The security week that was: 06/13/08

Stanley gets bigger and better

Sonitrol, without a doubt, has been a benchmark brand in the U.S. It's known by the law enforcement community for its consistent ability to verify alarms, and because of that (in a time when alarm verification is more and more of a concern), they've had very good police response time to alarm calls.

Now, Sonitrol is becoming part of Stanley's Convergent Security Solutions business. Stanley is buying the company for $275 million. Most industry experts I've spoken with think this is a very good buy, and not only because Sonitrol is a very good company. The firm fits in well with the expertise Stanley has learned with HSM (formerly Honeywell Security Monitoring) and retains Stanley's security group's key focus on commercial accounts.

According to Stanley CSS chief operating officer Tony Byerly, there will be synergies in sales and technical staff that make the fit even better. Having spoken with Byerly and President Brett Bontrager, it's clear that Stanley is very excited about this acquisition.

We've featured some of their thoughts in our news article on the acquisition and in a Q&A with security industry analyst Jeff Kessler about the acquisition.

Tech notes: long-range infrared
HGH debuts in U.S. with new long-range 360-degree infrared camera

This morning I caught up with Ron Austin, U.S. director of business development for HGH Infrared Systems. Ron was on the phone to tell me about a new camera solution that HGH has out which is designed for long-range perimeter security. Let's get into this camera:

It uses a single infrared camera called the IR Revolution 360 which rotates 360-degrees every second to take a single 360-degree image, and then the system, which uses a dedicated PC, parses that data into usable information. It can split the video into two or four wide-screen (180 degrees or 90 degrees) images that give the user an encompassing view of their perimeter, and is designed to identify intrusions.

These cameras aren't cheap; they start around $170,000, but as Austin notes, they can replace a number of fixed infrared cameras and their associated mounting towers, cabling and power needs, which makes a single camera, 360-degree infrared solution a lot more cost-effective than the $170,000-plus price tag initially sounds.

The target market, of course, is airports, ports and very significant critical infrastructure, and the company is scheduled to start a pilot project in the U.S. at Massport's Hanscom Field today.

Beyond simple imaging, the camera has built in analytics-type motion detection, and automatically marks the scene where it's detecting motion, allowing the security staff monitoring the perimeter to click on the indicated area and zoom in. Different lens options can extend the range from 1,000 meters out to 3,000 meters (that's over 9,800 feet, or about 1.86 miles!). You can read up on this French company and their technology in a press release we have posted about them.

Senate passes Local Preparedness Acquisition Act
Local and state governments get more purchasing power

While the Security Industry Association was in Washington, D.C., for their government summit, the Senate passed the Local Preparedness Acquisition Act, which gives state and local governments (and their entities, like schools) the ability to buy off GSA Schedule 84 (security services and solutions). That means discounted pricing and GSA-approved technologies. It mirrors the state and local governments' existing ability to purchase off Schedule 70, which lists IT services and products. The Act simply awaits the President's signature, which is expected without hesitation.

Cisco makes another buy
Divitech purchase gives company more technology for video network management

Everyone has been watching Cisco since the company has made strategic acquisitions of physical security/video surveillance firms. This week the company bought Divitech, a name you're probably not very aware of. That's because the company has traditionally specialized in networks for managing consumer video, but the read on this from the security industry is that Divitech's management solutions could have technological implications for how Cisco manages video across a business, whether that's consumer video or surveillance video. As always, Cisco proves again that they're a company to watch.

Coming soon: ESX

We're less than a couple weeks away from the inaugural ESX tradeshow being put on by the NBFAA and the CSAA in Nashville, Tenn. People I'm talking to in the alarm and monitoring side of the business seem very excited to see how this turns out, and the show really seems to have some wheels under it. If you haven't registered, but are considering attending, bounce over to their website at and check it out. If you're attending, come by the Cygnus Security Group booth and say hello to the staff members from and Security Dealer & Integrator magazine.

In the forums:
Baiting for bad LP stops

Our loss prevention pros are discussing how crooks "bait for a bad stop"-- basically taking advantage of loss prevention practices to try to sue a company. If you've heard of such an incident or have experienced similar baiting of security, weigh in on this topic. Our forums are free to join and open to industry pros.

Finally, we wrap up with a look at our most read articles of the week