Smiths Pioneers Intelligent 'Learning' Security Solution for Ports and Borders

Safety & Security

Tim Norton – Global Market Director, Ports & Borders, Smiths Detection

The vision

An intelligent security system, utilising the power of mixed reality, enables Customs Administrations to manage risks more effectively and increase anomaly detection without impeding legitimate trade.

The mission

Worldwide, Customs Authorities are expected to protect their territories from the entry of any illicit goods and dangerous materials. But, with the rapid pace of globalisation, they are under enormous pressure to do so without obstructing the flow of genuine trade. 

Such volumes overwhelm manpower-only operations. With a global average of around 2% of containers being physically inspected (with a non-intrusive inspection device, a canine or de-stuffed by an officer), the current level of inspection can offer numerous points of vulnerability for increasingly sophisticated criminals to successfully exploit, so it’s a key imperative to be able to know more about what’s inside every container so that the right 2% can be inspected.

Even where automated tracking systems have been successfully installed, authorities still rely on the experience of their teams to identify the most likely points of threat, and coordinate the most effective and least disruptive response. As most teams are already stretched, and the nature and source of threats are not only escalating but ever-changing, success rates are not as high as required.

There is a pressing need for more intelligent tools that can better connect, support and empower those making decisions on the ground.

The innovation


In response, Smiths Detection partnered with Microsoft and Hitachi Consulting to develop a new intelligence-driven solution. Capitalising on Microsoft’s rapidly advancing technologies, we have channelled these leading digital capabilities and our expertise in security screening into the development of a revolutionary new system that could substantially improve security and flow-through at ports and borders.

The result is CORSYS, a pioneering cloud-first, mobile-friendly, SaaS-delivered security operations command centre.

This open architecture, hardware-agnostic enterprise solution based on Microsoft’s Azure platform can automatically, securely and dynamically aggregate data from up to 500 sources into a single view - including advanced IoT inputs (biometrics, Smart CCTV and Trace detection), with metadata inputs which could include financial information, declaration forms and shipping company information.

With this consolidated, single ‘source of truth’, CORSYS can automatically create a new ‘case’ for each target entering a seaport terminal or border crossing. This saves security operators significant time and stress by eliminating the need to simultaneously monitor and interpret multiple, disparate systems.

But, more critically, the CORSYS Profiler feature automatically and intelligently assigns a risk score for each case, using complex algorithms linked to configurable risk categories such as national security, smuggling, import/export and revenue collection. It also builds on experience to continually learn, improving the accuracy of profiles and risk prediction.

This unique digital process is designed to increase the accuracy of suspect target identification by >90% over manual-only assessments.

Each assessment is fed into the CORSYS Decision Centre, which allows inspectors to monitor the entire flow of their security operations from a single window. Here, augmented intelligence combines with real-world experience, helping inspectors to best prioritise their workflow, deploy their resources and determine how each case should be processed.

CORSYS also enables security teams to remotely view and assess scans from their existing World Customs Organization-approved Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) devices in the standardised UFF 2.0 format. This allows teams on the frontline to share information with the central inspection office, where case verdicts can be recorded with photo evidence to speed up the analysis and escalation process. It also allows multiple administrations/agencies to collaborate more effectively across borders by securely sharing scan data.

Beyond this tactical support, the CORSYS Dashboard also provides longer-term strategic support. It retains and makes available all verdicts and case audit histories for trend analysis, operational KPIs and self-service reporting. It makes complex data sets easier to interpret through simplified data visualisations, providing clear operational insights that improve overall port management. All of this is available securely from any device.

This not only ensures the most cost-effective deployment of resources but also increases the success rate of a Customs Administration’s inspection teams.

The Smiths effect

CORSYS helps Customs Administrators identify anomalies, manage risks more effectively and increase duty collections to significantly improve the overall operational performance of their existing teams. CORSYS also helps these agencies extend the life of their assets by utilising a robust IoT connectivity hub.

It’s all about speed, efficiency and security – and is a powerful demonstration of how Smiths is unlocking value by merging our expertise in pioneering physical equipment with breakthrough digital technologies to create innovative new solutions for our customers’ most difficult challenges.