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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Eagle Eye Networks, based in Austin, Texas, announced today that it has awarded $1.25 million in Drako Cloud Security Grants to schools throughout the United States.

Dean Drako, Eagle Eye Networks’ president and CEO, told Security Systems News that with so many deserving applications continuing to come in, he felt it was important to not only increase the grant money available but to also extend the application deadline (originally July 1) to Dec. 1.

“The applications that we received, some of them are heart-wrenching—it was just unreal to hear some of the stories of these schools in or near bad neighborhoods that are isolated and continuously experiencing problems but couldn’t address them because of a lack of funding,” said Drako. “So these grants will allow these schools to put in some basic video surveillance that will really help the school as well as the parents and students. This is one of the ways we can give back.”

A broad range of public and private schools have already been awarded the Drako Grant for a fully functional security camera system—including cloud management and recording, mobile phone remote access applications, cameras, networking equipment to connect IP cameras, and secure gateways to the cloud—at no cost for one year.

These cloud-based systems will not only help to improve school safety, but provide first responders with easier access. With Eagle Eye’s “First Responder Real-time Video Access,” which was announced at ISC West in April, Eagle Eye Security Camera VMS administrators have the option to pre-designate first responders who can receive immediate real-time security camera access during emergency situations; the cameras are shared only when an authorized user activates first responder access.

“Because Eagle Eye is a cloud-based system, we have all of that video up in the cloud and giving access to people can be managed, controlled and highly secure while it also can be done very dynamically,” said Drako. This is key for first responders, for example, who are heading to the site for whatever the situation is, as they can access the video on their smart phone or android device. Police HQ can also have access to the video and tell officers where to go, for example, all in real time, he noted.

“I am a firm believer in security and video surveillance,” said Drako. “Video is going to become a ubiquitous part of our lives—and security—and I think that that is going to happen primarily in the cloud. Just like email has moved nearly 100 percent to the cloud, video surveillance is going to move almost entirely to the cloud over the next 10-20 years.”

He continued, “There are compelling advantages to cloud-based surveillance systems, and I want schools to experience these advantages as we try to make schools safer.”

 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, August 17, 2016

As the new editor of Security Systems News, I am grateful to my predecessor, Martha Entwistle, for all that she has done for the publication. Martha, who had been with SSN for more than a decade, six of those years as editor, raised the newspaper to new heights, while maintaining the high standards SSN has come to be known for.

As we begin a new era here at SSN, it is exciting to take the helm, especially with newly promoted managing editor Spencer Ives helping me to steer the ship during this pivotal time in a quickly evolving and growing security industry. And as we strive to continue and build upon the strong tradition of editorial excellence here at the publication, we are eager hear from you, our readers, on what issues and topics are most important to you.

We also invite you to attend our upcoming second annual Cloud+ conference, which is set for Nov. 29 and 30 in the tech-savvy city of Austin, Texas. You can take a look at our educational program at www.ssncloudplus.com, as well as register for what is shaping up to be an ideal forum to investigate the successes early adopters and innovators are having using cloud technology, which is no longer the future—it is here!

In addition to Cloud+, we here at SSN are also beginning to put together the program for our TechSec Solution’s New Technology Conference, which is Feb. 27-28, 2017, in Delray Beach, Fla. Whether you are a security director, IT professional, integrator, consultant, distributor, manufacturer or other security professional, this two-day event is the gathering place for security thought leaders to discuss the industry’s new and emerging technologies.

And speaking of conferences, I am excited to be attending the ASIS 2016 conference in Orlando, Fla., Sept. 12-15. For those of you who will be there as well, I encourage you to reach out to me to set up a time to meet, or just stop by the SSN booth to say hello!

 

by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, August 10, 2016

If you aren’t that worried about cybersecurity and the threat of a ransomware attack, you should be.

According to a new report, “State of Ransomware,” which was sponsored by Malwarebytes and conducted by Osterman Research, nearly 40 percent of businesses have experienced a ransomware attack in the last year. Of these victims, more than a third lost revenue and 20 percent had to stop business completely.

And that doesn't even include the companies that aren't reporting being attacked. According to FBI Section Chief Philip Celestini, who was a featured speaker at ESX 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas, 80 percent of companies that have been attacked by ransomware “are not reporting it to law enforcement,” he said. The FBI is reaching out to the industry, Celestini said, for its help in spreading the word of the importance of cybersecurity and working with law enforcement to minimize loss.

According to the FBI, ransomware attacks went from causing $25 million in losses to $200 million in just the last year in the U.S., as well as an astonishing $2 trillion in cyber crime losses worldwide.

According to Nathan Scott, senior security researcher at Malwarebytes and a ransomware expert, over the last four years, “ransomware has evolved into one of the biggest cybersecurity threats in the world, with instances of ransomware in exploit kits increasing 259 percent in the last five months alone. Until now, very few studies have examined the current prevalence and ramifications of actual ransomware incidents in the enterprise.”

Some other key U.S. findings from the study include:
- Security attacks with ransomware are increasing: Nearly 80 percent of U.S. companies have suffered a cyber attack in the last year and more than half experienced a ransomware incident. US organizations are the most attacked among the countries surveyed.
 - Email is the top vector for spreading ransomware: More than half of the U.S. attacks originated with email.
- Upper management and C-Level executives are at a higher risk: 68.4 percent of U.S. respondents noted ransomware attacks impacted mid-level managers or higher, while 25 percent of incidents attacked senior executives and the C-Suite.
- Cybercriminals held high-value data for ransom: Nearly 80 percent of the U.S. organizations breached had high-value data held for ransom.
- Attacks are impacting more than initial endpoints: More than 40 percent of ransomware attacks in all four countries were successful in impacting more than a single endpoint, with nearly 10 percent of the attacks affecting more than one-quarter of the endpoints in the business.
- Current enterprise security measures are weak against ransomware: Almost half of ransomware incidents in the U.S. occurred on a corporate desktop within the enterprise security environment.
- Ransomware remediation takes hours: 44 percent of attacks on U.S. companies forced IT staff to work more than nine hours to remediate the incident. Globally, the figure is 63 percent of incidents that took more than nine hours to remediate.
 

by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Check out the lineup of speakers and educational sessions for this year's Cloud+ Here's a link to the program, and it's also copied and pasted below.

We are super excited about bringing Cloud+ to the hippest tech hub in the country, Austin, Texas on Nov. 29 and 30.

We'll be announcing more speakers, including a swell outside-of-the-security-industry keynote speaker, in the next week. We're just crossing some final Ts and dotting the last Is on that.

You can get yourself registered by clicking here.

Keynote

Stay tuned!

The cloud chasm

Moving from a traditional security system to a cloud-based security system often still requires a hurdle. Why did this corporate end user decide to go with a cloud-based system in his nine-story facility even though three systems integrators advised going with a traditional system? In this session, an end user, manufacturer and consultant discuss how to get across the cloud chasm and the benefits of doing so.

Mark Scaparro, SVP Sales, BluBØX
Ray Bernard, President and Principal Consultant, Ray Bernard Consulting Services
Moderated by Martha Entwistle, editor, Security Systems News

How national integrators approach cloud

Three leading national integrators talk about how their companies are approaching cloud. What’s their strategy? What are they focusing on?

John Hudson, TycoIS, Regional Director, West Region
Jeremy Brecher, SVP Technology and Chief Information Officer, Securitas Electronic Security
Joe Young, Director, Cloud Monitoring Services, G4S Secure Integration
Moderated by Martha Entwistle, editor, Security Systems News

Finance in the cloud

An update on the M&A report that John Mack gave at Cloud+ 2015, followed by a targeted Q&A.

