HERMES

Border Management and Passenger Screening Solution

Governments and citizens need borders to be secure, but security measures should not inhibit nor delay passengers. WCC HERMES is a person-centric, integrated border security solution for screening Advance Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record (PNR) data. That is to say, HERMES ensures both state-of-the-art security and optimum passenger flow at all kinds of borders, airports, and seaports.

The need for passenger screening

Airlines alone welcome around 4.2 billion passengers per year. While only a few of these passengers may pose a security threat, their identification is essential. As a result, in 2018, the UN-mandated the implementation of Advance Passenger Information (API) screening. However, countries still have no effective systems for managing passenger data. Consequently this failure critically weakens their border security and exposes them to the risk of sanctions.

The introduction of API means that air passengers must provide carriers with biographic data related to identity. In addition, PNR information adds data on passengers or groups of passengers. Typically their itinerary, but also information on payment methods, frequent flyer status, seat allocation, food preference, final destination, and more.

Border agencies and law enforcement officials in the destination country will then screen this information for security clearance. Passenger screening has to take place at all points of entry and border crossings. Not just at airports, but at seaports too. And it’s important to realize that the processing time  can be as low as 10 seconds in some countries.

HERMES – a unique API/PNR solution

Screening and threat detection pose significant technical and administrative challenges, so using their Identity and Security expertise, WCC produced HERMES. In brief, a flexible API/PNR solution for processing passenger data. A system designed specially to meet the security requirements of all law enforcement agencies, regardless of size.

An API/PNR system strongly reinforces borders. However, to do so effectively,  border personnel need all the support that technology can provide. To this end, WCC Advanced Passenger Information (API) & Passenger Name Record (PNR) solutions are quick and easy to implement. HERMES allows fast passenger data processing and tight border security, but without blocking passenger flow. It can even prevent criminals from crossing the border in the first place!

Reasons to choose HERMES

HERMES enables smooth & secure passenger screening for smart border management…

Fast deployment

Firstly, HERMES can be installed quickly, usually in a single day. Furthermore, WCC’s “Single Window” solution makes connecting to the airlines or maritime data providers, both quick and easy.

Easy to use, and configure

Secondly, the user interface makes it easy for border officers to track matches, comment on follow-ups, add watchlists, and even set up new rule-based targets. As a result, personnel will need less training.

Out-of-the-box support for API, iAPI, PNR

Equally important, HERMES provides support for API, iAPI, and PNR out-of-the-box. HERMES delivers blazing fast response times, so minimizing passenger delays.

Advanced search and investigation features

Another key point is that law enforcement and border control officers designed HERMES’ advanced search and investigation features. So using their experience, navigating a large amount of data has been made easy. All in all, users can quickly and easily find information, even in 5 years’ worth of PNR data.

24/7 Support and continuous improvements

WCC’s support department is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Furthermore, WCC support & maintenance customers will receive all future HERMES releases, each containing many new features.

Reasons to choose HERMES

  • Fast deployment
    Firstly, HERMES can be installed quickly, usually in a single day. Furthermore, WCC’s “Single Window” solution makes connecting to the airlines or maritime data providers, both quick and easy.
  • Easy to use and configure
    Secondly, the user interface makes it easy for border officers to track matches, comment on follow-ups, add watchlists, and even set up new rule-based targets. As a result, personnel won’t need less training .
  • Out-of-the-box support for API, iAPI, PNR
    Equally important, HERMES provides support for API, iAPI, and PNR out-of-the-box. HERMES delivers blazing fast response times, so minimizing passenger delays.
  • Advanced search and investigation features
    Another key point is that law enforcement and border control officers designed HERMES’ advanced search and investigation features. So using their experience, navigating a large amount of data has been made easy. All in all, users can quickly and easily find information, even in 5 years’ worth of PNR data.
  • 24/7 Support and continuous improvements
    WCC’s support department is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Furthermore, WCC support & maintenance customers will receive all future HERMES releases, each containing many new features.

HERMES – flexible and future-proof

Above all, WCC HERMES is a flexible and future-proof API/PNR solution for screening passenger data. It is ready-to-use, supporting API, iAPI, and PNR “out of the box.” As a result, HERMES is easy to implement, maintain, configure, and operate.

HERMES uniquely supports a range of standard connection methods. Most importantly, HERMES can connect to airlines directly and can automatically detect data conflicts.

In addition, HERMES checks the data against various watchlists, using WCC’s superior multi-cultural name matching algorithms. Our advanced ELISE ID Platform matches with pre-configured rule-based targets (“risk profiles”) in order to flag suspicious travelers.

Rule-based targets can in the first place be configured and fine-tuned by border officers and analysts. However, WCC is also able to identify new rule-based targets based on machine learning algorithms, such as anomaly detection.

Moreover, HERMES offers a host of capabilities for data analytics and risk assessment. As an example, you can use heatmaps and other analytical tools, identifying specific patterns that will make rule-based targeting more accurate.

Passenger Information processing using HERMES

Identity and Security - HERMES - passenger data
Air or ferry line provides passenger data
Identity and Security - HERMES - Passenger lists

HERMES receives passenger list

Identity and Security - HERMES - extract passenger info

HERMES extracts passenger info

Identity and Security - HERMES - watchlists

HERMES performs  watchlist checks

Identity and Security  - HERMES - risk assessment

HERMES performs risk assessment using targeting rules

Identity and Security - HERMES - show matches

HERMES shows matches per arriving flight/vessel

The three-step approach that sets HERMES apart

Data

WCC’s “Single Window” solution allows governments to easily connect to all airlines flying into and out of the country. HERMES also provides advanced parsing capabilities, As a result, it can import any type of passenger list from maritime, railroad, or bus companies. After receiving the passenger list, HERMES first performs a data quality check. And then provides feedback if a message contains errors. Moreover, based on WCC’s long-term experience with identity data, HERMES tries to import as much data as possible. Even when the data quality is low. Our advanced matching features will consequently link and enrich passenger data, using the combination of API and PNR data if available.

Risk Assessment

All passengers are matched against configured watch lists and rule-based targets (“risk profiles”) in order to assess their risk. In the first instance, data from national law enforcement controlled databases can be loaded into and synchronized with HERMES to use as watch lists. Officers can also manually add people to a short-term watch list if necessary. Moreover, HERMES provides external connectivity to international watch lists like Interpol or the EU Schengen Information System (SIS). In addition, rule-based targets can be created and maintained by officers or analysts.

Investigation

In addition to the above, HERMES investigation module includes many advanced features. Notably, law enforcement and border control officers  played a leading role in the design of these features. As a result, users can perform advanced investigations using available passenger data. Furthermore, they need little training due to the easy-to-use interfaces. For example, visual tools provide immediate insights into traveler actions, routes, and links to other travelers. And HERMES analytics monitor and illustrate the overall effectiveness of the system for easy management.

Data

Data graphic - HERMES

Risk Assessment

Risk Assessment graphic - HERMES

Investigation

Investigation graphic - HERMES

The three-step approach that sets HERMES apart

HERMES Data

Step 1: Data

Firstly, HERMES collects all passenger data. WCC can connect you to airlines directly to get these data, but HERMES accepts many standard types of connectivity. Where available, HERMES also uses PNR data to complete the passenger data profile and reports any data conflicts.

HERMES Data

Step 2: Risk Assessment

Secondly, HERMES checks the data against various watchlists. In this step, it is also possible to match data against pre-configured profiles. HERMES uses rule-based targets (“risk profiles”) established by border and security experts. Our software can also use machine learning algorithms to flag suspicious travelers.

HERMES Investigation

Step 3: Investigation

Thirdly, HERMES offers robust capabilities for data analytics and risk assessment. In this step, security officers may forward information for further investigation, and specialists can analyze the data in HERMES to identify patterns and risk profiles using heatmaps and other analytical tools.

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Superior matching capabilities

Watchlist data quality is not always optimal, and discrepancies can then have grave consequences. The Boston Marathon bomber story is just one example. In this case, Federal agencies overlooked the suspect because his name in travel documents was inconsistent. But our MITRE Award-winning “human-like” matching resolves such issues. This is because it easily handles spelling variants, typos, and other data quality problems. As a result, the number of manual checks border officials need to carry out is reduced.

Multi-cultural name matching is another significant security pitfall. For instance, take the Arabic name HERMES Border Management and Passenger Screening Solution – Mohammed. Transliteration into the Latin alphabet can yield many different spelling variants, such as Muhamet or Muhammed. Identification documents may also contain diminutives (Bill for William or Sasha for Alexander). And patronyms too (Ivanovich or Ivanovna, son or daughter of Ivan).

By the same token, similar issues arise with international variants of place names. Watchlists may, for example, store the Dutch city of The Hague as Den Haag (Dutch), The Hague (English), La Haye (French), La Haya (Spanish), and so on. Ambiguous dates pose yet another hurdle: does 06/08/1999 stand for June 8, or August 6? Even so, HERMES  and our ELISE ID Platform catches and matches any such variants with ease.

