ESA has standardized its visitor registration with id-visitor

The European Space Agency (ESA) receives more than 70.000 visitors a year from various nationalities at its ESTEC site in Noordwijk. The visitors range from high ranked officials to convention visitors. Each visitor is verified with id-visitor. “The conference visitors often arrive on coaches, because of this staff at the reception desk must sometimes verify documents of 300 people within a half hour period. This creates a tremendous workload, which in the past has led to insufficient verification of identity documents. With the introduction of id-visitor the identity of each visitor is checked in the same thorough yet quick way. In addition, the introduction of id-visitor ensures that the security level is raised to the desired and required level for high-tech projects” According to Mr. Van Hove, ESTEC Security Officer.

PDF version of the case study of ESA

Mystery guest

CTSN (Consultants on Targeted Security Nederland) is responsible for the security on the site of ESTEC. They make use of mystery guests whom test the security standard. Estec Site Manager explains: “Our people have received training from the Royal Dutch Marechaussee. This was an instructive and useful exercise, but after several weeks and under a great workload the knowledge is not always applied. It is also impossible to verify so many visitors in a short period of time and to process each document with the usual look, feel and tilt method. To take the test, we have had some mystery guests with falsified documents going towards our premises. The results caused to review our procedures and we decided to look for a suitable solution. Id-visitor is the solution for us. After the introduction of id-visitor we have once again sent out our mystery guests. This time equipped with a forged driving license where the picture was replaced. The solution rejected the document, resulting in denying access to the site. The same procedure was followed when a foreign journalist with an invalid document tried to enter the site.”

The reception desk is our business card

Because of the diversity and the number of visitors, ESTEC attaches great importance to the reception desk. “The reception desk is the business card of the organization. It is the first point of contact with ESA. In the past there was sometimes a competition between service and security. On occasions service provision was more important than checking documents. With the implementation of id-visitor this has changed. The security level has taken a big leap forward, but this is not at the expense of the service. Besides this, id-visitor significantly increased the awareness among the staff of the reception desk” said Mr. Hoeksma.

Id-visitor is more than just scanning

Id-visitor is used for four different purposes:

  1. As a security tool: all documents are verified automatically.
  2. As a registration tool: each visitor is scanned and thus we know who is present on our grounds at any time.
  3. For incident investigation: should an incident occur, it is easy to open the ID file of the registered visitor.
  4. Secure storage of data: all the sensitive information of all our visitors is protected in a simple but very efficient and secure way.

“By covering these four points we meet our internal standards and regulations. This ensures that we meet the demanding requirements for securing high-tech projects such as the Galileo project.”

Id-visitor is the standard

“The ease of use has led to the implementation of id-visitor at multiple locations. This has resulted in an equal security for everyone. Based on the security level all visitors are handled consistently. In this way, the procedures at the different locations are the same, standardized you might say. What I also like about the id-visitor solution is that it is easy to customize. In this way the whole internal procedures are tuned up to the maximum level. The software will only respond to issues that are important to us. I would recommend id-visitor to any kind of organization, especially when dealing with a high security standard.” Said Mr. Hoeksma.

The future

CTSN is together with ESA continuously looking to increase the level of security. This cannot be at the expense of service to the visitors. They see id-visitor as a step in the right direction. They also expect to use other functionalities of id-visitor in the near future. Mr. Van Hove: “Currently we are exploring different access control systems. One requirement is that the system can be connected with id-visitor, so that the scanned and controlled data can directly be incorporated. The development and the use of biometrics are closely monitored by CTSN and ESA. With the adding of face recognition into id-visitor, the implementation of biometrics is a step closer. With this option, the image of the document is automatically compared to the face of the holder of the document. In this way, look-a-like fraud is excluded and self-registration is possible on the basis of document review and face comparison.

European Space Agency (ESA)

ESA is the European Space Agency and responsible for the research and development of space travel in Europe. In addition, ESA ensure that through new services and products, space travel will be available to its citizens. ESA has approximately 2.200 employees. These highly educated people from all European countries are working as a scientist, engineer, IT specialist or as an administrative assistant. ESA’s role is to provide for and promote cooperation among European states in space research and technology and their space applications. Its satellites are designed to find out more about the earth, its surrounding space, the solar system and universe. ESA also develops technologies and services that uses satellites, and promotes the competitiveness of European industry. ESA works closely with space organizations outside Europe, so that much of the benefit of scientific progress can go to the entire world.

European Space Agency


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