SECONEXPO2019: Takeaways from South Korea’s largest security expo


The ability to identify, monitor and track any individual, be they on the subway, driving on the road or walking the city street is not just possible, but is happening. And it continues to improve and advance. This technology applies to cities, shopping malls, stadiums, everywhere. Add to this the metadata footprint that individuals create online, including whilst at home or at work. Now apply machine learning across these large data pools and the application of autonomous identification based on a set of criteria, be that person’s profile, spending habits, online behaviour and network of contacts and potentially down to words typed and spoken, and you get a sense of the power of this technology. Be that for a Social Credit System, being introduced for societal control in China or within democratic capitalist societies, for border control and law enforcement, as well as for marketing and sales purposes. This is why the security industry is so fascinating, and yet, freaky!

Not unlike any security expo, cameras and video surveillance technologies (CCTV) reigned supreme in Seoul last week for SECONEXO2019. CCTV was the dominant exhibit but the scale of this expo, filling Halls 3 & 4, or 22,000 sqm, at Kintex in Gyeonggi, about an hour’s drive from central Seoul, makes SECON South Korea’s largest security expo.

Over 450 companies from 17 countries were on display for nearly 50,000 visitors and delegates (officially 47,402; Local: 45,346 / Overseas : 2,086). SECON is held in conjunction with eGISEC, the e-Government Information Security Solution Fair. Together SECON and eGISEC compile a three day conference and workshop program to obtain an important balance of physical, electronic and information security, and as a first time attendee, presents as a comprehensive display of world leading security technology and its application.

A.I. City Solutions Exhibit by CUDO

As well as walking the showroom floor with our Interpreter, Jane Lee, we interviewed the Korea Internet and Security Agency’s Sang Hwan Park, Director for Information Security R&D Technology Sharing Centre, within the Information Security Industry Group. Sang Hwan outlined his Centre’s incubator and accelerator program for cybersecurity start-ups. Commencing in November 2017 the Centre has fed 20 companies through a program which provides workspace, collaboration and referral opportunities. We interviewed a ‘graduate’ of this program, Chung-Hun Yoo, CEO of SSenStone. Commencing in 2015, the company raised $20 million in Series A funding and coming to the attention of Money 20/20 in Singapore last year, the company is now co-located in London and rebranding to Swidch, whilst preparing for Series B funding at the end of the 2019. With 17 patents pending, the company was created on the new opportunities offered in Open Banking and methodology around One Time Password (OTP) applications. The SsenStone integrated authentication platform, called ‘StonePASS’, has been certified by FIDO (Fast Identity Online) and is being extended to the card industry with a VOTC (Virtual One-Time Codes), which Chung-Hun Yoo hopes will change the card transaction landscape for secured payments. In effect, your credit card number changes and is unique for each transaction, potentially solving credit card fraud.

There was a great range and intensity of video analytics. Automatically identifying and tracking people and vehicles, based on movement, gate and facial recognition. Integrated smart poles will be of interest to designers, local government and developers, with light poles integrated with video, audio, LCD display and one mounted with a small drone. It was only conceptual but expect a tethered drone solution to be available. Only one responsive drone and surprisingly no robot applications were sighted on the expansive floor.

For a showroom walk around and range of pictures and video view below or visit our Instagram and Facebook pages 

Responsive drone concept by SK Telecom & ADT

The opening ceremony and VIP floor tour provided a suitable sense of occasion. During the industry award ceremony, I lunched with a Korean diplomat and former Ambassador to Panama who explained his annual attendance and how impressed he continues to be with security technology, with a shared understanding of the extent it can have on people’s lives. With this in mind the conference was broad in nature, with the agenda including application of video security in the Industry 4.0 era, status of AI and its development plan in the security industry and case studies, including ‘Building Intelligent Selective Control System in Hwasung City’. Cloud and cyber security workshops, and sessions on CISSP certifications were held along with an aviation security symposium and counter terrorism conference. All this along with a showroom floor program of theatres and break-outs. Naturally you can’t get to them all.

I attended the Korean Association for Terrorism Studies (KATS) Open Conference; ‘Different Face of War ‘New Terrorism’. Manjong Lee, KATS Chairman and Professor Police Science of Law, Department of Howan University presented on the linkage between human rights and security, with views expressed on the link between refugee intakes and terrorism. Jung Woo Seung of Myunngi University outlined South Korea had accepted about 500 refugees from Yemen in 2018, amongst a total refugee intake in 2017 of 2,540. Refugees have been settled on Jeju Island. Discussions in South Korea have involved calling for the country to take more, whilst also giving some consideration to the potential of large numbers from North Korea should a major event, such as nuclear incident occur. Sessions on vehicle ramming and physical defence countermeasures provided contemporary approaches and need to design streets to separate vehicles and pedestrians, though I noted PAS 68: 2013 was not referred to. In the final session, by Im Yu-Seok of Kunsan National University, the risk posed from compromised or misaligned AI, IoT, Autonomous systems, includes the use for terrorism and the threat to National Security was recognised as a growing concern.

This is a big and yet still growing expo event, with an organising committee representing the mass of Korea’s security sector. South Korea, with a population of 50 million, and sitting alongside the Chinese and Japanese markets, is a leading economy in the APAC region and therefore this event should be recognised alongside other leading security events, worldwide. Put it in the calendar and go visit the DMZ during your stay!

MySecurity Media attended the SECON Expo & Conference 6 – 8 March as media partners courtesy of IFSEC #seconexpo2019.

By Chris Cubbage, Executive Editor


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