HERMES Border Management and Passenger Screening Solution

Key HERMES features

  • Full watchlist matching functionality
    • Load data from national law enforcement-controlled databases to use as watchlists
    • Connect to national and international watchlists or integrate with systems already connecting to these (e.g. Interpol SLTD)
    • Fuzzy matching on incomplete or incorrect watchlist data
    • Short-term local watchlist functionality (temporary “be-on-the-lookout-for” alerts)
  • Automatic load balancing, failover, and disaster recovery capabilities
  • Connectivity to airline and ship data providers for accepting passenger data
  • Risk assessment based on expert profiles; easy to edit and/or add your own
  • Adherence to WCO/IATA/ICAO standards
  • Support of UN/EDIFACT PAXLST format and PNR GOV and CUSRES standards
  • Enterprise-grade, flexible, future-proof solution that can be integrated and extended as required
HERMES Border Management and Passenger Screening Solution

Key HERMES features

  • Full watchlist matching functionality
    • Load data from national law enforcement-controlled databases to use as watchlists
    • Connect to national and international watchlists or integrate with systems already connecting to these (e.g. Interpol SLTD)
    • Fuzzy matching on incomplete or incorrect watchlist data
    • Short-term local watchlist functionality (temporary “be-on-the-lookout-for” alerts)
  • Automatic load balancing, failover, and disaster recovery capabilities
  • Connectivity to airline and ship data providers for accepting passenger data
  • Risk assessment based on expert profiles; easy to edit and/or add your own
  • Adherence to WCO/IATA/ICAO standards
  • Support of UN/EDIFACT PAXLST format and PNR GOV and CUSRES standards
  • Enterprise-grade, flexible, future-proof solution that can be integrated and extended as required

Success Stories

UNHCR

(United Nations)

UNHCR

• The UN lacked insight into the movement of refugees between camps. Identity and rations fraud were major challenges.

• UNHCR’s Identity Management System uses WCC ELISE ID Platform with integrated biographical data and biometrics.
• UNHCR can now monitor refugee migration, and refugee families are reunited more quickly. ID and food ration card fraud has decreased significantly.

eu-LISA

(Europe)

European Union

• The EU needed a central database for all visa applications in order to combat ‘visa shopping’.
• The EU VIS system uses WCC ELISE ID Platform with biographic matching and multi-cultural name matching capabilities.

• EU VIS is the most stable and highest-performing of all EU systems.

For more details, including the use of UMF to achieve EU interoperability, please visit this blog.

Instituto Nacional de Migración

(Mexico)

Instituto Nacional de Migración

• The large flow of immigrants crossing the Guatemalan border with Mexico called for border control and an Identity Management System.
• The Identity Management System uses ELISE ID Platform with integrated biographic data and biometrics.
• The system gives insights into migratory routes, records multiple encounters of the same person, and can also assist food allocation using biometric data.

eu-LISA

(Europe)

European Union

• The EU needed a central database for all visa applications in order to combat ‘visa shopping’.
• The EU VIS system uses WCC ELISE ID Platform with biographic matching and multi-cultural name matching capabilities.

• EU VIS is the most stable and highest-performing of all EU systems.

For more details, including the use of UMF to achieve EU interoperability, please visit this blog.

Instituto Nacional de Migración

(Mexico)

Instituto Nacional de Migración

• The large flow of immigrants crossing the Guatemalan border with Mexico called for border control and an Identity Management System.
• The Identity Management System uses ELISE ID Platform with integrated biographic data and biometrics.
• The system gives insights into migratory routes, records multiple encounters of the same person, and can also assist food allocation using biometric data.

UNHCR

(United Nations)

UNHCR

• The UN lacked insight into the movement of refugees between camps. Identity and rations fraud were major challenges.

• UNHCR’s Identity Management System uses WCC ELISE ID Platform with integrated biographical data and biometrics.
• UNHCR can now monitor refugee migration, and refugee families are reunited more quickly. ID and food ration card fraud has decreased significantly.

eu-LISA

(Europe)

European Union

• The EU needed a central database for all visa applications in order to combat ‘visa shopping’.
• The EU VIS system uses WCC ELISE ID Platform with biographic matching and multi-cultural name matching capabilities.

• EU VIS is the most stable and highest-performing of all EU systems.

For more details, including the use of UMF to achieve EU interoperability, please visit this blog.

Instituto Nacional de Migración

(Mexico)

Instituto Nacional de Migración

• The large flow of immigrants crossing the Guatemalan border with Mexico called for border control and an Identity Management System.
• The Identity Management System uses ELISE ID Platform with integrated biographic data and biometrics.
• The system gives insights into migratory routes, records multiple encounters of the same person, and can also assist food allocation using biometric data.

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