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DIY will continue its rapid rise during crisis

 - 
Wednesday, April 1, 2020

With most of us “sheltering at home,” and relying more and more on our devices to stay connected for work and family and friends, bandwidth limits in households across the U.S., and the globe, are being tested, to say the least.

I know in my household, we probably have twice as many devices connected now, all day and night long. It can be draining both technologically speaking and emotionally as well, as I know many of us (especially those with spouses working from home and children learning remotely) are finding out.

With so many of us at home for the foreseeable future, I see a continued rise in DIY security solutions and other connected devices, which were already seeing a rise in demand before the outbreak. For example, among consumers who acquired their security system less than two years ago, 60 percent are self-installed, compared to only seven percent of systems purchased more than six years ago, according to new research from Parks Associates.

The research firm’s DIY Home Security Tracker finds that DIY security systems are taking a larger share of the residential security market due to their growing popularity among security households.

“Most DIY households use professional monitoring services, but currently 63 percent of these DIY systems have had their monitoring subscription for less than two years,” Parks Associates Senior Analyst Dina Abdelrazik said. “Most DIY security owners are also self-installing add-on smart home devices, so companies are expanding their product lines to meet consumer demand, including Abode, Array by Hampton and Blue by ADT. This demand for an easy-to-install, integrated solution is becoming more prevalent in the Apple HomeKit ecosystem, with more DIY security systems and camera-related devices releasing product lines compatible with this ecosystem.”

The traditional residential security channel is dominated by professionally installed, professionally monitored systems, but smart home device manufacturers are increasingly extending into the security space, Parks noted. Currently 33 percent of U.S. broadband households own a security system, an 18 percent increase from 28 percent in 2018.

It will be interesting to see how long it will take before things get back to normal, with business as usual, and the overall impact, whether short-lived or lasting, this extended crisis will have on consumer spending trends in the home.

And on a deeper level: Do we become a society that sinks deeper into using technology as our main, or even only, way to connect with people, or do we get back to a time when meeting face-to-face — and forging meaningful and lasting connections — was worth its weight in gold?

Only time will tell.

Security industry comes together during crisis

 - 
Wednesday, March 25, 2020

These are very strange and trying times we are living in. With many of us working from home, including sheltering in place and even self-quarantining for some, focusing on what matters most — family and health — is the real priority right now. But balancing staying safe and healthy with trying to sustain a business during these economically devastating times has become a major challenge for many security integrators, dealers and manufacturers, as the current crisis has turned everything, in the blink of an eye, on its head. We are all just trying to find our way day by day during this terrible, and at times frightening, new normal — post coronavirus outbreak.

In terms of the impact on the security industry already, overwhelming response to the SSN News Poll, which is still open, shows that companies are being severely affected. For example, preliminary results of the poll show that approximately 80 percent of respondents are being negatively affected financially because of the coronavirus, with 40 percent saying, “Yes, greatly,” and another 40 percent saying, “somewhat.” Another 80 percent said that their company’s supply chain has been impacted.

“While the economy may return in 6 months or less, the issue for the security industry is much larger,” said one respondent. “We are a finish contractor and projects need to be in finish stage for us to really make our money. The delays in projects and no new projects bidding is just going to hurt that much more and for much longer.”

Another noted, “Incoming calls for new systems and service calls have dropped off greatly. Some suppliers are not shipping product, and if they are the shipments are severely delayed.”

While commercial demand is significantly impacted, as companies limit access to business locations, another respondent pointed out, “Demand from residential customers, both for new activations and service appears to be steady.”

A call to action
While a crisis of this magnitude many times brings out the worst in us — hoarding toilet paper and hand sanitizers comes to mind — it also brings out the best in us, including the response by the security industry as a whole, which has been tremendous. The industry, including the Security Industry Association (SIA), the Electronic Security Association (ESA) and The Monitoring Association (TMA), is coming together to ensure that security professionals have the resources and support they need to help them get through these difficult times. SIA also created a COVID-19 and busintess continuity resurces page here, and ESA created one here.

