The Security Week That Was: A Recap - Oct. 21-27, 2006

The Los Alamos laboratory just doesn't get a break when it comes to security. And for good reason, to be sure, since it is a premier nuclear research facility. The lab gained unfortunate attention in 2004 for two missing computer disks that had nuclear information (prompting a review of information security and asset management procedures at the lab). Now it's back in the news after what are suspected to be classified documents turned up that the home of Los Alamos employee who had been targeted for investigation involving a case of illegal drugs and domestic violence. Now, the FBI has been called to reexamine the security situation. The issue is certainly one that converged CSOs and CIOs need to be aware of, as the documents were reportedly found on a home PC. It begs the question: Why bother installing and maintaining intrusion alarms and access control if all your secrets have already been snuck off premises?

Apprenticeship Training Gets a Thumbs Up
At ISC East, NBFAA announced forward movement on the road to a comprehensive national apprenticeship program

Training has always been a big issue for the alarm industry, especially considering how fast technology changes in our world. I remember getting on the phone almost two years ago with Jerry Lenander of the California Alarm Association and talking with Jerry about what the CAA was doing with its apprenticeship program. Then at last year's ISC East, I had a great chance to sit down with George Gunning and other NBFAA leaders to talk about their dreams for a nationwide apprenticeship program that could help supply tomorrow's dealers with the quality labor pool that's so needed. In March of this year, I had the pleasure to sit in on the advisory board for a forthcoming program from Lincoln Tech, a technical skills college that is also trying to solve this problem. And this summer, Bob Harris, a former alarm company owner and a regular columnist here at SIW, addressed the issue in one of his stirring columns.

My point? Education and training for tomorrow's workers (and today's if we're lucky) is among the top concerns for everyone working in our industry. So we were especially pleased to learn on Tuesday that the U.S. Labor Department had given approval to the NBFAA's national guidelines for apprenticeship standards for the occupation of "protective signal installer", a.k.a. a fire/security systems installer. The approval keeps the ball moving, continuing the dream that Gunning and so many others share.

From the Forums
A techie question about an IP video "multiplexer"

The Forums post of the week is an interesting technical question about the availability of an IP "multiplexer" that would combine four IP video streams into a single image stream for remote viewing (not for recording). The idea for the end user would be to deal with a problem of lacking bandwidth. If you think you know where something like this can be acquired (or built), jump over to that thread in the Tech Corner forum and give your $.02. You can go to the main page of the forums at

Converging Physical and Logical Security in Real Life
American Water's Security Director Bruce Larson speaks to SIW webinar attendees

On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of hosting a webinar sponsored by ADT Security Services that featured Bruce Larson, security director for American Water, North America's largest water resources provider, and Nick Samanich, director of commercial strategic products planning for ADT. Larson's operations, which protect extremely critical infrastructure, are fully converged, and he offered some great tips on making converged security work at your own facility. The webinar is now archived on the site, so while you can't ask questions like our live participants did, you can view it for free at any time now. Register to view it today and improve your own knowledge base.

Also in the News
Underreporting on breaches; Micro Key users conference; SimplexGrinnell recognized

Micro Key Software announced the dates for its users' conference. ... SimplexGrinnell was recognized with the Lamp of Knowledge award by the Society of Fire Protection Engineers for improving education among fire protection professionals. ... Special Agent Mark Mershin, the assistant director-in-charge of the FBI's New York City Office, warned attendees at the Infosecurity Conference (held in conjunction with ISC East) about the dangers that are created when businesses underreport data security breaches.

And, as always, our most read stories of the week: