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State of the cloud: Is it safer than you think?

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Is your cloud provider secure?

That question, the basis of a TechSec forum in February, came to mind again this week with the release of Alert Logic’s “State of Cloud Security Report—Fall 2012.” The company, a provider of security solutions for the cloud, issued the report after analyzing more than 70,000 security incidents among 1,600 business customers.

Among the key conclusions was that “on-premise IT infrastructure is more likely to be attacked, more often, and through a broader spectrum of attack vendors than cloud-based infrastructures.” The report also cited a higher incidence of “brute force attacks and reconnaissance attacks” in on-premise environments.

The findings echo one of the points made at TechSec: While many security companies don’t trust their data in the cloud, having it on-site doesn’t guarantee it’s going to be safe.

“[Cloud] security is far greater than open data systems,” said TechSec panelist Brian McIlravey, co-CEO of PPM 2000, a manufacturer of incident reporting and investigation management software. “The enterprise-class cloud is very secure. Third parties that hold data take it very seriously—we don’t want it accessed any more than you do.”

McIlravey stressed due diligence when selecting and moving data to a cloud provider, including asking for certification and knowing what is covered in the service-level agreement. He said the same scrutiny should occur internally in the company that is moving data off-site.

“The cloud provider must have certification, but you should be asking the same questions of your IT group,” McIlravey said, referring to data access, encryption and other safeguards.

Due diligence aside, skepticism could well linger in the security industry because of the “myth” that the cloud isn’t as secure as on-site environments, said Stephen Coty, research director at Alert Logic.

“[It] is a stereotype that has prevented the industry from focusing on the real issues impacting enterprise security,” he said in a news release announcing the fall 2012 report. “Rather than falling victim to perception-based beliefs, businesses should leverage factual data to evaluate their vulnerabilities and better plan their security posture.”

Putting the Vivint sale in perspective

Michael Barnes and George De Marco on the $2 billion valuation of Vivint, whether its growth plans are realistic, and its plans for expansion into commercial security
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09/19/2012

YARMOUTH, Maine—News today that the Blackstone Group, a $180 billion private equity firm, will acquire home automation and security company Vivint in an agreement worth more than $2 billion is another “huge shot of support for the industry,” Michael Barnes, founding partner of Barnes Associates, a consulting and advisory firm that specializes in the security alarm industry, told Security Systems News.

Vivint to be sold to Blackstone in $2 billion deal

CEO Pedersen: Vivint has plans to become one of the largest national players in commercial security
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09/18/2012

PROVO, Utah—Vivint has entered into an agreement with the Blackstone Group to be acquired in a deal worth “north of $2 billion,” Todd Pedersen, Vivint CEO, told Security Systems News.

ADT set to 'go it alone'

CEO of The ADT Corp. squelches rumors new entity will be takeover target
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09/18/2012

BOCA RATON, Fla.—Tyco International shareholders voted Monday to approve splitting Tyco into three separate companies—one of them ADT, another a commercial fire and security business, and the third a flow control unit. ADT officials say they’re eager to see ADT become a stand-alone company, providing security and interactive services to residences and small businesses and focused on innovation and growth.

Monroe Capital takes a look at security

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09/18/2012

CHICAGO—Monroe Capital, a private investment company that has about $700 million in assets, does not currently have investments in the physical security space, but it’s interested in taking a look, Monroe managing director Zia Uddin told Security Systems News.

G4S releases RISK360 ‘incident and case management’ software

Cloud-based SaaS solution said to simplify risk for security professionals
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09/17/2012

PHILADELPHIA—G4S Secure Solutions on Sept. 11 announced the release of a new incident and case management software, called RISK360, designed to help security directors analyze risk and better allocate resources.

ESA of Florida to hold inaugural event

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Friday, September 14, 2012

I wrote this spring about the Irving, Texas-based Electronic Security Association launching a state-chartered chapter in Florida. Now ESA of Florida is about hold an inaugural event.

ESA created the new state chapter because Florida is home to so many security companies.

The Sept. 20 inaugural event, which will be a legislative dinner featuring the chairman of the Electrical Contractors' Licensing Board, Ken Hoffman, who will discuss licensing requirements in Florida and the function of the board, according to an ESA news release. Also, updates on ESA of Florida and the upcoming ESA Leadership Summit in Orlando (slated for this Feb. 18-21, 2013) will be shared.

Steve Paley, president of Rapid Security Solutions LLC and chairman of the ESA of Florida steering committee, said a prepared statement: “We're excited to kick off the activities of ESA of Florida with this legislative dinner. We're encouraging everyone interested in helping to grow the security integration and monitoring industry in Florida to attend.”

Hoffman also said in the news release: “The security industry in Florida is primed for growth, and I'm happy to be able to address companies looking to improve their businesses and serve their customers even better.”

The dinner will be held at 6 p.m. at
Ruth's Chris Steak House at 2525 North Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale.

The event — which is sponsored by Interlogix, Honeywell, Telguard and Tri-Ed/Northern Video Distribution — is open to both ESA members and non-members. Registration for ESA members is free; non-member registration is $35.

For more information or to register, visit www.esaweb.org/event/ESAofFLDinner or call ESA's Member Service Center at (888) 447-1689.

PSIM goes mobile with DICE’s Matrix Universal Video

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09/14/2012

PHILADELPHIA—DICE Corp. this week formally launched Matrix Universal Video, a cloud-based PSIM system that allows users to receive alarms and their linked videos simultaneously and access the information with an iPad or Android device.

S&S weathers Isaac, focuses on ‘doing it right’

Alabama-based fire company says AFSA Quality Contractor recognition helps it stand out
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09/12/2012

MOBILE, Ala.—S&S Sprinkler Co. shut down its main office here for a day and also another office in Baton Rouge, La., for more than two days as Hurricane Isaac approached the Gulf Coast in late August, said business manager Jeff McCurley.

Jensby back in industry at San Jose-based RFI

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09/12/2012

SAN JOSE, Calif.—Mary Jensby, formerly central station and data entry director for Monitronics, has been named call center director at RFI Communications & Security Systems, an integration and monitoring company based here.

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