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AI within security: Is it fully realized yet?

The capabilities of AI have increased exponentially in the last few years, and government and industry alike are taking notice. What does this mean for the security industry?
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02/28/2019

WASHINGTON—Back in early 2017, an unlikely leader emerged in the global artificial intelligence enterprise: Canada.

Top 3 areas shutdown is hitting security the hardest

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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Day number 26 … it’s the longest shutdown in U.S. history, and with approximately 800,000 federal employees out of work or working without pay, and three or more hours of wait time to clear security in some of America’s busiest airports—Atlanta, Houston, Miami and Washington—security-related vulnerabilities linger. Just by saying the U.S. is “shutdown” seems to give hackers, terrorists, criminals and such the impression that the whole country is weak and now is the time to strike.

Here’s some specific areas the shutdown is hitting security the hardest, and please clcik here to comment on the topic in our News Poll:

Government payment portals and remote access services: Sites such as NASA, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Court of Appeals, among others, are insecure or inaccessible, due to more than 80 expired TLS certificates used on .gov domains. What’s more, only 1 in 20 HTTPS servers implement the security feature that prevents visitors from making unencrypted HTTP connections to a server.
As more security certificates expire during the shutdown and with furloughed IT employees not renewing them, opportunities for a security hack increase.

Click the following links to see examples of expired .gov certificates as of January 16, 2019:
https://ows2.usdoj.gov/
https://rockettest.nasa.gov/

National cybersecurity: It seems “everyone” is furloughed…approximately half of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the employees who protect critical infrastructure, such as banking, water, energy and nuclear; 85 percent of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) employees and other IT professionals knowledgeable about the latest cyberattacks and how to deal with them most appropriately, according to CNBC.

Security operations, software patching and penetration testing are among the activities not getting done for government sites including but not limited to:
•    Departments of State;
•    Homeland Security;
•    Agriculture, Commerce and Housing and Urban Development;
•    Environmental Protection Agency;
•    Internal Revenue Service (IRS);
•    National Institute of Standards and Technology; and
•    National Park Service.

Weakened airport security: Not only is wait time increasing for passengers to get through security, but personal safety is quickly becoming an issue. On January 2, 2019, a Delta passenger successfully deceived TSA, sneaking a gun past agents and onto a flight headed to Tokyo from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

According to USA Today, TSA said they would “hold those responsible appropriately accountable,” as they rejected the assumption that low staffing was to blame. Either way, carelessness or low staffing, security was breached and could have led to dire consequences.

As we see the deterioration of security right before our eyes, what are you most concerned about when it comes to the partial government shutdown and security?

Let’s discuss! Looking forward to your responses.

Arlo unveils security system, DIY option at CES

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01/09/2019

SAN JOSE, Calif. and LAS VEGAS—Arlo Technologies Inc., the maker of network connected cameras, announced at CES 2019 the Arlo Security System.

FBI chief Celestini to speak about cybersecurity at ESX

ESX Public Safety Luncheon featured speaker is senior executive FBI representative to the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command
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05/18/2016

FORT WORTH, Texas—FBI Section Chief Philip Celestini will be the featured speaker for the ESX Public Safety Luncheon on June 9, ESX organizers announced today.

Seqouin joins investment firm Raymond James

Raymond James expands security investment banking group
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10/09/2015

MEMPHIS, Tenn.—Raymond James has hired Stephan Segouin as a managing director in the firm’s Security, Defense & Government Services Investment Banking practice. Segouin will work with group co-head Alper Cetingok to provide a full range of M&A advisory and capital-raising services to companies in the global security sector.

Will UTC buy Nortek?

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Will UTC buy Nortek?

The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, says it's in talks to do so for around $1.2 billion. I talked to some folks in the past few days who say the purchase, which may not make sense on the surface may indeed make sense. Other financial reports, such as the Motley Fool, concur.

Nortek is the parent company of well known access control, security and automation brands Linear, 2GIG and Go!Control. Those brands fall under the Nortek Security and Control division. It's  a global diversified company with a current market cap of $1.3 billion and an enterprise value of $2.7 billion, and the bulk of Nortek’s business falls outside security, it also does HVAC, air management and AV.

Based in Hartford, Conn., United Technologies Corporation is a global $81 billion company that makes building systems and aerospace industry products. Its segments include:  Otis elevators; Pratt & Whitney;  UTC Aerospace Systems and UTC Climate, Controls & Security, which in addition to security does HVAC and refrigeration. UTC owns access control provider Lenel (as one person I spoke to called it--the darling of the UTC security portfolio) and intrusion and smart home provider Interlogix.

UTC bought GE Security in 2010. Here's a Q&A we did at the time.  Two years later, UTC sold its fire and security integration business (Red Hawk) to a private equity group.

UTC recently sold its Sikorsky helicopter division for $9 billion, so they've got money to invest.

Neither Nortek nor UTC are commenting, but plenty of folks outside of the businesses are talking about it.

People I spoke to said that UTC went looking for Nortek—Nortek was not actively looking for a buyer. They don’t believe that it is the security part of the business that is necessarily driving the deal—but rather, the fact that Nortek’s lines of businesses line up with UTC’s Climate Controls and Security division, though there would definitely be some overlap with 2GIG and Interlogix.

As The Motley Fool explains it, what's driving the deal is that the numbers make sense.

From the report: “…Nortek could be a pretty nice bargain. Bought for today's $1.4 billion valuation, Nortek would cost UTC less than 0.6 times Nortek's annual sales. UTC stock, in contrast, costs more than twice as much, at 1.3 times sales.
Meanwhile, although it earns no net profits, Nortek does earn operating profits (i.e., it would have been profitable but for the cost of interest, taxes, and various one-time items). In fact, at its current operating profit margin, Nortek earned about $123 million in operating profit on its revenues last year. If, after buying Nortek, UTC is able to improve the latter's operations so as to extract something like the 16.5% margin that UTC's own Climate, Controls, and Security business achieves, then this would work out to $413 million in annual profits from UTC's new subsidiary -- $290 million better than Nortek made on its own.”

Will the deal happen? I have no idea. But I guess I need to be prepared for another ISC West booth visit where I have to learn, again, how the UTC security business has been realigned.

 

Residents warned of security scam

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07/18/2014

CLIFTON, N.J.—Police this week were warning residents to beware of scammers posing as security company employees to gain access to their homes, according to the Clifton Journal.

SSN Readers: Google eyeing security

Sixty-four percent of SSN readers say Google’s $3.2b buy of Nest portends Google’s launching a home security product
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02/05/2014

YARMOUTH, Maine—Google’s recent acquisition of home automation company Nest Labs led many to believe the tech giant was setting up a beachhead on the industry’s shores. Readers who responded to a recent SSN News Poll tend to agree, with many saying Google’s buy is no half-hearted entrance into security—it’s a sign of ever-larger involvement in the residential space.

Study: $350 billion U.S. security market expected to grow

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08/15/2013

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—In its first comprehensive study of the security market since 1990, ASIS International and the Institute of Finance and Management analyzed the expansion of private security over the past decade and project further growth in the country’s security products

Moon Security to enhance PERS division

The unit, dubbed Moon Medical Alert, will be launched within 'next month and a half'
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08/14/2013

PASCO, Wash.—Moon Security Services, a full-service security company with accounts in several states in the Northwest, plans to ramp up its PERS division in the coming months, Mike Miller, vice president of the company, told Security Systems News.

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