European Space Agency (ESA) & ID-Visitor

70,000 visitors per year
The European Space Agency (ESA) receives more than 70,000 visitors of various nationalities each year at the ESTEC site in Noordwijk. The visitors range from dignitaries to conference delegates. Each visitor is checked using ID-Visitor. "Because the conference visitors often arrive by the coachload, our reception staff may have to process up to 300 people in half an hour. This creates an enormous workload, which in the past has resulted in poor verification of identification documents. With the arrival of ID-Visitor, every visitor's proof of identity is thoroughly and quickly checked in the same way. In addition, the arrival of ID-Visitor has ensured that the level of security has been raised to the desired or even required level, for example in high-tech projects." So says the ESTEC Security Officer.

Mystery guest
CTSN (Consultants on Targeted Security Nederland) is responsible for the implementation of security on the ESTEC site. They make use of mystery guests who test the security standards. According to the ESTEC site manager: ""Our people received training from the Royal Military Police in the past. This was instructive training but after a few weeks and under great pressure of work the knowledge is not always applied. Besides, it is impossible to process so many visitors in a short period of time if every document has to be checked through the actions of visually inspecting, feeling and tilting the document. To put this to the test, we sent out some mystery guests with forged documents. The result made us think and decide to look for a suitable solution. We have found this with ID-Visitor. After the introduction of ID-Visitor, we sent out another mystery guest. This time with a driving licence where the photo had been replaced. The solution rejected the document and access was subsequently denied. The same process took place in the case of a foreign journalist who tried to enter the premises with an invalid document.""

Reception desk is business card

Reception desk is business card

Because of the great diversity and number of visitors, ESTEC attaches great importance to the reception desk. ""The reception desk is the organisation's business card. It is the first moment of contact with the ESA. In the past, there was sometimes a conflict between service and security. Granting access was more important than validation. With the introduction of ID-Visitor, this has changed. The level of security has gone up by leaps and bounds but not at the expense of service. In addition, ID-Visitor has significantly increased the awareness of the reception desk staff."" This according to the site manager.

ID-Visitor more than just scanning

Mr. van Hove: ""ID-Visitor is used for four different purposes:

  1. As a security tool: all documents are checked automatically.
  2. As a registration tool: every visitor is scanned and so we know who is on the premises.
  3. In incident investigation: should an incident occur, it is easy to access the ID file of the person concerned.
  4. Secure storage of data: all privacy-sensitive information of our visitors is secured in a simple but very efficient way.

With these four points, we comply with our internal rules and regulations. This ensures that we meet the strict requirements for carrying out high-tech projects, such as the Galileo project.""

ID-Visitor is de standaard

ESA uses a total of four ID-Visitor solutions, which monitor every visitor. It does not matter whether it is a business visitor or a visitor to Space Expo, everyone has to identify themselves and will be checked. ""The ease of use has led us to implement ID-Visitor at multiple locations. As a result, the security level is the same for everyone. All visitors are treated in the same way in terms of security. In this way, the procedures at the different locations are the same; standardised you could say. What I also like about ID-Visitor is that it is customisable. This enables you to align everything with the internal procedures. The software only reacts to the points that are important to us. I would recommend ID-Visitor to any organisation, especially if they are subject to a high security standard."" This according to the site manager.

The future

Together with ESA, CTSN is constantly looking to raise the level of security. But this should not be at the expense of service to visitors. They see that with ID-Visitor they have taken a step in the right direction.  They also expect to further exploit the functionalities of ID-Visitor in the future. Mr van Hove: ""At the moment, we are looking into different access control systems. A prerequisite is that the system can be linked to ID-Visitor so that the scanned and verified data can be processed directly in it."" The development and applicability of biometrics are closely monitored by CTSN and ESA. By linking face comparison to ID-Visitor, the applicability of biometrics comes a step closer. With this functionality, the passport photo of the document can be compared with the face of the document holder. In this way, lookalike fraud is excluded and self-registration based on document control and face comparison is possible.

European Space Agency (ESA)

ESA is the European Space Agency which is responsible for the development of space travel in Europe. In addition, ESA makes new services and products available to Europe's inhabitants through space travel. ESA has about 2,200 employees. These highly educated people come from all EU member states and work as scientists, engineers, IT specialists or as administrative staff. ESA's task is to develop and implement the European Space Programme. The satellites are designed to learn more about the Earth, the space surrounding it, the solar system and the universe. In addition, ESA develops technologies and services using satellites and promotes the competitiveness of European industry. ESA works closely with space organisations outside Europe, so that much of the scientific progress can benefit the whole world.