The security week that was: 07/02/10

Napolitano urges vigilance

Three weeks ago in this column I wrote about the risk of abandoned bags after a memo was distributed to law enforcement that told of the potential for terrorists to disrupt transit systems and study our security responses by using benign abandoned bags made to look like they might be bombs. As I wrote at the time, seconding a former mass transit chief of police, we have to assume the costs of responding to all of these, less we lose our edge on vigilance. This week, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano reminded the nation of the same need for vigilance as she launched the DHS "See something, say something" public awareness campaign that is especially designed for rail transit. The phrase is borrowed from New York's MTA, where it's part of the agency's slogan. Why is this focused on rail transit? One only has to look to the London and Madrid bombings as examples of the seriousness of such threats, and although a recent report says there are no known existing plots against U.S. rail infrastructure, rail transit is part of our nation's most vital critical infrastructure. The fight against complacency is perhaps the toughest fight for security executives, whether that's an employee holding a door open for a stranger at your corporate facility, or staying focused on regular assessments of facilities, systems and procedures. The people in our industry may no longer be the sentries standing at the top of castle walls looking for invaders, but the job is still really the same as it ever was. Now, in a modern and inter-connected world, all citizens become the sentries.

Integrating video and access at ESX 2010
SD&I projects shows how simple a good integration can be

At ESX 2010 in Pittsburgh, our colleagues from Security Dealer & Integrator magazine pulled together three exhibitors to build an integrated IP video and electronic access control system in our booth. Paxton Access, Milestone Systems and Axis Communications linked IP cameras, a VMS server and an access control server (connected to a variety of access devices) to show how dealers and integrators can build a basic video-and-access integrated system. The display generated a lot of attention from show attendees and it clearly emphasized that ESX isn't just an alarm show; it's a show for companies building out modern security systems. Our 5-minute video about the integration project is available for viewing.

New movie takes shots at FAA, TSA
Watch the trailer on SIW

On the same day that Napolitano confirmed John Pistole as TSA Administrator, executive producer Frederick Gevault released his documentary Please Remove Your Shoes. The movie offers a critical look at failures inside FAA and TSA-led security programs. Based largely on the commentary of whistle blowers, the movie tries to expose catastrophic problems of leadership and effectiveness from these two organizations. Our movie review, from an aviation security consultant and former FAA security regulator, comes out Tuesday, but for now, check out the movie's trailer.

In other news...
Also this week: Counterfeit merchandise, Low-end VMS's rise, More wireless, ESA's new prez

Security2LP blogger and retail/LP consultant Curtis Baillie, CSC, examines the problem of counterfeit merchandise. … Dom D'Ascoli of Smokey Mountain Security Systems takes over the reigns as president of the ESA (formerly the NBFAA). … Plans were announced to double the available wireless spectrum. … Secured Cities, an educational conference on municipal video surveillance projects, announced that Chicago Police Department's Commander Jonathan Lewin will be discussing Chicago's police camera system and the role of information services departments in such projects. … Milestone Systems' CSMO Eric Fullerton discusses the company's new base-level VMS and why low-end VMS systems can replace traditional DVR-based video surveillance systems. … NIST has developed standards for blast-resistant trash receptacles, especially for use in mass transit environments. … We're getting flooded with case studies about IP video, which either means IP video projects are becoming more prevalent, or simply that marketing pros are getting better at telling the stories of such projects. New ones from this week include IP video at a water utility and NVR video at a cricket arena.

Finally, we want to wish you a very happy July 4th weekend, and thank you all for keeping our nation safe and secure. Fire up your barbecue, enjoy the fireworks and celebrate our great nation!