Facial Recognition surveillance cameras have been adapted to monitor how consumers choose what to buy.

Scientists at Queen’s University in Belfast are also using their expertise to shore up the country’s defences against cyber attacks.

David Crozier from the Centre for Secure Information Technologies at the university explained: “Everyone is aware of Northern Ireland’s troubled history from the early Sixties.

“It was a turbulent environment which necessitated security solutions and drove innovations in a bid to keep people safe but now, in a time of peace, we are adapting the security monitoring for use in other areas.

“For example, the intelligence surveillance over CCTV to track individuals over a space. You pick up someone’s face and clothes in one area and on to the next. Then, for a retail space, you can look at how people behave in a retail environment.

“For example, you can pick up on the visual cues. When they see a special offer in the store, do they stop or is it something that they hurry past?

“It enables retailers to tweak the way they arrange the store to the best advantage.”

A Home Affairs Select Committee report recently warned that Britain was losing the war on online crime and that cyber attacks pose a greater threat to Britain than a nuclear assault.

Mr Crozier explained how the university’s researchers are working to tackle the danger.

He said: “For a persistent threat like this you have to be able to look at the bigger picture in a company or a Government department. You need to be able to track things over a period of time and you need the ability to see if people have hacked into the system and are gradually leaking bits of information out.

“You are looking for things that are not normal and for an insider threat as well as for an attack from outside.

“We have developed and adapted systems to look for these anomalies. So, if someone would be employed for a 9am to 5pm regime but they appear at 8am or stay late at night, that would flag up as something to look at.

“Similarly, you would be looking at the domain server in a company or a department and looking at the evidential reasoning networks. This flags up the five or six events a day that you really need for security people to focus on.

“You need a system to work out what is relevant from the inconsequential.”

The technologies centre is about to take on its largest number of PhD students yet.

Mr Crozier said: “What we are doing here is a multi-faceted approach bringing together all the researchers and pooling their expertise.”

Source: Daily Express


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