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Key Considerations When Planning a Wireless Detection System

Gary Schluckbier

02/03/21

 

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Adopting a wireless detection system is an effective approach to keeping secure compartmented information facilities (SCIFs) free of mobile devices. In fact, with the number of potential threats growing all the time thanks to the proliferation of Wi-Fi®, cellular, and Bluetooth®-enabled smart products, an always-on, real-time wireless detection system is really the only practical way to detect and locate unauthorized devices. In our experience working with defense and government facilities on these projects, we’ve identified a few key considerations to keep in mind when planning and implementing a wireless detection system. 

 

Coverage Planning

Knowing that a network is being targeted is important, but in order to take action against a threat we need to know where it’s coming from. This is what makes accurate location detection one of the most valuable aspects of intrusion monitoring. Location detection requires triangulation, which means the signal of interest has to be received by at least three sensors. Arranging a sensor network so that every device that poses a potential threat is in range of three sensors is a critical step in the planning phase, and a lot of variables need to be accounted for - including square footage and even the building’s construction materials.

 

Setting a Threshold for Detection Events

Another important, and sometimes overlooked, aspect of the planning process is determining what events are the most important. Instead of setting up a system and then being inundated with alerts for devices that do not pose a threat, it helps to have a strategy for prioritizing the most important. For example, if a system is configured without any criteria for what triggers an alert, the user will be notified about every single device that gets detected regardless of where it is. In some cases, single sensors on the edge of a system will cause devices to be detected that are outside the area of interest, so setting the minimum number of detecting sensors required can eliminate the number of false alarms. Flying Fox® Enterprise allows users to set criteria for how many sensors are required to detect a device before it triggers an alarm. Anything that doesn’t meet the threshold simply gets logged for later review. Flying Fox Enterprise users can also designate geo-fences within a facility to narrow down the area devices are not allowed. This allows operators to focus only on the protected area. Creating these geo-fences is as simple as drawing a box around the areas of interest on the floorplan in the Flying Fox Enterprise application. 

 

Cellular Detection and Full Spectrum Visibility

In a previous blog, we discussed how Flying Fox Enterprise provides insight into the full spectrum of cellular transmissions, and how cellular detection is a little different and a lot more complex than Wi-Fi and Bluetooth detection. Designed to conserve battery power, cellular devices minimize their transmissions on the network. This means an idle phone may be virtually silent until it sends or receives a call, a text message or gets a weather update. For this reason, it’s critical to have sensors optimized to detect and decode the full cellular “handshake” the phone performs with the network as this important event can happen very infrequently. Flying Fox Enterprise’s patented cellular detection method makes efficient use of its multiple software defined radio (SDR) resources to detect cellular phones among all carriers and channels and efficiently decode the “handshake” to reliably detect and locate the phones.

 

Choosing the Right Intrusion Detection Partner

These are just a few of the things to consider when adopting an intrusion detection system. Epiq Solutions works with customers from planning through implementation, including developing a coverage plan, a comprehensive system description, and expert installation with an RF expert. Flying Fox Enterprise is on the Department of Defense Information Network (DoDIN) approved products list (APL) simplifying the process of implementing the solution in the DoD. If you have any questions about whether Flying Fox Enterprise can help you, we’d love to hear from you

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