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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Amazon announced last week that it is jumping into the home security business—with both feet I might add—with the unveiling of five security packages for both homeowners and renters. What is most interesting about this announcement, though, is Amazon’s go-to-market strategy, which involves no monthly fees, just an upfront cost for the equipment package. Plus, all five equipment packages include free installation and visits from Amazon smart home experts to go over what is the best fit prior to choosing an option.

For those who have been following the success of Amazon’s Alexa, this move really shouldn’t come as a surprise, especially considering all of the inroads Amazon has been making in the smart home space, from its acquisition of Ring, the smart doorbell company, to its new in-home delivery service, Amazon Key, that features its Cloud Cam and partnerships with smart lock providers. 

It will be interesting to see how this will shake up the current home security market, which traditionally has existed on a RMR model that includes spreading some of equipment cost out over several months or years. It will also be interesting to see how this move succeeds overall for Amazon, as the security packages get a bit costly on the higher end.

So, let’s take a look at what packages they are offering, many of which work in tandem with Amazon’s Echo and Alexa. Amazon is offering two outdoor security packages and three indoor packages. The first outdoor package, for $240, includes “expert smart lighting that will make it look like you’re home,” the website reads, while the Outdoor Plus package adds in a smart doorbell. For indoor security, the base package for $320, which is “perfect for renters” the website says, includes motion, door and window sensors, an indoor camera, smart siren and smart home hub. Homeowners can choose from Smart for $575 or Smartest for $840, each of which adds devices to the base package.

As consumer buying seems to be moving more toward a subscription-based model, this seems like a bit of risk to ask homeowners to pay that much up front, but it may be a risk that pays off for Amazon. For one, consumers who may not have taken the leap into the smart home or home security will see this as a way to get both—the Alexa voice assistant and home security—all from one provider in a very seamless way.

SSN would love to hear your thoughts on this, so feel free to comment below.

 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), an organization dedicated to defining and raising awareness of best practices to help ensure a secure cloud-computing environment, recently released its State of Cloud Security 2018.

The report, authored by the CSA Global Enterprise Advisory Board, examines such areas as the adoption of cloud and related technologies, what both enterprise and cloud providers are doing to ensure security requirements are met, how to best work with regulators, the evolving threat landscape, and the industry skills gap.

“The state of cloud security is a work in progress with an ever-increasing variety of challenges and potential solutions,” Vinay Patel, chair of the CSA Global Enterprise Advisory Board and managing director at Citigroup, said in the announcement of the report. “It is incumbent upon the cloud user community, therefore, to collaborate and speak with an amplified voice to ensure that their key security issues are heard and addressed. We hope this document will serve as a roadmap to developing best practices in the establishment of baseline security requirements needed to protect organizational data.”

Key takeaways from the report include:

•    Exploration of case studies and potential use cases for blockchain, application containers, microservices and other technologies will be important to keep pace with market adoption and the creation of secure industry best practices.
•    With the rapid introduction of new features, safe default configurations and ensuring the proper use of features by enterprises should be a goal for providers.
•    As adversaries collaborate quickly, the information security community needs to respond to attacks swiftly with collaborative threat intelligence exchanges that include both providers and enterprise end users.
•    A staged approach on migrating sensitive data and critical applications to the cloud is recommended.
•    When meeting regulatory compliance, it is important for enterprises to practice strong security fundamentals to demonstrate compliance rather than use compliance to drive security requirements.

Noting that “innovators and early adopters” have been using cloud for years for quicker deployment, greater scalability, and cost saving of services, the report noted that the growth of cloud computing “continues to accelerate offering more solutions with added features and benefits, including security. In the age of information digitalization and innovation, enterprise users must keep pace with consumer demand and new technology solutions ensuring they can meet both baseline capabilities and security requirements.”

Interestingly, the report pointed out that increased adoption in cloud services has followed consumer confidence with the security of cloud providers, who continue to invest in the security of their platforms. CSA referred to a McAfee survey, Navigating a Cloudy Sky, which found that complete trust in public cloud offerings increased 76 percent in 2017.

As CSA noted in this report last year, technology is outpacing the skills sets within companies and businesses to adopt them, according to CSA’s report. “As organizations react to this demand to stay competitive, secure adoption of these technologies becomes an even greater challenge. With cloud and new IT technologies, the supply chain ecosystem needs to collaborate so that large enterprises and regulators can understand how to securely adopt new technologies and new features on existing provider technologies. Each party must play a role in securing customer data and sharing best practices for secure operations.”

Ultimately, education and awareness still needs to improve around provider services and new technologies for the enterprise. “Small-scale adoption projects need to be shared so that security challenges and patterns can be adopted to scale with the business and across industry verticals. This skills gap, particularly around cloud and newer IT technologies, needs to be met by the industry through partnership and collaboration between all parties of the cyber ecosystem.”

For the full report, click here.

 

by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, April 18, 2018

We here at Security Systems News are excited to announce the dates and location for Cloud+ 2018, which will be held in beautiful Delray Beach, Fla., on September 5-6. The conference will take place at the Delray Beach Marriott—an intimate, Mediterranean-style hotel located on the Gold Coast at the corner of A1A - Ocean Boulevard and famed Atlantic Avenue, located directly across the street from the beach. This is also the same location where we host our TechSec Solutions conference each year.

Last year’s Cloud+ education program received high marks from attendees, and we are hard at work putting together another top-notch program that makes Cloud+ the education destination for those who are pioneering within the cloud community.

Click here for more info on the conference, the location and to see last year’s program and speakers, who are the “who’s who” of the industry. And stay tuned for more on the show, including announcements of the keynote speaker and full education program.

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by: Paul Ragusa - Friday, April 6, 2018

ISC West 2018, held in Las Vegas, April 10-13, continued to build on the momentum it has built up over the past few years. From the educational sessions, many of which were standing-room-only, to a crowded and buzzing trade show floor, this year’s ISC West did not disappoint. Will Wise and Sherida Sessa from ISC Security Events confirmed my initial impressions of the show during our video interview for ssnTV on the ISC West Main Stage, noting that although they didn’t have final numbers yet, “key metrics” indicate that attendance is up again this year, in addition to an increase in the total number of exhibitors and new companies exhibiting.

In addition to the many video interviews I was able to do for ssnTV on the ISC West Main Stage, I was able to visit a number of booths throughout the week, as well as attend many key events and meetings led by industry leaders. The following is a recap of my time at ISC West.

Tuesday and Wednesday

Arriving on Monday proved wise, as I was able to attend some interesting educational sessions led by both SIA and PSA, which hosted a full day of educational sessions on Tuesday, many focused on leadership and helping integrators build and grow their businesses. For example, Chris Peterson, co-founder and principal, Vector Firm, presented a session, “Building Managed Service into your Business - Benefits to you and the Customer,” and Paul Boucherle, principal/founder, Matterhorn Consulting LLC, presented, “The Key to Executing Business Strategy.”

The SIA educational sessions I was able attend were spot on, including one of the most popular sessions on Tuesday, “The Future of Physical Security: The Decade Ahead,” presented by Terry Gold, principal analyst, D6 Research, who looked at how physical security will significantly change over the next decade, mostly defined by end users looking for value and comprehensive solutions that address both the physical and IT challenges faced today.

As has become a tradition at ISC West, I began Wednesday bright and early with the great folks at Axis Communications, which hosted its 11th annual press breakfast. Celebrating 30 years as a company here in the U.S., Fredrik Nilsson, VP Americas, and Martin Gren, founder, led us through a fun game of security-themed Jeopardy, with questions and answers that highlighted the many video and other product accomplishments the company has made over its storied history. In addition to “being an innovator” in the video space, Gren noted that IP audio provides a “huge opportunity for us to grow,” as the company continues to add new products within this category.

At the Feenics press event, the company made a couple of big announcements, including the steps it has taken in the area of cybersecurity, as well as its new pricing structure. Company president Denis Hebert pointed out that Keep by Feenics’ API service has achieved VerAfied certification by Veracode. He also outlined the company’s new pricing approach, Transaction-based Pricing, for large-scale enterprise installations or VAR’s running managed service operations. As Hebert noted, “The client only pays for what they use.”

