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Highlights of Sustainability Activities Innovation 2015 Case 3: Initiatives for Social Infrastructure Security Robust Urban Security for Both Safety and Convenience

Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. (USA)

Robust Urban Security for Both Safety and Convenience

Social Issues Related to Social Infrastructure Security

Increasing dangers are now foreseen from climate change, such as abnormal weather and natural disasters on a global scale. We are also seeing diversification of other threats that can hinder the operation of social infrastructure, such as frequent cyber attacks as urban infrastructure becomes increasingly networked and rises in armed terrorism in response to globalization.

Daily life and business in modern society are supported by an assortment of services brought to us by social infrastructure, such as medical care, waterworks, electricity, and transportation. People demand that the provision of services by social infrastructure operators be continuous and stable, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. The networking of infrastructural systems that had previously provided service independently, tying them into other networks and devices to make cities even more convenient, has also been proceeding.

Since there is a danger that damage from a disaster or accident could affect a larger area following the initial outbreak, disaster response has become even more important. Services provided by social infrastructure depend upon one another, and so the wide variety of relevant organizations and operators must all work together while handling new threats.


  • Diversifying threats to social infrastructure, such as natural disasters and cyber attacks
  • Heightened reliance on infrastructure in our daily lives, making continual service provision vital
  • Networking of social infrastructure services that increases their convenience but also potentially the mutual impact when trouble strikes

Hitachi's Approach

Addressing Diverse Threats in Adaptive, Responsive, and Cooperative Ways

In order to strengthen the security of social infrastructure, we must implement appropriate precautionary measures so that services can be maintained even in the event of damage, reducing the expansion of harm and its ripple effects while also being increasingly proactive about growing risks. All concerned institutions need to work together in a coordinated manner as they strive to enact a swift recovery.

We must realize a society robust enough to handle extreme disasters—one where people are protected from threats before they are even realized, without impacting their convenience or comfort. If an accident or attack happens at a large-scale international event, institutions need to work together to respond quickly, protect people's safety and security while continuing to provide services, and continue handling threats as they surface while safeguarding the convenience of ordinary people.

At Hitachi, we believe that social infrastructure security solutions must be Adaptive, continually strengthening defenses and precautionary countermeasures for novel and diversifying threats; Responsive, seeking to minimize damage and speed up recovery time after a disaster, attack, or other incident has occurred; and Cooperative, to address incidents via cooperation and information sharing among different organizations and service providers so that they can be aware of each other's circumstances. We grapple with a broad range of security countermeasures on both the physical and virtual fronts.

Since its founding, Hitachi has cultivated a range of individual technologies in the course of providing social infrastructure to the world and worked to integrate them toward further protection of safety and security. We continue to provide comprehensive solutions that cover everything from risk analysis and consulting to system establishment and operational support.

Case 1: Keeping Major Facilities Both Convenient and Secure Against Diversified Threats

In today's society, where threats of terrorism and violent crime have risen markedly, expectations have also grown for security systems that help to ensure societal safety and security. Threats to large-scale facilities like event halls, sports facilities, airports, and stations, where people assemble or transit, are more diverse than simple terrorism. They also include flooding due to torrential rain, large-scale blackouts, and transit outages. Providing safety and security requires physical security, employing IT or other advanced technology, in addition to human security like guards. In environments with high-volume traffic by people over a large area, more advanced security technologies are also needed to avoid hindering the convenience of ordinary users.

In the three fields of "personal authentication," "explosives detection," and "suspicious person tracking technology," Hitachi has been developing security technology that promotes safety and convenience. Linking this technology with IT systems makes it possible to detect explosives inside a person's luggage, identify that person's movements within the facility, and keep track of the individual's location. These Hitachi solutions also enable highly convenient security services necessary for safety evaluation by checking which people and items are safe, based on the results of personal authentication and detection of explosives.

Biometric Technology for Smooth and Accurate Personal Authentication

Today attention is focusing on difficult-to-fool biometric authentication technology that can protect against trespassing by suspicious individuals. One form of biometric technology is finger vein authentication. By requiring users to place their fingers in a specified location, this can cause bottlenecks to the flow of people through a space as they stop at checkpoints. To improve this situation, Hitachi has developed Finger Vein Authentication Technology for Smooth and Accurate Walkthrough-style Personal Verification. This allows personal authentication of users merely by having them hold up their fingers while walking past the equipment. By instantaneously detecting a vein pattern on a finger, this technology eases congestion by allowing people to pass through gates more quickly, even when they hold up varying numbers of fingers or present their hands in different positions or orientations.

Large facilities are often equipped with multiple units operated through touchscreens, such as ATMs, ticket vending machines, or check-in stations. Hitachi is now developing technology that can enable personal authentication while a user is operating the unit, by taking both a camera image of the user's face and an infrared image of the finger vein pattern. This technology could allow for highly accurate control of persons within the space.

Walkthrough-style finger vein authentication gate.

Efficient, Fast Explosive Detection Technology

Hitachi has developed a device that can rapidly detect substances adhering to an object or person, such as the raw materials for an explosive. This technology uses pipes to collect air samples from multiple points within the facility at the same time, pulls the air samples into a material analysis device, and determines the location of raw materials from the information obtained by comparing different combinations of those spatially dispersed samples, among other steps. This allows the quick, efficient detection of dangerous material without the need to use multiple expensive mass spectrometers.

Tracking Suspicious Persons with Security Camera Imagery

Hitachi has developed tracking technology that can quickly and accurately follow a suspicious figure inside crowded facilities via fragmentary data, such as the color of clothing or luggage, or the subject's movement history—even if a security camera has not captured the person's face. The product automatically extracts and stores in a database data on the characteristics of different parts of a person's face or upper body, as well as information on the route taken. The associated information can be used to track the movement of a person.

Case 2: "Defense in Depth" to Protect Against Rising Cyber Attack Threats

Particularly in newly emerging economies, installation is underway of social infrastructure that forms the basis for economic development. At the same time, demand for renovation of social infrastructure is also growing in developed nations, where such infrastructure is aging fast. In response to these needs and in order to actualize highly reliable systems at a low price, we have seen increasing usage of general-purpose platforms that can be used in multiple social infrastructure control systems. And as infrastructure has grown more convenient, we have increasingly networked it to other devices or systems, thus increasing connectivity to the Internet as a whole.

As a result, control systems for social infrastructure have taken the first steps from being a closed environment to becoming an open one, due to the global sharing of technology and their connections to the digital sphere. Their risk of suffering cyber attack has increased accordingly. Control systems for social infrastructure are expected to continue providing service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and if this infrastructure stops even briefly, the damage could expand and paralyze urban functionality. Particularly in the field of cybersecurity, where new viruses and software allowing fraudulent operation of systems are constantly being developed, it is increasingly difficult to head off all potential problems during the development stage. In the event of an attack, the key is to issue a warning quickly and respond instantaneously in order to minimize the damage.

"Defense in Depth" to Minimize Damage to Control Systems

Hitachi provides products and solutions to implement security measures for the control systems that support social infrastructure, taking into consideration the need for this infrastructure to operate reliably over the long term and the factor of a rising tide of cyber attacks.

Hitachi focuses on "defense in depth" when strengthening security for control systems. For example, we enhance security by establishing defense points in several layers of a system. If the outermost firewall is pierced then there is still another security layer after that one, and further layers inside of that. First, an outermost layer guards against intrusions from the network into control systems, or leaks. For particularly critical systems, we provide unidirectional connectivity devices that block off access from the external network. We provide units for monitoring and rejecting untrustworthy PCs to quickly detect an attacker or virus that has penetrated the system and to prevent access to important data or functionality. We are also developing solutions that use special decoy servers to recognize malware that has penetrated at an early stage, capture it, and analyze it. Hitachi solutions promote stronger security functionality overall alongside the hardening of each component of the control system.

Enhancing Security for Control Systems


The increasingly networked nature of social infrastructure means that a threat to one type of infrastructure is a threat to the entire network. All infrastructure areas must equip themselves against attacks from the information zone. Hitachi develops solutions to swiftly detect unauthorized access and prevent intruders from reaching valuable data and functions. By hardening each component of a control system, we enhance its security capabilities as a whole.

Contributing to the Establishment of International Standards

As needs for social infrastructure rise around the world, that infrastructure is increasingly being networked. If the security of improperly configured social infrastructure is compromised, the effect can be propagated around the world. In order to boost the security in control systems on a global level, it is an urgent task to establish security guidelines and countermeasures that can be shared and evaluated globally. Various governmental bodies, standards organizations, and industry associations are now working to establish standards for the security of control systems. Hitachi is establishing guidelines for securely constructing control systems based on the specifications in established standards while also participating proactively in pilot projects to enable operators to obtain international security certifications in Japan as well. We are contributing to standardization activities directed at the development of security technology infrastructure.

Furthermore, Hitachi has participated since the beginning in an industry-government-academic joint Control System Security Center (CSSC) that was established to safeguard the security of critical infrastructure control systems. The CSSC performs a comprehensive range of activities, from R&D, international standardization activities, certification, personnel development, and public awareness promotion to the validation of security for all manner of systems. Hitachi is collaborating with the organization to promote the improvement of control systems' security, through activities including joint research into measures to enhance control system security, the use of simulated plants for control system training, and the security auditing of control equipment.

