Several of Faith Group’s security staff attended ISC West in early April. Our technical staff regularly attend shows like this to stay up-to-date on the latest product offerings, use cases, standards, and best practices, attend classes, along with walking some of our clients around the expo floor to help them with product evaluations.  Each of our staff have provided their recap of the best tech and lessons learned from the Conference. 

Joe Fallon 

This year ISC saw record attendance. As of Thursday, it was estimated at nearly 35,000 individuals.  Every year ISC can be summed up by one prevailing technology, and this year’s was without a doubt the Year of AI.  Every manufacturer had some type of offering they labeled as AI. Now I may not agree in the usage of the term in all cases, but it is certainly what manufacturers were touting. Another striking change was the wide-ranging technology and backgrounds of the individuals in attendance. Traditionally, ISC West has been a “security” show, but this year it was much more of a “technology” show with heavy IT attendance, which was probably part of the driver of a record turnout. 

Jarod Stockdale 

This year my takeaways from the show were a few new products that solve issues that weren’t on my radar previously.  The first was a software called “Swear,” and they have a novel method of authenticating digital files. We have been using digital watermarks in video files since we moved from video tape to demonstrate authenticity. With the powerful AI editing tools available, those watermarks can now be manipulated, removed, restored, and counterfeited. The Swear software takes advantage of blockchain and incorporates a block hash, that cannot be changed, into the digital files. If even a single pixel changes within a file, the hash will no longer match.  I think this technology will eventually replace watermarking for evidentiary purposes.   

The next solution was from Lucent.  They have written integrations for Cisco enterprise switches to Genetec.  Their integration allows switch management to be done from the Genetec UI from a dashboard and without needing to know Cisco code or programming.  It also allows for the Security Center to monitor the switches in real time open or close virtual ports, enable/disable PoE ports, etc. This is a game changer for smaller enterprise that may not have dedicated IT staff resources.

Another product I was impressed with was the Smart Cities dashboards from Hanwha.  They have created a very clean and intuitive “Common Operating Picture” set of dashboards which is what many of our operations center clients are trying to do.  They have a way to go with adding integrations and formatting data, but this generation is already a very strong start. 

Clinton McGraw 

Al, cloud-based systems, and improvements to existing products were the biggest trends that I saw at the show this year. From video analytics to smart forensic searches, AI is being implemented to increase efficiency workflows and provide a greater palette of options for users and system administration. I am also seeing many manufacturers offering hybrid cloud solutions that will allow for reduced cost of ownership while providing top-notch features and function with less chance for system failure upon loss of connection to the cloud. I was also impressed by the refinements to existing products such as more ergonomic user interfaces and additional features sets. I look forward to seeing many of these new and improved technologies implemented on upcoming projects and can’t wait to see what we will see at ISC West next year! 

Mike Niola 

While touring the floor, I came across Amazon’s new biometric reader, Amazon One. This is unique to what all major biometric reader manufacturers are using because it uses your palm.


Additionally, Faith Group had the opportunity to send some of our technical staff to experience ISC West for the first time. We also had staff at the Conference attending classes. 

Chris Phillips 

This was my first conference for security and my first exposure to many aspects of the security industry that I previously had not been exposed to. This ended up being a good crash course to various vendors along with aspects of design that I don’t normally get to see when drafting projects. One of the things I noticed that was consistent across the vendors we met with was the emphasis on an upgraded and updated user experience. Most vendors were moving away from older installed programs and software to access their products and instead, going towards a web-based user experience. From talking with the vendors, this move was to make updates to the interface easier, to create a more traditional and user-friendly environment, and cut down on training. One vendor explained it as not needing a training manual to use the software. Their updated interface was based on the idea of going to Home Depot’s website and using that site without the need to train for it. This approach would allow for quicker onboarding of new employees and less risk of lost time due to employee turnover. 

George Brooks 

With this being my first time at ISC West, I was very impressed with the offerings and the attendance. One technology that was interesting to see demonstrated in person was the Lidar technology used to observe and detect multiple conditions, i.e. boundary protection for security and safety, congestion, and tracking. The technology has a large coverage area, is immune to lighting and weather conditions that might disrupt traditional surveillance cameras and provides a level of privacy and anonymity inherently. Artificial intelligence was all the buzz, using data and analytics to further advance security initiatives across all verticals will be proving more and more useful as it progresses and algorithms are refined.  

CB Will 

While attending classes, one thing, as noted above by others, that was a running theme is the rise of AI. Specifically using AI to augment the current facial recognition technologies on the market today. The information presented noted that the current system of facial authentication uses a mapped-out cluster of touchpoints to build a profile of a person. AI would then be used to verify this on top of the current algorithms in use. As with all things AI at the moment most of this was noted as being in development/not actively deployed I took a networking for video surveillance class, and I am proud to report that Faith Group is currently using the best practices as described in the presentation. Another class on the integration of security infrastructure in the architectural process had some interesting ideas but was largely related to site work involving bollards and vehicular deterrents that Faith Group generally does not design as part of our building physical security systems. Similarly, a class on CPTED and how it can be used to deter active shooters noted that while certain large barriers can be used as cover, it also provides cover for the shooters. This was also a noted problem with the use of landscaping to minimize long site lines in that there is a balance to be had to maximize safety while not aiding the shooter.