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Security for Critical Infrastructure

Jun 3, 2022

PureTech Systems President Selected for Focus Interview

PureTech Systems President & CEO Larry Bowe was selected by GIT Security EMEA as an industry expert to provide his views on Security for Critical Infrastructure. He was one of four industry experts chosen to give a focus interview. During the interview, three questions were asked regarding approach and solutions, challenges and success cases, Larry's responses are below:

1. What approach and solutions do you recommend to secure critical infrastructure?

Larry: "The initial step in securing any critical infrastructure starts with a threat and vulnerability (i.e. risk) assessment. The objective is to identify potential vulnerabilities, assess the magnitude of negative consequences that could result should the threat be

realized, and recommend ways to reduce or mitigate the vulnerability. Of course, there are both physical and cyber risks that need to be assessed and mitigated. When designing systems to secure the physical perimeter around critical infrastructure, one must assess the means of access control, ingress/egress procedures, physical barriers, and electronic intrusion detection systems. The optimal (efficient and effective) solutions can come about as a result of this assessment process. No single solution fits every scenario."

​2. What are the biggest challenges in this field and how do you handle them?

Larry: "Our approach focuses on providing intrusion deterrence and detection around any critical infrastructure and real-time situational awareness to aid security personnel in their response. When it comes to physical intrusion detection, the first challenge is to ensure the proper system design that provides needed detection coverage and adequate response time. Proper detection sensors (e.g. thermal cameras, radar, lidar, and/or fiber optic cable) are selected and can be combined as needed to provide the necessary probability of detection. Another challenge is to ensure the technology selected generates minimal nuisance alarms while maintaining a very high probability of detection. If the system is overwhelmed with nuisance alarms, security personnel end up simply ignoring the system. And should a real alarm occur, it will either be ignored or buried in nuisance alarms and missed. Providing automated detection and autonomous response is critical so security personnel are not required to watch the monitoring system 24/7. Rather, the systems can alert them when something of concern occurs and even take automated actions such as invoking deterrence or locking down a facility. This means the systems must have a near-zero nuisance alarm rate. PureTech’s Deep Learning technology “Auto-Verifies” the initial detections from any intrusion sensor and classifies them as either real or nuisance events giving security personnel high confidence that any alarm is likely from a real intrusion. We like to say our software removes the hay (nuisance alarms) so that only the needle (real alarm) remains."​ 

3. Please describe a success case where you implemented your system to secure critical infrastructure?

Larry: "In our 17-year history, PureTech has numerous success cases where our geospatial Deep Learning boosted video analytics and Common Operating Picture User Interface have been used to secure small and large perimeters. We have a very diverse set of capabilities and installations for both ground and airborne intrusions. Our use cases range from detecting access control violations, such as tailgating through gates or turnstiles, to providing a full layered solution with triple redundant detection for the most critical of facilities. In other scenarios, our systems enable very long-range detection out 5 or more miles and situational awareness through our C4ISR user interface for border protection."

​To read the full interview, please visit: 

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