At the Robotic Assistance Devices press event, company president and founder, Steve Reinharz, unveiled RAD’s newest artificially intelligent guarding solution—the Security Control and Observation Tower or SCOT—a standalone, remote, portable, self-sufficient intelligence observation tower designed to expand an organization's security reach instantly. SCOT, combined with the company’s robots, are part of what Reinharz calls a “paradigm shift for the industry,” which is beginning to leverage AI and robotics as a force multiplier within many verticals.

Moving to the ACRE booth, I was able to chat with Kim Loy and Joe Grillo about both the Vanderbilt and COMNET brands, and how the two “complement” each other nicely. They also gave me an update on Vanderbilt’s ACT365, a Cloud-based access control and video management solution that is now launched here in the U.S. after success globally. The company will be making “a big push” this year with ACT365 both here in the U.S. and globally, they said.

At the ASSA ABLOY booth, I attended the company’s press event, which was led by Mark Duato, executive vice president, aftermarket, ASSA ABLOY who provided an overview of the company’s strategy to stay at the forefront of innovation within access control. The company made several announcements during the show, including a new Intelligent Keys certification program developed to connect systems integrators with more business opportunities as well as a recurring revenue model for integration businesses. The company also announced new partnerships with Averics, BluB0X, Dot Origin, Identiv and Viscount.

Alarm.com made a big splash this year with the announcement of its “Alarm.com for Business,” a solution for the SMB market that the company unveiled just before the show. Matthew Zartman, director of communications, walked me through the new solution, which combines intelligent intrusion detection, video surveillance, access control and energy management into a single solution that is controlled through Alarm.com’s app. Zartman noted the focus is on “making it easy for dealers” to get more business, specifically on the commercial side.

At the Eagle Eye Systems booth, I chatted with company founder Dean Drako about the company’s “continued growth,” as well as many new announcements at the show, including the company’s new HD video over coax solution; a globalization project to meet the needs of multi-national customers; enhanced video analytics offered within the Eagle Eye Cloud Security Camera VMS; and a partnership with Hikvision USA to extend the Eagle Eye Cloud Security Camera Video Management System to include body worn cameras.

Over at the Genetec booth, I had a great conversation with Genetec VP of marketing Andrew Elvish, who spoke about the company’s commitment and focus on the cybersecurity of its products and partners, as well as how the company is working closely with end users and integrators to meet their needs. The company highlighted its new range of market-specific solutions developed to address the needs of airports, cities, educational institutions, retailers, and transportation customers. Elvish also spoke about how Genetec is helping its North American security directors to get ready for the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Visiting the Hanwha Techwin booth, Miguel Lazatin, director of product and channel marketing, North America, updated me on the company’s continued evolution and growth over the past year. Lazatin said the company continues to “make huge investments in people and products.” The company announced five new IP-based Wisenet thermal cameras as well as a new line of mobile cameras, both of which are new categories for the company, Lazatin noted. The company also unveiled new multi-sensor camera options.

At the ISONAS booth, Melissa Stenger, VP of product management and marketing, and Rob Lydic, Global VP of Sales, talked with me about the evolution of the company’s IP access control solution and its hyper focus on cybersecurity and network protection, including ongoing PEN testing and third party testing of its products and systems. The company launched its IP-Bridge 2.0, a more powerful tool to help migrate old legacy systems into the IP era, including more processing power and additional functionality local to the device. The company also announced a new integration with Genetec software.

Thursday and Friday

Sat down with Kami Dukes, director of business development for AMAG Technology, who walked me through the company’s latest addition to their portfolio, RISK360, a global incident and case management system that investigates and analyzes incidents to help organizations operate more efficiently, save money, enforce compliance and mitigate risk. Dukes pointed out that the key is that RISK360 integrates seamlessly with AMAG’s Symmetry Access Control software, so events in RISK360 are communicated to Symmetry Access Control, and alarms in Symmetry generate events in RISK360.

