International Security Expo 2018 runs at London’s Olympia on Wednesday 28 and Thursday 29 November and showcases over 1,000 of the latest innovative products designed to enhance UK security. Also featured across the two-day Expo are no less than 13 free-to-attend (and Continuing Professional Development-certified) conference streams and workshops covering every major sector of the security industry. Risk Xtra is an Official Media Partner for the event, which is previewed here by Philip Ingram MBE.
We’ve been lucky in 2018 after the terror that tore across Europe and the UK in 2016-2017 with vehicle, knife and bomb attacks happening in Nice, at London Bridge, Westminster, Manchester and Barcelona. These are just a few of the places left reeling from a wave of extremism targeting people going about their normal lives. The often crude nature of the weaponry used belies the sophistication of many of the attacks that have taken place.
2018 has been successful for the Security and Intelligence Services with a number of attacks being stopped, but UK Counter-Terrorism Policing continues to remind everyone that it has approximately 600 active investigations on the books with over 3,000 people of immediate concern and another 20,000 on the radar.
2017 was marked by some of the most virulent global cyber attacks, with Wannacry infecting more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries and disabling parts of the UK’s healthcare in the NHS, as well as the Spanish Telecoms giant Telefonica and FedEx. North Korea was blamed for this incident.
In another state-blamed attack, Russia had the accusatory fingers pointed in its direction in the wake of the NotPetya attack on the globe which hit many Government systems in the Ukraine and elsewhere, and had a massive impact on global logistics with the shipping giant Maersk falling victim and having to shut down its terminals in four different countries for a number of weeks, in turn costing the company an estimated $200 million in losses.
Development of the threat environment
2018 has seen a development of the threat environment with the introduction of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation meaning that data breaches could well have huge implications for companies that suffer them with a €20 million (or 4% of global annual turnover) fine bringing additional and sharp focus to the cyber security environment.
In addition, while not a terror attack, we saw the first use of the colourless, odourless, virtually undetectable nerve agent Novichok, which was used on the streets of the small, sleepy English city of Salisbury. The attack against Sergei Skripal (a former Russian intelligence officer who defected to the West) resulted in seven people being contaminated and one dying. The British Government quickly blamed the Russians and the international community followed suit.
At the same time, ISIS and Al-Qaeda terror videos and propaganda have been advocating the use of drones against crowded places. During the FIFA World Cup in Russia, an ISIS propaganda video was released in which the terrorist group claimed it would attack with drone bombs. Writing in his book ‘Nine Lives’, Aimen Dean (a former MI6 spy inside Al-Qaeda, suggests that the recipe and design for chemical weapons and chemical dispersion devices is freely available in extremist circles.
Andrew Parker, the director general of MI5, said back in May this year: “Europe faces an intense, unrelenting and multidimensional international terrorist threat. Daesh continues to pose the most acute threat, but Al-Qaeda and other Islamist terrorist groups haven’t gone away.”
Challenge for the security community
Keeping abreast of the threats, countermeasures and developing technologies, as well as having a platform to discuss and share Best Practice, is always a challenge for the security community. This is where Peter Jones, the CEO of Nineteen Events (organiser of the International Security Expo) comes in. He recently said in a blog: “All I want to do, with my team, is something to help make it a little less chaotic and bring the chance of a little more safety and security. If I can do that, then it’s all worth it and will leave the world a little better for my loved ones.” This is the mantra that underpins the International Security Expo.
What many don’t realise is a big part of Jones’ team consists of 40 Advisory Council members who come from all aspects of the security community including Government, industry and academia. All resident at senior levels, they assist in the development of International Security Expo and help greatly in shaping the content with a goal of attracting the highest calibre visitors.
That content is delivered in free-to-attend conferences held over the two days. These conferences include a focus on Retailing, Hotels, Education, Maritime and Transport, Critical National Infrastructure, Crisis Response and Business Continuity, Protecting Crowded Places, The Night-Time Economy, Designing Out Terrorism, Cyber, Data and Information Security, Aviation and Border Security and, last but not least, Facilities Management Security.
Some of the speakers emanate from the Advisory Council, but many are industry leaders in these spheres and are not generally on many conference circuits.
The International Security Expo provides a unique platform for the entire security industry to come together to source products, share experiences and gain the knowledge needed to address current and emerging security challenges. The Expo and all of the conference streams are free-to-attend and unite the entire security community allowing shared learning and collaboration.
Innovation and technology development
A key theme running through the two days of the Expo in 2018 is that of innovation and many new technologies will be on display, ranging from a cost-effective, British built drone with thermal and optical zoom cameras that has a flight time of an hour through to the Protecting Urban Spaces feature. This new immersive demonstration area will showcase physical products and technologies and have live scenarios in play to illustrate how urban spaces can be protected from mass casualty terrorist attacks.
Given its ambition, the UK Government has come on board in strength and forms the core of the Government Agency and Department Zone. The USA, Canada, China and the EU all have their own zones, but it’s expected that representatives from over 50 countries across the globe will attend the event.
In fact, the organiser has stated that over 12,500 individual delegates are confidently expected to attend over the two days of this year’s Expo.
Given the rapidly changing threat landscape, the place to be in order to be brought up to speed with all of the latest developments is the International Security Expo. This is a show not to be missed.
*Visit www.internationalsecurityexpo.com for further details and register to attend the free conference series