Security Experts Hope New Stadium Measures Can Stop Violence

CSE takes a look at the philosophy behind securing very visible stadiums that are the would-be targets of terrorists.


A: In European stadiums some years ago, we had a couple of severe incidents with hooligans. As a result, big fences had to be erected to secure the players from the spectators. Today, based on our new approach of an integrated chain of protection that starts with the Internet-based ordering of e-tickets and monitoring guests--even as they arrive at the airport--and thanks to technologies such as CMS and video surveillance, stadiums are now open again to the playing field.

Q: Is this something that's exclusive to Europe, or is it coming to the States, as well?

A: In Atlanta in 1996 and then again at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games, athletes and officials were already equipped with personalized badges that included biometric verification. Therefore, the technology is not new, but more advanced and further applied. Despite the importance of the event itself, the highest priority for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is security and attempting to prevent potential attacks as much as possible. As far as the most recent Olympics, security technology also had to include personalized measures to support clean sports: in other words, doping detection. Identification technologies utilizing the same badge and biometric means ensure clear and secure alignment, probe taking, analysis and conclusions.

Q: At the press forum I mentioned earlier, your boss, Dr. Heinrich Hiesinger, gave me a great quote when he described the lack of security standards across the globe as a real "cowboy" state (see "Man on an Integration Mission," CSE 07/04 p. 11). In your presentation at the forum, you noted a couple of de facto standards. One of them was Basel II. Can you briefly explain it?

A: The answer could be quite lengthy; here's the quick version: Basel II is of high importance for the financial ranking of a company. If a high-tech company is strongly dependent on its research results, meaning trouble-free production, it must protect its assets and business processes in an appropriate way--i.e., security measures. Companies that do not protect their assets or their operating areas against breakdowns--production, laboratories, etc.--will suffer from lower rankings and higher insurance costs.

Q: Tom Ridge, head of the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, recently urged the U.S. security industry to get rolling on developing standards for interoperable security systems, and indeed, some action is happening on the part of the Security Industry Assn. (see "Security Standards--Filling the Void," Codes and Standards p. 17). What's your outlook on a U.S. security standard, and where do you think global standards are heading?

A: I'm not sure I can answer that frankly, but as far as interoperability, we believe ASHRAE's BACnet protocol is a toolbox that's very important for Siemens. We have decided to base all our system communication on the BACnet principle using defined modules. BACnet was defined to arrange signal exchange between devices of different suppliers, so the signal amount is limited to object status signals like running, ready and out of order. For our internal system performance and customer requirements, we must be able to extend that set to their needs based on the modules form.