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by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, May 25, 2016

When I looked at the SIA update this morning, I saw a headline about the cloud and cybersecurity concerns. Want to learn about cybersafety in the cloud? Come to Cloud+ in Austin in November!

Cloud+ is the only conference where you can learn how cloud technology is reshaping the security industry, what the potential is for your business and what steps you can take now to enhance your bottom line with cloud-based technology. Cybersecurity is on the agenda.

Sponsored by Security Systems News, the inaugural Cloud+ took place in Silicon Valley in December 2015. This year we’re thrilled to be holding the event in the high tech hub of Austin, Texas. Cloud+ 2016 will take place at the Lost Pines Resort in Austin on Nov. 29 and 30.

SSN launched this conference because we believe that cloud-based technology is the new frontier in physical security. Just as early adopters jumped on IP a decade ago, early adopters today are moving to the cloud.
We’re looking forward to building on the success of last year’s event, which featured speakers from Google and Microsoft.  

As usual, we'll take a TechSec-style approach to the educational program. Expect interactive educational sessions featuring cloud experts from inside and outside of the security industry.

I’m putting together the conference educational program right now. Have a great idea for a speaker or session topic? Call me.

One of the sessions that's already lined up will address central station capabilities in the cloud. It will include cloud providers and will be moderated by one of the country's leading integrators Jeffrey Nunberg of ISS in Miami. Nunberg will be asking the hard questions that all integrators want answered: How is it done? What are the options? Which integrators will benefit the most from moving monitoring to the cloud? What kind of the front-end investment is required and what kind of ROI should integrators and end users expect?.

Stay tuned for more on the educational program.

One of the coolest things about Cloud+ is the exhibit hall: It’s solely focused on cloud-based technology and it’s the only place you can see physical security cloud technologies side-by-side in one room.

Steve Van Till, CEO of Brivo, and one of my Cloud+ advisors, had this to say about Austin: “Austin is perfect because it combines great accessibility for travelers, a very strong tech-focused business community, and lots of local culture for those who want to get out and do something memorable with colleagues or customers.”

Yes! Austin is not your old-school, typical-security-industry-style convention location. In addition to the fact that every important high-tech end user has an office here, I’m convinced you cannot find a bad musician in the town.

It’s also home to a first -class university, restaurant options galore, and there’s easy access to the great outdoors.

Mark your calendar for Cloud+, Nov. 29-30, 2016. Here's a link to the Cloud+ website.

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by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, May 11, 2016

There was not a free chair in the Lakehouse conference room here at PSA-TEC in Westminster, Colo. yesterday afternoon during two panel discussions that addressed topics such as: M&A, cybersecurity and managed services.

John Mack Imperial Capital said that there’s been “more significant M&A activity in the past year than in the previous 30 years.” He called that “generally good news” and predicted M&A activity will continue. He noted that new entrants into the security industry are not “taking share away” from others. Rather, new entrants are helping the security industry grow, and they’re bringing “new and interesting technology.”

NetOne’s Dave Carter said the flurry of M&A can be a concern to NetOne if a member company (there are 28) is acquired by an outsider (as happened when Safeguard Security was acquired by SAFE)  However, that is not normally the case. “For our companies, in the regions they operate, they are the acquirers," Carter said.

Brent Franklin of Unlimited Technologies looks at all of the M&A activity as an opportunity. “While the big guys are turning the battleship in the dock … [Unlimited can] pop up into that space and serve their customers,” he said.

Carey Boethel of Securadyne agreed: “When big companies are consolidating and merging they focus strategies internally. …They take their eye off the ball.”

Michael Meridith of SEi concurred,  “customers fall through the cracks,” he said. And, there's more good talent looking for jobs, he added.

Jeff Nunberg of ISS pointed out that many of the recent buyers are venture capitalist firms who “expect a return on investment in three- to five years.” As they build a business, he said, they also “suck the live out of it … which makes it hard to deliver service.” In terms of vendor M&A, Nunberg said: “We have zero control over that,” so he does not worry about it.

All of the panelist admitted concern about cybersecurity—keeping their own companies and customers as safe as possible from a breach. A couple speakers also noted that most security installation companies are not taking cybersecurity concerns seriously enough. Those companies likely will not take it seriously until there’s an incident.

Imperial Capital’s Mack and Michael Kaiser National Cyber Security Alliance talked about cybersecurity as a possible money maker for physical security integrators.

