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Security 101 partners with manufacturers to host seminars

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06/21/2017

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.—Security 101, a franchise-model commercial security company based here, will host “Unification Under the Digital Umbrella,” a seminar including presentations and live demonstrations on the latest security technology.

Smart cities becoming a reality

Technology takes city wide surveillance to the next level
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04/03/2017

YARMOUTH, Maine—When Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis arrived to Boylston Street on April 15, 2013—shortly after two explosions killed three people and injured hundreds more near the finish line of the Boston Marathon—he said one thing: “First job, get on the video.”

Genetec poised for big year

Press summit provides inside look at company culture, vision for future
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02/14/2017

MONTREAL—Genetec, a company that develops open-architecture software, hardware and cloud-based services for the physical security and public safety industry, hosted its fourth annual press summit at its headquarters here in January, providing a glimpse into the company’s

MIT, Cambridge Public Schools talk security in education

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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.

 

 

Educating integrators about cybersecurity for work on college campuses and elsewhere

IST’s Andrew Lanning: ‘It's incumbent upon us to elevate our game’
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03/17/2016

YARMOUTH, Maine—Andrew Lanning enjoys visiting college campuses and “the ubiquity of their Wi-Fi access.” But the reason he is on campus, usually, is that easy Wi-Fi access means easy prey for hackers and cyber threats.

Why Genetec is going "cloud first"

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Unified security solution provider Genetec is going with a “cloud-first strategy,” Genetec’s Christian Morin said this week.

“The bulk of our innovation will be delivered [as a] cloud-based product first,” Morin said.

Popularized a few years ago when in 2011 the U.S. government mandated that federal agencies consider a cloud-based IT systems, the term “cloud first” is heard more, and talked about more favorably in the business community over the past couple of years.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, for example, announced the company’s “mobile-first, cloud-first” strategy in 2014.

As VP Cloud Services at Genetec, Morin has been a vocal evangelist for cloud-based systems. Here’s a link to a story about cloud from TechSec 2015.

The world is moving to the cloud for sound business reasons, Morin said this week. "The marketplace in changing. Integrators are realizing that they need to adapt. If they don’t, they’ll be left behind,” Morin said.

Morin shared several impressive percentages—triple digit growth—related to the company’s Stratocast and other cloud products. Admittedly, it’s hard to know what those figures really represent when there are no revenue figures attached. (The private company declined to share actual revenue figures.) However, Morin shared stories of customers who are using Genetec’s cloud products. Suffice it to say, they are big customers and there are a number of them.

Morin discussed Genetec’s work with the LAPD at the Special Olympics in July, interconnecting a number of different entities such as universities, the convention center and the Staples Center into one command center.

He also described a project with an unnamed big box retailer where Genetec was used to federate 800 stores, each with 50 to 80 cameras.

Customers are looking for Genetec’s access control as a service product, which is currently in beta, he said. “Not a week goes by that a customer doesn’t ask. There’s tremendous market demand especially among large customers who want central access control across many different facilities,” Morin said.

Genetec is having a lot of success with cloud in city surveillance applications—its “Project Green light” in Detroit is a notable example—and Genetec is actively working with groups of stakeholders in many different U.S. cities to pull together similar projects.

Genetec is also in discussion with telecom companies to bundle its commercial cloud services with the telecom’s traditional services. It’s a model that might work very well with city surveillance. The telecom would bring “brand power, network and billing mechanisms” to the plate. How would that work with integrators? Would the telecom be stepping on their business? Unlikely, Morin says. The telecoms don’t want to get involved with fulfillment, he said.

Morin said there are four reasons customers want cloud: you pay as you go; upgrades are the responsibility of Genetec, lessoning the burden on internal IT; simple and easy for integrators; scalability and elasticity.

The two main challenges Genetec faces with cloud is the reluctance of customers to “not see my server anymore” and customers and integrators getting used to the subscription model.

To get integrators and end users accustomed to the subscription model, Genetec will begin offering its on-premises platform Omnicast as a subscription model. The platform will still be the same, it’s just a different payment option.

While Morin is convinced that the move to the cloud will inevitably become a stampede, he said Genetec believes in a hybrid cloud model. “There are many good reasons why some customers don’t want to move everything to the cloud,” he said.  They may want a little cloud or a lot of cloud and they may want the transition to be very slow, he said.

Genetec to release cyber hardening guide

Racz: Genetec sees need to ‘raise the bar’ for integrators on cybersecurity
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02/08/2016

MONTREAL—In its latest cybersecurity initiative, Genetec, a provider of unified IP security solutions based here, is releasing a cybersecurity hardening guide for its integrator partners at the end of February.

Milestone, Genetec top VMS market

They’re largest vendors, IHS says
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09/09/2015

YARMOUTH, Maine—Milestone Systems and Genetec are the two largest vendors of video managed software in the $1.1 billion VMS market, according to IHS.

Clearing up cloud confusion

The promise of the cloud, definitions, trust
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08/17/2015

DELRAY BEACH, Fla.—Cloud pioneers—security manufacturers who say they’re fully committed to cloud-based systems—believe it’s only a matter of time before all security systems rely, to some degree, on the cloud.

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