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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? 

 

TMA, ESA dispute Google’s claim

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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Monitoring Association (TMA) and the Electronic Security Association (ESA) are calling out Google on its recent statement — “security systems often use microphones” — noting that such statements “misrepresent the vast majority of today’s residential security systems installed throughout the country.”

The dispute follows recent reporting by Business Insider, CNN Business and many other publications that have highlighted the undisclosed, on-board microphone discovered in Google’s Nest Guard Security Device — raising serious privacy concerns among consumers.

Since audio recording includes privacy and legal complexities, it’s not extremely common in residential installations, the associations noted, pointing out that security professionals and integrators consult with customers and ensure all federal and state laws are abided by.

“Adding audio surveillance can certainly make for a more robust system,” ESA President Chris Mosley said in a prepared statement. “We’re seeing exciting advancements in the audio surveillance category, such as acoustic sensors and microphones that can help us detect gunfire or when voices become elevated that could indicate potential violence. However, sweeping statements to infer that residential systems commonly have this feature are simply not accurate.”

Richard Brent, CEO, Louroe Electronics, an ESA Member company and 40-year-old manufacturer of audio-based technologies, agrees, noting, “Sound-based technology in security systems is common in law enforcement, institutional, and smart city installations. However, the use of microphones for surveillance in residences is extremely rare on account of heightened expectations of privacy.”

According to both associations, adding microphones and audio capabilities to security systems adds another level of precaution that must be taken to install the system in a way that protects the privacy of the consumer.

“Security systems are now an important part of the customer home experience in that we can integrate with audio assistance,” TMA President Ivan Spector said. “However professionally installed and monitored security systems are not designed to record data and conversations unbeknownst to our customers.”

Professionally installed systems have the backing of technology experts who know the full capability of the system and its components and can appropriately safeguard these systems, so as not to compromise privacy.

MercTech 5 reveals trends, educates attendees, provides networking opportunities and more

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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Venturing off to Coronado Island, right outside of San Diego for MercTech 5 was an exciting adventure into the open architecture world of physical security. Various trends were identified, company announcements made, valuable networking with security companies was experienced as well as education and fun. 

To kick off the conference, Matt Barnette, president, Mercury Security, announced that this year, the company will be formally converting to HID Global and they are always looking for new partners. (HID Global purchased Mercury Security, an OEM supplier of controllers for physical access control, in 2017.) Thus far, Mercury Security has kept their original logo, with the added phrase: “part of HID Global.” 

Serra Luck, VP end user and consultant business, HID Global followed with three major trends in the physical access control market: the evolution of identity; service oriented and convergence of video, biometrics, access control, lighting and more to be controlled by a single device. Luck identified what she termed “BIMruption,” building information modeling in which a wholistic view of a building, including its vulnerabilities, can be seen before the structure is actually built. This enables the simulation of possible terror attacks, physical breaches, structural integrity and more so that security consultants, integrators and end-users can become even more proactive in preventing security-related issues.

Donna Chapman, consultant relations business development manager, ASSA ABLOY compared how she “talks up” security consultants to their partners. She likens it to doing taxes. 

“Can I do taxes,” she asked the audience, hypothetically. To which she answered, “yes, but am I up-to-date on all the tax regulations…no, and that’s ‘ok’ unless I get audited. So, it’s easier and safer to have my taxes done by a professional…same with security consultants.”

The two full days of the conference continued on with valuable education as well as meetings with various Mercury Security partners, followed by amazing dinners and networking events. Partners were available in various suites in a “speed dating” type of format, 45 minutes in length, where security consultants learned about their solutions as well as got their questions answered. 

A consultant roundtable took place, in which hot topics were discussed, one of which was the adoption of Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP), a communication standard developed by the Security Industry Association (SIA) to improve interoperability among access control and security devices. Security consultants were also concerned with specifying manufacturer’s certifications, asking if companies could possibly add certification numbers or some sort of identification so each certification is easier to “spec.” 

As the event concluded and I began to reflect, one of the most valuable takeaways from the whole conference emerged. Steve Wagner, president of Open Options, said the following during a speed dating session: “Everyone employed with Open Options is empowered to make decisions on behalf of customers; if a mistake is made with any such decisions, it will be to the benefit of the client.” This customer/client-first mentality, in my opinion, is a big piece of the pie that security companies must incorporate into their culture for maximum success. 

 

Live from MIPS 2019

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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

This week, I’m spending time in the Country Music Capital of the World, Nashville, hanging out with everyone at MIPS 2019, a conference organized by Milestone. After quite an eventful experience at the DFW airport — maintenance issues, delays and arriving a bit late to the conference — I’m happy to report it was all worth it!

Yesterday was jam-packed full of amazing speakers, new announcements from Milestone and their partners, and of course, hand claps and “yee-haws” to celebrate. Today promises even more highly beneficial content and a one-on-one interview to discuss the new Milestone Marketplace, an online experience to explore proven applications, hardware, and services that work with XProtect; connect with technology partners; and find the solution to deploy.

Be on the lookout for my MIPS 2019 roundup piece and follow me on Twitter @SSN_Ginger for live updates. To get caught up on yesterday’s Tweets, search with SSN’s new hashtag #SSNTalks.
 

TechSec Solutions brings best and brightest together

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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

TechSec Solutions, which wrapped up this week here in Delray Beach, Fla., brought together thought leaders from across all areas of the security industry to discuss the current state of the industry, key trends and technologies impacting and shaping security, and what the more successful companies are doing to stay relevant and profitable.

PSA’s Bill Bozeman … SIA’s Don Erickson … Securitas’ Jim Henry … ESIConvergent’s Pierre Bourgeix … DICE Corp’s Cliff Dice — the list of speakers at this year’s event represented the who’s who of security. Together with many other great speakers they provided a stellar day and a half of learning and networking. Moving outside the education room, attendees were able to check out some of the newest technology and services from this year’s sponsors, which included DICE Corp., Hikvision, ISC West, Lifesafety Power, Secure Utility and simPRO.

In addition to the incredible lineup of speakers and sponsors, the “20 under 40” award reception on the evening of day one provided a great capper to a tremendous day that included an “Integrator State of the Union” from Bozeman, a killer session from Bourgeix that featured Peter Rung from NCODED Communications and Samuel Trotman from KLJ, a consulting firm. Gretchen Gordon from Braveheart Sales Performance was another highlight on day one, as she tackled one of the greatest challenges for everyone in security today — finding, hiring, training AND retaining good people.

Day Two started with the highly anticipated Security Mega Panel featuring Bozeman, Erickson, ESA CEO Merlin Guilbeau and Michael Gips from ASIS International. The session exceeded expectations, as this group that has more than 100 combined years of experience in the industry riffed on the key issues, challenges and opportunities facing the industry today.

The second day also featured former “20 under 40” winner Rob Simopoulos, co-founder of Defendify, whose presentation on the importance of cybersecurity struck a nice balance between showing the audience the real threats that are out there (and many times in a humorous way), while providing tangible solutions and strategies to build a better “cyber posture.”

Closing out the conference was the session, Protecting Critical Infrastructure, which featured two of this year’s “20 under 40” end user winners — Colby Meshey, Deputy Director, Security Services, Pentagon Force Protection Agency and Kevin Didden, Senior Manager, Security Programs and Administration, MTA Bridges and Tunnels — as well as Meshey’s colleague James Ell, Electronic Security Services Branch Chief, Pentagon Force Protection Agency, and Joe Morgan, Business Development Manager for Critical Infrastructure, Axis Communications. Moderator Mike Lavway, Senior Manager, Enterprise Security Risk Group (eSRG), Aronson Security Group (ASG), was able to cover a lot of ground with this talented group, looking at specific examples from each on how they are using new technologies and strategies to improve security.

Many of the conversations sparked within the sessions spilled out into the exhibit room and lunches, and audience participation added some great energy to the sessions and discussions.

Getting back to the “20 under 40” reception. The fun-filled event, which was sponsored by SIA, brought 10 of our winners together by the pool to receive their award in person, network with their peers and celebrate a well-earned recognition as one of the rising stars in the industry.

Speaking of “rising stars,” SIA sponsored the event because they understand how important it is to recognize and support young professionals in the industry as they become the thought leaders of tomorrow. SIA’s RISE program does just that and there is great synergy between the “20 under 40” and RISE program’s goals. SIA also just announced its AcceleRISE conference, which is Aug. 16-18 in Minneapolis, Minn.

Keep checking back to the website for more coverage from TechSec 2019 — including some live video footage from sessions — as well as more information on the big announcement that Cloud+ will be joining TechSec Solutions in early 2020! Stay tuned for more exciting news about that two great shows finally coming together.

 

In the home, voice is king

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The success of smart home assistants such as Amazon Alexa has spurred the growth of smart speakers within the home, as voice control in the home seems to be a trend that is not going away any time soon.

In fact, the adoption of these devices increased by 800 percent from 2016 to 2018, reaching nearly one-third of U.S. broadband households by the end of 2018, according to research by Parks Associates.

In the firm’s “Strategies for Integrating Voice in the Smart Home,” report, it estimates U.S. households will buy more than 64 million smart speakers with voice assistants in 2022. The research profiles key technology partners that can help companies integrate voice and evaluates different strategies for implementation.

“Voice is emerging as a key complement to smart home device adoption and ownership, as it provides a simple method of interaction and creates opportunities for a centralized user interface and interoperability among multiple devices,” Dina Abdelrazik, research analyst, Parks Associates, said in the announcement. “The next step will be integration of voice among multiple device categories, which will help to alleviate smart home fragmentation.”

Use of voice in conjunction with smart home devices is increasing. The report finds 21 percent of smart homeowners have used voice to turn their devices on/off, while 18 percent have used voice to check a device’s status. With voice popularity and use cases expanding, device makers and service providers are looking to capitalize on the current market opportunity by integrating a voice experience with their current offerings. The first decision a company must make before doing so is to decide whether to create its own proprietary solution or to integrate with a readily available  solution.

“Major tech giants have entered the voice-first market providing companies with the opportunity to leverage their voice-based solutions, with Amazon and Google leading the market,” Abdelrazik said. “They have made it easier for companies to enable voice-based solutions while creating competition for consumer mindshare, with Apple, Samsung and Harman Kardon promoting their own solutions in an increasingly crowded market. This diversity gives companies more choices when considering partnerships or whether to develop their own proprietary in-house solution.”

Parks Associates will host CONNECTIONS: The Premier Connected Home Conference on May 21-23, 2019, in San Francisco, where analysts and IoT executives will examine the impact of voice along with other solutions in shaping demand, adoption, and new business strategies within the smart home  ecosystem.

Further validating the growth of smart speakers, IHS Markit recently released its report on this growing trend.
 

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