The last day of Global Security Exchange (GSX) in Las Vegas proved to be the calm after the storm. But a slower third day could not undermine a largely successful 2018 show for exhibitors and attendees. Sometimes the success of a trade show isn’t measured by numbers of attendees (which were reportedly down again this year). Sometimes it’s the individual successes that make an impression.

Just learning about this made the whole trip worthwhile,” said one GSX attendee at the Johnson Controls booth, referring to the company’s new PowerSeries Pro intrusion devices. It’s the kind of feedback that makes the expense of exhibiting at a big trade show worthwhile. The new PowerSeries Pro is an extension of Johnson Controls’ existing line that is expressly designed for the commercial security market.

The ‘hybrid’ (wired or wireless) device offers ease of installation and full cybersecurity including 128bit AES encryption with spread spectrum for no jamming or interference. It employs frequency hopping technology first developed for the Israeli defence force.

Wireless technology for cybersecurity

PowerG eliminates the need for wires by providing ‘invisible wired technology’, a marketing term that emphasises the cybersecurity of the product

PowerSeries Pro uses PowerG wireless technology and expands the portfolio of PowerG devices from residential through commercial. For use in a wired solution, the main advantage is ease of installation; terminal blocks ‘pop out’ easily and can be wired and plugged back in. Alternatively, PowerG eliminates the need for wires by providing ‘invisible wired technology’, a marketing term that emphasises the cybersecurity of the product – wireless at the same level of cybersecurity as wired.

Johnson Controls addresses three big factors with the product line: cybersecurity, user control, and easy installation and dependability. It’s part of Johnson Controls’ broader approach to provide ‘one-stop shopping’, enabling an end user to control their environments, video and access, and protect their contents, according to the company.

Need for more security in K-12 schools

In addition to reaching end users, lock company Allegion sees the show as an opportunity to meet with technology partners. “It’s great to bring together a concentration of people in the industry,” said Brad Aikin, Channel Led Business Leader, Integrator Channel. “We have had good conversations with technology companies here at the show in terms of partnering, both physical access control and OEM partners. We have also had good conversations with the integrator channel.

From speaking with education end users at GSX, Aikin sees a large unmet need for security in K-12 schools, more so than in colleges and universities. “K-12 is underserved,” he says. “They need to identify their priority of needs, and now they can serve needs they couldn’t before, both layering levels of security and phasing in implementation over time. Now things can be applied and tried out without disrupting the environment.

An example is the Von Duprin RU RM (Remote Undogging and Remote Monitoring) door exit devices, which are being integrated by access control partners Sielox, IDenticard and Vanderbilt. Intelligence is added to the door exit device to enable inexpensive monitoring of secondary, previously unconnected doors. The doors can be monitored and locked or unlocked at various points in the day.

In addition to reaching end users, lock company Allegion sees the show as an opportunity to meet with technology partners
Lock company Allegion sees the show as an opportunity to meet with technology partners

Bridging the gap between IT and physical security

One exhibitor – ADT – noticed more information technology (IT) professionals accompanying their physical security counterparts at this year’s GSX exhibition. “They come along to kill dreams on the spot,” said Morgan Harris, Senior Director Enterprise Solutions, noting the IT department’s frequent hesitancy to add untrustworthy elements to the network.

ADT is looking to transform and expand its 144-year-old brand in the commercial security space and has completed eight acquisitions in the last year to accomplish the goal. Some of the acquisitions build on ADT’s expanding cybersecurity initiative, which is both a fully-functioning stand-alone business and an effort to bridge the divide between IT and physical security. ADT is positioning itself to manage enterprise risk in the broadest sense.

Combining IT and cybersecurity

The Internet of Things (IoT) is fuelling convergence but are we missing out on how to talk to each other and communicate effectively between IT and security?"

The Internet of Things (IoT) is fuelling convergence but are we missing out on how to talk to each other and communicate effectively between IT and security?” asked Harris. “Projects have failed because information was lost in translation.” ADT seeks to have skillsets, experience and certifications on both sides of the issue.

It enables us to be the in-between,” says Harris. “We can blend the two together and be the translator. It’s great for both sides, advocating for security counterparts and for the network simplifies deployment and processes.

Harris sees a trade-off between cybersecurity and convenience in the industry. For example, if a manufacturer says they have a simplified process and only offers firmware updates once a year, cybersecurity suffers, he said. Lack of third-party testing is another way that manufacturers sometimes trade cybersecurity for convenience, at heightened risk to integrators and end users.

Training courses for integrators and partners

Milestone Systems is expanding its level of involvement with integrator partners, and now provides Partner Business Reviews (PBR) to assess an integrator’s activities, sales and training, pipeline and marketing initiatives.

The partner reviews often uncover issues that can be easily rectified through additional training, says Megan McHugh, Milestone’s Training Marketing Manager, Learning and Performance. Milestone uses a dashboard to track each integrator’s completed training courses and can point out additional courses needed to ensure an integrator partner’s success.

Milestone offers a variety of in-person, e-learning and YouTube video courses to train installing partners, systems integrators and self-integrators on best practices

Milestone offers a variety of in-person, e-learning and YouTube video courses (in 12 different languages) to train installing partners, systems integrators and self-integrators on best practices. ‘Cloud Labs’ are instructor-led online classes.

All courses are linked to a variety of support resources. Sometimes a simple checklist accessed on a smart phone can ensure that every aspect of an install is performed and can instil added confidence in customers.

The open platform company’s new agile development cycle – releasing multiple versions of XProtect software throughout the year – creates extra challenges to keep learning initiatives up to date. Along with each new release, various existing courses are updated.

The concepts of “training and certification” are being replaced at Milestone with “learning and performance,” says McHugh. Milestone is also looking to hire 170 new R&D staff and open a new centre in Barcelona (in addition to current R&D centres in Copenhagen and Sofia, Bulgaria).

Making camera installation easy

Hanwha Techwin is another company that is seeing more interest in cybersecurity, as well as concern about whether a product is supported professionally. They have doubled-up production in South Korea and added capacity in Vietnam to avoid manufacturing in China.

Thinking about their integrators, Hanwha Techwin is putting more emphasis on making installation easy. Installation costs may be up to 50 percent of a job, so easier installation frees up money to buy more or better cameras. With a new design of their cameras, an electrical contractor can now install the camera base and conduit, and then the integrator can easily plug in the camera later.

Camera bases are common across multiple models, so a customer could switch out a 5-megapixel for a 2-megapixel camera later on if they want to (same housing plate). ‘Skins’ allow the colour of cameras to be changed to match surrounding décor. “We are changing the idea of how people approach selling a camera, and it’s a whole new idea of how to install cameras,” said Tom Cook, Senior Vice President, North American Sales, Hanwha Techwin.

Thinking about their integrators, Hanwha Techwin is putting more emphasis on making installation easy
Hanwha cameras can include a sound classification analytic to detect sounds such as gunshots

Cameras with sound detection technology

Hanwha offers more flexibility in the field – interchangeable parts are packed together to enable configuration on site. And there is no need to stand on a ladder to position cameras; stepper motors help with remote camera positioning. Multi-sensor cameras have modules (combining lenses and sensors) that can be switched out at installation. Hanwha Techwin cameras can also include a sound classification analytic to detect sounds such as gunshots, screams or glass breaks, especially useful in K-12 education environments.

Unification and the customer journey were a key emphasis for Genetec at GSX 2018. Unification for Genetec means combining multiple functions on one platform, from one vendor and using one source code. The company approaches the market by analysing each customer’s journey as it relates to Genetec products.

A typical customer journey involves (1) a company looking for standalone systems; (2) the need to centralise systems through integration and unification; (3) increasing automation and workflow; and (4) adding intelligence for more informed decision-making.

Genetec wants to get more in-depth with customers, be more comfortable with their business, and understand their challenges,” said Derek Arcuri, Product Marketing Manager. “We want to get naked with our customers.

Machine learning engine for crime prevention

In the city of Chicago, Citigraf detects patterns in crime behaviour and determines where a crime is likely to occur

There was a big crowd at the Genetec booth, and not because the comment was applied literally. Genetec has divided itself into multiple parts, each focussed on a vertical market such as retail or transportation.

The approach is to operate as a ‘federation of startups’, with each market sector accountable to fill in the gaps in the portfolio to meet the specific needs of each vertical. For example, Genetec’s Citigraf is an unsupervised machine learning engine with an algorithm to detect anomalies and trends from a large pool of data in a municipal environment.

In the city of Chicago, Citigraf detects patterns in crime behaviour and determines where a crime is likely to occur. The system alerts operators in a bureau or area that has a higher risk level and should beef up the number of first responders.

Chicago has seen a 39 percent decrease in average response time of first responders as a result. In the retail market, Genetec leverages the security infrastructure to analyse shopping trends and provide data for merchandising and operations. “Each customer is getting a portfolio of products tailored to the industry they are in,” says Arcuri.

Demonstrating IoT devices

Axis Communications displayed its range of products at GSX, demonstrating its almost total transformation from an IP camera company to a supplier of a full range of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. “Axis is broadening its portfolio to include more solutions,” said Scott Dunn, Senior Director, Business Development Systems and Solutions. “Our success is driven by continuing to innovate our portfolio. The market is continuing to grow, and Axis is continuing to expand its market share.” Eight ‘Axis Customer Experience Centers’ around the United States help Axis stay close to their integrators, customers, partners and prospects.

IP addressable audio speakers from Axis can provide music as a service, and then can be interrupted for audio messages on behalf of physical security

Axis has offered access control IP edge devices since 2013, and now has a new A1601 door controller being sold with partner-only software (no embedded Axis software like previous A1001 devices). In audio products, Axis has a portfolio of speakers, intercoms, and public address systems.

Acquisition of IP door intercom company

Enhancing the audio line was acquisition in 2016 of 2N, an IP door intercom company headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic. In North America, the 2N team is now fully part of Axis. The line emphasises simple architecture, programmability, and the ability to integrate widely. The products use Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) to integrate through the cloud or peer-to-peer.

IP addressable audio speakers from Axis can provide music as a service, and then can be interrupted for audio messages on behalf of physical security. Retail, education and enterprise customers are gravitating to IP audio. An IP bridge can tie existing analogue components into the IP system. For perimeter security, Axis offers a radar device to help eliminate false alarms, as well as thermal cameras.

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Larry Anderson Editor, SecurityInformed.com & SourceSecurity.com

An experienced journalist and long-time presence in the US security industry, Larry is SourceSecurity.com's eyes and ears in the fast-changing security marketplace, attending industry and corporate events, interviewing security leaders and contributing original editorial content to the site. He leads SourceSecurity.com's team of dedicated editorial and content professionals, guiding the "editorial roadmap" to ensure the site provides the most relevant content for security professionals.

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Does “security technology” cover the broader application possibilities of today’s systems?
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