Original article published by William Pao on asmag.com.
After a one-year hiatus, ISC West held its physical show this year from July 19 – 21. Though smaller in size and attendance, the show still saw exhibitors showcasing their solutions that reflected the latest trends in the US security industry. This note discusses what the exhibitors thought of the market and what they exhibited at the show.
The US economy is recovering quickly now that the worst of the pandemic seems to be over. Businesses are reopening and hiring. According to World Bank forecasts, US GDP is expected to grow 6.8 percent this year, after registering a negative growth of 3.5 percent in 2020.
With the recovery came a proportional rebound of the US security industry. Already, many companies have reported 2021 second quarter and first half growth compared to the same period last year. And according to exhibitors of ISC West, the outlook for the US security industry is bright due to the essential nature of the security business.
“Even though the pandemic is still very much a reality, I believe the US security market will continue to prosper. Many organizations have returned to the office or are using remote and in-office hybrid solutions, and are more interested than ever in upgrading their security infrastructure. While certain sectors may experience a slower recovery, we have been witnessing an increase in budget and sales in the education, enterprise, and healthcare markets,” said Kim Loy, Chief Product Officer of ACRE.
Amid this growth, user needs and requirements for security have become more complex. In particular, COVID-19 has forced enterprises to rethink how they should sustain and optimize operations amid the pandemic. Reports of cyber threats and attacks have also prompted users to take a closer look at the security of their products. That said, the following are some of the latest US security trends cited by ISC West exhibitors and what solutions they offered to respond to those trends.
Cloud is not a new concept per se. But it has gained more popularity among US users due to its scalability, flexibility, security and cost-effectiveness. “From a product segment perspective, we’re seeing a major shift In the move to cloud-based solutions as more organizations look to modernize their network and security infrastructure and remote capabilities,” Loy said. “It’s important to note that both the end-user and integrator can significantly leverage off-premise services. The end-user takes full advantage of the benefits by more easily accessing data from their system at anytime, anywhere. Meanwhile, the integrator enjoys benefits that include remote diagnostics and easy installation, and a new RMR business model. With these improvements, both customer satisfaction and the integrator’s service-related revenue can increase.”
Among the cloud offerings on display at the show was Allegion’s Overtur. “It is a cloud-based environment where project team members can collaborate on the specification, design and construction of door security and openings from anywhere. It provides a centralized place to capture, maintain and verify door hardware requirements and decisions, with easy options to push information to industry-leading tools,” said Brad Aikin, Director of Field Marketing and Training at Allegion.
Unified open platforms are also seeing more adoption. These are not just mere integrations (for example between video and access control), but platforms that combine various technologies to help users achieve better security and operational efficiency.
“With a unified security platform that ties in video surveillance with access control, ALPR, analytics and more, our customers were able to expand the role of physical security to go beyond traditional applications to deliver more value and improve business operations, without requiring massive investments,” said Kyle Hurt, Senior Director of Sales for USA at Genetec.
Taylor cited Identiv’s Velocity Vision platform as an example. “Velocity Vision is our new unified, open-platform VMS that provides data-enabled security and real-time visual intelligence in a single pane of glass. The solutions allows for complete situational awareness and faster threat response, reduces the gap between siloed systems, and by seamlessly integrating with Hirsch Velocity software, makes it easier to connect external systems and data for use in dashboards, maps and investigations,” he said.
Reopening in the New Normal
Also on display were solutions that help US businesses reopen. “We are showcasing solutions that can help organizations securely improve operations and return to the office with peace of mind, including: A new Office Manager module for Security Center that empowers users to modernize operations and safely return to in-person work. It provides insights that show how office space is being used, and how it can be optimized,” Hurt said. “A screening solution powered by Genetec Mission Control, the company’s decision management system, helps automate the screening process for employees and visitors entering facilities while ensuring accurate recordkeeping.”
Needless to say, contactless solutions are critical elements in the process of reopening. These are nothing new but are gaining more inquiries in the post-pandemic world.
“Businesses realize they need to provide a secure environment for their employees, but after COVID, how they deliver that safe environment is changing. Access control cards, which require a shared, high-touch surface, are no longer optimal. Touchless access control, using biometrics, is becoming the go-to solution,” said Deena Rataezyk, Marketing Manager at SAFR.
“Touchless biometric technologies are increasing in popularity, especially facial and iris recognition. More and more people are using some form of facial recognition through mobile devices to authenticate for apps,” said said Mohammed Murad, VP of Global Business Development and Sales at Iris ID. “Our IrisTime iT100 addressing on time attendance applications is a fusion face/iris product. We have recently added programming that requires the user to wear a mask before being allowed to authenticate.”
Finally, cybersecurity and privacy are major topics in the security industry. How do you prevent another ransomware attack on your IoT devices? How do you make sure your privacy is not infringed upon amid more complex AI and analytics? These are major concerns that vendors seek to address.
“Cybersecurity continues to be at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Businesses, organizations, and governments will need to take decisive steps to strengthen their cyber posture, or risk undermining the safety of their intellectual property, sensitive data, and personal information,” Hurt said. “Privacy is proving to be a catalyst for innovation across all sectors of the industry because it is a fundamental human need. At Genetec, we believe privacy should always be the default option rather than the other way round, and those who take privacy seriously in our space will gain a distinct advantage and thrive.”