In partnership with hundreds of industry executives, SIA, ESA and TMA are calling state leadership to ensure that essential emergency services are not suspended or impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. They have partnered to circulate a letter drawing state public safety leaders’ attention to the essential emergency services provided by electronic security, fire, life safety and monitoring companies and ensure that those who depend on them are not adversely impacted during the evolving situation with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter, which has already garnered more than 450 signatures from industry CEOs, company owners and leaders, highlights the critical functions of alarm response centers for monitoring, saving first responder resources, alerting businesses to potential break-ins or troubles, monitoring and notifying customers of health emergencies, following industry standard best practices and more.

The letter’s two requests for state leaders are to:
•    Ensure that government policy reflects that companies providing essential emergency services and field service and dispatch remain operational.
•    Provide an exemption for electronic security, monitoring and life safety services as essential services in any shelter-in-place, quarantine or similar order.

SIA is continuing to collect signatures from executives at firms in the security industry. To add your firm to the letter, please email SIA CEO Don Erickson at [email protected] and affirm your consent to sign.

Security’s role "essential"
The purpose of the letter is to ensure that recent federal guidance becomes state and local policy, specifically the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.

Recently published guidelines from CISA and U.S. Department of Homeland Security provide “identification of essential critical infrastructure workers during COVID-19 response.” While these guidelines are not a mandate to state and local jurisdictions, SIA, ESA and TMA noted that “they do provide strategic guidance toward the unified effort to maintain the nation’s critical infrastructure, and as such we believe these guidelines serve an important role as communities respond with executive and legislative action.”

The list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” identified by CISA and important to our industry includes:
•    Workers supporting communications systems and information technology used by law enforcement, public safety, medical, energy and other critical industries;
•    Maintenance of communications infrastructure, including privately owned and maintained communication systems supported by technicians, operators, call centers, wireline and wireless providers, cable service providers, satellite operations, undersea cable landing stations, internet exchange points and manufacturers and distributors of communications equipment;
•    Installation, maintenance and repair technicians that establish, support or repair service as needed;
•    Workers who support command centers, including but not limited to network operations command centers, broadcast operations control centers and security operations command centers;
•    Data center operators, including system administrators, HVAC and electrical engineers, security personnel, IT managers, data transfer solutions engineers, software and hardware engineers and database administrators; and
•    Dispatchers involved with service repair and restoration

Help is on the way?
As I write this Congress is in the process of passing H.R. 6201, a bill that will provide economic stimulus and relief to the American workforce impacted by COVID-19. Some of the key provisions that will impact the business operations of security professionals include tax credits for employers, employee paid leave and unemployment insurance. Some key provisions include:

•    $500 billion to back loans and assistance to companies. Any company receiving a loan would be subject to a ban on stock buybacks through the term of the loan, plus one year. Executive bonuses would also be limited.
•    $350 billion to aid small businesses.
•    Direct payments to Americans of $1,200 for each adult and $500 for each child, with income limitations.
•    Unemployment insurance would be extended to four (4) months and bolstered by $600 weekly, with expanded coverage for more workers displaced by the coronavirus.

Click here for SIA’s detailed rundown of provisions in the bill that impact security professionals.

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Business continuity, cybersecurity tips and valuable resources

 - 
Wednesday, March 18, 2020

I refuse to give the coronavirus power by using it as click bait in my blog title; however, staying true to my blog, “Monitoring Matters,” I do see that education is necessary during this time of our lives. I feel that the more people understand and know what to do, the better we are prepared to handle any situation, whether that be a pandemic of any kind, a major cyberattack, etc. So, before we get started, I want to first sincerely thank you for reading my blog and I hope that you not only enjoy the content but find it helpful and useful. 

In my opinion, all the security industry associations are doing a great job at keeping their members as well as the security-related press well informed about the state of our industry at this time; offering up-to-date information about business continuity; etc. 

