The security week that was: 10/02/09

A weekly surveillance of the news shaping your profession


Kickbacks in the security world

In what was probably the most shocking security story of the whole week, the former head of bank security for LaSalle Bank, George Konjuch, pleaded guilty this week to bribery and will face up to 63 years in prison. Konjuch accepted $400,000 in kickbacks to steer security systems contracts to Armondo Navarrette, owner of Integrity Security Solutions, which shows you that “integrity” was in the business name alone and not in the corporate ethics. This event clearly places a large smear across our industry where we’ve also heard of vendors and integrators offering questionable gifts to potential end-user customers during trade events and during site visits coupled with bidding. According to most end-users I’ve spoken with about these practices, the gifts are almost always turned down, but when an incident like this slips through the crack, it does our entire industry a disservice.


DHS infrastructure reports
Daily open-source reports shed light onto DHS concerns

Earlier this week at the suggestion of one of our forum members, I became a subscriber to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Daily Open Source Infrastructure Report. It’s a daily PDF document featuring 15 to 25 pages of what the DHS thinks are the most notable incidents related to our nation’s critical infrastructure. The report looks at more than a dozen market industries and covers everything from terror plots, to chemical spills, to flooding damage, and sometimes even copper theft. Reading these reports, one of the things I find most notable is what the technical security industry considers to be most important for homeland security does not always align with how the department sees its job. While we often remain focused on plant intrusions, thefts and the like; these daily reports clearly show that DHS is equally concerned about ammonia leaks, EPA violations, plant fires, and other such incidents that have no malicious intent associated with them.

I think the lesson here is that business safety and security is intrinsically tied to the health of our communities. While a two-gallon chemical leak may not even register at the security office, such events nonetheless can be serious to the security of the entire community. To subscribe to the Daily Open Source Infrastructure Report, go to www.dhs.gov/iaipdailyreport. The reports are delivered Monday though Friday, are archived for 10 days, and are completely free.

Bad idea of the week
Do you think concealed weapons in bars might just be a security issue?

This past Wednesday a new law took effect in Arizona which allows people who have concealed weapon permits to bring their guns into bars. Arizona’s law follows a similar piece of legislation which took effect in July in Tennessee. Like so many persons involved in the security industry, I’m a strong proponent of the right to bear arms, but anytime you mix alcohol and or gunpowder or knives, you immediately present a dangerous security threat vector. That fight that might have occurred in the nightclub parking lot might now become a murder. The law does allow for bar owners to ban firearms in their individual bars, but they must post a state-approved sign indicating that firearms are disallowed.


In other news
Devcon sold, Pelco manufacturer reps, CFATS, and more

Golden Gate Capital has acquired alarm installation and monitoring firm Devcon. The deal does not appreciably change Devcon business, only effecting financial ownership of the firm… Also purchased this week was Richardson Technology Systems, which was bought by South Western Communications. The acquisition of the Georgia-based integrator strengthens South Western’s position in the security space… Pelco announced that it has consolidated its manufacturers’ rep force following the mutual resignation of four of its representative firms… The American Chemistry Council this week provided a live Twitter feed from the House Energy and Commerce Committee; the feed features testimony on the current state of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terror Standards (CFATS) program.