Biometrics and more on show

May 2010 Conferences & Events

Following a successful event in 2009, South Africa’s premier security exhibition, incorporating the broadest range of security companies, products and services in Africa under one roof, IFSEC South Africa Securex 2010 will once again be shaping the industry from 31 August 2010 to 2 September 2010 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

The inaugural IFSEC South Africa Securex 2009 proved to be a huge success. The event enticed more than 200 companies and in excess of 5500 security professionals from 48 countries, cementing the show’s place as the definitive security, safety, fire and protection, and safety and health event for the African market.

This year’s show promises to be even better with the event attracting attention from South Africa, our northern neighbours and even the Far East. This year also sees a scoop for the show organisers as the Security Industry Alliance’s annual conference, which will be held alongside IFSEC South Africa Securex 2010. Another area of the security industry that will garner attention at this year’s show is Biometrics.

SIA conference

The SIA conference, following the successful 2009 conference, this year will include another set of industry leading speakers from South Africa and abroad. While the full agenda is still to be finalised and will be included in a future exhibition preview, we can announce that David Evans, the British Security Industry Association’s project director for the Olympic Games 2012, will deliver the keynote.

Evan’s role in the BSIA involves fostering an environment whereby BSIA members are recognised as the leading resource for private security services in the UK, and ensuring that BSIA members are fully aware of the opportunities available to them.

The pulse of biometrics

Biometrics is becoming more important in the South African and global market. Adelaide Taylor, marcoms manager for ADI in South Africa, says that biometrics is something that will become a global mindset. “With crime occurring all over the world, this is probably the only way to secure your assets and also to protect the people on the premises in future.”

HID’s John Lakin says biometrics have been in extensive use in South African businesses for a number of years and “will remain an important part of an overall security strategy for the foreseeable future. Increasingly they are being used less in isolation and more as part of an integrated security policy. Emerging biometrics, as they prove increasingly reliable, are being adopted in different industries as those businesses continue to search for the perfect solution.”

Rory Webber, national sales manager at Elvey agrees, noting that, from an integration point of view, biometrics are vitally important. “Security solutions are designed with different levels of cover, however with biometrics being able to control both access and time and attendance we have found this to be of great value. Biometrics is not only being used by corporate SA, smaller companies have latched onto the enormous benefits that can be gained by using a biometric system as well.”

Organisations are increasingly switching to biometric solutions for these applications as replacements for legacy card systems, which reaching the end of their lifecycle, says Marius Coetzee, COO of Ideco. “The ROI on a biometric solution far outweighs that of a traditional card-based solution and security is increased as a fingerprint cannot be lost, stolen or forgotten.

“Companies considering a biometric solution must, however, be aware of the risks associated with installing a lesser biometric system, which may seem to be a cost-effective option at the outset, but often ends up costing the clients a lot more when the system proves ineffective and has to be replaced with an accurate and reliable biometric solution. The key to making an informed decision on which biometric system to install lies in understanding how biometric technology works and the experience and track record the supplier has in the field of biometrics.”

Privacy concerns

The question of privacy always comes up when biometrics are concerned. Few people realise that the actual images of fingerprints are not stored in biometric devices, but a mathematical algorithm. Michelle Korff, marketing manager at Norbain SA says only the Department of Home Affairs and the SAPS are legally allowed to save the actual image of a person’s fingerprint.”

“Hygiene is also a concern and falls into the second most common objection to using biometrics. Here we suggest that the fingerprint reader is as unhygienic as a toilet room door. We simply suggest that cleaning staff’s to do list includes cleaning the reader optics on a regular basis with a disinfectant.”

Erich Glatz, from GSC Systems explains that the company’s biometric systems do not store an image of the fingerprint but only the position of certain features (minutia) of the fingerprint. Therefore it is not possible to reconstruct a fingerprint from this information, and therefore privacy is assured.

What is on at the show

All the companies mentioned above will be at IFSEC South Africa Securex 2010 and will be demonstrating their biometric solutions. Coetzee says that Ideco will promote various applications of biometrics, including both logical and physical access control, time & attendance as well as identity management solutions through its certified partner network.

“These partners focus on a wide variety of industries, and address specific market needs. Ideco is again sponsoring the main entrance to the show and visitors registering on the EVIM units will receive a voucher for a cup of great coffee at the Ideco hospitality lounge.”

ADI’s Taylor says, “We had a huge success last year with around 15 suppliers that participated at our stand and this year will be very similar, with a lot more focus on what the client needs, rather than what the supplier has for them.”

Norbain will be promoting its new access control range, Infinity Access, along with Sagem.

“HID Global will be promoting a number of products at IFSEC SA this year, including the new range of Fargo DTC printers,” says Lakin. “The stand will also be used to increase the awareness of using genuine HID products and services rather than those grey imported products. This programme is being marketed under the 'Genuine HID' programme and IFSEC SA will follow the stage set during the year at ISC West and IFSEC UK.”

Zane Greeff, technical director of Elvey adds that the company intends to place more focus on IP access solutions and the seamless integration to intruder security systems. While GSC Systems will focus on its ProxNet-Pro, a Web-based access control system as well as facial recognition.

IFSEC South Africa Securex 2010 promises visitors the most comprehensive overview of the African security industry under one roof. From protective clothing to the latest technology, it is all there. Make sure you are there from 31 August 2010 to 2 September 2010.

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