It is hard to believe that Global Security Exchange (GSX) 2019 is almost here. GSX 2018 was the first year of the rebranded flagship security event, formerly known as the ASIS International Annual Seminar and the Exhibits, with a newfound focus on AI, robotics and cybersecurity. From discussions on closing the gender gap in the security industry to cybersmart buildings, the event showcased the industry’s dedication to driving innovation.

This year, it is anticipated that conversations will take a deeper dive into more intelligent security strategies and what their role is in the development of smarter infrastructures. Advanced security applications and data-enabled insights are a few main topics that will be top of mind for participants and attendees at GSX 2019.

Updating standard security systems for increased safety

With the rising interest in digital transformation, it is increasingly important for security solutions to be future-ready. Applications like the cloud, AI and ML are being leveraged now more than ever in not only new offerings, but they are also being used to upgrade traditional security systems. These advancements can help security directors and business owners gain access to more reliable data in order to proactively protect assets, mitigate risk and ultimately lend to their unique digital transformation strategies.

For instance, many commercial buildings have a security desk in the lobby for visitors to check-in and receive a badge for building access. An employee or resident of the building will usually alert security beforehand of the guest or security makes a call to the host before granting the visitor entry. Today, in a world where biometrics are used instead of phone passwords, this approach to visitor management is outdated. Once a guest is checked in, it is difficult to guarantee that they are only in the building to visit the employee or resident that they claim to visit without monitoring their every move via video surveillance or physical security guards.

Building owners can use the cloud to bolster their visitor management system and gain more accurate insights of occupant activity on their property. Instead of a physical sign-in sheet, guests can be prompted to check into a building 24 hours prior to their visit via their smart device. The pre-registration process can ask for the usual contact information to create a visitor profile in addition to asking the guest to agree to the building’s visitor policy and using their cell phone in place of a physical guest badge. The visitor profile is what is then connected to the cloud to allow the security team to review their information in advance of their arrival to approve or deny access. With the visitor’s cell phone acting as their access point, the guest can only enter the areas of the building in which they pre-registered for, which helps increase security measures. To take this optimized, cloud-based visitor management a step further, building owners can consider integrating the solution with other security systems.

Data holds the key to more integrated, secure and intelligent environments

Systems integration has been at the forefront of industry conversations since even before last GSX, and this year will be no different. Disparate security solutions are fading alongside unintelligent security systems, like traditional visitor management. Siloed building systems are also proving to be inefficient. The ability to provide customers with a connected approach to managing their security and life safety needs at the same time as their building controls is a key objective for integrators. We understand the need for owners to have a holistic view into their entire environment and GSX attendees should expect to see how integrators plan to provide a comprehensive building management strategy – and data can help.

As the threat landscape continues to evolve, not only is there an urgency to integrate security with other building systems, but there is also a growing need to standardize the way data from the different systems is collected. Security teams are tasked to stay focused on priority risks, but when insights are being gathered from independent solutions – from access control to video surveillance – it can be a challenge to determine what is high risk vs. low risk. There has been a need to adopt a proactive response plan, rather than reactive. Today, AI, ML and the cloud can help make a positive impact.

Similar to how the cloud can help improve a visitor management system, it can help take the data gained from the visitor management system and connect those insights to data retrieved from sensors, intrusion detection and mass communication, among others. The information from these systems can be aggregated into one software platform for seamless analyzation. Security teams can apply their unique business rules to allow the platform to let the technology focus on decreasing alarm noise so that they can focus their attention on priority security events.

Ultimately, data has the ability to help build a future-focused security program, but owners must understand what kind of data is hiding in their building systems in order to choose the most appropriate way to disseminate it into an individual interface. This evaluation can happen at the same time as taking inventory of existing security systems to determine which ones can be connected, which need updating and if an investment in newer systems should be made. At GSX 2019, we’ll be having these important discussions around security objectives for businesses and providing guidance to owners on how to best develop their unique future-ready security strategy. Will you be in attendance?