Specifically Speaking with Michael Wright

Principal and chief technology officer, California Technical Concepts in Oakley, Calif.
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Monday, September 25, 2017

How did you get started in security and designing/specifying and what is your background?

With experience spanning more than 37 years, I have been heavily exposed to the many intricacies of total security consultation, design and project management, and have participated in all aspects of security and communications system design and integration.

I began my security career at Security By Design in 1997 as VP of technical services, where I was responsible for overseeing the design and integration of complementary systems to satisfy client’s needs including corporate security standards, project coordination, client site meetings, manufacturer liaison and production resource coordination—all working closely with the client and project consultant to complete jobs on time and under budget. 

While at SBD, I was fortunate enough to get to work with one of the best teams in the business and hone my skill set from a security perspective.  I will always remember the time at SBD as one of the most dynamic times in my career and the synergy there was second to none. 

Previous to joining SBD, I spent 12 years as VP of technical services for a nationally recognized hospital communications systems manufacturer. During that time I was responsible for overseeing all aspects of the technical operation for the firm, including: Code compliance; technical services; technical sales; customer service; training; sales and service support. A long history of coordination with key government agencies (OSHPD, SFM, local, city, county and state), and Underwriters Laboratories has provided extensive insight into required security design elements for corporate environments and healthcare facilities alike.

In addition to the many security and communications training courses, I attended the Microsoft MCSE training classes and served as network manager for seven years. The training I received during that time provided me the unique opportunity to participate in and coordinate all aspects of security project phases. Involvement in projects from conceptual design through final client sign-off has proven to be an invaluable asset in reaching a high level of confidence with our clients.

My professional affiliations include, ASIS International (American Society for Industrial Security); NCMS (National Classification Management Society); NERC (North American Electric Reliability Corporation); UL STP (Underwriter Laboratories Standards Technical Panels); High Sierra Great Basin Chapter, Society of Hospital Engineering; and Mount Diablo Chapter, Society of Hospital Engineering.

Can you tell me about your company’s areas of specialization?

We help our clients define a vision and successfully implement it, working on a wide range of security centric projects from VIP residences to very large corporate campus environments. We are intimately familiar with all security related systems, including: Access control, intrusion detection, cameras (analog, IP, wireless, IR), video management systems, detection devices, etc. We pride ourselves on excellent project management skills for all facets of the security and construction industry and its processes.

With extensive background in NISPOM, DCID, DSS, NIST and UL interactions and familiarity with security at government and classified facilities, the company is uniquely qualified to assist clients in government projects and code compliance. 

Our specialties include consultation, requirements definition, requirements based equipment selection, specification writing, systems design and engineering, estimating/budgeting, construction administration and systems commissioning.

We also have a UL Consulting Division, and we are intimately familiar with UL294 Access Control Systems and UL1076 Proprietary Burglar Alarm Systems and offer full UL liaison services and support. Specialties include: preliminary conformity assessment, UL submission preparation and evaluation, UL "​in lab" testing and support, UL compliance documentation, UL technical deficiency resolution, UL cost limit increase mitigation and NIST/FIPS certification liaison support.

We are a current member of UL STP205 and STP205A Standards Technical Panels and provide input for the UL Standards development process.

Additional areas of interest and expertise include NIST requirements relating to UL1076, including FIPS 46-3 (TDEA) and FIPS 197 AES encryption, and FIPS 201 PIV. Also, NISPOM relating to Intrusion Detection Systems; D/CID 6/9 Annex B Intrusion Detection Systems and Annex F Personnel Access Controls; and HSPD 12 and Homeland Security.

We also support several well known consulting firms based in the SF Bay Area and have worked as a partner on projects on every continent. We enjoy sharing our skill sets with our partners and peers to improve collaboration and raise our collective competencies. That sharing of knowledge is the most exciting thing I think we do—it's exhilarating!

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

I am excited to see where the biometric technologies are headed. A few years ago, much of what is available today was just a dream. I see the day when we, ourselves, will be the only credential we need to access everything from ‘pay for play’ to access to critical infrastructure sites and everything in between.

What is your view on the industry moving forward?

I am very bullish on the industry, actually, as it is an exciting time to be in this field. I only wish I had made the jump sooner in my career so I had more time to feel like I could make a difference.

Definitely watching the race to the bottom in the video equipment arena—sad but ultimately inevitable.