Should ASIS Endorse Products? (Results)Author: John Honovich, Published on Sep 18, 2009
Vote and make your voice heard on ASIS' product awards. For the first time, ASIS has issued awards to manufacturers. Called ASIS Accolades, ASIS recognizes what it calls "Security's Best" - a list of 10 products.
While many organizations issue awards, ASIS has a special role in the industry. ASIS promotes itself as the "preeminent organization for security professionals" and I think most would agree. Specifically, unlike SIA who basically represents manufacturers, ASIS represents security managers and seeks to serve their interests.
In an ASIS discussion forum, the Host Chairman of the Anaheim Seminar and Exhibits stated that ASIS is not endorsing products, "It's a competition meant to spotlight innovation and new technologies on the show floor. With 10 football fields of products on display, these award winners give security pros a place to start when trying to gauge what's new and exciting."
However, ASIS clearly bills this as an "awards program to recognize the best and brightest." In English, when you say something is the "best", by definition, it is an endorsement.
Quality Lacking in the Endorsement
The main problem is the quality of the endorsement. As a commenter on the ASIS discussion forum thread stated, "Rather than being seen as a professional body that is giving a standards-based certification (as they do with security professionals, for example), I think many will interpret it as a "cheap attempt" rather than a real honest effort to provide a standards-based endorsement or certification process."
It's one thing if ASIS rigorous and carefully analyzes products before it endorses them. It's another if they decide on security's best by who exhibits and the exhibitor's submitted written entries. Unfortunately, that's the process now. [For background on my concerns, read our report on why awards benefit manufacturers and problems with two of ASIS award winners.]
High Quality Endorsements
Hopefully ASIS can issue high quality endorsements based on extensive testing and then release the results to the public. Given ASIS stature, no manufacturer would be able to overpower or block ASIS.
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