I’ve been going to the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) Annual Seminar and Exhibits since 1987. This month the event is in Orlando, Fla., at the Orange County Convention Center. The Seminar is Sept. 12-15; the Exhibits Sept. 12-14.

During my early days, the ASIS event was a place to meet old friends and gain new ones. While that still happens today, the agenda – like life overall – has sped up. Topics and exhibits feature new technologies, legislation, certification, homeland security and even a dog or two – that’s a “woof-woof” kind of dog.

Here’s a cheat sheet on some hot buttons I’ll be pushing in Orlando.

Federal legislation has recently been introduced by Rep. Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio) that’s titled the “Secure America’s Homes and Businesses Act” (HR 3632) and provides up to $50,000 for commercial tax deductions annually for the purchase and the professional installation of electronic premise security devices. Devices covered: electronic fire/life safety, intrusion detection alarms or burglar alarms, video surveillance cameras and equipment, access controls including biometrics and automated fingerprint identification systems and any components, wiring, system displays, terminals or other equipment to install these devices.

It’s dual-detection for a new breed of dog. The first class of the new detector dog teams graduated earlier this year. An additional 100 dual-detection teams nationwide this year.
Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) will be talking at ASIS about its three new Security and Signaling Marks to clearly identify products that are tested to perform as required in security and signaling environments. Don’t get too excited; the Marks don’t kick in until May 1, 2007. But, if you cannot make it to Orlando and want more information, go to www.ul-securityandsignaling.com.

Homeland security and R&D advances also will have a spotlight at the ASIS event. While much product is being developed for government and military use, it is surprising how quickly some of it seeps into the commercial and corporate environment. A unique case in point is DNA biometrics. For example, Los Angles-based Applied DNA Sciences has plant-based DNA security technology to detect and deter fakes, counterfeiting, fraud, piracy and product diversion. Just weeks ago it entered into a development agreement with the Brown Art Gallery of Ojai, Calif., to create security technology specifically for fine art and collectibles.

Applied DNA Sciences is working with the Brown Art Gallery to create security technology specifically for fine art and collectibles. A DNA Security Marker links the art object with its provenance documentation to provide a definitive art authentication and anti-counterfeit solution. This image is by American Impressionist painter and gallery owner, James-Paul Brown. Photo courtesy: PRNewsFoto
Then there are those darn dogs.

At early ASIS events, dogs were mostly “junk-yard,” used to patrol fenced areas after hours. That was my impression on a tour of duty in Viet Nam with the 18th Military Police Brigade.

Today, a dog’s nose is much more important than its teeth.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is now training detector dogs to alert both at the presence of illegal drugs and humans that might be concealed inside vehicles or shipping containers. At the agency’s Canine Enforcement Training Center in Front Royal, Va., new CBP canine teams are preparing for their role in protecting the American people from possible terrorists attempting to illegally enter the U.S.

If you cannot make it to ASIS Orlando, go on the Web and Security magazine’s LINX service, powered by Google.