Financial Activities Team Up to Battle Cross-Border Financial CrimeGP0|#3795b40d-c591-4b06-959c-9e277b38585e;L0|#03795b40d-c591-4b06-959c-9e277b38585e|Security by Industry;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a43444652019-08-01T04:00:00ZMichael Breslin<p>Today’s modern criminals have evolved with the times, adapting to advances in technology at a far quicker pace than both policy makers and law enforcement agencies. Organized groups, gangs, and other criminals have applied principles of risk management to their illicit tradecraft. </p><p>The FBI reports that there were 4,251 bank robberies in 2016—a 45 percent decrease compared to 2004. Criminals realize there is more money to be made with less risk of violence, arrest, and imprisonment by leveraging technology to further their criminal enterprises and schemes. Why rob a bank—risking physical harm and stiff penalties—when you can engage in identity theft or identity fiction and rob banks, financial institutions, and credit card companies with little fear of exposure? There is greater potential reward with decreased risk. </p><p>In 2013, criminals working with computer experts in more than 20 countries stole $45 million from thousands of automated teller machines over a 10-hour period. This figure represented more than the total losses from the physical robberies of banks that year.</p><p>Advancement in technology enables progress, accelerates global commerce, and improves our daily lives. However, it also facilitates faster, more anony-mous criminal activity. Financial crimes have become increasingly sophisticated and dispersed among transnational criminal organizations (TCOs), which have reinvented themselves by leveraging ubiquitous technology and exploiting the gaps inherent in open societies and the global economy. Their influence is damaging, widespread, and formidable. </p><p>TCOs are made up of individuals, groups, and associations that operate via illegal means, primarily motivated by desire for increased wealth and power. Their influence usually extends beyond physical or national borders and is facilitated by weak barriers to technology.</p><p>Former U.S. President Barack Obama classified and defined significant TCOs as posing a hazard to U.S. national security because some of these groups have the reach and scope to “threaten the stability of international political and economic systems,” according to an executive order.</p><p>TCOs pose a greater challenge to law enforcement than single bad actors for a variety of reasons, including their ability to form along racial and ethnic lines to exclude or collaborate with others. </p><p>TCOs follow different pathways to success, but all share one common theme: The governments of these organizations’ countries of origin are often unwilling or unable to deter these criminal enterprises. </p><p>One example of inefficient government action is Armenia. Armenia’s past political turmoil led to an increasing amount of centralized, organized crime in the country. </p><p>This structure of Armenian organized crime is described as a “basic system of relationships and access among various sectors of society.” Unlike other criminal enterprises, there is no “head of the organization.” This makes dismantling Armenian organized crime incredibly difficult. For example, in 2010, the Mirzoyan-Terdjanian Organization (an Armenian-American organization) began to commit medical fraud in five states using stolen identities to cheat the complex Medicare system. The group funneled the money made in the United States into bank accounts in Armenia. The members traveled to and from Armenia to plan and orchestrate this scheme. There were 70 total members of this organization, but no leader. They were eventually caught in the United States and charged with multiple felonies, including money laundering in Armenia.</p><p>Due to the rapidity of globalization, increased technology, and the ability to adapt to ever-changing political, environmental, and technological conditions, TCOs are better able to leverage their power and influence to spread illicit activities around a set location or across the globe faster and with greater adverse impact.</p><p>Another crucial element that allows TCOs to be successful is anonymity. This is especially true for cybercrimes or crimes where transactions or communications are online. By using the Internet, TCOs can communicate rapidly and anonymously. They can also communicate almost anywhere, making it difficult to identify members of these organizations. </p><p>Many times, members of these organizations are unaware of the true identities of the people they work with. These types of TCOs are prevalent in Eastern European countries that used to be part of the Soviet Bloc. One example involves credit card fraud or identity fraud. Low-level operators in these organizations steal credit card information through hacking, phishing, or card skimming. Once the data is retrieved, another group encodes the information onto separate cards and sells them online. These transactions are hard to track through the Internet and the Dark Web. The key point here is that the leaders of the organization can put maximum distance between themselves and the physical place where the crimes are being committed.</p><p>Given TCOs’ large numbers of followers, low cost, and widespread access to advanced technology, as well as the nature of transnational crime itself and TCOs’ willingness to use any means to further their cause, these insular groups prove especially challenging to catch and prosecute. And they are using their resources to target financial institutions. </p><p>The common underlying factor and motivation for most financial crimes is simple: greed. According to Verizon’s <a href="" target="_blank"><em>2019 Data Breach Investigations Report</em></a>, 71 percent of data breaches were financially motivated, and 39 percent of breaches were conducted by organized criminal groups.