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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, March 25, 2020

These are very strange and trying times we are living in. With many of us working from home, including sheltering in place and even self-quarantining for some, focusing on what matters most — family and health — is the real priority right now. But balancing staying safe and healthy with trying to sustain a business during these economically devastating times has become a major challenge for many security integrators, dealers and manufacturers, as the current crisis has turned everything, in the blink of an eye, on its head. We are all just trying to find our way day by day during this terrible, and at times frightening, new normal — post coronavirus outbreak.

In terms of the impact on the security industry already, overwhelming response to the SSN News Poll, which is still open, shows that companies are being severely affected. For example, preliminary results of the poll show that approximately 80 percent of respondents are being negatively affected financially because of the coronavirus, with 40 percent saying, “Yes, greatly,” and another 40 percent saying, “somewhat.” Another 80 percent said that their company’s supply chain has been impacted.

“While the economy may return in 6 months or less, the issue for the security industry is much larger,” said one respondent. “We are a finish contractor and projects need to be in finish stage for us to really make our money. The delays in projects and no new projects bidding is just going to hurt that much more and for much longer.”

Another noted, “Incoming calls for new systems and service calls have dropped off greatly. Some suppliers are not shipping product, and if they are the shipments are severely delayed.”

While commercial demand is significantly impacted, as companies limit access to business locations, another respondent pointed out, “Demand from residential customers, both for new activations and service appears to be steady.”

A call to action
While a crisis of this magnitude many times brings out the worst in us — hoarding toilet paper and hand sanitizers comes to mind — it also brings out the best in us, including the response by the security industry as a whole, which has been tremendous. The industry, including the Security Industry Association (SIA), the Electronic Security Association (ESA) and The Monitoring Association (TMA), is coming together to ensure that security professionals have the resources and support they need to help them get through these difficult times. SIA also created a COVID-19 and busintess continuity resurces page here, and ESA created one here.

In partnership with hundreds of industry executives, SIA, ESA and TMA are calling state leadership to ensure that essential emergency services are not suspended or impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. They have partnered to circulate a letter drawing state public safety leaders’ attention to the essential emergency services provided by electronic security, fire, life safety and monitoring companies and ensure that those who depend on them are not adversely impacted during the evolving situation with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter, which has already garnered more than 450 signatures from industry CEOs, company owners and leaders, highlights the critical functions of alarm response centers for monitoring, saving first responder resources, alerting businesses to potential break-ins or troubles, monitoring and notifying customers of health emergencies, following industry standard best practices and more.

The letter’s two requests for state leaders are to:
•    Ensure that government policy reflects that companies providing essential emergency services and field service and dispatch remain operational.
•    Provide an exemption for electronic security, monitoring and life safety services as essential services in any shelter-in-place, quarantine or similar order.

SIA is continuing to collect signatures from executives at firms in the security industry. To add your firm to the letter, please email SIA CEO Don Erickson at [email protected] and affirm your consent to sign.

Security’s role "essential"
The purpose of the letter is to ensure that recent federal guidance becomes state and local policy, specifically the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.

Recently published guidelines from CISA and U.S. Department of Homeland Security provide “identification of essential critical infrastructure workers during COVID-19 response.” While these guidelines are not a mandate to state and local jurisdictions, SIA, ESA and TMA noted that “they do provide strategic guidance toward the unified effort to maintain the nation’s critical infrastructure, and as such we believe these guidelines serve an important role as communities respond with executive and legislative action.”

The list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” identified by CISA and important to our industry includes:
•    Workers supporting communications systems and information technology used by law enforcement, public safety, medical, energy and other critical industries;
•    Maintenance of communications infrastructure, including privately owned and maintained communication systems supported by technicians, operators, call centers, wireline and wireless providers, cable service providers, satellite operations, undersea cable landing stations, internet exchange points and manufacturers and distributors of communications equipment;
•    Installation, maintenance and repair technicians that establish, support or repair service as needed;
•    Workers who support command centers, including but not limited to network operations command centers, broadcast operations control centers and security operations command centers;
•    Data center operators, including system administrators, HVAC and electrical engineers, security personnel, IT managers, data transfer solutions engineers, software and hardware engineers and database administrators; and
•    Dispatchers involved with service repair and restoration

Help is on the way?
As I write this Congress is in the process of passing H.R. 6201, a bill that will provide economic stimulus and relief to the American workforce impacted by COVID-19. Some of the key provisions that will impact the business operations of security professionals include tax credits for employers, employee paid leave and unemployment insurance. Some key provisions include:

•    $500 billion to back loans and assistance to companies. Any company receiving a loan would be subject to a ban on stock buybacks through the term of the loan, plus one year. Executive bonuses would also be limited.
•    $350 billion to aid small businesses.
•    Direct payments to Americans of $1,200 for each adult and $500 for each child, with income limitations.
•    Unemployment insurance would be extended to four (4) months and bolstered by $600 weekly, with expanded coverage for more workers displaced by the coronavirus.

