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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.”

Who in security topped the Inc. 5000 this year?

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Inc. 5000 has released its 2012 list, and again, there are a number of physical security companies included.

Top among the physical security companies that I saw on the Inc. 5000 list, which was officially released yesterday was VMS Alarms, a residential and small business security company and Monitronics dealer.

VMS Alarms ranks #526 on the 2012 List. It had a three-year growth rate of  731 percent; 2008 revenues of  $2.3 million, and 2011 revenues of  $19.5 million.

Here's my blog on security companies who made the list in 2011, and below are some other manufacturers and installers from the security industry:

#636 EP Technology: 2008 revenues of $2.8 million and 2011 revenues of $18.6 million. Manufactures and distributes intelligent video security products. Focuses on manufacturing and supplying closed-circuit television systems, security cameras and digital recording devices.

#770 Eid Passport: 2008 revenues of $5.3 million and 2011 revenues of $29.2 million. Offers products and services that combine identity authentication, background screening, and access management to make facilities, assets, and people safer and more secure. Eid Passport's patented programs enable highly secure facilities such as military installations, government buildings, manufacturing and distribution sites, ports, and commercial buildings to increase security and streamline access for authorized personnel.

#826 Exacq Technologies: 2008 revenues: $6.3 million; 2011 revenues: $32.3 million. Develops open architecture, video management system solutions for security and surveillance applications.

#943 Sting Alarm: 2008 revenues: $1 million; 2011 revenues: $4.5 million. Installs and maintains advanced video surveillance and burglar alarm systems for high-rise residential towers, casinos, retail chains, and other customers.

#1097 LogicMark: 2008 revenues: $2 million; 2011 revenues: $7.7 million. Manufactures a line of personal emergency response systems. Users, such as the elderly or those with serious medical issues, wear a pendant with a speakerphone, and can push a button to call for help.

#1123 Nationwide Security Solutions: 2008 revenues: $1.6 million; 2011 revenues: $6 million. Sells and installs residential and commercial security and automation systems. Serves as the primary distributor for represent Monitronics International, a producer of security and monitoring technology for burglar, fire and medical emergency systems. Also offers two-way voice, cellular, and medical monthly monitoring plans.

#1255 Integrity Alarms: 2008 revenues: $1.6 million; 2011 revenues: $6 million. An ADT authorized dealer that sells, installs, and maintains home security systems in California, Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware.

#1312 Radiant RFID: 2008 revenues: $1.9 million; 2011 revenues: $6.3 million. Designs, installs, and integrates technology that tracks, locates, and monitors people and products for government, education, and corporate customers. It can be used to keep track of and protect a company's physical assets; for access control in gated communities; to monitor attendance and capture traffic flow at large events such as trade shows; and to manage large-scale evacuations.

#1464 SecurityHunter: 2008 revenues: $2.3 million; 2011 revenues: $6.9 million. Designs, manufactures and installs electronic and physical security systems that are used by federal agencies, including the Department of Defense.

#1483 AMP Alarm: 2008 revenues: $8.5 million; 2011 revenues: $25.7 million. Sells and installs security systems to protect people, their homes, and their possessions and to arrest and prevent burglary, fire, and medical emergencies.

#1485 Alert Logic: 2008 revenues: $7.1 million; 2011 revenues: $21.4 million. Provides security services for cloud computing allowing customers to defend against security threats and address compliance mandates. Alert Logic partners with over half of the largest cloud and hosting service providers to provide fully managed intrusion protection, vulnerability assessment and log management for nearly 2,000 enterprise customers.

#1661 InVue Security Products: 2008 revenues: $36 million; 2011 revenues: $98.9 million. Designs and manufactures security devices that allow retailers to openly display electronic merchandise that poses a high risk of theft.

#1824 Smith Monitoring: 2008 revenues: $2.1 million; 2011 revenues: $5.3 million. Offers home security and monitoring systems, and home automation integration systems.

#1894 NDI Recognition Systems: 2008 revenues: $2.1 million; 2011 revenues: $5.3 million. Designs and manufactures automated license plate recognition technologies for use in law enforcement and other public safety applications. Its offerings include both mobile and fixed cameras, mobile processors, the Talon recognition engine, VeriPlate mobile application software, and installation and support.

#2056 Defender Direct: 2008 revenues: $312 million; 2011 revenues: $136 million. Sells and installs ADT home-security and Dish Network systems for homeowners.

#2192 IntraLogic Solutions: 2008 revenues: $1.4 million; 2011 revenues: $3 million. Provides security and surveillance services and systems to school districts, municipal clients, state offices, government agencies and private-sector clients. Designs, installs and maintains broad-spectrum security systems that use the latest technology and cost controls.

#2196 DTT Surveillance Systems: 2008 revenues: $7.9 million; 2011 revenues: $17.2 million. Supplies, installs and supports digital surveillance and monitoring equipment for the restaurant and hospitality industries. DTT's video systems include security, theft-prevention and quality-control products.

#2961 PowerHome Technologies: 2008 revenues: $9.6 million; 2011 revenues: $16.8 million. Specializes in the sale and installation of residential and small business security systems.

#3477 Intelligent Access Systems of North Carolina: 2008 revenues: $8.8 million; 2011 revenues: $13.5 million. Offers electronic security integration, primarily in the critical infrastructure, healthcare, and higher education markets.

#3842 Electric Guard Dog: 2008 revenues: $12.4 million; 2011 revenues: $17.5 million. Provides perimeter electric security fencing across the nation for industrial and commercial locations.

#4175 Sentry Communications: 2008 revenues: $3.9 million; 2011 revenues: $5.1 million. Installs and services security systems, including digital CCTV, fire systems, and access control, for commercial, industrial, and residential clients.