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ISC West 2019 wrap-up

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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

ISC West 2019 wrapped up on April 12 in Las Vegas after another record-breaking year in terms of attendance, according to Mary Beth Shaughnessy, Event Director - ISC Events and Unmanned Security Expo at Reed Exhibitions, who spoke to Security Systems News on the SSN Media Stage during the event.

“The show is bigger this year and we are looking at being up about 4 percent in attendance overall this year,” she said. “We’ve got a number of new areas that are growing. Our emerging technologies zone has grown over 40 percent from last year to this year. New companies are up year over year and our connected security area is up this year as well. Just overall participation with the security industry, in general, with all of the new technologies coming out — everyone is just anxious and excited to get their products in the marketplace.”

Shaughnessy confirmed what many of us were hearing on the showfloor, as exhibitors noted that their booths were jam packed with quality people each day. In addition, the education sessions were very popular again this year, with overall attendance up.

“The education this year is great, and it is all programmed by SIA,” she pointed out, noting that she is excited to continue the relationship with SIA moving forward. “We’ve had great attendance, up from last year, at many of the sessions … Some of the top sessions looked at the convergence of physical and cybersecurity.”

The following is a look at my time at ISC West:

Day One: Tuesday, April 9

Excited to be here in Vegas for ISC West 2019, the security industry’s biggest conference and trade show of the year.

Started day one on Tuesday with The Advance, The Security Industry Association’s annual membership meeting where SIA gave an update to a packed house on the state of the association, while also giving out several membership awards and voting in new members to the board of directors.

Scott Schafer, chairman of the SIA Board of Directors, hosted the event, which he called “the fastest hour at ISC West” and he was not joking, as a lot was covered in just a little over an hour’s time.

Schafer pointed out that in addition to the security industry’s continued solid growth, SIA is also in very good shape financially and in terms of growth on the membership side, which Schafer was confident will surpass 1,000 members any day now.

On the financial side, the association saw $7 million in revenue, with $6.4 million in expenses, leaving approximately a half million in surplus. Investments showed a 57 percent increase for 2018.

Schafer also pointed out that SIA signed a 10-year agreement with ISC Events with a 5-year clause, which he said is a “very exciting announcement” as the two have many events planned for the future with this continuing partnership.

SIA also gave out several membership awards at the Advance, including:
•    Member of the Year Award: Axis Communications
•    Chairman's Award: SIA Women in Security Forum
•    Sandy Jones Volunteer of the Year Award: Mark McCourt, Cobalt Robotics
•    Committee Chair of the Year Award: Chris Grniet, Guidepost Solutions

In addition to award presentations, Sal Mani, security systems manager for Google, spoke on the workforce imperative of developing cross-functional skill sets to stay competitive in the security industry.

New SIA Board members voted in at meeting include:
•    Greg Hill, Director, Intrusion Architecture, Johnson Controls
•    Kim Loy, Chief Marketing Officer, ACRE
•    Jody Ross, VP, Sales, AMAG Technology
•    James Rothstein, SVP, Global Security Solutions, Anixter
•    Brian Wiser, Regional President, Bosch Security Systems

Day Two: Wed., April 10

Started the first day of the trade show at the Hikvision Media Event, where Hikvision North America's Director of Global Public Affairs Michael Gutierrez, President Jeffrey He, Director of Cybersecurity Chuck Davis, and new General Manager for Hikvision USA and Hikvision Canada, Eric Chen, gave invited press an update on the current state of the company. Jeffrey He addressed some of the challenges that Hikvision faces, with growing anti-China sentiment, trade tensions, tariffs and government bans topping the list, noting that these “will likely impact us on the global front.”

Chen looked at how the company continues to grow and prosper in the face of these growing challenges, noting that in North America Hikvision business showed $7.4 billion in revenue and 18.8 percent in year-over-year growth in 2018, as well as 40 percent compound growth from 2010 to 2018. The company worldwide has approximately 34,000 employees, with 6,000 engineers, he noted.

Chen said the company is “still going to invest in North America,” focusing on SMB and the midmarket and “shifting from product selling to solution selling,” with retail and education two of the company’s biggest verticals.

While Hikvision continues to introduce new cameras, like the new 32MP multi-directional camera it unveiled this year, Chen pointed out that this year’s theme for ISC is “Focused on Your Success,” highlighting the company’s customer-focused programs.

Davis, who teaches ethical hacking and serves on the SIA cybersecurity committee, outlined the company’s cybersecurity strategy and milestones over the past few years, including the use of pen testing and ethical hacking for all cameras with a third party; the establishment of a cyber hotline in 2017; cybersecurity education roadshows (22 in the U.S. and Canada); joining FIRST.org, a global incident response organization and consortium; and creating a whitepaper that covers the testing and process of the lifecycle of a product before it reaches a consumer.

“This [white paper] is an important document for us to be transparent, and show that we are holding ourselves to a high standard,” said Davis, noting that Hikvision is the only company to have a code transparency center where “anyone can come and do an audit.”

Noting the importance of the network as the “first line of defense,” Davis said Hikvision’s SSL encryption process is held to the highest NIST standards, including the FIPS 140-2 standard.

Next, I headed over to the Genetec booth, where I spoke with Andrew Elvish, VP of marketing and product management and Derek Arcuri, product marketing manager, who outlined some of the company’s cool new features in the new version of Security Center, the company’s open-architecture platform that unifies video surveillance, access control, automatic license plate recognition (ALPR), communications and analytics. Some of the cool new features include customizable live dashboards, enhanced privacy protection features, a brand-new map-driven mobile app, and new functionalities that help users actively monitor the health of their system and ensure compliance with cybersecurity best practices. What makes Genetec stand out from the crowd, Elvish noted, is its “unified enterprise platform that gives a unique view into the data, allowing you to make informed decisions.”

Over at the FLIR booth, I met with Fredrik Wallberg, director of marketing – Security & ITS, and Haley Coveny, public relations coordinator, who explained that the company is looking to be more of a “solution provider” rather than just a provider of products. In addition to its wide range of thermal camera solution, FLIR highlighted its new solutions for Smart Cities and perimeter protection applications. The company’s new TruWITNESS wearable sensor platform is designed to expand true, real-time situational awareness for public safety operations. Combining video, audio, location data and IoT capabilities, TruWITNESS enables sensors to send alerts and stream data back to a central command center running FLIR United VMS for improved incident analysis and intervention.

Moving to the G4S/AMAG Technology booth, I spoke John Kenning, regional CEO for G4S Americas, who spoke about the company’s continued commitment to using technology to help security professionals be more efficient and accurate, whether they are out in the field or back in the command center. The company is also taking a more “risk-based” approach as a “trusted advisor” who is there to evaluate and consult based on operational and compliance needs. “We are a top 5 integration business and a top 3 man-guarding business, which is a great combo.”