Click here for SIA’s detailed rundown of provisions in the bill that impact security professionals.

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, March 4, 2020

With data privacy and security issues making the headlines on almost a daily basis — from the collection and handling of biometric data to securing identities in a digitally connected world — it was interesting to read the findings on ADT’s recent privacy survey showing that respondents want protection but lack knowledge on the topic.

The survey, conducted by YouGov of 1,230 U.S. consumers during December 2019, found that 92 percent of respondents feel smart home security companies need to take measures to protect customers’ personal data and information.

However, while concerns around privacy are high, more than 40 percent of those surveyed admit they don’t feel knowledgeable on the topic. ADT pointed out that the smart home security industry has the opportunity to provide leadership and guidance in this area to maintain consumer trust and promote responsible data privacy practices within the industry.

“ADT released the first Internet-connected smart home security platform in 2010, and we’ve consistently taken great care to protect and connect our customers in the most secure ways possible, using leading industry standards and best practices to guard their data, privacy and personal information,” ADT President and CEO Jim DeVries said in the announcement. “Where there is consumer confusion about privacy, we as an industry must work to reduce that confusion so consumers can be confident that the products and services we provide to help keep them safe can be trusted. With that trust in place, there can be greater peace of mind.”

According to ADT, the explosion of the smart home device category ushered in scores of new manufacturers and brands that may have put convenience before user privacy. However, the ADT consumer privacy opinion survey revealed consumers are now aware of and concerned about privacy as it relates to smart home devices with the top concerns reported to be hacking (75 percent) followed by government spying on in-home smart cameras (53 percent) and smart speakers (52 percent).

The survey also uncovered that when it comes to how personal information is shared, consumers tend to be more concerned about how governments (89 percent) and companies (93 percent) share their personal information than they are about how they share their own personal information on social media (86 percent). And, despite acknowledging the importance of privacy protocols, most consumers don’t use privacy measures available to them. In fact, fewer than 40 percent of survey respondents reported having any data privacy measures in place at all.

“These consumer privacy opinion survey findings validate the work we’ve been doing as an industry over the past year to create a set of guiding principles, designed to help protect customer privacy and trust in the security industry and member companies, and to unify ourselves around them,” said ADT Chief Privacy Officer Frank Cona.

In an effort to bring greater awareness to this issue, ADT started the Consumer Privacy Initiative, an industry-level initiative that began last year to unite the smart home security industry and produce clear guiding principles and best practices for how security providers manage consumer data and protect their privacy. Participants, including producers of security products and security related software, implementers and other service providers, and industry associations, joined together during the past year to develop a baseline of industry-wide guiding principles for consumer privacy, with input from consumer advocates.

This coming together of industry leaders is good to see, as they understand that the first step toward enlightenment is through awareness and education.

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, February 12, 2020

As I fly back home after an incredible four days in NOLA, highlights from our inaugural and highly successful SecurityNext conference, held Feb. 9-11 at the Royal Sonesta hotel on Bourben Street, keep dancing through my head. As someone who loves music and is inspired by those who learn to hone their craft and share their talents with others, it was a sheer pleasure to soak in the sights, sounds and heartbeat of N’awlins … as they say here.

With sounds of trumpets and trombones permeating the air and drifting into the hotel and session and meeting spaces, it was also a sheer pleasure to hear some the top thought leaders in our industry, who have honed their craft within security, share their talents and ideas with others.

From the opening networking reception on Sunday evening to the closing tour of the NOLA Real Time Crime Center, attendees were treated to a comprehensive learning, networking — and absolutely fun and exciting — conference experience, evidenced by the overwhelmingly positive evaluations from attendees. In fact, almost all said they would recommend the conference to others and would be coming back next year.

