ISC East, in collaboration with premier sponsor, the Security Industry Association (SIA), reported strong growth results at the conclusion of this year’s industry event in New York City. The International Security Conference & Exposition is the Northeast’s largest security trade show, where close to 7,500 security and public safety professionals convened this month to meet experts from over 300 leading security brands, all the while co-locating with the launch of Unmanned Security Expo New York and Infosecurity North America, Europe’s global information security event.

Welcoming 85 new companies and brands and close to 1,000 more industry professionals compared to 2017, the ISC East exhibit hall bustled and featured expanded in-depth content - including new technologies and product categories, more special events/networking opportunities, and a variety of all-new complimentary education through SIA Education@ISC and Unmanned Security Expo New York.

Comprehensive Security for a Safer, Connected World The extensive variety of vendors and professionalism of the ISC staff make it one of the best shows out there"

Mary Beth Shaughnessy, Event Director for ISC Security Events, noted, “It was exciting to see such a robust expo floor and high attendance growth with our New York event this year, all while matching up to our brand theme of Comprehensive Security for a Safer, Connected World. The top attended education sessions were formed around a diverse spectrum of topics including cyber-physical integration, converged security for smart cities buildings, the impact of IT and AI on video surveillance/intelligence, critical incidents prevention and mitigation, plus drones, drone-detection, drone-regulations and policies, and more. The present and future is bright for ISC East and we are committed to providing great solutions and education for this community.

Over the past 4 years, the ISC East Show Floor has grown by over 60% in square footage and has come to be known as ‘the highlight of the year,’ stated by Linda Esposito, Security Specialist of US Postal Inspection Service. “The extensive variety of vendors and professionalism of the ISC staff make it one of the best shows out there. In addition, Alex Pachikov of Sunflower Labs, a first-time exhibitor at Unmanned Security Expo, commented, “This was the perfect venue for us to introduce the Sunflower Labs drone-based security system. We had the perfect audience and fantastic exposure to potential customers, installation partners and system integrators.

Unmanned Security Expo

Additionally, while Unmanned Security Expo presented 15+ sessions dedicated to the in-depth issues, policies and opportunities for UASs and UGVs, the SIA Education@ISC East program offered 25+ complimentary education courses and highlighted two distinct Keynote Speakers for the first time at ISC East - Philip Halpin, Senior Vice President & Head of Global Security for Brown Brothers Harriman, and James A. Gagliano, Retired FBI Supervisory Special Agent, CNN Law Enforcement Analyst, and Adjunct Assistant Professor at St. John’s University.

SIA Education@ISC East 2018

SIA Education@ISC East 2018 was a great success, with hundreds of conference attendees participating in education sessions, engaging keynotes and hands-on workshops"

SIA Education@ISC East 2018 was a great success, with hundreds of conference attendees participating in our education sessions, engaging keynotes and hands-on workshops,” said Don Erickson, CEO of the Security Industry Association. “This year’s sessions highlighted cutting-edge topics like the move to smart cities, convergence in the security industry, the use of artificial intelligence in video analytics, and how some legacy connections leave modern access control data vulnerable to hacking.

With so much learning and knowledge-sharing happening on the show floor, security professionals still found time to participate and engage at the numerous special events that ISC East had to offer, including: the first-ever SIA Women in Security Forum Breakfast, the new Mission 500 Hygiene Kit Building, the ever-popular ASTORS Homeland Security Awards, ISC East’s Featured Product showcase featuring some of the most innovative product technologies, a high-profile celebrity appearance of former NY Yankees player Tino Martinez , the signature ISC East Grand Opening Ceremony, the  Crack the Tap Cocktail Reception, and so much more.

ISC Security Events

As ISC East comes to a close, the ISC Security Events portfolio continues to provide comprehensive security for a safer, connected world through ISC West and Unmanned Security Expo, and Connected Security Expo taking place on April 9-12, 2019 (SIA Education@ISC: April 9-11 | Exhibit Hall: April 10-12) in Las Vegas.

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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?

A basic tenet of sales is ABC – always be closing. But it's a principle that most professional salespeople would say oversimplifies the process. Especially in a sophisticated, high-tech market such as physical security, the required sales skills are much more involved and nuanced. We asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: What unique characteristics are required of salespeople in the arena of physical security systems?

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

A futuristic alternative to plastic cards for access control and other applications is being considered by some corporate users in Sweden and the United Kingdom. The idea involves using a microchip device implanted into a user’s hand. About the size of a grain of rice and provided by Swedish company Biohax, the tiny device employs passive near field communication (NFC) to interface with a user’s digital environment. Access control is just one application for the device, which can be deployed in lieu of a smart card in numerous uses. Biohax says more than 4,000 individuals have implanted the device. Using the device for corporate employees Every user is given plenty of information to make an informed decision whether they want to use the deviceCurrently Biohax is having dialogue with curious corporate customers about using the device for their employees. “It’s a dialogue, not Big Brother planning to chip every employee they have,” says Jowan Österlund, CEO at Biohax. Every user is given plenty of information to make an informed decision whether they want to use the device. Data capture form to appear here! “Proof of concept” demonstrations have been conducted at several companies, including Tui, a travel company in Sweden that uses the device for access management, ID management, printing, gym access and self-checkout in the cafeteria. Biohax is also having dialogue with some big companies in the United Kingdom, including legal and financial firms. Österlund aims to have a full working system in place in the next year or so. A Swedish rail company accepts the implanted chip in lieu of a paper train ticket. They accept existing implants but are not offering to implant the chips. Österlund says his company currently has no plans to enter the U.S. market. The device is large enough to locate easily and extract if needed, and small enough to be unobtrusive Access control credential The device is inserted/injected below the skin between the index finger and the thumb. The circuitry has a 10-year lifespan. The device is large enough to locate easily and extract if needed, and small enough to be unobtrusive. The only risk is the possibility of infection, which is true anytime the skin is pierced, and the risk is mitigated by employing health professionals to inject the chip. Use of the device as an access control credential or any other function is offered as a voluntary option; any requirement by an employer to inject the device would be illegal, says Österlund. It’s a convenient choice that is made “based on a well-informed decision by the customer.” Aversion to needles, for example, would make some users squeamish to implant the device. More education of users helps to allay any concerns: Some 10% of employees typically would agree quickly to the system, but a larger group of 50% to 60% are likely to agree over time as they get more comfortable with the idea and understand the convenience, says Österlund. Protection of information The passive device does not actively send out any signals as you walk. It is only powered up by a reader if a user has access rightsIn terms of privacy concerns, information contained on the device is in physical form and is protected. The passive device does not actively send out any signals as you walk. There is no battery. It is only powered up by a reader if a user has access rights. With use of the device being discussed in the United Kingdom, there has been some backlash. For example, Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), has said: “Microchipping would give bosses even more power and control over their workers.” A big misconception is that the chip is a tracking device, says Österlund. It isn’t. “We love people to get informed,” says Österlund. “If they’re scared or apprehensive, they can just read up. It’s not used to control you – it’s used to give you control.”

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.