The doors have closed on this year’s Global Security Exchange (GSX), held at Chicago’s McCormick Place this week. Presented by ASIS International, an association for security management professionals, the event offered six days filled with education and networking for the global security community. Attendance was strong with 20,000 registrants from more than 125 countries and 550+ exhibitors packing the convention center. Security professionals also engaged in sessions around the world via Global Access LIVE! streaming—with participants in more than 15 countries.

“GSX serves as a powerful forum for convening security leaders across the globe to learn, share information and network,” said Christina Duffey, CPP, 2019 ASIS President. “I leave this year’s GSX more energized about our association, our profession, and our industry. I am eternally grateful to our Chicago Chapter and host committee for their strong support and look forward to GSX 2020, which will take place in Atlanta.”

Four key factors affecting perceptions

GSX 2019 launched on Saturday, 7 September, with ASIS member certification reviews and the start of continuing education workshops in support of professional accreditations. Sunday, September 8, brought a lively Town Hall providing attendees with an open discussion forum with ASIS volunteer leaders. Monday, 9 September, the keynote address was delivered by geopolitical expert and author Ian Bremmer, Ph.D., covering the most pressing risks, trends and economics around the world.

More than 3 million people are moving into urban environments every week”

He described four key factors that are affecting global perceptions and can stoke conflict and uncertainty, including the decline of the ‘social contract’ (i.e., flat wages, scandals involving privileged class, and sense that government and employers no longer represent the needs of the people they serve), immigration, the ‘forever’ wars (i.e., the 18-year conflict in Afghanistan), and the role of social media in stoking division and fears. He also cited news headlines, including the consequences of Brexit, China’s global investments in Western Democracies, and the lack of a “Plan B” in dealing with Iran.

New innovations in security profession

The GSX Exhibit Hall opened Tuesday, 10 September with more than 550 exhibitors and innovative feature areas including the GSX Disruption District, X-Learning stages, and the D3 (Drones, Droids, Defense) Learning Theater, and new this year, the Startup Sector pavilion, highlighting new innovations in the security profession. Tuesday’s General Session speaker, Steve Demetriou, Chair and CEO, Jacobs, spoke on changing times. According to Demetriou, “Today, more than half the world’s population lives in urban environments, and more than 3 million people are moving into urban environments every week.”

John F. Kelly, retired four-star general, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and White House Chief of Staff, kicked off Military and Law Enforcement Appreciation Day on Wednesday, 11 September. General Kelly also touched on changes in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agency structures and policies since 9/11 and described how the dramatically increased collaboration across the intelligence and enforcement agencies in recent years has made the country much safer.

Evolving world needs security practitioners

Tarah Wheeler emphasized that the world requires security practitioners to continue to update their thinking

New to GSX this year and a first for the security industry, 12 companies were selected to compete in the first-ever GSX Pitch Competition. The closing general session featured Tarah Wheeler, Cybersecurity Policy Fellow at New America, who emphasized that the evolving world requires security practitioners to plan ahead and continue to update their thinking. “We are at GSX because we want to be fierce protectors,” she told the audience before providing valuable guidance on how to prepare before an incident response is required. “I think like a bad guy so I can keep people safe—and you should start thinking like a bad guy too.”

Deviant Ollam, Physical Penetration Specialist with the CORE Group, gave the closing Game Changer session alerting the audience to the many ways that potential “bad actors” can gain access to sensitive company data, resources, and facilities. Ollam described three distinct attack surfaces—physical, digital, and human—and pointed out that attackers often find the most vulnerable points at the intersections of these areas, where the responsibility may not be clear and protective procedures may be weak.

Free access to security education

He emphasized the potential value of penetration testing, and encouraged testers to help make the world safer, saying “If you’re not making the blue team better, you’re not doing your job.”  Expanded for 2019, the Security Cares program was created to empower and positively impact the local communities serving as GSX host cities. Now in its fourth year, the program connected leaders of Chicago area community organizations and small- to medium-sized businesses with free access to valuable security education, networking, funding opportunities, and resources.

GSX 2020 will take place September 21-23 in Atlanta.

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What Do You Need To Know About Thermal Imaging Cameras?
What Do You Need To Know About Thermal Imaging Cameras?

