SIA GovSummit 2020 Keynotes Share Insights From Federal Goverment Leaders

Brian Harrell, Daryle Hernandez and Rep. Titus headshots

The 2020 SIA GovSummit, the annual public policy and government security technology conference hosted by the Security Industry Association (SIA), is happening June 1-4 as a free virtual event. Highlights of this conference include keynote presentations from three federal government leaders: Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.); Brian Harrell, assistant director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS); and Daryle Hernandez, chief of the Interagency Security Committee (ISC) within DHS CISA.

In her June 1 congressional keynote address, Rep. Titus discussed Congress’ response and recovery initiatives in the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provides relief to businesses impacted by COVID-19, and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) Payment Protection Program (PPP), which authorized hundreds of billions in federally guaranteed loans to help small businesses maintain payroll and prevent layoffs from occurring. Titus also mentioned the House of Representatives’ passage of the HEROES Act, which would provide additional funding toward testing and tracing of the course of COVID-19, states and localities and the election. Additionally, she highlighted how Las Vegas will leverage security technologies as a key component of its recovery and reopening process, including using thermal cameras and facial recognition technology in high-volume areas like casinos, airports and arenas; the importance of a safe and reliable infrastructure system; and how federal grant programs and security technology are helping Las Vegas mitigate, present, respond to and recover from acts of terrorism.

In his keynote presentation, Harrell discussed the dynamic threat environment (including active shooter incidents, vehicle rammings and bombings), how threats are evolving during the COVID-19 pandemic and the critical role security manufacturers and business developers play in the reopening process. He highlighted CISA’s efforts to address these threats, prevent further spread of COVID-19 and help communities reopen, including establishing guidelines identifying essential critical infrastructure workers during COVID-19 response; offering free workshops, training and webinars; and sharing the latest resources, services and information on its COVID-19 page. Harrell also emphasized the importance of conducting exercises to test worst-case scenarios to be prepared for times of crisis and investing in insider threat programs, highlighted the recently-created initiative to protect schools and campuses, discussed security convergence and the importance of the security community in keeping the American people safe and more.

In his June 2 remarks, Hernandez discussed the history of the ISC, which was established in 1995 with the mission to enhance the quality and effectiveness of security in and protection of government buildings and facilities, and its three goals: to establish policies, ensure compliance and enhance effectiveness. He highlighted the ISC’s work to help protect over 125,000 government facilities through its policies and guidance, its 2019 compliance reporting and its risk management training, regional outreach and virtual Homeland Security Information Network training and discussed how virtual training options will likely expand and continue to be used following the COVID-19 pandemic.

SIA GovSummit brings together government security leaders with private industry technologists for top-quality information sharing and education on security topics affecting federal, state and local agencies. Other key topics addressed at this year’s conference included use cases, emerging applications and policy regarding facial recognition technology; federal guidance for counter-drone technology; modernizing physical access control systems protecting government facilities; fever detection and camera technology in pandemic recovery; and using robotics technology in security operations. Attendees also enjoyed a keynote panel hosted by the Women in Biometrics Awards on the future of biometrics in government security applications and a keynote presentation from Kathleen McGuiness, auditor of accounts for the state of Delaware.

The 2020 SIA GovSummit session recordings are now available! Visit the agenda page to view all sessions, and click through to the sessions that interest you to watch them on demand.