ASIS INTERNATIONAL – the world’s largest association for security management professionals – welcomed delegates to its Annual Conference entitled the Global Security Exchange 2022 in Atlanta from Monday 12 September until Wednesday 14 September for an event featuring more than 200 education sessions and upwards of 400 exhibitors.
Malcolm Smith CPP, the current president of ASIS International, welcomed attendees to GSX and spoke about how the profession of security – and ASIS members in particular – embodies the Zulu philosophy of ubuntu, which is rooted in Smith’s home country of South Africa. Ubuntu centres on the concept of togetherness and shared humanity shown towards one another.
“The concept of ubuntu is modelled by security professionals around the world,” urged Smith. “There’s a shared sense of collaboration and humanity among security professionals that’s directly connected to our collective goal of making the world a safer place for all. Each year, GSX offers a platform for us to share Best Practice, detail the latest trends and insights and seek creative problem-solving solutions.”
Mateo Salvatto, the head of innovation at ORT Schools and CEO of Asteroid Technologies, kicked off proceedings with a compelling general session for several thousand security management professionals from across the globe attending either in-person or online.
Salvatto’s keynote presentation (entitled ‘Everyone Can Change the World’) focused on inclusion within the innovation process. Salvato has created an app named ‘Háblalo’ that assists more than 350,000 users with communication disabilities worldwide. It helps to deliver tailor-made solutions for building bridges that don’t currently exist. He also spoke of his entrepreneurial journey and how his passion for technology and robotics led him to develop the app.
The inaugural day of GSX 2022 featured more than 90 educational sessions covering topics from across the security profession, including presentations on securing houses of worship and schools, the latest insights on deep fakes, the use of Artificial Intelligence in video, drone detection technology, national security and counter-terrorism, cyber security, crisis management and risk assessment.
“We’re excited to be able to gather such a diverse group of security professionals from around the world in order to further their educational and networking needs like no other event does,” explained ASIS CEO Peter O’Neil. “GSX 2022 also features over 400 exhibitors showcasing the latest innovations in the world of security, gatherings for our Women in Security and Young Professional Communities and more.”
Cyber security expert Jake Williams spoke about implementing and guaranteeing security controls. Also known as ‘Malware Jake’, Williams discussed how the silos that still exist between the physical and cyber security communities need to be addressed head on. “We have to stop thinking that cyber security is separate from physical security,” urged Williams. “Security is security.”
Williams’ presentation was entitled ‘Validating Security Control: Taking ‘We Think’ to ‘We Know’. He emphasised that having an IT team whose members know how to properly check the existing ‘tech’ and create the correct protocol when things go wrong is a necessity for keeping any organisation secure.
On the GSX Cybercon Stage, the session panellists involved in a discussion on ‘If You Don’t Have Physical Security, There’s No Need for Security!’ reiterated a number of the points made earlier in the day by Williams.
“There’s an adversarial relationship between those in cyber security and phsyical security that does not need to exist,” stated Andrew Peden, CEO of L5L Solutions. “As a whole, the security profession needs proactive and courageous leaders who are willing to break down those silos.”
Peden underscored the importance of focusing on the impact of cyber-physical security by suggesting that circa $50 billion worth of cyber-physical security attacks are anticipated to occur in 2023 alone.
One of the game-changer sessions at GSX 2022, entitled ‘Become The Threat’, featured Sherrod DeGrippo, vice-president of threat research and detection at Proofpoint, who addressed how to minimise data breaches and access the mindset of the hacker.
DeGrippo invited attendees to design their own phishing attack by considering who they would target, what kind of information they would seek and what the end goal of such an attack would be. These kinds of exercises can make security professionals – or anyone else with an e-mail – better at spotting unsafe communications.
Wednesday 14 September at GSX served as Military and Law Enforcement Appreciation Day to honour the individuals who make our communities and our world a safer place. All law enforcement and military personnel as well as first responders received a free one-day pass to the event.
There was a special commemoration for the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States.
As an organisation, ASIS International remains dedicated to expanding and enriching knowledge sharing, Best Practice and peer-to-peer connections such that security professionals across disciplines – and at all stages of their career – can access the information and resources they need to succeed.
*For additional information about GSX 2022 visit www.GSX.org