Guest Editorial by Sylvia Zachary, Cybersecurity & Software Director – Secure Communications (SCOM), Cubic Mission & Performance Solutions
Companies often emphasize diversity, inclusion, and equity in their social initiatives. Fortunately, noteworthy progress has been made in recent years. There have been critical moments when companies decided to bring more tolerance and inclusion to their fields, primarily in industries like technology, security, and public safety.
While it is important to celebrate these advancements, it is just as important to recognize organizations can still improve their efforts.
Areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) have been a passion of mine since childhood, and I have always had a passion for math and science.
This passion culminated in my electrical engineering career later in life. I am proud that Cubic employees are at the center of the innovation and the value we deliver. We have prioritized Human Capital as one of the key pillars of our business strategy.
Throughout my career, I have witnessed overwhelmingly positive changes throughout the industry, including breakthroughs against the notorious glass ceiling.
Opportunities typically given to men are more often open to women, and I believe these advancements toward equality are evidenced by organizational leaders’ eagerness to hear constructive criticisms and organizational structures that allow leaders to incubate and develop talent regardless of gender.
(Hear from NEC NSS President Dr. Kathleen Kiernan as she celebrates women in law enforcement on International Women’s Day 2023. NEC National Security Systems (NSS) was recognized as a Multi-Homeland Security Award Winner in the 2022 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program, the pre-eminent annual U.S. Homeland Security Awards Program. Courtesy of NEC America and YouTube.)
When organizations strategically formulate cultures designed to understand, tolerate and promote diversity, organizational leadership will witness a cultural shift towards acceptance and innovation within business solution-making.
I have seen teams like this, cultivated by diversity, engage with and create more innovative ideas that produce success for these businesses. By creating positive cultures for women of all backgrounds, and even allies, organizations can create opportunities that serve to emphasize further women’s place in any industry they set their sights on.
For the women needing support today, always remember the value of your contributions and accomplishments. Have faith in yourself and your abilities, even if that means changing careers and industries – or taking a stand for something meaningful.
While leadership positions can be enriching, they can also be challenging. Ensure your well-being during times of turmoil or difficulty by forming solid flexibility for your well-being, including mental and social flexibility.
This self-care can help to reduce putting yourself in situations where you may feel put into a corner or without the resources necessary to succeed. Support systems are essential to developing a meaningful and successful career.
These are meant to provide women with the support groups necessary to provide environments where they can flourish together in their career goals. By nurturing caring leaders and advocates, these support ecosystems can drastically improve a women’s career just by hearing encouragement from those who understand what it is like to be a woman in the workforce.
(Join us as we honor Women’s History Month by celebrating the many contributions women have made throughout history and highlighting the inspiring women who have helped to shape the Unity movement. Courtesy of UnityOnlineOrg and YouTube.)
Women looking to make lasting impacts and succeed should also embrace relevant and constructive criticism by recognizing imperfections are what make us human beings equally deserving of respect.
Today, and every day, I recognize each woman fighting to break glass ceilings and other barriers. I celebrate diversity, representation, and inclusion as the standing embodiments of a positive and compassionate work culture.
Going forward, I want women to be more open to opportunities and to be bold with their careers. By pursuing what matters to you, women watching your actions will be inspired to relentlessly pursue their dreams and goals.
As we continue to evolve for equality and diversity in the workplace, this Women’s History Month, I truly hope all women will take a moment to come together to take the steps necessary towards fostering these support ecosystems, safe spaces, and their own individual strengths that make them formidable.
About the Author
Sylvia Zachary, Cybersecurity & Software Director – Secure Communications (SCOM), Cubic Mission & Performance Solutions
Sylvia received her BSEE from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and MSEE from San Diego State University. Her career began in hardware design at TRW-MEAD, Military Electronics Avionics Decision.
Sylvia eventually moved to Cubic Mission & Performance Solutions as a design engineer for nine years, followed by a functional manager for 20 years.
Sylvia’s expert leadership skills, qualifications, and experience recently awarded her a new role as the Cybersecurity and Software Director for the Security Communications (SCOM) team. In this role,
Sylvia leads the Cybersecurity and Software, functional groups, ensuring Cybersecurity and Software compliance of SCOM products and solutions.