As businesses, schools, hospitals and sporting venues look to safely reopen in a COVID-19 world, thermal imaging systems will play a critical role in helping to detect and distinguish skin temperature variations in people. Thermal surveillance, a mainstay of traditional physical security and outdoor perimeter detection, is now being deployed to quickly scan employees, contractors and visitors as part of a first line of defense to detect COVID-19 symptoms. In the coming weeks and months, the security industry will look to implement thermal camera solutions for customers, yet many questions remain as to the differences between different system types and how to properly install thermal imaging cameras. In this Q&A, Jason Ouellette, Head of Technology Business Development for Johnson Controls, answers several of these questions. Q: What are some of the different thermal imaging solutions available in the market to detect an elevated temperature in a person? For the general market, there are three types of these thermographic screenings. There is the handheld device, which is typically lower cost, very portable, and very easy to use. Typically, this is a point and shoot type of device, but it requires you to be three feet or less from the person that you're screening, which, in today's world, means the user needs to wear protective personal equipment. For the general market, there are three types of these thermographic screenings The second type of solution would best be described as a thermal camera and kiosk. The advantage of this system over a handheld device is this can be self-service. An individual would go up to and engage with the kiosk on their own. But many of these kiosk type solutions have some integration capability, so they can provide some type of output, for either turnstiles, or physical access control, but not video management systems (VMS). Some of the downside of this type of system is that it’s less accurate than a thermographic solution because it does not have a blackbody temperature calibration device and the readings are influenced by the surrounding ambient temperature, called thermal drift. So instead of being able to achieve a ±0.3ºC accuracy rating, this system probably provides closer to ±0.5ºC at best. Some of these devices may be classed as a clinical thermometer with a higher degree of one time accuracy, but do not offer the speed and endurance of the thermographic solution for adjunctive use. And then there are thermal imaging camera systems with a blackbody temperature calibration device. These types of systems include a dual sensor camera, that has a visual sensor and a thermal sensor built right into the camera, along with a separate blackbody device. This provides the highest degree of ongoing accuracy, because of the blackbody and its ability to provide continuous calibration. These systems can provide much more flexibility and can offer integrations with multiple VMS platforms and access control devices. Q: When installing a thermal imaging camera system what is the most important element to consider? Camera placement is critical to ensure the system works as expected, however the placement of the blackbody device which verifies the correct calibration is in place is equally as important. If the customer wants to follow FDA medical device recommendations for camera placement, both the height of the camera and the blackbody as well as the distance between these devices should comply with the product installation instructions. This takes into account the device focal range and calibration parameters in addressing the distance from the person undergoing the scan. Also, integrators should minimize camera detection angles to ensure optimal accuracy and install cameras parallel with the face as much as possible, and again in compliance with installation instructions. Integrators should minimize camera detection angles to ensure optimal accuracy The blackbody should be placed outside of the area where people could block the device and located more towards the edges of the field-of-view of the camera. You need to keep in mind the minimum resolution for effective thermographic readings which is 320 by 240 pixels as defined by the standards. To achieve this, you would need to follow medical electrical equipment performance standards driven by IEC 80601-2-59:2017 for human temperature scanning and FDA guidelines. Within that measurement, the face needs to fill 240 x 180 pixels of the thermal sensor resolution, which is close to or just over 50 percent of the sensor’s viewing area typically, meaning a single person scanned at a time in compliance with the standards for accuracy.  Along with height and distance placement considerations, the actual placement in terms of the location of the system is key. For example, an expansive glass entryway may impact accuracy due to sunlight exposure. Installations should be focused on ensuring that they are away from airflow, heating and cooling sources, located approximately 16 feet from entry ways and in as consistent of an ambient temperature as possible between 50°F and 95°F. Q: Once a thermal imaging camera system is installed, how do you monitor the device? There are several choices for system monitoring, depending on whether the solution is used as standalone or integrated with other technologies, such as intrusion detection, access control or video systems. For standalone systems, the ability to receive system alerts is typically configured through the camera’s webpage interface, and the cameras include abilities such as the live web page, LED display for alerting, audio alerts and physical relay outputs. When done right, these features will all follow cybersecurity best practices which is important for any network solution today, including changing default passwords and establishing authentication methods. The ability to receive system alerts is typically configured through the camera’s webpage interface These types of thermal cameras can also integrate with turnstile systems, VMS platforms and access control systems. This is typically done through the integration of a relay output, activated by a triggered temperature anomaly event on a thermal imaging camera which can then be used for activities such as locking a turnstile, or through access control and video systems to send an email or provide an automated contagion report for contact tracing. These capabilities and integrations extend the monitoring capability above that of the standalone solution. The camera can be configured to monitor a specific range of low and high alerts. Users can determine the actions that should be taken when that alert exceeds the preset low or high threshold. These actions include things like a bright and easy-to-see LED can provide visual notification through pulsing and flashing lights as an example. Q: What about system maintenance? Does a thermal imaging camera require regular service in order to operate accurately? First it’s important to make sure the system is calibrated. This can be done after the unit stabilises for at least 30 minutes to establish the initial reference temperature source known as the blackbody. Calibrations conducted before this warm up and stability time period can throw off accuracy. Also, as part of your system maintenance schedule you will want to perform a calibration check of the blackbody device every 12 months, along with following recommendations of the FDA and IEC. If you install the solution and don’t perform maintenance and the blackbody calibration certificate expires, over time there’s a risk that the device will experience drift and a less accurate reading will result. There’s a risk that the device will experience drift and a less accurate reading will result Q: What final pieces of advice do you have for either an integrator who plans to install a thermal imaging camera system or an end user who plans to invest in this solution? Before you buy a thermal imaging camera check to see if the manufacturer ships the camera with a calibration certificate. Also, become familiar with FDA’s guidance released in April 2020, Enforcement Policy for Telethermographic Systems During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency. This document places thermal/fever products for adjunctive use under the category of a Class I medical devices and subject to its regulatory control. Driven by these regulations and categorisation, users need to understand specifically what is required to meet the required level of accuracy for successful detection. While thermal imaging camera systems are more complex than traditional surveillance cameras, they can prove to be a valuable resource when set up, configured and maintained properly.

