How security technology keeps one of Louisiana’s busiest ports secure with a single click
Port Fourchon, Louisiana’s southernmost port, services 20 per cent of the United States’ oil supply, with 90 per cent of all deep-water activity in the entire US Gulf of Mexico provided by the companies within its perimeter. Today, the port spreads across 1,200 acres with 15,000 workers accessing the site every month.
For the harbour police, efficient solutions and clear communication are key, as all activity is monitored from within one control room.
A cohesive security solution
AMAG Technology’s security platform, Symmetry Homeland Access Control, integrates with biometric readers to provide up to four factors of authentication; viewing the photo of the cardholder, matching a PIN, matching a biometric fingerprint and checking the card’s digital certificates against the cancelled card list. This list of unauthorised cards is continuously updated and shared with the Symmetry System for additional security.
This approach to security is necessary for both monitoring the operations and reacting efficiently in the event of an incident. This type of security is necessary to guard against unauthorised personnel from entering restricted perimeters, as well as ensuring the staff’s safety.
Access control that meets varying security needs
In order to facilitate communication, and for security threats to be dealt with accordingly, the Coast Guard employs a three-tiered system of Maritime Security (MARSEC) Levels.
If the Coast Guard changes the MARSEC level to a two or three, security will be heightened according to pre-defined response procedures. For example, access to buildings will become more controlled, requiring a swipe of a card and biometric to gain access.
Using Symmetry Threat Level Manager, a module within Symmetry Homeland, the Port Commission can change security levels for all of its buildings with the click of a mouse, including locking perimeters down in extreme situations.
“If there is a threat moving through the port, we can lock down our buildings in an instant for maximum security,” said Port Fourchon’s IT Director, April Danos.
Strict compliance requirements
The Port Fourchon authority also faces the challenge of remaining compliant with the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC®), as mandated by the Maritime Transportation Security Act.
TWIC® is required for workers who need access to secure areas of the nation’s maritime facilities and vessels. If the port doesn’t meet TWIC® compliance, it may face fines.
AMAG Technology’s Symmetry System meets these federal standards by providing an ID badge, which is tamper-resistant and acts as a biometric credential for Port Fourchon’s workers, allowing authorised personnel to access secure areas.
For the more restricted areas such as the communications rooms, which house the port’s main data and infrastructure, the port has also deployed Idemia biometric readers which are mounted on all access doors. These verify the biometric data held by Symmetry Homeland to confirm the identity of any personnel seeking access.
“It’s the Port’s responsibility to facilitate access to the Gulf of Mexico for the supply vessels and service providers who keep the oil rigs and platforms up and running,” said Transportation Technology Associates Managing Partner, Jeff Brown.
“Conducting a risk assessment and implementing a thorough TWIC® programme with AMAG’s Symmetry Homeland software assures the Port Commission that they are doing everything in their power to keep their employees and port tenants safe. Our design and construction management ensured that Port Fourchon meets the rigorous TWIC® standards,” he added.
This efficient and thorough system is easy to use and the port has an on-site super user who trains other people on how to operate the system.
“AMAG’s Symmetry Security Management System is easy to use and integrate with our other technologies on site,” said Danos. “We look forward to growing the system, integrating it with our video system and continuing to update and upgrade our security even more at Port Fourchon.”