Intersec, the world’s largest trade and networking event for security, safety and fire protection, is set to celebrate two decades of remarkable success when it opens its doors in January 2018 in Dubai.

Intersec 2018 exhibitors and visitors

The 20th anniversary edition will feature more than 1,300 exhibitors from 58 countries, while over 31,000 visitors from 128 countries are expected to attend as they seek the latest solutions across seven show sections of Commercial Security, Fire & Rescue, Safety & Health, Homeland Security & Policing, Perimeter & Physical Security, Cyber Security, and Smart Home & Building Automation.

Occupying 60,000sqm across 13 halls and 10 per cent extra space at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Intersec 2018 has added a new Drones Pavilion and indoor Drone Zone, while a Wearable Security Pavilion will put the spotlight on advanced textiles including head-up displays, body cameras, embedded sensors, exo-skeleton communications and more.

Intersec history

From humble beginnings in 1999, when it featured 61 exhibitors from 13 countries, Intersec has developed into a global powerhouse, with 19 of the world’s top 20 security solutions providers among the 1,300-plus exhibitors on board in 2018.

The three-day event, which takes place from 21-23 January 2018, has grown in-line with many of the exhibitors that have been with the show from the beginning. NAFFCO is one of 12 exhibitors at Intersec 2018 that participated in the inaugural edition in 1999. Since then, the UAE-based company has established itself as one of the world’s leading suppliers of life and fire safety solutions, with a global network spanning over 100 countries.

Scaling new heights

Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the organiser of Intersec, said: “Intersec continues to scale new heights as the world’s premier showcase of the latest security, fire, and life safety solutions.

Societies, governments and corporates are increasingly pulling out the stops to combat various threats and ensure the security of people, infrastructure, property and information. This has led to a resultant surge in demand for the latest safety and security products and solutions.

From the beginning, Intersec has paved the way for leading safety and security providers to access regional markets and facilitated many of the beneficial partnerships and relations forged over the years. By continuing to prioritise the showcasing of the cutting-edge new developments and the latest technologies, we hope to continue to play a constructive role in making the region a safer and more secure place.”

Commercial Security is the largest section at Intersec 2018
The commercial security market too has witnessed an upswing throughout the region, creating opportunities for suppliers of video surveillance, access control and intrusion detection

Global presence

Intersec’s impressive global presence over the last 20 years coincides with the Middle East region’s own rapid rise as a significant growth market for homeland and commercial security and fire protection.

According to analysts Frost & Sullivan (F&S), the Middle East homeland security market, comprising monitoring and surveillance systems, restricted entry systems and perimeter security solutions, is estimated to reach US$17.05 billion by 2021, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.6 percent between 2015 and 2021.

The commercial security market too has witnessed an upswing throughout the region, creating opportunities for suppliers of video surveillance, access control and intrusion detection. Valued at US$1.93 billion in 2015, the market is expected to grow at a CAGR (2016-2021) of 17 percent, reaching US$4.82 Billion by 2021, says F&S. Meanwhile, the Middle East fire safety market is expected to be worth US$4.4 billion by 2021, growing at a CAGR of 12.4 percent between 2016 and 2021.

Commercial Security

With more than 580 exhibitors, Commercial Security is the largest section at Intersec 2018, with more than two-thirds of the world’s top 50 security solutions players on board, including Hikvision, Bosch, Dahua, Assa Abloy, Tyco, FLIR, Hanwha Techwin, Axis Communications, Avigilon, Panasonic, Infinova, IDIS, and Milestone Systems.

Philippe Kubbinga, Regional Director for the Middle East and Africa at Axis Communications, said: “Intersec is a very important event for us to showcase the latest advancements from Axis across products and solutions, demonstrate our strengths across key verticals with our partners and network with industry professionals.

The Middle East market has continued to grow and we expect a further increase in adoption of the latest IP network solutions in the coming year with a great focus on smart and innovative technologies.”

Fire & Rescue forms a large section of Intersec Dubai
Returning features include the Safety Design in Buildings Pavilion in the Fire & Rescue section and the Outdoor Demonstration Zone

Peter Strom, President and CEO of March Networks, a leading provider of intelligent IP video solutions, added: “Intersec has played an important role in helping position March Networks as a well-recognised name in the region, and increasing exposure in our target markets. It’s very effective at bringing together key decision-makers and we look forward to introducing them to our newest intelligent IP video solutions.”

Plans for 20th anniversary edition

CP PLUS, a provider of advanced security and surveillance solutions is another long-time exhibitor at Intersec, and with big plans for the 20th anniversary edition.

Gaurav Khemka, the Director of CP PLUS, said: “Our association with Intersec has been quite a long one, and it goes without saying that it is one of the best platforms to showcase our technologies and solutions. And as one of the global market leaders in security and surveillance Intersec is important to us.

This time around we’ll have quite a few new launches to showcase such as Analog HD solutions in 4MP and 5MP; Indigo and Red IP Solutions powered by Insta Stream, Time & Attendance solutions equipped with Facial Recognition, Wi-Fi, 3G and battery support, PoE Switches and much more. We are excited and look forward to a continued association with Intersec fuelled by a similar goal and mutual growth.”

Fire and Rescue

Fire & Rescue is the next largest section with 400 exhibitors including NAFFCO, Fike, Honeywell, Hochiki, Oshkosh, and Siemens. Safety & Health and Homeland Security & Policing (both with 100 exhibitors), and Perimeter & Physical Security, Cyber Security, Smart Home & Building Automation (50 exhibitors each) wrap up the dedicated show sections.

Returning features include the Safety Design in Buildings Pavilion in the Fire & Rescue section, as well as an Outdoor Demonstration Zone of the latest fire rescue applications in action. A comprehensive three-day conference programme will also discuss and analyse new developments, innovations, legislation and changing paradigms within the Middle East safety and security industry.

Intersec 2018 is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and supported by the Dubai Police, Dubai Civil Defence, the Dubai Police Academy, and the Dubai Municipality.

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In case you missed it

Questioning the wisdom of the U.S. ban on Hikvision & Dahua
Questioning the wisdom of the U.S. ban on Hikvision & Dahua

I have been thinking a lot about the U.S. government’s ban on video surveillance technologies by Hikvision and Dahua. In general, I question the wisdom and logic of the ban and am frankly puzzled as to how it came to be. Allow me to elaborate. Chinese camera manufacturers Reality check: the government ban is based on concerns about the potential misuse of cameras, not actual misuse. Before the government ban, you occasionally heard about some government entities deciding not to use cameras manufactured by Chinese companies, although the reasons were mostly “in an abundance of caution.”  Even so, I find the targeting of two Chinese companies – three if you count Hytera Communications, a mobile radio manufacturer – in a huge government military spending bill to be a little puzzling. I can’t quite picture how these specific companies got on Congress’s radar. The government ban is based on concerns about the potential misuse of cameras, not actual misuse What level of lobbying or backroom dealing was involved in getting the ban introduced (by a Missouri congresswoman) into the House version of the bill? And after the ban was left out of the Senate version, was there a new wave of discussions to ensure it was included in the joint House-Senate version (with some minor changes, and who negotiated those?). It all seems a little random. Concerns for the U.S. Furthermore, the U.S. ban solves neither of the two main concerns that are generally used as its justification: Concern: Cybersecurity. The U.S. ban “solves” the issue of cybersecurity only if both of the following statements are true. No security system that uses a Hikvision or Dahua camera or other component is cybersecure. Any system that does not use a Hikvision or Dahua camera or other component is cybersecure. What level of lobbying or backroom dealing was involved in getting the ban introduced into the House version of the bill? The ban ignores the breadth and complexity of cybersecurity and instead offers up two companies as scapegoats. Our industry has sought to address cybersecurity, and the one principle that has guided that effort is that cybersecurity is an issue that must be addressed by manufacturers, consultants, integrators and end users – in effect, everyone in the industry. Cybersecurity does not begin and end with the manufacturer and banning any manufacturers from the market does not ensure better cybersecurity.  Concern: “Untrustworthy” Chinese companies. Hikvision and Dahua are only two Chinese companies. Any response to concerns about whether Chinese companies are trustworthy would need to cover many more companies that manufacture their products in China. Australian TV recently claimed that “all Chinese companies pose a risk. Because of Chinese laws, there is a requirement for companies to be engaged in espionage on behalf of the state.” Even if one embraces that extreme view, the logic fails when only two companies are targeted. One source told me that 60 to 65 percent of the global supply of commercial video cameras are manufactured in China, so it’s a much bigger issue than two companies.The Chinese government has much more effective ways of conducting espionage than exploiting security cameras And is U.S. security at risk unless or until it is cut off from more than half of the world’s supply of video cameras? Even Western camera companies manufacture some of their cameras and/or components in China. Why name only two (or three) companies, only one of which has ties to the Chinese government? If the goal of the U.S. ban was to address the possibility of cybersecurity and/or espionage by the Chinese government, shouldn’t there be other companies and product categories included? Clearly, video surveillance is not the only category that has the potential for abuse. The Chinese government has much more effective ways of conducting espionage than exploiting security cameras. Global response to U.S. ban And now that the U.S. ban has been passed, how is the ban being misused to justify a new level of alarm about Chinese companies? Australian television effortlessly made the leap from “software backdoors” to a concerted and organised effort by the Chinese government to use cameras to be the “number one country for espionage.” And it’s not just about government facilities: “Even on the street, [cameras] have the potential to inadvertently contribute toward Chinese espionage activity by providing real-time information about the situation on the ground,” says the Australian TV report. If all Chinese companies pose a risk, why is the U.S. government targeting specific companies rather than all Chinese companies? If all Chinese companies pose a risk, why is the U.S. government targeting specific companies rather than all Chinese companies, or at least those with electronics or computer products that could be used for espionage? What about the espionage potential of the 70% of mobile phones that are made in China? What about other consumer electronics such as PCs or smart TVs? How many government facilities that are eliminating Dahua and Hikvision cameras have employees who use iPhones or use other electronic equipment from China? Artificial intelligence & IP-over-coax Also, consider the impact of the ban on business. Hikvision and Dahua have had many successes in the video surveillance market, including in the U.S. market. They have added value to many integrators and end user customers. They have been on the forefront of important trends such as artificial intelligence and IP-over-coax. And, yes, they have made technologies available at lower prices.Cybersecurity issues have plagued several companies in the industry, not just Hikvision and Dahua Cybersecurity issues have plagued several companies in the industry, not just these two, and both Hikvision and Dahua have worked to fix past problems, and to raise awareness of cybersecurity concerns in general. Is a U.S. ban on two companies an appropriate response to a series of geo-political concerns that are much bigger than those two companies (and bigger than our entire market)? Should two companies take the brunt of the anti-Chinese backlash? Video surveillance cameras Is the video surveillance market as a whole better or worse for the presence of Hikvision and Dahua? Is it up to the U.S. government to make that call? In some ways, thoughts of Chinese espionage are a sign of these uncertain political times. Fear of video surveillance is perfectly congruent with long-standing anxieties about “Big Brother;” suspicion about China taking over our video cameras just rings true at a time when Russia is (supposedly) controlling our elections. But should two companies be targeted while broader concerns are shrugged off?

8 tips for visiting a large security trade show
8 tips for visiting a large security trade show

Security trade fairs can be daunting for attendees. At big shows like IFSEC International and Security Essen, there can be hundreds of physical security manufacturers and dealers vying for your attention. Stands are sometimes spread out across multiple halls, often accompanied by a baffling floor plan. As the scope of physical security expands from video surveillance and access control to include smart building integrations, cyber security and the Internet of Things (IoT), there is an increasing amount of information to take in from education sessions and panels. Here, SourceSecurity.com presents eight hints and tips for visitors to make the most out of trade shows: 1. Outline your objectives. As the famous saying goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail!” Before you plan anything else, ensure you know what you need to achieve at the show. By clearly noting your objectives, you will be able to divide your time at the show appropriately, and carefully choose who you speak to. If there is a particular project your organisation is working on, search out the products and solutions that address your security challenges. If you are a security professional aiming to keep up with the latest trends and technologies, then networking sessions and seminars may be more appropriate. 2. Bring a standard list of questions Prepare a list of specific questions that will tell you if a product, solution or potential partner will help you meet your objectives. By asking the same questions to each exhibitor you speak to, you will be able to take notes and compare their offerings side by side at the end of the day. This also means you won’t get bogged down in details that are irrelevant to your goals. Most trade fair websites provide the option to filter exhibitors by their product category  3. Do your homework Once you know your objectives, you can start to research who is exhibiting and decide who you want to talk to. Lists of exhibitors can be daunting, and don’t always show you which manufacturers meet your needs. Luckily, most trade fair websites provide the option to filter exhibitors by their product category. Many exhibitions also offer a downloadable floor plan, grouping exhibitors by product category or by relevant vertical market.  It may be easier to download the floor plan to your phone/tablet or even print it out, if you don’t want to carry around a weighty map or show-guide. 4. Make a schedule Once you have shortlisted the companies you need to see, you can make a schedule that reflects your priorities. Even if you are not booking fixed meetings, a schedule will allow you to effectively manage your time, ensuring you make time for the exhibitors you can’t afford to miss. If the trade show spans several days, aim to have your most important conversations early on day one. By the time the last afternoon of the show comes around, many companies are already packing up their stand and preparing to head home. When scheduling fixed meetings, keep the floor plan at hand to avoid booking consecutive meetings at opposite ends of the venue. This will ensure you can walk calmly between stands and don’t arrive at an important meeting feeling flustered! Look for panels and seminars which address the specific needs of your project, or which will contribute to your professional growth 5. Make time for learning If you’re on a mission to expand your knowledge in a given area, check the event guide beforehand to note any education sessions you may want to attend. Look for panels and seminars which address the specific needs of your project, or which will contribute to your professional growth. This is one of the best opportunities you will have to learn from industry leaders in the field. Be sure to plan your attendance in advance so you can schedule the rest of your day accordingly. 6. Keep a record Armed with your objectives and list of questions, you will want to make a note of exhibitors’ responses to help you come to an informed decision. If you’re relying on an electronic device such as a smartphone or tablet to take notes, you may like to consider bringing a back-up notepad and pen, so you can continue to take notes if your battery fails. Your record does not have to be confined to written bullet points. Photos and videos are great tools remind you what you saw at the show, and they may pick up details that you weren’t able to describe in your notes. Most mobile devices can take photos – and images don’t need to be high quality if they’re just to refresh your memory. 7. Network – but don’t let small talk rule the day It may be tempting to take advantage of this time away from the office to talk about anything but business! While small talk can be helpful for building strong professional relationships, remember to keep your list of questions at hand so you can always bring conversations back to your key objectives. Keeping these goals in mind will also help you avoid being swayed by any unhelpful marketing-speak. It may seem obvious, but don’t forget to exchange business cards with everyone you speak to, or even take the opportunity to connect via LinkedIn. Even if something doesn’t seem relevant now, these contacts may be useful in future. Have a dedicated section in your bag or briefcase for business cards to avoid rummaging around. With your most important conversations planned carefully, there should be time left to explore the show more freely 8. Schedule time for wandering With your most important conversations planned carefully, there should be time left to explore the show more freely. Allowing dedicated time to wander will give you a welcome break from more pressing conversations, and may throw up a welcome surprise in the form of a smaller company or new technology you weren’t aware of.  Security trade fair checklist: Photo identification: As well as your event pass, some events require photo identification for entry. Notebook and pen: By writing as you go, you will be able to compare notes at the end of the day. Mobile device: Photos and videos are great tools to remind you what you saw at the show, and may pick up details you missed in your notes. Paper schedule & floor plan: In case batteries or network service fail. Business cards: Have a dedicated pouch or pocket for these to avoid rummaging at the bottom of a bag. Comfortable shoes: If you’re spending a whole day at an event, and plan on visiting multiple booths, comfortable shoes are a must!

How artificial intelligence (AI) is changing video surveillance today
How artificial intelligence (AI) is changing video surveillance today

There’s a lot of excitement around artificial intelligence (AI) today – and rightly so. AI is shifting the modern landscape of security and surveillance and dramatically changing the way users interact with their security systems. But with all the talk of AI’s potential, you might be wondering: what problems does AI help solve today? The need for AI The fact is, today there are too many cameras and too much recorded video for security operators to keep pace with. On top of that, people have short attention spans. AI is a technology that doesn’t get bored and can analyse more video data than humans ever possibly could.AI is a technology that doesn’t get bored and can analyse more video data than humans ever possibly could It is designed to bring the most important events and insight to users’ attention, freeing them to do what they do best: make critical decisions. There are two areas where AI can have a significant impact on video surveillance today: search and focus of attention. Faster search Imagine using the internet today without a search engine. You would have to search through one webpage at a time, combing through all its contents, line-by-line, to hopefully find what you’re looking for. That is what most video surveillance search is like today: security operators scan hours of video from one camera at a time in the hope that they’ll find the critical event they need to investigate further. That’s where artificial intelligence comes in. The ability of AI to reduce hours of work to mere minutes is especially significant when we think about the gradual decline in human attention spans With AI, companies such as Avigilon are developing technologies that are designed to make video search as easy as searching the internet. Tools like Avigilon Appearance Search™ technology – a sophisticated deep learning AI video search engine – help operators quickly locate a specific person or vehicle of interest across all cameras within a site. When a security operator is provided with physical descriptions of a person involved in an event, this technology allows them to initiate a search by simply selecting certain descriptors, such as gender or clothing colour. During critical investigations, such as in the case of a missing or suspicious person, this technology is particularly helpful as it can use those descriptions to search for a person and, within seconds, find them across an entire site. Focused attention           The ability of AI to reduce hours of work to mere minutes is especially significant when we think about the gradual decline in human attention spans. Consider all the information a person is presented with on a given day. They don’t necessarily pay attention to everything because most of that information is irrelevant. Instead, they prioritise what is and is not important, often focusing only on information or events that are surprising or unusual. Security operators scan hours of video from one camera at a time in the hope that they’ll find the critical event they need to investigate further Now, consider how much information a security operator who watches tens, if not hundreds or thousands of surveillance cameras, is presented with daily. After just twenty minutes, their attention span significantly decreases, meaning most of that video is never watched and critical information may go undetected. By taking over the task of "watching" security video, AI technology can help focus operators’ attention on events that may need further investigation. As AI technology evolves, the rich metadata captured in surveillance video will add even more relevance to what operators are seeing For instance, technology like Avigilon™ Unusual Motion (UMD) uses AI to continuously learn what typical activity in a scene looks like and then detect and flag unusual events, adding a new level of automation to surveillance. This helps save time during an investigation by allowing operators to quickly search through large amounts of recorded video faster, automatically focusing their attention on the atypical events that may need further investigation, enabling them to more effectively answer the critical questions of who, what, where and when. As AI technology evolves, the rich metadata captured in surveillance video – like clothing colour, age or gender – will add even more relevance to what operators are seeing. This means that in addition to detecting unusual activities based on motion, this technology has the potential to guide operators’ attention to other “unusual” data that will help them more accurately verify and respond to a security event. The key to advanced security When integrated throughout a security system, AI technology has the potential to dramatically change security operations There’s no denying it, the role of AI in security today is transformative. AI-powered video management software is helping to reduce the amount of time spent on surveillance, making security operators more efficient and effective at their jobs. By removing the need to constantly watch video screens and automating the “detection” function of surveillance, AI technology allows operators to focus on what they do best: verifying and acting on critical events. This not only expedites forensic investigations but enables real-time event response, as well. When integrated throughout a security system, AI technology has the potential to dramatically change security operations. Just as high-definition imaging has become a quintessential feature of today’s surveillance cameras, the tremendous value of AI technology has positioned it as a core component of security systems today, and in the future.