The Security Week That Was: A Recap - Nov. 4-10, 2006

SIW Editor Geoff Kohl gives a weekly surveillance of news shaping your profession

Cameras 9 and 10 are not activated yet, and thus can't be reviewed. Nonetheless, the systems ends up with an overall rating of "3" – which I think roughly translates to "not worth the taxpayer dollars that were spent." But that's just my opinion. Go see for yourself at

In the Game, and Out of the Game
IBM gets in, Rumsfeld gets out

IBM is now a player in the video analytics business, having unveiled its new S3 "Smart Surveillance System", which is designed to give businesses and security departments aid in making real-time decisions based on video. Interestingly, first heard rumors of this system back in the summer and actually wrote about them in our blog on Aug. 23 (see our original blog post). The system is much more than just video analytics, if you read into the company's press release. It is the start of a sensor-based decision making platform for core businesses decisions, further reinforcing the "B" of IBM…business.

The system claims to handle a number of different needs that enterprise companies are asking out of security systems these days, including license plate recognition, the identification of "suspicious behaviors" and forensic video search functions. In summary, when the system is launched in early 2007 it will be a full launch with the kind of out-the-door functionality that enterprise buyers want. This reminds me a bit of how Cisco got into the PhysSec industry. Cisco's real moment of entering the industry was at this fall's ASIS show when they walked into a room and showed how they supported and end-to-end access control solution that operated over the network. IBM didn't get its feet wet either. See their product press release here.

And while IBM got into physical security in a big way with Tuesday's news, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld made his exit. Often embattled on his Iraq war policies and the question of whether there was a real exit strategy, Rumsfeld bowed out of the game, to be replaced by former CIA Director Robert Gates. There's no question that both Rumsfeld and Gates are strong defense advocates, but the shift to Gates seems to tell the story of national security moving to a focus on intelligence gathering and surveillance. Vendors and integrators, please share your thoughts on what the shift at the SecDefense level and what looks like Democrat control of the House as well as the Senate (to be seen, but it looks that way) means to security spending? We've got a forum topic started here. While you're at it, you may want to take an office pool on which corporate board Rumsfeld will wind up on first.

Selling IP Security
Big numbers mean big growth for IP surveillance

I hope I'm preaching to the choir when I say that you need to be fully trained on IP video systems. In fact, I hope all our readers are very well trained on IP systems, but I know from experience that our industry still has a lot to learn. Here's a reminder of why it's so important. RNCOS, a market research firm, is tracking the IP surveillance market and is seeing growth close to 40 percent, a trend the firm believes will continue for at least the next four years. According to their numbers, the global value of the IP surveillance market went from $159 million in 2004 to $227 million in 2005, and is skyrocketing onward this year as well.