The security week that was: 07/24/09

Smith & Wesson gets further into security

It used to be that Smith & Wesson was all about guns and shell casings. Now, the company is becoming more and more about security. Last year, it licensed its brand to New York Merchants Protective Company monitoring division NationWide Digital Monitoring to create a Smith & Wesson security dealer channel. The concept is that customers put that Smith & Wesson sign in their yards and criminal will turn away because they've got an alarm system and just might also be packing heat with a real S&W firearm.

Now, Smith & Wesson (the main company, not the dealer program from NYMPC and NationWide Digital Monitoring) has acquired Universal Safety Response (USR), a Tennessee firm that makes systems for perimeter security. Calling the move a business strategy to diversify, S&W seems pretty happy with this acquisition. USR makes and installs perimeter security barricades -- the kind of barricades that can stop cars and big trucks loaded with explosives that are sent on suicide missions toward overseas military bases and hotels. USR is interestingly positioned in that it has been able to develop net-like systems that can snag cars and trucks while reducing vehicle damage (as opposed to hitting a steel or concrete barricade or bollard)

It's obviously a good business to be in these days, when car bombings are a somewhat prevalent incident. In fact, the State Department's Overseas Advisory Council recently recommended that soft targets (like hotels) look at vehicle barricades like Delta Scientific's newest barricade. The fact is that today's political environment in some overseas locations makes such security equipment necessary.

SDSU lab works on radiation detection project
Project has applications for security of hospitals after nuclear emergencies

One of the more interesting things I read about this week was the news that San Diego State University has a laboratory project that is trying to solve the problem of nuclear/radiological detection in an access control/perimeter security type of environment. They apparently are using sensors to spot radioactive materials (or radioactive people) outside a lab on their campus. The work is said to have been shown to some California hospitals which are concerned about how to identify and control patient entry after a nuclear incident.

Intrusion technology still matters
Bosch's Mechler says technology isn't slowing down yet

Go to a big show like ISC West and you typically won't find the attendees "oohing" and "ahhing" over window contacts or PIR sensors. They're probably across the aisle drooling over the gazillion megapixel camera (or are waiting in line to get autographed pictures of the race car driver that some booth brought to the show). But maybe they shouldn't discount intrusion alarm technology as technology that is not changing. Bosch's Tom Mechler explained this week that the technology actually is still developing. What he's really noticed is that new units are getting faster to install and are using things like wireless technology, and that they are even getting more processing power which allows them to better detect intrusions (and weed out false alarms). It may not be the shiny new gazillion megapixel camera, but intrusion detection is our industry's bread-and-butter, and Mechler says the technology is still hot.

In other news
Cyber security, NAPCO integrates Marks USA, more

SIW talks to cyber security expert Jim Butterworth about recent cyber attacks on the U.S. and South Korea. ... NAPCO's Chairman and CEO Richard Soloway reports that the integration of Marks USA is going quite well. ... Stanley Security landed a half-million dollar security camera project with a school district in Arkansas. ... Video analytics is being used at Johns Hopkins Medical Center for perimeter security. ... Pelco's IP cameras will work with Mirasys NVRs. ... iControl landed $23 million in funding from some big names in our industry.