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N.O. conference focuses on security, protection

Source: The Advertiser
Date: September 22, 2003

computer crime NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Surveillance cameras, body armor, bomb-sniffing dogs and bulletproof BMWs.

The security industry’s annual conference attracted more than 18,000 people to New Orleans’ convention center to learn more about how to protect homes, businesses and people from bombs, thieves and bullets. Some gadgets and computer systems were geared toward anti-terrorism and homeland security^; most were marketed to companies trying to prevent workplace violence, theft and corporate espionage.

“There are monstrous problems we’re facing today, and technology isn’t the only solution,” said Roy N. Bordes, who runs a security consulting firm in Orlando, Fla. “The solution is about people, equipment, procedure and cooperation.”

No one has firm dollar figures on the size of the security industry, but insiders say attendance at the annual ASIS convention, the industry’s largest, has grown consistently in recent years, with ever more products for sale. There are now at least 50 major security-themed trade publications plus more than 100 minor pamphlets published that target niche areas.

The convention, which ended Thursday, focused on technology and gadgets.

Bulletproof BMWs, Cadillacs and Hummers were on display for executives, celebrities and statesmen. The vehicles — selling for anywhere from $30,000 to $300,000 more than the sticker price — are manufactured with various strengths of bulletproof glass, anti-ballistic steel plating and self-sealing fuel tanks in case of punctures.

New York-based Michael Stapleton Associates was selling Smart Tech, a system that gives companies instant advice from New York Police Department bomb experts. A mail room worker who spots a suspicious object passing through his X-ray machine can transmit the X-ray image to the bomb expert, who can tell whether the object is harmless or a possible explosive.

The company has clients including the United Nations, Merrill Lynch and Lehmann Brothers. Officials said the system cleared 72 suspicious packages, preventing unnecessary evacuations, between October 2002 and February 2003.

Original article

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