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Educational opportunities for security professionals

John Convy

With security awareness, threat assessment, and risk analysis extending into new areas like international traveler health screening, vigilance at the doors of elementary schools, and intensified subway passenger safety, it’s important for government security professionals everywhere to keep their knowledge and credentials continuously up-to-date.

The Internet is rich with ways to stay current on new developments, no matter where you live and work. And yet, there are still people in our industry who value the benefits of interactivity and one-to-one collaboration that can happen only when people gather together in a live seminar or classroom setting.

The publisher of GSN recently suggested that I keep my finger on the pulse of live educational seminars about Net Centric Security and other disciplines of interest to GSN readers. This is an area where I have a lot of familiarity, as the founder of the IP Video Surveillance Academy (IPVSA), and its predecessor, the Video Security and Integration Summits. Over the past decade, these two consortiums of security-related organizations have registered more than 8,000 security professionals for these free seminars focused on open architecture, standards-based security systems.

Our original concept was to bring these resources to professionals where they live and work. Those who don’t live near a major city, technology capital, or trade show hub always seem grateful when we make an effort to come to them. Our group of domain experts has traveled throughout the continent sharing knowledge on a wide variety of topics, including the differences between proprietary and open standards, de facto standards, plus the latest developments on standards from the Security Industry Association.

We’ve been to cities like Washington, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, but we’ve also made a point to visit smaller, regional markets as well. We’ve tried to empower our participants with the freedom to choose best-of-breed components and help them assure that the selections they make are scalable and interoperable using a standards-based, open API approach.

At a recent IPVSA session in Calgary, Alberta, we met Anthony Chaloner, a security integrator who thanked us for an opportunity to learn about the security business and to network with other local professionals.

“I’ve been able to keep myself up to speed through online Webinars from ASIS and similar organizations. Occasionally, I’ve been able to travel to national events like ISC West, but those are not always convenient or affordable for me, in terms of the cost and time required to be away from my customers,” he explained.

The wide variety of topics covered during the session held his interest, Chaloner said -- in particular a discussion of the Internet of Things (IoT).

“I think IoT is a massive topic. If somebody doesn’t agree that it has relevance in the security industry, they’re living in the past, because every device is now connected in some way,” he shared. “IP cameras may be more of a privatized network device, but people want access to their information from any point, and mobility is a huge part of that. Many people are talking about using mobile and remote devices on the information security side, and solutions to access these technologies are quickly coming to the forefront of our business.”

What other types of technology does he find interesting?

“The IPVS Academy I attended covered the topic of video very well. In talking with other security professionals, a discussion about video usually includes access control. From my perspective, those two definitely go hand in hand, and it’s something I’d like to learn more about. I have been working lately with wireless locking device technology, which integrates well with IP video management software. It’s becoming a large part of my business, and I need to stay on top of this emerging technology.”

Another subject area Chaloner suggested we address is audio triangulation, used to identify the location of gunshots, and other forms of audio for verification.

“Audio is something that can be overlooked when video surveillance is discussed. I think it’s a very useful tool and, in specific applications, I see where it could be extremely beneficial. People are looking more for video evidence and maybe haven’t considered that audio could be even more solid evidence when you’re dealing with law enforcement and those types of situations.”

Anthony also made a point about security being everywhere today.

“I’m in the process of developing some security-specific target markets, and I want to bring real value to the table when I talk about system implementation and explain the required costs. A significant amount of capital is being invested in these systems, and customers may not be reaping the full benefit from the technology. I need to keep my applications knowledge sharp and current, and I really appreciate the training session that I attended so close to my home,” he said.

Hopefully, this is just the first of several updates on security seminars and professional education that we’ll write about here in GSN. If you have a suggestion about an educational resource that you think we should cover, or if you have a relevant question, please feel free to send a message to [email protected].

John Convy and Convy Associates provide strategic alliance, A&E consultant, technology ecosystem, and lead generation programs to monetize relationships and accelerate demand for leading security industry manufacturers. John is the Founder and Managing Director of the Open Standards Security Alliance and the IP Video Surveillance Academy, and is a speaker at many global industry events.



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