The Security Week That Was: May 4, 2007

Where Propeller Heads and Badges Get Together

Earlier this week, I made my way down to Atlanta's Cobb Galleria, where the SecureWorld Expo was being held. This is a neat kind of show. If my history is correct, it's been going on for a few years, and was largely developed as an IT person's show. About two years ago, Security Technology & Design magazine partnered with the show to bring a converged physical and IT element to the program. Now you'll see sessions on IP video mixed right along with ones on how hackers use Google. The keynote speakers still tend to be Microsoft folks rather than Tom Ridge-types, but judging how threat vectors have changed, that's probably a good thing.

One of the sessions that I sat in on was hosted by the Security Executive Council (formerly known as the CSO Executive Council). This group, which is managed by long-time corporate security head Bob Hayes, has really focused on the needs of high-level security practitioners. The session at SecureWorld was hosted by Lynn Mattice, who directs security for Boston Scientific (see our earlier interview with Mattice), and the small group of attendees really dug deep into the issues that security leaders face when transitioning their department from managing "security" to managing risk. I filed a report on some of the top risk thoughts from that session here.

The other neat thing about SecureWorld for those of us whose knowledge has been chiefly driven by physical security procedures is the whiz-bang factor of the vendors at IT tradeshows. If you're not accustomed to seeing the kind of systems that can monitor employee instant messaging, email and more, then you don't know what you're missing. One of the things I was most impressed by was a window film that could both stop glass implosions and also block RF signal transmissions (such as cell phones, wireless networks and even spy devices). The next SecureWorld event is coming up later this month in Philadelphia. Even if you have no aspirations to run a "converged" security shop, it's worth your time to attend one of these programs. Even the hour you'd take to sit in on a session about computer forensics investigations would be well worth your time.

Consolidation in the notification systems market
MadahCom joins Cooper Wheelock

In the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings, there was a lot of buzz about notification procedures and systems. The shootings were a wake up call to many of us about why notification systems are so important. While they weren't specifically focused on school security, it was on a similar note that Cooper Industries (parent company for Cooper Wheelock) announced that it was acquiring MadahCom, a Florida-based provider of complete systems for mass notification. MadahCom's systems have been primarily adopted in the military space (they have been recognized by the Pentagon as meeting military needs). The company will be a part of the Cooper Wheelock notification systems division.

Video for verification…or just peace of mind
Another alarm services provider starts providing more than just alarms

Dealers take note: Here's yet another sign that what you need to be offering to residential customers is more than simple alarm panels and intrusion detection sensors. NextAlarm, which has offered broadband connected alarm systems with traditional and "self-serve" monitoring, is getting busy in the realm of home- and small-business-based video systems. According to the CEO, they're aiming to provide a low price service where users can manage their video systems on the web. Whether or not security buyers will go for an RMR model for video or whether they prefer to host their video in-house is hard to say, but I think that for many consumers, not having to deal with the cameras and recorders is a huge plus. It's just like traditional alarms – they want to be able to set the alarm, leave the house and forget about it. Elliot said the company's service was being aided by the prevalence of inexpensive cameras and increasing requests from municipalities to have incident verification occur before police are dispatched.

More in the news
Dealer programs, acquisitions, congrats to Steve Lasky of ST&D

Arteco has a development program to train integration companies for their intelligent video systems. … Armored cash delivery company AT Systems was hit by just the kind of incident that you don't want when you provide cash-in-transit security – thieves held up a truck and walked away with close to $2 million. … The police chiefs association in Florida worked with leaders from the Alarm Association of Florida and SIAC and developed a model alarm ordinance that is very workable for the alarm industry. The policy aspires to help prevent false calls from taking valuable police response time. The ordinance includes elements like community training, enhanced call verification, equipment standards, fine structures, and permit requirements. … The board of directors at International Electronics Inc. (IEI) is recommending against a stock buy-out bid from Risco. ... Finally, a big round of applause goes out to ST&D's editor-in-chief and publisher Steve Lasky who received the IAPSC Charles A. Sennewald Distinguished Service Accolade at the International Association of Professional Security Consultants awards dinner in Jacksonville, Fla., this last Tuesday night.

In our forums
How do you approach internal theft?

Read up on a great discussion about the "tipping point" of internal theft issues that touches not only on loss prevention methodology, but gets into other internal security weaknesses which a business may face. forums are free to access, but users must register and be approved by an admin before posting.

Finally, a look at our most popular stories of the week: