The Security Week That Was: A Recap - May 28-June 3, 2005

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has been making the rounds of the country as he settles into his leadership position at the DHS, and on Thursday, he was able to take a closer look at the Los Angeles airport. Chertoff, who often comes off as more of a behind-the-scenes leader than former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge, does in fact thoroughly understand the challenge that security directors constantly deal with: The challenge of securing a facility while also making it accessible. To Chertoff's credit, he seems to espouse this balance, as evidenced in comments shared during the tour: "Obviously we can continue to refine, not only to make it safer but to make it easier and more convenient. The ultimate goal here is a seamless security system which moves very quickly."

It's an old habit to immediately think of former DHS secretary Tom Ridge when the phrase "homeland security" comes up in conversation. Ridge hasn't disappeared altogether. In about a week-and-a-half from now, editors from the Cygnus Security Group will be heading down to Fort Lauderdale to hear Ridge speak during the GE Conference and Workshop. Look for live reports from that event, and use our online events calendar to plan your attendance at other industry shows, whether you're choosing a specific market show, or just looking for details on ISC West.

The government/homeland security focus carries even further into this week's recap. There have been a lot of questions about what FIPS/HSPD-12 means for our industry. We asked Gary Klinefelter, who is with the Open Security Exchange, and also the chief technology officer of Fargo Electronics, to share his thoughts on what the FIPS project means, and his concise explanation appeared on our site this week.

Also this week, the Central Station Alarm Association is reminding its members that the NFPA proposed standards 730 and 731 will be voted on during the NFPA show which starts on Monday in Las Vegas. The NBFAA itself had recently released a position paper on NFPA 731. That standard primarily deals with electronic security systems, and some of the criticism comes from the fact that the NFPA may be overstepping its boundaries of life-safety and that the standards may increase the costs of security systems, and require unrealistic attributes from security technology.

We all stood up and paid attention when UTC purchased Lenel, and now in an interview with the UK paper, the Sunday Business, UTC has discussed how it is poising itself for major growth in the container security business.

Also in the world of manufacturers, Ingersoll-Rand turned 100 this week. The company has come a long way from that merger of two drill businesses; now their product offerings includes a variety of electronic technology and even cutting-edge biometrics systems. If we had the time, we could spend all day dreaming about where security technology will be in another 100 years.

In spite of all the big news this week, our favorite story this week was a rather humble story about how an alarm system worked and a would-be theft was stopped. In Kansas City's Roeland Park, a robber dressed as Abraham Lincoln hit a bank (likely his second). He got the money in the envelope, but a panic alarm alerted police, an entryway was locked, and the bank prez's son tackled "Dishonest Abe" before he could escape! Get the full details from our story.

The usual suspects (...our most read stories of the week...) are listed below. Thanks for continuing to make the most read security site on the Net.