There’s also a whole other aspect to contend with when it comes to this time of social distancing, quarantining and working from home: cybercriminals! In my lifetime, this is the first time for such an influx of people working digitally; I can picture it now … cybercriminals rubbing their greedy little hands together, excited to attack digitally! Think about it … if you were a cybercriminal, wouldn’t you find it the best time to strike with some businesses and their employees struggling to keep “business as usual,” some even digitally working for the very first time? 

Additionally is the influx of scams already taking place, from people physically knocking on doors of seniors’ residents pretending to be Red Cross representatives offering coronavirus testing for money and/or robbing the individual(s) to unscrupulous online offerings for products to treat or cure COVID-19 (which do not exist at this time) to phishing scams via phone, text and email. 

Here are some quick “to-dos” to immediately enhance your, your business and your loved ones’ security: 

  1. Do not post pictures of the inside of your home on social media. Working from home can feel isolating and while it seems fun and entertaining to post pics of yourself working from home, things that show up in the background of pictures gives a preview of all the valuables you own to possible robbers. 
  2. Change all passwords into passphrases using a series of numbers, letters and symbols. Use a password manager or write the new passphrases onto a piece of paper and keep in a secure place, such as a locked desk drawer, file cabinet or fire-proof lockbox. 
  3. Don’t leave any accounts “open.” When you’re finished with a program or website that requires a login, be sure to physically take your mouse and click to logout. 
  4. If you receive an email, work or personal, from someone you don’t know or recognize, do not open it. Instead, send a group email or use your company’s recommended communication tool, such as Slack, to ask if anyone sent out an email regarding keywords used in the subject line of the questionable email. 
  5. Do not open your door to strangers or people you do not know, and remind senior relatives and friends to do the same. 

 

**Here are some FREE, reliable, valuable resources to have at your fingertips, specific to COVID-19, business continuity, scams, best practices, etc

Voice assistants hackable by laser

 - 
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The more I think about it, the more I realize I’m a “house purist.” I like my home to be as free as possible from “extra” electronics of any kind. Sure, I have a laptop, smartphone and a rebuilt iPAD from 10 years ago, and I’m connected to the Internet, but I don’t have cable TV and quite frankly, I refuse to put a voice assistant of any kind in my home … ever! It creeps me out that some random person can be listening, inserting themselves into my daily existence at any time. 

Recent research backs up my no-voice-assistant decision: 75 percent of U.S. households will be at risk to get hacked via voice assistants by 2025 and inaudible, invisible commands can be injected into voice-controlled devices simply by shining a laser at the device; no spoken words needed. 

Researchers at the University of Michigan and the University of Electro-Communications found that light can be converted to sound using a microphone. This means that a remote attacker standing several meters away from a device, most of which are embedded with the common MEMS microphone, can inject arbitrary audio signals to the target microphone by aiming a laser at the microphone’s aperture, covertly triggering the production on an acoustic pressure wave. Basically, the microphone responds to the laser light as if it were sound. 

So, what devices are vulnerable to this attack, now known as LightCommands? The researchers demonstrated this attack on many commercially available voice-controllable systems that use Siri, Portal, Google Assistant and Alexa. They successful injected LightCommands at a maximum distance of more than 100 meters while penetrating clear glass windows. 

The researchers concluded that additional compromises of third-party hardware, such as lock and cars, can be vulnerable to LightCommands attacks and they believe that the heat caused by lasers can also be an effective way to inject false signals into sensors. 

If you still choose to have voice assistants in your home, at this point the only protection against LightCommands attacks is to: 

  1. Keep all voice assistants non-visible from the outside by physically blocking them from sight from windows; and 
  2. Because LightCommands allows attackers to inject commands as a legitimate user, avoid giving voice assistants access to every single connected IoT device/sensor that you have invited into your life as hackers can hijack any digital smart systems attached.

Consumers want privacy but lack knowledge

 - 
Wednesday, March 4, 2020

With data privacy and security issues making the headlines on almost a daily basis — from the collection and handling of biometric data to securing identities in a digitally connected world — it was interesting to read the findings on ADT’s recent privacy survey showing that respondents want protection but lack knowledge on the topic.

The survey, conducted by YouGov of 1,230 U.S. consumers during December 2019, found that 92 percent of respondents feel smart home security companies need to take measures to protect customers’ personal data and information.

However, while concerns around privacy are high, more than 40 percent of those surveyed admit they don’t feel knowledgeable on the topic. ADT pointed out that the smart home security industry has the opportunity to provide leadership and guidance in this area to maintain consumer trust and promote responsible data privacy practices within the industry.

“ADT released the first Internet-connected smart home security platform in 2010, and we’ve consistently taken great care to protect and connect our customers in the most secure ways possible, using leading industry standards and best practices to guard their data, privacy and personal information,” ADT President and CEO Jim DeVries said in the announcement. “Where there is consumer confusion about privacy, we as an industry must work to reduce that confusion so consumers can be confident that the products and services we provide to help keep them safe can be trusted. With that trust in place, there can be greater peace of mind.”

According to ADT, the explosion of the smart home device category ushered in scores of new manufacturers and brands that may have put convenience before user privacy. However, the ADT consumer privacy opinion survey revealed consumers are now aware of and concerned about privacy as it relates to smart home devices with the top concerns reported to be hacking (75 percent) followed by government spying on in-home smart cameras (53 percent) and smart speakers (52 percent).

The survey also uncovered that when it comes to how personal information is shared, consumers tend to be more concerned about how governments (89 percent) and companies (93 percent) share their personal information than they are about how they share their own personal information on social media (86 percent). And, despite acknowledging the importance of privacy protocols, most consumers don’t use privacy measures available to them. In fact, fewer than 40 percent of survey respondents reported having any data privacy measures in place at all.

“These consumer privacy opinion survey findings validate the work we’ve been doing as an industry over the past year to create a set of guiding principles, designed to help protect customer privacy and trust in the security industry and member companies, and to unify ourselves around them,” said ADT Chief Privacy Officer Frank Cona.

In an effort to bring greater awareness to this issue, ADT started the Consumer Privacy Initiative, an industry-level initiative that began last year to unite the smart home security industry and produce clear guiding principles and best practices for how security providers manage consumer data and protect their privacy. Participants, including producers of security products and security related software, implementers and other service providers, and industry associations, joined together during the past year to develop a baseline of industry-wide guiding principles for consumer privacy, with input from consumer advocates.

This coming together of industry leaders is good to see, as they understand that the first step toward enlightenment is through awareness and education.

Looking back to look forward at ISC West 2020

 - 
Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Having had the privilege of attending three shows during February, I’ve heard this phrase most: “It’s hard to believe that ISC West is already here!” And, quite frankly, I couldn’t agree more! 

As I think back to last year’s ISC West, there were three key trends that resonated with me: 1. deep learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML); 2. video doorbells; and 3. RMR for integrators. 

Last year, right after ISC West, I reached out to some experts to gather their thoughts regarding these trends. Here’s some of the responses I received to help whet our appetites for ISC West 2020: 

(I wonder how these trends have evolved over the course of about a year; I’m excited to find out in less than a month!) 

How is deep learning/AI/ML currently enhancing the security industry? 

“It’s hard to say … it’s an overused buzzword that is difficult to actually nail down what it means or what it’s doing. Future … likely … now … unlikely.” 

— Mark Hillenburg, executive director of marketing, Digital Monitoring Products

“Deep Learning, a subset of AI research, is primarily helping the security industry in the world of video surveillance/video management. Video is typically the largest source of unstructured data, data with no predefined format on the information contained inside, so in order to process out people, objects, events, etc., typically requires a large amount of processing power and can be very costly. Most of the world’s video typically is recorded and not watched because the manpower to review the amount of video recorded is impossible to achieve. 

Computers are very adept at repeated tasks, such as processing video; however, traditional algorithms for computer vision, the realm of research into video and image processing, were not really able to scale to that high volume without massive computation resources investment. The computer vision research world has really seen a large improvement in the advances deep learning is bringing in terms of increased speed to results, increased accuracy and reduced computation requirement. This will likely continue as time progresses, but the deep learning revolution for video can bring actionable information in previously unmonitored video to operations at a very powerful pace.”  

