The Security Week That Was: A Recap - July 22-28, 2006

It was good news for ASIS members holding certifications this week. We posted a story about how ASIS certifications -- the well-recognized Certified Protection Professional (CPP), the Physical Security Professional (PSP), and the Professional Certified Investigator (PCI) -- were designated by the SAFETY Act for limited liability. The SAFETY Act, passed in 2002, was designed to encourage product development and training in anti-terrorism such that companies developing products designed to control terrorism would be protected from liability from terrorism damages. The inclusion of ASIS certifications follows a year after the DHS-managed SAFETY Act approved ASIS security "Guidelines" in the same line.

Chalk this up as more good news for ASIS members. published the first part of a series on Business Management for Security Professionals that relies on the expertise of ASIS International and the Wharton School, a management/business school within the University of Pennsylvania. Wharton and ASIS have partnered on a program that trains security professionals on essential business knowledge that better prepares them to work as C-level professionals and interact with top management. In our first feature/Q&A in this series, Mario Moussa, director of the Wharton/ASIS Security Executive Program, interviews Wharton professor John Percival about what security executives need to know about finance. Needless to say, if you're a security exec, this is one series you won't want to miss. Read the article: What Security Executives Should Know about Finance.

IPIX Faces Difficult Times; A4S in Acquisition Mode
Exodus of board members challenges 360-degree surveillance vendor, while mobile video company gets ready to expand

And while it was good news this week for ASIS members, it was rough news for video surveillance company IPIX. IPIX's chief stronghold has been in the advancement of 360-degree camera technology that allows true panoramic viewing of a scene. The simplest way to explain the company's technology is that it uses a 360-degree view camera's data supply directed into a software that turns that contorted view into a viewable arrangement that allows surveillance monitoring staff to see in all directions and to digitally pan the scene. The technology has applications in its ability to use a single centrally mounted camera to see a whole scene, rather than relying upon multiple cameras to capture similar images. But as innovative as the technology has been, the company has faced significant quarterly losses and, in the last month, has seen four out of five of its board members (including the chairman) leave the company, creating issues of non-compliance with its listing on NASDAQ.

Despite IPIX's experience in the video surveillance market, the market has been treating mobile video company A4S Security (developer of the ShiftWatch system) well enough that the company is able to make a $3 million purchase of Colorado-based systems integration company Vizer Group as well as non-lethal products distributor and developer Avurt Inc.

Going Online for National Accounts
HSM rolls out a new system giving web access for top customers

In the world of national accounts for dealer/monitoring companies, HSM unveiled its new eAccountManager system, taking a cue from such popular web-based systems as online banking. The HSM tool gives national account companies quick, 24/7 access to such needs as service and installation status, invoices, billing IDs and more. As competitive as the industry has become for national accounts, it's no surprise that enabling the customer is the mantra of business.

Securing the Mansion
NYMPC to tackle historic NYC mayor's mansion

New York Merchants Protective Company, a New York dealer that's been providing security since 1910 (back when CCTV and biometrics weren't a big staple of business for any dealers) announced this week that it had landed the kind of installation that can make a company's name. NYMPC earned the contract to secure the NYC mayor's mansion, a.k.a. the Gracie Mansion. It's a venerable old home that has gone from being the home of a prosperous merchant, to being a bathroom and concessions location for a park, to being a museum and then back to a formal residence. NYMPC, besides landing the Gracie Mansion contract, also is known for providing electronic protection services to a number of New York City's agencies.

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