nCipher completes successful airport biometric security trials

Biometric Technology gets thumbs up from Airport Passengers

The miSense biometric airport security trials at Heathrow Airport that used nCipher (LSE: NCH) encryption and database security technology have received a positive response from passengers. According to a report released today, the vast majority of people who participated in the miSense trials would recommend the service to their fellow travellers.

The comprehensive report evaluates the experiences and feedback of the 3,166 passengers who took part in the voluntary trials in Heathrow's Terminal 3 during a sixteen week period. It is widely regarded as one of the largest and most comprehensive trials of biometrically-enabled access control ever to be conducted in an operational transport environment.

The report finds that passengers not only accept the need for biometric technology as a means of providing increased levels of security, but also believe that it can significantly improve their journey through the airport. The quantitative and qualitative research found that passengers thought that the miSense biometric technology was easy to use and reduced waiting times at security screening and passport control.

nCipher's Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) were deployed in the miSense system to generate and protect the unique cryptographic keys that were used to identify and validate each traveller based on their biometric information. In addition, nCipher's database encryption solution was used to protect stored passenger information and passport details in order to ensure compliance with data protection legislation.

"People want better airport security, but also want to avoid the long delays that might result from increased scrutiny of passengers," says Alex van Someren, chief executive officer at nCipher. "The miSense trials have shown that an effective and well implemented biometric solution can increase protection and also improve the passenger experience. Protecting the integrity of stored passenger information underpins the security of miSense and we are delighted that nCipher technology has played an important role in the success of the trials."

Highlights of the report include:

How easy was the enrolment process? - 87% easy or very easy
How long did it take to use the gate? - 66% less than 15 seconds
What is the most important benefit? - 72% faster journey times
Overall, what did you think of the miSense plus service? - 81% good or excellent
Would you recommend the service to a fellow traveller? - 89% would recommend the service

The miSense project was launched in November 2006 and uses the latest biometric technologies to simplify a passenger's journey through the airport while maintaining high levels of security and identity management. The trial is part of IATA's Simplifying Passenger Travel Programme, and
involves a number of key airport, airline, government and technology partners, including Accenture, BAA, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, the Home Office, IER, Raytheon Systems Limited, Sagem Dfense Scurit and SITA.

Copies of the report are available at

About nCipher

nCipher protects critical enterprise data for many of the world's most security-conscious organizations. Delivering solutions in the fields of identity management, data protection, enterprise key management and cryptographic hardware, nCipher enables businesses to identify who can access data, to protect data in transit and at rest, and to comply with the growing number of privacy-driven regulations. nCipher plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:NCH).

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