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Strategy Director, Security & Fire, Informa Markets EMEA

May 15, 2020


State of Physical Access Trend Report 2024

Converged security

What is IFSEC’s Converged Security Centre all about?

Gerry Dunphy, Strategy Director for IFSEC and FIREX International, discusses why the exhibition is pushing the cause for the importance of converged security and what it means for the future of security management.

At IFSEC International 2018 we first brought the Converged Security Centre to life. Last year it returned on a bigger scale, showcasing the latest integrated security management technology and, critically, what that means for the future of security management.

The Converged Security Centre will return to the next IFSEC International. The state-of-the-art demonstration area expertly highlights the advancement of Converged Security Information Management (CSIM) and how software, hardware and information media work together in real-time to give the full picture of a developing security situation.

IFSEC International’s Converged Security Centre showcases how security professionals from both the physical and cyber worlds can work together to manage risk in real time.

Its return is testament to the success and popularity of the Converged Security Centre. Its real-time simulations let visitors see a variety of security scenarios across transport, utilities, open spaces and infrastructure, demonstrating how hardware, software and cyber security converge to give an insight into the situation on-the-ground and how security teams can manage it. For instance, they might see a major traffic incident, including the build-up and the consequences on surveillance cameras, social media and local news feeds, all funnelled through one place for maximum visibility.

WATCH: Want to know more about converged security centres? Listen to our recent converged security webinar, which included expert comment from James Willison, Sarb Sembhi, John Gill from Vidsys and Joe Leung, from Micro Focus

READ: Converged Security Centres – your questions, answered! 

Our role at IFSEC International is to educate and enable visitors to understand what’s new on the security horizon. We’re very aware—as are lots of people across the industry—of the threat to cyber security in what is traditionally a world more focused on physical hardware.  The Converged Security Centre really helps to bring that threat to life. Adding some drama to the mix captures people’s attention, and I believe that’s one of the reasons it has proven so popular.

In my 20 years working in the security and fire industries, the pace of change has never been more rapid. Technology is racing ahead of people’s understanding, both in terms of its capabilities and its limitations but also in terms of how it can all work together. This is really half the battle. If we can help people understand what the technology is capable of and how it can inspire them, we can help provide new solutions and better outcomes for businesses.

Something the Converged Security Centre highlights is how much more available and integrated deep learning technology is becoming. That said, it also shows the evaluation process still requires a human role to decide how best to manage the situation based on the data. Converged security hastens that process by gathering accurate data in real-time to base those solutions on, allowing more informed decisions and a more detailed analysis of the bigger picture.

From a future perspective, the Converged Security Centre gives us a glimpse of how the security rooms of tomorrow will operate and how technology will continue to develop. It lets security teams look at the investments they make and judge which of their commitments are most sensible. Of course, nobody has a crystal ball, but I think we can safely say that converged security technology is here to stay.

We’re excited for everybody to see the Converged Security Centre up and running at future IFSEC events. I’d like to thank James Willison at Unified Security and Sarb Sembhi at Virtually Informed, the security consultants we have partnered with to deliver the Converged Security Centre, as well as the team at Vidsys for helping bring this all to life.

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