Specifically Speaking with Damon Sickmon

Principal for Rykartan Consulting in Loveland, Colo.
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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

What's your role at the company?

In addition to my title as principal, I am also the senior security consultant. I spend most of my time being “hands on” with our clients ensuring we are documenting their needs and requirements.

What kinds of systems do you design/specify and what services does the company provide?

I design and specify access control systems, video surveillance systems (including the software, servers, and cameras) intrusion detection systems, intercom systems, and emergency communications.

In addition to providing security design to both end users and the A/E market, we provide threat and risk assessment along with present security system evaluations.

What vertical markets does the company specialize in?

Higher education, state and local government, and healthcare have been our primary verticals lately, though we are always open to new challenges.

Any interesting projects that you can mention?

Viega, the international manufacturer of plumbing and HVAC solutions from Germany, is building their new headquarters facility in the Denver Metro area. I think it’s fascinating that a company that started out making beer taps in Germany back in 1899 now has a world-class facility here in Colorado.

Some of our projects have interesting aspects to them—like how to prevent a potential espionage threat via drone, or how to quickly respond to threats based on audio signatures.

How did you get started in security and designing/specifying?

I came into security during college working in a central station. That particular company wanted to expand into the fire alarm industry and, being the only employee with any AutoCAD experience, I was soon designing and drafting fire alarm systems as a NICET III designer. Shortly thereafter I was designing and drafting access control and intrusion detection systems as well. That started back in 1991. I moved to consulting 20 years later. 

Can you talk about what new or emerging technologies you are seeing or specifying today?

I am a big proponent of energy savings and I feel that the energy/cost reduction gained from some of the newer Power over Ethernet security products has been hugely rewarding for my clients. I welcome products that will decrease my client’s long-term security costs through a reduction in power consumption while still meeting the functional requirements of a modern security system. I have seen more and more manufacturers offering sustainable solutions and I hope that trend continues.

What is your view on the industry moving forward?

Unfortunately, there will always be a need for security. However, technology is ever evolving and I credit the manufacturers for taking a larger holistic view of security and creating new ways to interface the many disparate systems that provide the technological side of a security system.

More manufacturers are making their APIs available and have become very open to interfacing with products that may actually belong to a competitor. Ultimately, this benefits the end users and those are the guys working the hardest to keep our world safe.