International Security Expo review

International Security Expo review

Senior security professionals from around the globe come together to mark the return of International Security Expo - and launch of International Cyber Expo

From 28 and 29 September, the International Security Expo – the world’s premier Government, industry, academia and end-user security event – returned for the first time in nearly two years. Co-located with the newly-launched International Cyber Expo, the events welcomed thousands of security professionals from all corners of the industry, including senior representatives from Heathrow Airport, British Army, Bank of England, Tesco Stores Ltd, BAE Systems, Chester Zoo, CPNI, Dell, Neptune Energy, Post Office, NaCTSO, DASA  and the Embassy of Argentina. Further to this, recently appointed Minister for Security and Borders Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP, was also in attendance and carried out a keynote speech, clearly demonstrating the importance of the event to the security sector.

Reconnecting the market from far and wide, the international audience was made up of attendees from 36 countries including Israel, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Belgium and Australia. This included senior delegates from NATO - HQ AIRCOM, Germany, Government of Gibraltar, US Army RCCTO, New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police and the Embassy of the State of Kuwait. The overwhelming feedback from visitors and exhibitors alike proved a strong desire for the opportunity to reconnect, source new products and take advantage of in-person learning opportunities.

Speaking about the appeal of the events, Harry Forsyth, Risk and Intelligence Analyst, Kings Secure Technologies said: “Both International Security Expo and International Cyber Expo are excellent events to reconnect with people in the industry, watch some great talks and broaden my horizons. The quality of the products exhibited was noticeable.”

Fellow visitor, Rob Cochrane CSMP MBA, Security & Risk Consultant and Security Manager at Ferrero, also attended the show to get a better understanding of what is currently on offer across the market. He said: “The show is great and has delivered everything I need. It's very broad in terms of its sell - there is plenty of material from physical measures to cyber solutions." 

Rachael Shattock, Group Event Director at Nineteen Group said: “The overwhelmingly positive feedback from visitors and exhibitors alike is testament to the reputation of the show, and the value it gives to all those who attend. We were delighted to see so many visitors and exhibitors excited to be back at the show, reuniting with their peers. The energy in the hall spoke for itself, and the breadth of product launches demonstrates how the industry has continued to focus on research and development, constantly innovating to improve our safety and security. We are already looking forward to a bigger and better event in 2022, and welcoming back many of our international exhibitions and visitors who were unable to attend due to the pandemic.”

A Government backed event

The specialist Government Zone was a key part of the exhibition and demonstrated significant support from UK Government and associated agencies. It provided a central meeting point for visitors to network and discover the latest projects and plans for the future from exhibitors including Accelerated Capability Environment (ACE), Border Force, British Transport Police, The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Counter Terrorism Policing, Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), The Joint Security and Resilience Centre (JSaRC), The National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO), The National Security Technology and Innovation Exchange (NSTIX), Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (PCPI), Research and Intelligence Support Centre (RISC), Security Industry Authority (SIA) and UK Defence & Security Exports (UK DSE).  

Demonstrating the increasingly sophisticated smuggling techniques used for international drug trafficking, Border Force carried out a live demonstration of a seized Ford Kuga that uses a sophisticated magnet system to open a concealment area within the rear of the vehicle. Elsewhere, British Transport Police provided attendees with the opportunity to witness an experienced dog handler and trained Explosive Search Dog demonstrate the capability and effectiveness of responding to these threats. Officers on the stand also highlighted a selection of equipment including firearms, less lethal devices, door entry apparatus and medical supplies used to actively deter, detect and disrupt terrorist and criminal activity across the railway network in London and other major cities.

In addition to exhibiting, several high-profile Government officials took to the stage to present insightful sessions across the two days including Mark Goldsack, Director DIT, UKDSE; Angela Essel, Head of JSaRC - Joint Security and Resilience Centre (JSaRC); Tracy Buckingham, Deputy Director Security and Cyber Security Exports – DIT UKDSE; Kevin Knappett, Cell Broadcast Delivery Lead Digital Infrastructure Directorate UK Government, DCMS UK GOV; and Shaun Hipgrave, Director Prepare, Protect, CBRNE & Science Directorate - Homeland Security Group, Home Office.

Helping attendees understand the role of the government in advising and providing strategic support, Mark Goldsack, Director, UK Defence and Security Exports spoke about the market intelligence available for those businesses looking to do business abroad. He shared insights on the role of the UKDSE to promote and encourage trade, provide information and analysis on the business landscape in regions around the world, as well as provide access to a network of trade advisors to UK businesses.

Following Mark’s session, Shaun Hipgrave, Director, Protect & Prepare, CBRNE and Science Directorate, HSG, Home Office took to the stage. He highlighted the key priorities and areas of responsibility for Homeland Security in the UK ranging from Borders and Aviation Security, CBRNE S&T, Protect & Prepare, as well as JSaRC, and stressed how the diverse make up of the security industry was critical to its success.

On day two, there was a real buzz on the show floor as it was announced that Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP, recently appointed Minister for Security and Borders, would open the second day with an exclusive keynote speech. During his address, he highlighted how events like International Security Expo and International Cyber Expo bring the security community together to inspire and be inspired, commenting, “in the security field you have to keep on innovating because the threat, what we’re up against, keeps on shapeshifting and changing.”

He reflected on the industry’s resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, its remarkable ability to innovate and the importance of a close working relationship to achieve a safer and more secure society. Speaking after his keynote session, Hinds added: “I think it’s really important for people to come together, to be able to learn from each other, to see what is happening and make connections and to work out how we can all work together to improve our safety and security.”

Exclusive insights from the experts

The event’s free-to-attend and CPD certified educational programme saw over 90 inspiring sessions and 120 speakers deliver insightful sessions across five theatres. The Global Counter Terror and Serious & Organised Crime Summit was packed out throughout the two-day event, with eager listeners regularly spilling out the door.

One of the most popular sessions was delivered by Nick Bailey, retired Detective Sergeant involved in the Salisbury Novichok poisoning. Bailey took attendees on an emotional journey by talking through the events of 4 March 2018, and the impact it has had on his mental health, describing himself as “a different person, broken physically and mentally. Discussing the uniqueness of it being a state-sponsored attack, he spoke to attendees about coming to terms with trauma, resilience and the damaging effect losing control of many aspects of everyday life has had.

In another session, Philip Ingram MBE, Former Senior Intelligence & Security Officer and Editor in Chief; Figen Murray, Protect Duty Campaigner; and Aaron Edwards, Senior Lecturer at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, sat on a panel to discuss the blurred lines between terrorism and organised crime. Moderating the session, Roy McComb, Director of Inquisitio Consulting Ltd and Former Deputy Director of the National Crime Agency immediately opened the session for attendees to address questions to the panel, which ranged from: Are we spending too much money on terror and organised crime at the expense of other issues? Should we negotiate with terrorists? and How do we cut off the financial stream to terror and organised crime?

Sponsored by Adani and Patriot One, at the International Security Conference, speakers from British Transport Police, City of London, Imperial War Museums, HVM Advisors and more provided attendees with insights across CNI, transport and aviation, with day two turning to the night-time economy, public sector and major events. In a session titled ‘The state of aviation security, Philip Baum of Green Light Limited and Coventry University reflected on the role of mental health as ‘a major challenge to the industry’. He spoke about the importance of behavioural analysis, describing this as “the first and foremost measure we ought to be implementing” to mitigate future threats, before reflecting on the new challenges brought about by the pandemic and introduction of social distancing in airport security screening.

Across the hall in the Disaster & Resilience Conference sponsored by Everbridge, senior leaders from Unilever, Joint Security and Resilience Centre (JSaRC), Ministry of Defence, Public Health England, and London Fire Brigade took to the stage to offer the audience actionable insights on responding to a crisis. In one session, Tony Thompson, Fellow, Institute of Civil Protection and Emergency Management helped attendees address how they should monitor and respond to events in real-time, use integrated technology solutions to drive greater efficiencies and cost savings, and finally deliver a unified security platform.

The inaugural Global Cyber Summit also welcomed major names in cyber security. Tracy Buckingham, Deputy Director of Security & Cyber Exports at UKTI DSE spoke about the UK’s role in cyber and security capabilities on the global stage and how collaboration between government, industry and academia - a trio she described as “the cornerstone of the UK’s approach to cyber security” - is vital to the strength of the UK’s cyber security industry. Elsewhere, Professor Ciaran Martin CB, Oxford University, Former CEO, National Cyber Security Centre delivered a session on the current cyber threats and priorities. Underpinning Martin’s speech was the belief that we have unconsciously polluted the cyber environment, resulting in the need for a rethink to make it a safer place to inhabit. During his session, he explored five key areas that required change: people, money, rules, technology, and skills.

A platform for product innovation and the latest launches

With world-leading exhibitors together under one roof, visitors perused the stands of the likes of Adani, Marshalls Mono, Audax Global Solutions, Bastion Security Products, Leidos, Patriot One, Rapiscan Systems, HS Security Group, PointWire, Pitagone, Smiths Detection Group, Tripwire, Heras, Leonardo, APSTEC Systems, Jacobs, Astrophysics, Intqual and Mitie to source a wide range of security products and solutions. The show floor was recognised as a hotbed for innovation, with many exhibitors taking the opportunity to launch new products.

For example, Apstec Systems showcased version 4 of its Human Security Radar (HSR V4) which combines a sleek design, smaller footprint and improved mobility with enhanced AI, additional detection capabilities and flexible integration. Meanwhile, Everbridge showcased its Global Critical Event Management (CEM) Certification™ Program with formalised standards for assessing an organisation’s enterprise resilience.