NEC National Security Systems Sweeps 2022 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program
American Security Today’s Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards is the preeminent U.S. Homeland Security Awards Program, and now entering it’s Eighth Year, continues to recognize industry leaders of Physical and Border Security, Cybersecurity, Emergency Preparedness – Management and Response, Law Enforcement, First Responders, as well as federal, state and municipal government agencies in the acknowledgment of their outstanding efforts to Keep our Nation Secure.
NEC National Security Systems (First of Six)
Best Biometric Reader Solution
NEC Elastic Matching Service
NEC National Security Systems (NSS), a Foreign Ownership, Control or Influence (FOCI)-mitigated subsidiary under Special Security Agreement (SSA) with the U.S. Government, provides full-service solutions for large agencies using the intellectual property and resources of the global NEC brand.
NEC has partnered with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency and Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM), and the Department of State (DoS) Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) Digitus project in Mexico, to deploy our two most prominent matching engines, AIM XM and AIM-ES, to the AWS cloud environment.
NEC now introduces the elastic matching capability based on containerized architecture orchestrated by Kubernetes, to provide the cloud-native computing solution for biometric matching.
This cloud-native architected platform supports the characteristics of cloud computing noted in NIST Special Publication 800-145, The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing—on-demand, self-service, broad network access; resource pooling; rapid elasticity; and measured services.
NEC National Security Systems (Second of Six)
Best Facial/IRIS Recognition Solution
Expeditionary Identity Intelligence Prototype
NEC National Security Systems (NSS) is a key solution developer in creating the Marine Identity Intelligence Prototype (EI2P) solution, which enables the collection and matching of a finger, face, and iris biometric data in a denied, degraded, intermittent, and low bandwidth (DDIL) environment.
Face images are automatically captured using a helmet-mounted camera and submitted wirelessly to a lightweight, body-worn IoT device for matching, with operators being notified of the results, and the included mesh network allows for uploaded data and notifications to be shared across multiple operators within the team.
NEC’s digital, body-worn solutions provide identity intelligence at the edge, combining NEC’s best-of-breed matching algorithms with cutting-edge wearable cameras.
The EI2P is a lightweight and portable solution that constantly captures and matches biometrics locally and without the need for communications backend systems, expediting mission-critical information to users in the field.
The EI2P supports live stream and still photo capture, has a capacity of up to 100K identity records, and is an ideal solution for expanding security perimeter at large gatherings, and identifying known threats (do not admit/bolo/ person of interest list) – all while on the move.
(Learn why NEC’s biometric face recognition technology is used worldwide for fighting crime, preventing fraud, securing public safety, and improving customer experience across a vast range of locations and industries. Courtesy of KKworx, Inc. and YouTube.)
NEC National Security Systems (Third of Six)
Best Mobile Security Solution
Mobile WAY from NEC National Security Systems (NSS) provides a unified cloud platform for rapidly searching federal, state, and local law enforcement biometric databases. Its subscription-based Software as a Service (SaaS) model makes Mobile WAY fiscal-friendly for any size agency.
- Running on the NEC Digital Platform (NDP), the device- and the system-agnostic app supports traditional all-in-one (AIO) biometric mobile devices and newer Android and iOS smartphones, including contactless biometric capture.
The intuitive experience simplifies searches across systems, and the subscription service eliminates the hassle of license management.
MobileWay offers Multi-Modal Capture of Face, Finger & More including Contactless Fingerprint Capture, multi-Modal Data Entry, and Reading, including Barcodes, Magstripe, MRZ and SmartCard, and mobile ID platform service for Data Exchange & Reporting.
It is an agnostic Biometric Mobile App including Android and Apple iOS and multi-modal credential reading including mDL and eMRTD, and supports local WatchList and remote multi-modal searching with the state-of-the-art NEC Biometric Matching Algorithm proven by NIST.
MobileWay technology can also be extended to support Self-Enrollment use cases with additional technologies such as active/passive liveness detection and issuance authority credential check for remote proofing capabilities.
NEC National Security Systems (Fourth of Six)
Best Perimeter Protection System
Intelligent Perimeter Intrusion Detection System
NEC’s Intelligent Perimeter Intrusion Detection System (IPIDS) comprises optical fiber sensing, video camera surveillance, and the application of deep learning-based AI, and is deployed over perimeters, borders, and other boundaries of critical resources, to detect, locate, and prevent physical threats, such as active shooters, terrorists, and kidnappers.
