Steve Surfaro, security industry liaison, Axis Communications

At next week’s ASIS International 58th Annual Seminar and Exhibits, attendees will once again have a wide variety of educational, networking and information-gathering opportunities, including the Integrator Series, as well as a reason to celebrate.

This year’s series features expanded sessions covering retail, transportation, supply chain, corporate and higher education campus security and collaborative selling. This track is a must-attend for integrators who are making budget and purchasing decisions, but isn’t limited to that audience, said Steve Surfaro, security industry liaison for Chelmsford, Mass.-based Axis Communications.

“This unique education track delivers key market and purchasing trends information for 2012-2013 that’s useful not only for today’s security systems integrator, but also for practitioners wanting to get updated,” Surfaro said.

This year’s Integrator Series also features a session titled “Cloud Computing Transforms Physical and Cyber Security,” which will focus on the importance of protecting all assets — whether tangible or intangible — through emerging cyber technologies. Surfaro is one of the presenters who will provide attendees with a toolkit of sorts for enabling physical security to coexist with the transformative technologies presented by cybersecurity.

One of the many new additions at ASIS 2012 is the ASIS Solutions Theater, which brings the latest in technology and services into a unique venue located on the exhibit floor. The sessions are shorter and will be presented for attendees who want to receive continuous content without straying far from the action on the show floor.

“Wednesday’s Tech Talks are especially unique, half-hour sessions, including cutting-edge license plate recognition cameras, PSIM, automation software, anti-hacking credentials and cloud security services,” he says.

ASIS is also making many sessions not only available for download, but as mini-exhibits or “poster” sessions. One speaker Surfaro highlights is former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who he says “will provide a wide range of interest and perspective on intelligence and security” during Wednesday morning’s keynote address. A full list of Integrator Series and other educational sessions can be found at

In addition to these opportunities to learn valuable information about the latest security technologies, best practices, trends and more, ASIS 2012 also will be a birthday celebration of sorts.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of ASIS International’s security certification program, which encompasses three certifications: Certified Security Professional (CPP), Professional Certified Investigator (PCI) and Physical Security Professional (PSP). To underscore the importance of these certifications, Eduard Emde, CPP, president of ASIS, says security’s status as a global concern has created a need for highly competent security professionals that’s never been greater.

“With the increasing mobility of security practitioners and the need to work together across functional areas and across borders, an established mark of professional proficiency is vital,” he says. “In this competitive job market, the importance of certification to one’s career cannot be overstated.”

In the 1970s, ASIS recognized the need for a standard measure of knowledge, skills and abilities that employers could use in hiring for new positions and promoting from within their organizations. As a result, the first ASIS board certification was awarded in 1977.

Today, more than 3,500 organizations in 85 countries around the world employ ASIS board-certified practitioners, says Richard Lisko, CPP, president of the ASIS Professional Certification Board, which oversees the certification program. “More organizations recognize the importance of ASIS certifications as their chief security officers, directors, and managers attain global responsibilities,” he said. “The exam validates an international approach to global security applications and trends.”

In addition to recognizing certificants throughout the year, ASIS is planning several special events at ASIS 2012, including a Certification Lounge and a group photo of all board-certified professionals. For more details on 35th anniversary activities planned for ASIS 2012, visit