Case 3: Data Integration to Boost Coordination in Disaster Response

As the world faces increasingly serious risks from climate change, threats like natural disasters and abnormal weather are climbing. Urban functionality is increasingly advanced and complex today, and the damage resulting from a natural disaster can be higher than ever as a result. In an emergency, when circumstances are shifting from one moment to the next, minimizing the damage done to social infrastructure and enabling the rapid restoration to ordinary life, while placing top priority on the saving of lives, requires all involved organizations to cooperate and make decisions in a swift and sound manner.

To that end, we must first strengthen monitoring functionality across all of society and rapidly collate the needed data. It is also vitally important to organize, categorize, and synthesize the collected data, so that it can be shared across the relevant organizations in order to rapidly analyze the situation and predict how it will unfold.

Hitachi develops disaster-prevention and -response solutions that incorporate the "OODA loop" (observe, orient, decide, act)*1 decision-making concept as an operational paradigm.

This sequence of steps was originally devised in the 1970s by the US Air Force as a model for real-time decision making.

Rapid Decision Making with the OODA Loop

The OODA loop is a theory that enables swift and sound decision making, while repeating the cycle of observe, orient, decide, and act. In the "observe" stage, we rapidly collect data from various sensors such as seismographs, water level monitors, observation cameras, satellites, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and detect abnormalities. In the "orient" stage, we synthesize the collected data, conduct risk simulations of potential damage, and provide supplementary data on possible future developments or situations that may develop in order to grasp the ongoing situation. In the "decide" stage, we support an efficient, effective command structure for rescue and restoration, enabling rapid decision making. And in the "act" stage, we provide functionality for managing the logistics of distribution instructions, inventory control, requests for relief supplies, and community services like safety verification and management of evacuation sites, all while supporting rescue and rebuilding operations.

Interagency Cooperation with the Integrated Disaster Management Information System

The Integrated Disaster Management Information System of Japan's Cabinet Office is a solution for disaster prevention and disaster response that Hitachi provides. Its main purpose is to promote the sharing and delivery of disaster readiness and response information held by national and local government bodies while quickly evaluating the scope of a disaster that has occurred. Its central functionality, utilizing the Geographic Information System (GIS), is the registration and utilization of disaster-prevention data. This allows the collection and sharing of disaster-prevention data among organizations involved in disaster response and provides functionality for the quick evaluation of earthquake damage by running simulations on the scope of damage when an earthquake has occurred. Building on the Japanese government's Fundamental Plan for National Resilience, Hitachi expects to roll out further improvements in the transmission and sharing of data, not only at the national level but also among local governments, designated public institutions, and citizens. We are also implementing upgrades to improve information handling, based on the results of studies by various governmental working groups.

Hitachi is also extending its observation to data passing through social networking services like Twitter, blogs, and message boards, in order to improve its grasp of unfolding disaster situations. We are developing systems to quickly assess these situations by creating map-based visualizations from data found on social networks and providing data that will be useful in decision making.

Hitachi will continue pursuing research and development that integrates various data collected when a disaster occurs and produces usable outcomes as a contribution to disaster-response activities, thereby helping to realize a safe and secure society. We hope to contribute to disaster mitigation by providing systems that effectively support decision making and on-the-ground activities when disasters happen.

Future Outlook

Providing total technology solutions covering broad fields, we aim to optimize social infrastructure security around the world.

By connecting many different physical components of its society via IT, Japan has achieved an advanced social infrastructure. Today, though, the threats to social infrastructure, including natural disasters and cyberterrorism, have become increasingly diverse and complex. Hitachi provides security technology in a wide range of fields, from control systems to disaster prevention. By crafting not just individual systems but total solutions, we hope to contribute to improving the safety and security of social infrastructure as a whole. We are advancing services taking the technology we have developed in many business areas and utilizing them holistically in order to maintain the security of systems as a whole.

The ability to set forth clear directions and management ability that can utilize security technology appropriately are vital in opposing the rapidly expanding threats we face today. Standardization aimed at strengthening crisis management has also become indispensable to the global community. Hitachi is contributing to standardization activities that promote enhancing and extending security around the world, in accordance with the technical trends of the international standards field.

To help ensure social infrastructure security on a global scale, we must have personnel with mastery of information, control, and many other systems who can determine customers' most pressing needs and address them appropriately. Hitachi will continue to improve its cultivation of global human resources who are equipped with the skill and mental acumen to handle the task of social infrastructure security optimization around the globe.

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