OpticalLock: Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Published: Monday, December 17, 2018

Theft takes heavy toll on the cargo industry every year with losses amounting to billions. But today’s advanced technologies and cargo tampering devices are bent on protecting the goods while in transit.

If there’s not enough protection, physically or by law, cargo transiting to another country en route to its final destination, may be stolen or tampered with.

Increasing cargo volumes globally demand stringent regulations and protection, according to industry experts.
In a report titled ‘Cargo handling Equipment’ market by Application (Air, Land & Marine) Equipment, Propulsion and Region – Global Forecast to 2025 published by Markets and Markets, it was pointed out that cargo handling market equipment is projected to rise at a CAGR of 3.61%, during the forecast period, to reach market size of $28.02 billion by 2025.

Carol Fuller, CEO of OpticalLock, explains to Air Cargo Update how OpticalLock ensures the cargo arriving safely with zero chances of it been compromised.

Protection and Security

The OpticalLock OPTi-100 series of devices includes three components: lock hardware, cloud-based management software and a field user mobile app to provide multiple layers of security for the protection of high value goods.
The OPTi-100 combines the functionality of a traditional padlock, GPS tracker, wireless alerting and a security seal, plus much more. Unlike many Internet-connected devices, the OPTi-100 was designed with the highest levels of cyber security throughout all of the system’s hardware and software components.

Fuller notes, “The versatility of the padlock form factor allows the OPTi-100’s use in a wide variety of security applications.

Typical applications include protection of high value goods while in transit or in storage such as electronic components and consumer electronics, pharmaceuticals, jewelry, sensitive documents, currency, artwork, defense related equipment and aerospace components and election ballots. While this list represents some common uses, the product is applicable to the protection of any goods that are considered ‘high value’ (whether monetary or otherwise) where the container, trailer, closet, room or building can be secured by a padlock”.

Simple-to-execute solution

OpticalLock provides a high-tech, simple-to-execute solution to the worldwide problem of high value goods storage and cargo tampering. The product is based on proprietary fiber-optic technology and combines with web-based management software to provide secure, real-time mapping and wireless alerting of any anomalous events.
Real-Time Benefits include:
Wireless alerts to designated users upon unauthorized entry, tampering attempts or other anomalous events
Remote tracking and location information worldwide via onboard GPS
Assurance that the OPTi-100 has not been tampered with via the OPTiShield™ technology in conjunction with Field User Mobile App.

Onboard sensors which to warn of conditions dangerous to the lock’s operation such has extremely high temperatures, excessive moisture, violent impact, low battery levels, etc;
Authorization required via the Field User Mobile App to open an OPTi-100 without triggering an alert.
Sophisticated GeoFencing technology, which generates alerts for designated events, such as exiting a specified route, arriving at a designated location, or exceeding the time, set aside for the completion of a trip.

Other benefits

The OpticalLock Management Software stores all data, which can be helpful in managing security and logistics operations. Some examples:
Gaining an understanding of common geographic areas or typical times where attempted theft or tampering occurs
Audit trail reports of by whom and when locks were opened
Reports tracking the frequency of GeoFencing anomalies and other triggered alerts
Maps of current OPTi-100 inventory location and availability for logistics planning purposes.
The Management software includes a powerful ad hoc report writer, which enables users to generate customized reports and present their data in a personalized manner.

Cargo tampering reduction

OpticalShield is a unique fiber optic technology developed and patented by OpticalLock. This technology increases security and reduces tampering in our products because it generates a signature unique to each OPTi-100 padlock, which cannot be recreated. This ensures that it is impossible clone or duplicate the device. In addition, if attempt are made to compromise the shackle of the OPTi-100 the OpticalShield will trigger an alert, which is sent to designated personnel.

“Additionally, OpticalShield technology is broadly applicable in a number of other markets where tamper-detection is critical. OpticalShield is available to select partners via licensing for inclusion in non-competitive products”.

The OpticalLock management software is a cloud-based application delivered as a Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) subscription, requires no software installation, only access via any Internet connected device with a standard browser.

