Adam Bannister

Editor, IFSEC Global

Author Bio ▼

Adam Bannister is editor of IFSEC Global. A former managing editor at Dynamis Online Media Group, he has been at the helm of the UK's leading fire and security publication since 2014.
August 28, 2019

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"A real buzz"

‘A multi-layered approach to cybersecurity’: IDIS at IFSEC International

With the dust now settled following IFSEC International 2019, IFSEC Global caught up with Jamie Barnfield, Sales Director at IDIS, to hear about the company’s experiences and success after exhibiting at the show.

So, Jamie we were very grateful for your pre-IFSEC update and views in June. Now that summer is nearly over and everyone has had time to reflect, what are the top line take-aways for IDIS in 2019?

There was a real buzz around the show this year, we all noticed that – and the IDIS stand was busy. In short, we saw lots of enthusiasm from visitors both regulars to the show as well as new.

IFSEC is still the best show in the UK for launching new tech.  It brings the whole security buying chain together under one roof, and that’s always going to be important to IDIS.

The biggest interest we saw this year was definitely around what we’re doing with analytics – edge, deep learning and simple appliance offerings.  And unsurprisingly cybersecurity was top of the agenda.

There were also plenty of questions about around privacy and GDPR – an issue that pretty much affects all businesses – so it was the perfect platform for us to launch AI in the Box deep learning analytics and our Dynamic Privacy Masking solution.

Unsurprisingly, cybersecurity was top of the agenda.

IFSEC is evolving as an event, we’re seeing new and different customers visiting each year from a wide range of areas. What types of customers did IDIS meet and were there any surprises? 

Yes, I’d agree with that.  We saw far more visitors with live projects this year, as well as people who wanted to look ahead and browse new technology.

Lots of people were there with a specific objective and some of them had travelled quite a distance, which is a sign of IFSEC’s continuing status in the security industry. There was also a good international mix.  We welcomed visitors from across Europe as well as the Middle East and North Africa.  Not only were the whole EMEA team kept busy during the show, the entire sales team and our partners have had plenty to do following up on those opportunities since including throughout the summer holiday period.

That’s why I’d like to take this opportunity thank to our distribution partners CCTV Center in Spain and AVIS in Russia for taking the time to visit us in London, as well as team members from IDIS Nederland for making the journey and being part of our whole IFSEC experience and indeed follow up work.

There was definitely a broader mix of visitors to the IDIS stand this year.  We had very senior executives visit us from some the largest national systems integrators, as well as some turnkey security solutions providers.  We met with end users from across the UK and beyond.  We had some great meetings that resulted from the Hosted Buyers program. For example, these included discussions and tech demonstrations with representatives from a big global brand companies who had travelled from Central and Eastern Europe with a specific purpose.

There were certainly more IT integrators in attendance. This was good to see as we know that more IT infrastructure service providers are appreciating the value-add they can deliver customers by offering IP surveillance.  So, it’s great that these guys are now taking the time to come to a security show to learn more about latest technology and how it can benefit their customers.

Rather surprisingly there were a lot of users still not benefiting from the H.265 standard or other compression technologies and so there’s still a lot of bandwidth and storage challenges and concerns out there and frustration with remote access via smartphones and tablets.

 

IDIS embraced the social and networking elements of the show this year, how important is it for you to spend more informal time getting to know your customers? And more importantly how can IFSEC help to make this an even greater success in future years?

Every year our IDIS party is a big hit with customers and this year we included some more unusual entertainment on the stand.  We had two games, ‘lights out’ and ‘buzz wire’, that were great fun for everyone. The IFSEC marketing team did a fantastic job in collaborating with our own marketing and PR department to promote the event through social media.  As a result, we had a huge turn-out and of course that meant some great networking opportunities. It all helps deepen existing relationships and make the visitor experience to the IDIS stand more memorable.

IFSEC’s increased investment in social media should definitely continue and so too should the PR effort you guys have made this year. There are plenty of specialist IT and security integrators who are very active on Twitter and the IFSEC team tapped into that to raise awareness of the show.

The Hosted Buyers program process started earlier and was far more targeted this year.  The IFSEC team better understood visitors’ requirements and set up meetings with the right exhibitors as well as pre-qualifying short- and medium-term projects.

There was also a more integrated approach to communications for the Protection and Management Series of events to ensure more visitor cross over. For example, it’s was great to demonstrate health and safety professionals the benefits of fisheye cameras as the perfect tool to retrospectively review safety incidents or how surveillance can enforce safety standards through the use of edge analytics.

The varied conference agenda was appreciated by a lot of the visitors we met.  And the launch of the Surveillance Camera Day was inspired and something that gained widespread media attention that promoted the show, so that’s something we like to see happen each year.

Of course, if the IFSEC team could have a word with Cross Rail to speed up the opening of the Elizabeth Line that would also be extremely helpful, particularly for those of us travelling from Heathrow and West London!

 

Can you say what types of projects your visiting customers were working on and were there any significant challenges involved with these projects? 

There was hardly a visitor who didn’t have questions or raise concerns around cybersecurity.  We predicted that cyber would be a big theme at IFSEC and this is why we launched an advisory video ahead of the show. This explains our multi-layered approach, combining industry-standard tech, such as TLS, together with IDIS’s own proprietary protocols.

And we were right – visitors wanted to know about secure transmission of data, access, storage and video integrity, among other concerns. Our core offering, DirectIP®, acts as mutual authentication system supported by all IDIS products and gives assurance of robust protection for our customers. We spoke to some who have multi-site retail upgrades planned, for example.

For them, the plug-and-play, one-click configuration eliminates the risk of cyber loopholes during implementation.  That’s a force multiplier if a customer is looking at using multiple integrators for an international upgrade. Plus, it speeds up implementation because engineers are not having to manage hundreds or thousands of devices and associated IP addresses. And of course, it’s in those large-scale deployments that people can be tempted to save passwords in vulnerable spreadsheets or jot them down in notepads as they connect each camera.

‘Back doors’ remain a concern for some customers, so they need assurance that once implemented a manufacturer cannot access their system.  In the event of a lost password, we can give that assurance: neither their administrator nor any users can contact IDIS technical support or our HQ R&D departments to regain access. This has often been the ‘back door’ that other manufacturers left open to help customers – yet it unwittingly put those customers at risk by allowing unauthorised access.

There was a lot of discuss with visitors about how the US-ban on Chinese tech, may or may not affect the UK and Europe. Since we launched at IFSEC over six years ago most of the industry has come to know that IDIS is the largest in-county surveillance manufacturer in South Korea and that gives definitely gives peace of mind and increases purchasing confidence.   A year or so ago it was only larger enterprise and public sector businesses that had uncertainty, but during this year’s show it was evident smaller and medium sized businesses are also evaluating the significance.

Compliance was also a major topic and not just around redaction and anonymising video data for GDPR requests, but varying storage requirements in different countries, depending on the application.  And customers told us it’s not easy working with differing storage retention periods across their various surveillance setups.  This was a particular challenge for customers who have adopted a cloud-based solution as it can mean they are facing huge additional storage costs. Or for applications here in the UK that need 90 days such as for high definition cameras capturing financial transactions. Quite simply some surveillance users are struggling to easily configure individual cameras to optimise storage.

So, there’s still a lot of complexity out there that security managers and their systems integrators are struggling with. New regional compliances such as those in the Middle East and the EU are adding to the challenge, and obviously cybersecurity remains a real threat for the foreseeable future.

Compliance was also a major topic, not just around redaction and anonymising video data for GDPR requests, but around the varying storage requirements in different countries, depending on the application.

You launched the IDIS AI in the Box (DV-2116) at the show this year. How did you maximise the opportunity a show like IFSEC gives you for introducing new products?

Analytics, analytics, analytics…  There were almost zero visitors who weren’t planning to adopt analytics in the short to medium term.  They particularly wanted to see for themselves if deep learning was just hype or if manufacturers could affordably solve challenges today. And, if they could, they wanted to understand the roadmap and how adopting deep learning now will support them in the future.

IDIS Deep Learning Analytics has already been deployed to reduce false alarms and automatically detect activity that otherwise might be missed by operators, so all the benefits of combination and intelligent searching speak for themselves. It was clear to our visitors how this can drive up control room efficiencies, strengthen security and speed up investigations, for example.

Having a live demo of the DV-2116 definitely showed visitors that deep learning is now far more accessible to smaller businesses. The 16-channel, AI-ready appliance is easy and cost effective to install, with clear and transparent licensing fees.

We launched AI in the Box at the show, so that also gave us a chance to unveil it to the world’s media.  This really helped us raise awareness of IDIS’s deep learning capabilities beyond the audience at the show with some great coverage in publications that have audiences across Europe, Middle East and Africa.

 

IFSEC will be in its more traditional May slot at ExCeL in 2020- so what will the next ten months have in store for IDIS?

We’ll be seeing lots of the projects we discussed at this year’s show bearing fruit – some are already well advanced. Where larger projects are involved the lead-time is often longer, although it’s surprising how quickly customers sometimes want to move.  We are well placed to facilitate that with our global sales team and world-wide network of over 100 strategic partners together with  plug-and-play tech and end-to-end solutions.   However, like most sales professionals I’m looking forward to the 2020 move to May as it will definitely give us more time to follow up before the summer break!

A key annual event for IDIS is our Global Partners’ Summit, which held in Seoul every autumn. This is an important opportunity for us to focus on our product and business development strategy and we work closely with our distributors and partners to understand what customer priorities are, and to ensure that we’ll continue meeting them.

The new solutions that you’ll see on our IFSEC stand in 2020 will be the result of this continuous collaboration with our key partners and years of behind the scenes work and research understanding what customers really need.

Soon you’ll see the official launch of our new 2MP Lightmaster PTZ camera and later this year customers can expect an updated of version of IDIS Deep Learning Analytics, after the positive reaction and feedback at IFSEC as well as a range of new mega-pixel cameras. And importantly, IDIS is always looking to address the challenges integrators and users face implementing and/or using existing hardware and software. For example, IDIS customers already reap the benefits Smart UX Controls on our PTZ cameras or the triple-side and silky, smooth dewarping on our fisheye cameras.  Our integrators partners benefit from our commitment to easy and rapid deployment, whether that’s from the cornerstone of the IDIS Total Solution, DirectIP, which is true plug-and-play through to VA in the Box analytics or our HDMI & VGA Encoder and alarm box.

And of course, we’re striving to solve customers’ future problems, not just meeting their present needs.  That’s why IFSEC is so important – it gives us an opportunity to showcase new technology, gain valuable feedback and then drive our product road. It’s where all of that comes together.

 


Interested in getting involved with IFSEC International 2020?

A presence at IFSEC puts your brand and security solutions in front of the whole security supply chain, with a combined budget over over £23bn.

Find out more about who you’ll meet and how IFSEC 2020 will put your company on the map.


 

‘Secure by Default’ in the Age of Converged Security: Insights from IFSEC 2019

From data security to the risks and opportunities of artificial intelligence, the conversations at IFSEC International shape future security strategies and best practices. This eBook brings you exclusive insights from these conversations, covering:

  • A Global Political and Security Outlook from Frank Gardner OBE
  • Surveillance Camera Day: Tony Porter launches ‘Secure by Default’ requirements for video surveillance systems
  • Using Drones to Secure the Future
  • Autonomous Cars and AI: Relocating human incompetence from drivers to security engineers?
  • The Ethical and Geopolitical Implications of AI and Machine Learning
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