The terror attacks in Paris 10 days ago and the security alert in place in Brussels are likely to create a surge in demand for homeland security technology, much in the way the 9/11 attacks did 14 years ago, sources in Israel’s homeland security industry told TheMarker.
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“Since the recent events you can sense increased interest and demand on the part of many countries, among them Belgium, Germany and Italy,” said Florian Leibovici, sales managers for BriefCam, a company whose technology lets investigators review video recordings rapidly to detect suspicious activity.
In the United States after the 2001, defense and homeland security spending began ratcheting up within a few months after the disastrous events, said Marian Cohen, CEO of Mer Group, which offers smart city technology, security for large-scale events, critical infrastructure security and communications technology for security forces.
The same process will likely happen in Europe, they said, and Israeli companies are stepping up marketing efforts in anticipation. It will take time: The Israel Export Institute estimates that Israel’s homeland security exports will reach about $1.2 billion this year, the same level as in 2014.
“Security budgets are going to grow and procedures that would normally take a year will be accelerated, because of the critical situation that’s been created, to just a few months. We have urgent requests from Belgium to supply our product immediately. We’re in contact with the city of Brussels and the federal police, who are also interested,” said Leibovici.
Formed in 2008 and based outside of Tel Aviv, BriefCam has about $6 million in sales annually.
By coincidence, the giant Milipol homeland security exhibit opened in Paris just four days after the November 13 attacks. Some 25,000 visitors attended the event amid heightened security, with 24 Israeli companies displaying their wares in an exhibit organized by the Israel Export Institute.
“There was a lot more traffic than usual and expectations that there would be a lot more awareness, but it became apparent that the real decision makers were too busy in the field. Relatively junior officials came,” said Mer’s Cohen.
Terrogence, which provides sophisticated Web-based intelligence services, has already seen an upsurge in demand from governments in Europe that have large populations of immigrants, said CEO Shai Arbel. It has also seen interest from Japan and Brazil, two countries that are scheduled to host major world events in the next few years.
Terrogence, which employs 40 people and has sales in the millions of dollars annually, is regarded as one of five leading companies worldwide in the field, Arbel said. The company’s software automates Web-monitoring, for instance of social networks, but also requires human intervention in examining the data and drawing conclusions.
Magal Security Systems, which makes high-tech perimeters security usually as a subcontractor to other companies, said that for now it hasn’t felt Europe’s heightened security concerns.
But Hagai Katz, Magal’s senior vice president for marketing and business development, said he expected to see interest from European countries that have been coping with waves of refugees from Syria and elsewhere, and need to build secure facilities.
Katz said Europe had been laggard in investing in homeland security for its cities though the threat has been evident for some time. Until European officials formulate new security policies, they won’t be signing contracts, he said.