Next, I visited with Benjamin Bryant, global public relations consultant for IDIS, which celebrated five years at ISC West with a comprehensive showcase of the South Korean manufacturer's IDIS Total Surveillance Solution. Highlights of the company's fifth anniversary with ISC West included areas of special emphasis on cybersecurity, deep learning analytics and facial recognition, and solutions for the retail and banking sectors. On the product side, the company released its new Compact IR Fisheye, featuring its dual-side dewarping in a smaller, more versatile approach. The company also unveiled its new 12MP Panamorph Fisheye and the full IDIS Compact Solution.

At the Allegion press event, Robert Lydic, Allegion’s VP of PACS OEM Business, discussed how Allegion brings strength to the security industry with a legacy of knowledge and quality behind them and how that strength will be leveraged into forward-thinking solutions with the right balance of security, convenience and efficiency. Allegion is “a five year old company with brands that have been around for 100 years,” he said, noting that these are brands that people trust, such as Von Duprin, the producer of the first "panic bar" style door mechanism, and Schlage, one of the oldest and “most tested and trusted” lock manufacturers. Lydic also noted that Allegion’s mobile ecosystem is founded on the belief that providing physical access control should have an open, secured architecture offering customer-centered solutions.

Day Three: Thursday, April 11

Started the day bright and early at 5:30 a.m. volunteering with Mission 500, which hosted its 10th annual Security 5k/2k, bringing the entire industry together for a great cause. As Mission 500 Founder George Fletcher and Board Chairman Tim Purpura pointed out at the award ceremony on Thursday, this year’s race was a huge success with more than $145,000 raised to help Mission 500 children and families in need. It felt good to get out there with SSN Regional Sales Manager Brad Durost, and walk — yes walk, sorry! —along with others to help this amazing organization.

Started the morning with Alarm.com, with Matthew Zartman, director of communications, who gave me a tour of the latest and greatest on both the residential and commercial side of the business, where the company has been growing its presence, especially in the SMB space, Zartman noted. For example, Alarm.com is making it possible to manage access control and video across multiple business locations. Just as Alarm.com informs the homeowner using data in Insights Engine, it can use data on the business side to provide business intelligence on top of access control and video surveillance management.

I next visited with Robin Regina Baker, CTO, SilverShield, which was showcasing its cloud-based safety and information system at ISC West, demonstrating the capabilities of their visitor management and communication software. Originally developed for school campus applications, the software incorporates a fully integrated suite of modules including visitor management, lockdown initiation and more. Designed to expedite emergency security procedures, the SilverShield Visitor Management System enables manned or unmanned visitor screening at all types of facilities. In addition to offering an incident and event management system, the company’s in-app SilverShield HR & Safety Resource Center connects schools and businesses with local, highly trained security professionals to develop a security assessment, plan and documentation.

Visited next with Alcatraz AI, winners of the Judges’ Choice Award in the SIA New Product showcase. I spoke with CEO and Founder Vince Gaydarzhiev about the company, which specializes in secure facial authentication for physical access control, replacing badging in the workplace with AI-based enrollment and anti-tailgating alerts. The three-year-old startup, which was founded by a team coming from Apple, NVIDIA and Lily Robotics — with venture-backing from JCI Ventures — is currently doing pilots with mid-size and large corporations in Silicon Valley. The company is using AI and machine learning, he pointed out, to simplify the enrollment process and make it as seamless and painless as possible.

I next met with UmboCV, which was featuring its new product, AiCamera, one of the first cameras in the industry with “AI processing on the edge,” said CEO and Co-Founder Shawn Guan, who explained that the company always believed that the best video security experience comes from a perfectly integrated solution of intelligent Internet devices and the cloud, powered by machine learning. He showed me how the company’s new AiBullet camera increases event detection distance while reducing baseline bandwidth usage to a fraction of a typical Internet camera. Guan also showed me how the camera provides 150 feet of daytime and nighttime event detection.

At the ISS booth, Shawn Mather, director of sales, gave me a tour of the booth, demonstrating why the company is one of the leaders in the VMS business, demonstrating how the company’s native, or in-house, analytics help differentiate the company from other VMS providers. On the product side, the company recently introduced its SecurOS v.10 VMS featuring an updated, highly-intuitive GUI designed to accommodate multiple clients and the ability to easily manage large systems with infinite scalability. And while the company creates its own analytics in-house, he pointed out that it also fully integrates with top companies in the industry today, such as Axis, Hanwha, and Bosch.

I next spoke with Tracie Thomas, vice president of marketing for Boon Edam, which demonstrated its integrated entry solutions that mitigate tailgating at ISC West 2019. Integrated with access control and biometric technologies, the company’s security entrances demonstrate “real world” capability to “stop piggybacking and tailgating,” she explained. The company also continues to show how it integrates with other companies to provide a comprehensive solution and experience from the perimeter all the way into the building and key areas within the facility. The company’s focus this year at ISC is to “show end users what the total experience is when you have key partners,” said Thomas. She pointed to key integrations with Stonelock, IrisID and HID Global, as examples of Boon succeeding by partnering.

At the Sielox booth, I met with Karen Evan, president and CEO, who was excited to be celebrating the company’s 40th year and a newly designed website. The Sielox portfolio of layered security systems address the complexity of providing the right combination of features and configurations to best accommodate specific applications and needs. Featured solutions include: the new release of Pinnacle v.10.4 Access Control Solution; Sielox CLASS Crisis Lockdown Alert Status System; AnyWare Browser-Based Access Control Platform; and the company’s highly-touted 1700 Intelligent Controllers.

Off the show floor, I met with Stehapnie Mayes, VP, business development and Greg Alcorn, divisional director – transport and infrastructure, for Synectics, a global leader in the design, integration, control and management of advanced surveillance technology and networked security systems, for environments where security is operationally critical. With over 30 years’ experience, Mayes pointed out that the company has gained an intimate understanding protecting critical infrastructure and assets, including oil and gas, gaming, transport and infrastructure, and high security in public spaces. By integrating systems and bringing relevant data into one platform, or “one pane of glass” as Mayes noted, the company’s technology allows operators to be more efficient and accurate, preventing incidents, as opposed to reacting to them.

Day Four, Friday, April 12

Started the final day with a keynote from Juliette Kayyem, a national leader in America’s homeland security efforts, as part of the SIA Women in Security Forum breakfast event highlighting the group’s efforts since forming last year. SIA’s Women in Security Forum is a group for both women and men that offers programs, professional development opportunities and networking events with the goal of supporting the involvement of women in the security industry.

Kayyem, who is the faculty director of the Homeland Security Project, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, gave a truly inspiring talk on the major events that have shaped her life and career, including raising a family while trying to create a Homeland Defense program after 9/11. 

In addition to booth visits and covering events, I was able to do many video interviews on all three days of the trade show on the SSN Media Stage on the trade show, which can be found at www.securitysystemsnews.com/videos in the weeks following the show. The following is the list of video interviews I conducted at ISC West:

•    ACRE: Joe Grillo, CEO
•    Arcules: Andreas Pettersson, CEO
•    AvantGuard: Justin Bailey, President
•    Briefcam: Stephanie Weagle, Chief Marketing Officer
•    DICE Corp.: Cliff Dice, CEO and President
•    Dynamark: Hank Groff, Senior VP, Sales and Business Development
•    ESIConvergent: Pierre Bourgeix, President
•    IDIS: Keith Drummond, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing
•    JCI: Eli Gorovici, General Manager, Tyco Access Control and Video Solutions
•    Milestone: Tim Palmquist, VP Americas
•    Mission 500: George Fletcher, founder, and Tom Nolan, director, strategic partnerships
•    Morse Watchmans: Tim Purpura, International Sales Manager, George Lawson, Account Executive
•    National Monitoring Center (NMC): Woodie Andrawos, President
•    OnCam: Scott Brothers, Chief Operating Officer
•    ONVIF: Per Bjorkdahl, Steering Committee chairman and Stuart Rawling, Steering Committee member
•    Pivot3: Brandon Reich, Vice President, Security and IoT
•    Qognify: Marc Whalen, Vice President of Sales
•    Rasilient Systems, Sean Chang, Co-founder, CEO and President
•    SAST: Nikolas Mangold-Takao, VP Product Management
•    USI Insurance Services: Robert Tockarshewsky, Vice President, Property & Casualty
 

Coverage from ISC West 2019

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Monday, April 8, 2019

It sounds cliché to say, but “I’m excited about ISC West this year.” This is my first ISC since returning to the security industry and while I have memories of sore feet, late nights and early, sleepy mornings, I gladly welcome all because that means I have the opportunity to get reacquainted with old friends in the industry, and see and interact with new security products and services. 

In addition to booth visits, breakfasts, happy hours and dinners, and of course, live tweeting @SSN_Ginger, I was invited by ADT to moderate their consumer privacy panel, “Consumer Privacy – How Can Security Lead the Way?” on Thursday, April 11th from 9:45 am to 10:45 am in the Sands Expo Center room 307. I cordially invite you to grab a cup of coffee and join myself along with panelists Kenneth Olmstead, internet privacy & security analyst, Internet Society; Brandon Board, chief information security officer, Resideo Technologies, Inc.; and Dylan Gilbert, policy fellow, Public Knowledge as we explore current practices and opportunities for the industry to strengthen their leadership in privacy standards. There will be an audience Q&A afterwards, so bring your questions and comments for our panelists. 

Check out my blog for daily recaps this week and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @SSN_Ginger for live show updates.

And, in the blink of an eye, ISC West 2019 has come and gone, and the happenings of those days will forever be written in security industry history. 

Leading up to the event, people are filled with excited wonder about seeing industry connections, making new acquaintances and establishing new industry relationships, and interacting with new and legacy products manufacturers display in their elaborate booths. 

At the event, SIA offers education sessions that qualify for CE hours; the security industry joins forces to raise money for Mission 500 to help underprivileged children and their families; companies host breakfasts, happy hours and dinners, some complete with awards as symbols of appreciation to their integrator partners; and the showroom floor is literally alive with a humming buzz of conversation and an unexplainable energy that attendees can’t help but feel. And, that’s just scratching the surface. ISC West is truly a “wonderland” for the security industry. 

Then, of course, there is the post ISC West reflection after everyone returns home, has time to rest and then think about the week gone by. The following is an excerpt from my ISC West daily diary with tid-bits from industry professionals: 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The day before the show floor opened, DMP hosted their 9th annual Owner’s Forum for its top 100 dealers, where like-minded executives and owners network and learn from acclaimed speakers on how to grow their business. Morning keynote speaker, Tim Whall, former CEO at ADT, imparted his knowledge to the room full of integrators, inviting them to think about why someone would buy from them. When employees are taken care of, this pride trickles down to the customers and profits will follow.

“How much effort are you willing to put into your business,” Whall asked. “Make it [your business] meaningful by engaging with your employees; they must know you care about them as people and your vested in their success. Develop and acquire the necessary tools for success, establish pride by formulating team goals and define employees’ duties so they can expand and grow.” 

Dealer attendees were awarded diamond, platinum, gold and silver level awards and a year in review video was presented, highlighting all of DMPs achievements, such as adding dealer analytics into Dealer Account, the company’s online platform for integrators; launching their video doorbell with audio and local storage on the device; and introducing LTE Communicators with a lifespan until the year 2030. 

The event concluded with the afternoon keynote speaker, Mark Murphy, CEO, Leadership IQ, who encouraged integrators to “clearly articulate to employees about their work performance so they know they are doing right.”

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The 12th Annual Axis Press Breakfast, hosted by Fredrik Nilsson, vice president of the Americas, and Martin Gren, company co-founder, kicked off my ISC West-centric festivities with coffee, scrambled eggs and the key components of a smart city, which include safety and security, waste management, critical infrastructure and IoT/cybersecurity. 

“Can you ever have too many cameras,” Gren queried the audience, to which heads shook left to right, indicating the answer as ‘no.’ 

Gren agreed, but said that obtaining a permit to install a camera in a city is sometimes the most expensive part of the process. He offered this solution: “The more sensors you add, the more money you save because only one permit is needed.” 

Energized from the breakfast, I went onto the showroom floor to visit company’s booths, starting with Vintra, where I learned about FulcrumAI, the company’s AI-powered video analytics solutions. 

“There are a number of deep learning concepts that are producing false positives,” said Brent Boekenstein, CEO, Vintra, “but Fulcrum was built from the ground up using the company’s own AI technology, and it works on fixed and mobile systems.” Vintra created their own algorithms and they are able to explain exactly how the technology was built to integrators and end users. Coming in Q3 is a concept called “person re-identification,” in which body recognition will be used. 

Next, I spoke with Russell Vail, EVP – market development, Alula, who introduced me to BAT-Connect, a device that easily upgrades legacy security platforms into mobile by bridging intrusion, video and automation between smart devices end users already use. 

“This is hot for dealers because major investments were made into legacy systems,” Vail said. “BAT allows the use of mobile to arm and disarm legacy systems, for example, giving new life to older products.” 

I then sat down with Dan Cremins, global leader, project management, March Networks who is taking on the integrator challenge of RMR via a new version of Insight, a self-service portal that can be sold as a service for monthly recurring revenue. 

“Insight provides scalable, system administration via a closed-loop system to understand all health management of all cameras at all locations,” Cremins explained. “This provides complete visibility of the system,” so, for example, integrators can monitor customer cameras and send a report indication which cameras at specific locations are coming close to using up their warranty, enabling proactive security and excellent customer service to help prevent attrition. 

Additionally, March Networks integrated their POS with Shopify, making this their first cloud-based integration. 

The topic of video evidence was next on my agenda, so I met with John Gallagher, vice president of marketing, Viakoo. The company announced the release of its Video Assurance Service (VAS) that provides oversight, automatic problem detection and continuous diagnostics, empowering teams to resolve issues onsite or remotely. Delivered as a managed service, integrators can use it to build “new recurring income with an out-of-the-box solution that delivers value to customers,” Gallagher said. “VAS provides integrators with a digital connection to their customers, enabling preventative maintenance to be done remotely” which furthers end-user satisfaction. 

Dortronics brought scalability to access control via the 4800 Series Intelligent Interlock Controllers. “With these controllers, a maze of two to five locked doors can be created, or scale up to 128 doors, all functioning off one controller, as facilities expand,” Bryan Sanderford, national sales manager, Dortronics said.

By this time, I was getting a bit weary. As I walked to my next appointment with Kirby Han, art director, Altronix Corp., I was excited to see the company-hosted coffee bar and helped myself to an expresso with dark chocolate shavings before jumping into the topic of power supply. New to Altronix is the Trove Access and Power Integration Series, a rack-mounted solution with a removable backplane that allows installers to easily configure and test the system before installation.

“Trove comes as pre-assembled kits to make installation easier and running wires underground isn’t necessary, which is costly,” Han said. 

Next was a conversation with Nancy Islas, president of Maxxess Systems, to discuss the access control software arena, with the introduction of the Maxxess InSite, a security solution that combines machine intelligence with human intelligence via a managed mobile communication system to empower employees to report their suspicions. 

“The mobile app gives employees power to report,” Islas explained, “and adding the human element of reporting allows for early detection of potential threats.” Hence, taking a proactive approach to security. 

Also unique is the Maxxess panic button, a feature found on the mobile app, wirelessly in the cloud via physical IoT devices and as hot keys on a keyboard. 

Usually surge protection comes as an afterthought, but when investing in expensive security systems, it is a cost-effective insurance policy for protecting equipment. Ditek, a surge protection company, urges installers to at least offer surge protection to end-users or specify it at the proposal stage because it can reduce warranty claims and increase customer satisfaction. 

Matt Virga, director of sales, LifeSafety Power, was my last visit of the day to discuss low voltage power solutions for access control solutions. OutSmart Technology provides visual voltage verification with a glowing blue LED light indicating 24 volts and a green light representing 12 volts of power. 

“With our efficiency of design, the integrator, installer and end-user all benefit,” Virga explained. “On the job, installers are able to simply switch a jumper from 12 to 24 volt or visa versa and end-users are provided with a unified solution.” 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The SSN team got up around 5:30am to participate in the Mission 500 race … well, almost the entire team! I opted out this year because I was honored to moderate ADT’s consumer privacy panel and then I was off again to more booth visits. First up, Resideo by Honeywell, where I saw solutions such as Buoy, a leak detector and their next generation ProSeries, a portfolio of products for a self-contained security system, that captures Resideo’s four key elements: comfort, security, water management and air. 

Next, I went over to the ADI Distribution and was met by John Sullivan, vice president of sales. He explained that all products housed on the company’s shelves are color coded for easy identification. ADI has a “pick up anytime” room that is open 24/7 so dealers can rely on ADI to keep solutions at the ready. They also have a “quick pick up” where dealers can call in, go online or use an app to order products and the order will be ready for pick up in one hour. 

Hanwha Techwin offered me a tour of their booth, demonstrating their cameras and explaining that trends seem to be moving into AI cameras and Android platform cameras. 

ADT unveiled its new ADT Commercial brand at the show. “When a dealer calls into support there is a zero wait time and emails are answered within two hours,” Dan Bresingham, executive vice president, ADT Command said. 

My next stop was IRIS ID, a biometric access solution that scans a person’s iris as the credential. When I asked why the iris instead of a fingerprint or different biometric, Mohammed Murad, vice president global business development and sales for IRIS said, “The iris has 240 to 400 data points that are analyzed compared to approximately 30 in fingerprints.” 

Moving on along the show floor, Christy Roth, marketing manager – applications and solutions took me through a journey through an actual simulated retail store to demonstrate the company’s integrated solutions such as video paired with voice. Bosch offers a variety of products, so “we are focusing on what individual solutions can do when used in conjunction with our other solutions,” Roth said. 

As the day second was coming to an end, I stopped by and visited with LenelS2 and Interlogix. These companies were highlighting mobile credentialing, using mobile devices to operate access control, home and building controls, and video surveillance

My final stop was with Nortek/2GIG to interact with some of the technology that was featured in my article “Joe Roberts of Nortek Security and Control predicts industry trends.”

Friday, April 12, 2019

I greeted the last day of ISC West 2019 at the Women in Security Forum breakfast which consisted of sipping coffee and networking with women (and men) in the industry. The whole room was in awe and inspired by guest speaker Juliette Kayyem, Harvard professor and most recently, President Obama’s Assistant Secretary for Governmental Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security, as she detailed the exact location of herself and her newborn baby when she first heard about the 9/11 incident. 

After an inspiring morning, I was ready to return home and back to work, excited to research and write all about what I learned. 

 

Big "Mac" Data

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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Confession: When I was a kid, I ate way too many cheeseburger Happy Meals and played countless hours with Ronald McDonald, that purple lad, Grimace, and the mysterious masked Hamburglar on the old-school playground of yesteryear at McDonalds. 

This trip down memory lane leads me to what “Mickey D’s,” as I affectionally call the fast-food restaurant, is super-sizing on today — machine learning via the acquisition of Dynamic Yield, a Tel Aviv startup that provides algorithmically driven “decision logic” technology. The burger joint will be using this technology to meet and exceed the customer experience with innovation. Here’s how:

We all know the saying “time is money” in this swiftly paced world we live in, so the first deployment of the technology will be in McDonald’s drive thru to speed things up and increase sales. If the drive thru is moving slowly, a digital display could highlight simpler-to-prepare items to speed things up or likewise, when it’s slow highlight more complex-to-prepare, higher-priced food items. While customers grab a French fry out of the bag as they drive off and more fill the drive thru line, algorithms will be noshing on data — weather, time of day, local traffic, nearby events, historical sales data and data from other stores, for example — and then show customers on the display other popular items to prompt potential upsells as they place their order to a voice inside of a box. 

