Security professionals turned up in large numbers for ASIS 2010
Nearly 700 companies exhibited a wide array of security solutions for the event's attendees
More than 20,000 security professionals from more than 90 countries, attended the ASIS International 56th Annual Seminar and Exhibits, held in Dallas, Texas, October 12-15. Hosted by ASIS, the leading organisation for security management professionals worldwide, this annual forum is the most comprehensive education and networking event in the security industry.

"Security practitioners from around the globe look to the Annual Seminar and Exhibits as their single source for the latest evolutions in security management tactics, techniques, and technology," says ASIS President Joseph R. "Bob" Granger, CPP. "From education to networking to products and services - ASIS 2010 delivered on its promise and, by all accounts well exceeded the expectations of attendees and exhibitors."

"Organisations continue to demand a solid business case for investing their money," noted Granger, adding, "With paid and exhibits-only attendance up by more than 8 percent this year, it seems evident that this event is conveying the right level of ROI sought by security practitioners and their organisations. A full independent audit of our registrations is being undertaken and the final figures will be announced as soon as they become available."

Covering more than 230,000 net square feet of the Dallas Convention Centre, nearly 700 companies exhibited a wide array of security solutions for the event's public and private sector practitioner attendees. Leading-edge innovations in access control, IP-based video surveillance, and explosion detection were among those demonstrated, as were new and enhanced service offerings.

This year's Seminar and Exhibits hosted the second ASIS Accolades, an awards competition open to all ASIS exhibitors, which recognises the security industry's most innovative new products, services and/or solutions. A team of judges representing end-users and experts in physical security and cyber technologies reviewed more than 70 entries before selecting the top 10 winners.

The event was hosted by ASIS, the leading organisation for security management professionals worldwide



More than 160 sessions spanning 18 tracks offered practitioners the option to gain new knowledge, best practices, and strategies in security management. Crisis management, critical infrastructure protection, crime/loss prevention, physical security, homeland security, info/IT security, and investigations were among the subject matter areas of concentration at ASIS 2010.

ASIS partnered with four professional organisations in 2010 to expand the depth of educational offerings in the area of information security. These organisations included: (ISC)2®; The Information Technology-Information Sharing and Analysis Centre (IT-ISAC); Financial Services - Information Sharing and Analysis Centre (FA-ISAC); and, ISACA. The International Association of Professional Security Consultants (IAPSC) also partnered with ASIS and facilitated 'The Successful Security Consultant', a two-day pre-seminar programme. A session on workplace violence was also delivered by the International Facility Management Association (IFMA).

International hero and pilot Chesley B. Sullenberger III addressed a crowded general session on Wednesday, October 13. Sullenberger, who safely guided US Airways Flight 1549 to an emergency water landing in New York City's frigid Hudson River in Jan. 2009, stated: "I was a regular guy who had done a pretty good job of preparing himself for whatever might come." In describing his experience, he observed: "Fear is normal. Fear is human. Courage is the discipline and the realistic confidence to do what is required in spite of fear."

On Thursday, October 14, keynote Pervez Musharraf, former president of Pakistan offered his vision for a modern, democratic, non-fundamentalist Islamic Pakistan. "We are at the threshold of making a decision of whether to quit or not to quit in Afghanistan," Musharraf told a packed hall at the Dallas Convention Centre. "I have told you about the blunder of the past. I pray to God that we do not make another blunder."

A new set of dynamic social networking tools was launched for ASIS 2010 to assist both the attendee and those who could not attend the annual seminar. From the enhanced online show planner to the mobile app to the first-ever ASIS 2010 HUB, members were able to find their way around on-site, or take advantage of video interviews and education offerings virtually. With the help of a TweetStream, LinkedIn group (now with 9,000+ members), Facebook fan page, and blog, information, best practices, and advice were flowing at warp speed and networking was made easier than ever. 

Handouts from the educational sessions at ASIS 2010 are available online (password-protected for paid attendees only). Audio recordings from the education sessions will be available online in mid-November (password protected for paid attendees). A DVD of all the sessions or downloads of particular recorded sessions are available online to everyone, for a fee. 

Plans for the 57th Annual Seminar and Exhibits, to be held in Orlando from September 19-22 (Monday through Thursday), are underway. More than 75 percent of the booth space is already sold. The deadline for the call for presentations is March 1, 2011. Go online for more information.

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In case you missed it

Has the gap closed between security fiction and security reality?
Has the gap closed between security fiction and security reality?

Among its many uses and benefits, technology is a handy tool in the fantasy world of movie and television thrillers. We all know the scene: a vital plot point depends on having just the right super-duper gadget to locate a suspect or to get past a locked door. In movies and TV, face recognition is more a super power than a technical function. Video footage can be magically enhanced to provide a perfect image of a license plate number. We have all shaken our heads in disbelief, and yet, our industry’s technical capabilities are improving every day. Are we approaching a day when the “enhanced” view of technology in movies and TV is closer to the truth? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How much has the gap closed between the reality of security system capabilities and what you see on TV (or at the movies)?

How moving to Security as a Service benefits both providers and end users
How moving to Security as a Service benefits both providers and end users

The way we purchase services and products is changing. The traditional concept of buying and owning a product is giving way to the idea that it is possible to purchase the services it offers instead. This approach has come from the consumer realisation that it is the outcome that is important rather than the tools to achieve it. For example, this approach is evident with the rise of music streaming services as opposed to downloads or physical products.   With the physical security industry becoming ever more integrated – and truly open systems now a reality – there is every reason to assume this service-lead trend will come to dominate the way our industry interacts with its clients as well. Interest in service-based security There is a significant change of mindset that the security industry needs to embrace before a large-scale move to Security as a Service can take place. Like many technology sectors in the past, security providers have focussed on ‘shifting boxes’ as their definitive sales model. This approach was especially prevalent when proprietary systems were the mainstay of the security industry. Essentially, if the customer wanted more services they simply bought a new product. This was a straightforward and economic sales approach for manufacturers and installers alike.The security industry needs to embrace a change of mindset before a move to SaaS can take place The flexibility of integrated and open technology has changed the way consumers view their purchase, so it shouldn’t be any surprise that there is increased interest in a service-based approach. Customer choice equates to a change of focus and interest, with physical products being eclipsed by the benefits of the overall solution. We have already seen these changes in other technology areas, notably with smart devices and general IT systems. Cloud-based services put the onus on the result rather than which device the user chooses. This approach is even starting to manifest in areas that couldn’t have been predicted in the past, such as the car industry for example. Consumers are focusing more on the overall costs and convenience of buying a car over the specific specification of the vehicle. Equally, urban dwellers don’t necessarily want the hassle and expense of owning and parking their own vehicle anymore. If you don’t use it every day, it can make more sense to rent a vehicle only when you travel beyond public transport. For these consumers the car has become a service item for a specific journey. Benefits for end users At the heart of this approach is the simple equation that consumers have a need and suppliers need to provide the most cost-effective, and easiest, solution. At the same time, the security operator may not necessarily want to know (or care) what specification the system has, they just want it to perform the task as required.   By discussing with consumers, we can ensure we work even more closely with them to provide the expert support they need and deserve Most security buyers will identify the specific business needs and their budget to achieve this. This is where a service approach really comes into its own. Customers need expert advice on a solution for their requirements which takes away the stress of finding the right products/systems. In the past there was always a risk of purchasing an unsuitable solution, which could potentially be disastrous. The other issue was having to budget for a big capital expenditure for a large installation and then having to find further resources once an upgrade was due when systems went end of life. Most businesses find it far easier to pay a sensible monthly or annual fee that is predictable and can easily be budgeted for. A service model makes this far easier to achieve. Benefits of a service sales model As well as the benefits for end users, there are considerable benefits for security providers too. Rather than simply ‘shifting boxes’ and enduring the inevitable sales peaks and toughs this creates; a service sales model allows manufacturers and installers to enjoy a more stable business model. You don’t have to win new business with every product, but rather sell ongoing services for a set period. Its highly likely that the whole security industry will start to take this approach over the next few years. Manufacturers are already well aware of this shift in customer expectations and are changing their approach to meet demands.There are major opportunities on offer in return for a change of perspective in the security industry With the service and leasing approach already firmly entrenched in other industries, this is well proven in a consumer market. The airline industry is a great example. Manufacturers understand that airlines need flexibility to upscale and downscale operations and therefore whole aircraft and even individual key components (such as engines or seating) can be leased as required. Using this approach, airlines can concentrate on what customers demand and not worry about the logistics of doing this. Manufacturers and leasing businesses provide assurances and guarantees of service time for aircraft and engines, taking care of the servicing and maintenance to ensure this delivery. This approach is just as well suited for the provision of security systems. Servicing the future security market Undoubtedly there are major opportunities on offer in return for a change of perspective in the security industry. However, this will involve substantial changes in some quarters to ensure the business model is aligned with the market. Overall, the security industry needs to not only develop the right systems for the market, but also to deliver them in the right way as well. This will ensure we work even more closely with customers to provide the expert support they need and deserve.

Intelligent video surveillance and deep learning dominate MIPS 2018 agenda
Intelligent video surveillance and deep learning dominate MIPS 2018 agenda

Milestone Systems is embracing artificial intelligence and deep learning in a big way at this week's yearly Milestone Community Days (MIPS 2018) in Las Vegas. The Danish company's theme is "Creating an Intelligent World," and Milestone's stated goal is to make "the Milestone community part of every surveillance installation in the world."    Science fiction becomes reality In a presentation on opening day, Milestone CSMO Kenneth Hune Petersen pointed to the 2002 movie The Minority Report as highlighting a variety of gadgets and systems that seemed futuristic at the time but are now perfectly possible, and in some cases outdated. Films have previously highlighted gadgets and systems that were futuristic, but are now perfectly possible, or outdated "If we dare to dream together we can make this a better world," says Petersen. "Through AI and machine learning, we can help define tomorrow. There's no doubt about it: There is a massive business opportunity for us in artificial intelligence." Despite all the talk about artificial intelligence, only about 0.5 percent of all the data in the world has currently been analysed or used, says Peterson. "Our open platform technology is the foundation for intelligent video systems and our partners have the expertise and infrastructure needed to reach the next frontier in intelligent video solutions," said Bjørn Skou Eilertsen, Milestone Systems CTO. "Together, we can provide unlimited solutions for our customers." Deeper integration and broader coverage Expanding the Milestone community this year has included the addition of 1,000 new models of supported hardware devices; there are currently more than 7,000 models supported. Milestone is also pursuing broader coverage of installations through their partners, with deeper integration of functionality, and by deepening existing relationships with customers. ‘Creating an intelligent world’ includes deep learning and lots of video systems, says Milestone at their annual conference Under new agreements, hardware partners such as Dell EMC and BCDVideo now provide XProtect Essential+ software pre-loaded on servers they sell. The focus at MIPS 2018 on AI included a presentation by Tanmay Bakshi, the "world's youngest IBM coder" and TED Talk speaker, at 14 years old. The prodigy, who has been coding since the age of 4, has worked with IBM and other companies on a variety of AI-related projects. Using deep learning with video is currently limited because so much video is unlabelled and unstructured In his MIPS 2018 keynote speech, Bakshi traced the development of AI through high-profile events, such as IBM's development of the "Watson" computer, which successfully competed on Jeopardy!, and Google's development of AlphaGo, a program that successfully plays the complex ancient board game, Go. Data demands deep-learning Bakshi focused on security and healthcare as two disciplines where deep learning can potentially have a big impact. Using deep learning with video is currently limited because so much video is unlabeled and unstructured. Still, projections are that there will be a billion cameras worldwide by 2020, providing an over-abundance of data that demands the use of deep learning to make sense of it all. "There is a misconception that AI is meant to replace us, to make humans obsolete. AI is not replacing us. It is created by humans to amplify human skills. AI can reduce information overload to enable humans to work with the data more efficiently," said Bakshi. He suggested that AI is equivalent to IA; Bakshi's abbreviation meaning "intelligence augmented." AI can reduce information overload to enable humans to work with the data more efficiently The ability to scale AI applications using "distributed deep learning" and graphics processing unit (GPU) hardware is paving the way for greater use of deep learning in video applications. Adam Scraba, Global Business Development Lead at NVIDIA, outlined the trends that are making the current "Big Bang" of deep learning possible. He said it is "the most exciting time in tech history," with "software that can write its own software" now among the tools that make previously unsolvable problems now solvable. AI-driven intelligent video analytics can now achieve "super-human" results, he said. An intelligent world to combat crime Instead of sitting for hours staking out a suspected drug dealer alone, entire investigations now take hours instead of days A success story about the game-changing capabilities of video data was supplied by Hartford, Conn.'s Capital City Crime Center (C4). The Hartford police department uses video data in a "predictive policing" approach. They have created an "intelligent world with smart policing to combat drug trafficking," according to C4 Supervisor Johnmichael O'Hare of the Hartford Police Department. Instead of sitting for hours staking out a suspected drug dealer, for example, video of a site can be analysed to determine areas with higher levels of foot traffic that indicate drug buys. The result is investigations that take hours instead of days. Hartford incorporates several technologies, including ShotSpotter gunshot detection, Briefcam video synopsis and other systems, all tied together using the Milestone platform. More than 700 attendees make MIPS 2018 the largest such event ever, and exhibits by around 60 Milestone partner companies attest to the continuing expansion of the Milestone community. [Main image: Tanmay Bakshi (left) and Johnmichael O’Hare of the Hartford Police Department (right) discuss key security issues of the modern day]