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PSA TEC

PSA Security Network moving dates, location for TEC 2018

Conference relocating to downtown Denver during ski season
 - 
05/24/2017

WESTMINSTER, Colo.—PSA Security Network, a global electronic security cooperative, announced that its PSA TEC conference is moving to the Downtown Denver Sheraton in 2018, from March 11-15. 

PSA TEC wrap-up

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

WESTMINSTER, Colo.—PSA TEC, PSA Security Network’s annual conference in support of its integrators, vendors and members—including ProAV professionals following PSA Security Network’s recent acquisition of USAV and CI Edge—provided some valuable education and networking, including some important takeaways for attendees.

In addition to training and certification opportunities from manufacturers as well as from SIA, ASIS and CompTIA, this year’s educational program touched on many of the top trends in the industry today, from the cloud, biometrics and IoT to robots, drones and data analytics.

One of the big themes for the show this year was cybersecurity, which the PSA Security Network has “taken a leading position on,” according to president and CEO Bill Bozeman, who pointed out that PSA has put a lot of time, effort and money into providing resources, education and support for members on this increasingly important topic. Bozeman noted that PSA Security Network’s cybersecurity committee has made “great strides in just this past year.”

This year’s keynote, Matthew Rosenquist, cybersecurity strategist for Intel Corporation, in his presentation “Cybersecurity Risks and Recommendations—Where Your Focus Needs to Be,” provided a nice launching point for many of the day’s cybersecurity sessions and discussions.

Rosenquist pointed out, “Ten years ago we weren’t having this discussion,” noting that today it is absolutely imperative that the security industry has these cyber discussions, as “physical security and cyber have converged.”

He told integrators in the audience that as much as there are risks as well as challenges in preventing and combatting cyber threats, there are also “opportunities here” to provide services to protect both physical security and cybersecurity. IT professionals, including CIOs and CTOs, he noted, now have great influence over security matters and decisions and have much more in terms of budget and funding, so getting IT at the table with security folks is key.

In the “State of the Industry” session, Bozeman told integrators, “We need to figure out how to sell cyber,” pointing out the goal is to provide—similar to what is available on the physical security side—“a set of services for cyber that integrators can sell.”

The State of the Industry session was moderated by Bozeman with a panel that included keynote speaker Rosenquist as well as Gunvir Baveja, CEO, eVigilant Security, David Sylvester, founder and president, 3SE, and Chuck Wilson, executive director, NSCA.

In addition to cybersecurity, the group looked at the impact of third party managed services businesses on the industry.

“This is a new problem for us,” Wilson said, adding that these companies often come in after the project is done to offer managed services. He noted it is important “to grab that service contract early on” in the project.

Baveja said that his company offers the first year free to ensure that they get the service contract, noting that he has found that by using that approach “95- to 98 percent will sign a monthly maintenance contract.”

“As the integrator on the project, you already have your foot in the door,” added Sylvester, providing integrators with an advantage over third party companies in regard to offering a service contract. “Even cyber, too,” he said.

Getting back to cybersecurity, and ways in which integrators can sell these services, Baveja, whose company has a division devoted to cybersecurity, confirmed what Rosenquist said during his keynote—that more and more security procurement decisions are being made by IT professionals, the CIOs, for example. “It is important to get the CSO and the CIO at the same table during a project,” he said.

This topic of “selling cyber” also came up during the session, “Providing Cyber Ready Solutions and Services for Successful Lifecycle Project Implementation,” which was presented by a PSA Security Network cross-committee panel that included PSA cybersecurity committee chair Andrew Lanning, co-founder, Integrated Security Technologies; PSA project management chair Robert Flynn, senior VP, operations, Aronson Security Group; PSA sales and marketing committee chair Sharon Shaw, client development manager, Tech Systems, Inc.; and PSA technical committee member Chris Peckham, SVP, CTO and special projects, Kratos Public Safety & Security Solutions, Inc.

Lanning pointed out that the committee has “come a long way in the past year” creating resources, improving processes, but he asked, “Where is the ROI? How can we monetize the value we can bring?”

He said that the “cross-pollination between committees” is helping to identify the value that integrators can bring to the cyber discussion, including providing guidance and services.

“Where do you want to play?” Lanning asked the packed room. “With the government and military, they require it [cybersecurity],” he noted, pointing out that in many cases, depending on what vertical a company works in, there are compliance standards that are regulated. “The demand is there and many clients are unknowledgeable but open to discuss,” he said, noting that he “bundles cyber with our other services.”

Peckham added, “Offer good, better, best; the value proposition is there—we just need to sell it.”

Peckham pointed out that an often-overlooked aspect in the cyber discussion is employee education and training, which can include mandatory online training courses, in-house discussions and memos, even signs around the office. “Preventive measures are key in the workplace,” he said.

Shaw added that she finds that people often need something they can relate to before it really sinks in. “Storytelling—giving examples and sharing occurrences—is very effective,” she said. “Educate clients on their risks, including offering penetration testing.”

The panel also agreed that the onus is partially on the manufacturers, which “aren’t hardening products the way they should,” said Flynn. He noted that many within the industry have their “head in the sand” on cybersecurity, which “needs to be addressed from sales to service.”

During the State of the Industry, the panel got into the need for insurance on the cybersecurity side of things. Many on the panel agreed that coverage varies greatly from company to company, with Baveja pointing out, “Insurance companies are just trying to figure things out right now.”

Rosenquist noted, “The insurance companies don’t have it figured out because actuary data is not available. There is no predictability as attacks change constantly.” He also said that coverage costs—as well as what is covered for the same project/job—can vary dramatically. “Even the application process varies wildly,” he said, from a one-page application to one that can be upwards of 100 pages.

Bottom line: Expect your customers to ask for it.

The State of the Industry panel also agreed that this is a good time to be in the industry, which will continue to see a 6- to 8 percent annual growth rate moving forward, aided greatly by a booming construction market that includes increased technology infrastructure building and growth in the U.S.

To ensure that integrators continue to stay profitable, PSA Security Network provided an informative panel presentation called “PSA Financial and Operational Metrics.” Nadim Sawaya, principal, EPC, has worked closely with PSA to help provide useful metrics that integrators can take home and start using right away. He went through some of the highlights and important aspects of a 70-page document that the PSA Security Network created as a resource for integrators.

All and all, PSA TEC was a great event, from the educational sessions, training and networking to the vendor awards, sponsor hospitality suites and trade show portion on Wednesday that featured more than 100 exhibitors in an intimate setting.

For those looking to next year, PSA TEC is changing its location and dates. PSA TEC 2018 will be at the Downtown Denver Sheraton from March 11-15.