PSA, the internationally renowned security and systems integrator consortium, and the Security Industry Association (SIA), global trade association for global security solution providers, has announced CyberTEC powered by SIA, an exclusive cyber security track for PSA TEC 2020. CyberTEC will feature sessions on cyber-attack risk mitigation, cyber security managed services, cyber hygiene compliance and more.

PSA TEC 2020

PSA also announced TEC 2020 keynote speaker Alec Ross, a New York Times best-selling author and former senior advisor for innovation with the U.S. Department of State. The keynote address will be presented by SIA and take place on Wednesday, April 22, at 7:30 a.m. in the Plaza Ballroom.

We are thrilled to work together with SIA in developing our cybersecurity education for PSA TEC 2020"

We are thrilled to work together with SIA in developing our cybersecurity education for PSA TEC 2020 and presenting Alec Ross as our keynote speaker,” said Anthony Berticelli, vice president of operations for PSA. “SIA’s team has invaluable connections in the industry, and partnering with them has raised the bar for the CyberTEC track. Likewise, the insight that Mr. Ross can provide will be thought provoking for all security industry professionals.

CyberTEC track

Ross is one of America’s renowned experts on innovation, having worked with the US State Department during the Obama administration on goals of maximizing the potential of technology and innovation in the service of America’s diplomatic goals. He advanced the State Department’s interests on a range of issues including internet freedom, cyber security, disaster response and the use of network technologies in conflict zones.

Ross’ best-selling book, The Industries of the Future, explores the technological and economic trends and developments that will shape the next decade, from cyber security and big data to the commercialization of genomics to the code-ification of money, markets and trust.

Security and audio-visual markets event

PSA TEC 2020 will be held April 20- 23 at the Sheraton Downtown in Denver, Colorado, and is the premier education and networking event for all professional systems integrators in the security and audio-visual markets. This year’s conference will feature over 125 education sessions, workshops and certification offerings from top industry experts and partner organizations categorized into dedicated learning tracks focused on job function.

Attendees will leave TEC with ways to improve operational efficiencies and add additional value to their businesses

The educational content includes sessions for systems integration professionals with a desire to stay relevant and thrive in changing markets through personal and professional development. Attendees will leave TEC with ways to improve operational efficiencies, add additional value to their businesses and their customers’ journeys and support emerging market trends from their own vantage points. A complete list of the sessions can be found here.

Spreading awareness of cyber security

SIA and PSA have worked effectively together to improve the industry’s awareness of cyber security. The CyberTEC track powered by SIA reinforces the commitment both organizations have made to ensuring the industry has access to the training it needs to reduce cyber risk and open doors to new business opportunities,” said Don Erickson, CEO, SIA. “We’re also very happy to sponsor TEC keynote speaker Alec Ross; we believe his message perfectly captures the spirit of innovation that PSA operators and SIA members deliver in their businesses and security technology solutions.

SIA is the globally renowned trade association for global security solution providers, with over 1,000 innovative member companies representing thousands of security leaders and experts who shape the future of the security industry. PSA is the international systems integrator consortium made up of the most progressive security and audio-visual systems integrators in North America.

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Security Technology And AI: A Powerful Duo In The Fight Against COVID-19
Security Technology And AI: A Powerful Duo In The Fight Against COVID-19