“If you want to be a part of this industry’s future, you must attend SecurityNext,” said Andrew Lanning, Integrated Security Technology cofounder and 2019 recipient of the Security Industry Association’s Jay Hauhn Award.

Mike King, manager, hosted video for Axis Communications said, “A must attend for companies wanting to understand the next major shift in the security industry.”

Some of the highlights of SecurityNext 2020 include:
•    An opening welcome reception that gave attendees a chance to connect, network and plan for fun nights out on the town in preparation for a full two days of learning.
•    Two keynotes, including Intel’s Global GM for IoT Solutions Sameer Sharma, and NOLA Real-time Crime Center IT Manager George Barlow Brown.
•    Comprehensive education program including six panel discussions and five presentations featuring 29 speakers who are top thought leaders in security today.
•    The “40 under 40” Award Reception on Monday evening, sponsored by the Security Industry Association, that celebrated the class of 2019 winners, including integrator, consultant and end users.
•    The first-ever Legend Award ceremony for inaugural recipients Bill Bozeman and Jim Henry, presented by Andrew Lanning (to Bozeman) and ESIConvergent’s Pierre Bourgeix (to Henry).
•    A tabletop exhibit room highlighting the latest security technologies, products and services, from cloud and data analytics to machine learning and AI.
•    A tour of NOLA’s Real-time Crime Center given by day two keynote George Barlow Brown.

Check back to our site in the coming days and weeks as we provide more in-depth coverage of all the exciting things that happened at SecurityNext 2020!

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, February 5, 2020

The influence of the smart home on security is well documented, as consumer awareness of what is available in the home, from security to home automation to energy savings, continues to drive the purchase of smart home and security products, services and support.

The latest research on the smart home shows the U.S. is leading a global smart home market that is estimated to climb from $91 billion this year to $158 billion by 2024, growing at a CAGR of 15 percent in the next four years, according to data gathered by PreciseSecurity.com. Moreover, household penetration will climb from 9.3 percent this year to 19.3 percent by 2024.

Houseowners worldwide will spend $19.4 billion on security systems this year, with smart security cameras and smart locks as the leading products. This amount is expected to double and reach $35.6 billion value in the next four years. The number of active households in the security segment is forecast to hit 196.9 million by 2024.

Analyzed by geography, the U.S. is the largest smart home market in the world with $27.6 billion in revenue this year, followed by China at $20.8 billion, Germany and the United Kingdom at $4.8 billion and Japan at $4.7 billion.

The report noted that the global smart-home ecosystem is set to continue its rapid expansion mostly due to the speed of 5G implementation, as well as recent IoT investments by Google, Apple and Amazon, which have “transformed the landscape noticeably, providing opportunities for various companies.”

Interestingly, the 2020 data show that one-third of smart home device owners are Millennials.

Divided by categories, smart appliances generate the most significant share of the overall market income. Global consumers are forecast to spend $21.5 billion this year on devices they can connect to smartphones or tablets for better control, convenience and information. This segment of the market is expected to jump to $39.6 billion by 2024.

With $21.1 billion profit in 2020, control and connectivity devices represent the second most popular consumer choice.

The energy management solutions are forecast to generate $7.2 billion income this year and jump to $12.4 billion by 2024.

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, January 29, 2020

I always liked the proverb, “see the forest for the trees,” as it speaks to a phenomenon that happens far too often these days in society — not seeing the bigger picture because we are so focused on the minutia of the day.

With thousands of security professionals converging on Las Vegas for ISC West, March 17-21, and hustling and bustling around to the millions of appointments and meetings, closing deals and making the almighty dollar, I feel that many times, we can't see the forest for the trees.

For the purposes of this rant, the forest, or the bigger picture, is the responsibility we each have to give back to an industry that has given us so much.

And, what is amazing about ISC West is the abundance of opportunities to give back, individually or on a corporate level, with either time or money.

One organization in particular, Mission 500, is really making it easy for individuals and companies to give back by participating in the 11th Annual Mission 500 5k/2k charity event.

The Security 5k/2k fundraiser at ISC West 2020 will be held on Thursday, March 19th, at 2601 East Sunset Road, in Las Vegas, Nev., and will benefit children and families in need across the United States. Registration to participate in this year’s event is open and can be accessed by visiting www.security5kreg.com. For those who are unable to attend or participate in the physical event, you can sign up and donate as a virtual runner or walker.