At the Boon Edam booth, Tracie Thomas, VP of marketing, explained how the company’s “increased brand awareness” has led to “double-digit growth in the U.S.” The company has been growing its enterprise team as it expands on its full range of products that go way beyond the “turnstile” products to a full suite of access control solutions from the exterior of a facility to the most important spaces inside as well. Thomas talked about how the company is allowing security providers to be more proactive and predictive using its solutions to mitigate risk and avoid liability.

I spoke with Galaxy Control Systems’ president Robert Loughlin at their booth about new enhancements and integrations for the company’s flagship System Galaxy on-site access control software, and its cloud-based Cloud Concierge SaaS offering, which has gained tremendous traction with resellers since its introduction last year. Additional news includes the launch of a new A&E Program, and an OEM agreement with an international company based in Singapore to design, develop, manufacture and deliver OEM access control hardware and software that will be white labeled for sale exclusively in the EMEA region.

At the Altronix booth, Kirby Han, art director, gave me an overview of the company’s newest additions and updates to its growing product line, including its Trove series, which has added kits “to help dealers,” Han noted. The Trove Access and Power Integration Solutions simplify board layout and wire management, while providing extreme flexibility and scalability when designing and deploying access systems. Also new are the Altronix Dual Voltage Access Power Controller, which reduces costs and saves valuable enclosure space, and the NetWay Spectrum 2-Port Media Converter/Injector, which converts one fiber cable into two Ethernet ports.

Over at the IrisID booth, I spoke with Mohanned Murad, VP, global sales & business development, who showed me the company’s iCAM M300 Biometric Multimode Android Phone, a SIA New Product Showcase winner in the Mobile Apps category. Murad noted that the goal is to create the most “non-frictional biometric” as possible, providing a reliable and cyber-secure mobile app that is cloud-based and offers an easy path to a mobile credential solution for all levels of security, including critical infrastructure.

At the Lenel booth, Ross McKay, director of products, spoke about how the company continues to focus on leveraging the cloud, providing more browser-based products and developing reliable and safe mobile credentials. Key Lenel products showcased include
OnGuard version 7.4, which supports several browser-based clients, eliminating the need for onsite server hardware; the LNL-4420 intelligent controller, which has been added to the GSA’s approved product list for use by agencies implementing programs to meet Federal Identity, Credential and Access Management (FICAM) requirements; and a new version of the BlueDiamond app that can anticipate users’ door and reader selections to reduce authentication time.

I sat down at the Pivot3 booth with Bruce Milne, VP & chief marketing officer, and John D’Avolio, analyst relations director, who both spoke about how the company continues to partner with other companies to provide “end to end” solutions for their customers. Milne listed companies like Lenovo, Hytrust and Iron Mountain as key partnerships toward that goal. For example, he pointed to how the partnership with Iron Mountain led to the introduction of Iron Cloud, which delivers a secure and scalable cloud-based solution for managing video content.

At the OnSSI booth, I spoke with Ken Lamarca, VP, sales and marketing, who noted that “business is strong” as the company showcased its latest Ocularis 5.5 Video Management Software (VMS) platform, which includes new integrations and automation functions that increase overall performance and cost-efficiency. Lamarca said the platform uses the “highest encryption” standards available as well as proven hardening protocols. The company also highlighted several partnerships, including with ConvergenceTP (C2P), CyberExtruder, Jemez Technology and NetApp.

At the Oncam booth, I chatted with Jumbi Edulbehram, regional VP, Americas, about the company’s growth and increased demand for 180- and 360-degree video solutions that deliver “higher levels of situational awareness” than traditional fixed cameras. He also highlighted the introduction of the Evolution Stainless Steel form factor in both the 5MP and 12MP versions to meet the needs of customers operating in extreme environments where resilience and compliance to stringent regulations are critical. The company also launched its revamped Technology Integration Partner Program, which is built to ease integration with Oncam technologies and provide extensive support to aligned technology partners.

Over at the Manything… booth, Laura O’Sullivan, head of marketing, and James West, CEO & Co-Founder, talked about how the company is responding to the needs of integrators, developing a “much cheaper pricing” model that “integrators love,” West noted. Manything, which began as an app allowing users to turn spare smartphones and tablets into home security cameras, has now grown to empower professional security dealers and integrators to offer remote viewing and offsite cloud surveillance recording, creating a new source of RMR, he noted. The company also unveiled its Manything Pro, a cloud SaaS solution that allows users to access their video through an Apple or Android mobile app.

NOTE: In addition to daily reports, look for ssnTV video interviews from the show floor under the Video tab on this website, including top execs from Brivo, Northland Controls, ONVIF, ISC Security Events, IHS Markit, Bates Security, and many more.
 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, April 4, 2018

ACRE, a global leader in providing security products and solutions for the access control, intrusion, smart traffic and video surveillance markets, announced today the promotion of Andrew Acquarulo Jr. to president of ACRE Americas. Ronald Virden, who was recently named ACRE COO, will also assume the role of president of ACRE International. The evolution of the company's leadership roles will allow ACRE to refocus its efforts based on geographic regions, providing greater alignment between its Vanderbilt and ComNet brands in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and APAC. 

Virden, who will assume his expanded role effective June 1, 2018, will be based in Dublin, Ireland, and take over the Vanderbilt CEO role from Joe Grillo, who will continue to serve as ACRE CEO. All of the management of Vanderbilt's international operations, as well as ComNet's UK-based operations, will fall under Virden's purview. Virden will also remain COO of ACRE.

“Joe [Grillo] has had the foresight to create a successful independent security company, and as I contribute to adding to that legacy, it's critical to ensure ACRE continues upon its growth trajectory,” Virden said in the announcement. “I'm eager to take on the additional responsibility as President of ACRE International, focusing on growing and streamlining operations across its global markets.”

As president of ACRE Americas, Acquarulo will be responsible for the strategic vision, operations and sales initiatives for both of the company's ComNet and Vanderbilt brands in the Americas under the ACRE moniker, effective April 1, 2018. Acquarulo has served as president and CEO for ComNet since 2010, leading the company's strategic vision across the United States, Europe, the Middle East and APAC. He played an instrumental role in positioning ComNet into developing more networked-based solutions and guiding it to offer a combination of fiber optic, electrical and wireless solutions to increase options for its global customer base. Acquarulo also helped transition the brand into the ACRE group in 2016.

“As the market continues to transition into one driven by emerging technologies, such as cloud services and intelligent platforms, ACRE is poised to continue its leadership role in these segments,” Acquarulo said in a prepared statement. “This evolution marks a tremendous opportunity for ACRE to extend its leadership position in the industry, and I look forward to being a part of it.”

Acquarulo will oversee sales and revenue growth, and prepare the brands for new expansion opportunities. He will report directly to Grillo and Virden.

“Andy had the foresight to help shift ComNet toward the emerging trends across the security and intelligent transportation systems market long before many of the company's competitors, and Ron brings a significant amount of global executive experience to our team,” said Grillo in the announcement. “ACRE continues to look for ways to streamline operations and make continued investments in its leadership team, which will help propel our brand forward and solidify our strength in the marketplace. We are also interested in positioning the ACRE brand for future expansion that will allow additional revenue streams and the addition of key markets across the globe.”

Founded in 2012, ACRE’s Vanderbilt and ComNet brands deliver advanced solutions to thousands of customers around the world. Today, ACRE employs more than 325 employees in more than 15 countries.
 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, March 28, 2018

School safety grants administered by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)—a major policy priority for the Security Industry Association (SIA) since 2008—will provide $25 million immediately, and $33 million annually, as provisioned in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, which was officially signed into law by the president earlier this week.

The new law provides $25 million immediately for school security technology and equipment in addition to emergency communications systems and other coordination with law enforcement to enhance response capabilities. Administered through the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), $33 million is authorized annually for the program beginning next year. Overall, the STOP School Violence Act included in the spending measure authorizes a total of nearly $1 billion in funding for DOJ school safety grant programs through 2028.

“As the Congressional Safety Caucus founder and co-chair, I am proud this year’s spending bill included over $2 billion in funding for school safety measures, including the STOP School Violence Act, to provide our nation’s schools with tools and technology needed to keep students and faculty safe so they can learn in a safe environment. I am committed to working with my colleagues in Congress to provide our children and families the peace of mind they deserve,” noted Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks, R-Ind.

As SIA pointed out in its announcement lauding the grant money, federal grant assistance specifically for facility security measures had been unavailable since fiscal 2011. SIA, along with stakeholders representing the law enforcement and education communities including The School Superintendents Association (AASA), the National School Boards Association (NSBA), the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) and other like-minded organizations, worked to support the reviving of this grant assistance, particularly in the aftermath of the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012.

“SIA commends the leadership of Senator Hatch, R-Utah, and Congressman John Rutherford, R-Fla., in authoring the STOP School Violence Act, and recognizes the unwavering support provided by the Congressional School Safety Caucus led by Congresswoman Susan Brooks, R-Ind., and Congressman Rick Larsen, D-Wash. who authored reauthorization legislation, the School Safety Act, and has led supporting efforts in the House since 2015,” Jake Parker, SIA director of government relations, said in a prepared statement. “As school systems consider investments to improve security, it is critical that finite resources support effective, affordable and appropriate, solutions.”

SIA is a cofounder of the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS), a consortium of school security experts that developed threat- and income-based guidelines for schools housing grades K-12 to implement appropriate, layered security measures. Those guidelines are available to help guide school investments.

In addition, please participate in SSN’s News Poll this month, which looks at security companies’ role in emergency preparedness and response for schools.
 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, March 21, 2018

With April right around the corner and ISC West almost here, we at Security Systems News thought it was the ideal time to highlight the tremendous education program Security Industry Association (SIA) has developed for ISC West 2018. When the industry needs education and guidance now more than ever—to make sense of all of the new technology and trends—ISC West, sponsored by SIA, has stepped up to the plate and delivered.

In preparation for this year’s conference, SIA strove to create an education program that addresses this year’s most significant emerging threats and business opportunities. And following SIA’s research to develop the Security Megatrends—an annual research project that reports on the top trends reshaping the security industry—SIA and ISC West worked together to make sure those themes would be addressed at the 2018 event, particularly as part of the “SIA Education@ISC” lineup.

“A top priority is making education one of the most valuable, robust parts of ISC West,” Don Erickson, CEO of SIA, said in the Megatrends announcement. “We identified these top 10 trends—what we call the Security Megatrends—and reviewed how they would pose significant impacts on 2018’s converged security landscape. We then used these insights to lay the groundwork for the 85+ educational sessions we’re offering at the ISC West show, making it possible for attendees to leave feeling confident and equipped to tackle the emerging security threats, as well as the business challenges and opportunities that inevitably come their way.”

SIA’s 2018 Security Megatrends include:
1.    Booming growth of the IoT
2.    Cyber meets physical security
3.    Accessing and analyzing smart and big data
4.    Evolution of risk management
5.    Transformation of the channel
6.    Shakeup of the status quo: entrance of entrepreneurial buyers and outsiders
7.    Mobile everything
8.    Control through cloud: driving greater efficiencies and promoting managed services
9.    Integrating with social media
10.  Emerging connected services: consumers want convenience at their fingertips.

Click here for more detail from SIA's research on each of the 10 Megatrends.

“We’re laser-focused on providing attendees with all-inclusive education at ISC West, which is why we’re thrilled to have SIA as our trusted partner,” Will Wise, group vice president of ISC Security Events, said in the announcement. “These top 10 trends really hit on what’s to come at the show. These themes impact nearly every type of attendee in some way, from government/enterprise security decision-makers and end-users, to integrators, installers and dealers. This year’s show is designed to be the most educational and information-packed yet, and we’re looking forward to seeing the peer-to-peer mindshare that takes place.”

And speaking of education at ISC West, on Wednesday, from 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., yours truly will be moderating a session, “Seeing is Believing - Drones, Robotics and the Integration of Video Applications,” with a very talented panel that includes Steve Reinharz, president of Robotic Assistance Devices, Jack Wu, co-founder & CEO, Nightingale Security, and Jumbi Edulbehram, regional president, Americas, Oncam. I hope to see you there, or on the trade show floor, or at the great Mission 500 Security 5K/2K charity event on Thursday morning.
 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Just in case you weren’t aware, March is National Women’s History month, and a great reason to shine a light on the contributions women are making in the security industry today.