</p><p>Cybercrime has a direct impact on the public’s trust in institutions and the ability of the public and private sectors to safeguard assets and vital interests. In 2016, the economic costs resulting from cybercrime and attacks ranged between an estimated $57 billion and $109 billion. Just as important is the potential damage caused by these attacks across their targets and linked firms, thereby creating a spillover effect and extending economic harm.</p><p>Stock prices drop when a company experiences a significant cyberattack or data breach. The 7 September 2017 announcement by Equifax of the massive cybersecurity breach compromising as many as 147 million Americans caused its stock price to drop by more than 34 percent. The company also incurred more than $300 million in expenses related to the breach. Credit card issuing companies such as TransUnion and Experian, both associated with Equifax, also felt the negative spillover effect of the linkage. Market reaction was negative in the aftermath of the breach and executives from both companies were urged to testify before Congress—thus opening the business up to public scrutiny and additional regulation.</p><p>Common traits prevalent among today’s financial criminal organizations are sophistication and resiliency. Criminals continuously adapt to changes in technology and advances made by law enforcement to mitigate their illicit activities. The agility of TCOs’ technological transformation is a seemingly insurmountable obstacle for law enforcement. </p><p>However, transnational cyber criminals are not beyond the reach of law enforcement. International law enforcement operations require more time and resources than domestic operations. But even if law enforcement cannot immediately apprehend cyber criminals, it is able to disrupt their operations by targeting their associates, infiltrating criminal infrastructure, and sharing information with companies to enable them to protect their systems.</p><h4>​Investigations</h4><p>Organizations around the world handle cybercrime investigations differently, with varying levels of partnership and international cooperation. Within the United States, the Secret Service has been investigating cybercrime since Congress enacted the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984. As payment methods have changed over the years—from coin and paper currency to checks, credit cards, and online transactions—the scope of the Service’s financial investigations has expanded. </p><p>In fiscal year 2018, financial crime investigations resulted in 970 arrests worldwide and prevented more than $400 million in potential losses and $312 million in actual losses to the financial system. </p><p>To combat these crimes, the Secret Service takes a proactive approach, using advanced technologies to capitalize on the power of task force partnerships. Today, computer experts, forensic specialists, investigative experts, and intelligence analysts provide rapid response and critical information in support of financial analysis, infrastructure protection, and criminal investigations.</p><p>These task force partnerships consist of members from the public and private sectors, including academia. Each organization leverages its skill sets and agency resources towards a common goal—to investigate, apprehend, and impede the criminal activity of these organizations. These task forces meet regularly, share information, and cross-train with each other at various conferences and workshops geared towards professional development and sharing of best practices. Using the task force model enables law enforcement to rely on a very powerful tool—the ability to reach back across many disciplines and jurisdictions for investigative assistance. </p><p>Secret Service investigations have resulted in the arrest and prosecution of cyber criminals involved in the largest known data breaches, including those of NASDAQ, Dow Jones, Euronet, TJ Maxx, and Heartland Payment Systems. Between 2013 and 2018, Secret Service cybercrime investigations resulted in more than 2,122 arrests, associated with approximately $3 billion in cybercrime fraud losses and the prevention of more than $9.8 billion in potential cybercrime fraud losses. Through work with partners at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), local U.S. Attorney’s Offices, and the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS), the Secret Service continues to bring major cyber criminals to justice.</p><h4>​Partnerships</h4><p>The Secret Service has a network of international offices and partners closely tied with foreign and domestic law enforcement to counter transnational crime, including with INTERPOL, the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces Fusion Center, and European Cybercrimes Center (EC3). </p><p>The Secret Service working groups reflect broader, multilateral efforts, such as partnering with the Dutch and Wiesbaden Working Groups to combat the growth of transnational organized crime in Eastern Europe.</p><p>On a rotating basis, the Secret Service provides these working groups with special agents who possess unique cyber capabilities. These temporary assignments allow for the development of meaningful and long-term relationships with essential foreign partners. The one-on-one communication and trust earned reaps benefits when information or assistance is needed in a timely fashion. The best time to meet your foreign counterpart is not the first time you need something from them. </p><p>These trusted partnerships enable the Secret Service to target transnational suspects involved in the distribution and operation of counterfeit U.S. currency, botnets, criminal networks offering bulletproof hosting and the sale of malicious software, and the large-scale theft of personally identifiable information (PII). </p><p>The U.S. government has displayed its commitment to combating TCOs through various instruments of its national power, namely via diplomatic channels and by leveraging existing international relationships and creating new ones to help build the capacity and collaboration needed for long-term sustainable progress against these criminal enterprises. </p><p>An example of this collaborative information-sharing approach is the Five Eyes intelligence network (comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States), one of the strongest intelligence alliances in the world. There are a few reasons why only these five countries are in the network: they all have similar intelligence gathering strategies, they all agree on relatively the same techniques and laws in gathering intelligence, and they have the same standards of intelligence quality.</p><p>The use of effective partnering and information sharing with foreign law enforcement enables the United States to better combat the illicit activities of TCOs. American law enforcement agencies have arrested and extradited transnational criminals responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in financial losses to U.S. businesses and consumers. </p><p>The private sector has joined the fight in a substantial way through the creation of sector-based Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs). These centers collect, analyze, and disseminate relevant and timely information required to secure critical infrastructure, including financial institutions. The information is shared among private-sector stakeholders and with government officials. </p><h4>Task Forces</h4><p>An effective tool to combat the impact of transnational crime that targets payment systems and financial infrastructure is the Secret Service’s development and use of the Electronic Crimes Task Force (ECTF) model. </p><p>ECTFs create a framework for international law enforcement agencies to share expertise and resources to combat electronic crimes such as identity theft, network intrusions, and a range of financial crimes. The Secret Service maintains a network of 40 ECTFs, including 38 domestic task forces and two international task forces in London and Rome. Participants in ECTFs include approximately 500 academic collaborators; more than 2,500 international, federal, state, and local law enforcement investigators; and more than 4,000 private-sector partners. </p><p>In fiscal year 2018, ECTFs’ investigations resulted in computer forensic examinations totaling in excess of 726 terabytes of information. </p><p>Additionally, agents assigned to the network intrusion program responded to approximately 271 suspected incidents of malicious cyberactivity nationwide. The program identifies, mitigates, and facilitates the remediation of network intrusions, unauthorized access, malicious hacking, and other network-based crimes. </p><h4>Training</h4><p>To protect financial infrastructure from criminals, the Secret Service has adopted a multipronged approach that includes providing computer-based training to enhance the investigative skills of special agents through the Electronic Crimes Special Agent Program; establishing a Computer Emergency Response Team in coordination with Carnegie Mellon University; maximizing partnerships with international law enforcement counterparts through overseas field offices; collaborating through an established network of ECTFs; and providing computer-based training to state and local law enforcement partners to enhance their investigative skills at the National Computer Forensics Institute (NCFI) in Hoover, Alabama.</p><p>The NCFI is the only federally funded training center in the United States dedicated to instructing state and local officials in digital evidence and cybercrime investigations. The institute opened in 2008 with a mandate to provide state and local law enforcement, legal, and judicial professionals with a free, comprehensive education on current cybercrime trends, investigative methods, and prosecutorial challenges.</p><p>NCFI students receive the same equipment and software as Secret Service special agents, which allows both the local officer and the federal agent to operate on common systems. Graduates of the NCFI return to their respective agencies and apply their newly acquired skills and equipment to investigating computer-based crimes. Additionally, these graduates are offered the chance to participate in the Secret Service’s ECTF Program. </p><p>Since its inception, NCFI has trained more than 6,700 state and local officials, prosecutors, and judges on current cybercrime trends, investigative methods, and prosecutorial challenges. This training allowed forensic investigative partners to conduct more than 46,900 computer forensic exams and analyze approximately 4,500 terabytes of information.</p><p>Combating TCOs remains a major challenge for law enforcement for a variety of reasons. TCOs are founded for economic rather than political purposes. Therefore, as an organization, a TCO’s lifeblood is profit. At first glance, a TCO does not always appear as great a risk or threat to government as traditional terrorist groups. Crime is often viewed through the lens of being solely a domestic problem. Local law enforcement is often tasked with stemming the TCO’s influence instead of viewing the TCO as a threat to national security, therefore incorporating the capacity and capability of both law enforcement and national security organizational structures, as well as their respective approaches and legal frameworks. </p><p>Although the tactics and victims of TCOs may vary, their economic impact remains devastatingly consistent. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimates the financial gain of TCOs to be approximately $870 billion yearly.</p><p>Law enforcement, government officials, and private sector agencies have a vital role to play in the safeguarding of the public good; however, the role of the individual in this joint effort cannot be understated. Public awareness is extremely important in this endeavor. According to the Verizon <em>Data Breach Investigations Report</em>, cyberattacks are largely opportunistic and will target large or small organizations, succeeding most when the target is unprepared.</p><p>UNODC has launched various campaigns to educate the public on the global impact of TCOs, ranging from efforts against human trafficking, smuggling of migrants, organized crime, and counterfeiting. One familiar, yet effective, mantra is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s “If you see something, say something.” That phrase covers all types of suspicious activity from sneaking into a facility to unusual transactions on financial accounts. </p><p>The biggest challenge when facing transnational crime organizations is interagency and international cooperation. Many of these TCOs originate in poor countries where governments lack the skills and resources to stop advanced crime networks. When these TCOs start operating in the United States, they become even harder to combat. </p><p>Public engagement with law enforcement cannot be understated or undervalued when addressing this challenge. The public must see the value in joining law enforcement in this effort in ways that are safe yet relevant. Information channels must be created and maintained with the safety of the citizen in mind to foster a level of trust necessary for the public to provide timely and relevant information and investigative leads to law enforcement officials. </p><p>The evolution of financial crime and the increased sophistication of cyber criminals and transnational criminal organizations have placed high demand and pressure on law enforcement to adequately track these criminals and deter such activity. </p><p>Advances in information technology, the adaptation of cyber criminals, and the transnational nature of payment systems, banking, and the global marketplace require a strategic approach to combating this complex problem of ever-evolving TCOs.  </p><p><em>​Michael Breslin  serves as the director of strategic client relationships, federal law enforcement, for LexisNexis Risk Solutions. He is a retired federal law enforcement senior executive with 24 years of law enforcement and homeland security experience. He served as the deputy assistant director, U.S. Secret Service Office of Investigations, with oversight of 162 domestic and foreign field offices.   </em></p>

Financial Activities Team Up to Battle Cross-Border Financial Crime Outpaces Ransomware Attacks Review: Financial Investigations Security Credit Fraudians Slip In Technology with a Personal Touch Identity Crisis Review - Business Theft and Fraud: Detection and Prevention bajo Control Trouble to Bank On Under Control’s-Responsive-Banking-Concept-Enhances-ATM-Security-and-Service.aspx2014-12-02T05:00:00ZDiebold’s Responsive Banking Concept Enhances ATM Security and Service Releases 'Culture of Compliance' Guidance for Financial Institution Leaders Releases 'Culture of Compliance' Guidance for Financial Institution Leaders on a Security Upgrade, Money Laundering Are Top Threats Facing the Financial Industry in 2014 Money, Real Crime Economics to Fight Terrorists Discusses Efforts to Prevent Fraudulent Transactions

 You May Also Like...,-Expert-Says.aspxBag Checks At Hotels Unlikely To Become New Normal, Expert Says<p>​In the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting that killed 59 people and wounded more than 500 others, many are wondering if hotels will change their security policies and procedures. </p><p>One area of concern is if hotels will begin implementing bag checks because gunman Stephen Paddock was able to smuggle 23 firearms, along with other equipment, into his suite at Mandalay Bay to carry out Sunday’s massacre.<br></p><p>The Wynn resort in Las Vegas—located on the opposite end of the Vegas Strip from the Mandalay Bay resort—introduced security guards on Monday afternoon to screen visitors with metal-detector wands. It also implemented a bag check, which created a 10-minute wait to get inside the facility. <br></p><p>This is unlikely to become the new normal for hotel security in the near future, however, says Russell Kolins, CEO of the Kolins Security Group and chair of the ASIS International Hospitality, Entertainment, and Tourism Security council.<br></p><p>“Hotels are in the business of selling privacy—they’re offering hospitality and selling privacy,” Kolins explains, adding that hotels would likely start to lose business if they began checking bags—especially in locations like Las Vegas. <br></p><p>“In Vegas especially, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” Kolins says. “People bring items they don’t want other people to see.”<br></p><p>At airports, travelers are subject to bag searches—as well as body scans—because they are a different kind of target than a hotel. Travelers also have no expectation of privacy while on a plane, except for in the bathroom, unlike in a hotel where travelers expect privacy within their room, Kolins says.<br></p><p>One policy that might need to be revisited following the shooting, however, is how hotels handle checking rooms that have a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door. <br></p><p>Paddock checked into the Mandalay Bay on Thursday and kept a “Do Not Disturb” sign on his hotel door throughout his stay. This meant hotel cleaning staff did not enter his room, <a href="" target="_blank">according to a hotel worker who spoke to The New York Times,​</a> because housekeeping is only allowed to enter a room with such a sign on it if a security guard is present.<br></p><p>Requiring a security guard be present to enter rooms with privacy signs is the right move, Kolins says, but hotels should consider changing their policies to require room checks every other day.<br></p><p>“That’s an arbitrary period of time, but I think a policy should be instilled to at least check on the rooms,” Kolins says, adding that hotels would have to make patrons aware of the policy. But such a policy could, potentially, prevent an individual from using a hotel room for an extended period of time to plot a criminal act.<br></p><p>Kolins leads a team of court-certified security experts at his firm. He says he thinks it’s unlikely that Mandalay Bay will be sued for negligence for the shooting because to sue for negligence, plaintiffs must be able to show foreseeability. <br></p><p>“This is unprecedented—nothing like this has ever happened,” Kolins explains. “If something happens the first time, it’s not foreseeable.”<br></p><p>Now that such an attack has happened, though, if a similar attack happens plaintiffs could potentially bring a lawsuit saying it was foreseeable. In response, Kolins says he expects the hotel security industry to begin having seminars and tabletop meetings to determine how they would handle a similar case.<br></p><p>“I think what this has done is show that the slogan ‘expect the unexpected’ is again proven to be true,” Kolins says. “It wasn’t foreseeable because it was unprecedented.”​<br></p>GP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465 Under Control<p>​<span style="line-height:1.5em;">Companies spend significant resources on access control equipment. Estimates of the size of the global market range from about $6 billion to around $22 billion, and a recent ASIS survey indicates that 57 percent of U.S. businesses will be increasing access control spending through 2016. </span></p><p>Upfront costs are just the start. Security professionals take time to determine which doors need to be locked and when.  They decide where to install readers and decide how to pro­cess visitors. Despite the effort spent on the access control equipment layout and maintenance, over time the access control database can become mismanaged. Requests for tweaks to reader groupings and access levels are continuous. One group may want time restrictions for the janitorial crew; another group may need access to one door but want to restrict others. If these accommodations are made without regard for the overall system, over time a complicated tangle of access control levels is created. The next thing you know, security no longer controls access; access control takes charge of the organization’s security, resulting in a chaotic mess.</p><p>BB&T, a large financial services institution headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has protocols in place that ensure appropriate and accurate administration of access control systems at its corporate locations. The Fortune 500 company has more than 1,800 financial centers in 12 states.  In addition, it has approximately 120 corporate buildings–data centers, operations centers, call centers, corporate and regional headquarters–that have access control systems. ​</p><h4>Challenges</h4><p>Regulatory developments over the last decade make it necessary to closely maintain access control data. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 require health­care and financial organizations, respectively, to keep strict watch over sensitive and personal information. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 forced a strengthening of internal controls within corporations. More recently, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard requires that companies keep tight control over credit and debit card data. </p><p>These regulations, as well as others that affect specific industries, have brought more scrutiny to the administration of access control data. Most large organizations, especially those in regulated industries, have experienced an increase in audit activity as it relates to physical access controls. This means that regular reviews of access reports are required in many cases. For this reason, it is critical that the data in a company’s access control database be clean and accurate.  </p><p>Numerous challenges can arise from failing to properly maintain an access control system. Maintenance lapses can result in thefts when, for example, terminated employees get into a facility. What good is an access control system if, due to negligence in maintaining the system, people can enter places they shouldn’t? If your access control database has been around for years and has turned into a Byzantine web of access permissions, what steps can be taken to get control over the data? </p><p>Access control database administrators must have an ongoing process of maintaining the accuracy of the data. A standards-based approach must be taken to manage any effective access control program. Standards include defining the types of users in the system–employees, vendors, visitors, temporary card users– and establishing credentials for which each of these user categories will be managed and reviewed. Once the user categories are defined, space definitions and ongoing maintenance procedures must be established. ​</p><h4>Database management</h4><p>BB&T categorizes its cardholders into three groups based on the users’ network login ID. There are employees and contractors with a company network login ID; vendors, tenants, and others without a company network login ID; and temporary users. BB&T uses the network login ID for employers and contractors because the network ID is also used in the IT security database. This allows security to match the IT access records to the physical access records. Human resource data was considered for this match, but the bank determined that many vendors, temporary employees, and contractors who have a BB&T network login ID are not included in its human resource system. Matching the network login ID covers a majority of the organization’s users. If the records do not match, the user’s access is terminated.   </p><p>For cards not involved in the matching process, BB&T identifies a company employee who can serve as a sponsor for each vendor and tenant. The company conducts quarterly reviews of those cards, during which the company sponsor ascertains whether the vendor or tenant employee still works for the third-party company and still needs the BB&T card.</p><p>All temporary cards in the system are assigned to the individuals who have the cards in their possession. The temporary cards may be used by visitors, trainees, vendors, and employees who forgot their badge at home. Information on the cardholder is housed within the access control database. Quarterly reports for all temporary cards are sent to one person who is responsible for ensuring that their temporary cards are accounted for.  ​</p><h4>Space</h4><p>BB&T has established criteria and definitions of the physical space in its environment and categorizes space into three categories: critical, restricted, and general. Criteria are established for each category of space. The critical category is reserved for high-risk, critical infrastructure areas, such as server rooms or HVAC sites. Restricted space is office space for departments that the company deems restricted. All critical and restricted space is assigned a space owner. The space owner is then responsible for approving or denying people’s access to that area. General access areas are common doors and hallways.</p><p>For each category of space, standards are established on how access is governed. For example, the data center standards might state that janitors or nonessential personnel are not granted access without an escort. Standards also dictate who can approve access to that space and how often access reports should be reviewed. For example, critical and restricted space reports are reviewed monthly or quarterly.</p><p>Access devices are grouped together based on the categories of space and the users that access the space. This streamlines the access request process and makes it easier for the requestors to understand what access they are selecting. Grouping as many readers together as possible minimizes the number of possible groupings meaning that there are fewer choices for those requesting access. It also makes it easier to ensure that access reports are accurate, and it simplifies the process of approving access and access report reviews. If all readers for critical space to a building are grouped together, only one approval would be required for critical space and only one report would need to be reviewed.  </p><p>However, in some cases, minimizing groupings may not possible. For example, one group of users may be allowed into the IT area but only a subset of that group has access to the server room that resides within the lab. In this case, groups would be categorized by the users rather than the readers.</p><p>It’s also important to make sure that access levels and device groupings don’t overlap. This can complicate the request process and the report reviews and could cause access reports to reflect an incomplete list of users who have access to a space. For example, in a building with three readers, grouping one may include the front and back doors, and grouping two may include the communications room. If, in addition to these two groupings, there is an overarching grouping three that includes all three readers, this could create a problem since each of the three individual readers belong to two different groupings. In this scenario, if a request is made to determine who has access to the communications room, rather than producing a report of the communications room reader group, an additional report of the group of all three readers would need to be provided. In many organizations, this second step is missed, causing an inaccurate representation of those with access to a specific area. This can be a major issue if discovered during an audit.</p><p>Another way to remedy this issue would be to run reader reports on individual doors, in this example, a reader report on the communications room only. Most access control systems allow for this type of report. However, in companies with a large number of individual card readers, this would require many more reports. The same users often need access to multiple doors, so combining them into groupings that don’t overlap makes more sense than running individual reader reports. As a rule, BB&T does not allow a reader that has been deemed critical or restricted to belong to more than one reader grouping. This ensures that access reports are accurate and complete.  It does, however, require that a user who needs access to a full building, such as a janitor or security officer, request access to each area of the building rather than requesting overarching access to the entire building. This is beneficial, not only for reporting reasons, but also because it requires that space owners approve all users who have access to their space and holds the space owners responsible for knowing who is entering their space. Controls in the report review process can be set up to ensure that a space owner does not remove access for a janitor or security officer. Some systems allow cards to be flagged and would require a higher level of scrutiny before access is removed. Nonetheless, this is a cleaner way to set up access levels and ensures that space owners will review a report of all users that have access to their space, which is what most auditors are looking for.   ​</p><h4>Clean-Up</h4><p>If an access control system has become muddled over time, a database clean-up is recommended. A good place to start is to deactivate all cards that have not been used in a specific timeframe, such as the previous six months. Thus there will be fewer cards to review. Then, security can find a common piece of data with another database in the company that provides a match of current employees. Human resource or information security data is best to determine whether active cardholders in the system still work for the company. Of the remaining cards for nonemployees, visitors, tenants, and contractors, security should research whether the card users can be associated with a manager or employee within the company. Security can work with these internal partners to implement an ongoing review of access cards. ​</p><h4>Maintenance</h4><p>Performing a regular match of human resource or information security data ensures that cards are deactivated for users whose information does not match that on the card. If a user is not captured in the match, that person should be assigned to a sponsor for quarterly review to determine whether any credentials need to be terminated. Access reports should be reviewed for all nongeneral space to ensure that users still need access to the designated areas. Such reviews should take place at regular intervals–not more than quarterly. An important piece of the access request process is to ensure that all necessary information is captured to support the new standards and to support the report review. For example, if the request is for a visitor, security should capture the name of the person who will have that card in their possession during the request.   ​</p><h4>Automation</h4><p>BB&T is working to upgrade the auto­mation of its access control request and audit reporting system by the end of 2015. It is considering software that automates the entire access control database management process from the onboarding human resource system to the access control system. This would include a software interface that would be fully integrated with the information security credentialing system. The ideal software would fully integrate with the access control system where approved access is automatically provisioned with no human intervention.</p><p>Cost is a major factor in implementing such automation. Some companies choose to automate pieces of the process. Some use a simple Web portal form that sends e-mails to approvers and ultimately e-mails the request to the team that provisions access or provides a dashboard for the access control team to view requests. Many companies have integrated with human resource or information security data to update their access control system, which allows for the automatic deactivation of cards for terminated employees, vendors, or contractors. Others have found a way to automate the report reviews. Few access control manufacturers provide these additional software tools in combination with their access control software. Some will work with or direct their customers to third-party solutions, while others are beginning to see the need for automation and are incorporating pieces into their standard software package, such as more robust reporting capabilities.  </p><p>These efforts may seem daunting, but once the standards are set and the database is cleaned up, ongoing maintenance is initiated, and some level of automation is implemented, the system will be under control. It is imperative that security professionals see beyond the equipment and installation and not rely solely on these for protection. A sound maintenance program ensures that, should access control processes be called into question, security can be confident that the company’s program is under control.  </p><p>--</p><p><em><strong>Briggette Jimenez, CPP,</strong> is physical security manager at BB&T where she manages the company’s security command center, security operations, and workplace violence prevention programs.</em></p>GP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465 Review: Disaster Volunteers<p>​Butterworth-Heinemann;; 140 pages; $39.95.</p><p>A practical guide for those interested in humanitarian volunteer work, <em>How to Become an International Disaster Volunteer </em>is straightforward and easy to understand. The author recounts his experience in the field of volunteer work and the challenges he had to face in his journey of helping others. The book presents a step-by-step plan to succeed in becoming a disaster volunteer, including self-evaluation, training, to-do lists, and case studies.</p><p>What makes this book unique is that the author endeavors to include everything an individual would need to know about international volunteering in one publication. Like a textbook, the book is organized by the stages a volunteer would go through, from deciding to become a volunteer to the psychological effects that remain upon returning from the mission.</p><p>The book does not address the role of security personnel during disasters, but it advises volunteers to be extra careful when traveling to disaster locations because they are always assumed to be less secure than usual—especially when there is civil unrest. The author discusses case studies in locations where volunteers faced security challenges and how they were overcome. Generally, security-related issues were only briefly discussed and in little depth.  </p><p>The author successfully creates a practical guide for current international disaster volunteers and those who are interested in becoming volunteers. This book is an easy read and concise. Although it doesn't contribute to the security body of knowledge, security practitioners would benefit from reading this book by gaining an understanding of disaster volunteering.</p><p><em><strong>Reviewer: Khalid Al-Ghamdi, CPP, PSP</strong>, is the head of security engineering and projects for Saudi Aramco. He serves on the ASIS Petrochemical, Chemical, and Extractive Industry Security Council and is vice chair of the Dhahran Chapter.</em></p>GP0|#28ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997;L0|#028ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997|Strategic Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465