—Dr. Sean Lawlor, data scientist, Genetec Inc. 

“AI is used today in the security industry to perform tasks like facial recognition and video analytics. While these are impressive accomplishments, they are still atomic in nature in the sense that they represent isolated inputs to the system as a whole.” 

—Paul Saldin, vice president of engineering, Alula

“There has been tremendous progress in video analytics through deep learning and artificial intelligence that surpasses anything created so far. Facial recognition, license plate readers and even things like hard hat and safety glass detection now are a reality. These processes not only enhance security by providing detailed information on who many be coming or going at a business and at what exact time, but they can also improve operations and safety.” 

—Robert Messer, president, ABP Technology 

“Technology advances from deep learning and AI can help improve the accuracy in intrusion detection, and help to reduce false alarms. The security system needs to know when a homeowner is home or away, and needs to track occupants’ movements to initiate activities across the home. Features like smart sensors, geofencing, voice controls and facial recognition have been making systems more intelligent. And, as security continues to integrate with home automation, we’ll see the home become more capable of anticipating the needs of its occupants.” 

—Alice DeBiasio, vice president and general manager, global residential security, Resideo

“Deep learning and AI are making smart security smarter based on data analytics, sample teaching, and intelligent decision making. In other words, it isn’t enough for security devices to simple collect large volumes of data, which they are certainly capable of doing. Deep learning and AI methods can help analyze that data and separate what is important from what is not — or analyze the data to uncover deeper trends and more complex information that the collected data alone cannot. Take video analytics, for example. AI powered video analytics are event-based solutions that apply deep learning and artificial intelligence, efficiently analyzing vast amount of data generated by videos, and generates quick response in real time. This system reduces manual monitoring and associated costs and increases productivity of video surveillance systems. Through the application of AI, video analytics can go far beyond just informing users that a person or other object has entered an unauthorized space. With the information collected from a large number of cameras, companies can apply facial recognition software to identify a specific person approaching a building. In addition, by running analytics, a company can not only alert the user to an unauthorized vehicle approaching a building but can also scan the license plate, giving the security officers information that can be checked with existing databases to determine potential-threat status.”

—Joe Liu, CEO, Miotta

Why are video doorbells so popular among consumers? 

“Marketing and promotion and the proliferation of video as ‘security.’ In reality, security prevents someone from stealing your stuff … where video just lets you know who did it. Video doorbells are very popular, but after living with one for almost two years, I’ll be interested to see if there is a market demand for a second generation of owners. Once you have one, will you spend the money the second time? We will wait and see.”

— Mark Hillenburg, executive director of marketing, Digital Monitoring Products

“Video doorbells are set to experience massive adoption in the security industry in 2019, and it’s no mystery why. Customers love being able to monitor their front door remotely and protect deliveries from would-be porch pirates. This also naturally extends the perimeter of protection for homeowners, and when paired home automation for locks, video doorbells can assist to enable greater access controls for engagement and remote entry management. That said, not all video doorbells are created equal. If you don’t have a fast network on the backend, you’ll experience late alerts and lag during two-way voice chat, which compromises the functionality. You really need a fully integrated system to get the most out of this popular technology.” 

—Brad LaRock, vice president of marketing, Alula

“Situational awareness has always been one of the key attractants in surveillance solutions and video doorbells give us another means to improve our situational awareness. Just like with our businesses, we all want to protect our homes and now what is going on. And, we are also ‘linked in,’ so to speak. Our smartphones, tablets and computers are essentially a part of us and if we can use those devices to see who is at the door and respond in real time, then it makes life for us that much easier.” 

—Robert Messer, president, ABP Technology

“Video doorbells have been a popular trend in the industry and continue to gain momentum. They solve an immediate need, and more consumers are asking for them. Homeowners see the value in being able to see and speak to visitors, and have access through their mobile devices. Dealers should be including video doorbells on every installation.” 

—Alice DeBiasio, vice president and general manager, global residential security, Resideo

What does your company offer in terms of RMR for your integrator partners?