NEC’s IPIDS technical innovation is its provision of digital, real-time, ubiquitous, accurate, and robust situational awareness to security & safety stewards, while simultaneously saving valuable security resources, such as security personnel, and reducing maintenance, service, and total cost of ownership, even in adverse environments.
For example, NEC’s IPIDS was recently deployed over the campus perimeter of a K-12 school in the U.S., which had increasing concerns about unauthorized perimeter breaches and the threat of violence.
Having limited security resources and a vast and complex campus that comprises dense wildlife and foot traffic, the deployment of multitudes of electronic sensors was prohibitive, which would detract from the school’s primary mission: to educate.
NEC’s IPIDS was selected, because of its integrability with the client’s existing optical fiber-based IT infrastructure, its ability to detect and locate perimeter intrusions to within a few feet via optical fiber sensing, automatically to cue nearby video cameras, apply deep learning-based AI to video, and send alerts to school security stewards via unified communication.
NEC National Security Systems (Fifth of Six)
Best Vehicle Security Entrance Control Solution
Biometric Base Access Management (BAM)
NEC National Security Systems (NSS) biometric Base Access Management (BAM) provides military installations with fast, accurate identity screening and verification using its award-winning face recognition technology.
BAM can identify individuals—whether they are on foot or inside vehicles—as they approach Access Control Points (ACPs), secured installation facilities, or restricted areas, without requiring physical identification cards or fingerprints.
BAM supports the efficient use of personnel and budget resources, as it can be deployed for a variety of uses across the military facility, including, vehicle gate access, pedestrian checkpoints, kiosks, and turnstile gates, as well as common- or restricted-area access and monitoring, office access management, secure/classified location access, watchlists and real-time threat monitoring.
Additionally, NEC can integrate thermal sensing cameras into BAM to identify elevated body temperatures (EBT) at a distance. BAM can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud using the secure NEC Digital Platform (NDP), which enables remote solution management.
The platform enables multiple ACPs throughout an entire military base to be managed simultaneously, ensuring secure, efficient base access.
The accessibility and safety of entry/exit points, common areas, and offices—installation-wide—can be managed through a single system.
Additionally, BAM can identify pedestrians or individuals through vehicle windshields at entry points of military facilities to help expedite base access and eliminate long wait times and lines, thus reducing soft-target opportunities for bad actors.
BAM can streamline security operations at entry and exit points at military bases and other locations such as airports, seaports, and border crossings, for an identification solution that reduces long vehicle and pedestrian queues, and approved travelers can gain entry without consistent human intervention, allowing gate guards to prioritize other security interests.
NEC National Security Systems (Sixth of Six)
Best Access Control & Authentication System (**Tie)
Access Control ID
In partnership with SIMS Software, NEC National Security Systems (NSS) has produced an Access Control ID solution supporting the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA).
Each year, IDA hosts many conferences for researchers across the Federally Funded Research and Development Center community, and SIMS lobby software manages hundreds of attendees per conference with different security clearances for secure access.
By adding NEC’s biometric and biographic capture capabilities, pre-registered attendees can check themselves into a conference at the correct clearance level via contactless methods at a fraction of the time it takes to check in at the security desk.
The increased security throughout creates higher attendee satisfaction and allows conferences to start on time, all while maintaining the appropriate security posture.
NEC National Security Systems (NEC NSS), is a subsidiary of NEC Corporation of America.
NEC Corporation of America delivers integrated Solutions for society aligned with its customers’ priorities to create new value for people, businesses, and society, with a special focus on safety, security, and efficiency.
NEC Corporation of America (NEC) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NEC Corporation, a global technology leader with a presence in 140 countries and $27 billion in revenues. For more information, please visit www.necam.com.
*AST is delighted to welcome NEC National Security Systems, a 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Multi-Award Champion, as the New PLATINUM Awards Sponsor in the 2022 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program.
NEC National Security Systems is a subsidy of NEC Corporation of America (NECAM), which has been recognized for the last Five Consecutive Years in the Annual ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Programs, respectively.
Homeland Security remains at the forefront of our national conversation as we experience an immigration crisis along our southern border and crime rates that are dramatically higher than before the Pandemic across the United States.
