This year's ISC West, April 5-7 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, Las Vegas, was the largest ISC West event in history—drawing record numbers of exhibitors and attendees. More than 23,000 security professionals and 1,000 exhibiting companies filled the halls.

The show began with the 8th annual Industry Summit breakfast, which included the presentation of the First Line of Defense Award and a keynote by former secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge.

According to Dean Russo, vice president of ISC Expo, the number of pre-registered attendees was up 15 percent from last year's event, and there were 350 new exhibitors.

This year's show featured a "show within a show," Urban Security at ISC West. Focusing specifically on the integrator, the inaugural show drew 100 vendors and is expected to grow every year.

The First Line of Defense Award, co-sponsored by the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) and SDM Magazine, was presented to American Alarm & Communications Inc., Arlington, Mass. Wells Sampson, vice president of American Alarm & Communications Inc., accepted the award from NBFAA president Scot Colby and SDM's senior editor, Russ Gager.

Following the award presentation, former secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge (pictured here) spoke about technology, safety and transitions. After some light-hearted jokes about adjusting to life as a private citizen—from having to drive himself around town to experiencing the trials of commercial air travel—Ridge discussed the importance of new technology and integration.

"I think one of these days soon, biometrics will become one of the most pervasive technologies in the world," he said.

On the subject of integration, Ridge stressed its importance and pointed out that integration is not specifically security-oriented. Embedding technologies together and offering customers a single solution is, stressed Ridge, what people want to see and are willing to buy into.