The security week that was: 10/30/09

More ISC East Reporting

I rallied up for a day trip from N.C. to NYC on Wednesday to attend ISC East 2009. Why such a quick trip? ISC East has become something of a regional tradeshow, and rarely shows new technologies that weren't already on display at the ASIS show. Nonetheless, I think it's probably the best "regional" show out there (that I've been to, how about that qualification/fence sitting), and I like the show for the time available to build relationships. While the ISC West and ASIS tradeshows are often so busy that you need an appointment with most people, the "East" show feels a bit more relaxed. The booths generally aren't ostentatious (and no, I don't consider ADI's Corvette ostentatious; it's just their style), and there's a down-home reality to the conversations that occur here.

On the show floor, I had a chance to peruse the SIA New Product Showcase. Unlike the similarly named program at ISC West, this isn't an awards program. Rather, it's a big spot in the middle of the show with some vendors' newest technology lined up on table tops. It was a pretty good snapshot of what's new and what's being exhibited, but here's the thing: Except for a few products, there was no information on these products. You're looking at something you think is neat, but you're not sure if it slices bread or makes waffles! I did like the fact that I could put my hands on these products, and I hope this kind of display becomes a regular event at tradeshows (just remind the vendors to put cut-sheets with each product).

I covered a lot of the news of the show in yesterday's podcast episode (#44 on SIW Radio) and in an article about new IP video company IPVision Software, but let me throw out some other tidbits I learned during the show:

  • One prominent dealer program said it landed lots of business from former Brink's Dealers when Brink's became Broadview; that same dealer program representative said that they generally thought Broadview was effecting a good transition and retaining their prior dealers.
  • JVC has an internal goal of quickly pushing the company to reach a 50-50 split between analog and IP video products (in units, not dollars). Right now they're probably around 70-30 analog-to-IP. If that number is accurate, I think it is impressive unto itself. On the same note, they released four new analog cameras.
  • Vandal-resistant is very different from vandal-proof, and the difference is joules (a measure of force using Newtons -- and no, I'm not talking about Apple's PDA that preceded the iPhone). The fact is, however, that most people in the industry bandy those terms like they are equivalent. They aren't equivalents.
  • Exacq is developing a feature-based pricing system to make it a bit more a la carte (no need to buy that GIS mapping system if you don't need it, right?).
  • Optex is partnering with JVC for a new perimeter security combo system that has Optex's laser-based detector and JVC PTZ cameras. The technology combination model is that it includes intrusion detection and camera positioning.
  • The 2010 PSA show (Reed, promoters of ISC East, is also handling this show) has moved its dates in May so it won't stack on top of ESX 2010. That previously stacked date had led to some teeth gnashing, so it's great to see that resolved.
  • Lincoln Tech (one of the top vocational trainers for low voltage businesses) really wants to get its students exposed to the business. They were crawling the show floor, and I love seeing this. We have got to get these young men and women (it's mostly men, to be quite honest) fired up about their work and up to speed on the newest high-tech stuff. So when they come to your booth, you know they aren't going to be placing an order, but you need to take the time with them to be part of the education process. If you don't share technology and business insights with them, who will be placing orders with you in a few years? Let's grow the business!

Employee IDs and access control at airports
Top security speakers to address top issues facing airports

I've had discussions today with two of our speakers for next week's airport security webinar, which is on the topic of airport employee access control. We're going to cover biometric initiatives, access control at the world's busiest passenger airport, employee credentialing and background checks, security zones for a 4,200 acre airport campus, 100 percent daily screening, technology upgrades and more. Lori Beckman (formerly of Denver International Airport) and Richard Duncan (Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport) have great information for you, and so does our sponsor Hirsch Electronics, which is putting together an interesting program on migration strategy for preparing airports for the next round of employee ID standards. The program is free, and has a number of airports and systems integrators attending. I feel it is also of value for any corporate security director wrestling with employee access issues; the playing field might be different, but the game is similar. Go to to register.

In other news:
CAA's auto-renewal exemption, Transit cameras go down, more

The CAA has landed an exemption from a bill that would have reformed automatic renewal practices by requiring the notice of automatic renewal be more prominent to the customer and by requiring the customer actually agree to the automatic renewal when it comes up (which it seems would be good business practice, no?). There was a perception that SB 340 would have ended the practice of automatic renewals, but that's not really accurate from my read of the bill's language. What is was really designed to do is help consumers distinguish between one-time purchase and recurring purchases. … Pete and Paul from megapixel camera company IQinVision have started an article series which looks at video compression, especially H.264. … More than half of the cameras that are part of San Francisco's transit security plan weren't working when an audit was done. Maybe the public shouldn't be so worried about Big Brother, after all. In all seriousness, the concern was that they needed video after a recent violent attack and couldn't get it because the camera wasn't working! ... Canon has entered India's surveillance market and is showing products that look very similar to the ones you know from the U.S. market.