The security week that was: 11/04/11 (ISC Solutions)

The ISC Solutions Report

I arrived back today from the ISC Solutions tradeshow in New York City; it's positioned as part of what's called Security Week. The week begins on Tuesday and ends on Thursday, so it's not a full week, but a lot of events are packed into this partial week nonetheless. I'll give you the quick report of the event, half of which I was able to attend.

You have the SIA-owned Securing New Ground conference, which is a 1-1/2 day niche conference really designed for what you might call the industry leaders from large SI firms, large manufacturers, monitoring companies and the investing community. It's a business conference. I'm told it was a good event with positive feedback, and that's great to hear, since this was an event that changed hands from being owned by a private industry analyst to now being owned by the Security Industry Association. It appears that it has lost no steam.

Part of the week also includes the Security 500, an end-user dinner where the ticket is almost $1,000 per person to attend. It's put on by a private media company and was held after the SNG conference wrapped up for the day. Competitive journalists aren't invited and I didn't hear any buzz about it, so unfortunately I don't have much to share with you.

The other two components were the Security Week Gala and the aforementioned industry tradeshow ISC Solutions at the Jakob K. Javitts convention center.

The Gala, operated by SIA, has been held for years and was once known as the Tri-Association Awards Dinner, when the CSAA and the ESA were still affiliated. Those two associations now do their own summertime awards event, and in their place, SIA works with the International Association of Airport and Seaport Police to produce this program, which is held out at the Chelsea Piers. The Gala is part networking reception among industry heavyweights, and part awards ceremony for industry leaders. This year the InterPort Police's recognition went to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, who was on hand to accept the Fred Morrone 9/11 Memorial Award. Also receiving an award was distribution giant Steve Roth, who heads up Tri-Ed/Northern Video, and who was known for his stunning leadership at ADI/Ademco Distribution Inc. Roth received the Lippert Award, and prior winner Leo Guthart (former CEO of Ademco) was on hand to present the award. Suffice to say, it was a worthy evening recognizing deserving recipients.

The final component is the event that has been the glue of this whole week. ISC Solutions, which you'll still hear called ISC East, is the industry's northeast regional tradeshow. It's a mix of the entire industry. You'll find security end-users, consultants, locksmiths, alarm dealers, aspiring alarm installers from the local technical schools, and systems integrators walking the floor. It's been sized down from where it was years ago due to the overall economy, but it still is a good tradeshow. One dealer network rep told me that they like the heavy alarm dealer mix that comes to the show and that this year's event, while small, gave them good regional leads, and said they would be back for 2012. It's faced a tough challenge because it's sister tradeshow ISC West (March 27-30, 2012) is held in a city that offers nicer and more affordable hotels, a bigger manufacturer/exhibitor presence, more education, and cheaper flights (you have to love those Vegas flight subsidies), but if you're on the East Coast, this is still a great show to hit to get updated on new technologies and to meet your peers.

So that's the report on Security Week. It seems like it was pulled off pretty well, and I would expect the same for next year. If you haven't gone, put it on your list to attend.

Now amid all the backdrop of Security Week, there was some big news in the industry. SIA, which had been without a CEO since Richard Chace exited the position earlier this year, announced that Don Erickson is the CEO. The industry reaction was incredibly favorable, and all persons I spoke with consider Erickson's appointment very favorable and a necessary move for SIA. I had a chance to speak with Erickson during Security Week (look for that interview in next week's Tuesday Frontline/Markets & Systems e-newsletters), and he spoke of two main point goals for the changes underway in SIA: 1) more collaboration in the industry, and 2) an improvement on the value proposition for SIA membership. If you don't know Don, he was SIA's government relations director, and I think collaboration is something he's going to be natural at after all those years dealing with Capitol Hill. A healthy industry needs strong industry associations, and it's great to see one of the cornerstone industry associations receive great leadership.

In other news
Change at JVC, Occupy the Port of Oakland?, Cyber attacks on chem companies

JVC Professional Products (which includes security products) announced a new president, Bob Mueller. ... Occupy protests disrupted the Port of Oakland. ... Four "grumpy old men" were the source of a terror plot in Georgia that involved the toxin known as ricin. ... A man was brutally murdered in the sporting goods section of Walmart. ... Metal detectors become standard at NFL games later this month. ... Cyber attacks hit U.S. chemical companies. China was said to be the origin. (Are we at war with China? What do you think? I've been told by two senior corporate security leaders that cyber attacks from China may be the new Cold War, and I'm starting to agree with them.)