A person infected with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) infects an average of 2.5 other people within five days. You do not need to be a mathematician to realize that early detection of infected people is key to successful pandemic containment. The aim of effective containment strategies is therefore not so much to reduce the number of absolute cases as it is to extend the time frame within which they occur. Without effective containment measures, the virus spreads rapidly and is beyond the capacity of the health care system. However, if infection rates can be minimized through early detection and rapid, targeted identification of further infections, cases will continue to occur over a longer period of time and remain within the capacity of the health care system. Identifying, testing and results For example, the goal of many countries is to carry out as many Corona tests as possible to quickly identify infected people. It is then necessary to identify and reach potentially-infected people and isolate them in quarantine. This is a tried and tested procedure. But this method also costs valuable time in the fight against the virus and has many unknowns. The determination of a concrete test result alone sometimes takes up to 48 hours due to limited laboratory capacity. Added to this is the imprecise and slow procedure for determining contact persons. Or do you still remember exactly who and where you shook hands with in the last ten days - and could you provide information on this? Security technology to the rescue When it comes to the time factor, security technology can be a great help. Thermal imaging cameras and temperature sensors, for example, can help to detect a person with elevated body temperatures. Fever can also be one of the symptoms in those infected with the Coronavirus. At neuralgic points such as airports and train stations, or at entrances to hospitals, thermal imaging cameras can quickly reveal which people have fever. Presumably infected people can be easily separated and asked about other symptoms. Physical security technology can make a great contribution here. Dr. Frank Gillert, a professor at the University of Applied Sciences in Wildau, Germany states, however, as one of the leading scientists for logistics-centric security research, he demands "rapid innovation in dealing with situations like COVID-19 should be a priority". He sees enormous potential in the possibilities of IT and artificial intelligence; "We should use the disruptive changes that are currently taking place and that are challenging global orders to strengthen the significance in IT infrastructure development and also in security technology development.“ The goal in a global crisis And he is right: In global crises such as the Corona pandemic, security-related deficits become apparent and space is created for technical innovations. The goal of governments and companies is to restore security and save human lives as quickly as possible. The German data analytics powerhouse G2K, for example, has developed a Corona Detection & Containment System (CDCS) that is ready for immediate use in record time. Detection takes place in combination with AI-supported data analysis to specifically identify virus hotspots and distribution routes, as well as to identify other potentially infected persons. When developing the system, the focus was on two questions: How do I detect a suspected infected person in crowded environments and even more importantly, how do I quickly and comprehensively determine the person's contacts and previous whereabouts, and find correlations and patterns in this information? The data experts of the Berlin-based company found the answer in the combination of physical security technology and their existing data analytics platform. The G2K system The system is based on G2K's scalable IoT platform "Situational Awareness Builder" (SAB), which is already in use in several projects worldwide and sets standards in process automation and process optimization, including security management. As soon as a person with fever is detected by the system, he or she can be immediately screened to avoid contact with other people and thus prevent possible new infections, i.e. to interrupt the chain of infection. For this purpose, stationary thermal imaging cameras or smartphones equipped with a temperature sensor accessory can be used. The potentially infected person must now be registered and referred to a doctor or hospital for further specific diagnostic measures. The entire process is covered by a mobile G2K application. A combination of security and medicine The platform can bring together available hospital capacity, infection reports, movement and contact profiles and provide an excellent picture of the source of infection. Thus, medically necessary isolations can be implemented quickly. At the same time, infected patients can use the app to document their recovery and become actively involved. All this data is centrally managed and analysed, using deep learning methods. This provides crisis managers with a single monitoring, control and resource management tool that enables immediate action to be taken to combat the spread of the virus and gives officials full transparency on the status of the pandemic. Karsten Neugebauer, founder and CEO of the company behind the solution, explains his commitment as follows "A few weeks ago we too were faced with increasing difficulties due to the Corona crisis. As we have a strong presence in Europe in particular, we had to struggle with postponed project starts and limited resources". But instead of burying their heads in the sand, G2K's dedicated team decided to declare war on the virus." "In our entrepreneurial duty, we, therefore, decided to use our available technology and equip it to fight COVID-19. Our team has been working day and night over the last few weeks to expand our software platform to enable us to contain the pandemic quickly and effectively. Politicians must now immediately push ahead with the unbureaucratic implementation of prevention and control measures such as our CDCS to ensure the stability of our public systems," demands Karsten Neugebauer. The pandemic continues As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads from continent to continent, researchers around the world are working to develop antidotes to the virus. As long as this has not been found, the spread of the virus must be slowed down internationally. Only by this can system-relevant infrastructure be held consistently. Combining modern physical security technology with platform technology and artificial intelligence provides an excellent possibility to slow down the current and for sure, future pandemics.

Face Recognition: Privacy Concerns and Social Benefits
Face Recognition: Privacy Concerns and Social Benefits

News reports and opinion columns about face recognition are appearing everyday. To some of us, the term sounds overly intrusive. It even makes people shrink back into their seats or shake their head in disgust, picturing a present-day dystopia. Yet to others, face recognition presents technology-enabled realistic opportunities to fight, and win, the battle against crime. What are the facts about face recognition? Which side is right? Well, there is no definitive answer because, as with all powerful tools, it all depends on who uses it. Face recognition can, in fact, be used in an immoral or controversial manner. But, it can also be immensely beneficial in providing a safe and secure atmosphere for those in its presence.  Concerns of facial recognition With the increased facial recognition applications, people’s concerns over the technology continuously appear throughout news channels and social media. Some of the concerns include: Privacy: Alex Perry of Mashable sums up his and most other peoples’ privacy concerns with face recognition technology when he wrote, “The first and most obvious reason why people are unhappy about facial recognition is that it's unpleasant by nature. Increasing government surveillance has been a hot-button issue for many, many years, and tech like Amazon's Rekognition software is only making the dystopian future feel even more real”. Accuracy: People are worried about the possibilities of inaccurate face detection, which could result in wrongful identification or criminalization. Awareness: Face recognition software allows the user to upload a picture of anyone, regardless of whether that person knows of it. An article posted on The Conversation states, “There is a lack of detailed and specific information as to how facial recognition is actually used. This means that we are not given the opportunity to consent to the recording, analyzing and storing of our images in databases. By denying us the opportunity to consent, we are denied choice and control over the use of our own images” Debunking concerns  The concerns with privacy, accuracy, and awareness are all legitimate and valid concerns. However, let us look at the facts and examine the reasons why face recognition, like any other technology, can be responsibly used: Privacy concerns: Unlike the fictional dystopian future where every action, even in one’s own home, is monitored by a centralized authority, the reality is that face recognition technology only helps the security guard monitoring public locations where security cameras are installed. There is fundamentally no difference between a human security guard at the door and an AI-based software in terms of recognizing people on watchlist and not recognizing those who are not. The only difference is that the AI-based face recognition software can do so at a higher speed and without fatigue. Face recognition software only recognizes faces that the user has put in the system, which is not every person on the planet, nor could it ever be. Accuracy concerns: It is true that first-generation face recognition systems have a large margin for error according to studies in 2014. However, as of 2020, the best face recognition systems are now around 99.8% accurate. New AI models are continuously being trained with larger, more relevant, more diverse and less biased datasets. The error margin found in face recognition software today is comparable to that of a person, and it will continue to decrease as we better understand the limitations, train increasingly better AI and deploy AI in more suitable settings. Awareness concerns: While not entirely comforting, the fact is that we are often being watched one way or another on a security camera. Informa showed that in 2014, 245 million cameras were active worldwide, this number jumped to 656 million in 2018 and is projected to nearly double in 2021. Security camera systems, like security guards, are local business and government’s precaution measures to minimize incidents such as shoplifting, car thefts, vandalism and violence. In other words, visitors to locations with security systems have tacitly agreed to the monitoring in exchange for using the service provided by those locations in safety, and visitors are indeed aware of the existence of security cameras. Face recognition software is only another layer of security, and anyone who is not a security threat is unlikely to be registered in the system without explicit consent. The benefits In August 2019, the NYPD used face recognition software to catch a rapist within 24 hours after the incident occurred. In April 2019, the Sichuan Provincial Public Security Department in China, found a 13-year-old girl using face recognition technology. The girl had gone missing in 2009, persuading many people that she would never be found again. Face recognition presents technology-enabled realistic opportunities to fight, and win, the battle against crimeIn the UK, the face recognition system helps Welsh police forces with the detection and prevention of crime. "For police it can help facilitate the identification process and it can reduce it to minutes and seconds," says Alexeis Garcia-Perez, a researcher on cybersecurity management at Coventry University. "They can identify someone in a short amount of time and in doing that they can minimize false arrests and other issues that the public will not see in a very positive way". In fact, nearly 60% Americans polled in 2019 accept the use of face recognition by law enforcement to enhance public safety. Forbes magazine states that “When people know they are being watched, they are less likely to commit crimes so the possibility of facial recognition technology being used could deter crime”. Saving time  One thing that all AI functions have been proven to achieve better results than manual security is speed. NBC News writes, “Nearly instantaneously, the program gives a list of potential matches loaded with information that can help him confirm the identity of the people he’s stopped - and whether they have any outstanding warrants. Previously, he’d have to let the person go or bring them in to be fingerprinted”. Facial recognition can also be immensely beneficial in providing a safe and secure atmosphere for those in its presence With AI, instead of spending hours or days to sift through terabytes of video data, the security staff can locate a suspect within seconds. This time-saving benefit is essential to the overall security of any institution, for, in most security threat situations, time is of the utmost importance. Another way in which the technology saves time is its ability to enable employees (but not visitors) to open doors to their office in real-time with no badge, alleviating the bottleneck of forgotten badge, keycode or password. Saving money A truly high-performance AI software helps save money in many ways. First, if the face recognition software works with your pre-existing camera system, there is no need to replace cameras, hence saving cost on infrastructure. Second, AI alleviates much of the required manual security monitoring 24/7, as the technology will detect people of interest and automatically and timely alert the authorities. Third, by enhancing access authentication, employees save time and can maximize productivity in more important processes. The takeaway AI-enabled face recognition technology has a lot of benefits if used correctly. Can it be abused? Yes, like all tools that mankind has made from antiquity. Should it be deployed? The evidence indicates that the many benefits of this complex feature outweigh the small chance for abuse of power. It is not only a step in the right direction for the security industry but also for the overall impact on daily lives. It helps to make the world a safer place. 

The Critical Factor Of Specialization In Improving IoT, Video And Business Practices
The Critical Factor Of Specialization In Improving IoT, Video And Business Practices

When considering new IT solutions to support today’s modern security and IoT challenges, the number of options to choose from can make finding the tight solution a daunting task. One important factor to consider is whether a solution was actually designed to solve the problem at hand. For example, many storage systems support video ingest from surveillance cameras, but many are not specialized for that very purpose. Instead, video is simply a use-case for a product that was designed for traditional IT workloads. They should be designed to handle the ingest requirements of video and IoT data streams, and retain it in a secure, reliable and efficient manner. While traditional servers and SANs are considered acceptable, when it comes to data storage for video and IoT devices as well as analytics, stakeholders should to consider newer option that have been delivering major efficiencies in the IT space for years. The Data Dilemma Video and IoT data itself are considered mission-critical for many organizations Video and IoT data itself are considered mission-critical for many organizations. Cameras and intelligent devices provide situational awareness, record events, alert teams of potential threats, and improve safety and security. To glean valuable insights from this captured data, it must be available. And for that it must be stored properly. Furthermore, various regulations mandate retaining video for a certain time or in a way that meets minimum security standards. It does not matter whether high-quality data storage is mandated or desired — to be useful and reliable, it all needs to be both protected and available. This range of considerations is what makes the infrastructure designed for keeping that data a paramount concern. Several factors are converging that bring video and IoT data — and its secure and reliable storage — to the forefront of infrastructure considerations. More cameras, higher-resolution cameras and more cross-channel applications for that information all point to the creation of more data and more ways it possesses value for organizations. IP video cameras are becoming ubiquitous and are being applied more frequently and in higher density applications than previously imagined. Cameras have evolved to provide better resolution, more functionality in low-light or stressful environments and incorporate technologies like thermal detection. And now, video management systems and analytics solutions are making that wealth of data more valuable for both security and business intelligence. The bottom line is that more data needs to be securely stored so that it can be easily retrieved and analyzed, all while protecting against data loss. The bottom line is that more data needs to be securely stored so that it can be easily retrieved and analyzed How HCI Helps Hyperconverged infrastructure purpose-built for video and IoT data can eliminate frame drops, protecting against video loss and image degradation, while delivering on the overall efficiency promise of HCI. Businesses also need to make sure their infrastructure retains certain functionality during moments when a system is compromised. The right solution can keep storage elements online, automatically restart virtual servers and allow video data retrieval without needing external methods of redundancy.  While today’s capacity and performance requirements are important now, so is having the capability to expand and scale with the business efficiently. By utilizing an HCI solution, companies can handle video data, video management systems, analytics and other related applications without worrying about overspending now or encountering any difficulties in expanding their data storage in the future. Business teams in charge of managing and utilizing video data need to prioritize proper and efficient storage. The Efficiencies You Can Realize There’s the efficiency of function, efficiency of management and efficiency of cost Businesses know that efficiency comes in many forms. There’s the efficiency of function, efficiency of management and efficiency of cost, to name a few. HCI that’s designed to manage the specific challenges related to video — such as 24/7 operations — provides efficiency in many different forms. HCI done right brings together the previously disparate elements of storage, servers and management processes into a singular piece of hardware. By virtualizing the servers and storage that run video and security systems, efficiencies are created that reduce footprint and simplify management, which both reduce costs. Every business should be looking across their enterprise for ways to increase efficiency. When that gaze comes to video surveillance systems, it should be supported by an IT infrastructure that’s purpose-built to maximize the value of video.