“2020 marks our eleventh year hosting the Security 5k/2k and we want to thank all of the previous participants and sponsors who have made the last 10 years a tremendous success,” said Tom Nolan, director of Strategic Partnerships, Mission 500. “We can’t wait for this year’s event and hope to meet a wide array of new security industry participants, reconnect with prior ones, and have a great time while supporting this worthwhile cause.”

The Security 5K/2K is a joint collaboration organized by United Publications, the publisher of Security Systems News, ISC Events and Mission 500. To become a sponsor of the Security 5k/2k event, please click here or contact Tom Nolan via email at [email protected].

Confirmed charter sponsors include Alarm.com, Altronix Corporation, Axis Communications, Bosch Security Systems, BRINKS Home Security, CMAC, COPS Monitoring, Dahua Technology, DMP, Freeman, Galaxy Control Systems, HID Global, Hikvision, LENSEC, LRG Marketing Communications, Milestone Systems, Napco Starlink, PSA Security Network, Safety Technology International, Inc. and ZKTeco USA.

As Nolan points out, the goal is get more people and companies involved and increase the amount of money raised each year. Last year, Mission 500 was able to raise more than $145,000 with the event, and with your help we can surpass that number this year.

Here’s hoping you see the forest for the trees.

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, January 8, 2020

The recent cyberattack on the city of New Orleans is another sobering example of how vulnerable we are as a nation to cyber criminals. Even for cities like New Orleans, which was prepared for such an attack, there is an incredible amount of time and effort and cost that goes into getting a city back up on its feet after such an incident.

Following the New Orleans attack, a report on the State of Ransomware in the U.S., created by cybersecurity research firm Emsisoft, was rushed to be released ahead of its original Jan. 1 2020 release date because, as researchers pointed out, the New Orleans incident “elevates the ransomware threat to crisis level. Governments must act immediately to improve their security and mitigate risks. If they do not, it is likely that similar incidents will also result in the extremely sensitive information which governments hold being stolen and leaked.”

By releasing the report early, the company hopes it will help “kickstart discussions and enable solutions to be found sooner rather than later. Those solutions are desperately needed.”

Looking at the numbers on ransomware, they are pretty mind numbing, as in 2019 the U.S. was hit by “an unprecedented and unrelenting barrage of ransomware attacks that impacted at least 966 government agencies, educational establishments and healthcare providers at a potential cost in excess of $7.5 billion,” according to Emsisoft.

The impacted organizations included:
•    113 state and municipal governments and agencies;
•    764 healthcare providers; and
•    89 universities, colleges and school districts, with operations at up to 1,233 individual schools potentially affected.

The incidents were not simply expensive inconveniences, according to the report, which noted that the disruption they caused put people’s health, safety and lives at risk. For example:
•    Emergency patients had to be redirected to other hospitals;
•    Medical records were inaccessible and, in some cases, permanently lost;
•    Surgical procedures were canceled, tests were postponed and admissions halted;
•    911 services were interrupted;
•    Dispatch centres had to rely on printed maps and paper logs to keep track of emergency responders in the field;
•    Police were locked out of background check systems and unable to access details about criminal histories or active warrants;
•    Surveillance systems went offline;
•    Badge scanners and building access systems ceased to work;
•    Jail doors could not be remotely opened; and
•    Schools could not access data about students’ medications or allergies.

“The fact that there were no confirmed ransomware-related deaths in 2019 is simply due to good luck, and that luck may not continue into 2020,” Emsisoft CTO Fabian Wosar said in the report. “Governments and the health and education sectors must do better. ”

Other effects of the incidents included:
•    Property transactions were halted;
•    Utility bills could not be issued;
•    Grants to nonprofits were delayed by months;
•    Websites went offline;
•    Online payment portals were inaccessible;
•    Email and phone systems ceased to work;
•    Driver’s licenses could not be issued or renewed;
•    Payments to vendors were delayed;
•    Schools closed;
•    Students’ grades were lost; and
•    Tax payment deadlines had to be extended.

In looking at how unprepared local governments are, a 2019 University of Maryland, Baltimore County research report based on data from a nationwide survey of cybersecurity in U.S. local governments, stated that, “Serious barriers to their practice of cybersecurity include a lack of cybersecurity preparedness within these governments and funding for it,” and that “Local governments as a whole do a poor job of managing their cybersecurity.”

