Since the advent of IP technology and the steady migration of physical security devices to the network that followed, convergence has been one of the driving factors behind the evolution of contemporary security solutions. However, despite the perceived importance of interoperability, many security software systems and their associated hardware components remain highly proprietary.
One of the ways the industry decided to address this problem was through the development of integrated software platforms, such as physical security information management (PSIM) systems, but these solutions may prove too costly or complex for many end-users. However, HiveWatch, a new market entrant that recently exited stealth mode, is looking to change this paradigm with its “Security Fusion Platform,” that integrates data from siloed security systems into a holistic view that enables users to quickly filter threat information relevant to the organization.
According to HiveWatch Founder and CEO Ryan Schonfeld, one of the primary issues that the company is looking to solve is helping organizations scale their security programs without having to leverage an inordinate workforce. Schonfeld, who is also the founder and president of RAS Consulting & Investigations, said they really found a niche in the market working as consultants to hyper-growth, venture capital-back companies and what they learned was that regardless of how much money an organization has or how much of these financial resources they can dedicate to addressing problems, they all still encountered inefficiencies with technology in their security department and that they typically fell back to the tried and true method of throwing people at the problem.
“HiveWatch was really our response to that issue and trying to find a way to enable the physical security world with what we call an ‘orchestration platform’ or the OS of physical security to help organizations really run their physical security program and not just focus on a specific feature set, type of analytic or a new, flashy gadget, but really programmatic-level orchestration of a security program,” Schonfeld explains.
A Cloud Native Platform
A key differentiator for HiveWatch versus other legacy security management software offerings on the market, according to Schonfeld, is that their platform is “cloud native,” meaning that it was designed to take advantage of the cloud from the start. And while HiveWatch is most easily comparable to a traditional PSIM solution, Schonfeld says these offerings let the market down as the category was dogged by a number of issues through the years.
“We feel that PSIM as a product category was a pretty big failure to the industry and a lot of those reasons, which is where we’re differentiated, is being a cloud-native platform, but also the brittleness and version control issues that always plagued PSIMs in terms of how it integrates with the different technologies in how it is able to pull that information out of – whether it is an access control system, a camera system, or in the case of HiveWatch as we scale, intel platforms and situational awareness data, executive protection, employee travel, and sort of that bigger picture is what really differentiates HiveWatch,” he adds.
Additionally, given how the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of new technologies and digital transformation within many organizations, cloud offerings are now no longer seen as “nice to have” solutions, but are actually being mandated in some cases.
“That mandate, in and of itself, is speeding adoption of new tech and transferring legacy, on-prem products to cloud solutions and that doesn’t necessarily mean SaaS, but removal of a lot of that on-prem stuff,” Schonfeld says.
The transition to remote work in the wake of the pandemic has also increased the complexity of security programs, according to Schonfeld, as organizations must now take the safety of their now largely distributed workforce into account and not just who is entering and exit the corporate office.
“Now the office has extended to people’s homes. Obviously, companies are not putting card readers and cameras at individual’s homes, but from a duty of care perspective, that actually hasn’t changed for the company,” he says. “How do we protect our employees and provide them with a safe place to work even if that place is home? Knowing that there is a natural disaster, civil unrest, that there is a major police incident, or something that could affect the safety of their employees or impact the business continuity of the organization – that level of duty of care is still relevant and that is the piece that has increased in complexity because of the decentralized workers.”
Of course, it is not just industry insiders that see the value of a solution that can integrate data from these disparate security systems and help organizations transition to the new remote work paradigm. Late last month, HiveWatch received $20 million in growth funding, which was led by former Twitter CEO and COO Dick Costolo and Adam Bain of 01A, with participation from Lachy Groom, Elad Gil, and Penny Jar Capital.
Schonfeld says the latest funding round will be used to help them expedite delivery of the platform to customers on their waiting list by growing their workforce, predominantly on the engineering front.
The company is currently selling directly to end-users and is focusing its efforts on private sector clients across a variety of vertical markets, however; Schonfeld noted that they expect to have a few strategic partnerships in the future that will broaden the availability of their platform.
Joel Griffin is the Editor of SecurityInfoWatch.com and a veteran security journalist. You can reach him at [email protected].