Mack said adding cybersecurity services is a “huge opportunity for people in this room.” Small and medium-sized businesses “have a lot to do to better protect their information, data, and networks.” He suggested that security integrators partner with cybersecurity experts. That would make them very valuable to customers.  “When you upgrade physical security systems [for a customer] at the same time talk to them about how to update their information security infrastructure.” Mack said if he were to get back into the operations side of security, this is where he’d focus.

Kaiser agreed that “one of the biggest gaps in cybersecurity right now is the SMB … they’re not making cybersecurity a priority,” he said. They need a provider to help them “secure their network and their security devices.”

How should you educate yourself on cybersecurity? Attend the RSA show in San Francisco, Mack said. Do your homework about companies attending RSA. Many of them really want to know about physical security. “I guarantee you there will be guys who will be incredibly interested in talking to you," Mack said.

PSA Security is also an excellent resource to educate yourself on cybersecurity he said, noting that Andrew Lanning would be presenting the initial PSA Cybersecurity playbook at PSA-TEC on May 12. Here’s information on that presentation.

“Be part of the solution,” Lanning said.

Managed services make your commercial companies more valuable, Mack said. In addition, he said that acquirers are losing their appetite for security companies that derive all of their RMR from residential accounts. Buyers don’t like the high creation costs on the resi side and the “commoditization of residential security."

“There is no question if you show up [to sell your company] with more RMR, you have a higher valuation,” Mack said. “Guys who show up with a mix of RMR with a commercial focused business will be higher valued than the gyu with the same about of RMR from a residential business,” he said.

There is technology out there now that makes managed services much easier, Mack said. And the financing model for managed services is easier to manage than the model on the resi side. “You don’t have to go upside down on the direct labor and materials,” he said. “But the selling proposition to the customer and how you define that customer and sell to them has to be different,” Mack said.

He said it is probably a good idea to create a new division, or even a new company, to do managed services. Other speakers agreed.  

Robots were another topic of discussion at PSA-TEC. Sharp announced its new SRBD. Here’s a link to this story. A key SRBD executive—Mike Kobelin—is well known to PSA Security members and PSA-TEC attendees, as he is a former PSA board president.

One of the first people in the security industry to talk to me about security robotics was Joe Lynch of Minuteman. Here’s a story I wrote a couple years ago where I spoke to 10 top integrators about tech trends.  Scroll to the end to read Lynch’s remarks. One year after I wrote that story, I asked Lynch about aerial drones and he said there were many questions about legislation and regulation, an obstacle that PSA Security CEO Bill Bozeman told me will hold back development of that technology for the short term. I ran into Lynch today and asked him about aerial drones. He said he’s been able to figure out the FAA regulations and is optimistic about the possibilities. Minuteman owns an aerial drone and is using it in beta projects currently.

Ray Dean of ASI  was at the Sharp robotics press conference and was eager to know when the company’s product would be available.

by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The "New ADT" is here. As of May 2, the Protection 1/ADT deal is closed, and ADT is no longer trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

The deal, initially announced in February, was the third major security investment for Apollo Global, which announced it would buy ADT for $6.9 billion and merge it with Protection 1.

I tried to get a call scheduled with Tim Whall who is the CEO of the combined company or someone else at “The New ADT,” but have not heard back yet.

The official announcement had little new information, it mentioned that the headquarters of the combined company will be ADT’s headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., and said that the company will “operate primarily under the ADT brand.”

Will the Protection 1 name go away completely? Who will run the resi business? What about ADT's nascnet commercial business? Is CMS staying or going? CMS has the opportunity to go after the cablecos/telecom business and DIY business that other wholesale monitoring companies are doing well with. Will it? As a non-public company, ADT can concentrate on slow smart growth--something observers say it has done well with, even under the constant scrutiny of the stock market. So many questions to ask.

Goldman, Sachs served as lead financial advisor to ADT and BofA Merrill Lynch also served as financial advisor to ADT.  Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and RBC Capital Markets, LLC served as financial advisors to Apollo and Protection 1 and provided debt financing.  PSP Investments Credit USA LLC also provided debt financing.

The deal also provided an entry for the Koch Brothers into physical security. An affiliate of Koch Equity Development LLC, the investment and acquisition subsidiary of Koch Industries, provided $750 million of preferred equity financing.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP served as legal advisor to ADT. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP served as legal advisor to Protection 1 and Apollo.  Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP served as legal advisor to Koch.