These challenges have become a national priority with an influx of investments in innovative new technologies and systems.
Enter American Security Today, the #1 publication and media platform in the Government Security and Homeland Security fields, with a circulation of over 75,000 readers and many tens of thousands more who visit our AST website at www.americansecuritytoday.com each month.
The pinnacle of the Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program is the Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards Ceremony Luncheon Banquet, an exclusive, full-course plated meal event, in the heart of New York City.
This year’s exclusive sold-out ‘ASTORS’ luncheon featured representatives of law enforcement, public safety, and industry leaders who came together to honor the selfless service of those who stand on the front lines, and those who stand beside them – providing the capabilities and technologies to create a safer world for generations to come.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which came out in force, to discuss comprehensive collaborations between private and public sectors that have led to the development of intelligence and technologies which serve to protect our nation.
The continually evolving ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program emphasized the trail of Accomplished Women in Leadership in 2022, as well as the Significance and Positive Impact of Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in our Next Generation of Government and Industry Leaders.
The keynote address was provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner (DEAC) Diane Sabatino, who described the changes to CBP through the tragedy of 9/11 and the relentless commitment to its mission and ongoing investment in the latest technologies and innovations to protect our borders and Homeland.
The resounding theme of the DEAC’s remarks was her pride in the women and men of the CBP and their families who support them.
AST was also joined by Legendary Police Commissioner William Bratton, who spoke, as always, about his love for the City of New York, the Profession of law enforcement to which he has dedicated his life, and for which he continues to drive thought leadership and innovation.
New York City Police Department (NYPD) Chief of Department Kenneth Corey, came out to address Luncheon attendees and shared some of his experiences and the changes in policing he’s witnessed over his more than three decades of service.
FDNY Chief Joseph Jardin honored the men and women of the FDNY, not only those who currently serve but all of those who have selflessly served, with special recognition of those lost on 9/11.
Chief Jardin spoke about the continuing health battle of many following 9/11 with cancer and respiratory disease, yet now knowing the full consequences, would not have made a different decision to respond.
As Chief Jardin noted, mission-driven service is in the lifeblood of every firefighter, volunteer and sworn and has been so throughout the history of the Fire Service.
Former head of the FBI’s active shooter program, Katherine Schweit joined AST to sign complimentary copies of her book, ‘STOP THE KILLING: How to End the Mass Shooting Crisis,’ thanks to the generosity of our 2022 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Sponsors.
The 2022 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program was Proudly Sponsored by NEC National Security Systems (NSS), ATI Systems, Automatic Systems of America, guardDog AI, Fortior Solutions, IPVideo Corporation, Rajant Corporation, RX Global, and SIMS Software!
We were pleased to welcome the esteemed New York City Fire Department (FDNY); the New York City Police Department (NYPD); and the NYC Hospital Police, as well as Executive Management from the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and many other DHS agencies, Federal law enforcement agencies, and private/public partnerships such as the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE), the 30×30 Initiative, a coalition of professionals advancing the representation of women in policing; and Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) (rail safety advocates).
The prestigious Annual ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program highlights the most cutting-edge and forward-thinking security solutions coming onto the market today, to ensure our readers have the information they need to stay ahead of the competition and keep our Nation safe – one facility, street, and city at a time.
In 2022 over 240 distinguished guests representing Federal, State, and Local Governments, and Industry Leading Corporate Firms gathered from across North America, Europe, and the Middle East to be honored among their peers in their respective fields.
Each year, to keep our communities safe and secure, security dealers, installers, integrators, and consultants, along with corporate, government, and law enforcement/first responder practitioners, convene in New York City to network, learn and evaluate the latest technologies and solutions from premier exhibiting brands at ISC East, the Natural Disaster & Emergency Management Expo (NDEM EXPO), and the ASIS NYC Expo.
ISC East is the Northeast’s leading security & public safety event, hosted in collaboration with sponsor Security Industry Association (SIA) and in partnership with ASIS NYC.