That seems a bit “big brother” in my opinion. I know when I get “hangree,” I’ll order whatever I want, no matter what a digital screen tells me and no matter how long it takes to prepare. But, I digress. 

Beyond the drive-thru, McDonald’s is currently using geofencing around its stores to know when a mobile app customer is approaching and how to prepare their order accordingly. 

The company is toying with the idea of adding the personal touch, turning their mass collection of data into usable information. Think in-store kiosks, mobile order and pay, customers identifying themselves to the store to personalize their hamburger experience, license plate recognition (LPR) that allows the system to identify a specific customer as they approach and adjust the menu based on their specific purchase history, and more. 

Of course, with what sounds like the most glamorous fast-food dining experience ever, I see two major types of risk involved: 

Privacy: The possibility of sensitive data being compromised, like credit card numbers, names, email addresses, phone numbers and real-time location identification is not only real but happens daily, threatening physical and financial safety and security.

Ethical issues: There’s a fine line between personalization and suggestive selling/influencing someone to buy something. While McDonald’s could personalize the experience and perhaps quicken the ordering process by displaying previously ordered items in the form of touchscreen ordering, they could also display only the most expensive items previously bought in an effort to increase sales without the customer being the wiser. 

Digital Yield will remain independently operated, even after the McDonald’s acquisition, and according to Wired, the offer was over $300 million, which makes it the restaurant’s largest purchase since its acquisition of Boston Market in 1999. 

I did the math based on the price of a single Big Mac in the Dallas, Texas area being $3.99. Adding this technology will cost McDonald's approximately 75,187,969 in Big Macs.

What other security risks can you think of related to this technology?

Mission 500 to honor award winners at ISC West 2019

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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Mission 500, a charitable non-profit organization engaging security professionals to raise money for children in need across the U.S., has announced the winners of its annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Humanitarian awards, The award presentation will be on April 11, 2019 at ISC West in Las Vegas at 5:00 p.m. on the Security Systems News stage on the show floor. All are welcome to attend.

We here at SSN are honored and excited to partner with and support Mission 500 and congratulate this year’s well-deserving winners — Dave Foglio, Founder of First Response Security, is this year’s Humanitarian Award winner and Brinks Home Security is this year’s CSR Award winner. [Brinks Home Security was featured in Security Systems News’ article on companies working with Mission 500]

The following is a closer look at each of this year’s award winners:

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Award

Brinks Home Security is being acknowledged with the 2019 Mission 500 CSR award, which honors companies in the security industry that dedicate significant volunteer time and resources to help those in need.

The Brinks Home Security Corporate Social Responsibility Program’s goal is to enrich the lives of at-risk and needy children and families. The company partners with local and national organizations, including Mission 500, MetroCrest Services, Notre Dame School, Agape Resource and Assistance Center and Carrollton/Farmers Branch Independent School District (ISD).

Brinks Home Security believes that their employees are their greatest asset. Its team has proven their commitment to the community in a variety of ways, including a 2018 food drive that collected 51,164 items for MetroCrest Services, more than 4,000 items for Hillside Food Pantry in Evanston IL, and 8,000 items for Harvesters Community Food Network, serving neighbors in Manhattan and St. Mary’s, KS.

Other examples include: nearly 300 Brinks Home Security runners participated in an annual Brinks Home Security 5K, which raised $52,000 for children in need; employees have donated nearly 100 hours of their time to mentor students in the Carrollton and Farmers Branch school system; and several of Brinks Home Security employees traveled to Notre Dame School in Dallas for an annual holiday celebration.

Brinks Home Security also continues to provide free alarm monitoring for homes run by the Agape Resource and Assistance Center. The homes provide shelter for former homeless women and children.

In addition to Brinks Home Security, nominees for the CSR award for 2018 included, Circle K, Power Home Technologies and Security 101, who all deserve recognition for their outstanding efforts.

Past winners of the CSR Award include: Altronix, NorthStar Home, Alliance Security, Fluent Home, Protection 1, Pelco by Schneider Electric, Vivint and Convergint Technologies.

Humanitarian Award

Dave Foglio, Founder of First Response Security is being honored with the 2018 Mission 500 Humanitarian Award, which acknowledges individuals in the security industry who make important contributions to those in need.

For the past six years, Foglio has traveled around the country with Samaritan’s Purse, helping homeowners in need following hurricanes, floods, fires and more. Last year, he traveled to Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, where he helped homeowners with their water-damaged homes. Foglio has also been to South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, California and Colorado since he started working with Samaritan’s Purse, helping clean up homes and debris following natural disasters.

Foglio’s desire to help also carries over to his local community, where on a monthly basis he is splitting wood and personally delivering it as a form of heat to those who cannot afford it, or serving meals at the Portland Rescue Mission, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing food and shelter to those affected by homelessness in downtown Portland. Foglio’s generosity has also carried over into his working life. He founded First Response Security in 1989 and instilled a solid foundation of stewardship in the company, which as of today, has a motto of “A commitment to charitable donations and philanthropy”. First Response gives back 10 percent or more of its company profit each year to charities, both local and overseas.

First Response Security has been named #10 on Portland Business Journal’s Corporate Philanthropy Awards in 2018 (its fifth year in a row ranking on the list). In addition, they provide installation, service and monitoring to local non-profit organizations at a significant discount to keep overhead as low as possible while still providing superior protection. “If we’re going to be working here and providing services, we want to make sure that we’re also giving back,” Foglio has said.

“I can definitely say that Dave Foglio and the Brinks Home Security Team are an example of life-changing work to help communities and people who are in need,” said Tom Nolan, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Mission 500. “They are driven by purpose, which is a constructive force and to drive positive changes in communities across the U.S. I am honored to honor these individuals.”

Other nominees of the 2018 Humanitarian Award included Ben Brookhart, CEO of Power Home Technologies; Beth Hahn, President of Berkshire Systems Group; Jeff Gardner, CEO of Brinks Home Security; and Jenna Wardle, Global Customer Insights at HID Global.

Past winners of the Humanitarian Award include The Hurricane Harvey Heroes (Curtis Kindred, Harley Schild, Todd Fitch), Jay Gotra, Sean Sportun, Anne Glickstein, Charles “Dom” D’Ascoli, Alan Forman, Mary Jensby, Barb Holliday and Michael Keegan.

Mission 500 will hold the annual Security 5k/2k Race on April 11 at Sunset Park at 7:30 AM in Las Vegas. To register to run the Security 5k/2k Race visit www.security5k.com/.

For more information on Security 5K/Mission 500 Race, contact Tom Nolan at [email protected], or call 516-903-7291.

Look for SIA’s ‘Top 8’ technology advancements on the ISC West showroom floor

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Times are exciting and abuzz here at Security Systems News, with thoughts of ISC West and preparation taking place for booth visits, video interviews, happy hours and dinners, and connecting/reconnecting with industry professionals to learn about new trends and offerings available for security. Personally, I enjoy talking about industry trends, new technologies and where people predict the industry to be heading in the future. It’s quite fascinating when you stop to think about just 10 years ago and how far the security industry has come since. 

The Security Industry Association (SIA) shared the top eight technological advancements the organization feels is most significantly impacting physical and cybersecurity and public safety. Here’s what to look for on the showroom floor: 

  1. Cloud – Video surveillance as a service (VSaaS), specifically recording, storage, management, analytics and monitoring solutions in the cloud, especially residential video with low camera counts, according to Joseph Gittens, director of standards, SIA, via ISC West’s website.
  2. Artificial Intelligence (AI) – analytics applications for automated motion and trespassing detection, advanced algorithms performing identification and categorization within scenes and systems, and leveraging data from multiple sensors to help reduce false alarms and enhance home automation. 
  3. Robotics/autonomous systems – improvements in robotics and drones around AI, power storage and mobility, in which many companies are allowing users to pay for services provided by these security solutions.
  4. Mobile credentials – SIA predicts the public will become comfortable using these credentials to complete transactions other than access control. In turn, more commercial security installations should be seen along with systems migrating into unified systems that grant and manage access. 
  5. Security audio – specialized solutions that monitor and apply analytics to audio. Audio can also be a lucrative value add-on to video security systems. 
  6. Facial biometrics – look for solutions that provide acute verification accuracy and more affordability with these solution offerings.
  7. 5G LTE – glimpses of mobile video security solutions with public safety and smart cities applications. 
  8. Voice control – new home security and home automation products with existing or “coming soon” integration with voice control/smart speaker providers.

Let’s go on a treasure hunt at ISC West 2019! When you see one of these technologies in action on the showroom floor, take a picture or short video and tweet it to our hashtag #SSNTalks and tag our editors @SSN_Editor and @SSN_Ginger! 

SIA to recognize Axis and others at ISC West

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Security Industry Association will be honoring several industry leaders with awards at its annual membership meeting and event on Tuesday called The Advance, which will take place during ISC West on Tuesday, April 9, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas.

There will be several SIA membership awards presented at the Advance, including:
•    Member of the Year Award: Axis Communications
•    Chairman's Award: SIA Women in Security Forum
•    Sandy Jones Volunteer of the Year Award: Mark McCourt, Cobalt Robotics
•    Committee Chair of the Year Award: Chris Grniet, Guidepost Solutions
•    Milestone Awards: TBA

In addition to award presentations, The Advance attendees will enjoy a high-impact presentation from Sal Mani, security systems manager for Google, on the workforce imperative of developing cross-functional skill sets to stay competitive in the security industry. SIA will also submit five nominations to the SIA Board of Directors for ratification, recognize volunteer achievements for the previous year and exchange market intelligence for the year ahead with members. Lunch will also be provided.

Member of the Year

Axis Communications is the recipient of the inaugural Member of the Year Award, which honors SIA member companies that have shown noteworthy involvement in SIA committees and working groups, SIA events and the SIA [email protected] conference program; leadership activity; recruitment of SIA members; and contributions to SIA thought leadership and the industry overall. SIA will present Axis with the award at The Advance, SIA’s annual membership meeting, during ISC West.

Axis takes an active role in SIA’s committees, working groups and interest groups, with its representatives serving as chairs of the SIA Education and Training Committee, Transportation Policy Working Group, Health Care Security Interest Group and RISE Committee. The company is also highly involved with SIA’s education and training programs. Additionally, Axis has helped to recruit speakers for SIA events and invited SIA to participate in its corporate events.

“Axis Communications is honored to receive the inaugural SIA member of the year award. I personally first got involved with SIA in 2007, discovering a plethora of opportunities to support the industry and drive positive change,” said Fredrik Nilsson, vice president of the Americas at Axis Communications, a former member of the SIA Board of Directors and SIA Executive Committee and the 2016 recipient of the George R. Lippert Memorial Award. “I also quickly realized that the more you give, the more you get. Getting many Axis team members involved over the years has helped further SIA and the industry, as well as their careers. Our hope is that this award can inspire other companies to get involved.”

Committee Chair of the Year Award

SIA has selected Chris Grniet, CPP, as the recipient of the 2018 SIA Committee Chair of the Year Award, which recognizes individuals for excellence in leading SIA committees and advancing member objectives.

Grniet – a security industry veteran with over 26 years of experience in the field – chairs the SIA New Product Showcase Committee and also serves as regional vice president of the security and technology consulting division at Guidepost Solutions, a global security consulting and investigations company and SIA member. He has been involved with the SIA New Product Showcase (NPS) for nearly a decade, serving as a committee member and vice chair before becoming chair; he will chair his third SIA NPS program at ISC West 2019.

“I am truly honored to be recognized for my contributions as committee chair for the New Product Showcase and would like to thank Don Erickson and the rest of the SIA staff as well as my fellow NPS committee members and our judges for their trust, support and encouragement. I am passionate about the NPS vision – to be the premier source for the security industry in the identification of innovative security solutions,” said Grniet. “While it serves as a valued marketing opportunity for program participants, I believe it also a cornerstone of the missions of SIA and ISC West – to educate professionals and fuel the advancement and success of the security industry.”

Chairman’s Award

SIA has selected the SIA Women in Security Forum as the recipient of the 2018 Chairman’s Award, which recognizes SIA members’ diligent efforts in furthering the SIA mission and overall commitment to the association’s future. SIA will present the award at The Advance, SIA’s annual membership meeting, during ISC West.

The SIA Women in Security Forum supports the advancement of women in the security industry through programs and opportunities for professional development, networking and thought leadership. The group – led by a dedicated committee of volunteers – was established on International Women’s Day in 2018.

“The Women in Security Forum got off to a remarkable start in its first year by quickly and effectively building the program, forming a charter and developing a strong committee,” said Scott Schafer, chairman of the SIA Board of Directors. “The leaders of the forum have demonstrated outstanding engagement of SIA membership and the security industry, planned and executed top-quality, well-attended events and advanced the mission of promoting professional development, mentorship and a path to success for women in the security industry.”

Key Women in Security Forum offerings include the SIA Progress Award, which celebrates individuals who advance opportunities and pave the way to success for women in the security industry; networking and professional growth events for women in the security industry; SECURE Perspectives, a monthly column that supports the participation of women in the security profession by highlighting successful women in the industry; and an all women-authored issue of the SIA Technology Insights journal.

“The Women in Security Forum is thrilled to be recognized with the 2018 Chairman’s Award as we celebrate our first anniversary. We are working diligently to create a movement by collaborating with industry leaders – men and women – to develop programs and initiatives that empower women and influence change,” said Maureen Carlo, co-chair of the Women in Security Forum Steering Committee. “Thank you to SIA for allowing us to embrace this opportunity; it is exciting to see our efforts come to fruition during the most important security event of the year. A talented and diverse industry will grow when we support each other – the best is yet to come!”

At ISC West, members of the Women in Security Forum will participate in two panel sessions on women in security on Tuesday, April 9 – Being a Woman Business Owner in the Security Industry Is an Advantage, Not a Disadvantage and Bridging the Gender Gap in the Security Industry. The Women in Security Forum will also host its annual meeting and a complimentary breakfast event on Friday, April 12, featuring networking and insights from special guest Juliette Kayyem, a national leader in America’s homeland security efforts. Kayyem previously served as President Obama’s assistant secretary for intergovernmental affairs at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s homeland security advisor.

“Over the last year, the core leadership group that makes up the Women in Security Forum has come together to create a unique opportunity to diversify the leadership voices in security as we move toward the next iteration of innovation for our industry and beyond,” said Dawne Hanks, co-chair of the Women in Security Forum Steering Committee. “Providing opportunities for fresh voices to take the lead in driving where we go and how we change the world is at the heart of what we are trying to do and will drive growth for the future. I am honored that SIA has seen fit to present the Chairman’s Award to this esteemed group of women that, together with SIA, are looking to drive actionable change to diversify and grow our industry.”

Sandy Jones Volunteer of the Year Award

SIA has selected Mark McCourt as the recipient of the 2018 Sandy Jones Volunteer of the Year Award, which recognizes SIA volunteers who have made tireless efforts to expand SIA’s programs and services. SIA will present McCourt with the award at The Advance, SIA’s annual membership meeting, during ISC West.

Mark McCourt, head of commercialization at Cobalt Robotics, has made valuable contributions to SIA, including his efforts to establish and lead SIA’s Drones and Robotics Working Group, which brings together members of the security industry, end users, technology experts and other interested parties to promote best practices regarding the use of robots in security, develop research, offer guidance on legislative and regulatory matters and enhance communication and collaboration.

The Sandy Jones Volunteer of the Year Award is named in honor of Sandra Jones, principal of Sandra Jones and Company, a prolific SIA volunteer and co-founder of the executive conference Securing New Ground.

“Sandy was among the first to call me when I entered the physical security market in 2005, and she became a coach, friend and business partner,” said McCourt. “Her work has made a tremendous contribution to many, and it was Sandy who inspired me to become a SIA volunteer. To receive an award in her name is an honor beyond words.”

In his role as chair of the Drones and Robotics Working Group, McCourt provided critical input in the development of Market Spotlight: Extending the Capabilities of Human Security Officers With Modern Robotics, a report produced exclusively for SIA by research firm IDC that examines the opportunity, benefits and reasons for growth in the robotic security market. The report highlights the evolution of robotic technology, real-world scenarios for robotic security, these robots’ impact on the security market and more. He has also initiated work to publish a second robotics paper in partnership with IDC and is an active member of SIA’s Membership and Marketing Committee, which guides the association in creating member value, new member development and overall member engagement.
 

Spending on AI to skyrocket

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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

One of the biggest buzzwords in security today is AI, or artificial intelligence, as one of the challenges today is determining if the technology is being overpromised and under-delivered. Security Systems News’ News Poll this month addresses these very questions, as we try to figure out where the industry stands on this topic.

Although the technology is still in its early adoption phase within security, a new study finds that spending on AI systems will continue to skyrocket within the next five years.

Worldwide spending on artificial intelligence (AI) systems is forecast to reach $35.8 billion in 2019, an increase of 44.0 percent over the amount spent in 2018, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC). With industries investing aggressively in projects that utilize AI software capabilities, the IDC Worldwide Semiannual Artificial Intelligence Systems Spending Guide expects spending on AI systems will more than double to $79.2 billion in 2022 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38.0 percent over the 2018-2022 forecast period.

Global spending on AI systems will be led by the retail industry where companies will invest $5.9 billion this year on solutions such as automated customer service agents and expert shopping advisors & product recommendations. Banking will be the second largest industry with $5.6 billion going toward AI-enabled solutions including automated threat intelligence & prevention systems and fraud analysis & investigation systems. Discrete manufacturing, healthcare providers, and process manufacturing will complete the top 5 industries for AI systems spending this year. The industries that will experience the fastest growth in AI systems spending over the 2018-2022 forecast are federal/central government (44.3 percent CAGR), personal and consumer services (43.3 percent CAGR), and education (42.9 percent CAGR).

"Significant worldwide artificial intelligence systems spend can now be seen within every industry as AI initiatives continue to optimize operations, transform the customer experience, and create new products and services," Marianne Daquila, research manager, Customer Insights & Analysis at IDC, said in the announcement. "This is evidenced by use cases, such as intelligent process automation, expert shopping advisors & product recommendations, and pharmaceutical research and discovery exceeding the average five-year compound annual growth of 38%. The continued advancement of AI-related technologies will drive double-digit year-over-year spend into the next decade."

The AI use cases that will see the most investment this year are automated customer service agents ($4.5 billion worldwide), sales process recommendation and automation ($2.7 billion), and automated threat intelligence and prevention systems ($2.7 billion). Five other use cases will see spending levels greater than $2 billion in 2019: automated preventative maintenance, diagnosis and treatment systems, fraud analysis and investigation, intelligent process automation, and program advisors and recommendation systems.

Software will be the largest area of AI systems spending in 2019 with nearly $13.5 billion going toward AI applications and AI software platforms. AI applications will be the fastest growing category of AI spending with a five-year CAGR of 47.3%. Hardware spending, dominated by servers, will be $12.7 billion this year as companies continue to build out the infrastructure necessary to support AI systems. Companies will also invest in IT services to help with the development and implementation of their AI systems and business services such as consulting and horizontal business process outsourcing related to these systems. By the end of the forecast, AI-related services spending will nearly equal hardware spending.

"IDC is seeing that spending on both AI software platforms and AI applications are continuing to trend upwards and the types and varieties of use cases are also expanding," David Schubmehl, research director, Cognitive/Artificial Intelligence Systems at IDC, added. "While organizations see continuing challenges with staffing, data, and other issues deploying AI solutions, they are finding that they can help to significantly improve the bottom line of their enterprises by reducing costs, improving revenue, and providing better, faster access to information thereby improving decision making."

