• United States



by CSO Contributor

Security Through the Ages

Apr 15, 20056 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Pre-2000 B.C. Cords or ropes made of rush and fiber are used to secure doors closed.

2000 B.C. The first mechanical locks made of wood and organic materialssuch as earth and clayare used in ancient Egypt.

715 B.C. The first all-wooden locks are created sometime between 722 B.C. and 705 B.C.

880 The first all-metal locks appear between 870 and 900. The locks are Roman-manufactured and are based on Egyptian design principles. The locks are in various shapes with elaborate keys, some in the shape of birds or flowers.

1070 The Normans, England’s first knights, build the world’s first castles, commonly known as Motte and Bailey Castles.

1150 The earliest examples of stone castles are built in France. They are little more than a tower with a few windows and one door, typically elevated so that the stairs can be lifted inside during an attack.

1800s This century sees much advancement in lock making. In 1861, an American named Linus Yale Jr. invents the compact cylinder pin-tumbler lock, which uses Egyptian design principles. In this lock, the key turns a cylinder that rotates an attached arm that shifts the cylinder and causes linear motion of a bolt. Today, the cylinder lock is the most common lock design.

1870s The first patents on barbed wire are filed in the United States.

1881 Alexander Graham Bell invents the first crude metal detector.

1906 Lewis Nixon invents the first sonar-type listening device to detect icebergs.

1930s Radar, which stands for radio detection and ranging, is used by the United States and Great Britain during WWII to detect enemy aircraft. In 1930, engineers from the U.S. Naval Research Lab perform measurements of a radio antenna and, more or less by luck, independently discover radar. Their radio link happened to stretch across an aircraft landing strip, and the signal quality changed significantly when an aircraft crossed the beam. A German by the name of Heinrich Hertz first calculated that an electric current swinging rapidly back and forth in a conducting wire would radiate electromagnetic waves into the surrounding space.Today we call such waves “radio waves,” also known as the beginnings of modern radar technology.

1960s As early as 1965, press reports in the United States suggest that police officials begin using surveillance cameras in public places. In 1969, police cameras are installed in the New York City Municipal Building near City Hall.

Metorex Security Products develops first industrial metal detectors. These detectors were used extensively for mining and other industrial applications and are the predecessors to the technology used during the 1970s in airport metal detectors.

1963 The term hacker, in reference to a person who spends an exorbitant amount of time studying and manipulating computers, is coined at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Password encryption is developed by Roger Needham, a British engineer and computer scientist, at the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge.

1970s Analog technology using videocassette recordings means surveillance can be preserved as evidence. By the mid-1970s, there is an explosion around the world in the use of video surveillance in everything from law enforcement to traffic control and divorce proceedings.

September 1970 Palestinians threaten to destroy four hijacked airplanes, two of them American. In response, President Nixon puts sky marshals on select flights to deter hijackers.

December 1972 The FAA gives airlines one month to begin searching all passengers and their bags. A metal detector known as the magnetometer is invented by modifying a device originally used by loggers and lumberjacks to locate pieces of metal in lumber. The first metal detectors commonly used in airport are 4- or 5-foot-long tunnels with ramps leading in and out.

1986 Digital creates the first Internet firewall.

1988 Vendors of modern antivirus software appear, with IBM leading the movement. A company called S&S holds the first-ever virus seminar that explains what a virus is and how it works. (S&S later becomes known as Dr. Solomon Software, which is subsequently purchased by Network Associates.)

1990 Laptop computers emerge, creating a whole new world for computer security.

1992 Digital installs the industry’s first commercial Internet firewall.

Nov. 19, 2001 President George W. Bush signs into law the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, which among other things establishes a new TSA within the Department of Transportation. (TSA is later transferred under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security.)

Aug. 30, 2002 TSA unveils Smarte Carte biometrics security lockers for employees at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. A fingerprint verifies the identity of the user and allows her to access the locker. This pilot program aims to enhance security and restore airports to normal pre-9/11 activity, and is one of the U.S. government’s first pilots involving biometrics.

Nov. 25, 2002 President George W. Bush signs into law the Homeland Security Act of 2002, establishing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to analyze threats, guard borders and airports, protect critical infrastructure, and coordinate response for future emergencies. The act is created in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

February 2003 The Ready Campaign is launched by DHS and the Ad Council. TV, radio and print public service ads encourage families to make an emergency plan in case of a terrorist attack or other event. The ads also suggest making a supply kit (plastic sheeting and duct tape, water, medicines, flashlights and so on) and gathering important documents.

Summer 2003 In July, TSA begins the Registered Traveler Pilot Program in Minneapolis and Los Angeles. In August, the program is launched at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston in conjunction with Continental Airlines. Approved registered travelers are directed to a designated checkpoint lane where they provide their Registered Traveler Smart Card containing biometric information (a fingerprint and iris scan) for identity confirmation.

Jan. 5, 2004 The first phase of the DHS US-Visit program is launched when the department deploys biometric capabilities at 115 airports and 14 seaports. As part of US-Visit, foreign travelers have both index fingers scanned, and a digital photograph is taken. A biometric departure confirmation system is tested at two locations.

May 3, 2004 TSA announces that eight airports have been selected to participate in TSA’s Access Control Pilot Program, which tests radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, “antipiggybacking” technology (which prevents an unauthorized person from sneaking in behind an authorized one), advanced video surveillance technology and various biometric technologies.