IS West 2019Last month, our executive team attended the ISC West 2019 event in Las Vegas and it was three days of non-stop learning about significant trends and new products in the industry. There have been sweeping changes in technology over the past year making the annual pilgrimage to ISC West even more exciting than usual. We’ve taken some time to discuss and evaluate what we saw and learned. Here are some of our takeaways.

Blurred Lines Between Physical Security and Cyber Security

The lines between physical security and cyber security are blurred, more than ever before.
There’s a convergence across our industry of cyber/IT, operational technology and physical security technologies and processes. This year’s conference mirrored this industry trend. Many of the sessions and vendors shared a similar message about the importance of organizational readiness and converged security operations.

There was more of an emphasis on core public safety topics as well, reflecting the gray area on our daily lives between the physical and cyber worlds. The featured exhibits were an example of the blurred line between the “real” and online worlds. Featured exhibits included Public Security & Safety Expo, Connected Home Pavilion, and the Emerging Technology Zone. Not surprisingly, the Emerging Technology zone exhibit grew a whopping 47 percent over last year.

Integration of Mobile

Smart phones are always with us and we saw more mobile integration across many security systems. Mobile integration allows end users enhanced flexibility and convenience, allowing them to stay connected even when they are away from the physical security system. Clients can use smart phones to check surveillance video, lock and unlock doors, and even verify visitor identities. We even saw a few mobile-first access-control systems, and I imagine we’ll be seeing even more of these systems moving forward.

Emphasis on Education

This year, there was an increased focus on education. ISC West and the Security Industry Association put together over 85 educational sessions, covering a wide range of physical, public safety, and security topics.

The topics of the education sessions were comprehensive, providing critical knowledge attendees need to protect against developing threats in today’s security landscape. From stadium security to biometrics to smart cities, the education sessions were a valuable addition to the conference. For a deeper dive on that, you can read more about the ISC & Security education program here.

More Access and Affordability for Smaller Businesses and Organizations

For years, many of the robust security solutions on the market have been too complex and too expensive for smaller businesses and organizations—and that is rapidly changing. This year brought new opportunities for smaller operators to gain access to some of the best solutions in the industry. Increased access for smaller organizations, especially in the areas of Access Control and Critical Communications, will help keep more businesses safe and secure.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: Coming Soon

It’s been our goal for the last year to explore ways to leverage Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to create more efficient security solutions for our clients. We’ve already seen how AI has changed critical communications, video surveillance, and other areas of security. It was fascinating to see what’s on the front lines of this technology development, and we are beta testing several exciting things discovered at ISC West in our 3Sixty lab as a result.

Our Most Popular Session

Our entire team was energized after returning from the conference. It’s hard to condense all that we learned during the conference but there was one session that resonated with just about everyone in our group.

The most popular session for our team was a panel discussion on the topic of “Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) – New Guidelines for a Layered and Tiered approach to K-12 Safety and Security”.

The objective of the panel discussion was to gain a better understanding of the challenges faced by schools and school districts in making safety and security improvements. The panel also covered the technology trends, facility infrastructure challenges, and grants and possible project funding options available to schools and school districts.

Summary

There was a tsunami of new systems and products at ISC West 2019. The conference addressed many of the urgent trends facing our industry. We are looking forward to applying what we’ve learned to put our clients at the forefront of security solutions. The conference overall was first-rate, and we look forward to what’s coming next!