The security week that was: 10/08/10

RIM/BlackBerry and UAE reach agreement

BlackBerry device manufacturer RIM has reached some sort of an agreement with the UAE government regarding the encryption of data sent over RIM’s servers and network, and it effects users of its popular BlackBerry smartphones. UAE had threatened to shutdown RIM’s service in the country because the provider’s data was encrypted and thereby unavailable to the government for snooping. The government now says that BlackBerry devices are in compliance with the laws, but no more details are given. It’s not clear whether RIM caved in and is allowing the UAE government access to the encrypted communications its customers use, or whether the UAE government has quietly backed down on the ban. RIM was thoroughly vague in its response to media inquiries as to what the agreement entails. If I had to guess, I’d suppose that RIM is offering access to those encrypted data transmissions. RIM faces this data security concern also from India and Saudi Arabia; both countries, like the UAE, have threatened to shut down RIM’s operations in their nations if access is not granted.

Passionate about false alarms
Industry responds to column predicting gloom if we continue our current alarm monitoring model

Passions have been stirred by Lee Jones’ guest editorial regarding false alarms and his theory that the industry is putting contracts and RMR at risk by sending a high number of false alarms to police dispatch. Join in the comments section of this editorial to share you opinion. While you’re at it, take our ongoing poll on whether burglar alarms should be verified before calling for police dispatch.

Interlogix brand returns
UTC Fire & Security reinvigorates and relaunches a staple brand from the security industry

The Interlogix brand had quietly faded away from the security industry following its acquisition by GE Security, but now that GE Security has been merged into UTC Fire & Security, the Interlogix brand is returning. The product line represented will be targeted toward the channel and the products in this grouping would be appropriate for commercial, small commercial and residential installations.

Look for more coverage of UTC Fire & Security’s strategy to integrate former GE Security product lines in our ASIS coverage next week. As a sneak preview, I’ll simply say that UTC Fire & Security is strategically approaching R&D efforts, global-level offerings, channel support and product transitions.

In other news
Kratos buying HBE, ASIS coverage, School security tips, Camera placements

Defense and security engineering firm Kratos announced this week its intention to acquire large independent systems integration firm Henry Brothers Electronics for $45 million. Kratos has primarily focused on federal and defense projects, and the companies expertise includes sensor networks to weapons systems, command-and-control solutions, IT services and critical infrastructure design. … Forum members are discussing retail loss prevention surveillance camera placements. If you have tips on video surveillance camera placement, share them in this forum thread. … We’re seeing a lot of new products announced in advance of the ASIS show, and perhaps this is a sign that our industry is starting to rebound, or maybe that R&D could only be put on hold for so long. Either way, look for new solutions from 3VR, Pelco, Altronix, PureTech, NICE Systems and more at next week’s show. We’ve even learned about 3D security offerings that you can find on the show floor. You can track new product launches on our ASIS 2010 coverage page. (And if you’re announcing a new product or solution in conjunction with ASIS, by all means send a press release to us via email!) … Finally, take a moment to register for our next webinar if you could benefit from 20-plus no-cost and low-cost tips for improving school security.