The security week that was: 02/04/11 (Super Bowl XLV security)

Super Bowl security

I'm supporting the Packers in Sunday's Super Bowl, especially since SecurityInfoWatch is part of a Wisconsin-based organization, but I'm also following the security efforts as much as I'm following Aaron Rodgers' passes. The Super Bowl is not only THE EVENT for U.S. sports; it's THE EVENT for security preparations, with a security price tag that's estimated to be around $10 million. I've received emails and story links about FBI participation, "throwbots" with remote video surveillance cameras, metal detection and pat-downs, snipers, evacuation planning, bomb-sniffing dogs, and a lot more. (We have picked up a great article about the precautions for Super Bowl XLV; it's an interesting read for both technologists and security personnel.) This is a cross-agency event, bringing together NFL security, team security, numerous private contractors, and local police all the way up to the Feds.

And while the security team links up with federal agencies to harden the facility, follow intelligence reports and ensure that terrorism doesn't befall the game, the reality of the most probable security problems is much more mundane. At the NCS4 2010 Conference, a sports security conference held in New Orleans, venue security directors told their peers over and over, whether from the NBA, the NFL or even NASCAR, that the number one factor involved in most security incidents at their events was over consumption of alcohol. It's a good reminder that even if you're using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for high-tech premises patrols, you can't forget the basic stuff.

Here's to a safe Super Bowl XLV!

Brand protection 101
Defending your brand is a natural extension to corporate security management

Somehow brand protection became a theme of the week. First there was the whole story about Taco Bell defending it's meat content, and then there was Kenneth Cole playing fast and loose with his brand in relation to the protests in Egypt. Brand protection is part of your concern. If you're the corporate security manager wanting to raise your profile beyond management of CCTV systems and armed guards, the next step is to take on the company's greater risk profile -- and that' where brand management comes into play.

APX changes name
Now known as 'Vivint', gets into home auto market

APX Alarm has been one of the fastest growing alarm systems installing and monitoring companies in the U.S. Based out of Utah, they were known for driving their business through summer sales programs. The company has changed a lot over the last couple years, especially in how it managed those sales programs. But now the company is changing even more. This week, APX became Vivint, and announced it is going more after the home automation market. Vivint, the company says, is a newly created brand and the name is a mix-up of "viv" (derived from "vive" meaning "to live") and "int" (for "intelligent"). The implied meaning is "Live Smart", not a bad name for a company expanding from security into home automation services.

In other news:
Bellagio robbery suspect captured, Hotels harden, Alabama courtroom violence

A man was shot in an Alabama courtroom after attacking a judge. ... Remember that motorcycle-getaway following a heist of Bellagio Casino chips? There's been an arrest of the suspected bandit. ... Hotels are focusing on anti-terror training as they try to make a soft target a little less soft. ... HID landed a job for 80,000 smart card readers, but they won't be doing door access; they're SIM card readers used for retail of SIM cards (phone chips)