The issues identified included:
•    Just over one-third did not know how frequently security incidents occurred, and nearly two-thirds did not know how often their systems were breached;
•    Only minorities of local governments reported having a very good or excellent ability to detect, prevent, and recover from events that could adversely affect their systems; and
•    Fewer than half of respondents said that they cataloged or counted attacks.

In some cases, governments failed to implement even the most basic of IT best practices, the report noted. For example, Baltimore experienced data loss because data resided only on end-user systems for which there was no backup mechanism in place.

According to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County's research, more than 50 percent of governments identified “lack of funding” as a barrier to cybersecurity and this is almost certainly an issue in the education and healthcare sectors, too. “Resolving the problem may simply require that organizations reallocate their existing budgets, or it may require that additional funding be provided either by federal or state government. In either case, it is an issue that must be addressed,” researchers concluded.
   
While 966 government agencies, educational establishments and healthcare providers were impacted by ransomware in 2019, the report noted that not a single bank disclosed a ransomware incident.

“This is not because banks are not targeted,” researchers noted. “It is because they have better security and so attacks against them are less likely to be successful. If government agencies were simply to adhere to industry-standard best practices — such as ensuring all data is backed up and using multi-factor authentication everywhere that it should be used — that alone would be sufficient to reduce the number of successful attacks, their severity and the disruption that they cause.”
 
As Wosar pointed out, “2020 need not be a repeat of 2019. Proper levels of investment in people, processes and IT would result in significantly fewer ransomware incidents and those incidents which did occur would be less severe, less disruptive and less costly.”
 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Security convergence has emerged as one of the most discussed and debated topics over the past few years in security, becoming a theme and backdrop that enters into, and many times, dictates conversations among top thought leaders in the industry today.

That is why I was excited to dive into new research from the ASIS Foundation, which just published its State of Security Convergence in the United States, Europe and India.

What I like about a study like this is it gives the industry a way to measure where we are in this security convergence movement, which is also part of what is being described by many outside and within security as the digital transformation.

Interestingly, although many are talking about “convergence,” ASIS found that only 24 percent of study respondents have converged their physical and cybersecurity functions. When business continuity is included, a total of 52 percent have converged two or all of the three functions. Of the 48 percent who have not converged at all, 70 percent have no current plans to converge.

“For years, security practitioners have accepted that organizations are increasingly converging their physical security and cybersecurity functions,” said Brian Allen, CPP, president, ASIS Foundation Board of Trustees. “This study collected current data to measure trends and progress with converging environments. What we’ve learned is that, although convergence has brought positive results, there is still much work to be done.”

Not surprisingly, the study found that security convergence produces tangible positive benefits, with 96 percent of organizations that converged two or more functions (physical, cyber and/or BCM) reporting positive results from the combination, and 72 percent saying that convergence strengthens overall security. In addition, 44 percent of converged organizations report no negative results from converging. Even in companies that have not converged, 78 percent believe that convergence would strengthen their overall security function.

While saving money is not the primary motivation for convergence, a key driver and benefit of convergence is the desire to better align security strategy with corporate goals, ASIS noted in the executive summary. When asked, “which of the following factors might convince you to converge?” the number one answer cited by 38 percent of those who had not yet converged was “better alignment of security/risk management strategy with corporate goals.” This was also considered the most positive benefit by 40 percent of the respondents that already converged two or more functions, the study found.

Interestingly, the main barriers to convergence were “turf and silo issues,” said one survey respondent. “Everyone wanted to safeguard his responsibilities, his people, his budget, his prestige and his importance to the company.”

Using survey responses from more than 1,000 security leaders from around the globe — plus more than 20 follow-up interviews — the study analyzes the relationship between physical security, cybersecurity and business continuity in modern organizations. It provides relevant benchmarks to compare strategies, plans and operations and determine best practices for creating more effective and cost-efficient security and risk operations.

The study’s executive summary is available free here. The full report is available here for purchase and is complimentary for all ASIS members.

Supported by member and corporate donations, the ASIS Foundation invests in elevating security practice through research and education. The Foundation awarded more than 170 scholarships in 2019 totaling more than $75,000.

by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, December 4, 2019

ISC East 2019, held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City Nov. 20-21, continued to build on the positive momentum and growth it has experienced over the past few years, bringing more than 7,600 security and public safety professionals — up 6 percent from 2018 — together to discuss new trends and solutions, to celebrate industry successes and leaders and better define the roadmap for security moving forward.

