If I start off my morning saying “excuse me” to a robot, I know it’s not going to be a business-as-usual day. That was my welcome to ASIS 2016 in Orlando. The robot I brushed past, from Knightscope, was autonomously patrolling the entry of the convention center with an array of cameras and sensors, but thankfully no weapons (it looked more like R2-D2 than RoboCop). What struck me was how quickly I grew accustomed to the idea of robots strolling the hallway, observing and reporting. (I shouldn’t get too casual about it — one recently ran over a toddler in a mall.) But it was also a vivid example of how the Internet of Things (IoT) is so quickly becoming an accepted part of our everyday lives.
The apparatus of security is something that can be easily taken for granted. We may grumble about taking our shoes off at an airport security line, or having our bag searched on the way into a concert, but we largely accept these inconveniences as the price of security. The infrastructure that is necessary to make us all feel secure in order to conduct business, travel, and live our lives freely is vastly more complex than many of us typically think about. At the ASIS International 61st Annual Seminar and Exhibits last week in Anaheim the world’s experts in security management gathered to share insights on what it takes to mitigate risk and maintain security. These are the guys who think about security every day and never take it for granted. Experts presented on topics such as “The Future Effects of Rapidly Changing Security Technology” and “Living the New Normal of Sophisticated and Determined Attackers.” I listened to the head of security at The Mall of America describe behavior detection and assessment, and how they have responded when the mall was specifically mentioned in a terrorist threat video. He recounted some specific successes you probably haven’t heard about because security successes don’t make the news – security failures do.