John Mack, Executive Vice President and Co-Head of Investment Banking and Head of Mergers and Acquisitions, Imperial Capital
Moderated by Martha Entwistle, editor, Security Systems News

Bandwidth: The elephant in the cloud

As the former Chief Security Officer for Amazon, Ed Bacco knows what it's like to be sitting in the end user's chair. This unique Cloud+ session will ignite the fireworks in a role-play approach, with Bacco playing an end user who wants to move to the cloud, but is having trouble getting around the inherent limitations. A group of experts—data center executive; VMS provider; fiber/cable service provider (the elephant); and a security integrator—join Bacco to attempt to solve the challenge.

END USER: Ed Bacco, Chief Security Officer, Aronson Security Group
DATA CENTER: Dean Drako, CEO, Eagle Eye Networks
INTEGRATOR: Scott Schmidt, Vice President of Technology, Aronson Security Group
VMS PROVIDER: Reinier Tuinzing, Strategic Alliances Manager, Americas, Milestone

Central stations in the cloud

What are the benefits of taking your central station business to the cloud? Leading systems integrator, Jeffrey Nunberg, CEO of Integrated Security Systems in Miami, moderates a discussion where he will be asking the hard questions that all integrators want answered: How is it done? What are the options? Which integrators will benefit the most from moving monitoring to the cloud? What kind of the front-end investment is required and what kind of ROI should integrators and end users expect?

Cliff Dice, CEO, DICE Corp.
Rodney Thayer, Consultant, Smithee, Spelvin, Agnew & Plinge
Moderated by Jeffrey Nunberg, CEO, Integrated Security Systems

Cloud add-ons

You don't need a complete cloud-based security system to take advantage of some of the benefits offered by the cloud. This session will examine options such as video analytics, health monitoring and data analytics.

Cloud and mobility

Description coming soon!

Moderated by John Szczygiel, EVP and COO, Brivo Systems

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by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Video surveillance and access control provider Avigilon on July 18 filed documents to amend its existing $240 million multi-tranche senior secured syndicated credit facility. Security Systems News has previously reported on this credit facility. Originally closed on April 7, 2015, the facility's maturity date has been extended from April 7, 2018 to April 7, 2019.

I spoke to Avigilon's Darren Seed about the deal. Among the changes is one item which ups the price of a "permitted acquisition" from $30 million in the old deal, to $40 million in the new deal. Is Avigilon poised to buy a start-up for $31 million?

Seed said one shouldn't read anything into the small changes in the deal. He characterized this amendment and others as simple housekeeping. The extension was made at a very nice rate, he said, it made good business sense for Avigilon to take advantage of the terms offered. 

Avigilon designs, develops, and manufactures video analytics, network video management software and hardware, surveillance cameras, and access control solutions.

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by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Guard provider Universal Protection Service announced late last week that it will offer what it's calling robot "Machine as a Service" to its customers. I guess that's a new acronym for the security industry--RMaaS?

It will use robots from Knightscope, based in Mountain View, Calif. RMaaS is available to Universal customers in Northern California now, and they'll be available in Southern California in September. Universal says it will roll out the program nationally in 2017.

Want to check out the robots in person? Universal and Knightscope are hosting a launch party on July 28 in Mountain View that will feature demos and a factory tour. To RSVP, email info@universalpro.com.

I saw a Knightscope robot last spring when I was at Northland Control's Fremont, Calif.-offices. I was talking on my cell phone outside and was mildly startled when I noticed a robot quietly circling the parking lot. It was super stealth and even kind of graceful. Robots have come a long way since Lost in Space. Remember this?

Universal will use Knightscope's K5 and K3 robot models. "Both models offer a physical presence as a strong crime deterrent, real-time video and audio, and a human interface. The K5 model is designed for outdoor applications such as parking lots and campuses, while the K3 is designed for indoor security at such facilities as office towers, warehouses, distribution centers and data centers," according to a Universal news release.