The 2019 event welcomed 350 leading security brands, including more than 100 new companies and brands, covering 130 security product categories. Activity on the show floor was brisk with good traffic and networking going on throughout both days and many exhibitors commenting that they were pleased with the quantity — and quality — of security professionals in attendance.

Will Wise, group vice president, Reed Exhibitions, told SSN before and during the conference that he is excited to see all of ISC and SIA’s hard work translate into continued growth of the show.
  
“We have been working hard the last 4-5 years to really infuse more innovation and continue to drive growth and momentum into ISC East,” Wise told SSN. “ISC East has been on a nice growth trajectory, especially the last few years, even making the Trade Show Executives Fastest 50 Growing Events list the last couple of years.”

He continued, “There has been a lot of good work in regard to better content, growing the exhibitor list, which this year was at approximately 350 exhibitors (up from about 280 in 2018) — a huge uptick versus 3-4 years ago. When you have better content, more exhibitors with an even more diverse number of solutions, those are all add up to a great recipe for success.”

Mary Beth Shaughnessy, event director for ISC Security Events, also noted that ISC East has been on the upswing for the past few years and continues to grow. "This year kicked into a new level of success, with expanded product offerings and content, we’ve secured the spot as the largest Northeast converged security Show. Education tracks were created to provide attendees with greater opportunity to connect and learn with their cross-functional security & public safety industry peers both on the IT and Physical security side of their organization. Attendees left the Show with the insights and knowledge needed to defend and protect against new and emerging threats.”

Wise pointed out that the show also benefitted from co-locating for the second year with Infosecurity ISACA North America, and from the increased relationship with ASIS NYC Chapter, which officially supported ISC East this year and will continue to expand the partnership next year, he said.

ISC East, in collaboration with Premier Sponsor the Security Industry Association (SIA), also featured a SIA [email protected] East program with more than 20 complimentary sessions with practical and in-depth content on converged security, cybersecurity, computer vision & AI, physical security and more.

Wise shared with SSN the Top 5 ISC East Breakout Sessions:
•    We Sneak Into High Security Buildings and Get Paid For it;
•    AI for Video Surveillance: Technology Overview and Future Directions;
•    Video Analytics: The Next Advance in Secure Access Control;
•    Implementing Converged Security, a Process - Bringing it All Together; and
•    Achieving Comprehensive Facility Security

Additionally, the SIA [email protected] East program offered two prominent female Keynote Speakers for the first time at ISC East — Deanne Criswell, commissioner of the New York City Emergency Management Department, and Angela Stubblefield, chief of staff at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“The 2019 SIA [email protected] East program was a great success, with enthusiastic attendees taking part in our education sessions, engaging keynotes and hands-on workshops covering cutting-edge topics like the drone security policy landscape, technologies driving smart cities and IoT security at the edge," said SIA CEO Don Erickson. “Additionally, industry leaders gathered at SIA’s Return on Security breakfast to learn how solutions providers find business benefits beyond security, and the SIA Women in Security Forum hosted a dynamic breakfast and discussion on achieving true diversity and inclusiveness in the security workforce.”

In addition to the busy expo floor, engaging sessions and keynotes and special events, one of the highlights for ISC East, as it is each year, is SIA Honors Night, where the who’s who of the industry gathered to celebrate SIA’s 50th anniversary and honor some of the movers and shakers in the industry.

SSN was honored to be in attendance and extends our congratulations to Honors Night award recipients:
•    George R. Lippert Memorial Award: Steve Van Till, co-founder, president and CEO, Brivo;
•    Jay Hauhn Excellence in Partnerships Award: Andrew Lanning, co-founder, Integrated Security Technologies;
•    Insightful Practitioner Award: George Anderson, director of World Trade Center security for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey;
•    SIA Progress Award: Maureen Carlo, director of strategic alliances, North America, BCDVideo; and
•    Mission 500 Partner Innovation Award: Jeff Gardner, president and CEO, Brinks Home.

SIA also honored Sandra Jones, founder of Sandra Jones and Co. (SJ&Co), who announced her retirement after 45 years in the security industry. Jones has been a pioneering spirit in the industry, serving as a mentor to many and giving back to the industry, most prominently helping lead the Security Industry Association for nearly 40 years.

