Diebold the latest to earn UL 2050 designation

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

NORTH CANTON, Ohio—Diebold on Sept. 21 announced it was one of the first security integrators to earn certification from Underwriters Laboratories as a National Industrial Security Monitoring Station (UL 2050). Diebold is now one of only 10 monitoring centers, out of 3,000 UL-listed central stations, to receive the designation. The listing certifies Diebold’s monitoring center, based here, to deliver alarm-monitoring services for the U.S. government. The listing allows Diebold to provide, install, maintain and monitor alarm systems for government facilities or contractors that house classified materials, including documents, military equipment, information systems and personnel.

Recent monitoring centers that have announced or begun advertising the designation include Acadian Monitoring and National Monitoring Center. Could UL 2050 designation be an emerging trend?

According to Diebold director of security solutions Jacky Grimm, the emergence of a trend is unlikely due to the stringent requirements for attaining the designation. “Why do I say I don’t think it’s a trend? Because you have to be a certain kind of central station already to be willing to do the extra work to meet regulatory requirements,” Grimm said. “It is a requirement for us that all our hires be able to pass a test for U.S. government secret clearance. That’s significant. It’s not trivial. This takes it to a new level. If the government doesn’t clear you it doesn’t matter how good you are—you can’t work here … You don’t do this just to make some more revenue.”

When evaluating monitoring stations, UL certifies only those that have highly trained employees, are effectively staffed, provide extensive training, have appropriate backup procedures in place and follow UL-specific processes. Every member of Diebold’s monitoring center team has participated in extensive cross training, enabling Diebold to quickly respond to the evolving needs of its government customers. Diebold also continues to harden its facilities, network infrastructure and database access to ensure the highest level of security.

In an August interview with SSN, UL section manager, alarm certificate service Peter Tallman, who created UL 2050, said the certification displays a different level of service, available from any station that achieves the listing. “When we issue a certificate in this National Industrial Security Systems category … it is, in effect, a declaration saying ‘We looked at the monitoring station, it meets the requirements, the staff knows what they’re doing, and we’re maintaining it, and we’re checking all that stuff,’” Tallman said.

“The reason that we got the cert from UL is because as part of our strategic direction as a company, we’ve supported the U.S. government since probably 1859,” Grimm said. “Before there was an actual UL certificate, you could provide the service, but you still needed to meet pretty rigid criteria, which we did … It wasn’t a burden on us because we were doing it already anyway. It’s really an extension of our continued support of the U.S. government. It’s really part of who we are as a company.”