On a geographic basis, the United States will deliver nearly two thirds of all spending on AI systems in 2019, led by the retail and banking industries. Western Europe will be the second largest region in 2018, led by banking, retail, and discrete manufacturing. The strongest spending growth over the five-year forecast will be in Japan (58.9% CAGR) and Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan and China) (51.4% CAGR). China will also experience strong spending growth throughout the forecast (49.6% CAGR).

"AI is a big topic in Europe, it's here and it's set to stay. Both AI adoption and spending are picking up fast. European businesses are hands-on AI and have moved from an explorative phase to the implementation stage,” said Andrea Minonne, senior research analyst, IDC Customer Insight & Analysis in Europe, said in the announcement. “AI is the game changer in a highly competitive environment, especially across customer-facing industries such as retail and finance, where AI has the power to push customer experience to the next level with virtual assistants, product recommendations, or visual searches. Many European retailers such as Sephora, ASOS, and Zara or banks such as NatWest and HSBC are already experiencing the benefits of AI, including increased store visits, higher revenues, reduced costs, and more pleasant and personalized customer journeys. Industry-specific use cases related to automation of processes are becoming mainstream and the focus is set to shift towards next-generation use of AI for personalization or predictive purposes,"

The Worldwide Semiannual Artificial Intelligence Systems Spending Guide sizes spending for technologies that analyze, organize, access, and provide advisory services based on a range of unstructured information. The spending guide quantifies the AI opportunity by providing data for 25 use cases across 19 industries in nine regions. Data is also available for the related hardware, software, and services categories. Unlike any other research in the industry, the detailed segmentation and timely, global data is designed to help suppliers targeting the market to identify market opportunities and execute an effective strategy.

AI coming to the aid of security-related applications

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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Our May 2019 News Poll got me really thinking about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), and the possibilities. My previous AI-related thoughts have been around Watson, the IBM-created, question-answering computer system that answers in natural language, and robots, and how AI can take over the world one day, according to some! Spooky! But, I wanted to know if AI is a legit, practical application for security-related functions, so I scoured the internet and found some exciting and unique, currently deployed uses. 

Physical Security

According the to China Morning Post, AI is revolutionizing physical security in Asia. It can detect people acting out of the ordinary and flag them, and then transmit that information to a command center, where human operators can make an informed decision. Additionally, AI and high-definition cameras can work together to first communicate to a human that a smoke detector, for example, has been activated, with the cameras identifying the exact location of the fire. 

Financial Security

Shoplifting literally costs billions of dollars here in the United States, which trickles down to honest consumers who end up paying more for goods and services. Vaak, a Tokyo-based company, spent more than 100 hours showing their AI system closed-circuit television footage of honest shoppers and shoplifters. The system can now identify suspicious activity based on more than 100 aspects of shoppers’ behavior including gait, hand movements, facial expressions, clothing choices and even “restless” and “sneaking” behaviors. Store employees are alerted of suspiciousness via an app and they can decide what to do. 

Life Security

Paris-based startup, Pharnext, was founded by Daniel Cohen, who “mapped” the human genome and demonstrated it is possible to use Big Data and automation to speed up the processing of DNA samples. Today, Cohen is using AI to analyze and map the chain of reactions of disease in the body. With this information, he and his team are combining existing drugs, known as “repurposing,” to create therapeutic effects that each drug lacks on its own. His overall goal is to use existing medicines to treat all disease, preventing the design of new medicines. 

Cybersecurity

Post-doctoral research fellow at Stanford University, Dr. Srijan Kuman, is developing an AI method — REV2 — to identify online conflict using data and machine learning to predict internet trolling before it happens. (Trolling is an action by a person who posts inflammatory and often deceptive and disinformation online to provoke others to respond on pure emotion.) Kuman uses statistical analysis, graph mining, embedding and deep learning to determine normal and malicious behaviors. His method is currently being used by Flipkart, an online store, to identify fake reviews and reviewers, and he was able to accurately predict when one Reddit community will troll another. 

Be sure to check out our editor’s blog that talks about worldwide spending on AI systems to reach $35.8 billion in 2019, according to International Data Corporation. 

 

PSA TEC 2019 opens in Denver

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Excited to be here in Denver, Colo. this week for PSA TEC 2019, a conference hosted by PSA, a global systems integration consortium made up of progressive security and audio-visual systems integrators in North America.

Approximately 1,200 security professionals converged on Denver — ahead of a blizzard, yes blizzard, that is coming — to learn, network and explore the many opportunities and challenges facing system integrators and the security industry as a whole.

What is unique about this conference is that it brings together an incredible array of security professionals all focused on the same goal: Improving security for their customers while pushing the industry forward during a highly volatile and quickly changing security landscape.

Interestingly, PSA members combined boast over 400 branch locations, employ over 7,500 industry professionals and are responsible for over $4.5 billion annually in security, fire, life safety and pro audio-visual installations.

Some of the bigger themes for the conference this year — and for the industry overall as well — are:

•    Cybersecurity and the physical and data convergence;
•    How integrators are adapting to and adopting more of a managed services, RMR model;
•    The continued rise and adoption of cloud-based solutions;
•    Hiring, training and retaining good people;
•    Adapting to the increasing role of IT within security
•    The benefits and challenges of open architecture systems and platforms vs. end to end systems;
•    Compliance and regulations, including GDPR; and
•    Data privacy

 

Congress introduces legislation to establish security standards for government devices

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Based on analyst firm Gartner’s research, 20.4 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices will be deployed by 2020; that’s more than double the world’s population! Hackers tend to gravitate toward the weakest link in the security chain, and because more and more IoT devices have questionable defenses, they make easy targets. This has caused the U.S. government to take notice.

To date, there is no national standard for IoT security, leaving it up to each company to decide how they want to security their connected devices. So, on Monday, March 11th, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives members introduced the Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act. If passed, this legislation would set minimum security standards for connected devices used by the government in an effort to prevent the federal government from purchasing hacker friendly devices. 

While the legislation won’t set security standards for all IoT companies—just the ones wanting to win federal contracts— it could provide a baseline of best practices for all connected device manufacturers to consider. 

Should the bill pass, here’s what would happen: 

  • Security standards from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), such as secure development, identity management, patching and configuration management, would be required; 
  • NIST would review every five years; 
  • All IoT venders selling to the U.S. government would have a vulnerability disclosure policy, allowing government officials to learn when the devices are open to cyberattacks.

 

Do you think this legislation would compel all connected device makers to adopt these security requirements or just the ones wanting to do business with the government? 

 

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