“Recurring monthly revenue (RMR) is the lifeline savvy systems integrators seek to stay profitable, and it can be found in many different technologies, including power solutions. For the end-user customer, managed power solutions offer a value-added solution that ensures system uptime, integrity and reliability. The possibilities to perform managed power services can encompass many physical elements: the main power supply; power system outputs; supervised inputs; and standby batteries. Managed monitoring can include event reports; AC loss notification; service due reminders; overcurrent alert; low-battery warning; and insufficient battery standby. Remote servicing capabilities of power solutions can cover output supervision; battery load testing; remote power cycling; and system health log/trouble alerts. There is also the opportunity to create real-time action alerts and reports via email, XML, web-browser notification or Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP).” 

—Michael Bone, marketing manager, LifeSafety Power, Inc.

“Mobile medical alerts are a natural fit for security companies. Adding medical alerts expands your security offerings and increases perceived value for your customers because you now offer safety and peace of mind for your customers both at home and away. Security companies have an established customer base comprised of safety-minded individuals who may need medical alert themselves, and there are scores of new customers opportunities available through referrals because each existing customer has a relative or friend who could use a medical alert device.” 

—Craig Pyle, VP of product, Freeus

“March Networks currently offers RMR models to our certified partner community through two hosted services offerings: March Networks Insight and March Networks Searchlight as a Service. Both soutions provide customers with flexible service terms and payment options, and help integrators reduce service costs through expert video system health monitoring support delivered via March Networks’ secure Network Operations Center (NOC).”

—Dan Cremins, global leader, product management, March Networks

“Video is a major driver for new RMR and we are leaning into that opportunity. Our modular approach also means that our partners don’t pay for home automation capabilities unless they will be getting additional RMR from their customers for those services. Because we are vertically integrated and own the network, more of the RMR goes into the integrator’s pocket rather than a third-party provider. All our services are provided at a wholesale rate with no stipulation on what the integrator can charge their customers, so they set their own pricing and can reap the RMR that their market will bear.” 

—Dave Mayen, vice president of product management, Alula

“ABP Technology offers an advanced platform for integrators that allows them to offer customers basic cloud services as well as their own service and value. That means that integrators now can sell their skills integrating, tuning and maintaining their systems”

—Robert Messer, president, ABP Technology

“As the residential security landscape continues to evolve, there is an increasing opportunity for RMR around smart home technologies. Our products are connecting the major systems of the home – on the exterior, behind the wall, on the wall and in the cloud. We believe the security dealer is best positioned to win in the smart home market, and we’re fully committed to helping them deliver the connected experience their customers demand.”

—Alice DeBiasio, vice president and general manager, global residential security, Resideo

“Miotta offers an ‘in-a-box self-configuring connected system’ and collaborative Video-IoT RMR security service for security integrators/operators to offer to their residential and enterprise customers. Miotta’s mobile-cloud ‘virtual’ security service platform allows integrators, security dealers, ISP’s, mobile carriers and more to offer mobile-cloud security services to both residential and enterprise customers.”

—Joe Liu, CEO, Miotta

A month of travel and education

 - 
Wednesday, February 19, 2020

February, the month of love, captures the hearts of some with flowers, chocolates and cute stuffed teddy bears, but for me, it’s travel that warms my heart and this month is shaping up to be what I call my “travel trifecta.” First it was New Orleans, now Grapevine, Texas and next is San Diego.

Having just recently returned from “N’awlins” from our show, SecurityNext, which was a huge success, I am currently in the midst of attending Milestone’s MIPS 2020, focusing on the power of open. So far, I have learned that “open” gives security integrators choices, which empowers them to create exactly what end users want when it comes to security-related installs — experiences.

“The power of open offers flexibility, choices and possibilities,” Kenneth Petersen, chief sales and marketing manager, Milestone Systems, said during his presentation at MIPS.

As MIPS concludes today, I will continue to share juicy bits of knowledge gained (For example, did you know Milestone became a seller on AWS?) on my Twitter feed @SSN_Ginger, so be sure to follow me if you aren’t already, and be on the look out for more on MIPS 2020 and Milestone in the coming weeks.

Wrapping up this week and into the weekend, I will be jet-setting off to San Diego for AMAG Technology’s 20th Security Engineering Symposium (SES) 2020. This will be a time of learning, networking, developing relationships and interacting with distinguished end users, consultants and integrators with discussions about modern technologies, trends and how the real world of security in changing.

“AMAG Technology's Security Engineering Symposium brings together our community of end-users, consultants, integrators and technology partners to network, interact and discuss the industry's latest issues and trends," AMAG Technology, Director of Business Development, Kami Dukes, told Security Systems News. "It's important for our customers and partners to attend because we learn so much more when we collaborate and work together. AMAG gets inspired to do things differently by listening to the community's interaction and feedback. Their engagement is invaluable. The event remarkably contributes to our product vision and improved solution offerings to the market. I think it's the most valuable event of the year."    

Be on the look out for “tweets de jour” from me during AMAG’s SES 2020 and if you haven’t yet booked travel to any security-related events this year, I highly encourage you to:

1. Do some research to find the perfect event that relates to you and your business.
2. Reach out to the event director with any questions or comments prior to the event.
3. Register and book travel.
4. To get the most out of your event, read my LinkedIn article about how to get the most out of a conference experience.
4. Go enjoy, network and learn!
 

Inaugural SecurityNext conference a huge success

 - 
Wednesday, February 12, 2020

As I fly back home after an incredible four days in NOLA, highlights from our inaugural and highly successful SecurityNext conference, held Feb. 9-11 at the Royal Sonesta hotel on Bourben Street, keep dancing through my head. As someone who loves music and is inspired by those who learn to hone their craft and share their talents with others, it was a sheer pleasure to soak in the sights, sounds and heartbeat of N’awlins … as they say here.

With sounds of trumpets and trombones permeating the air and drifting into the hotel and session and meeting spaces, it was also a sheer pleasure to hear some the top thought leaders in our industry, who have honed their craft within security, share their talents and ideas with others.

From the opening networking reception on Sunday evening to the closing tour of the NOLA Real Time Crime Center, attendees were treated to a comprehensive learning, networking — and absolutely fun and exciting — conference experience, evidenced by the overwhelmingly positive evaluations from attendees. In fact, almost all said they would recommend the conference to others and would be coming back next year.

“If you want to be a part of this industry’s future, you must attend SecurityNext,” said Andrew Lanning, Integrated Security Technology cofounder and 2019 recipient of the Security Industry Association’s Jay Hauhn Award.

Mike King, manager, hosted video for Axis Communications said, “A must attend for companies wanting to understand the next major shift in the security industry.”

Some of the highlights of SecurityNext 2020 include:
•    An opening welcome reception that gave attendees a chance to connect, network and plan for fun nights out on the town in preparation for a full two days of learning.
•    Two keynotes, including Intel’s Global GM for IoT Solutions Sameer Sharma, and NOLA Real-time Crime Center IT Manager George Barlow Brown.
•    Comprehensive education program including six panel discussions and five presentations featuring 29 speakers who are top thought leaders in security today.
•    The “40 under 40” Award Reception on Monday evening, sponsored by the Security Industry Association, that celebrated the class of 2019 winners, including integrator, consultant and end users.
•    The first-ever Legend Award ceremony for inaugural recipients Bill Bozeman and Jim Henry, presented by Andrew Lanning (to Bozeman) and ESIConvergent’s Pierre Bourgeix (to Henry).
•    A tabletop exhibit room highlighting the latest security technologies, products and services, from cloud and data analytics to machine learning and AI.
•    A tour of NOLA’s Real-time Crime Center given by day two keynote George Barlow Brown.

Check back to our site in the coming days and weeks as we provide more in-depth coverage of all the exciting things that happened at SecurityNext 2020!

US leading the global smart home market

 - 
Wednesday, February 5, 2020

The influence of the smart home on security is well documented, as consumer awareness of what is available in the home, from security to home automation to energy savings, continues to drive the purchase of smart home and security products, services and support.

The latest research on the smart home shows the U.S. is leading a global smart home market that is estimated to climb from $91 billion this year to $158 billion by 2024, growing at a CAGR of 15 percent in the next four years, according to data gathered by PreciseSecurity.com. Moreover, household penetration will climb from 9.3 percent this year to 19.3 percent by 2024.

Houseowners worldwide will spend $19.4 billion on security systems this year, with smart security cameras and smart locks as the leading products. This amount is expected to double and reach $35.6 billion value in the next four years. The number of active households in the security segment is forecast to hit 196.9 million by 2024.

Analyzed by geography, the U.S. is the largest smart home market in the world with $27.6 billion in revenue this year, followed by China at $20.8 billion, Germany and the United Kingdom at $4.8 billion and Japan at $4.7 billion.

The report noted that the global smart-home ecosystem is set to continue its rapid expansion mostly due to the speed of 5G implementation, as well as recent IoT investments by Google, Apple and Amazon, which have “transformed the landscape noticeably, providing opportunities for various companies.”

Interestingly, the 2020 data show that one-third of smart home device owners are Millennials.

Divided by categories, smart appliances generate the most significant share of the overall market income. Global consumers are forecast to spend $21.5 billion this year on devices they can connect to smartphones or tablets for better control, convenience and information. This segment of the market is expected to jump to $39.6 billion by 2024.

With $21.1 billion profit in 2020, control and connectivity devices represent the second most popular consumer choice.

The energy management solutions are forecast to generate $7.2 billion income this year and jump to $12.4 billion by 2024.

Giving back at ISC West

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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

I always liked the proverb, “see the forest for the trees,” as it speaks to a phenomenon that happens far too often these days in society — not seeing the bigger picture because we are so focused on the minutia of the day.

With thousands of security professionals converging on Las Vegas for ISC West, March 17-21, and hustling and bustling around to the millions of appointments and meetings, closing deals and making the almighty dollar, I feel that many times, we can't see the forest for the trees.

For the purposes of this rant, the forest, or the bigger picture, is the responsibility we each have to give back to an industry that has given us so much.

And, what is amazing about ISC West is the abundance of opportunities to give back, individually or on a corporate level, with either time or money.

One organization in particular, Mission 500, is really making it easy for individuals and companies to give back by participating in the 11th Annual Mission 500 5k/2k charity event.

The Security 5k/2k fundraiser at ISC West 2020 will be held on Thursday, March 19th, at 2601 East Sunset Road, in Las Vegas, Nev., and will benefit children and families in need across the United States. Registration to participate in this year’s event is open and can be accessed by visiting www.security5kreg.com. For those who are unable to attend or participate in the physical event, you can sign up and donate as a virtual runner or walker.

“2020 marks our eleventh year hosting the Security 5k/2k and we want to thank all of the previous participants and sponsors who have made the last 10 years a tremendous success,” said Tom Nolan, director of Strategic Partnerships, Mission 500. “We can’t wait for this year’s event and hope to meet a wide array of new security industry participants, reconnect with prior ones, and have a great time while supporting this worthwhile cause.”

The Security 5K/2K is a joint collaboration organized by United Publications, the publisher of Security Systems News, ISC Events and Mission 500. To become a sponsor of the Security 5k/2k event, please click here or contact Tom Nolan via email at [email protected].

Confirmed charter sponsors include Alarm.com, Altronix Corporation, Axis Communications, Bosch Security Systems, BRINKS Home Security, CMAC, COPS Monitoring, Dahua Technology, DMP, Freeman, Galaxy Control Systems, HID Global, Hikvision, LENSEC, LRG Marketing Communications, Milestone Systems, Napco Starlink, PSA Security Network, Safety Technology International, Inc. and ZKTeco USA.

As Nolan points out, the goal is get more people and companies involved and increase the amount of money raised each year. Last year, Mission 500 was able to raise more than $145,000 with the event, and with your help we can surpass that number this year.

Here’s hoping you see the forest for the trees.

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