G4S to monitor networks from central station

Network monitoring capabilities a major differentiator
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

BURLINGTON, Mass.—Mega-security company G4S in December brought Adesta’s network monitoring operation under that same roof as its other monitoring operations, a move G4S executives say will expand their offerings and capabilities.

Included in the G4S acquisition of systems integrator Adesta in 2009 was an Albany, N.Y.-based network operations center (NOC). In December G4S moved all the network monitoring functions of that NOC to G4S’ UL-listed, CSAA Five Diamond certified video monitoring and data center, based here. The increased capabilities will differentiate G4S from others in the space, according to the monitoring center’s VP of operations Jerry Cordasco, and help G4S to evolve along with the industry.

“Everything we do today with physical security has something to do with either a local network, a wide area network or the Internet,” Cordasco said. “One of the things Adesta did is that they installed a huge fiber optic network that runs the whole length of the New York Thruway from the city out to Buffalo and beyond to Cleveland and that’s used not only by the New York State Thruway Authority, but by other entities like Qwest and Verizon. They also put in a trunk for the New Jersey Turnpike, the Garden State Parkway and the Atlantic City Expressway. Adesta’s Albany NOC had responsibility for doing all the network monitoring for these big New York and New Jersey networks—but they didn’t have all the critical infrastructure we have here, because we’re an alarm monitoring center.”

Cordasco said the move increased the functionality and security of the transferred NOC operations “by orders of magnitude … it makes us really unique … We’re not only an alarm monitoring center but a full fledged network operations center.”

Cordasco said the importance of network monitoring couldn’t be overestimated, pointing out that the New York and New Jersey trunks carry smart signage and signal network traffic, any interruption of which could be disastrous.

Furthermore, Cordasco said G4S’ new NOC status would pay off for G4S and prospective clients.

“This is a whole new business—one we plan to aggressively pursue—and it has opened up a whole new territory for us,” Cordasco said. “People pay significant money to hire a NOC to monitor their network … We can offer a complete package of building a new network, managing that network, and deploying the security—guards, video surveillance and analytics, access control—for the network together.”

Cordasco said G4S was in talks with a collection of hospitals to implement, manage and secure a network that would connect all the hospitals together. He said other potential NOC clients included government agencies and telcos.