Looking to 2016: Security Pros Dish on Most Pressing Issues

SSI asked eight security professionals for their industry predictions for the upcoming year.

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Richard Ginsburg, President & CEO, Central Security Group: The industry migration from 2G to 4G cellular communicators has been slow, and a lot of resources have been used to delay the inevitable. Companies must be much more proactive in the future when it comes to maintaining cutting-edge technology and educating customers more on changes, necessary upgrades or solutions. In addition, the massive problem of some companies using or allowing deceptive sales tactics seems to be a plague on the industry that is not being resolved. Even after an impactful national news story on “20/20,” many companies seem to turn a blind eye to deceptive sales tactics and how hurtful this practice is for the entire industry. I believe it is the No. 1 threat in the industry. A few companies, like ours, are dealing with it, turning away deceptive dealers and working with other companies to identify ways to protect consumers from these tactics. Unfortunately, many companies are not.
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Tricia Parks, Principal, Parks Associates: Standards for interoperability that cross platforms is a pressing issue, allo
wing a consumer with a couple of smart devices already in the home to move toward a security system that doesn’t yet integrate with the owned brands. Another is security breach threats arising from connectedness for many products, as well as the adoption of user interface innovations. Perhaps the most impactful issue is that some consumers are entering a phase of skepticism, seeking out alternatives to the entrenched subscription models. Consider cord-cutting for example; while not a tidal wave it portends true disruption as consumers consider other models such as streaming and antennas. The concept of professional monitoring for short periods of time, such as vacations, has not taken hold, but perhaps it will. If so, that is disruption. If this is married with consumer-trusted smart enhancements, such as cameras and alerts to smartphones, more consumers may become resistant to high monthly fees.
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Chris Peckham, SVP, CTO and Special Projects at Kratos Public Safety and Security Solutions: The ease of integration within complex systems remains a challenge for some users. In many cases, an API, SDK or other middleware can be used to provide a very high degree of functionality, but some expertise is still required to deliver in many large-scale deployments. While the use of standards has simplified the process, challenges do remain. Basic technical knowledge and how a person interacts with the end user can go a long way to increase customer satisfaction. Basic network fundamentals should be part of the training provided to each technical resource in a company. Training for customer support skills should be a requirement for all people that are client-facing. From the sales perspective, do they fully understand the products that are being offered and where they can obtain support from the vendors to increase their likelihood of success?
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Jay Hauhn, Executive Director, Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA): Net neutrality gets a lot of media coverage with respect to an Internet Service Providers desire to control or manage content. The ISPs claim that they should be able to throttle streaming video services, such as Netflix, can, however, easily impact physical security video services. If ISPs are allowed to throttle, for example, Netflix, then that would also allow ISPs to throttle security video services. That’s a concern given ISPs now provide their own video services. The Alarm Industry Communications Committee [AICC] coordinates industry interaction with Congress and the FCC on this issue.

About the Author

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Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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