GSX Sessions to Catch in Chicago

Aug. 16, 2019
From keynotes, to sessions covering a variety of technologies and verticals, there is something for everyone

If there’s one thing that you can count on at GSX, it is some heavy-hitters when it comes to speakers and sessions.

This year is no different, as the Chicago event will be headlined by the keynote of General John F. Kelly, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and White House Chief of Staff for the Trump Administration. Gen. Kelly will share his insights on Wednesday, Sept. 11 (8:30 a.m.) on the trends, risks and rewards amid hot spots around the globe, and the role the U.S. plays – and should play – in our nation and world’s security.

Other General Sessions include:

• Steve Demetriou, CEO of Jacobs, will provide insight into what it takes to create a more connected and sustainable world (8:30 a.m., Sept. 10). He will be joined on stage by Joe Olivarez, Jacobs’ Chief Security Officer, for a Q&A session following the speech.

• Tarah Wheeler, Cybersecurity Policy Fellow at New America, will speak on Sept. 12 at 8:30 a.m.

Education Highlights

With literally hundreds of interesting sessions, it is impossible to list them all; so here’s a shortlist of interesting educational sessions that caught my eye. Be sure to visit to see the full list of sessions and to confirm start times, dates and locations.

Drone Evolution: Security Tools or Security Threats? (Sept. 9, 10:30 a.m., Room S402-A) - Learn about the realistic applications of drones and counter-drone solutions.

We Sneak in to High-Security Buildings and Get Paid for It (Sept. 9, 10:30 a.m., Room S401-ABC) - Check out techniques used, challenges, skills required, and all that goes into physical security penetration testing.

Prison Security Design (Sept. 9, 1:15 p.m., Room S503-B) - Discuss “inside out” security design for prisons in this panel discussion.

Cyber Threats to Expect in 2020 (Sept. 9, 2:45 p.m., Room S403-A) - Learn from panel of experts about threats including blockchain and artificial-intelligence-powered hacking, and potential response techniques.

Lockdown: When Seconds Count (Sept. 10, 11 a.m., Room S404-D) - Lockdown solutions and which one is right for a specific district or campus.

Steps to a New SOC at the Memphis Intl. Airport (Sept. 10, 11 a.m., Room S503-A) - Hear firsthand accounts of the challenges and solutions associated with designing a modern security operations center (SOC).

The Emerging Cannabis Industry (Sept. 10, 11 a.m., Room TBD) - Discuss the various challenges of securing cannabis growing, processing and dispensing facilities.

CPTED Lessons from School Massacres (Sept. 10, 3:30 p.m., Room S501-D) - Expert Randy Atlas examines specific CPTED recommendations stemming from the findings of the Stoneman Douglas School Security Commission, including access control, mass notification, video surveillance and more.

Protecting Places of Worship: Lessons Learned and Best Practices (Sept. 11, 11 a.m., Room S501-D) - Curtis Jones of Infragard San Diego, analyzes the Tree of Life Synagogue and First Baptist Church shootings.

Secure and Safe Cities: Emerging Technologies and the Law (Sept. 11, 2:15 p.m., Room S401-D) - Join three experts, including frequent Security Business contributor Steve Surfaro, to examine the legal and legislative approaches used to manage security technology in safe cities.

The Flat and the Furious (Sept. 11, 2:15 p.m., Room S402-A) - A panel of cyber-physical experts, including frequent Security Business contributor Ray Bernard, explain cyber-physical security threats and countermeasures.

Demystifying Casino Security and Surveillance (Sept. 11, 2:15 p.m., Room S503-B) - Join the ASIS Gaming and Wagering Protection Council to look behind a casino security and surveillance operation, including operational techniques and stories. 

Paul Rothman is Editor-in-Chief of Security Business magazine. Email him your comments and questions at [email protected]. Access the current issue, full archives and apply for a free subscription at