2020: The Security Year That Was, and Wasn’t

A look at the year through headlines shows just how much COVID-19 shaped the industry — from new solutions to altering in-person events.

2020: The Security Year That Was, and Wasn’t

This is typically the issue I devote my column to recapping the top news stories that shaped the security industry year, but there was nothing typical about 2020. Twelve months ago we were eager to embrace the dawn of a new decade, and there were 15 top trends I identified that to varying extents are still relevant. Some have been slowed but others have actually accelerated due to the COVID-19 crisis.

For better or (and certainly) worse, this has been a historic year for the ages. If for nothing more than posterity I felt it appropriate to summarize how the pandemic played out for security pros through the lens of SSI’s news headlines (paraphrased, through Nov. 16).

While trade show organizers were reluctant to cancel or pivot to virtual affairs, the timeline shows the resiliency of dealers and integrators to continue working and of their vendors to quickly bring COVID-19 solutions to market.


21: ISC West Eliminates ‘China Pavilion’ Due to Coronavirus Travel Restrictions

21: Coronavirus Prompts Motorola Solutions to Pull Out of ISC West



2: How Coronavirus Could Impact Global Video Surveillance Market

6: Reed Exhibitions Postpones ISC West Till July

11: Genetec to Host Virtual Trade Show

23: DHS Labels Integrators ‘Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers’

23: Alula to Host Virtual Trade Show

25: What Small Business Owners Need to Know About Families First Coronavirus Relief Bill

27: Why Security Pros May Benefit From the Coronavirus Outbreak

31: CARES Act Update: Forgivable Loans Explained

31: CAA Scratches Spring Conference, Will Host Virtual Event


1: Report: 87% of Small Businesses Hurting From Coronavirus

1: Everbridge Launches Coronavirus Protection Solutions

2: FLIR Smart Thermal Sensor Detects Elevated Skin Temperature

2: SIA Posts Guide to State and Local COVID-19 Programs

7: Coronavirus Could Raise Smart Home Voice Control Growth 30%

8: PSA Cancels TEC After Initially Postponing

9: ISC West 2020 to Now Be Held Oct. 5-8

9: ADT CEO Jim DeVries Diagnosed With COVID-19

10: How Video Systems Can Mitigate Risk During Pandemic

13: 19 Answers to Your Federal Relief Programs Questions

13: ESX Canceled; Virtual Event Explored (editor note: never held)

23: How to Protect Remote Workers From Business Email Attacks

27: Paycheck Protection Program Reopens: What You Need to Know

30: Winsted Releases Protective Partition for Added COVID-19 Protection



1: How Integrators Can Help Clients Reopen After COVID-19 Lockdown

6: Campus Safety Conference Events Canceled

7: How to Operate a Central Station During a Pandemic

7: Vivotek Pulls Out of ISC West Citing Coronavirus Concerns

11: Kastle Launches Integrated COVID-19 Program for Office Buildings

14: How Employers Can Protect Against COVID-19 Liabilities

14: Honeywell AI-Driven Thermal Camera Detects Elevated Body Temperature

19: ASSA ABLOY Introduces Hands-Free Door Opening Solutions

20: 5 Ways to Connect With Customers During COVID-19

28: CEDIA Expo Canceled; Virtual Experience on Tap


4: BriefCam Adds Video Analytics for Physical Distancing, Face Mask Detection

18: SIA to Host AcceleRISE as Virtual Conference

22: ASIS Shifts GSX to All-Virtual GSX+

23: HID Automates Social Distancing Enforcement, Contact Tracing in Workplace

23: Paxton Aims to Help Installers Provide COVID-Secure Buildings

25: ISC West Cancels In-Person Show, Moves to Virtual Event

29: LILIN Video Surveillance System Remotely Measures Temperature, Detects Masks



6: Hanwha Adds Occupancy Monitoring, Mask Detection to P-Series AI Cameras

16: TMA to Host Fall Events in Virtual Formats

16: ESA Leadership Summit to Be Staged Online

23: Kwikset Bows ‘COVID-19 Dealer Support Program’

29: Work From Home Is New Normal, Study Asserts



3: UL Targets Work-From-Home Guidelines

5: ADI Cancels All Expos for Rest of 2020

6: Alarm.com Q2 Revenue Up 16% Despite Coronavirus

7: PSA-USAV ADAPT Canceled, Will Be Held Virtually

11: PDK Adds Contactless, Multisite Features to Touch Reader & Mobile App

12: COVID-19 Changing How Americans Prioritize Their Home

19: Telguard Debuts Integrated Body Temperature Screening System

20: Camden Door Controls Bows ValueWave Handsfree Switches

27: Motorola Releases Avigilon H4 Thermal Elevated Temperature Detection Solution



2: ISC East Canceled, Virtual Event to Be Held

14: Total Tech Summit Pivots to Virtual Experience

14: Survey: COVID-19 Driving Big Access Control Changes

24: SnapAV Sets Dates for Snap Pro Live Virtual Summit


20: IDIS to Show Video Tech Solutions During Virtual Showcase

29: Axis Integrator Survey: COVID-19 Economic Recovery Top Concern

30: Inovonics Virtual Security Conference to Focus on Commercial Life Safety



2: Study: More Residential Dealers Deploy DIY During Pandemic

4: Why Logistics Operations Are Pivotal in Time of COVID-19

6: With More People Working at Home, Smart Homes Expected to Do More

While little played out as we had envisioned during 2020, there is still much to be thankful for and to look forward to as a brighter tomorrow for 2021. Stay safe and positive.

2020 Top 10 Non-COVID Security Stories

  1. ADT, Google Form Smart Home Security Partnership
  2. Hikvision Among Firms Declared by DoD Backed by Chinese Military
  3. SIA-ESA Foundation to Advance Security Talent
  4. Anixter Agrees to Wesco’s $4.5B Buyout Offer
  5. Motorola Acquires Pelco for $110M Cash
  6. ACRE Boosts Portfolio With Razberi Acquisition
  7. SES Buys iVerify’s Customer Contracts
  8. Tough Cyber Standard Validates DoD Contractors
  9. UTC Split Final, Carrier Now Independent Company
  10. ADT Buys Its Largest Independent Dealer, Defenders

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About the Author


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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