As well as showcasing its range of protective street furniture options, Marshalls Landscape Protection used the event to launch its new seating range, Verso. The full range has been tested to IWA14-1 using a 1.5 tonne M1 vehicle and a 7.2 tonne N2A vehicle travelling at 30mph. It can be used to create a variety of configurations that blends seamlessly into all environments.

Meanwhile, Lochrin Bain introduced its industry disrupting B3(SR2) rated fencing system, Lochrin Combi™ SL2. The fence offers the same attack delay times as other systems of the same level but no specialist tooling or training for installers and security professionals. Elsewhere, Bastion Security Products announced the launch of its new single and double steel doorsets which feature BastionCORE attack resistant materials to mitigate cut through and cylinder guard removal attacks.

Rebecca Hughes, Country Marketing Manager (UK) at Heras said: “Heras was delighted to be a Premier Partner Exhibitor at the ISE and support an event where the UK security industry could come together, showcase the latest innovations in physical and cyber security and discuss key issues where effective security can be beneficial for UK plc. We are delighted that our new innovations were so well received at the show and generated strong interest. We expect this to translate into a strong order book.”

Solutions to meet emerging cyber risks

The inaugural International Cyber Expo also played host to new launches, for example, a solution from Senetas Corporation that allows employees to download files from the web without risk or hidden threat. Votiro Secure File Gateway leverages patented Positive Selection technology for anti-malware and anti-ransomware protection whilst preserving 100% file functionality and user workflow.

Chris Pinder, Chief Operating Officer, IASME Consortium said: “This has been a great show for IASME. We’ve had both the quantity and quality of visitors we’d hoped for, with a great range of people representing our client base. We are looking forward to following up on some promising leads and interesting contacts.”

Catherine Craig, Channel Manager at 3M added: “We’ve had consistently good engagement and conversations on the stand. It’s been so helpful to be able to tap into a wide range of different markets and people all in one place. It’s been a great show and we’ve already signed up to return in 2022.”

Products under the spotlight

Attendees also snapped up the opportunity to take a deep dive into the latest new launches in the  Product Innovation Theatre. Here, exhibitors including Exeon Analytics, Census Labs, Robin Radar, 3M Privacy Solutions, Heras, Safetyflex Barriers and Smiths Detection took to the stage to deliver a range of insightful sessions. For example, Christoforos Papachristou, Strategic Account Manager for Census Labs provided attendees with insights on how the Internet of Security Things – a network of sensors, wearables, and IoT devices that use cloud and edge computing – create a cohesive security force. On day two, Jeremy Tettmar, Sales Manager, Safetyflex Barriers revealed the next generation of crash rated street furniture from ultra-slim profile, shallow mount anti-terrorist bollards to cost-effective, large perimeter Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) equipment.

Live, interactive demonstrations

Visitors were also able to witness these products and more in action across a number of live, interactive demonstrations and within specialist zones. The LPCB Live Testing Lab gave visitors the opportunity to witness a team of professional forced entry specialists attempt to break through physical security products including mesh fencing systems from the likes of ARX and Fastline, key safes from Burton Safes, glazing units from Selectaglaze, hinged gates from Lochrin Bain, turnstiles from Frontier Pitts and Eagle Automation, and more.

At the International Cyber Expo, the realities of a cyber attack also came alive with a number of interactive features. CrisisCast in collaboration with Cyberprism carried out a theatrical live cyber attack on a high-tech revolving stage.

Brian Mitchell, Lead Producer, CrisisCast said: “It’s been great to see both visitors and fellow exhibitors embrace the essential role storytelling has in engaging with audiences and demonstrating the role Cyber Prism plays during a live cyber attack. Presenting an immersive demonstration, that brings to life the real-time battle between defender and attacker has been a great way to impress clients with how the software works. We’ve had some great conversations and will be leaving the show with some really strong leads.”

Visitors were able to engage in the dialogue from both sides of the attack and understand the psychology and motivating factors from two perspectives at one - the attackers and the entity’s boardroom. Elsewhere, Cyber Griffin offered attendees an NCSC certified, immersive training experience through its award-winning tabletop exercise designed to explore the decisions that people make to protect their businesses from modern-day threats.

THE place to network

The event’s International Hosted Buyer Meeting Programme enabled senior buyers from around the globe to come together and do business, regardless of travel restrictions. In conjunction with the Department of International Trade’s UK Defence & Security Exports, the free-of-charge personalised matchmaking service gave qualified buyers an exclusive space away from the show floor to speak to hand-picked solution providers. The sessions ran both virtually and physically to meeting all needs.

Rachael Shattock, Group Event Director at Nineteen Group added: “I can’t describe how fantastic it feels to reunite the whole security industry, face-to-face after over 18 months without a physical event, and provide a platform to network, learn and discover the latest security solutions from the world’s leading suppliers. This year is also particularly special as we successfully launched the first International Cyber Expo with its own dedicated Global Cyber Summit conference programme, interactive activities, and a raft of top suppliers.”

International Security Expo and International Cyber Expo will return to Olympia London from 27 – 28 September 2022. To find out more, visit:

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