The Security Week That Was: A Recap - June 24-30, 2006

June 30, 2006
SIW Editor Geoff Kohl gives a weekly surveillance of news shaping your profession

On the homepage of today you’ll see that an interview with New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is our lead story. Nagin, whose leadership of a hurricane-ravaged and flooded city earned him ample face time on the network news channels, is thought by some to have been a successful leader through an overwhelming disaster, while others would label his control of the city and his last-minute metropolitan evacuation a failure. Whichever side of the camp you remain on, this feature on the lessons he learned from responding to Hurricane Katrina is education for those of you who serve as security directors, risk mitigation executives and business continuity planners. Put it into security terms: An unauthorized individual (Katrina) breached the perimeter (levees) at the facility (city) and destroyed irreplaceable assets (the senseless death of city residents and loss of historical neighborhoods). Nagin’s interview was reported live from The Security Summit, a security and disaster conference held in San Diego yesterday that brought in lead security officials to meet with government.


In the play for the security market among the big multinationals, Germany’s Bosch announced that it was acquiring Telex for $420 million, in a story that broke on Wednesday morning. The acquisition of the intercom and audio specialties company gives Bosch’s security division a larger imprint on the security, automation and low-voltage channel, and lands the company even more well-known U.S. brands.

...and Standards

Over on the fire system installations side of the dealer channel, the NFPA has announced that its code will be changing to allow electronic monitoring of fire extinguishers. Now dealers will have another code approval to sell sensor systems for fire extinguisher monitoring, and end users will be able to use automated systems, rather than having a guard with a report sheet walk the entire facility to check extinguisher conditions every month.

Cut the Strings
Research predicts strong growth in wireless alarm systems

IMS Research, a UK-based research company, is predicting that you’ll be selling and installing a lot more wireless alarm systems in the next five years. The research company’s newest study for the alarm market indicates that reliability and consumer acceptance has increased to a point on wireless systems where that market can really shine. In fact, by 2009, wireless alarms would double in volume of installations. Can you imagine the time savings and material savings your company can get when it doesn’t have to run wires between that glass break at the back of the house all the way to the panel and control pad near the front door? Don’t spend too much time day dreaming about the savings; the technology still needs to be strongly endorsed by a large portion of the dealer channel to make this happen.

Hey, Boss, We Found that Missing Laptop
VA laptop recovered by FBI, what it means for data and laptop policies

Just a week after many current and former military employees learned that a laptop containing their personal info like Social Security numbers had been stolen from the home of a Veterans Affairs employee, that laptop has been recovered. According to the FBI, the unencrypted data had not been accessed, and the intrusion was simply a case of stealing the laptop for its hardware value. Nonetheless, the instance is a perfect learning example for how physical security and logical security can intertwine, and it’s yet another impetus for making sure there is a very clear policy on encrypting data that’s used off-site. The problem is that this kind of incident isn’t exactly new. Laptop thefts have been occurring for years and still we've not seen sweeping policy changes. These types of crimes aren’t something that happens “to the other guy” – this is a common crime, and organizations need a firm plan on how to prevent and respond.

Odd Security Story of the Week

"Guard of the Week" could very well have been earned by a security guard at the Berns Hotel in Stockholm. The guard allegedly suffered an attack from Guns ‘N’ Roses rocker Axl Rose and was bitten in the process. In our opinion, the summary quote from the news story tells all: "He was deemed too intoxicated to be questioned right away," said a police spokeswoman -- referring to Rose, not the injured guard.

Also this week...

Brink’s dedicated its new monitoring facility in Knoxville, Tenn. ... ADI has agreed to distribute Bandit Solutions’ anti-burglary fog systems. ... GE joined other leading companies to support the newly formed International Container Standards Organization, which would purportedly develop standards for cargo container security. ... Those standards, of course, will come too late for two stowaways who died in containers headed to Miami by vessel. ... Gaming security was big news this week, especially following a shooting in a Vegas off-strip casino which left one man dead. During the same week, Harrah’s and integrator North American Video unveiled the sizzling surveillance video monitoring set-up that would be used for the World Series of Poker at the Harrah’s owned Rio casino and hotel.

Finally, a look at our most popular stories from the last seven days: