Cybersecurity Emerges as Hot Topic Among AV Companies

During NSCA’s Business & Leadership Conference, AV companies recognize that cyber security is a make-or-break issue for their customers.

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Defendify's Rob Simopoulos offers integrators cybersecurity advice.

There were both AV and security integration companies in attendance at the 21st annual NSCA Business & Leadership Conference (BLC). One might think it would have been the security crew that was most consumed with the topic of cybersecurity, but that wasn’t necessarily the case.

In 2019, AV companies are realizing that it is a hyper-important issue for their customers – and as such it’s just as important for them.

Rob Simopoulos, co-founder of cybersecurity platform provider Defendify, says he talked to a lot of AV professionals about their experiences with cybersecurity. Among the topics was AV integrators being subject to third-party cybersecurity audits.

Related: 4 Steps to Creating a Cybersecurity Strategy for Clients

“This is coming from their customers, their larger customers,” Simopoulus explains. Increasingly, AV integrators need to demonstrate their cyber security credibility in their proposals.

“One thing we’re seeing is RFPs now requesting that cybersecurity protection is put in place,” he says, adding that integrators are getting assessment letters asking them what their program looks like and how they’re protecting the data.”

Customers Have Reason to Be Concerned about AV and Cybersecurity

Simopoulus says it’s not too difficult to understand why so many customers are focusing their concerns on their AV partners.

“They are starting to realize that systems integrators have a lot of really sensitive data on their organizations that there’s storing.”

AV integration firms, he adds, might be storing IP addresses, Mac addresses, passwords of devices, facility diagrams, network topology and more.

Simopoulus advises AV integration firms to take these customer concerns to heart. “If you if you are a systems integrator be aware that this is happening. It’s going to continue to grow and you will see more of this occurring,” he says.

“So it’s really important that you get your cybersecurity plan in place so that when these things gets sent over to you you’re prepared to talk accordingly about what you’re doing to protect the information that you’re storing.”