A Chat About ISC West 2018 With Will Wise of Reed Exhibitions

Will WiseSIA sat down with Will Wise, Group Vice President of the Security Events Portfolio at Reed Exhibitions, about what’s new at this year’s upcoming, highly anticipated ISC West 2018 event, the first and largest go-to converged security event of the year.

Explore ISC West and register at http://www.iscwest.com.

SIA: What new and exciting updates can we expect to see at ISC West this year?

Wise: CNN said it well—“bombshell hacks” were an unfortunate theme of 2017, from the Equifax breach to the leakage of alleged tools used by the National Security Agency, to most recently the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. And the tragic attacks in Las Vegas, Barcelona, New York, Kentucky and many other places were a sobering reminder of the challenges we all have to be safe and protected. Providing the tools and skills needed to protect against major cyber and physical security incidents like these that keep increasing in complexity, prevalence and scale is exactly why ISC West evolves and matures each year. Our goal is to address all current and emerging threats, as well as have the foresight to discuss ones we may not be able to conceptualize yet. The 2018 event theme of Comprehensive Security for a Safer, Connected World defines our mission for the event and our industry.

This year, we’re going to see more connected security technologies involving IoT, AI and biometrics innovations, and expanded use-cases for drones, counter-drone tech and robots. As always, we’ll showcase the significant advancements and innovation within perimeter security, building access and alarm security, video surveillance and access and ID management. Expect to see at least 150 new exhibitors that have joined the ISC West show floor this year, creating an expo floor that is larger and more diverse than ever.

We’re grateful for our ongoing collaboration with the Security Industry Association as the sponsor of ISC West, enabling us to offer more than 85 educational sessions within the SIA Education@ISC West conference, providing a comprehensive program for attendees from all industries, roles and functions across physical, IT and IoT security. These sessions are more than just about the diverse technology we showcase—they’re about the people that create these innovations and how to foster cross-departmental collaboration across the organization.

SIA: Tell us about the new and expanded segments of the show. What types of industry conversations are they addressing?

Wise: ISC West’s core theme is comprehensive security, with IoT as the catalyst that is pushing the cyber and physical security worlds to converge. Because of this, we’re experiencing rapid growth in the Connected Security Expo, which launched in 2016.

We’re also seeing major expansion of the Connected Homes area as the “smart home” market further disrupts. It’s always exciting to see how these concepts and devices are brought to life on the show floor. We’re also on track for the Unmanned Security & Safety Expo, which debuted last year, to double in size.

Most notably as another means for attendees to easily identify new companies and solutions, we’re debuting the Emerging Technology Zone, a platform for startups to showcase their next generation products and solutions. This is a massive opportunity for startups to accelerate their access to the security market, as they’ll not only get visibility in front of their target audiences of integrators, dealers and end users, but they will also have the opportunity to network with key industry investors and partners that can help them lift their businesses off the ground. We’ve lined up Imperial Capital as a presenting sponsor of the Emerging Technology Zone. Our goal is to provide up-and-coming companies with the access and support they need to break into the market and set a path for growth and profitability.

As with the educational program, these different segments aren’t just about technology trends; they emulate how cross-functional teams can work together to increase the functionality of the technologies they’re deploying, as well as properly assess and mitigate the inherent risks that come with the territory.

SIA: Why is this theme of organizational cross-functional collaboration so important?

Wise: Traditionally, the organizational process in security has been a siloed, single-lane approach. You wouldn’t see your facilities and operations security professionals interacting with the IT team or the integrators, installers or dealers. We’re heading in the right direction and seeing recognition that these disparate groups must come together to achieve a successful comprehensive security system and to enhance public safety. However, we’re honing in on this theme because this needs to happen even more, to become a norm not an exception.

We’re seeing increasing numbers of IT professionals attend because their role has expanded beyond the traditional domains of computer systems and networks. Our featured segments, expos and sessions are designed to offer this knowledge to serve teams of decision makers. As security professionals become more educated and expand their expertise areas, we’ll garner stronger talent pools, which will ultimately lead to a decline in the current cyberskills and integrated security skill shortages. This will take time and is an urgency that the industry must address, including embracing younger gen professionals.  Areas like AI, IoT, VR, data analytics and robotics are complex, which is why the education and training we provide is critical.

SIA: What’s most notable about this year’s educational lineup?

Wise: We wouldn’t have the depth of educational programs that we do without SIA’s backing and guidance. We truly value SIA’s expansive and tight-knit membership base and committees that make these programs a reality.

This year, we have two tracks across two days covering connected security, broken down by People & Process and by Technology, demonstrating how vital that balance is. With connectivity and IoT functionality, cybervulnerabilities are an inherent concern. Like ISC West 2017, sessions on cyber-physical integration and cyberhardening of physical equipment and devices are expected to once again be in high demand. This content at ISC West will be a springboard to a new event that ISC, SIA and PSA Security Network are launching June 4-6, the Cyber:Secured Forum in Denver (http://www.cybersecuredforum.com). The cyber-physical content and industry dialogue will continue throughout the year including at SIA’s GovSummit, SIA’s Securing New Ground event and ISC East.

We also offer extensive core content for integrators, dealers and installers who are staying current and leading the way to serve their customers. And the ISC Enterprise and government end-user audience is growing; we’re serving that community with end user-oriented tracks, including End-User Public Safety, End-User Physical Security, End-User IT Related Issues and End-User Strategic Management.

SIA: Are there any charities or cause-based initiatives you’re supporting at ISC West?

Wise: ISC West and SIA are strong supporters of Mission 500, an organization that advocates for underserved children and families. We host the Security 5K Thursday morning in Las Vegas the week of the show, where all proceeds go to Mission 500. We’re always humbled by the number of sponsors and exhibitors that get involved. Additionally, for those attendees unable to participate in the 5K, many give back by helping us put together backpacks with school supplies that Mission 500 distributes to underprivileged children.