hit of the Year Award.” Deputy Norman Kandil with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office was recognized for his use of the new Facial Recognition program on a theft case that not only resulted in the arrest of the unknown suspect; it also took the Detective down an unknown path that ultimately lead to the conviction and sentencing of two additional suspects. Hector Hernandez with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office received the award for his work as a Latent Print Examiner on a human smuggling transport case resulting in the death of 10 immigrants. Other agencies were unable to identify the tenth victim, but Hector was able to get an impressive Print (Finger) hit to positively identify the last victim. Congratulations to all, with our sincere gratitude for your service!
I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to the AFIS Internet Board and our host agencies, the Virginia State Police and the Virginia Department of Forensic Science, for their dedication and tireless efforts in organizing this conference.
This year’s AFIS Executive Board, Host Agencies and volunteers did a fantastic job of providing relevant topics, with outstanding speakers who engaged, educated and inspired us.
We now look forward to 2019 and hope you will plan to join us next August 25-28 in Scottsdale, AZ. Meanwhile, you can check out or relive the excitement by viewing our photo gallery or our AFIS 2018 recap video.
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Personalizing the Customer Experience with a Unified Biometric Key
The path to a frictionless, personalized customer experience begins with something unique and individual—your face. Using facial recognition technology, a single unified biometric keyenables a seamless experience as you move through an environment, whether it’s a sports stadium, entertainment facility, airport, hotel or casino. Facial recognition technology is the key that unlocks a contactless customer experience in a wide range of venues and situations. What could be more convenient or more secure?
Recent developments in facial recognition solutions are not only enhancing security in airports, stadiums or hospitality locations, but also making access to public spaces more convenient, effortless and personal for patrons. Today, consumers are enjoying the speed and security of unlocking their phones using facial recognition, without the bother of passcodes. These demonstrable user benefits have made face-driven technology more common and acceptable as a secure and time-saving part of our day.
Increasingly, consumers are looking for this same easy, contactless and convenient experience in other areas of their daily lives. Benefits of biometric technology are applicable to other situations that require secure access and easy transactions. Here are a just few ways NEC, a leading global provider of Advance Recognition Systems technology, is changing today’s customer experience through facial recognition.
Everything from dropping your car off in a parking garage, entering the gate, purchasing concessions or swooping into a VIP suite is made easier by using a unified biometric key as a virtual parking pass, wallet and secure entry ticket. Guests no longer need to juggle parking permits, paper tickets, cash or credit cards. They don’t even have to remember where they stored their electronic tickets or try to recall app passcodes or loyalty numbers. Best of all, no more waiting in long, annoying lines. Let’s be honest, who wants to wait 20 minutes just to buy a water at the concessions?
Personalizing the Customer Experience Yields Positive Results
From the point of view of a sports venue, hotel or theme park, facial recognition solutions enhance the customer experience and can have a positive impact on the bottom line as well. Some examples include:
Providing concierge alerts when a VIP enters a facility
Enhancing guest services protocols
Providing crowd density estimates to allocate staff more efficiently
Offering opportunities for personalized sales and services on site
A single unified biometric key triggers concierge alerts when a VIP enters a hotel or casino, prompting enhanced guest services and special offers to the valued patron. Front-desk staff can greet returning loyalty guests by name, further personalizing the check-in experience.
Stadium VIP patrons enter suites seamlessly using facial recognition. Enhanced services are delivered in a more personalized way. Theme parks quickly admit season pass patrons through the gates using facial recognition, with the ability to provide special offers and services geared to loyal guests. Often the technology can be integrated with and deployed using existing venue systems, making the installation an even easier, more cost effective situation.
Since customers’ purchasing during an event is faster using a single unified biometric key, this increases the number of transactions that can be processed in the finite duration of an event. Not having to bother with cash or credit cards speeds up purchases and enables staff to serve more customers more quickly.
Facial recognition technology also captures crowd estimates at venue entrances, concession areas, hotel lobbies or retail areas so additional staff can be deployed immediately where they are most needed.
On-site offers can enhance the customer experience. Facility managers don’t really know who is attending a sporting event or musical performance. They know who bought a ticket, but not much information about the purchaser. Facial recognition provides real-time demographic data about attendees or guests to enable a venue to further shape the customer experience with on-the-spot offers and services.
For instance, if a stadium has facial recognition data that shows it has a large percentage of young men ages 21-29 in attendance for an event, it can prepare by stocking more beer at the concession stands, or change the advertising on retail shop displays to appeal to this demographic, or even alter music choices in the common areas.
Marketing partners and sponsors are able to curate offers in real time to appeal to a certain type of guest—enhancing the customer experience and positively affecting brand recognition and potential sales as well.
Transforming Transportation Processes
Stadiums, theme parks and hotels are not the only facilities being transformed into more efficient and secure places. The transportation industry is also seeing new uses for NEC’s facial recognition technology, considered to be the world’s best in search speed and accuracy according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).Transportation should be about getting to your destination quickly and with as few problems as possible.
Today’s airports are busier, more congested and more stressful than ever. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, more than 821 million passengers boarded U.S. airline flights in 2016—and with the demand for air travel expected to double over the next 20 years, this will certainly make for some very crowded airports.
In the United States, facial recognition technology is being tested to permit passengers to board flights quickly, and also for fast access to airline lounges. Since the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency started testing NEC’s NeoFace® Express facial recognition solution in U.S. airports in 2016, it has registered a success rate of close to 99%. Other airport-related potential uses of a single unified biometric key include: passenger check-in counters, bag drops, in-airport entertainment, boarding, retail and monitoring baggage claim areas.
The cruise ship industry is finding that a single unified biometric key can be used for everything from terminal queue management and effortless check-in to frictionless embarkation and debarkation, and for seamless payments and onboard purchasing.
Enhancing Security Through Technology
Security concerns have invaded almost all aspects of our lives in recent years—from travel to entertainment and sporting venues to retail spaces. Unfortunately, when people gather in public places, there is automatically the awareness of an increased threat, forcing security concerns to be uppermost in our minds.
Our reality is the tension between the heightened focus on keeping public places safe while not having a negative effect on the actual customer experience. The ability to create an excellent customer experience requires balancing both efficiency and security. Authorities responsible for the safety of public places are extremely concerned, and debates over how best to address security concerns are ongoing. At the same time, increased usage of facial recognition in consumer products is making the technology more acceptable as consumers recognize the convenience it provides: frictionless, personalized and secure experiences.
Solutions that combine surveillance cameras with facial recognition software can elevate the level of public security in airports, stadiums and other public places. Also, enterprises can ensure only authorized personnel have access to their facilities, while retailers and sports and entertainment venues can secure their facilities and protect their customers.
Changing the ‘Face’ of the Customer Experience
Deploying a single unified biometric key based on facial recognition technology helps deliver a superior guest experience. Our unique face is rapidly becoming the universal key to replacing our usernames, passwords, paper tickets, parking permits, payment options and even more.
Whether at a stadium or a major transportation facility, NEC’s Advanced Recognition Systems solutions are at the forefront of reinventing the customer journey by melding the optimal combination of convenience and security.