Genetec Inc expects opportunities of growth in the Egyptian IT to boom. Daily News Egypt sat down with Wissam Acra, regsional sales mananger of the company, who expressed his organisation’s enthusiam at the latest edition of the mega conference, Cairo ICT. Acra said, “the event served as a strategic platform to inform visitors about the benefits and gains of using our diverse solutions,” adding that that it was the first and successful participation which will prompt Genetec to attend upcoming editions to consolidate bridges of effective communication with leaders from the public and private sectors and to better serve the Egyptian market.
What is Genetec’s experience in digital and information security and where and when was it founded?
Genetec Inc is an innovative technology company with a broad solutions portfolio that encompasses security, intelligence, and operations. The company’s flagship product, Security Center, is an open-architecture platform that unifies internet protocol (IP)-based video surveillance, access control, automatic license plate recognition (ALPR), communications, and analytics. Genetec also develops cloud-based solutions and services designed to improve security, and contribute new levels of operational intelligence for governments, enterprises, transport, and the communities in which we live. Founded in 1997, and headquartered in Montréal, Canada, Genetec serves its global customers via an extensive network of resellers, integrators, certified channel partners, and consultants in over 80 countries.
What information security solutions and services differentiate Genetec from others?
For over 20 years, Genetec has led the development of world-class unified IP security solutions. We began in 1997 by pioneering the first-ever IP video management software, giving customers at the time never-seen-before system flexibility, hardware freedom, and ease of system growth through a powerful, open solution that was easy to use.
Our company’s success has everything to do with our culture, values, and people. From day one, our team’s ideas and opinions flowed freely, innovation and leadership were contagious, and our passion to deliver outstanding products and services thrived through team work.
Although we have grown to reach over 950 employees, we are proud that this unique culture remains intact. The relationships we develop both amongst one another, and with our ecosystem partners, are fully based on trust and mutual respect.
What are the security solutions and products that Genetec offers to companies in Egypt and the Middle East?
We have a diverse portfolio of offerings that cater to a wide range of customers who come from various industry verticals. Our products and services include Security Center, a unified security platform built on an open-architecture that seamlessly combines IP-based access control, video management systems, and automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) within a single intuitive interface to simplify operations; Synergis is an IP access control system that heightens an organisation’s security with increased readiness to respond to incidents, while leveraging the existing network and security equipment investments. Synergis supports an ever-growing number of third-party access control devices and door hardware to keep pace with sophisticated security functionalities; Omnicast, Genetec’s IP video management system (VMS) that provides organisations of all sizes the ability to deploy a surveillance system that truly matches their security needs. Supporting a wide range of industry-leading cameras, encoders, and CCTV equipment, Omnicast scales and adapts to the changing demands of any security department and AutoVu, an automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) system in Security Center.
Aside from these products, we also have turnkey security infrastructure solutions like Streamvault appliances that helps build a resilient security system that protects data and operations.
What are the results of your first participation in Cairo ICT?
Our first participation in Cairo ICT is a major boost to our efforts towards enhancing our leading journey in developing architecture software, hardware, and cloud services for the security and public safety sectors, by providing an ideal strategic platform to enhance awareness about the Genetec brand. The event served as a strategic platform to inform visitors about the benefits and gains of using our diverse solutions. This first and successful participation will prompt us to attend incoming editions to consolidate bridges of effective communication with the leaders from the public and private sectors and to better serve the Egyptian market.
What are the largest markets for security solutions in the region?
The Middle East video surveillance market has expanded rapidly in recent years. Much of this growth is attributed to factors like the growing construction market, rising security concerns, and surging security and IT spending, mainly in the government and transportation sector. Across the region, countries like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey hold a majority of the revenues and have also positioned themselves as leading proponents in the move to adopt IP technology-based surveillance systems—increasing adoption over the last few months on account of government regulations, declining prices, growing consumer awareness, remote accessibility, and video analytics.
What is the Middle East’s share of the global information security market?
According to the American research and advisory firm, Gartner Inc, spending on information security in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is $3.1bn, while industry estimates indicate that the regional national security market will grow from $9.6bn this year to $19.7bn by 2022. This will give us the chance to expand into the regional markets and take advantage of their promising opportunities.
Who are your key customers in the region?
Genetec designs and develops security solutions that meet the needs of customers from different sectors, especially government entities and institutions working in the sectors of transport, business, education, retail, and banking, among others. We are keen to provide the best unified IP-based open-architecture solutions that are specifically designed to meet the growing market needs in the Middle East.
What steps should companies and institutions in Egypt take to address cyberattacks?
In 2017, we witnessed an increase in cyberattacks, privacy breaches, and poorly-designed software and equipment. We urge integrators and customers to establish trusted best practices to keep people and organisations safe and secure.
There are several reasons why security enhancements are required in day-to-day security operations:
- In many instances, passwords are inadequate as they can be easily deduced or cracked. There are shareware and freeware utilities commonly available whose sole purpose is to derive passwords and given the fact that most users tend to choose easy to remember passwords, the need for security beyond username/password combinations is a must. Although users can rely on more complex passwords, they are easier to forget which can result in downtime and additional IT support.
- Although encryption may hide the contents of a message, encryption alone does not necessarily preserve the integrity of a message. It may be possible to change an encrypted message without knowing its contents, thereby modifying the message’s integrity. Encrypted communications and encrypting data at rest is a good step forward, but additional techniques such as stronger authentication and/or claims-based authentication.
- The growing interconnectivity between security systems over the internet as in the case of distributed facilities, as well as multi-organisation access to security systems as in the case of public-private entity cooperation and connectivity both inside and outside an organisation, means that companies are more exposed to eavesdropping or man-in-the-middle attacks than ever before. Claims-based authentication or claims-based identity are just some of the technologies used to prevent this type of attack.
- Security systems such as video and access control have traditionally focused on securing people and assets. Given the critical nature of a security system, end users must now take into account potential risk of attack on the security platform itself, not just their assets.
What are the most important products you displayed at Cairo ICT?
The Genetec Security Center is a unified security platform that blends IP security systems within a single intuitive interface to simplify operations. It empowers organisations through enhanced situational awareness, unified command and control, and connectivity to the cloud
AutoVu, the automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) system in Security Center, makes license plate reading and identification easier. Law enforcement agencies, municipalities, and relevant commercial organisations can easily locate vehicles and enforce parking restrictions through this system. AutoVu is designed for both fixed and mobile installations in a variety of applications.
Synergis, on the other hand, is the IP access control system that heightens an organisation’s security with increased readiness to respond to incidents, while leveraging existing network and security equipment investments. Synergis supports an ever-growing number of third-party access control devices and door hardware to keep pace with sophisticated security functionalities.
What are the biggest risks facing organisations?
Video surveillance has proven to be an effective tool to shape and displace undesirable and destructive antisocial behaviour. With these technological advancements, also come social considerations, such as privacy concerns. People want to feel safe, but not watched. This is where privacy protection technology plays a role in ensuring that the security professionals have just enough information to be able to do their job. A video with the faces blurred is enough for security professionals to see that a street fight has broken out. Only under such circumstances will it be warranted to unblur the faces to identify the perpetrators.