 

by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A couple weeks ago I wrote about PSA-TEC, PSA Security’s annual training and education conference, which will take place in Westminster, Colo. May 9-13.

Kudos to PSA for being the first in the industry to take a close look at security robotics. PSA Security CEO Bill Bozeman is among those who believe security robotics will be “the next big thing” in security.

Courses at TEC will explore ground-based, aerial and marine robotics. You can check out the educational sessions here.

In many ways, this robotic technology is here. Drones are being used for surveillance by movie studios and on colleges campuses. And, systems integrator Northland Controls even has robots patrolling its parking lot in Fremont, Calif.  

However, security robotics is in its nascent stage though, and the security industry has to figure out how to harness the technology more broadly, and in a way that makes business sense for end users and integrators.

Also, it’s not clear at all how the government is going to regulate security robotics in general, and drones in particular. There’s a bill in the U.S. Senate right now that would make drone regulation a federal responsibility. One thing for sure is that security robotics will be regulated. And, that makes sense. While drones may be safely used for surveillance in some areas, drones and other robotics may pose a risk in certain locations, such as airports. Questions of privacy will need to be addressed as well. Like it or not, some degree of regulation is inevitable and advisable.

The Security Industry Association is keeping an eye on this issue, and you should too. Jake Parker of SIA told me the “FAA is in the process of finalizing regulations that [drone] operators must follow and chances are this will evolve in the future.” He also noted that there are “significantly different requirements for law enforcement use versus private/commercial security.” He added that this topic will be discussed at SIA’s June 17 Government Summit.

I’m looking forward to the security robotics educational sessions at PSA-TEC, and I’m also looking forward to seeing the robots and drones in Colorado. Bozeman says they’ll be there.

by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, April 20, 2016

China-based camera manufacturer Dahua this week took a major step to expand its presence in North America: ADI Global Distribution will now carry Dahua products in its 103 store locations in the U.S. and Canada.

Dahua has plans to grow its presence in North America in a big way, Tim Shen, Dahua Technology marketing director, told me at ISC West.

The China-based camera manufacturer established its North American office in Irvine, Calif. in 2014. At ISC West this year, Dahua invested in one of the biggest booths at the show. It was 3,600 square feet, double the size of its 2015 ISC West booth.
 
I requested an interview with Shen or another Dahua executive to discuss the announcement. None were immediately available, but Raleigh Gerber, Dahua's newly hired communications manager, sent me some background information. She said that in addtiion to making the product more readily available to North American integrators, working with ADI "gives Dahua an opportunity to listen and learn more about the fast-moving video surveillance market, to gain insights about systems integrators’ needs and better help them."

She added that the partnership with ADI "supports Dahua’s open platform solutions, allowing us to provide seamless and flexible integration with our software and hardware partners, and system integrators."

 Dahua's products include its 1.3-4MP IP cameras, 8 and 16 channel POE NVRS, 1080p HDCVI cameras and tri-brid HCVRs.
 

by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, April 13, 2016

PSA-TEC will have some new attendees this year: Robots.

There will be drones and ground-based robots at PSA Security’s annual education and training event PSA-TEC, which will takes place May 8-13 in Westminster, Colo.

Bill Bozeman, PSA Security CEO, believes security robotics is the next big opportunity—and challenge—for the security industry.

“We’ll have three sessions [related to robotics] at TEC,” Bozeman said. He noted that PSA Security led the industry on the cybersecurity front, holding its Cyber Security Congress early in 2015.

“We like to start the conversation at TEC about what the future will look like [in terms of technology],” he said.

In the days leading up to PSA-TEC, Bozeman will be attending a drone conference in New Orleans, where he’ll get a close look at aerial, ground and marine-based drones.

Bozeman said that he expects Security Robotics to be the next committee created by PSA Security.

PSA currently has five committees, relatively recently created, that explore topics of interest to security integrators. The committees are tasked with sharing information at PSA-TEC, through the PSA website and elsewhere, coming up “playbooks” for integrators and developing best practices and standards to save integrators time, money and resources.

The five committees are: Project Management Committee, Sales & Marketing Committee, Technical Committee, Leadership Committee, and the  Cyber Committee.

It seemed like everyone was talking about cybersecurity at ISC West. I had a chance to speak to Andrew Lanning, co-founder of integration firm IST, and chairman of the PSA Security Cyber Committee, at the show. Lanning’s group plans to share its preliminary cybersecurity playbook with integrators at PSA-TEC in May.

Lanning’s group is looking at processes and products with the goal of helping integrators, from the super IT-savvy integrators, to those who are just starting to educate themselves about IT best practices and cybersecurity, he said.

Anthony Berticelli, PSA director of education, oversees all of the committees. “There will be nine committee-led session at TEC,” Berticelli said. “There will be peer-to-peer sessions and roundtable sessions and several of the sessions will overlap [committee jurisdiction],” he said. 

PSA-TEC is open to everyone in the security industry. One does not have to be a PSA member to attend PSA-TEC. Here’s a link to information about the conference.

 

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by: Martha Entwistle - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

After some pre-ISC West meetings, the first official event I attended at ISC West was the Market Leaders Reception at the Omnia at Caesar's. SSN was a sponsor of the event this year. Kudos to SIA on its choice of venue, a nice, open-air terrace. The event lived up to its name. The attendees were the leading manufacturers, integrators and consultants.  Among the many folks I talked to was Kratos’ Jim Henry, a loyal TechSec Solutions attendee, who had some (many) suggestions about adding a new element to TechSec2017. It’s in the works. More on that later.

On Wednesday morning, the first day of ISC West, my day started at 8:45, with the ISC West Keynote Educational Session, which I moderated. Called “Lights, Camera, Action: How Paramount Pictures Delivers Enhanced Safety and Global Security While Driving Operational Efficiency and Sustainable ROI,” speakers included Paramount Picture's Scott Phemister, Jeff Reider and Steve Tiffany. The three provided insight—from security, IT, and management perspectives —on how they collaborated to build a global security operation, implement a PSIM in 90 days, and derived some serious ROI.
I had a chance to visit Paramount Pictures and see the GSOC in action last fall. The session was very well attended and there were a lot of questions about how Paramount was able to implement its PSIM so quickly. And the question of the day after the session: What kind of PSIM was it? SureView Systems.

I stopped by Arecont Vision and spoke to Jeff Whitney about simplification of install on all models, and the company’s Mega Video Flex for gas stations, banks, buses.

At the ISC West Media Stage I did an ssnTVnews interview with Phil Aronson, ASG CEO and Ed Bacco, former CSO of Amazon, now with ASG. The big news is that Aronson Security Group is redefining itself. It’s not a a systems integrator any more, now it’s a Security Risk Management Services provider.

Over at the Connected Security Expo @ISC West, I spoke to Nate Kube of Wurldtech. Wurldtech has expertise helping to cybersecure operational technology in oil, gas applications. It wants to do same for physical security.

Back at the ISC West Media Stage, I interviewed Dean Drako, CEO and president of Eagle Eye Networks and chairman of Brivo Systems. We talked about the growing acceptance of  the cloud/subscription model in physical security. Eagle Eye was announcing a new wifi video product, and a free  first responder product at the show.

The next video interview was with Andrew Lanning, head of PSA Security’s Cybersecurity Committee, and co-founder of integration firm IST. Lanning’s committee plans to release the preliminary “cyber playbook” for integrators (all integrators welcome, not just PSA Security members) in May at PSA-TEC in Westminster, Colo.
 
Kathleen Chigos, CEO of PlateSmart said,"ALPR is no longer a luxury." What's on the horizon? HD capability, she said.
 
Oliver Mitre  of Teleste, a provider of display systems with embedded cameras, talked about company's success dealing with terrorist attacks in Paris.

Jake Brecheen of Confluence Security Group talked about its unique model: it’s a hybrid IT security integrator that works with electric grid, government entities.

Yaron Zussman, CEO America for FST Biometrics talked about FST’s rapid expansion into the commercial market.

Security Systems News has been running its “20 under 40” program for talented young security integrators and end users since 2007, so there are a lot of alumni out there. It’s not often that I see four in one place, however at Affiliated Monitoring, I got a photo of four Security Systems News “20 under 40” alumni Aaron Salma, Class of 2014; Jesse Rivest, Class of 2013; Joe Parisi, Class of 2013; Jake Mrkvicka, Class of 2015. We convinced Daniel Oppenheim, VP Affiliated Monitoring, to join in the photo as well.

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I had a chance to speak to Jeff Kessler of Imperial Capital between his appointments. The latest Monitor with insights into public companies and recent deals is out this week.

Mark Sandler of SPP was only spotted three times at ISC West.

Had a chance to see David Box, Letha McClaren and Paul Dawson of iControl. The company is excited about demoing its iControl 1 at the show.

Hikvision’s Alex Asnovich said a highlight of the show was Hikvision’s Ultra HD 4K Smart IR PTZ camera winning the top prize in the SIA New Products Showcase for HD video surveillance cameras.

Did you know that “orange is the new blue”? Samsung Techwin is now Hanwha Techwin. The company’s big booth displayed the new logo and color scheme. Hanwha’s Janet Fenner and Tom Cook both predicted that Samsung Techwin will move up to the No.1 spot for video surveillance provider in the next few years.

Day 2 and 3 started bright and early at the sixth annual Security 5K2K. I had a chance to catch up with Axis Communication and Mission 500 board member Lora Wilson on the ride over to the race, which takes place in a really pretty park a short ride, but light years away, from the Vegas Strip. We had a great showing and best of all, we raised $95,000 for kids. Congratulations to all the participants, to Mission 500, and to our very own Tim Purpura, SSN VP and group publisher, who along with Lora Wilson and other dedicated Mission 500 board members, makes this awesome event—and other important Mission 500 events during the year—happen.

Mission 500 is making a positive difference for kids right here in the U.S. Don't know about Mission 500? Read about it here and plan to get involved in the Security 5K2K next year!

After the 5k, I headed back to the Sands to moderate another great educational session called “Access Control Trends in the Education Sector.” Speakers included two end users who talked about the threats faced today by college campus security directors and how their new access control systems address those threats: Tara Steelman from the College of St. Rose and Gary Rodman from Ripon College. The audience had lots of questions about the specific capabilities of the access control systems. Matt Zimmerman of Green Bay, Wis.-based LaForce provided the integrator’s perspective, while Brian Adoff of SwiftData Technology
and Brian Mathieu of Vanderbilt spoke about the how the technology is used at other college campuses.  

Back on the show floor, I heard more about tech on college campuses during a discussion with Mohamed Murad of Iris ID.

At Genetec, I spoke to Andrew Elvish and Kevin G. Clark about two cybersecurity hardening partnerships, one with Bosch and one with Axis Communications. We also spoke about Genetec's work to extend its subscription-based business model for Security Center.

There were multiple announcements from HID at a lunch meeting. They announced a collaboration with NXP Semiconductors to embed HID’s Seos credential in NXP’s smartMX-based secure element devices, enabling wearable devices to open electronic locks. HID announced its new goID platform for mobile IDs which enables feders, state and local government agencies to issue credentials over the air to citizens’ smartphones for drivers licenses, passports, social aecurity cards and other national iD documents. This is intended to make it possible for a smartphone to be an all-in-one secure credential and ID reader. HID also announced new mobile access capabilities for Apple Watch, Adroid Wear and tablets.  

Security integration firm RFI's CEO Brad Wilson spoke at the HID event about using mobile access for Netflix. He predicted HID’s Seos technology will be at core of tech advances in this realm.

I did an ssnTVnews interview with Tony Byerly and Jeremy Brecher of SES (Securitas Electronic Security). Formerly with Diebold, which was acquired by Securitas in February, Byerly and Brecher talked about what’s changed and what hasn’t. There are new opportunities for technology R&D, an ongoing strategic alliance with Diebold and happier customers, they said. Look for a report next week on this. Brecher was also promoted to SVP Technology & CIO, SES announced at the show.

I also interviewed Alarm.com’s Jay Kenny for ssnTVnews. Kenney. We talked about the new HQ and how dealers are using Alarm.com’s newest capabilities—and more connected devices—to better connect with their customers and reduce attrition.

Do you know how to pronounce Dahua? The giant China-based camera manufacturer was having some fun at the show asking attendees that question and recording their answers on video. Dahua is a big company, and it had a big booth at ISC West, 3,600 square feet this year, double the size of its 1,800 square foot booth last year. I spoke to newly hired corporate communications executive Raleigh Gerber and Tim Shen, marketing director. The company established an office in Irvine, Calif., in 2014, and it wants to “transfer its global success to U.S. and North America.”

At an IoT educational session, Honeywell’s Gordon Hope said the value in collecting data will be seen later. 
“Future analytics will unlock insights,” he said. Speaking at the same session, Axis’s Fredrik Nilsson said,” Cybersecurity is not an event, it’s a process.”

At Schneider, I spoke to Steve Turney about the company’s new cloud-based integrated security management system called Access Xpert. It partnered with Feenics on the project. Turney said Schneider’s dealers are “chomping at the bit” for the solution. He said 50 dealers stopped by in the first few hours of the show. One of the things they like about the system, he said, is that it works with Mercury panels.

I also caught up with Matt Barnette of AMAG, a provider of integrated access control, video management and identity management solutions. While AMAG had several new updates to its Symmetry platform and a new integration with Axis Communication’s Network Video Door Station to talk about, Barnette said he was focused on talking about providing “a policy-based system that provides a better experience [and ROI],” for the end user. AMAG was also giving a preview of a its new Bluetooth-enabled multi-technology reader that it plans to officially launch at ASIS in September. It's a card reader that can also read a credential that’s downloaded via an app to an iPhone or Android. AMAG plans to give the credential away at no cost. Barnette said card technology will be around for a while, but this new reader will allow “customers to move to Bluetooth technology.”  Among the benefits are the fact that the signal can be read from 25 feet away.

One year after IDIS, an end-to-end video surveillance solution provider that has been an OEM manufacturer for almost two decades, introduced itself and the IDIS brand to the physical security industry, the market is starting to understand what IDIS has to offer, said Keith Drummond, IDIS senior director. “We had to drive demand for the brand … we did outreach to systems integrators and end users.” The result, he said, was “a massive increase in the booth traffic this year from ISC West last year, ASIS, IFSEC and the other shows we’ve been to.” Drummond said that some important introductions that will lead to new business for some systems integrators happened at the booth this year.

BEFORE THE SHOW OPENED:

Add me to the list of SSN staff members who had a challenging trip to ISC West. I escaped the snow in Portland with no problem, but had quite a flight from Philly to Vegas. In the row behind me, three middle-aged adults (two who work in security) became fast friends, got heavy into the airplane bottles of red wine and vodka, and were really smart and interesting to listen to for five-and-a-half hours. Yes, there was singing. Earplugs didn't help. Warning: They're planning a "reunion" on a flight to California on May 6.

At least my cab driver didn't get arrested. Check with Sarah Flanagan for the details of her trip.

So, I'm prepping for my panel discussion tomorrow morning in room 701 at 8:45 a.m.  Come hear about Paramount Studio's global security operations center. Here are the details.

We have several ISC West related stories in our newswire, including an interview with Honeywell's David Paja and Todd Rief.

I have a full slate of booth visits, ssnTVnews interviews, and I'm also moderating an educational session at 10 a.m. Thursday about access control in higher ed. It's in room 301. Here are the details

Below are some other ISC West related announcements: 

Video surveillance provider Hikvision USA is launching a new level of its Dealer Partner Program—Diamond—designed to meet the needs of enterprise-level dealer partners.
The Hikvision Dealer Partner (HDP) program rewards partner loyalty with relationship-based advantages and recognition. Through this program, Hikvision extends exclusive access to products, business assistance, and priority service to key industry partners. Differentiation of Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond levels are based on a dealer’s annual spend on Hikvision products, and each tier builds upon itself with additional benefits. These benefits include product discounts through authorized distribution partners, extended warranties, priority technical support, and discounted demo equipment, among others. The Diamond level was created to meet the needs of enterprise-level partners via built-in incentives for enhanced profitability, enriched training certification, and specialized support.

Tyco Security Products has several announcements including a new Complete Security System which brings together access and manage video, intrusion and access control from one, single interface, enabled by the native integrations between the Kantech, exacq and DSC brands. TSP will also be talking about its Cyber Security Program, a multifaceted program that offers a holistic approach to cybersecurity awareness for physical security through each phase of the product development life cycle will also be formally announced tomorrow at ISC West. It will also the hattrix Five Diamond Program Launch event begins at 3:30pm on Thursday, April 7 in The Sands Expo Center’s San Polo Room, 3401. Attendees of the free event can learn more about the hattrix Five Diamond Program and its data center alliance, which provides the highest level of data security in the market for cloud-based access control systems.

Avigilon, which had its banners at McCarron airport again this year,  will launch its new H4 Edge Solution Camera line combines high-definition imaging, self-learning video analytics, network video recorder functionality, and embedded Avigilon Control Center video management software to create an all-in-one intelligent surveillance solution. The H4 Edge Solution Camera records video directly to an onboard solid-state drive, eliminates the need for a separate network video recorder, and reduces installation and system costs.

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by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, March 30, 2016

YARMOUTH, Maine—Have you heard enough about cybersecurity dangers for physical security integrators and manufacturers?

Here’s a new, and perhaps more welcome, angle of the cybersecurity story.

At the Interoperarability Fest on Wednesday night, April 6 at ISC West, you'll be able to see "Eidola." Click here for time and location.

What's Eidola? It's a technical automation and security system lifecycle management platform that’s designed to help integrators and installers secure their installations from the testing and installation stage through the maintenance stage. And it’s also designed to be used to generate RMR for integrators.

Eidola is a new product from IDmachines that “manages the lifecycle of a security solution from a cybersecurity perspective,” Sal D’Agostino, founder and CEO of IDmachines told me. "Eidola checks the make, model, firmware versions and other detailed device information, as well as strength of the device’s connection (authentication) on the network."

D’Agostino is an entrepreneur who has “always been involved in automating things.” He is the former EVP of Core Street and CEO of Computer Recognition Systems, Inc.

D’Agostino said “the complexity of security systems is growing astronomically and there’s a huge skills gap in terms of networking and cybersecurity skills.”  Today’s security systems include “IP-connected devices of all shapes and sizes on the network … you’ve [also] got network gear and stuff on virtual machines,” he said.

D’Agostino has said before that security integrators should “be deploying security solutions not vulnerabilities.” Eidola helps ensure this, he said.

Eidola can be used to test the configuration of a system’s components, and it also provides “a real live sandbox that can emulate an enterprise network,” D’Agostino said.

After that’s done, Eidola can be used to document IP addresses/MAC addresses and ports, so the integrator can deliver “more than just as-built drawings,” D’Agostino said. The integrator can give an end user a document that outlines the “state of the network." The integrator “get a sign-off by the customer on the documented system delivered that can be used again during the operation and maintenance lifecycle.”

This documentation is useful for the end user and integrator and can help identify problems in the future.  

Because Eidola can be used to check on the health of a security system, it can also be used to capture RMR, he said.

Andrew Lanning, co-founder of integration firm IST, said Eidola will be a very important tool for IT-savvy integrators working in enterprise environments, but its greatest value may be for a security company installer who is not an IT expert.

Those installers are adept at using a multi-meter to test voltage levels. D'Agostino describes Eidola as a "multi-meter for the 21st century." Lanning agrees, saying at its most basic level, Eidola is “really a network multi-meter that can let the installer know that a network is sound,” he said.

The roll out of Eidola is underway. It will be “generally available in the next 30 to 60 days” to a select group of integrators. The roll out will include “training, technical training and business model training on how to sell the product,” D’Agostino said.

The integrator will get an Eidola kit and a licence to resell Eidola as a service. “There are a number of different ways in which the product can be monetized by the integrator,” D’Agostino said.  

The Eidola kit has five components: 1. a high-performance, rugged industrial computer with multiple network connections, serial ports and digital I/O that provides the sandbox for the integrator or user's test environment. "This computer can also be left behind in those cases where longer term or harsh environmental testing requirements exist," D'Agostino said. 2. a portable field device (the 21st century multimeter) that also has network, serial and digital I/O. but on a smaller scale. 3. a set of connectors and cabling for easy installation and testing. 4. a travel case 5.training and documentation
 
D'Agostino said that the first two items "have an ad hoc wireless network that can connect to any Wi-Fi supported device, typically a smartphone or tablet, which provides an easy-to-use, push-button interface for performing the diagnostic, configuration and viewing and sharing the reports."

A broader roll out of the product is planned for later this year.
 

by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, March 23, 2016

On Tuesday, I moderated a discussion in Cambridge, Mass. with MIT security director Tom Komola; Cambridge Public Schools security director John Silva; Brad Baker, president of Quincy, Mass.-based integration firm FTG Security; and two technology providers, Jumbi Edelbehram of Oncam Grandeye; and Jacob Hauzen of Genetec. The event is designed to create a dialogue about the risks that today's educational facilities face and how those risks can be mitigated. We had a few introductory slides to start the event including the one below, which really illustrated the importance of these kinds of discussions. 

The map above shows locations of school shootings in the United States in the past year. The red tags are shootings with multiple fatalities; the yellow tags are shooting with one or no fatalities.  One year.

We had a great discussion about the challenges of securing a world class university like MIT and how that task is similar in some ways and very different in others to securing a large, diverse urban school system like the Cambridge Public Schools. Komola and Silva both talked about the importance of collaboration with different department and entities inside and outside of their schools.

In addition to working with school administration and staff, Silva's team works closely several local- and state public health and safety departments to coordinate the best security program for 14 different schools. The team also works closely with the city council and school committee. Technology is relatively new in his security program. Four years ago, Silva didn't have any cameras in the schools. Today, he has more than a hundred cameras, mostly thanks to government grants, and more camera and access control are planned. His challenges, like most public school districts, include resources, both financial and in terms of staff. He also has to keep parents and the community informed about how the security measures benefit students and staff. 

Silva's program may be just getting started in terms of technology, but it's highly organized and many-layered, and far ahead of most public school systems of comparable size in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

In comparison to a K-12 public school, MIT has many resources, financial and otherwise. However, Komola points out that his security program has scaled very quickly. Seven years ago he had a couple hundred cameras. Today, he has more than 1,800. Komola stands out among security directors that I've talked to in the past in that he said he has a "great relationship with the MIT IT department." The two departments collaborate daily and support each other in getting tech projects planned and implemented. Moreover, Komola said it's been that way since they started the security technology program years ago. Perhaps the key to that working relationship is that both security and IT report the same executive (the highest ranking non-academic exec at MIT) and they're expected to work together.

Komola told a funny story about MIT students hacking an access control system. Fortunately, the students then showed him where the weakness in the system existed, so he could correct it. 

FTG's Brad Baker talked about how integrators know that the success of projects ride on IT and security working together effectively. Early on in meeting with customers, he "takes the temperature" of the customer's IT deparment to see "how they feel about physical security." He's fortunate, he said, that FTG's sister company, FTG Technnologies, is a telecom solution provider. This is something that makes an end user's IT folks comfortable.

What's on the Komola and Silva's technology wish lists?  Komola said he wants analytics and smart cameras. "I'm looking for technology that does the work, that's foolproof." Silva is also interested in smart tech, but he also needs "the budget to cover it."

Asked about where technology is going, Oncam's Edulbehram talked about the growing importance of analytic alerts for access control and video. Mobility--being able to access security system information from your phone or other device--is equally important. It's critical, he said, to have "mobile apps across the board for security systems." He also said that cloud technology is the wave of the future.

Genetec's Jarrod Fullerton echoed that sentiment. Big data, from video and other sensors, needs to be processed, and "the only place that can analyze all that data is a big private data center or the public cloud."

The event also included some cool technology demos from Oncam Grandeye and Genetec. Oncam makes 360-degree cameras. The cameras take a photo-in-the-round that looks like a normal fisheye shot, but the cool thing is seeing different elements of the photo "dewarped", straightened out so it looks like a normal photo.

Tuesday's event was the first of three OnCampus Security Symposiums. Two more events are planned: one in Chicago and one in San Jose, Calif.

 

 

Topic:
by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, March 16, 2016

When we did an educational session at TechSec 2014 about the possibility of security systems falling victim to an APT (advanced persistent threat), cybersecurity wasn't something we heard about every day at Security Systems News. Here's a link to a story about that educational session.

Times have changed. As we do advance ISC West show reporting this year, cybersecurity is cropping up over and over again.

A standard story we do each year is about the biggest booths at ISC West. Here's a link to the story, which is in our newswire today. Spencer spoke to three of the largest exhibitors for the story. Asked what they'll be talking about in Vegas, two of those exhibitors, Hikvision and Axis, are leading with their cybersecurity efforts. The third, Hanwha Techwin (formerly Samsung Techwin), is focused on its new name first, which makes sense. However, Hanwha's Tom Cook said cybersecurity was an important topic of discussion at the manufacturer's recent dealer meeting and said it's a topic the company will be talking more about.

We've continued to talk about cybersecurity at TechSec in 2015 and 2016.  This year we had Rodney Thayer at TechSec and at Cloud+ talking about cyber, both sessions were highly rated by attendees. Thayer is an excellent presenter—super knowledgeable and amusing too. He's leading an educational session at ISC West called "Cybersecurity: Three steps to counter external attacks on physical security systems" on Thursday, April 7,  from 3:30 - 4:15 in Casanova 603. My guess is that it will be a worthwhile session to attend.

Security Systems News has been on this story for more than two years, and we'll continue to keep you informed. If you hear of any particularly impressive or interesting cybersecurity efforts or stories, please let me know. I can be reached at mentwistle@securitysystemsnews.com

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