Download PDF version Contact company

The doors have closed on this year’s Global Security Exchange (GSX), held at Chicago’s McCormick Place this week. Presented by ASIS International, an association for security management professionals, the event offered six days filled with education and networking for the global security community. Attendance was strong with 20,000 registrants from more than 125 countries and 550+ exhibitors packing the convention centre. Security professionals also engaged in sessions around the world via Global Access LIVE! streaming—with participants in more than 15 countries.

“GSX serves as a powerful forum for convening security leaders across the globe to learn, share information and network,” said Christina Duffey, CPP, 2019 ASIS President. “I leave this year’s GSX more energised about our association, our profession, and our industry. I am eternally grateful to our Chicago Chapter and host committee for their strong support and look forward to GSX 2020, which will take place in Atlanta.”

Four key factors affecting perceptions

GSX 2019 launched on Saturday, 7 September, with ASIS member certification reviews and the start of continuing education workshops in support of professional accreditations. Sunday, September 8, brought a lively Town Hall providing attendees with an open discussion forum with ASIS volunteer leaders. Monday, 9 September, the keynote address was delivered by geopolitical expert and author Ian Bremmer, Ph.D., covering the most pressing risks, trends and economics around the world.

More than 3 million people are moving into urban environments every week”

He described four key factors that are affecting global perceptions and can stoke conflict and uncertainty, including the decline of the ‘social contract’ (i.e., flat wages, scandals involving privileged class, and sense that government and employers no longer represent the needs of the people they serve), immigration, the ‘forever’ wars (i.e., the 18-year conflict in Afghanistan), and the role of social media in stoking division and fears. He also cited news headlines, including the consequences of Brexit, China’s global investments in Western Democracies, and the lack of a “Plan B” in dealing with Iran.

New innovations in security profession

The GSX Exhibit Hall opened Tuesday, 10 September with more than 550 exhibitors and innovative feature areas including the GSX Disruption District, X-Learning stages, and the D3 (Drones, Droids, Defense) Learning Theater, and new this year, the Startup Sector pavilion, highlighting new innovations in the security profession. Tuesday’s General Session speaker, Steve Demetriou, Chair and CEO, Jacobs, spoke on changing times. According to Demetriou, “Today, more than half the world’s population lives in urban environments, and more than 3 million people are moving into urban environments every week.”

John F. Kelly, retired four-star general, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and White House Chief of Staff, kicked off Military and Law Enforcement Appreciation Day on Wednesday, 11 September. General Kelly also touched on changes in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agency structures and policies since 9/11 and described how the dramatically increased collaboration across the intelligence and enforcement agencies in recent years has made the country much safer.

Evolving world needs security practitioners

Tarah Wheeler emphasised that the world requires security practitioners to continue to update their thinking

New to GSX this year and a first for the security industry, 12 companies were selected to compete in the first-ever GSX Pitch Competition. The closing general session featured Tarah Wheeler, Cybersecurity Policy Fellow at New America, who emphasised that the evolving world requires security practitioners to plan ahead and continue to update their thinking. “We are at GSX because we want to be fierce protectors,” she told the audience before providing valuable guidance on how to prepare before an incident response is required. “I think like a bad guy so I can keep people safe—and you should start thinking like a bad guy too.”

Deviant Ollam, Physical Penetration Specialist with the CORE Group, gave the closing Game Changer session alerting the audience to the many ways that potential “bad actors” can gain access to sensitive company data, resources, and facilities. Ollam described three distinct attack surfaces—physical, digital, and human—and pointed out that attackers often find the most vulnerable points at the intersections of these areas, where the responsibility may not be clear and protective procedures may be weak.

Free access to security education

He emphasised the potential value of penetration testing, and encouraged testers to help make the world safer, saying “if you’re not making the blue team better, you’re not doing your job.”  Expanded for 2019, the Security Cares program was created to empower and positively impact the local communities serving as GSX host cities. Now in its fourth year, the program connected leaders of Chicago area community organisations and small- to medium-sized businesses with free access to valuable security education, networking, funding opportunities, and resources.

GSX 2020 will take place September 21-23 in Atlanta.

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

In case you missed it

How smart technology is simplifying safety and security in retirement villages
How smart technology is simplifying safety and security in retirement villages

James Twigg is the Managing Director of Total Integrated Solutions (TIS), an independent life safety, security and communication systems integrator, specialising in design & consultancy, technology and regulatory compliance. Total Integrated Solutions work primarily with retirement villages, helping to ensure the safety of residents in numerous retirement villages across the country. In this opinion piece, James shares how smart technology is helping security teams and care staff alike in ensuring the safety and security of their spaces, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Impact of smart technology Smart technology is having an impact on pretty much every aspect of our lives Smart technology is having an impact on pretty much every aspect of our lives. From how we travel, to how we work, to how we run our homes. It’s not unusual to have Alexa waking us up and ordering our groceries or Nest to be regulating the temperature and energy in our homes. And while there’s a popular misconception that people in their later years are allergic to technology, retirement villages and care homes are experiencing significant innovation too. And the result is not only improved quality of life for residents, but also improved safety and security systems for management teams. Switching to converged IP systems I’ve been working in the life safety and security industry for over fifteen years. When I first joined TIS, much of the sector was still very analogue, in terms of the technology being installed and maintained. Slowly but surely, we’ve been consulting and advising customers on how to design, install and maintain converged IP systems that all talk to each other and work in tandem. I'm excited to say retirement villages are some of the top spaces leading the way, in terms of technological advancement. Improving the quality of life for residents A move into a retirement village can be daunting and one of the key concerns that we hear about is the loss of independence. No one wants to feel like they are being monitored or to have someone constantly hovering over them. One of the ways we’ve used smart technology to maintain residents' independence is through devices, such as health monitors and motion sensors. For example, instead of having a member of staff check-in on residents every morning, to ensure they are well, sensors and analytics can automatically detect changes in routine and alert staff to possible problems. Similarly, wearable tech, such as smart watches give residents a chance to let staff know they are okay, without having to tell them face-to-face. As our retirement village customers have told us, a simple ‘I’m okay’ command can be the difference between someone feeling independent versus someone feeling monitored. Simplifying and improving security systems Smart technology gives care staff and security oversight of the needs of residents For the teams responsible for the safety of the people, places and spaces within retirement villages, smart technology is helping to improve and simplify their jobs. Smart technology gives care staff and security oversight of the needs of residents, and ensures rapid response if notified by an emergency alert, ensuring they know the exact location of the resident in need. And without the need to go and physically check-in on every resident, staff and management can ensure staff time is being used effectively. Resources can be distributed where they are needed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those residents who need extra consideration. 24/7 surveillance When planning the safety and security for retirement villages, and other residential spaces, it’s no use having traditional systems that only work effectively for 12 hours a day or need to update during the evening. Surveillance needs to be 24/7 and smart technology allows that without the physical intrusion into people’s spaces and daily lives. Smart technology ensures that systems speak to each other and are easily and effectively managed on one integrated system. This includes video surveillance, which has also become much more effective as a result of advanced video analytics, which automatically warn staff of suspicious behaviour. Securing spaces amid COVID-19 This year has, of course, brought new challenges for safety. COVID-19 hit the retirement and residential care sectors hard, first with the initial wave of infections in mid-2020 and then, with the subsequent loneliness caused by the necessary separation of families. As essential workers, we worked closely with our customers to make sure they had everything they needed As essential workers, we worked closely with our customers to make sure they had everything they needed during this time, equipping residents with tablet devices to ensure they could stay connected with their families and friends. It allowed residents to keep in touch without risking transferring the virus. Thermal cameras and mask detection And now that we’re emerging out of COVID-19 restrictions and most residents can see their families again, we’re installing systems like thermal cameras and mask detection, so as to ensure that security will be alerted to anyone in the space experiencing a high temperature or not wearing proper PPE. Such steps give staff and families alike, the peace-of-mind that operational teams will be alerted at the earliest possible moment, should a COVID-19 risk appear. Thinking ahead to the next fifteen years, I’m excited at the prospect of further technological advancements in this space. Because at the end of the day, it’s not about how complex your security system is or how you compete in the industry. It’s about helping teams to protect the people, spaces and places that matter. I see smart technology playing a huge role in that for years to come.

ASSA ABLOY’s Code Handle protects Fylab physiotherapy practice with secure PIN-operated handles
ASSA ABLOY’s Code Handle protects Fylab physiotherapy practice with secure PIN-operated handles

In all medical settings, people are coming and going all day. Therapists leave their personal belongings in changing rooms, patients want privacy in consulting rooms, open or unlocked doors can be an invitation to opportunists. Yet keeping track of mechanical keys can be a tiresome task for a small practice. There is a solution: the Code Handle PIN lock from ASSA ABLOY. In Irun, in Spain’s Basque country, Fylab sought easy electronic door security for their consulting rooms. These rooms house expensive specialist equipment for the various therapeutic disciplines offered by Fylab. Requirements were straightforward: a simple, secure, keyless access solution designed to work in a facility that gets a lot of daily traffic from professionals and the public. They needed a locking device that is easy to retrofit and incorporates a contemporary device design to match with Fylab’s modern medical workplace. Adding electronic security to room doors The Code Handle PIN-locking door handle added electronic security to three consulting-room doors at FylabThe Code Handle PIN-locking door handle added electronic security to three consulting-room doors at Fylab – without wires or cables. Two screws fit a Code Handle to almost any interior door (between 35mm to 80mm thick). One doesn’t even need to change their existing door cylinder. “I am no artist or handyman, but I managed to fit the handles within 10 minutes,” says Fylab founder, Borja Saldias Retegui. Code Handle adds electronic security to almost any interior door without disrupting its aesthetics. If one needs to secure a door facing a public space, Code Handle does it subtly and with zero hassle. At Fylab, Code Handle devices locks both wooden and glass doors, keeping equipment and therapists’ personal belongings safe. Allows up to 9 different PIN numbers “We like the solution a lot because we can do away with keys,” adds Borja. Code Handle removes the need to track cumbersome keys or install expensive access control. Because every Code Handle allows up to 9 different PIN numbers (4 to 6 digits), all authorised staff at Fylab can have their own security code. Two standard batteries (CR2) slot inside the handle, typically lasting 30,000 lock/unlock cycles before replacement The practice manager cancels or amends PINs at any time using the master PIN. Two standard batteries (CR2) slot inside the handle, typically lasting 30,000 lock/unlock cycles before replacement. It’s simple. “Code Handle is unique in comparison to common code door locks: it has the code function and battery incorporated inside its handle, so you don’t need to make extra modifications to your door,” explains Lars Angelin, Business Development Manager for Code Handle at ASSA ABLOY EMEA. Auto-locking feature of Code Handle Auto-locking is another helpful feature. When the door closes, Code Handle locks it automatically. One doesn’t need to put down whatever they are carrying, and no one can open it from the outside while they are not looking. To keep the door open briefly, one can simply hold Code Handle down for 5 seconds and it remains temporarily unlocked. For convenience, Code Handle always opens freely from the inside. “Code Handle provides the simplest solution for access control in a small facility,” says Borja. To learn more about Code Handle please visit: https://campaigns.assaabloyopeningsolutions.eu/codehandle

What are the challenges and benefits of mobile access control?
What are the challenges and benefits of mobile access control?

There is a broad appeal to the idea of using a smartphone or wearable device as a credential for physical access control systems. Smartphones already perform a range of tasks that extend beyond making a phone call. Shouldn’t opening the door at a workplace be among them? It’s a simple idea, but there are obstacles for the industry to get there from here. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the challenges and benefits of mobile access control solutions?