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physical security

ONVIF launches education, enforcement campaign

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08/13/2014

SAN RAMON, Calif.—ONVIF, a global standardization initiative for IP-based physical security products, has announced that it is launching a proactive education and enforcement campaign designed to ensure the validity of all claims of ONVIF conformance by manufacturers of

Ascent Capital reaps rewards of acquisition

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08/13/2014

DALLAS—Boosted by the 2013 Security Networks acquisition, Ascent Capital, the holding company for Monitronics, a provider of home security alarm monitoring services based here, posted net revenue increases of 31.7 percent and 32.2 percent for the three and six months, re

Security Electronics acquires Milwaukee Dynamic Security

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08/12/2014

MUSKEGO, Wis.—Security Electronics, a home and business security company based here, has purchased the accounts of Milwaukee Dynamic Security, according to a news release from the Davis Mergers and Acquisitions group, which assisted Milwaukee Dynamic Security in the tran

Dynamark, Videofied form partnership

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Dynamark's adoption of Videofied is a further sign the company’s monitoring aspect, more than three years into its renaissance, is continuing to cement its presence in the central station space.  

The company is offering dealers video verification alarms through Videofied’s platform, allowing them to purchase and install the service through Dynamark’s product division, or add the platform to existing installations. The latter alternative will be welcome news to dealers, who have the opportunity to upgrade existing customers drawn to video verification.

In a news release, Dynamark president and CEO Trey Alter said both the product and the monitoring are available to the dealer through the same program. “This makes tech support and sales support virtually seamless, and that makes life easier and more profitable for our dealers,” Alter said in a prepared statement.

Dynamark Monitoring, launched in 2011, last year acquired Dayton, Ohio-based Security Services Center, which brought 40 alarm companies scattered across Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky into its dealer network.

Later in 2013, the company also launched its partner program, a newly created unit led by Hank Groff, SVP of sales, designed to propel the company from a regional to a national player.

In the coming days I plan to get the skinny on the company’s new video verification effort, and to hear what else might be in store for the resurgent Hagerstown, Md.-based central.

Possible Protection 1 buyers: PE firm, telecom or cableco

Pro 1 is reportedly up for sale with a $1.5b price tag, and an analyst tells SSN having an 'asset of this quality' on the market is unusual
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08/06/2014

YARMOUTH, Maine—Home security giant Protection 1 is up for sale for more than $1.5 billion, Reuters reported this week. Likely buyers could range from a top private equity firm to a telecom or cableco, an industry analyst told Security Systems News.

S2 expands channel partner program

New marketing efforts to support company’s transition to all-online order entry, product life cycle and training
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08/06/2014

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.—In what S2 Security CEO John Moss is calling the “final frontier to professionalize this business,” the integrated physical security systems provider announced that it is expanding its channel partner program with new marketing efforts.

Video verification: A police chief’s perspective

For law enforcement, the essential task for video verification technology is to maintain confidence that a priority response is needed, police chief says
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08/06/2014

HIGHLAND PARK, Texas— Law enforcement is taking an increasingly active role in shaping video verification alarm policies. Hear what a police chief involved in the development of video verification best practices has to say about their impact.

Does GIS have a future in monitoring?

The industry’s mobile trajectory could make Geographic Information Systems into a broader trend, industry watcher says
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08/06/2014

LONGMONT, Colo.—On the central station side, effective and timely use of information can make the difference between a better or worse outcome. It’s within this discussion that a tool like Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, can look like a difference maker, both for central stations and subscribers, Tim Auen, director of mobility products at Intrado, a provider of emergency communications infrastructure, told Security Systems News.

ESTA conference runs the gamut

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08/05/2014

ATLANTA, Ga.—The Electronic Security & Technology Association annual conference, a four-day event featuring speakers, presentations and idea sharing, earned positive reviews from attendees, the company recently announced about the show, held here in April.

Are wireless home systems vulnerable?

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tech publication Wired magazine may not focus too closely on alarm monitoring or residential security, but it does devote a good deal of ink to assessing network security threats, no matter what the context.

Just last month a writer for the magazine, Mat Honan, sketched a funny, dystopian picture of the connected home in revolt, commandeered by wayward hackers on some perverse quest for Internet notoriety. Identifiable only by screen names evoking bad cyberpunk movies, these lonesome code junkies are intent on doing everything from dousing homes with sprinkler systems to invading your privacy through in-home network cameras .

The piece, titled “The Nightmare on Connected Home Street,” is supposed to seem nearly implausible. The narrator is jarred awake at four a.m. by the pulse of dub step music exploding from his connected pillow. The piece ends, a few hours later, with the bare and awesomely memorable paragraph: “The skylights open up. The toaster switches on. I hear the shower kick in from the other room. It’s morning.”

It’s all just a thought experiment, of course, but the piece is thought-provoking and well worth a read.

Interestingly enough, about a month later, Wired turned its attention to security again, this time focusing on vulnerabilities that have nothing to do with IP devices. This time, the article dealt with security concerns related to wireless home alarms, which, according to a pair of researchers cited in the article, could be compromised—the alarms either being suppressed (via “jamming”) or made to deliver false signals. The researchers found identical problems among a number of brands.

The issue apparently has to do with radio frequency signals. While the conversation is understandable enough for a layman, it can drift into the arcane. In sum, the researchers found that the systems “fail to encrypt or authenticate the signals being sent from sensors to control panels," the report said, “making it easy for someone to intercept the data, decipher the commands, and play them back to control panels at will.” Would-be malefactors, the report says, can do this relatively easily.

A vulnerability is a vulnerability, and certainly no security company wants there to be any possibility of a system being hacked. But it should probably be mentioned that while these techniques may come across as elementary to the reading community of Wired Magazine, these methods would probably be, for your run-of-the-mill burglar, well above the norm from a sophistication standpoint.

The researchers cited in the article—Logan Lamb and Silvio Cesare—plan to present their findings at the Black Hat security conference, a computer security conference scheduled next week in Las Vegas. For my part, I’ll be eager to hear more about their findings and to see what kind of impact the research could have.

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