Securing New Ground, the security industry’s annual executive conference this week in New York, offered food for thought about current and future trends in the security marketplace. Highlights from SNG 2019 included keynote remarks from security leaders at SAP, Johnson Controls and the Consumer Technology Association, discussions on how CSOs mitigate security risks, topic-focused thought leadership roundtables and a lively networking reception.

Top trends observed at the event include cybersecurity, data privacy, facial recognition and artificial intelligence. A "View from the Top" session covered the need for companies to consider responsible use and ethics around technology; responsibility should extend throughout the organisation.

A panel of security leaders emphasised the need to understand the diversity of risks that end users face. As the Internet of Things (IoT) expands connectivity, the inputs, outputs and "attack surface" also expand. It's critical to have security "baked" into products themselves, and also to undertand the mission of the organisation being protected, the context and correlation.

Technologies transforming security market

Keynote speaker Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, listed the many technologies that will impact the consumer electronics market – and the security market – in the near future: artificial intelligence (AI), voice recognition, the transition to 5G and self-driving cars.As the Internet of Things expands connectivity, the inputs, outputs and "attack surface" also expand

“What we're seeing today is a huge turning point in where the world is going,” said Shapiro, whose organisation presents the giant CES trade show each year in Las Vegas. “It’s not just about jobs and technology, but who we are and how we address fundamental human rights.” Privacy is a component of human rights, but “in the world of AI, there is a tradeoff between innovation and privacy”.

Balance between security standards

Shapiro sees Europe as representing one extreme of privacy, epitomised by General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which he sees as stifling innovation. Meanwhile, China is pushing innovation using massive amounts of data with no regard to privacy. The United States, therefore, should look for a balance that acknowledges the inevitability of innovation while respecting privacy and realising it is “always situational.”With new technologies, biometric ID and cybersecurity issues, your business is in a strong and growing place"

Too much concern for privacy comes at a cost, Shapiro said. “Privacy zealots are killing facial recognition, step by step by step,” he said. “Regulators should not throw away the baby with the bathwater. Every technology in history has been used to cause evil and to do good. Throughout history any new technology could have been banned and made illegal.” 

Shapiro offered encouraging words to the security marketplace, even in the wake of large tech firms such as Amazon entering the market. “With new technologies, biometric ID and cybersecurity issues, your business is in a strong and growing place,” he said. “There is opportunity. There will be increasing new things people want, and always new threats. People will want what you're providing, which is physical and technology security in their facility.”

Scott Schafer, Chairman of the Board of the Security Industry Association (R), interviewed Steve Jones, CEO, Allied Universal, on stage about the importance of merging technology with security officers

Allied Universal CEO Steve Jones discussed holistic approach

Steve Jones, CEO, Allied Universal, was interviewed on stage about the importance of merging technology with security officers for a holistic approach to securing a facility.

“Today, customers are asking us to look at their facility holistically and asking: What is my best approach?” said Jones. A holistic approach includes protecting people, the facility, intellectual property (IP), and how to handle visitors.

Manguarding perspective on security

Allied Universal looks at security from a manguarding perspective and also from a technology perspective, based on their daily experience managing security for 40,000 customer sites across the United States and Canada.Allied Universal has a new handheld technology platform that uses AI

“We are in a unique position in the channel,” said Jones. “We know the stats at any customer site. We know the last time there were repairs on cameras, which card reader is malfunctioning, how long the systems company takes to respond to a call. We are at these locations 24/7 and have an intimate relationship with customer. We are a significant influencer in the decision-making process. We have an opportunity to have a voice, and to build a business around it.”

Predictive security

“We are looking for technology that will enhance the security of the customer,” said Jones, including situational awareness and analysis of data to predict patterns. Allied Universal has a new handheld technology platform that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse data, predict outcomes, and prescribe optimum responses.

Workforce development – hiring and training new employees – is a big issue for Allied Universal, which last year interviewed more than a million applicants to find around 100,000 employees. They are targeting every demographic, and last year hired 33,000 veterans. The company is using technology to help with the massive recruiting effort, including AI to analyse applicant qualifications and a computer-generated avatar to conduct the first online interview.

Future security challenges

Jones sees the rapid increase in the homeless population in the United States as one of the biggest security challenges of coming years. The rapid increase in the US homeless population is one of the biggest security challengesMany businesses face the prospect of homeless individuals living in front of their buildings, possibly using drugs or approaching customers.

“It has become a real threat,” he said. “When they are living in front of your buildings, in many cases, there are ordinances that allow them to be there so the police will not get involved. It falls on the facility owner and private security to address the problem. Given the large homeless population we have now during good economic times, I don’t know what it will look like in an economic downturn.”

Human side of security

An SNG session on the human side of security observed that people are the biggest source of vulnerability. Companies should foster a "safety climate" in which security is integral to operations and viewed as something that helps employees rather than create hassles. Human resources is now a technology field and should work together with security to achieve shared goals.

At the consumer and small business level, cybersecurity must also be top-of-mind and built into a security companies' DNA. SNG attendees heard about opportunities to move beyond providing products and devices to providing experiences, by partnering with customers to protect what matters most to them. While a bit of inconvenience comes along with security, products should be built in a way that is easy to use, with security baked in. The results are systems people are comfortable engaging with every day.

Securing New Ground is presented by the Security Industry Association (SIA).

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
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

Managing security during unprecedented times of home working
Managing security during unprecedented times of home working

Companies are following government guidance and getting as many people as possible working from home. Some companies will have resisted home working in the past, but I’m certain that the sceptics will find that people can be productive with the right tools no matter where they are. A temporary solution will become permanent. But getting it right means managing risk. Access is king In a typical office with an on-premise data centre, the IT department has complete control over network access, internal networks, data, and applications. The remote worker, on the other hand, is mobile. He or she can work from anywhere using a VPN. Until just recently this will have been from somewhere like a local coffee shop, possibly using a wireless network to access the company network and essential applications. CV-19 means that huge numbers of people are getting access to the same desktop and files, and collaborative communication toolsBut as we know, CV-19 means that huge numbers of people are getting access to the same desktop and files, applications and collaborative communication tools that they do on a regular basis from the office or on the train. Indeed, the new generation of video conferencing technologies come very close to providing an “almost there” feeling. Hackers lie in wait Hackers are waiting for a wrong move amongst the panic, and they will look for ways to compromise critical servers. Less than a month ago, we emerged from a period of chaos. For months hackers had been exploiting a vulnerability in VPN products from Pulse Secure, Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks, and Citrix. Patches were provided by vendors, and either companies applied the patch or withdrew remote access. As a result, the problem of attacks died back.  But as companies race to get people working from home, they must ensure special care is taken to ensure the patches are done before switching VPNs on. That’s because remote desktop protocol (RDP) has been for the most part of 2019, and continues to be, the most important attack vector for ransomware. Managing a ransomware attack on top of everything else would certainly give you sleepless nights. As companies race to get people working from home, they must ensure special care is taken to ensure the patches are done before switching VPNs on Hackers are waiting for a wrong move amongst the panic, and they will look for ways to compromise critical serversExposing new services makes them also susceptible to denial of service attacks. Such attacks create large volumes of fake traffic to saturate the available capacity of the internet connection. They can also be used to attack the intricacies of the VPN protocol. A flow as little as 1Mbps can perturbate the VPN service and knock it offline. CIOs, therefore, need to acknowledge that introducing or extending home working broadens the attack surface. So now more than ever it’s vital to adapt risk models. You can’t roll out new services with an emphasis on access and usability and not consider security. You simply won’t survive otherwise. Social engineering Aside from securing VPNs, what else should CIO and CTOs be doing to ensure security? The first thing to do is to look at employee behaviour, starting with passwords. It’s highly recommended that strong password hygiene or some form of multi-factor authentication (MFA) is imposed. Best practice would be to get all employees to reset their passwords as they connect remotely and force them to choose a new password that complies with strong password complexity guidelines.  As we know, people have a habit of reusing their passwords for one or more online services – services that might have fallen victim to a breach. Hackers will happily It’s highly recommended that strong password hygiene or some form of multi-factor authentication (MFA) is imposedleverage these breaches because it is such easy and rich pickings. Secondly, the inherent fear of the virus makes for perfect conditions for hackers. Sadly, a lot of phishing campaigns are already luring people in with the promise of important or breaking information on COVID-19. In the UK alone, coronavirus scams cost victims over £800,000 in February 2020. A staggering number that can only go up. That’s why CIOs need to remind everyone in the company of the risks of clickbait and comment spamming - the most popular and obvious bot techniques for infiltrating a network. Notorious hacking attempts And as any security specialist will tell you, some people have no ethics and will exploit the horrendous repercussions of CV-19. In January we saw just how unscrupulous hackers are when they started leveraging public fear of the virus to spread the notorious Emotet malware. Emotet, first detected in 2014, is a banking trojan that primarily spreads through ‘malspam’ and attempts to sneak into computers to steal sensitive and private information. In addition, in early February the Maze ransomware crippled more than 230 workstations of the New Jersey Medical Diagnostics Lab and when they refused to pay, the vicious attackers leaked 9.5GB or research data in an attempt to force negotiations. And in March, an elite hacking group tried to breach the World Health Organization (WHO). It was just one of the many attempts on WHO and healthcare organisations in general since the pandemic broke. We’ll see lots more opportunist attacks like this in the coming months.   More speed less haste In March, an elite hacking group tried to breach the World Health Organization (WHO). It was just one of the many attempts on WHOFinally, we also have bots to contend with. We’ve yet to see reports of fake news content generated by machines, but we know there’s a high probability it will happen. Spambots are already creating pharmaceutical spam campaigns thriving on the buying behaviour of people in times of fear from infection. Using comment spamming – where comments are tactically placed in the comments following an update or news story - the bots take advantage of the popularity of the Google search term ‘Coronavirus’ to increase the visibility and ranking of sites and products in search results. There is clearly much for CIOs to think about, but it is possible to secure a network by applying some well thought through tactics. I believe it comes down to having a ‘more speed, less haste’ approach to rolling out, scaling up and integrating technologies for home working, but above all, it should be mixed with an employee education programme. As in reality, great technology and a coherent security strategy will never work if it is undermined by the poor practices of employees.

How does audio enhance security system performance?
How does audio enhance security system performance?

Video is widely embraced as an essential element of physical security systems. However, surveillance footage is often recorded without sound, even though many cameras are capable of capturing audio as well as video. Beyond the capabilities of cameras, there is a range of other audio products on the market that can improve system performance and/or expand capabilities (e.g., gunshot detection.) We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How does audio enhance the performance of security and/or video systems? 

How have standards changed the security market?
How have standards changed the security market?

A standard is a document that establishes uniform engineering or technical criteria, methods, processes, and/or practices. Standards surround every aspect of our business. For example, the physical security marketplace is impacted by industry standards, national and international standards, quality standards, building codes and even environmental standards, to name just a few. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How have standards changed the security market as we know it?