The Security Week That Was: A Recap - Jan. 7-13, 2006

Jan. 13, 2006
SIW Editor Geoff Kohl gives a weekly surveillance of news shaping your profession

The shoe finally dropped. Tyco International, which reported on Tuesday was likely split up into three separate divisions, has finally made the decision to divide itself (see earlier story and today's split-up news). The division keeps together the security portion of Tyco that our industry knows so well, and keeps Tyco's current CEO and Chairman Ed Breen as well as Tyco International CFO Chris Coughlin involved in the security/fire portion. Besides the fire/security company which includes industry icon ADT, Tyco is creating a Tyco Healthcare company and a Tyco Electronics public company.

And while one company was separating itself, two other major industry players were joining hands, so to speak. On Thursday afternoon, biometrics/identity authentication companies Viisage and Identix, formerly fierce competitors, merged in a $770 million dollar all-stock deal coordinated by former L-3 cofounder Robert LaPenta (who went on to launch L-1, a biometrics industry investment company before becoming chairman of Viisage in late December). LaPenta inherits the top slot as chairman for the merged Viisage/Identix. The merger will likely create a number of synergies for the two companies, which are now in an even stronger position to be a key solutions provider for such major government projects as the DOD Common Access Card and the HSPD-12/FIPS 201 converged access requirement.

The news couldn't have been timed better. It came almost immediately after research from Frost & Sullivan indicated that the biometrics market is expected to triple by 2008. Not all of that market growth will be security. Biometrics technology is rapidly finding favor in the consumer sector, and that could likely encourage the further use of high-end systems in the world of corporate security.

The week also saw a former iTunes competitor Liquid Audio reestablish itself as L Q Corporation, and then the company immediately purchased Checkpoint Systems' Access Control Products Group and rebranded that company division as Sielox. The Sielox brand now encompasses the Pinnacle access control software system as well as the myriad of access devices and controllers that Checkpoint Systems was known for.

Cool Video Stories

Airport security just never leaves the news, and that's fine with us. Honeywell announced this week that it scored a major video project for two of Houston's airports – George Bush Intercontinental and William P. Hobby airports. The project takes advantage of a technology which arose out of the world of defense. The system uses Honeywell technology for ground-based radar and links it with the company's analytics-enabled video system. The video system, which will protect an estimated 30 miles along the airports' perimeters, is proof that surveillance video systems are fast changing from an evidentiary tool to one that can provide real-time intrusion detection updates. See the full story.

Just this morning we got word that Miami-based integration company ACT International landed what we'd mark as an "interesting" project, even if it doesn't have the industry buzz coefficient of airport perimeter security. ACT International will be implementing a state-of-the-art wireless video system for the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority's Tri-Rail lines. The system will move video wirelessly between train units, giving train conductors the immediate ability to see what's happening in their passenger cars, and will provide an end-of-day dump for evidentiary purposes. Here again is proof that today's new technologies, when used correctly by top integrators, are changing the mindset from video as a reactive tool used just for courtrooms to an up-to-the-second proactive tool.

Guards and Guns

Speaking of being proactive versus reacting, Dodge City (Kansas) Globe reporter Eric Swanson offered a story to this week about a move being made in that city to put more stringent controls on guard services companies. The proposed ordinance would allow the city to license and regulate guard services, including who can become a guard, what a guard is, and would potentially even make the move for police-style firearm training for the armed guard subsection of the industry.

Finally, we close with a look at our most read stories of the past week: