Drones, disruptions, and indications that enterprise businesses are getting more serious about physical security; the Circadian Risk team just got back from last week’s Global Security Exchange (GSX) in Chicago, and we saw a lot of interesting technology there, as well as a few trends that make us hopeful about the future of physical security.
GSX is the security industry’s biggest, and most long-running trade show. Last week’s convention brought together 550 exhibitors and more than 20,000 security professionals from around the world. Long-running though it is, this is just the second year the show has been run as GSX. Until 2017, the conference was called ASIS International’s Annual Seminar and Exhibits.
The event was rebranded as GSX last year, and it’s the best place for security professionals to catch up with the newest developments in our field.
Want to know more about the ASIS rebrand?
Here are some of the most interesting things we saw on the exhibition floor.
1. The Disruption District
This year, GSX added the Disruption District, a new section devoted to disruption and innovation in the security industry. The Disruption District includes an area called Startup Sector, which highlighted about 10 emerging startup companies with leading-edge technologies. It’s great to see GSX encouraging entrepreneurs in security, which has lagged behind the rest of the economy when it comes to technology and disruption. (Until about 5 years ago, our biggest technological advances were cameras able to see over long distances or with night vision.) As an industry, we are by nature risk-averse, so I’m pleased that new ideas are getting a boost.
2. The pitch competition
On the same note, the Disruption District also featured a pitch competition, which allowed 12 new companies to pitch their ideas in front of a shark tank of investors and CSOs. Once again, it’s exciting that GSX is encouraging progress, new technology, and new ideas. Criminals tend to be early adopters of new technology, so it’s important that we embrace progress as well. If we aren’t willing to choose new solutions, we’ll lag behind the criminals we’re trying to stop.
3. Anti-drone technology
From espionage to attacks, drones are becoming a security concern and many companies are looking for drone countermeasures. This year’s exhibition floor featured a netted off area for companies who were showing anti-drone technology which ranged from nets (to capture drones) to signal-jamming technology, as well as weaponized drones designed to engage in dogfights and knock hostile drones out of the sky.
Can technology replace security guards?
4. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cameras
The constantly-evolving combination of cameras and AI technology is always fascinating. The technology we saw at GSX showed us that AI has evolved past the point of recognizing faces; AI can now identify individuals, even if those individuals are in disguise, by identifying a person’s unique gait. More and more advancements are happening in the camera sector, which will help turn cameras into a predominant view of retrospective data analysis into a more proactive predictor, indicator, and response tool.
5. Scanning technology
Scanning technology – systems that scan for concealed weapons like knives, guns, and explosives – was well-represented at GSX 2019. Systems like Patriot One Technologies’ Patscan System use algorithms to detect a firearm — even if a gun has been taken apart and is entering a building in separate bags — by identifying the specific alloys that was used to make that gun. Patriot One recently acquired XTRACT Technologies, an AI company, so it will be interesting to see how they’ll be incorporating AI into their products at future GSX shows.
6. Security Command Center desks
There were several booths promoting command center desks at this year’s GSX. While it might seem odd to talk about a piece of furniture on this list, the proliferation of companies making security desk booths seem indicative of a cultural change around security. These are big-ticket items, incorporating screens and other sophisticated hardware that allow security officers to monitor security from a central location. Security command centers haven’t been common (many companies have seen security as a loss or treat it like an afterthought), but the number of booths selling this equipment suggests that command centers must be becoming a strong component in enterprise security. This is great news; if companies are willing to invest in command centers, that means they’re adopting a proactive security culture.
7. Artificial intelligence and data integrations in security
Many of the products we saw at GSX indicate that AI and data are playing a larger role in security, from the AI/camera technology we discussed earlier to the collection of biometrics for access control systems. There is a multitude of ways data and AI can be used to improve and take the human error out of security.
Software is changing risk assessments.
Miss GSX this year?
If you didn’t make it to GSX, don’t worry. Next year’s GSX will be taking place in Georgia and you can catch up with the latest in security there.
You also don’t have to wait. The local chapter of ASIS, ASIS Mid-Michigan, is meeting on September 27. Meet up with us there.