Overall, ISC East continues its resurgence as the top security show in the Northeast, providing a unique experience that you can’t find at ISC West, for example.

“One of the ways that ISC East has been able to differentiate itself from ISC West is taking on characteristics and personality of the NYC-area and overall Northeast market for security and public safety, which as we know, is a massive market with urgencies for security and safety,” Wise said. “Our attendee data shows a less than 10 percent overlap of attendees with East versus West, which is really good, as we are providing a unique audience for exhibitors.”

ISC East 2020 will take place Nov. 18-19, 2020 at its continued home base, New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Center.

 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Per Mar Security Services, parent company to Midwest Alarm Services and a provider of total security solutions for residential and commercial clients based in Davenport, Iowa, recently acquired NECO Security based in Lincoln, Neb. The deal brings more than a half century’s worth of business and expertise into the Per Mar family.

Founded by Don Nielsen in 1957, NECO Security specializes in residential and commercial burglar and fire alarm systems in the Lincoln area. Nelson said that after 63 years in the Fire Alarm/Security industry, he is excited about “a new season” for the Nielsen family

“After careful thought and consideration, as our customers are of utmost importance, we have selected Per Mar as our successor,” Nielsen said. “Per Mar has a UL Listed, FM Approved, TMA 5 Diamond Certified Central Monitoring Center, and offers an expanded range of services to our customers. In addition, Per Mar’s company, Midwest Alarm Services, is a Premier Notifier Distributor … thus completing the perfect fit.”

Brian Duffy, COO of Per Mar Security Services, is equally excited to continue the tradition that NECO has built over the past 62 years.

“The Nielsen family has built a great company in Lincoln through years of hard work and excellent service,” he said. “We are honored that they are placing their trust in us to be stewards of the business.”

NECO Security’s Project Manager, Bill Thomas, and their technicians will be joining Midwest Alarm Services, serving customers out of Per Mar and Midwest Alarm Services local Lincoln, Neb. office.

“We are excited to have NECO Security join our organization,” said Midwest Alarm Services President Doug Richard. “NECO and Midwest Alarm Services were two of the original Notifier dealers in the U.S. The NECO team will be a great cultural fit as they have been working together for decades and have a customer first mentality. We are looking forward to working with them to continue to deliver the best service in the industry.”

by: Paul Ragusa - Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Research from Parks Associates shows that over the past six years, self-installed home security systems are gaining momentum, slowly, but traction no less, over professionally installed systems. Recent research from Parks found 51 percent of security system owners who acquired their security system in the past 12 months self-installed it. This is up from only 10 percent of security system owners who acquired their system six or more years ago. Additionally, 88 percent of self-installers report the set up was easy or very easy for them.

“New DIY security solutions entering the market are designed from the ground up to be self-installed by the consumer, so they are designed to deliver a smooth, painless experience on installation and setup,” Dina Abdelrazik, senior analyst, Parks Associates explained in the announcement. “These solutions seek to appeal to households unmoved by traditional, self-installed security systems. Value propositions, such as security and peace-of-mind, have always appealed to a broad base of consumers, so as DIY products evolve to deliver an easy, off-the-shelf experience, security adoption will start to crack the 70 percent of households that do not have and do not plan to acquire a security system.”

This discussion will continue at CONNECTIONS Summit at CES, a one-day executive summit that focuses on the best business models and value propositions in the Internet of Things (IoT), the smart home, and connected and mobile CE and services, during the session “Disruption in Home Security: Smart Home Convergence.”

The CONNECTIONS Summit, hosted by Parks Associates, will be held in Las Vegas on Jan. 7, 2020. Attendees will experience panel discussions, commentaries, insights and debates delivered by leaders from companies in the IoT and smart home space geared toward helping companies build new revenues and innovative business models. Sessions include “Smart Home and IoT: Health and Wellness Applications;” “Smart Home & Interoperability: Expanding Ease of Use;” “Smart Home Platforms: Unlocking Consumer Value,” and more.

The following professionals will be speaking during this session: Naveen Chhangani, VP, product and services, Arlo Technologies; Vera Tzoneva, head of assistant distribution partnerships, Google; Andrew Voyantes, GM of installed solutions, Ring; and Matt Wolf, head of partnerships, SimpliSafe.

“Over the past decade of keeping people’s homes and businesses safe, we’ve seen that more and more consumers want solutions that fit their lives without compromising on security and privacy protections,” Wolf said.

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