Capacity Building in Border Security Management through Smart Border Technology
Border management is one of the core constituents of national security and diplomacy, and is an emerging field that requires technological solutions in order to safeguard our various land as well as coastal borders. India and its seven neighbors (China, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh) share 15,106.7 kilometers of boundaries with each other, along with 7,516.6 kilometers of coastal boundary. These borders are part of diverse regions and cultures, hence their administration is of vital value to the nation. Border management is a mechanism to ensure the security of national borders and to regulate legitimate movements of goods and people on borders to meet various needs of the nation by cultural, social, economic interactions which are performed through the borders. The article is an attempt to explore the various facets of how smart border technology can be employed to facilitate capacity building in the border security management.
India’s preliminary efforts towards border development including the adoption of technology for surveillance in the border areas has resulted in increased efficiency and accuracy of check posts and data tracking rather than lessening the burden of the roots on the ground. The government has recognized the need for deployment of a suitable mix and class of various types of high-technology electronic surveillance equipment, such as Night Vision Devices, Hand-Held Thermal Imagers, Battlefield Surveillance Radars, Direction Finders, Unattended Ground Sensors and High-Powered Telescope, on the international borders of the country, to act as a force multiplier for effective border management. Big data and predictive analytics is already a prominent presence in the field of security - biometric data, such as facial recognition, is used at smart borders around the world to identify people and run security checks. Fast becoming the most rapid area of technological advancement in public services, advanced analytics and predictive modelling use big data to predict future trends. Video analytics applies big data to CCTV footage and deciphers trends to automatically raise the alarm. This helps to solve the shortcomings of CCTV cameras, which rely on human monitoring and are limited to forensic analysis after the fact. Video analytics is currently used at ports, where there is 24/7 activity.
Intelligent process automation is the application of automated intelligence whereby entire processes can be automated by smart processing vast amounts of data. Intelligent process automation is used at many stages of borders and customs services. With the implementation of Smart Inspection System (SIS) at Border areas, only legitimate people will be allowed to engage in cross border activities. This will be in synergy with the installation of a pre-screening application and inspection process - to facilitate the proper background verification of transponder installed vehicles driven by personnel, which are compliant with laws and regulations.
Smart border technology is also equipped with better ways to encrypt data during communication from command center to border posts or vice versa - using Roots of Trust (RoT) technology, in the Internet of Things (IoT) devices to make secure data accessible in a wider number of self-encrypting drives. RoTs provide a trusted execution environment to perform one or more proven cryptographic functions, and also capitalize on cloud computing to secure the confidentiality of data.
Hence, smart border technology is an effective way of generating insights from current state of affairs and global socio-economic trends to build predictive models anticipating major systemic roadblocks. It is helpful in creating infrastructure that facilitates strategic decision making and decreases the training costs - enabling sharing of knowledgeable, best practices and learnings across various security forces.
This article has been co-authored by Kanika Verma and Paridhi Puri.