Since the breakup of the caliphate in Syria, the terrorist threat has evolved as extremists now remain in their home countries and look to launch attacks from inside their borders.

This has presented those tasked with protecting nations, businesses and the public with new challenges as security forces constantly fight to stay one step ahead of the threat. 10,123 visitors, 71 international delegations and 304 exhibitors made UK Security Week at Olympia, London, the most successful ever.

Security & Counter Terror Expo (SCTX), again featured leading forensics show Forensics Europe Expo, Ambition – the event for the emergency preparedness, resilience & response (EPRR) community – and for the first time, the People Movement and Management show.

Covering over 13,000 sqm, the show is the largest national security event in the UK, enabling 304 companies to showcase their latest products, technologies and services alongside 10 conferences, 2 live demo areas and the world-renowned, World Counter Terror Congress.

The showpiece of this year’s event was the World Counter Terror Congress, which was attended by over 700 VIPs, delegates and high-ranking police officers

The World Counter Terror Congress

David Thompson, Event Director at UK Security Week, commented: “The threat posed by terrorists has never been more diverse from the simplicity of knives and hire vehicles to technologically-advanced cybercriminals. It’s vital that nations, security professionals and the public are fully informed of the most effective methods of protection to mitigate these threats – we specifically tailored this year’s programme to respond to these challenges.

The showpiece of this year’s event was the World Counter Terror Congress, which was attended by over 700 VIPs, delegates and high-ranking police officers and chaired by Richard Barrett, Coordinator of the Al-Qaeda/Taliban monitoring team of the United Nations Security Council.

The event featured world-renowned speakers such as the Metropolitan Police’s Assistant Commissioner, Mark Rowley; Sir Julian King, European Commissioner for the Security Union and Michael McGarrity, Assistant Director of Counterterrorism Division at the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

Detecting and disrupting threats

In Mark Rowley’s final public appearance before retiring, the UK’s national lead for counter terrorism policing, delivered a strategic overview of operations under his command, heavily criticising technology companies for their lack of proactivity in working with the police having failed to make a single direct referral to them about terrorist activity on their sites.

As part of the most international line-up the conference has ever featured, Michael McGarrity, reviewed FBI operations on detecting, deterring and disrupting threats to the United States while Christian Rousseau from the Government of Canda’s Integrated Terrorist Assessment Centre discussed the Canadian approach to the evolving terrorist threat.

SCTX provided a series of free-to-attend conferences focussing on the ever-growing cyber threat, infrastructure, border and transport security

Conferences on cyber threat, transport security

Richard Walton, former Head of the Counter Terrorism Command for the Metropolitan Police Service added: “Extremist propaganda has changed course over the past year, encouraging attacks to be launched from home nations with terrorists opting for crude methods utilising everyday services such as hire vehicles."

"This has led to a whole new set of challenges for security professionals to address in order to prevent attacks and protect the public. Terrorism is a global challenge and it is vital that nations collaborate and work together on a global scale with events such as the World Counter Terror Congress which provides a vital platform for the sharing of best practice and the most effective counter terrorist strategies.

In addition, SCTX provided a series of free-to-attend conferences focussing on the ever-growing cyber threat, infrastructure, border and transport security. Located on the show floor, the sessions were at full capacity on both days, with visitors keen to hear the latest thinking from the industry’s foremost experts.

Protection against cyberattacks

The cyber industry, now worth an estimated £3.4bn, is one of the most rapidly evolving threats facing security professionals today. This year’s Cyber Threat Intelligence Conference, run in association with techUK and sponsored by Genetec and Darktrace, gathered cyber experts from all over the world to discuss how best to protect against cyberattacks whether on individuals, businesses, or governments.

Key speakers included: Sir Julian King, European Commissioner for the Security Union for the European Commission and NATO’s Merle Maigre, Director at the Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. Chairing the conference again this year, Talal Rajab, techUK’s Head of Programme, Cyber, National Security, added: “Every year, we face new and innovative attacks as cybercriminals look to exploit gaps in cyber protection. Now, we’re facing a new challenge in the fight against the dissemination of extremist propaganda online.

Additionally, organisations must adhere to specific requirements with GDPR and the NIS Directive coming into force in May or face serious ramifications. SCTX is the best place to stay on top of the latest developments in the industry and learn about the most effective levels of protection for you and your organisation.

Chemring Technology Solutions announced LORIS, the world’s highest energy radio initiator while BrainChip exhibited its AI video analysis software 

Infrastructure and business protection

The Critical National Infrastructure & Business Reliance conference, sponsored by Surelock McGill and Pelco, brought together security experts in protecting businesses and assets essential for the protection of everyday life. Key speakers included Mr Chris Flynn, Security Operations Lead, Data Security Centre - NHS Digital and Dr Anja von Wulffen, Desk Office, Directorate II Risk Management; International Affairs - Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK).

