Lone wolf attacks, cyber threats and collaboration emerge as key themes at ASIS International 2016

Security professionals from over 100 countries gathered in Orlando between September 12-15 for ASIS International’s Annual Seminar and Exhibits (‘ASIS 2016’), recognised as one of the profession’s most comprehensive educational programmes.

The event, which was co-located with the (ISC)2 Security Congress and InfraGard’s 20th Anniversary Congress and Conference, attracted more than 22,000 registrants. This represents a 10% growth from the previous year. Keynote presentations delivered by US Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson and the FBI’s director James Comey underscored key conference themes, specifically the rise of lone wolf attacks, the risk of cyber attacks on critical infrastructure and the overriding need for greater public-private sector collaboration.

“In addition to my volunteer leadership role, first and foremost I’m a security management professional,” explained David Davis CPP, president of ASIS International. “From the trade show floor to the formal education programme, the depth of learning offered at this year’s event was astonishing. As a result, attendees and exhibitors were able to hold meaningful conversations about the current threat landscape, the new tools and solutions available and how best to support each other’s goals going forward.”

The four-day programme, which also featured presentations by Ted Koppel and Elliott Abrams, included more than 250 education sessions, the first edition of the Outstanding Security Performance Awards* for the US (organised by Perpetuity Research director Professor Martin Gill CSyP) and a succession of inspiring remarks delivered by Everest survivor Dr Beck Weathers.

The show floor at ASIS International 2016

The show floor at ASIS International 2016

In addition, ASIS 2016 showcased 550 exhibitors, providing attendees with hands-on access to security technologies addressing the full spectrum of threats including drone detection, body-worn cameras, autonomous security robots, cyber intrusion detection software, 4K cameras and data analytics tools. Indeed, 80% of ASIS 2016 exhibitors have already re-booked for ASIS 2017, which takes place in Dallas from 25-28 September.

New for this year, InfraGard co-located its annual Congress and Conference with ASIS 2016 and will continue that partnership in Dallas in 2017. Both Jeh Johnson and James Comey identified the need for greater private-public sector collaboration, which this working relationship duly exemplifies.

“With increased terror threats both domestically and globally, collaboration between the public, Government and private sectors is absolutely critical to the security of our citizens, as well as vital infrastructures,” explained Gary Gardner, chairman of InfraGard’s Board of Directors. “Partnering with ASIS ensures that our collective memberships have access to the latest intelligence and current threat assessments needed to protect and provide resilience for the communities which we diligently serve.”

Security and crisis preparedness

In conjunction with the event, ASIS held a free-to-attend Community Preparedness and Prevention Seminar as part of its inaugural Security Week. Supported by the US Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Infrastructure Protection, the programme educated Orlando community leaders and small business owners alike on the fundamentals of security, ‘soft target’ protection and crisis preparedness.

Mike Hurst (left) receives his Award of Merit from ASIS International's president David Davis CPP

Mike Hurst (left) receives his Award of Merit from ASIS International’s president David Davis CPP

In addition, ASIS International provided free access to the conference and expo for all active duty military, law enforcement and first responders as part of Law Enforcement and Military Appreciation Day.

ASIS rounded out its community outreach with the ASIS Foundation School Security Funding Competition, providing Lake Brantley High School with a $22,000 donation for security upgrades and $19,000 of in-kind security equipment and improvements.

“As the global organisation representing more than 35,000 security professionals worldwide, ASIS is distinctly positioned to deliver a dynamic security event that’s truly by the industry, for the industry,” said ASIS International’s CEO Peter O’Neil, who took the helm of the association earlier this year.

“I was both inspired and energised by the passionate community of security professionals who convened in Orlando. While our Annual Conference delivers unparalleled value in terms of information sharing, networking and exposure to cutting-edge technology, our constituents can rest assured that we’re fully committed to evolving and modernising the event’s content and format to both meet and reflect the rapidly changing needs of today’s security professionals. We look forward to building on this year’s success in Dallas next September.”

Awards of Merit for Mike Hurst and Professor Martin Gill

HJA Fire and Security’s director Mike Hurst, who’s also vice-chairman of the UK Chapter of ASIS International and a member of its European Advisory Council, attended the main conference in Orlando.

ASIS International's president David Davis CPP (right) presents an Award of Merit to Professor Martin Gill CSyP

ASIS International’s president David Davis CPP (right) presents an Award of Merit to Professor Martin Gill CSyP

To his great surprise, Hurst was called to the stage by David Davis CPP to receive a President’s Award of Merit for his services as a volunteer leader in the UK and Europe. Hurst works tirelessly for the security community, both during his day job as a recruitment specialist and in a pro bono capacity. Congratulations, Mike, from all of us here at Risk UK and Pro-Activ Publications. This award is thoroughly well earned and deserved.

HJA Fire and Security was set up by Hurst and colleague David Wilmot back in 1992 as a specialist consultancy recruiting security and fire professionals for a range of roles encompassing systems integration, manufacturing, consultancy at service providers, SMEs and larger corporations. Positions recruited include those for corporate security, sales and marketing, security and fire engineering, risk management, project management and the burgeoning sphere of cyber security.

Hurst also collected an award on behalf of the UK Chapter of ASIS International, which received an Honourable Mention for its excellent quarterly Newsletter (which is distributed with Risk UK’s print editions). Hurst serves as the Editor of the ASIS Newsletter.

Also attending conference, Professor Martin Gill CSyP received a President’s Award of Merit for his services to ASIS International and ASIS UK across many years, and in recognition of the inaugural US OSPAs.

*The Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs) recognise and reward companies and individuals across the security business sector. The OSPAs are designed to be both independent and inclusive, providing an opportunity for outstanding performers, whether individuals or companies, to be recognised and their success duly celebrated.

The 2016 US OSPAs winners are as follows:

Outstanding In-House Security Team

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Global Security and Resilience Team

Outstanding In-House Security Manager

Tim Mueller (Walgreens)

Outstanding Contract Security Company

Global Elite Group

Outstanding Security Consultant

David Aggleton

Outstanding Customer Service Initiative

Axis Communications

Outstanding Security Training Initiative

Allied Universal Learning and Development

Outstanding Security Manufacturer

American Science and Engineering Inc

Outstanding Integrator/Solution Provider

Honeywell Building Solutions

Outstanding Contract Security Officer

Christian Sorto (Allied Universal)

**Risk UK is an Official Media Partner for the inaugural UK OSPAs which take place in March 2017

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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