In a prepared statement, Ty Richmond, Universal Services of America president, systems and technology, said: "Customers require situational awareness to make informed decisions and autonomous mobile machines and devices provide another level of intelligence to accomplish that task. The partnership with Knightscope enables Universal to take an industry leading role in this new service arena."

Universal security officers will be trained and certified to work with the robots.

William Santana Li, chairman and CEO for Knightscope, said in a statement: "The world is going to change more in the next five years than the last 50 years combined. Knightscope has built one of the most important technologies coming out of Silicon Valley and we are proud to be working in concert with Universal by integrating with existing security programs while providing new revolutionary capabilities to clients."

Universal was in the news in May when it announced a merger agreement with AlliedBarton. The two will form AlliedUniversal in a $4.5 billion deal. The deal is expected to close in Q3.

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by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The deadline to nominate an end user or integrator for the "20 under 40" Class of 2016 awards WAS July 1, but we've extended the deadline to Friday, July 15.

Click here to nominate your favorite end user or integrator who is age 40 or younger!

In the past two days I've had three calls from people who want to nominate an integrator or an end user for Security Systems News. Because we're in a good mood here in Maine (70 degrees, sunny, the Yarmouth Clam Festival kicks off next week) we're giving you another chance to nominate yourself or a colleague.

Take a minute and nominate now. And, yes, we've fixed the survey so that you can nominate more than one person.

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by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, June 29, 2016

LAS VEGAS—North American Video, a systems integrator that specializes in the casino vertical, has opened a new Western Regional Headquarters in Las Vegas.
 
The new office has what NAV calls a "Security & Surveillance Center of Excellence," a camera lab where NAV customers can test camera performance. The facility includes a temperature-controlled server lab with software and hardware from major VMS manufacturers. Both the camera lab and the server lab are integrated into training room, which can accommodate up to 50 people. The headquarters is meant to be used for education and technology training for employees as well as customers.

“With our new camera lab, we can configure conditions to emulate a client’s specific gaming floor environment in order to determine how specific camera models will perform in their casino,” Laurie Smock, VP NAV, said in a prepared statement. Smock is a Security Systems News "20 under 40" award winner from the Class of 2012.
 
Smock said that NAV had outgrown its previous Las Vegas location.
 
The new facility is located at 731 Pilot Road, Suite H, in Las Vegas. NAV is headquartered in Brick, N.J.

by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The "20 under 40" awards are one of our favorite projects here at SSN. And, no wonder, in the past nine years, we've honored some real superstars.

We need help finding the superstar integrators or end users for the Class of 2016. Don't delay: The July 1 deadline is around the corner.

Here's a link to the nomination form. It only takes a couple minutes to fill out.

A reminder: The "integrator" category included people who work for a security integration firm, alarm company or installing security dealer, or a monitoring company. The "end user" category is for security professionals who work for an end user. Sorry, manufacturers,consultants, bankers are not eligible. However, anyone can make a nomination.

Please make a nomination today.

Got questions? Call or email me.

 

by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

COLUMBIA, S.C.—Electric Guard Dog, a manufacturer and installer of a solar-powered perimeter security system that is electrified and monitored by a central station, based in Columbia, S.C., has a new private equity owner as of June 14.

Snow Phipps, a PE private equity firm focused on middle-market control investments, targeting platform companies with enterprise values ranging from $100 million to $500 million, has purchased Electric Guard Dog from Ulysses Management for an undisclosed amount.

Raymond James & Associates advised to Electric Guard Dog on the deal.

“The company is poised for significant growth and we intend to meet growing demand by continuing to invest in sales, marketing, service technicians, compliance, and technology,” Sean Epps, partner at Snow Phipps, said in a statement.

Electric Guard Dog CEO Jack DeMao and the current management team will remain. In December, Electric Guard Dog CFO Nathan Leaphart answered an SSN News Poll about the benefits of being owned by private equity.

In 2014, Electric Guard Dog passed $2m in RMR.

Snow Phipps operating partner John Kenny will join Electric Guard Dog as the non-executive chairman of the Board of Directors.

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