Recognizing The Importance Of Security Officers To Promote Safety
Recognizing The Importance Of Security Officers To Promote Safety

The general public doesn’t give much thought to the important role of security officers in creating and promoting safer environments. The low-profile work of security officers is vital to protecting people, places and property. During the pandemic, newer aspects to that role have emerged. Security personnel have been called on to perform diverse tasks such as managing queues at the supermarket, safeguarding testing centers and hospitals, ensuring food deliveries, and supporting police patrols. The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) and two other organizations in the United Kingdom are joining forces to raise awareness of the work of security officers and to recognize the vital importance of the duties they perform. BSIA, a trade association, includes members who are responsible for 70% of privately provided UK security products and services, including security guarding, consultancy services, and distribution and installation of electronic and physical security equipment. BSIA, the Security Institute and the Security Commonwealth Joining BSIA in the awareness campaign are the Security Institute, a professional security membership body; and the Security Commonwealth, which is comprised of 40 organizations from across the security landscape with common objectives to build professionalism, raise standards and share best practices. “The recognition of security officers as key workers is the start of a re-appraisal of what service they provide to the community in keeping the public safe and secure,” says Mike Reddington, BSIA Chief Executive. “As we exit lockdown and have to navigate public spaces again, [security officers] will have a crucial role in supporting public confidence. We are working closely with the Police and all other public bodies to find the best way to achieve this.” Security officers acknowledged as key workers The campaign will showcase security professionals as a respected, valued, professional service provider and a key worker that is acknowledged and embedded in daily lives. The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) and two other organizations in the United Kingdom are joining forces to raise awareness of the work of security officers “Great effort has been invested in the professional standards and capabilities of frontline [security] officers, and they have proven their worth during the coronavirus crisis in the UK,” says Rick Mounfield, Chief Executive, the Security Institute. “They, along with the wider security sector, deserve to be recognized, respected and appreciated for the safety and security they provide across the United Kingdom.” “[We are working to] build professionalism, raise standards and share best practices, and I hope this campaign can make more people recognize the changes we have all made and continue to make,” says Guy Matthias, Chairman of the Security Commonwealth (SyCom). The industry will be reaching out to companies, professionals, and organizations in the sector to participate in the campaign. The hope is that, over the coming weeks as lockdown is eased, the industry can play its part to ensure that the country emerges with confidence to start to recover and build for the future. Private security more important than ever The campaign will showcase security professionals as a respected, valued, professional service provider Across the pond in the United States, law enforcement professionals are facing a crisis of confidence during a time of civil unrest as protestors call to “defund the police” and to otherwise undermine and/or recast law enforcement’s role in preserving the peace and ensuring public safety. If an upshot is that public policing is starved of resources, the role of private security to supplement their mission is likely to increase. In short, the role of private security is more important than ever on both sides of the Atlantic. Public recognition of that role is welcome, obviously. In any case, the importance of their role protecting people, places and property has never been greater.

Biometrics: Secure And Convenient Access In The Workplace
Biometrics: Secure And Convenient Access In The Workplace

