The Security Week That Was: Aug. 2, 2007

A weekly surveillance of news shaping your profession


There was one thing everyone in the security industry was talking about this week, and it goes by the name of Pelco.

Schneider Electric, a French company that owns TAC/Andover Controls and Invensys' Building Automation operations, has been positioning itself to be a leader in building systems, not just electrical systems. This purchase of Pelco for approximately $1.54 billion links with the mindset of other automation and controls companies like Honeywell and Siemens that see a direct correlation between building automation and facility security systems. Pelco, of course, has a strong brand in our industry, and while it was announced that it will report to TAC, it will be curious to watch if the entity of Pelco survives. Certainly, the company is known for having a very strong culture, providing good support to its users and integrators, and being involved in its community. Schneider recognized a good company, and I know that many of Pelco's customers are hoping they keep it that way.

Additionally, I think that such an acquisition -- with a huge dollar figure attached to it -- is an indicator of the health of our industry. If you're wondering whether you're in the right field, then such consolidation and interest in surveillance from a conglomerate like Schneider should tell you, "Yes, absolutely!"

Possibly related? A day before the Pelco sale was announced, PTS Security, a leading Pelco distributor in the UK, announced that it was joining the folds of Norbain, a European distributor of security products and would no longer be a Pelco products distributor.

Secure the Vaults…
…because hack attacks on banks aren't slowing down

According to numbers from SecureWorks, a managed IT security provider, banks need to batten down the hatches and watch out for hackers. The same goes for credit unions. The company reported numbers that show strong increases in hacking attacks on bank networks. Don't forget the nasty Trojans wandering around the Net that are designed to capture private data, either.

More Numbers in the News
71 percent, $300,000, Aug. 28, 8 percent: What it all means

Some 71 percent of U.S. residents polled by ABC News and The Washington Post are OK with increased usage of surveillance cameras in public and municipal environments. We expanded the story and got some vendor perspectives on what public opinion means for CCTV acceptance, as well as what integrators should be learning about as they prepare to solicit municipal security projects. Secondly, it's a good thing that Americans are OK with such expansion of CCTV, because it's definitely coming. Our second number, $300,000, is the amount that Charlottesville, Va., expects to spend to create a 30-camera municipal surveillance network if the idea is OKed. We're hosting a webinar on the topic of municipal security on Aug. 28. Registration is complimentary.

Finally, 8 percent is the current disconnect rate over at Brink's Home Security, whose parent company issued second quarter results this morning. CEO Michael Dan says his goal is to have that number to average out at 6.5 to 7 percent for the year.

Do You Recognize My Voice?
An interview with VoiceVault's Julia Webb

I had the distinct pleasure of learning about voice biometrics from VoiceVault's Julia Webb. Our discussion is in Episode 15 of SIW Radio, our podcast series. This is really cool stuff, and while it's not being used for general facility access (noise levels outside doors might cause problems, plus access cards work quite well), it's a great technology for securing phone systems or using to layer onto another security system. Check out our podcast today and get the added bonus of hearing some leading thinkers discuss security leadership attributes.