Many exhibitors at GSX 2019 saw the show as a success, despite slower booth traffic on the second and third days. According to show sponsor ASIS International, there were more than 20,000 registrants from 125 countries around the world, including those who attended the conference as well as the exhibition.

Exhibitors definitely put their best feet forward, enthusiastically promoting their technology breakthroughs, but how convincing were they? The comments from at least one attendee – a large corporate end user who represents a key demographic for show organisers – bluntly suggest that healthy scepticism was on display side-by-side with the promotional energy in play.On this floor, there are some lies being given out. Ask the tough questions, make the exhibitors show you"

“On this floor, there are some lies being given out,” said Rudy A. Wolter, CTO, Security and Investigative Services for Citigroup, a financial services corporation. He advised fellow attendees to “listen for them, ferret them out, ask the tough questions. Make [the exhibitors] show you.”

“Don’t be afraid to ask these men and women questions,” added Wolter. “Don’t be afraid to challenge them. If you don’t challenge them, they’re not getting any better which means we aren’t getting any better. At the end of the day, they’re the leaders; they’re the ones making change; they’re the ones touching systems; they’re the ones helping integration.”

Banking security with Verint

At Citigroup, Wolter oversees 1,300 bank branches in North America that use Verint systems, including 23,000 cameras tied into a single command centre. Skepticism aside, Wolter also provided evidence that even tough customers can be brought around. Specifically, he is sold on Verint: “When you have a problem, this company listens,” he told attendees at a Verint gathering on the show floor.

New at GSX 2019 is the Verint Video Investigator, which is software that empowers investigators to quickly find the data they need to identify security threats in near real-time.

In all, Verint serves in excess of 2,300 individual financial institutions, with tens of thousands of branches. Wolter was one of several end users willing to sing their praises publicly. Other GSX exhibitors were also proud to have their own real-world success stories.

Placing the emphasis on outcomes

At GSX, I heard more than once that outcomes are more important than technologies. Customers don’t want to hear about technologies, but rather about what those technologies can do for them.

Avigilon, now a subsidiary of Motorola Solutions, is another company that is focused on outcomes rather than technology per se. “Instead of focusing on megapixels and terabytes, the end user is focused on perimeter security, loss prevention and risk management,” says John Kedzierski, Sr. VP of Video Solutions at Motorola Solutions. “We are working to provide that outcome."

The end user is focused on perimeter security, loss prevention and risk management" How operators work to ensure outcomes is another aspect that is changing, says Kedzierski. “Watching video is obsolete,” he says. Using Avigilon’s new system, the operator instead is looking at colour-coded hexagons; one color means motion, another means an analytic event. Operators click on various hexagons to view video.

Also at GSX 2019, Avigilon featured its new H5A camera line, with expanded object classification analytics, detailed object detection, and tracking in crowded scenes; and focused on the Avigilon Blue cloud system. They are working to make every camera capable of detecting faces, which can be matched to a watch list.

How technology addresses marketplace changes

Addressing the changing marketplace was another GSX theme. As the workplace changes, ASSA ABLOY Americas is adapting its technology to address new employment practices such as "hot-desking", and remote and mobile workers, says Peter Boriskin, Chief Technology Officer. Systems have to be able both to protect assets and also to provide flexibility to accommodate the changing workforce, he said.

Corporate acquisitions are directly expanding the capabilities that ASSA ABLOY brings to the market. For example, they recently acquired Luxer One, a locker company that enables secure delivery of packages without customers needing to stand in line or wait for service. Deliveries can be made in seconds.

Peter Boriskin of ASSA ABLOY Americas led a booth tour, including new power capabilities gained in the acquisition of LifeSafety Power

Another recent ASSA ABLOY acquisition is LifeSafety Power, which is expanding the company’s capability to provide proactive data on wired systems by tracking power usage. For example, a spike in current might mean a problem with a component. Compiling “intelligent triggers” enables creation of a dashboard to provide analytics of wired systems.

ASSA ABLOY has also been devising predictive analytics of wireless locks to predict battery life, for instance, and to address other maintenance challenges. “We want to know what’s going on at a door without visiting it,” says Boriskin.

New exhibitors make their mark

New exhibitors were part of the GSX mix. One new exhibitor was Vaion. It’s their first trade show after launching at IFSEC in London in June. Vaion combines a small camera portfolio with on-premise servers and software managed through the cloud for an end-to-end solution. Tormod Ree, co-founder and CEO, calls it a “hybrid cloud delivery model”.

Vaion is also a “more proactive security model”, said Ree. Video is analysed for anomalies, and the server “learns” what is normal and not normal. The system provides alerts and notifications, occupancy counting and traffic control, among other features. And “overlays” are employed to present information on a map. Vaion can highlight video that is more likely to be relevant and prioritise feeds that have more activity.

Vaion designs the hardware, which is manufactured in Taiwan.

Vaion was a first-time exhibitor at GSX 2019 with their end-to-end video system; Tomod Ree is co-founder and CEO

Gunshot detection technology

EAGL Technology displayed their “Firefly” gunshot detection technology at GSX 2019. Based on technology originally developed for use in the military for sniper detection, the U.S. Department of Energy adapted it to civilian uses after the Sandy Hook School shooting.

Boaz Raz, CEO, said the technology is the “most advanced and affordable, wireless for use indoors or outdoors, and it can control doors and cameras”. It doesn’t “listen” for gunshots like some competitors; rather it measures energy for “6 sigma” accuracy (almost 100%).

Defining, and redefining, end-to-end solutions

End-to-end solutions were all the rage at GSX 2019, but Allied Universal was one exhibitor that pondered what, exactly, is an end-to-end solution? It means different things to different people. For example, a video company’s end-to-end solution would not include access control.

When Allied Universal claims to offer an end-to-end solution, they mean it in the broadest definition of the term, including all security systems deployed for a customer as well as the important human element (i.e., manguarding). “The industry’s emphasis on ‘end-to-end’ doesn’t encompass a full solution,” says Mike Mullison, Allied Universal’s Chief Information Officer. “When somebody uses the term end-to-end, you have to ask: What’s at both ends?” The lines between cyber and physical threats are blurring. Clients want full-service solutions"

“The lines between cyber and physical threats are blurring,” adds Mullison. “Clients want full-service solutions.”

Allied Universal is adding new technology elements to its offering, and Mullison says “the next phase of growth will be fueled by technology.”

Allied Universal recently introduced the Heliaus product, a smart phone app that accesses an analytics engine to predict outcomes and prescribe optimum responses. It literally puts technology in a security guard’s hand. One customer has found that use of the technology resulted in a 20% reduction in safety and security incidents.

The latest in access control among exhibitors

In addition to video, access control had a big profile at GSX 2019, as evidenced by ASSA ABLOY America and many other companies. Another example is SALTO Systems, featuring its new NEO cylinder for wireless access control and the SALTO Virtual Network (SVN); the SVN-Flex extends and increases the number of updating points directly to the door.

The SVN-Flex extends and increases the number of updating points directly to the door The compact SALTO NEO Cylinder is designed for doors where fitting an electronic escutcheon is not possible or required and can be installed on standard doors, server racks, gates, cabinets, electric switches, or sliding doors. Low energy consumption results in 110,000 cycles with just one set of batteries.

Other SALTO products are SALTO KS (Keys as a Service); SALTO BLUEnet Wireless for Bluetooth RF-driven real-time control of doors; the XS4 One Deadlatch stand-alone electronic lock; and JustIN Mobile, which replaces the need for an access card by securely sending a mobile key Over the Air (OTA) to an iOS or Android device from SALTO’s ProAccess SPACE management software.

The next step in integration

A new company reflecting the GSX emphasis on integration is Security and Safety Things (SAST), which is still in launch mode but expects to have its first pilot customers in the Q4. The first camera vendors embracing the SAST platform will have cameras for sale at ISC West in the spring. SAST is creating an Internet of Things (IoT) platform for the next generation of security cameras. The SAST App Store will allow developers to build and market new applications, similar to today’s app stores for smartphones.SAST is creating an IoT platform for the next generation of security cameras

“SAST is a technology platform, but it is also a business platform and a relationship platform,” said Emmanuel Ventadour, VP Sales and Marketing. For app developers, SAST also provides non-technical commercial services (i.e., easing their route to market.)

Hartmut Schaper, CEO, emphasises the “openness” of the company. Even though they are a spinoff of Bosch, they are treating every camera manufacturer equally, he says.

For integrators, the use of apps can expand their field of play. Apps will empower integrators to use video for more business processes – not just security – and expand their reach with customers, says Schaper.

From scepticism to sales

There were plenty of product claims at GSX to feed the skepticism of even the toughest of potential customers. Fortunately, product claims were only the beginning of conversations with attendees at this year’s show. No doubt manufacturers were put through their paces more than once, and a few of them even came out on the other side with potential new business to show for their efforts. That’s the true measure of success at GSX 2019, or any trade show. 

Click here to read our reviews from Day One and Day Two of the show.

Download PDF version Download PDF version

Author profile

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.

In case you missed it

Crossing the divide - automating security processes across physical, business and IT domains
Crossing the divide - automating security processes across physical, business and IT domains

Security is a critical requirement for all organisations. Getting security right involves the correct mix of people, processes and technology working together. However, many enterprise companies don’t look at the full mix that encompasses information security, and instead split their physical security and business continuity teams away from their IT security departments. According to research by ASIS, around half (52 per cent) of companies have converged two or three out of their physical, IT security and business continuity teams together, with the majority of those opting to bring together their continuity and physical security teams. Of those that have not brought teams together, around 70 per cent have no plans to do so. It's Important to bring all department's security together The reason for this is that cybersecurity is perceived as having a more specialist role within the business and that this prevents companies from bringing their departments together. However, while IT security has its own specialist requirements and skills, it should not be looked at alone. Businesses are looking at how to manage risk more effectively across all their operations, and they have problems when their teams are siloed and don’t have the full picture. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has developed its own guide to this area, based on the growth of the Internet of Things and more connected devices entering both homes and businesses, so this will continue to grow in importance. The rise of automation The pace of change that companies face today, coupled with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, means that more organisations are moving to digital services and automating their operations as much as they can. Security is no exception here - according to our research on security and automation, 75 percent of companies say they would need an additional three or more analysts in place to deal with all their incoming alerts in the same day, while 83 percent say their teams face ‘alert fatigue.’ IT security teams are drowning in data, but they feel unable to cope - yet at the same time, they will have to work more closely with other departments as well. Automation is necessary to deal with all these problems, but it should not be looked at in isolation. While IT security teams are keen to invest in automation using technologies like Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) and Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR), these investments can be used across both physical and IT security. As IT security teams invest in automation, they can adapt and extend their approach to help risk management and security in the physical world as well. The best approach to be successful around this is to look at areas where real-world and IT security challenges cross over for businesses. To adopt this approach successfully involves understanding business processes better. Fraud detection processes Automation involves using data and analytics to improve how a process operates from beginning to end, including where IT and technology is used to support physical interactions or activities. A good example of this would be a bank’s fraud detection process, where multiple digital and physical transactions have to be monitored and investigated. Bringing together different teams - physical security, business continuity, risk management and IT security - is about how to protect the whole organisation against risk. While the most well-known area for fraud investigation would be credit card transactions, there are multiple different types of transactions to track, from national and international wire transfers to prepaid phone cards and other prepaid cards that can be used for credit purchases. Each of these will have its own workflows and requirements to investigate a transaction, This can include looking at whether transactions are false positives or need further investigation, which is based on a mix of digital documentation for online purchases and physical data from in-person transactions. At the same time, the sophisticated nature of fraud can mean there is a large IT component to any investigation. Members of the IT security team may need to be involved alongside the anti-fraud department. While this investigation is necessary, it pulls analysts away from cybersecurity tasks, which can be especially frustrating where false positives are concerned. Instead, automating the investigation process can help. Consolidating Physical, IT and risk management By consolidating processes and automating the workflow, this pulls physical, IT and risk management together in a smarter and more efficient manner. It also improves productivity for an anti-fraud team as they can remove false positives from the workflow and get automated support for IT analysis. If the team needs more human insight, they can bring this in where they need it rather than requiring it for every investigation. While anti-fraud is one example of where this kind of convergence and collaboration is required, there are other use cases. For instance, industrial control and manufacturing applications that run production lines around the clock are frequently targeted for attacks, either to steal vital data or to disrupt business operations. This crosses over from the realm of IT into the world of operational technology, where systems are very different and the systems used may have been in place for years, even decades. Bringing together different teams - physical security, business continuity, risk management and IT security - is about how to protect the whole organisation against risk. By working together, teams can be more efficient rather than working in their respective silos. This involves better use of data across those teams, which will rely on more automation to be efficient. Using SOAR, security analysts and business risk professionals can cut the amount of time needed to respond to potential problems, reducing the impact and remediating faster. At the same time, it reduces the waste associated with false positives and manual work. The emphasis here should be on how to support the business with better security - by consolidating processes and working more effectively, security teams across the organisation can achieve that goal.

Dahua Technology’s video and access control solution enhances safety in Empresa Panamena de Alimentos food company’s facilities
Dahua Technology’s video and access control solution enhances safety in Empresa Panamena de Alimentos food company’s facilities

Dahua Technology is a globally renowned video-centric smart IoT solutions and services provider. Based on technological innovations, Dahua Technology offers end-to-end security solutions, systems, and services, in order to create value for city operations, corporate management, and consumers. Dahua Technology has designed a video surveillance and control solution for a popular Panamanian Food Company - Empresa Panamena de Alimentos (EPA). Dahua’s security solution Empresa Panamena de Alimentos is a renowned company in the processed food industry in Panama, Central America. It was founded in 2012 and owns production plants and warehouses in the capital city, as well as agencies around the country. EPA’s products, including all kinds of cookies, coffee, and pasta, are already important parts of consumers’ day-to-day life. With the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic risks, EPA needed a system to sustain efficient management and operation, over their staff and facilities. Implementing multiple access controls in the facilities As a food company, the operations of the company need to be under caution, especially during the pandemic As a food company, the operations of the company need to be under caution, especially during the pandemic. It was necessary to implement multiple access controls in the facilities. With multiple plants located around the nation and accelerated growth, a centralised monitoring system for all equipment, alert management and user reports was needed. The solution, applied at EPA’s facilities, integrates various electronic security systems under a single platform and was evaluated based on the company’s needs. ANPR, AI-based cameras and access control systems “Currently, 480 Dahua devices have been arranged. Among them are different models of cameras, access control systems, and automatic number plate recognition products. AI-based cameras enhance the level of personnel protection. Everything is monitored by a DSS Express server in the main plant,” said Luis Araujo, the Manager of Infrastructure and Telecommunications of the Secutec Panama. Every day, more than 800 employees enter EPA facilities nationwide, the access control system allows a faster and safer automated entry of the staff and their cars. Access controllers and Pro Network Video Recorders Besides, three Pro Network Video Recorders (NVR5864-4KS2) were also adopted Apart from automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) devices, more than 20 access controllers (ASI7213X-T1) were installed in main offices for temperature monitoring and attendance management. Besides, three Pro Network Video Recorders (NVR5864-4KS2) were also adopted. With a powerful processor, they have the capability of 4K resolution processing and high definition recording quality. Perimeter protection and access control In Dahua Technology’s security solution, perimeter protection and access control are both realised. “We have had Dahua equipment for 7 years. It is a brand that has been of great help to our safety. It has contributed to continuous and steady operations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Guillermo Figueroa, EPA’s Safety and Control Manager. Javier Rodríguez, Secutec Panama’s Operations Manager, valued the quality and technology of Dahua’s solution, which has been ‘key’ for the development of their projects, the support and accompaniment to the brands that are planned to be developed. Trust in Dahua Technology’s solution “We are very proud that our teams are here for EPA and that companies, like EPA and Secutec, trust Dahua Technology. We continue to innovate to offer solutions that help companies to work in a safer and smarter way,” said Fermín Osorio, an Engineer at Dahua Technology Ltd.

Everbridge Control Center deployed by G4S to accelerate Abu Dhabi Global Market Square’s physical security digital transformation
Everbridge Control Center deployed by G4S to accelerate Abu Dhabi Global Market Square’s physical security digital transformation

The Abu Dhabi Global Market Square (ADGMS), located on Al Maryah Island, in the United Arab Emirates capital, Abu Dhabi, is a high-profile, architecturally compelling business and hospitality hub. Many of the most globally prestigious companies inhabit the buildings, in the award-winning financial centre. Abu Dhabi Global Market Square ADGMS also hosts frequent international dignitaries and large-scale public events, including the Abu Dhabi national New Year’s fireworks display. Abu Dhabi Global Market Square was the first project in the UAE, to achieve LEED Core and Shell (LEED-CS) Gold pre-certification, by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). The Abu Dhabi Global Market Square (ADGMS) consists of: 450,000 sq. m of office space, a lavish retail section and luxury business hotel offerings, 4 Grade-A commercial office towers with 30 floors each, 4 km waterfront promenade, Over 2,000 cameras, and Over 1,000 doors. Unconnected security systems and situational awareness gaps Because of its iconic status, the Abu Dhabi Global Market Square faces many unique challenges to security, including: Political pressure - Because of ADGMS’s status and frequent high-profile international visitors, any disruption to operations - be it natural disaster, activism, terror or other critical events, could cause issues on a national scale. Protection for VIPs - Regular visits from prestigious VIPs, such as sheikhs, the royal family, and global business leaders, elevates security risks and the need for executive protection. Unobtrusive security - ADGMS is a public space with tenanted offices, meaning that security must be robust, but unobtrusive and follow all global data, and privacy regulations. Physical location - Being situated on an island is an extra security risk, complicating the ability to enter and exit the space, during planned and unplanned critical events or emergencies. Architecture - The buildings in ADGMS are mostly glass, with many levels, making it difficult to secure. Previously, a number of systems were deployed to help with security and life safety, such as CCTV, access control, fire detection, and building management. However, these were not connected and left gaps in situational awareness, which ADGMS found unacceptable. In light of the above challenges, ADGMS building managers felt it essential to harden security, across the market square, within these buildings and in connecting areas. Risk intelligence & integrated control of physical assets Martin Grigg, Principal Consultant and Project Lead for PTS Middle East was selected to design and oversee the project Abu Dhabi Global Market Square approached PTS Middle East (PTS Consulting Group Ltd.), a multi-national security and digital transformation consultancy, which carried out the threat, risk and vulnerability assessment, designed the mitigation measures, and provided oversight of the installation and commissioning of the entire system. They were also tasked with ensuring that the system met the operational requirements and was fit for purpose, and proportional to the risks, faced by ADGMS. Martin Grigg, Principal Consultant and Project Lead for PTS Middle East was selected to design and oversee the project, right from concept to completion. Everbridge Control Center deployed Following the assessment, G4S, a British multi-national risk consultancy company, headquartered in the United Kingdom, was selected to deliver the project, based on its experience in helping secure many of the region’s most prestigious locations. G4S is also a global partner with Everbridge, and together, they have secured people, assets and infrastructure for numerous organisations. G4S selected Everbridge Control Center to integrate and manage all the technology, which is coming into their Security Command Centre (SCC). Everbridge Risk Center was also deployed to provide real-time threat intelligence to ADGMS. Critical issues solved by Everbridge technology: Consolidation of four control rooms into one, reducing the office space needed for security - This premium space is now free and able to be re-purposed as rentable office space, Reduction of man guarding costs, as fewer resources are needed to secure the facility, Real-time situational awareness allows for reduced risk, accelerated response times and keeps stakeholders informed, Everbridge Control Center provides event driven, unified interface and automated SOP presentation, Everbridge technology provides flexibility to adapt, as requirements change, Reduction in time taken to identify a security incident and resolve it, Intelligence from the facial recognition systems is proactively used to welcome friends and identify known criminals, Risk intelligence to identify events, such as sandstorms, allows ADGMS to act faster, enabling them to reduce the risk to people and operations, and Automated reporting capabilities save huge amounts of time and resources - A report that took 20 minutes can now be automated in seconds.