Modern working life has changed dramatically in the last decade. Driven by the growth of a millennial workforce, working behaviours and communications are more agile, digital and mobile than ever before. Remote working has risen 140% since 2005, a figure that will undoubtedly continue to rise in light of the pandemic. And its benefits are well studied: people are more productive, more motivated, and report a better work-life balance. The traditional office space and the digital collaborative working platforms we access both inside and outside of “work” have changed. In turn, there is a requirement for increasingly sophisticated access control and security products and systems. Today, and in the future, biometrics can play a crucial role in empowering workplaces both physically and digitally.  Biometrics: accessing the right area Physical access and alarm systems are the first, and perhaps the most obvious area, biometrics is securing workplace access control – whether it’s to access office buildings, manufacturing floors, or even private rooms and safes. The humble key is easily lost and stolen, yet still represents 80% of door lock security The humble key is easily lost and stolen, yet still represents 80% of door lock security. And while digital solutions are gaining traction, PIN entry not only offers a poor UX, but requires close management, given its vulnerability to loss and misuse. Access fobs and badges pose similar challenges. Say, for example, an employee loses his badge to a restricted lab or highly confidential development centre on his commute - the security of the building is instantly compromised. By adding biometric authentication to cards or fobs, employers need no longer worry about them falling into the wrong hands. Without the correct user to authenticate, access to buildings, business operations and company files remain secure without needing to update any management systems. Moreover, by using this personal ‘on-device’ approach, employees no longer need to worry about the hygiene of shared sensors or PIN pads. Meanwhile, businesses can also avoid the technical and legal challenges of needing to manage a biometric database. A win-win. Touchless access Touch-free biometric solutions are another compelling way biometrics can not only improve security, but the user-experience and personalisation of security systems. Today, many touchless authentication solutions are combining the strong security of iris authentication with facial recognition to offer a compelling balance of security and convenience. This combination also means a reduction in false rejection due to physical changes, as it continues to authenticate even when wearing sunglasses, face masks or in bright sunlight, for example. Touchless solutions can bring benefits to numerous use cases and settings. Firstly, they can be utilized for mobile credential authentication on personal devices for seamless access to company servers, apps, or VPNs. It can also be implemented in traditional physical settings, offering the capability to alter access rights for personnel too. An R&D lab or healthcare setting is a good example here where restricted access to areas is in high demand, but would also benefit from a hands-free, seamless entry.  OK computer Computers and laptops sit at the heart of the modern-day business set-up – whether at home, in the office, or on the move. In parallel, the evolution of modern working behavior changes has seen the number of applications, cloud-based services and shared VPN drives used reach an all-time high. While the benefits are numerous, the extensive PIN and password management that accompanies this is problematic. 6 out of 10 users felt they had too many passwords For users, they are a source of frustration and anxiety – our research found 6 out of 10 felt they had too many passwords, and worried about forgetting them. In turn, many are all too familiar with the laborious process of setting a complex password, forgetting it, and needing to reset again after several failed attempts. While complex password requirements (such as requiring capitals, numbers, and special characters) mitigate risk in theory, in practice they create a major point of friction in the user experience and require significant management.  From a business perspective, security and cost concerns are even greater. Microsoft reportedly spends around $12 million a month on forgotten passwords. Worryingly, workplace security breaches are increasing too, with 54% of IT professionals reporting an increase in phishing attacks according to a recent Mimecast report. Here, the end-user is usually the weakest link due to easily guessed passwords, complacency, and the use of the same password across multiple apps and accounts. Biometric authentication via unique personal devices such as USB dongles, or by utilizing on-device authentication on a smartphone offers simple and frictionless way to increase security for the enterprise, free up IT teams and offer a better user experience to employees. FIDO-certified solutions are just one compelling solution supporting this. Plus, biometrics can also be used to authorize selected employees to access restricted areas of an organization’s network, protecting confidentiality. Meanwhile, with 80% of smartphones now featuring some form of biometrics, utilising biometric authentication for smartphone applications in the workplace can also be done at a relatively low-cost investment.   Getting personal With more flexible working in place, many workplaces now operate a ‘hot desk’ system or share devices such as printers between colleagues. This is another instance where biometrics can be used to simplify access to personalized settings or employee accounts. In the future, this could even be integrated into wider office use cases, such as personalizing the air conditioning preference in meeting rooms or unlocking your personal settings on the coffee machine with a simple touch or gesture. More with multimodality Multimodality layers more than one type of biometric authentication to increase security and improve functionality and ease of use. For example, combining fingerprint with facial or iris to verify someone’s rights to access a secure manufacturing floor. While spoofing a fingerprint is challenging enough, spoofing a fingerprint and iris at the same time is near impossible. What’s more, by combining more than one modality, access control product manufacturers can reduce the false rejection rate (FRR) to deliver even smoother experiences. Secure, seamless authentication For enterprises, adding biometrics needn’t be a full ‘rip and replace’ solution. In fact, it can be added as a complement to existing solutions for added security without creating additional user friction. A biometric card or key fob can replace existing contactless access cards without big investments, or a biometric USB dongle can be added to email or VPN login to significantly enhance security, without infringing ease of use. A biometric card or key fob can replace existing contactless access cards without big investments To meet this demand, our access control service and solution partners are integrating biometrics for a wide range of physical and logical use cases. It’ll be unsurprising that locks and alarms are top of the list, but with the rise of widespread remote working over the last 10 years and the fight against PINs and passwords being led by organizations like FIDO, logical access for VPNs and work and time attendance, for example, are coming to the fore.  Overall, biometrics can not only play a role in securing the modern workplace (wherever that may be), but can also give time and money back to IT and security teams. Most importantly, it can be a tool to empower workforces, driving efficiency and productivity through improved convenience and greater flexibility over how, when and where they work.