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Taming information overload for effective border controls

Taming information overload for effective border controls

By Dr. Enrique Segura, Speaker at INTERPOL World 2017, CEO & President, Securiport

In 2016, global outbound travel exceeded $2 trillion, for the first time ever.1 Despite a marked increase in security threats, people all around the world still desired to travel and take vacations. However, the sheer volume of people crossing through borders daily has made it very difficult for immigration security analysts to do their jobs of investigating a crime at or across borders.

In the age of big data, authorities tasked with border security have too much information to deal with, yet are responsible for quickly finding threats before they affect their country. Trained, experienced analysts are essential yet scarce resources. Training a new analyst is a process that spans months and years, and that requires significant investment on the part of the border security authority.

The answer to this has traditionally been to provide the analysts with ever more complex tools. These analytic systems provide the equivalent of a “workshop, materials, and tools” for a trained, seasoned, and practicing analyst who can then “build anything they want” from the available data.

For a new analyst, however, these systems can be overwhelming, as they present huge amounts of data and palettes of analytics to choose from, usually with little supporting training or tutorials. Even for a trained analyst, knowing which analytics to use to answer a question is daunting – and leads to analysis paralysis.

We need a way to provide all analysts with a guided path to their objective while enabling advanced analysts to operate unguided based on their developed tradecraft.

Principles of guided analytics
Systems developed with guided analytics focus on aiding border security officials with a clear set of starting points and then steering them towards a set objective. Guided analytics is built upon the following four principles:

Start with the objective, not the data
We interact with a system with a purpose in mind. It’s easy to lose that purpose when confronted with data – do we start with the traveler that matches our narcotrafficking profile, or the organization that they may belong to, or the address of the hotel they stayed at while in the country? With guided analytics, security officials must first define their end goal. The system then suggests data that helps meet that objective saving official from scouring through hundreds of data points to connect.

Set realistic limits and expectations
The guided analysis isn’t going to magically produce an answer in all cases. For example, trying to establish a connection between travelers, a jihadist organization and prison radicalization will logically need intermediate data such as prison visitation records so that correlations can be made.

Automate a common path
Experienced analysts will develop tradecraft – ways of reliably getting from their question to an answer. These can be identified and automate into the guided analytics system. The best path is one which reliably produces an answer with data that we are likely to have. As a best practice, there should not be too many options or customizations to prevent confusion.

Provide an off-ramp
An experienced user may discover their own path to the objective, or even identify a completely new objective, while being guided. The system should provide a way to pursue this new objective, and if possible mark the point of departure so that the user can return to the guided path.

The ease of international travel has led to a greater flow of information, goods, people, and business across borders. Inadvertently, these advancements have also made it easier for criminals to exploit security gaps to their advantage. While technology continues to provide officials with more intelligence, a guided analytics system presents a smarter, more efficient way for immigration officials to navigate the mounting swamp of data at border controls so that any anomalies can be detected swiftly and more accurately.

About INTERPOL World
INTERPOL World is a strategic platform for the public and private sectors to discuss and showcase solutions to evolving global security challenges. The biennial exhibition and congress event aim to connect law enforcement, government bodies, academia, international security professionals and buyers with security solution providers and manufacturers. The event fosters mutually beneficial collaboration, information sharing, innovation and solutions to ensure faster and more accurate responses to security threats.
INTERPOL World is an event owned by INTERPOL, supported by Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau (SECB), and the World Economic Forum (WEF) and managed by MP International Pte Ltd. For more information, please visit
Congress: 4-6 July 2017
Exhibition: 5-7 July 2017
Venue: Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre

About Securiport
Securiport LLC is a global leader in the design and implementation of civil aviation security, biometric screening, immigration control, and threat assessment systems. Headquartered in Washington, DC, USA, Securiport partners with governments from around the world. Securiport’s Civil Aviation and Immigration Security Services, a comprehensive security product that performs secure biometric recognition of travelers at immigration posts, provides proprietary systems for the identification of potential security risks, criminal activity, and disease prevention. Learn more at

About the Author
Taming information overload for effective border controlsDr. Enrique Segura has held executive positions within the financial and service sectors for more than 30 years and has extensive experience working with governments and managing large international companies. He is currently Chairman of the Board of the ENSE Group, a holding company that retains majority interest in the following companies: Securiport LLC, Alex Stewart International LLC, KIBO Laboratories, and Harbass LLC whose network extends to more than 64 countries worldwide, with a staff of 15,000 and an annual turnover of US$1.8 billion. Dr. Segura leads Securiport LLC as President and CEO. Securiport LLC provides civil aviation and immigration security services to governments based on the comparison and analysis of biometric data and traveler information collected during immigration processing.
Dr. Segura is a member of the Board of Directors of the Trust for the Americas of the Organization of American States (OAS), where he also served as President from 2000-2004. Since 1996, he has been the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Uganda in Argentina. Dr. Segura is also a member of the Board of Trustees of The Catholic University of America. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School.
For media queries, please contact:
Ying Communications
Tel: +65 3157 5626 / +65 9800 5037
Email: [email protected]
Jia Ni HAN
INTERPOL World Event Manager
Tel: +65 6389 6637 / +65 9450 1527
Email: [email protected]

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