Company Profile: Genetec

Network Middle East profiles the global provider of security surveillance solutions

Firas Jadalla, regional director for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META), Genetec
Firas Jadalla, regional director for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META), Genetec

What is your company’s history-including Middle East History?

Genetec was incorporated in 1997 as a security software research and development company. Back then, analogue security systems to protect and monitor physical spaces were the norm and users accepted the limitations inherent to analogue security systems. Genetec's engineers had the foresight to recognise that analogue or digital point-to-point telecom architecture was short-lived.

Moreover, Genetec believed that the direction of the future was multipoint-to-multipoint networked architecture. The sophistication of the software created to manage a complex network offered a major opportunity and would usher in new possibilities to customers worldwide. Thus, Genetec pioneered the first fully IP-based security system, despite widespread industry indifference.

What is your company’s core competence?

While organisations want to incorporate video surveillance and access control systems that provide greater interoperability as part of their security strategy, the majority of security manufacturers have continued to provide disparate systems, with limited communication between systems. Similarly, we recognise the growing risks that affect our interconnected world. Traditional cyberattacks have been joined by elaborate social engineering schemes, making simplistic strategies, such as disconnecting a system from the internet, obsolete. To implement a successful cybersecurity strategy, you need to understand what you must defend against. We help you understand the threat actors and assess potential security risks, while our comprehensive approach assists you in mitigating that risk and building a defence-in-depth strategy to achieve greater cyber resilience.

What are some of the trends impacting your sector?

The first trend impacting the surveillance industry is the continued focus on cybersecurity. There continues to be a growing number of high-profile breaches in our industry. Along with governmental regulations designed to strengthen security, privacy, and mitigate the damage caused by these increasing cyberattacks, we have to be more vigilant than ever. Another important consideration of cybersecurity is the increasing awareness of untrustworthy devices. It has become clear that this lack of trust is not a function of engineering, but more often malicious intent that can come from any number of sources. Genetec has however developed countermeasures that can help isolate untrustworthy devices on the network. Our systems are customised to keep these untrustworthy devices from sending sensitive or private information to unauthorised recipients. It also protects other systems, including command and control systems, from being accessed.

On the technology front, we are sure to see even more unification of systems in 2019. Organisations are already experiencing the benefits of unifying access control systems with video surveillance, and this will only grow.

We are also seeing an increasing number of organisations moving their storage to hybrid-cloud solutions. This allows them to divide their data between cloud and on-premises options.

Discuss the latest solutions from your company and the impact you see in the market.

An effective public safety strategy is more than reacting to a situation in progress. A better approach is one that fosters inter-agency collaboration, relies on a consolidated view of ongoing operations, and lets you analyse data for insights on how to improve your strategy. One of our latest solutions, Citigraf is a decision support system that unifies public safety operations across city departments, disseminates timely information, and provides greater situational awareness.

Similarly, Genetec’s Mission Control is a collaborative decision management system that provides organisations with new levels of situational intelligence, visualisation, and complete incident management capabilities. It allows security personnel to make the right decision when faced with routine tasks or unanticipated situations by ensuring timely flow of information. Mission Control empowers organisations to move beyond simple event and alarm management by collecting and qualifying data from thousands of sensors and security devices, spotting the most complex situations and incidents, and guiding security teams in their response following organisation-specific processes and compliancy requirements.

What is your presence in the Middle East?

We have been in the Middle East region for 12 years, since 2006.  We have gradually expanded and invested in markets such as Africa and Turkey. Genetec has grown tremendously in the region, emerging as much more than an IP video surveillance solutions provider. To further enhance our presence in the region, we have developed an extended network of partners that include systems integrators (SIs) and distributors.

Describe some of your biggest successes in the region

Genetec is successfully securing 70% of all the Middle Eastern airports. One of our biggest successes is securing Dubai Airport with Genetec’s Omnicast IP Video Surveillance for uninterrupted system reliability and growth. Omnicast IP video surveillance system is managing a mix of analogue and IP cameras from different manufacturers. Omnicast also integrates with third-party access control systems and Barco video walls in multiple control rooms

What are your regional goals for the rest of the year and beyond?

We aim to continue our efforts in the GCC region while expanding to Africa and Turkey.

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