It provides for configuration and monitoring of all lock inventory, granting of permissions to various categories of users of the OpticalLock system, as well as enabling the many features and benefits discussed elsewhere in this Q&A. Examples include real-time tracking, geo-fencing, real-time wireless alerts, notification of any relevant events or anomalies with the OPTi-100 units in service, as well as a report writer for reporting and long term planning purposes.

The OPTi-100 contains a GPS module which sends location data to the Management Software. This allows real-time tracking of the devices from within the mapping functions of the management software, as well as enabling premium management software features such as geo-fencing and real-time alerts.
“As mentioned before, the management software is the monitoring console which allows users to track their devices on maps in real-time as well as generate alerts in real-time for any anomalous events that the lock encounters, including unauthorized attempts at entry”.

The management software also monitors and stores data generated by the lock’s on-board sensors such as temperature, motion, time, battery level, light intrusion.

Replacing traditional padlock

Each OpticalLock has a unique signature that cannot be duplicated. Used in place of a traditional padlock, the OpticalLock is placed on the shipping container or storage room door (as well as anywhere else a padlock can be used) and its unique signature is electronically registered.

While the room is unattended or while the container is in transit, OpticalLock include GPS location functionality as well as real-time quiet alarms with automatic wireless alerting which are activated upon any attempted tampering with the lock.

Upon reaching its destination or when a storage room is accessed, the signature of the container’s OpticalLock is securely verified via our Field User Smartphone App, ensuring that it matches the OpticalLock signature registered in our encrypted, cloud-based database when the shipping container or storage room was originally locked.
The OpticalLock system also features powerful, web-accessible management console software which enables the user to track the location of high value goods on high resolution maps, receive alerts on any tampering attempts or unusual events as well as manage your lock inventory and report on and analyze your usage data.

“Because the OPTi-100 is packaged in the same form factor as a common padlock, it can be utilized anywhere a padlock hasp is available to secure a container, vehicle storage compartment, warehouse cage or room. In addition, the OPTi-100 series includes options such as GSM cell network and WiFi, making in flexible enough to connect via available communications channels, indoor or outdoor”.

Unique security combination

“We came up with the original idea as a way to prevent and deter counterfeit parts and products from entering the US supply chain. This was especially true for parts and products that supplied the US DOD which interfered with effective mission execution, as well as the fact that companies worldwide lose about $653.77 billion per year because of this activity (Havoscope-Global Black Market Information).

“And we believe it is very unique. The OpticalLock OPTi-100 series updates the venerable, widely used common padlock with high tech security features for the 21st century. We believe that the combination of this universal padlock form factor with features such as GPS tracking, real-time alerts, fiber-optic based tamper evidence technology and wireless communications is unique and powerful in securing the supply chain industry.

“We believe it should become standard equipment for any cargo company whose customers are concerned with theft or potential tampering of their valuable cargo.

We believe that the Opticallock products can play a significant role in reducing cargo theft, by providing real-time tracking and alerts during attempted theft but also by providing a powerful deterrent which will make thieves focus on other, less protected shipments.

Tamper detection technology

Traditional mechanical locks can be cut and easily replaced: they can beduplicated, broken, or tampered with in such a way that the internalmsecurity mechanism of the lock is bypassed and the lock become useless.
The OpticalLock approach is different. The OPTi-100 is more than a justa lock. If tampered with in any way, it sends silent wireless alerts to management, providing real-time actionable intelligence to thwart theattempt immediately.

And unlike traditional padlocks, it cannot be duplicated. The OpticalShield™ fiber-optic, tamper-detection technology, requires each unique fiber-opticsignature to be matched to the OPTi-100’s original signature recordedwhen manufactured. No two can ever be identical.

“In addition to robust security and theft prevention, the OpticalLock System includes a cyber-secured, cloud-based tracking and management reporting system. All combine to provide you with absolute confidence in yourstorage and shipping integrity,” concludes Fuller.