Corporate firms, the majority of which return year to year to build upon their Legacy of Wins, include:
Advanced Detection Technologies, AMAROK, ATI Systems, Axis Communications, Automatic Systems, BriefCam, Canon U.S.A., Cellbusters, CornellCookson, CyberArk Fortior Solutions, guardDog.ai, Hanwha Techwin of America, High Rise Escape Systems, IPVideo Corporation, Konica Minolta Business Solutions, NEC National Security Systems, NICE Public Safety, OnSolve, PureTech Systems, Quantum Corporation, Rave Mobile Safety, Regroup Mass Notification, Robotic Assistance Devices, Rajant Corporation, SafeLogic, Select Engineering Services LLC, Singlewire Software, SolarWinds Worldwide, Teledyne FLIR, Valor Systems, and West Virginia American Access Control Systems, just to name a few!
(Hear directly from Keith Terreri, Executive Vice President of Enterprise Services and Business Operations at NEC Corporation of America, on why NEC supports the Annual ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program, and the value NEC receives for participating in the preeminent U.S. Homeland Security Awards Program. Courtesy of NEC, American Security Today, and YouTube.)
Why American Security Today?
The traditional security marketplace has long been covered by a host of publications putting forward the old-school basics to what is Today – a fast-changing security landscape.
American Security Today is uniquely focused on the broader Homeland Security & Public Safety marketplace with over 75,000 readers at the Federal, State, and local levels of government as well as firms allied to the government.
American Security Today brings forward a fresh compelling look and read with our customized digital publications that hold readers’ eyes throughout the story with cutting-edge editorial that provides solutions to their challenges.
Harness the Power of the Web – with our 100% Mobile Friendly Publications
AST Digital Publications are distributed to over 75,000 qualified government and homeland security professionals, in federal, state, local, and private security sectors.
‘PROTECTING OUR NATION, ONE CITY AT A TIME’
AST Reaches both Private & Public Experts, essential to meeting these new challenges.
Today’s new generation of public safety and security experts need real-time knowledge to deal with domestic and international terrorism, lone wolf attacks, unprecedented urban violence, shifts in society, culture, and media bias – making it increasingly difficult for Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Military and Private Security Professionals to implement coordinated security measures to ensure national security and improve public safety.
These experts are from Government at the federal, state, and local levels as well as from private firms allied to the government.
AST provides a full plate of topics in our AST Monthly Magazine Editions, AST Website, and AST Daily News Alerts, covering 23 Vital Sectors such as Access Control, Perimeter Protection, Video Surveillance/Analytics, Airport Security, Border Security, CBRNE Detection, Border Security, Ports, Cybersecurity, Networking Security, Encryption, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Campus Security, Security Services, Corporate Facilities, and Emergency Response among others.
AST has Expanded readership into integral Critical Infrastructure audiences such as Protection of Nuclear Facilities, Water Plants & Dams, Bridges & Tunnels, and other potential targets of terrorism.
Other areas of concern include Transportation Hubs, Public Assemblies, Government Facilities, Sporting & Concert Stadiums, our Nation’s Schools & Universities, and Commercial Business Destinations – all enticing targets due to the large number of persons and resources clustered together.
To learn more about ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award Winners solutions, Be On the LookOut for the 2022 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS Edition Fully Interactive Magazine – the Best Products of 2022 ‘A Year in Review’.
The Annual CHAMPIONS edition includes a review of ‘ASTORS’ Award Winning products and programs, highlighting key details on many of the winning firm’s products and services, including video interviews and more.
It will serve as your Go-To Source throughout the year for ‘The Best of 2022 Products and Services’ endorsed by American Security Today, and can satisfy your agency’s and/or organization’s most pressing Homeland Security and Public Safety needs.
From Physical Security (Access Control, Critical Infrastructure, Perimeter Protection, and Video Surveillance Cameras and Video Management Systems), to IT Security (Cybersecurity, Encryption, Data Storage, Anti-Malware, and Networking Security – to name a few), the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS EDITION will have what you need to Detect, Delay, Respond to, and Mitigate today’s real-time threats in our constantly evolving security landscape.
It will also include featured guest editorial pieces from some of the security industry’s most respected leaders, and recognized firms in the 2022 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program.
For more information on All Things American Security Today, as well as the 2023 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program, please contact Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at email@example.com.
AST strives to meet a 3 STAR trustworthiness rating, based on the following criteria:
- Provides named sources
- Reported by more than one notable outlet
- Includes supporting video, direct statements, or photos
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Why NEC Supports AST’s Mission & ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards