ISC East, sponsored by the Security Industry Association (SIA), once again saw great success this year with over 240 exhibiting companies and over 7,000 high-profile security professionals attending the show. Featuring 75 new brands and the largest exhibition floor in recent years, ISC East covered video surveillance, access control, public security, biometrics, security distribution, smart home, IoT, unmanned security and more, and maintained its position as the premier converged security event in the Northeast for physical, IT and IoT security.

Engaging security demonstrations

Industry Vice President Sherida Sessa commented, "We are very excited that ISC East has seen a 14% growth in exhibit space in 2017, keeping pace with the steady growth we've seen over the last two years. This year's event included 75 new exhibitors, approximately 20% more than last year. Many of these companies represented newly added product categories - unmanned vehicles & robotics, biometrics, connected home, IoT and network security, as well as several others - ensuring that ISC East continues to bring new content to the industry."

Jeff Zajic at FacialStats.com, a new robotics exhibitor at ISC East, called the show "fantastic" and a "must go to event." Jeff explained, "We had over 5,000 visitor views for our booth with excellent quality of traffic from solo consultants to multinationals. Very engaging with lots of interest and excitement."

Networking opportunities and special events

This year, ISC East kicked off with its signature Grand Opening Ceremony featuring the NYPD Emerald Society Pipes & Drums. The ceremony commenced two days of networking opportunities and special events, including celebrity appearances from former NY Giants Running Backs Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs, a Featured Product Showcase with 30+ product submissions, the famous Crack the Tap cocktail reception, and a new roundtable discussion on event security in light of recent world-wide events.

"Ultimately, our goal is to create the very best face-to-face platform for doing business in the Northeast"

"As the proud sponsor of ISC East, the Security Industry Association is particularly enthused about the growth of the tradeshow floor, the introduction of new vendors and technologies, and the expansion of the educational program that helps to inform and elevate our industry," said SIA CEO Don Erickson. "The show's continued growth also reflects the value that the SIA members find in ISC Events and in the strong northeastern U.S. market, and we congratulate the ISC Events team on another success."

SIA Education@ISC program

The SIA Education@ISC program supported 30+ hours of free education sessions, a high-profile Keynote Speaker, free exhibitor product trainings, the returning Tech Tank @ ISC East and the newest addition of four Hands On Workshops that were designed to provide cutting-edge information and valuable insights on the most current business trends, technologies and new developments in security. This year's Keynote session also featured an informative conversation with Group Vice President Will Wise and Ray Kelly, Former Commissioner of the NYPD. The two discussed Kelly's development of the NYPD during the time immediately following 9/11, and provided insights into today's most pressing public safety and cyber threats, and how to protect against them.

Forward-thinking educational opportunities

Will Wise, ISC Group Vice President, commented: "We're delighted to have received such positive feedback immediately following ISC East. Ultimately, our goal is to create the very best face-to-face platform for doing business in the Northeast, and to have high quality brands and security industry professionals attending. We're bullish about the continued opportunity to expand the event, including our just announced Unmanned Security & Safety Expo NY, co-located with ISC East in 2018."

All around the Javits Center, ISC East saw ground-breaking products and solutions, forward-thinking educational opportunities and exciting networking events; there was something for everyone in security.

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In case you missed it

What characteristics do salespeople require in the physical security industry?
What characteristics do salespeople require in the physical security industry?

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Can microchip implants replace plastic cards in modern access control?
Can microchip implants replace plastic cards in modern access control?

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Ethical consumption: should you buy security products ‘Made in China’?
Ethical consumption: should you buy security products ‘Made in China’?

Should ‘Made in China’ be seen as a negative in security systems and products? It’s an important and complex issue that merits a more detailed response than my recent comment in the Expert Panel Roundtable. For me, there are two sides of the answer to this question: Buying products that have certain negative attributes that are not in alignment with some part of a belief system or company mandate. Buying products that do not perform as advertised or do something that is unacceptable. For integrators and end users making the buying decisions, the drive to purchase products may not be based on either aspect and instead on the product that can do the best job for their business. But for others, a greater emphasis on the ethical implications of purchasing decisions drives decision-making. What is ethical consumption? Ethical consumption is a type of consumer activism that is based on the concept of ‘positive buying’ in that ethical products are favouredEthical consumption — often called ethical consumerism — is a type of consumer activism that is based on the concept of ‘positive buying’ in that ethical products are favoured, and products that are ethically questionable may be met with a ‘moral boycott’. This can be as simple as only buying organic produce or as complex as boycotting products made in a totalitarian regime that doesn't offer its citizens the same freedoms that we enjoy in the United States. Consider the goals of the Boston Tea Party or the National Consumers League (NCL), which was formed to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. Some examples of considerations behind ethical consumption include fair trade, treatment of workers, genetic modification, locally made and processed goods, union-made products and services, humane animal treatment, and in general, labour issues and manufacturing practices that take these factors into account. Increase in ethical consumption The numbers show that ethical consumption is on the rise. In a 2017 study by Unilever, 33 percent of consumers reported choosing to buy and support brands that they believe are doing social or environmental good. In the same study, 53 percent of shoppers in the United Kingdom and 78 percent in the United States said they feel better when they buy products that are ‘sustainably’ produced. There’s clear evidence that products from some Chinese companies suffer from cybersecurity vulnerabilities Though the aforementioned question that sparked this conversation centres around concerns with products made in China, there are many other countries where, for example, governments/dictators are extremely repressive to all or parts of their populations, whose products, such as oil, diamonds, minerals, etc., we happily consume. There are also a number of countries that are a threat in terms of cybersecurity. It may be naive and simplistic to single out Chinese manufacturers. Impact on physical security products Product buying decisions based on factors other than product functionality, quality and price are also starting to permeate the security marketplace. While this hasn't been a large focus area from the business-to-business consumption side, it's something that should be considered for commercial security products for a variety of reasons. Hardware hacks are more difficult to pull off and potentially more devastating" There’s clear evidence that products from some Chinese companies suffer from cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Last fall, 30 U.S. companies, including Apple and Amazon, were potentially compromised when it was discovered that a tiny microchip in the motherboard of servers built in China that weren't a part of the original specification. According to a Bloomberg report, “This attack was something graver than the software-based incidents the world has grown accustomed to seeing. Hardware hacks are more difficult to pull off and potentially more devastating, promising the kind of long-term, stealth access that spy agencies are willing to invest millions of dollars and many years to get.” This, along with many other incidents, are changing the considerations behind purchasing decisions even in the physical security industry. Given that physical security products in general have been lax on cybersecurity, this is a welcome change. Combating tech-specific threats In early January, members of the U.S. Senate introduced bipartisan legislation to help combat tech-specific threats to national security posed by foreign actors and ensure U.S. technological supremacy by improving interagency coordination across the U.S. government. The bill creates the Office of Critical Technologies & Security at the White House, an indication that this issue is of critical importance to a number of players across the tech sector. Members of the U.S. Senate introduced bipartisan legislation to help combat tech-specific threats to national security posed by foreign actors To address a significant number of concerns around ethical production, there are certifications such as ISO 26000 which provides guidance on social responsibility by addressing accountability, transparency, ethical behaviour, respect for stakeholder interests, respect for rule of law, respect for international norms of behaviour and respect for human rights. While still emerging within physical security, companies that adhere to these and other standards do exist in the marketplace. Not buying products vulnerable to cyberattacks It may be counter-productive, even irresponsible, to brand all products from an entire country as unfit for purchasing. Some manufacturers’ products may be ethically questionable, or more vulnerable to cyberattacks than others; so not buying products made by those companies would make sense. The physical security industry might be playing a bit of catch up on this front, but I think we're beginning to see a shift toward this kind of responsible buying behaviour.