SCTX saw a record number of product launches at the show this year with companies showcasing the latest, cutting-edge products from across the sector. On day one, Chemring Technology Solutions announced LORIS, the world’s highest energy radio initiator while BrainChip exhibited its AI video analysis software that find faces and objects 20 times more quickly than a human operator.

Catherine Pouret, Project Officer, EU Commission remarked: “We are delighted to be at the show which has been a great experience for us and our beneficiaries. It’s a really productive way of meeting such a diverse mix of people – all in one place. We’ve had some very good leads so far and look forward to doing more at the show next year.

Integrating security solutions

The evolution of recent attacks has led the industry towards a more integrated approach combining capabilities across multiple security verticals. This type of multi-layered solution was demonstrated in action for the first time at SCTX’s Integrated Security Showcase.

Public and private sector buyers, influencers and government delegations from across the globe were guided through the feature to see how different technologies such as facial recognition scanners, blast doors and perimeter fences all work together into an operations control centre. The showcase featured leading suppliers such as: Custom Consoles, Warrior Doors, Chemring Technology Solutions, Technocover. Bosch, BlokNmesh, Hill and Smith, Integrated Design Limited and Harp Visual Systems.

Events like SCTX give us chance to showcase the tools we have available to help companies increase their understanding of the issues and measures they should be taking"

Improving collective security

Detective Chief Superintendent Scott Wilson, National Coordinator for Protective Security, commented: "The current threat from terrorism, both in the UK and internationally, means it is vital police work closely with commercial organisations to improve our collective security. Events like SCTX give us chance to showcase the tools we have available to help companies increase their understanding of the issues and measures they should be taking.

"This year senior officers had the opportunity to meet many leading suppliers and experts working in protective security and this helps our understanding of the important innovations taking place in the sector. We look forward to attending again in 2019."

Counter Terror Awards

This year also played host to the inaugural Counter Terror Awards, run in association with Counter Terror Business magazine and hosted by Sir Michael Fallon. The awards were staged to recognise the efforts of both public and private sector organisations and their contributions to counter terror strategies in the UK and abroad.

Director of award-winner, Audax, Adam Liardet commented: “Having hosted The European Commissioner for Security Union, Sir Julian King, at our stand we were then thrilled to receive the Communications Systems Award at the Counter Terror Awards presented by Sir Michael Fallon.

For an SME to be able to engage at this level, is evidence enough that the Security & Counter Terror Expo provides opportunities and delivers where other events just don’t come close, it will come as no surprise we have already booked for next year.

We introduced many new features this year to ensure that the show remains the UK’s leading national security and counter terror event"

Planning for 2019

Clarion Events announced that the next edition of SCTX will return to London on 5-6 March 2019 for UK Security Week.

Event Director, David Thompson, added: “The 2018 show was our most successful yet and we’re looking to take 2019 to the next stage. We introduced many new features this year to ensure that the show remains the UK’s leading national security and counter terror event and at the forefront of strategic discussion and product innovation. This raised the bar yet again and we’re looking forward to working with our key partners over the coming months to maintain that success into next year’s show.

Download PDF version

In case you missed it

What is the value of remote monitoring systems’ health and operation?
What is the value of remote monitoring systems’ health and operation?

When is it too late to learn that a video camera isn’t working properly? As any security professional will tell you, it’s too late when you find that the system has failed to capture critical video. And yet, for many years, system administrators “didn’t know what they didn’t know.” And when they found out, it was too late, and the system failed to perform as intended. Fortunately, in today’s technology-driven networked environment, monitoring a system’s health is much easier, and a variety of systems can be deployed to ensure the integrity of a system’s operation. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How can remote monitoring of a security system’s health and operation impact integrators and end users?

What is the changing role of training in the security industry?
What is the changing role of training in the security industry?

Even the most advanced and sophisticated security systems are limited in their effectiveness by a factor that is common to all systems – the human factor. How effectively integrators install systems and how productively users interface with their systems both depend largely on how well individual people are trained. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the changing role of training in the security and video surveillance market?

What is AI Face Search? Benefits over facial recognition systems
What is AI Face Search? Benefits over facial recognition systems

When a child goes missing in a large, crowded mall, we have a panicking mom asking for help from the staff, at least a dozen cameras in the area, and assuming the child has gone missing for only 15 minutes, about 3 hours’ worth of video to look through to find the child. Typical security staff response would be to monitor the video wall while reviewing the footage and making a verbal announcement throughout the mall so the staff can keep an eye out for her. There is no telling how long it will take, while every second feels like hours under pressure. As more time passes, the possible areas where the child can be will widen, it becomes more time-consuming to search manually, and the likelihood of finding the child decreases. What if we can avoid all of that and directly search for that particular girl in less than 1 second? Artificial neural networks are improving every day and now enable us to search for a person across all selected camera streamsWith Artificial Intelligence, we can. Artificial neural networks are improving every day and now enable us to search for a person across all selected camera streams in a fraction of a second, using only one photo of that person. The photo does not even have to be a full frontal, passport-type mugshot; it can be a selfie image of the person at a party, as long as the face is there, the AI can find her and match her face with the hundreds or thousands of faces in the locations of interest. The search result is obtained in nearly real time as she passes by a certain camera. Distinguishing humans from animals and statues The AI system continuously analyses video streams from the surveillance cameras in its network, distinguishes human faces from non-human objects such as statues and animals, and much like a human brain, stores information about those faces in its memory, a mental image of the facial features so to speak. When we, the system user, upload an image of the person of interest to the AI system, the AI detects the face(s) in that image along with their particular features, search its memory for similar faces, and shows us where and when the person has appeared. We are in control of selecting the time period (up to days) and place (cameras) to search, and we can adjust the similarity level, i.e., how much a face matches the uploaded photo, to expand or fine-tune the search result according to our need. Furthermore, because the camera names and time stamps are available, the system can be linked with maps to track and predict the path of the person of interest. AI Face Search is not Face Recognition for two reasons: it protects people’s privacy, and it is lightweight Protecting people’s privacy with AI Face Search  All features of face recognition can be enabled by the system user, such as to notify staff members when a person of interest is approaching the store AI Face Search is not Face Recognition for two reasons: it protects people’s privacy, and it is lightweight. First, with AI Face Search, no names, ID, personal information, or lists of any type are required to be saved in the system. The uploaded image can be erased from the system after use, there is no face database, and all faces in the camera live view can be blurred out post-processing to guarantee GDPR compliance. Second, the lack of a required face database, a live view with frames drawn around the detected faces and constant face matching in the background also significantly reduces the amount of computing resource to process the video stream, hence the lightweight. Face Search versus Face Recognition AI Face Search Face Recognition Quick search for a particular person in video footage Identify everyone in video footage Match detected face(s) in video stream to target face(s) in an uploaded image Match detected face(s) in video stream to a database Do not store faces and names in a database Must have a database with ID info Automatically protect privacy for GDPR compliance in public places May require additional paperwork to comply with privacy regulations Lightweight solution Complex solution for large-scale deployment Main use: locate persons of interest in a large area Main use: identify a person who passes through a checkpoint Of course, all features of face recognition can be enabled by the system user if necessary, such as to notify staff members when a person of interest is approaching the store, but the flexibility to not have such features and to use the search tool as a simple Google-like device particularly for people and images is the advantage of AI Face Search.Because Face Search is not based on face recognition, no faces and name identifications are stored Advantages of AI Face Search Artificial Intelligence has advanced so far in the past few years that its facial understanding capability is equivalent to that of a human. The AI will recognise the person of interest whether he has glasses, wears a hat, is drinking water, or is at an angle away from the camera. In summary, the advantages of Face Search: High efficiency: a target person can be located within a few seconds, which enables fast response time. High performance: high accuracy in a large database and stable performance, much like Google search for text-based queries. Easy setup and usage: AI appliance with the built-in face search engine can be customised to integrate to any existing NVR/VMS/camera system or as a standalone unit depending on the customer’s needs. The simple-to-use interface requires minimal training and no special programming skills. High-cost saving: the time saving and ease of use translate to orders of magnitude less manual effort than traditionally required, which means money saving. Scalability: AI can scale much faster and at a wider scope than human effort. AI performance simply relies on computing resource, and each Face Search appliance typically comes with the optimal hardware for any system size depending on the customer need, which can go up to thousands of cameras. Privacy: AI Face Search is not face recognition. For face recognition, there are privacy laws that limits the usage. Because Face Search is not based on face recognition, no faces and name identifications are stored, so Face Search can be used in many public environments to identify faces against past and real-time video recordings. AI Face Search match detected face(s) in video stream to target face(s) in an uploaded image Common use cases of AI Face Search In addition to the scenario of missing child in a shopping mall, other common use cases for the AI Face Search technology include: Retail management: Search, detect and locate VIP guests in hotels, shopping centres, resorts, etc. to promptly attend to their needs, track their behaviour pattern, and predict locations that they tend to visit. Crime suspect: Quickly search for and prove/disprove the presence of suspects (thief, robber, terrorist, etc.) in an incident at certain locations and time. School campus protection: With the recent increase in number of mass shootings in school campuses, there is a need to identify, locate and stop a weapon carrier on campus as soon as possible before he can start shooting. Face Search will enable the authorities to locate the suspect and trace his movements within seconds using multiple camera feeds from different areas on campus. Only one clear image of the suspect’s face is sufficient. In the race of technology development in response to business needs and security concerns, AI Face Search is a simple, lightweight solution for airports, shopping centres, schools, resorts, etc. to increase our efficiency, minimise manual effort in searching for people when incidents occur on site, and actively prevent potential incidents from occurring. By Paul Sun, CEO of IronYun, and Mai Truong, Marketing Manager of IronYun