There will likely continue to be high numbers of lone wolf and soft target attacks in the year ahead. The drivers behind these tragedies are a confluence of self-radicalisation, social media, violent extremism, and mental illness. They will require our skills as security professionals — observation, investigation, interviewing, due diligence — like never before.


Looming in the background of these physical attacks is the prospect of combined physical and cyberattacks that could disable network control systems and target critical infrastructure, leading to cascading effects that could result in the crippling of sectors of society. This past year, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security began warning of cyberattack threats on the U.S. power grid. These threats require strong relationships with our public-sector counterparts and public-private partnership groups, like InfraGard, to broadly disseminate information and best practices.

Recent member research by ASIS International shows that few organisations have truly converged security departments that can holistically deal with cyber, physical, personnel, and information risks.

Internet of Things risks

And speaking of cyber-threats, we are dealing with an ever-evolving and increasingly complicated threat landscape. Not least among the targets is the Internet of Things (IoT).

It is projected that by the year 2020, more than 50 million objects will have discrete IP addresses, including cars, airplanes, pacemakers, control systems manufacturing process control components, access control—and yes, even your refrigerator letting you know you need more milk.

The IoT opens an organisation up to incredible risk, which was illustrated this past October with the Mirai DDoS attack that took down Twitter and other mainstream websites. Its attack vectors were largely unsecured IP cameras and DVRs, two entrenched residents of the IoT. We need to raise awareness on product security and educate stakeholders about vulnerabilities (from default logins and password settings to embedded backdoors sending information via unencrypted channels).

Holistic security management

One area of security that often gets overlooked is management. Long gone are the days of the reactive "corporate cop" using a command-and-control management structure.

Today's emerging security leader is a holistic risk manager, dealing not only with security, but investigations, loss prevention, fraud, cybersecurity, safety, and other issues.

He or she must be steeped in Enterprise Security Risk Management (ESRM) — which has become a global strategic priority at ASIS. Security leaders must also become business strategists, trusted advisors/collaborators with the C suite, contributors to the bottom line, talent acquisition experts, and empathetic leaders.

Security leaders must become business strategists, trusted advisors/collaborators with the C suite, and contributors to the bottom line
Security managers must lead a widely-dispersed staff encompassing many cultures, backgrounds, and geographies

According to Professor Mario Moussa of the Wharton School of Business, the workplace of the future will be "flatter, looser, wider, and faster." This means that hierarchies will matter less, flexible schedules will predominate, and remote work will become commonplace. Yet, staff will need to be more collaborative and team-oriented.

Over the longer term, security managers must lead a widely-dispersed staff encompassing many cultures, backgrounds, and geographies. Facilitating communication will be critical, especially with the proliferation of millennials who will make up 50 percent of the workforce by 2020.

And, although women currently make up only a small minority of security executives, their day is coming. Multiple studies show that companies see a bigger rise in revenue under female leadership than under male leadership. They are shown to be more transformative, collaborative, and empathetic than their male counterparts.

Over the longer term, security managers must lead a widely-dispersed staff encompassing many cultures, backgrounds,
and geographies

2017 changes at ASIS International

This past year saw tremendous change at ASIS International. We welcomed a new CEO, Peter J. O’Neil, who has brought fresh energy, wisdom, passion, and leadership to the association. We’ve undertaken a top-to-bottom review of our operations and have a number of exciting new initiatives in store.

This year, we are launching a revitalised member-focused strategic plan that will move the Society in a more transparent and inclusive direction. We are exploring expanded membership categories, increasing our online learning, revamping our website, and strengthening partnerships with groups like ISSA and InfraGard to ensure our members maintain access to best practices throughout the security spectrum. We know people across the globe are entering our profession, and we want to be able to serve their educational and professional development needs, while forming local communities of support to make them stronger and more successful.

In 2016, our flagship event, the Annual Seminar and Exhibits, hosted the first U.S. Outstanding Security Performance Awards, as well as the launch of Security Week, which provided an opportunity for us to give back to the event’s host community.  We experienced a 10 percent increase in registrations and are looking to build on this momentum in Dallas at ASIS 2017. ASIS plans to make a significant investment in reshaping this event to provide attendee and exhibitor partners with more value than any other security-oriented event in the United States. We will convene an enhanced programme, including new learning formats, networking events, and show floor features.

See the full coverage of 2016/2017 Review and Forecast articles here



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Thomas J. Langer Vice President Security, BAE Systems

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COVID-19 worries boost prospects of touchless biometric systems
COVID-19 worries boost prospects of touchless biometric systems

Spread of the novel coronavirus has jolted awareness of hygiene as it relates to touching surfaces such as keypads. No longer in favour are contact-based modalities including use of personal identification numbers (PINs) and keypads, and the shift has been sudden and long-term. Both customers and manufacturers were taken by surprise by this aspect of the virus’s impact and are therefore scrambling for solutions. Immediate impact of the change includes suspension of time and attendance systems that are touch-based. Some two-factor authentication systems are being downgraded to RFID-only, abandoning the keypad and/or biometric components that contributed to higher security, but are now unacceptable because they involve touching. Touchless biometric systems in demand The trend has translated into a sharp decline in purchase of touch modality and a sharp increase in the demand for touchless systems, says Alex Zarrabi, President of Touchless Biometrics Systems (TBS). Biometrics solutions are being affected unequally, depending on whether they involve touch sensing, he says. Spread of the novel coronavirus has jolted awareness of hygiene as it relates to touching surfaces such as keypads “Users do not want to touch anything anymore,” says Zarrabi. “From our company’s experience, we see it as a huge catalyst for touchless suppliers. We have projects being accelerated for touchless demand and have closed a number of large contracts very fast. I’m sure it’s true for anyone who is supplying touchless solutions.” Biometric systems are also seeing the addition of thermal sensors to measure body temperature in addition to the other sensors driving the system. Fingerscans and hybrid face systems TBS offers 2D and 3D systems, including both fingerscans and hybrid face/iris systems to provide touchless identification at access control points. Contactless and hygienic, the 2D Eye system is a hybrid system that combines the convenience of facial technology with the higher security of iris recognition. The system recognises the face and then detects the iris from the face image and zeros in to scan the iris. The user experiences the system as any other face recognition system. The facial aspect quickens the process, and the iris scan heightens accuracy. TBS also offers the 2D Eye Thermo system that combines face, iris and temperature measurement using a thermal sensor module. TBS's 2D Eye Thermo system combines face, iris and temperature measurement using a thermal sensor module Another TBS system is a 3D Touchless Fingerscan system that provides accuracy and tolerance, anti-spoofing, and is resilient to water, oil, dust and dirt. The 2D+ Multispectral for fingerprints combines 2D sensing with “multispectral” subsurface identification, which is resilient to contaminants and can read fingerprints that are oily, wet, dry or damaged – or even through a latex glove. In addition, the 3D+ system by TBS provides frictionless, no-contact readings even for people going through the system in a queue. The system fills the market gap for consent-based true on-the-fly systems, says Zarrabi. The system captures properties of the hand and has applications in the COVID environment, he says. The higher accuracy and security ratings are suitable for critical infrastructure applications, and there is no contact; the system is fully hygienic. Integration with access control systems Integration of TBS biometrics with a variety of third-party access control systems is easy. A “middleware” subsystem is connected to the network. Readers are connected to the subsystem and also to the corporate access control system. An interface with the TBS subsystem coordinates with the access control system. For example, a thermal camera used as part of the biometric reader can override the green light of the access control system if a high temperature (suggesting COVID-19 infection, for example) is detected. The enrollment process is convenient and flexible and can occur at an enrollment station or at an administration desk. Remote enrollment can also be accomplished using images from a CCTV camera. All templates are encrypted. Remotely enrolled employees can have access to any location they need within minutes. The 3D+ system by TBS provides frictionless, no-contact readings even for people going through the system in a queue Although there are other touchless technologies available, they cannot effectively replace biometrics, says Zarrabi. For example, a centrally managed system that uses a Bluetooth signal from a smart phone could provide convenience, is “touchless,” and could suffice for some sites. However, the system only confirms the presence and “identity” of a smart phone – not the person who should be carrying it. “There has been a lot of curiosity about touchless, but this change is strong, and there is fear of a possible second wave of COVID-19 or a return in two or three years,” says Zarrabi. “We really are seeing customers seriously shifting to touchless.”

How to maximise your body temperature detection systems
How to maximise your body temperature detection systems

There are many companies jumping into selling temperature detection systems to the state, local governments, hospitals, airports and local businesses, but do they know how to drive one? Anyone can get behind a car and drive it into a wall by accident. The same can happen with a temperature detection system.  The first thing you should ask is “does my firm have a certified thermographer?”. If not, the firm are at risk of getting a low quality system that is being resold to make quick cash. Businesses that are doing this do not know how to operate it properly. Asking the right questions Secondly, you should ask whether the system is NDAA compliant. NDAA compliance means that your temperature detection equipment is protected by U.S. law. Does your system have a HSRP device (blackbody)? HSRP (Heat Source Reference Point) is a device that will allow the camera to detect the correct temperature a distance. Even if the room temperature does change throughout the day, treat it as a reference point for the camera to know the temperature at that distance. Can your system scan mutliple people at once? Can your system scan mutliple people at once? This is a bad question but often asked since most systems will say yes. For ease, everyone wants to scan many people at once, but the best practice according to FDA and CDC guidelines is to run one person at a time for best accuracy. Why? The HSRP (blackbody) device tells the camera what the correct temperature is at a given distance away from the camera. Every foot you are away from the HSRP device will be off by 0.1 degrees roughly. If you are in a room full of people, let's say 6, in view of the camera, every person that is not next to the HSRP device (5) will be given an inaccurate reading. Hence why it is so important to run the system correctly with just one person at a time. You will also need to follow the 6 feet rule. If you take that into consideration, one at a time at 6 feet apart, the device should tell you how you need to run the system. Sensitivity of thermal imaging Is your system’s sensor accurate enough? The FDA recommends an error of ±0.5°C or better. When looking for a system, make sure it is better than what they recommend. I would recommend ±0.3°C or better. Do not purchase a system over ±-.5°C degrees as you are doing yourself and your customers or employees an injustice.  Another thing to look at is how many pixels it can determine the temperature from. Some cameras can only tell the temperature of 6 points on the screen, whilst others can take a temperature reading from each pixel. Take a 384x288 camera, for example, which would be over 110,000 points of temperature taking on a single image.      Thermal cameras are very sensitive, so there are a lot of do’s and don’ts. For example, the system cannot see through glasses or hats. On the below image you can see a person with the visual camera on the right, whilst on the left side is through a thermal camera.  Both are pointing at the same area. It is clear the person on the left side is “invisible” to the thermal imaging camera. Demonstrating the sensitivity of thermal imaging If you are a company who wants to detect the temperature of customers or employees though the front door, window or a car window, the answer would be no. You need a clear line of sight without any interference to scan for temperatures. Other things you need to look out for is wind and distance away from the HSRP (blackbody) device. Air and distance away from the HSRP device will make the system less and less accurate the more space between the device. Air and distance away from the HSRP device will make the system less and less accurate Thermal imaging and COVID-19 If you have a clear line of sight, is there anything I need to know? The answer is yes. Reflective materials such as metal can interfere with your temperature readings. Reflective materials are easily picked up from the thermal side so pointing at a medal, glass or anything reflective can cause inaccuracies within the system. In the age of COVID-19, temperature detection systems are more important than ever. Organisations must get a system in place to help scan for high temperatures in order to reduce the spread of the virus.

What are the security challenges of the oil and gas market?
What are the security challenges of the oil and gas market?

Protecting the oil and gas market is key to a thriving economy. The list of security challenges for oil and gas requires the best technology solutions our industry has to offer, from physical barriers to video systems to cybersecurity. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: what are the security challenges of the oil and gas market?