Future-proofing technology: a smart strategy for trimming costs Lowering the total cost of ownership



Simon Bowe, Dap Technologies, Abingdon, UK


Security aims to stay a step ahead of threats, making it an evolving strategy in an ever-changing landscape. Port security is no exception. In the past decade, global efforts to secure ports have taken a giant leap forward with new identification validation systems that put technology at the heart of the solution.

But implementation of processes and systems remains a work in progress, and planning for the future requires flexibility to meet today’s requirements and adapt as they change.

DAP Technologies understands this changing environment and the need for port facilities to make sound investments in technological solutions that leverage existing security infrastructure, comply with current credential guidelines and remain relevant for years to come.

Modularity with the power to adapt

DAP’s Guard System (CE3240B) rugged handheld computer features a modular design with a high degree of customisation and flexibility. With its TopCap technology, facilities can choose the technology they need now – such as magnetic stripe card readers, smart card readers, 1D/2D barcode readers, and/or fingerprint readers – with the ability to add more later, with minimal cost, as needs change. That means the core body of the computer remains intact and only the modular  TopCap is replaced, a task that can usually be accomplished either by an in-house team or a DAP technician.

In addition, DAP’s Guard System can interface with access control systems, giving security guards remote access to monitoring systems and freeing them from their desks. While continuing to monitor surveillance cameras and control door locks, they have the mobility to be out in the port making their rounds.

The many faces of identity verification

A multitude of credentials are issued by organizations worldwide. With ever-evolving rules, identity validation is a complex task. In the U.S., for example, the Transpor tation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) programme provides a tamperresistant biometric credential to maritime workers requiring
unescorted access to secure areas of port facilities.

In the initial phases of the programme, many locations simply require visual identity checks where authorised personnel compare the TWIC holder to his or her photo, inspect security features on the TWIC, and evaluate the card for signs of tampering.

As the programme continues to mature, requirements for access are likely to change and could include swiping the TWIC, asking the holder to enter a PIN, and requiring biometric validation like fingerprints and even vascular scanning.

Future-proofing against these pending changes is a sound investment in a port facility’s long-term strategy. DAP’s Guard System is uniquely engineered with the ability to read any credential – from legacy credentials like driver’s licenses, to TWIC and Common Access Cards (CAC), and even to passports using Optical Character Recognition.

The Guard System canbe customised with exactly the elements needed now and easily upgraded later thanks to its modular TopCap and BackPack design.
Reducing the total cost of ownership Planning for the future also means choosing a solution that will last. DAP’s Guard System is the toughest handheld ID validation
computer available. With an operating temperature of -20˚C to +50˚C (-4˚F to +122˚F) and a rating of IP65, it can withstand harsh weather conditions, corrosive  saltwater environments and accidental drops – and it keeps working.

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