The security week that was: 04/18/08

A weekly surveillance of news shaping your profession


Making hazmat trains safer

If you live in an urban area, you've undoubtedly seen or heard complaints about trains containing hazardous materials that roll through your town or get parked (often unsecured) on rail tracks in your area. As a former resident of Atlanta, I remember a massive chlorine tanker car incident that hit the town's suburbs some years ago. Likewise, I recall the chemical plants in Mississippi and Louisiana which saw all manner of chemicals being transported by rail to those locations.

This week, the United States Department of Transportation made a proactive move regarding these hazardous materials trains, specifically issuing requirements around those trains carrying chemicals that pose a "poison inhalation hazard." The D.O.T. is asking rail companies to do two things: 1) do a thorough risk/security assessment of their primary routes for these chemical trains, and 2) propose alternative routes for these trains. Rail companies have until Sept. 2009 to complete the requirements, which mainly look at routes that go through densely populated areas. Our article on this rule change links to more specific DOT information.

From "bleeding edge" to big check
Global Security Challenge opens 2008 competition for entries

Calling all brainiacs and engineers who have been toiling in basement labs perfecting new security technologies: It's time to cash in! The Global Security Challenge has opened its 2008 competition, and entries need to be received by mid-June. The competition has been specifically designed for security technology innovators and start-ups with that next big thing.

Last year's winner was NoblePeak Vision with their germanium-sensor night vision cameras; we saw that winner's technology at this past month's ISC West show and it's quite impressive what these cameras can see in the dark.

Companies making news
Big buys, security busts and more

ADT this week made waves in the industry when it bought SST and Intercon Security as part of its purchase of FirstService Security from FirstService Corporation. As part of the purchase, ADT President John Koch said the company is developing a business unit focused specifically on complex integration projects.

Speaking of big integration firms, Kastle Systems has named a new CEO. And for integration firms looking for better business, check out the new D-Tools software for consistent document management from the estimate to the design to the engineering, and even the proposal and the contract; the company now makes a security specific project which integrates with Visio and AutoCAD. I might as well stay focused on security dealing/integrating firms and also let you know that that the NSCA (National Systems Contractors Association) is offering regional project management classes to give your company a business edge.

Also this week, Raytheon bought SI Government Solutions, which does IT security analyses for government agencies with a "classified" bent. Speaking of the realm of government agencies, the FBI is planning an agro-terrorism conference next week in Kansas City.

One year later...
Remembering Virginia Tech

We close with recognition of the one-year anniversary (April 16, 2007) of the Virginia Tech massacre. May such an incident never happen again, and may our industry better enable school administrators to prevent such occurrences. God bless to all of the families involved.