The physical security business is, obviously, all about helping to deter, detect and defeat crime in order to increase the safety of businesses, institutions and residences.

Whether the products are being used in hospitals, schools, stores, government facilities or elsewhere, the unique needs of end users drive the security industry. As the leading voice for that industry, the Security Industry Association (SIA) recognizes this and is expanding its reach to security end users across all vertical markets.

The most important part of this effort is the overhauling of the fall ISC event. What was ISC East is now ISC Solutions, a show that is focused not just on the countless individual security devices that are available but on the application of security technology.

In addition, SIA provides many services that help end users – even when they don’t know they’re benefiting from them. The SIA Government Relations Department, for example, advocates for policies at the state and federal level that will enhance security. SIA lobbies for funding for federal programs such as the Transit Security Grant Program, the Port Security Grant Program and the Secure Our Schools program that provide funding for security projects directly to end users, and the association is working with Congress to secure funding for other public facilities, such as hospitals.

Also, SIA vigorously defends the ability of end-users to implement important security technologies. Misperceptions about RFID devices and biometrics have led to attempts across the country to severely restrict or, even, prohibit, their use. These proposals would only serve to deny businesses and institutions some of the most effective security options now available and, as a result, decrease public safety. SIA, though, has successfully opposed such measures in several states, including California, New Hampshire and Oklahoma.

SIA’s Education Department, meanwhile, offers valuable training opportunities to those who use security. From the Certified Security Project Manager program – the only project manager course designed just for security professionals – to the dozens of educational sessions at ISC events, SIA can help end users ensure that their security teams have the latest information in an ever-changing industry.
In the SIA Standards Department, complex technical discussions among manufacturers help the security industry produce standards that ensure quality and promote integration.

One of SIA’s most recent offerings to end-users is its new Security News Digest. This weekly compilation of stories from around the country provides a glimpse of security developments and trends with 10 or so articles – primarily from mainstream media sources – that range from significant to compelling to just plain amusing. This is available at no charge to anybody with an interest in security.

SIA is always looking for new ways to assist businesses, institutions and governments in their security activities. While SIA is not an association of security end users, it is, in many ways, an association for them.