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Perimeter Protection/Intrusion Detection False certifications by under vehicle inspection manufacturers are putting lives and property at risk, says Chris Millar, who advises testing all security products before purchase By Christopher Millar, CEO, Gatekeeper Security Over the past few years I have seen and been personally involved in debunking numerous false and I maintain deliberately misleading (fraudulent) performance claims made by many “under vehicle inspection system” manufacturers. These fraudulent claims have now reached epidemic proportion. For Gatekeeper Security, the only manufacturer of independently tested and approved fully automatic under vehicle inspection systems available on the market today, it is extremely alarming to see how many buyers of under vehicle inspection systems simply believe the glossy brochures or the pitch of a sales person without once requesting independent testing of equipment prior to purchase. It is truly amazing to me, and to many other security professionals I have discussed this problem with, how security equipment manufacturers can blatantly produce deliberately false compliance certificates and brochures for the purpose of selling nonqualifying, and more often than not, inferior equipment. Providing false, or at best misleading information about a technology affects many parties, all of whom could easily protect themselves from such damage by simply testing the equipment before purchase. Alternatively, and more practically, require side by side testing where all “qualified” manufacturers provide a system and these systems are put through the same performance tests to see which one performs the best or at the very least, perform the tasks that are claimed by the manufacturer they can perform. What happens in reality is the purchaser of the equipment, be it an end user or a system’s integrator, just looks at the price and pays no attention to the reasonableness of the compliance certificate – as long as they have one marked COM- PLY signed and stamped they are – “good to go”. If you are hoping the 32 consultant will pick up on the falsified claims you are wrong, as they too rely on the compliance certificates. Therefore, the acquisition process is in actuality one of trust, a structure that is doomed from the start when the main player, the equipment manufacturer, in a number of cases, is proven to be not trust worthy. It is my opinion after speaking with many security professionals with firsthand experience in these matters that equipment is rarely, if ever tested by integrators or end users prior to purchase. This is because proof that equipment does not comply with required specifications may result in having to pay more for equipment that does. Failure to test claimed capabilities puts lives and property at risk. It is evident, from my research, that very few purchasers of non-compliant equipment ever raise the issue with the manufacturer of the equipment for fear of admitting a mistake or of wasting their employer’s money. As budgets APPROV THE DEPARTMEN
are planned years in advance, the misuse of funds to purchase noncompliant equipment results in a facility going for years without the necessary security equipment or until further funds can be allocated to purchase qualified equipment. This concept of cheap is actually expensive when a buyer needs to purchase equipment twice to achieve the required security function. To help combat this plague of filing false compliance certificates or producing brochures about fictional equipment in the under vehicle inspection business, Gatekeeper set up a competition mid 2014 with a USD100,000 prize. Under the competition, system manufacturers that claim they can provide all the same features and have the same environmental certifications as Gatekeeper equipment get a chance to prove it and if successful collect USD100,000 from Gatekeeper. To date not one manufacturer has come forward, however Gatekeeper is in possession of numerous compliance certificates and a brochure collected over the same period where “alternative technologies” (other under vehicle inspection systems) have under seal and ED BY T OF DEFENSE signature vowed they provide the same, and often better specifications to Gatekeeper. Perhaps it is because they make so much money from selling non-compliant equipment to naive end users and/or integrators they don’t need to come and collect the easy USD100,000 from Gatekeeper. To provide a snap shot of how serious this situation has become, over the last year Gatekeeper has been provided with the following amazing claims – in some cases we were able to convince the end user to test the claims as they were so outrageous: • Running video systems claiming they can perform automatic foreign object detection • Line scanners claiming they are not affected when a vehicle is scanned at different speeds or stops on top of the scanner • Single 90⁰ view running video and line scanners providing two views at 60⁰ • A line scanning company claiming they have an area scan system identical to Gatekeeper and produced a brochure to support their claim however when 33 the end user called the company about the technology, was told they do not have such a system. • A Singapore company, when bidding on a transaction in Indonesia, claimed they manufactured their systems in the US, as this was a requirement of the tender, could not produce the address of their manufacturing facility in the US when challenged. • On a tender in Kenya, one US running video system manufacturer made a series of impossible performance claims, only to have 7 of their 10 claimed performances proven not to be true after the end user insisted on testing. The list goes on and unfortunately the damage that is caused by such fraudulent behavior may result in the loss of lives and property. The answer is very simple: test all security equipment before purchase.