Government and industry met to identify challenges in hardening of facilities and public spaces
At the Security Industry Association (SIA) Capitol Hill Symposium on Perimeter Security in Washington, D.C., on October 27, 2022, industry and government connected to explore threats to safety and the share information on the evolution of technology to secure facilities and public spaces. This event, organized by the SIA Perimeter Security Subcommittee, brought together policymakers, federal and local agencies personnel, security consultants and architects, students, solution providers and others with the goal to learn, network and engage with the perimeter security industry.
The event was made possible through the generous support of the following companies.
- ARX Perimeters
- CHC Global
- Kimley Horn
- Nasatka Security
- National Safety Shelters
- Perimeter Security Solutions
- Total Security Solutions
The day began with a question-and-answer session with Joe Okes, assistant director of resilience and security for the Architect of the Capitol, and Russell Norris, former security research and development program manager for the U.S. Department of State. Okes and Norris addressed questions from the audience on from topics ranging from supply chain issues, design priorities, new technologies such as LiDAR and drones, security trends, asymmetrical warfare, security preparedness, artificial intelligence, rapid deployment solutions, budget process, to life cycle management for existing solutions. As the session came to a close, Okes and Norris stated two priorities for the industry’s focus: education and innovation. They challenged attendees to continue educating one another and to be transparent with the limitation with current and future technologies.
Next to present was Dan Genua, protective security advisor from Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Genua began the session by recognizing the protection of our nation’s critical infrastructure as a shared responsibility between the government and industry. He shared from his experience as CISA’s protective security advisor providing a free service to review security planning, implementation, response and resiliency assessments along with non-obligatory recommendations. Genua noted that there exists a tension between operational flow and security priorities, and he identified the need for more education on how investments in security will protect operational investments. He capped off the morning session by highlighting the unfortunate reality that physical security such as gates, guns and guards are only 20% of recommendations while cybersecurity has quickly gained the attention of end users. More work is needed to highlight the importance of both digital and physical security.
Following a lunch, the afternoon resumed with Tomas Diaz, senior engineer from Karagozian & Case. Diaz explained the development journey for an application being developed for CISA to provide a risk analysis for potential soft targets and crowded places such as farmer’s markets and tailgating venues for sporting events. The software utilizes geographical information system (GIS) in combination with artificial intelligence (AI) to allow users to transform open street map data into a 3D model to forecast impacts from multiple threat vectors from vehicles to blast packages. Diaz noted this solution is not intended to replace offerings by protective security advisor or security consulting services but would used as an on-demand option for an initial review meant to supplement more extensive assessments. Attendees saw a live demonstration using the event venue as the example.
“We were very pleased to share publicly for the first time the current status of K&C’s SMART application,” said Diaz, after attending the event. “We felt the audience at this symposium was the right audience to share our work with. We look forward to continuing development and having continued discussions with those that attended.”
Diaz was followed by Ben Hawkins from CHC Global, an affiliate of Lloyd’s of London. Hawkins demonstrated CHC’s assessment tools which rely on more than 50 years of incident history of terrorist attacks from all over the world and are tied to specific risks though the use of in-depth analyses stemming from an in-depth survey, physical review of locations and the risks and objectives of a stipulated security or safety plan. Much of Hawkins’ work is in preparation for the passage of the Protect Duty (also known as Martyn’s Law championed by Figen Murray who presented at the 2022 SIAs GovSummit) which will required businesses and entities in UK to plan and train for terrorist or other emergency events, based on basic threat profiles.
The day concluded with a 45-minute town hall with Rob Reiter, chair of Perimeter Security Subcommittee. He was joined by SIA staff members Patrick Russell, associate director of government relations, and Edison Shen, director of standards and technology. They provided a summary of the four active working groups within the Perimeter Security Subcommittee. The staff noted the development of documents to support selection of barrier solutions, provide recommendations on the usage of temporary barriers, and to deliver a threat, vulnerability and risk assessment (TVRA) primer. Russell also shared an update and plan to fund the approved-but-unappropriated Stopping Threats on Pedestrians (STOP) Act, a grant program to support the installation of bollards. Reiter ended the day with a discussion between security consultants and solution providers on the topic of crash certification of vehicle mitigation products and the need for guidelines for temporary solutions.
Comments from Sponsoring Companies
ARX President Bill Steckling: “This was a great event to bring together designers, government agencies, manufacturers, procurement and service providers in a forum allowing open conversation and information sharing to better provide quality solutions.”
Kimley-Horn Vice President Shannon Ahartz: “Sponsoring the lunch for the Capitol Hill Symposium on Perimeter Security was a tremendous opportunity for Kimley Horn to gain recognition as an eager and enthusiastic AE firm in the industry. The opportunity was further enhanced by the event attendance which provided excellent networking and learning opportunities from the best experts in the industry.”
Nasatka Security President John Scolaro: “Nasatka Security’s continued sponsorship and participation in SIA events as with this successful Capitol Hill Symposium provides Nasatka a direct opportunity to voice our solutions to an ever-dynamic expanding and diverse engineering and end user community, while just as important, bringing together industry manufacturing leaders tackling the challenges of standardization and messaging. The level of participation at this Capitol Hill Symposium demonstrates SIA’s unwavering devotion to raising the bar!”
CHC Global Partner and Director of Advisory Ben Hawkins: “CHC Global valued the opportunity to make connections with our transatlantic friends. By working together in the same room, we were able to absorb the security culture, and to better understand where we can help the SIA, and its members, in managing malicious risks, and to raise the SIA memberships’ awareness of our capabilities”
Chair of SIA Perimeter Security Subcommittee Rob Reiter: “Putting on the Capitol Hill Symposiums with SIA is a highpoint every year. This year, we made a conscious effort to encourage the participation of professionals in the fields of blast mitigation, ballistic materials and solutions, and data and design professionals to speak about risk and tools to create threat assessments. By doing so, we grew the scope and the reach of the Perimeter Security subcommittee.”