The security week that was: 05/23/08

Back to the roots

Today's technology can scan irises, analyze guard dog barks, sense vibrations on a perimeter fence, automatically detect when crowds are forming, and track stolen containers. While today's technology is stunning, it's good to take a trip back into our industry's history.

On Wednesday, I did just that as I attended the opening of a small museum inside Honeywell Security's Long Island offices. It's a small memorial to the history of ADEMCO/Honeywell, and the technology dates all the way back to the 1920s. I did a little research after getting back from seeing the company's technology history, and I found that electronic fire alarm systems go back at least to the 1850s in the U.S.; it was a telegraph-based system. That was in Boston, and it seemed to be a pretty unique installation. Not long after that initial Boston system, the Civil War occurred and most tech-minded people were focused on the war and on the subsequent recovery. Fast forward to the 1920s, and you had people like Maurice Coleman, who founded ADEMCO, hand-winding electro-magnetic relays for alarm systems in New York area business.

The Honeywell museum picks up at this point. Along the way, you see the technology pushed here and there, with all of it impacting today's offerings. Inside the museum, you can find curious pieces like a massive cast-metal car alarm unit shaped like a tank's projectile. There's an early home automation system that links the alarm system, phone, lighting and more. And of course, there are sensors, keypads and control panels galore, each one shrinking in size and including more functionality than the ones from a decade prior. Old newspaper clippings about ADEMCO and Honeywell acquisitions pepper the timeline as you move through the pages of technology.

The museum isn't open to the general public, but is open to Honeywell's dealers said David Gottlieb, V.P. of Honeywell Security's marketing communications group. If you find yourself in that group and have an hour to spare in Long Island, make the trip. It will certainly root you in the history of our industry.

Making news this week Verizon and HSPD-12, LifeLock irony, Mall surveillance, more

I've met the Atlanta security team of Verizon in charge of facility and employee security, but I had not realized that the company itself offered security services until this week when Verizon Business announced that it had received the contract from the Department of Veterans Affairs to handle HSPD-12 credentialing.

Oh, the irony. LifeLock's founder has reportedly been the victim of stolen identity according to a lawsuit filed this week. Todd Davis, the founder, is famous for being on large billboards holding his Social Security card for all of the world to see. His company offers identity privacy protection services.

Cisco and Harrah's jointly announced a 10-year agreement. Cisco will be providing network services for networked video surveillance and customer interaction technology (digital signage, telepresence, and more) to the entertainment and gaming company. It's one of the largest and most lengthy agreements we've heard of in this space, and the agreement applies to Harrah's 31 casinos.

New legislation in the House of Representatives calls for the DHS to consult with airline industry execs on biometrics for airport security. The goal, the article said, "is to ensure there is a comprehensive plan in place before airports being using biometric ID systems." The legislation has the support of the AAAE.

Richmond, Calif., is doing a major surveillance integration project with ADT for the port and the city. Security Dealer & Integrator editor Deborah O'Mara reported on this major project. ... G4S is buying majority ownership of Progard Securitas, a guarding service company in Serbia. ... Mace Security has let go its CEO. ... Firetide and Secure Integrations are working jointly on a wireless surveillance network for a mall in Niles, Ill.

Finally, we close with a look at our most read stories of the week: