A Meeting of Minds
This year’s conference drew in presenters and delegates from around the world to bring a unique repository of knowledge and experience in to one place for the two days of the conference.
The presentations themselves were excellently prepared and the subject matter both relevant and illuminating. Drawing extended discussion from the floor, and continued discourse during the periods set aside for further more intimate discussion.
The coming together of researchers, manufacturers and practitioners in the amiable atmosphere of the TSCMi conference provides a unique opportunity for the exchange of ideas and the realisation of how emerging technical threats may be effectively met.
Emerging threat technologies and prevalence
As communications technology advances so do the eavesdropping opportunities and the technology applied. And, as history repeats itself, it seems that security suffers an inevitable hysteresis like delay, which the more malevolent forces are ever ready to exploit. Incredibly well researched presentations ensured that delegates left the conference with a fundamental understanding of the emerging threats posed by developing mobile communications technologies – and the significant vulnerabilities posed by the Internet of Things (IoT). Particularly related to transport.
Clear evidence of the increased prevalence of malicious technical surveillance was presented to an already convinced audience eager to have additional supporting information to enable clients to better understand the risk and potential impact to their organisations.
Advancing TSCM technology
A key element of the conference is the presentation of the latest TSCM technology. This not only informs delegates about the latest products, but it induces discussion around how these products might best be deployed and utilised. And this doesn’t only relate to products designed specifically for TSCM.
One example was a portable backscatter X-ray device. Provisionally demonstrated to see within containment for drug enforcement, conference delegates immediately began discussing alternative TSCM opportunities this technology might readily offer. Indeed such interest was there that one could see such technology being recognised as an essential complement to the TSCM toolkit.
In another example a researcher presented a working Li=Fi network to the audience, and then, following the presentation, invited delegates to experiment with the system. The result was that practitioners and equipment manufacturers were quick to acquire, and share, knowledge of what equipment and operational process can be effectively deployed to detect such systems in the field.
It’s getting smaller
A recent key and well-received advancement is the reduction in size of much of the TSCM equipment armoury. The ability to reduce the number of equipment cases and weight essential for a competent TSCM inspection is a welcome relief for all practitioners. There have been attempts to put a complete inspection kit into a flight cabin case in the past, but usually at the loss of some key functionality. However on display and presented at the conference was newly developed, and developing, highly functional equipment of a size and weight which enables a significant reduction in the overall physical volume necessary to meet the present day profusion and sophistication of covert surveillance technology.
And a Reminder of the Old
Conference delegates were treated to a delightful and skilfully delivered presentation regarding the development of a specific eavesdropping technology driven by the war of intelligence between West and East following the First World War. And a reminder that this technology is just as effective and deployable today.