And just in case you weren’t aware, Security Systems News has made it its business to celebrate women in security. In fact, for the past 10 years we have devoted an entire issue each year, usually in December, to highlight many of the leaders in the security industry who just happen to be women.

As I attend PSA TEC in Denver this week (look for my full wrap-up in the coming days), and listen and learn from the many female speakers here at the conference, there are reminders of the wonderful impact women are having on the security industry today. Leaders like Christine Lanning, president of Integrated Security Technologies—and the first woman on the PSA Board of Directors (congrats!)—Janet Fenner, director of new business development for Dahua, Sandy Jones, founder and principal for Sandra Jones & Company, Rebecca Bayne, president of BCSI, and Jennifer Phillips, national deployment program manager, PSA, to name just a few.

Another great reminder of how far we have come in this industry is the announcement from the Security Industry Association (SIA) last week—fittingly on International Women’s Day—of the establishment of the SIA Women in Security Forum to support the participation of women in the security industry. Through programs, professional development and networking events, the committee will engage members, both men and women, who share this goal.

We at SSN applaud SIA for raising greater awareness to the importance of further supporting the participation of women in the security industry, as this is a very important step that we will look back on as sort of a watershed moment or milestone in the evolution of the security industry.

The inaugural steering committee for the SIA Women in Security Forum includes (listed alphabetically by company):

•    Elaine Palome, Axis Communications
•    Chelsea Render, Bosch
•    Kelly Bond, Brivo
•    Vicky Lowe, Convergint Technologies
•    Janet Fenner, Dahua Technology USA
•    Sherida Sessa, ISC Security Events
•    Dawne Hanks, Milestone Systems
•    Christine Hamberis, ScanSource
•    Alice DiSanto, Sharp Intellos
•    Maureen Carlo, Videotec Security

“It is an honor to serve on SIA’s new Women in Security committee as it recognizes the countless women working in this industry, and our collective achievements and contributions," Dahua’s Fenner said in the announcement. "It also presents a great opportunity to engage, mentor and help further empower a new generation of women executives in the physical security industry,”

Sharp’s DiSanto added: “It is a privilege to serve a forum keenly focused on propelling women within the security industry. Providing a venue where future female leaders can strengthen their know-how, while networking and brainstorming around future solutions with peers can only improve competency and esteem.”

Palome of Axis Communications pointed out,. “Our success depends on the quality skill, and values of our employees. At Axis, we believe that a diverse and talented workforce is a key competitive advantage and that different backgrounds, perspectives, and life experiences are important drivers of innovation. We are pleased to be taking part in this joint initiative with SIA,” said

Potential goals for the forum include:

•    Create mentorship/sponsorship programs to advocate for advancement and build confidence in the workplace.
•    Connect women in the industry through networking events.
•    Develop a recruiting program for next generation female professionals and leaders.
•    Initiate an ongoing dialogue between male and female leaders to enhance mutual understanding.
•    Identify platforms that can provide visibility for women.
•    Spearhead an issue that will create opportunities for women to work together and be at the forefront of a major initiative.

Membership is open to SIA members in good standing (nonmembers are eligible for up to 90 days). To get involved or to get more information, contact Kim Landgraf, SIA staff manager, at klandgraf@securityindustry.org.

 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Security Industry Association (SIA) has selected James Marcella, director, Technical Services, Axis Communications Inc., as 2017 SIA Committee Chair of the Year for his work with the SIA Education Committee.

With this award, SIA honors Marcella for his work in strengthening education programming for the security industry through SIA Education. SIA Chairman Denis Hébert will present the 2017 Committee Chair of the Year Award to Marcella at The Advance, SIA's annual membership meeting, scheduled to occur on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, during ISC West in Las Vegas.

“I am humbled and honored to be recognized for my work with SIA,” said Marcella. “SIA serves as a keystone for the security industry, connecting many different companies together in a common cause. It serves as a powerful platform for promulgating the latest industry education, whether to share news of regulations and best practices or to update professionals on the latest developments in state of the art technology. I look forward to continuing to guide SIA course offerings as the association’s Education Committee Chair.”

Scott Dunn, senior director, Business Development Solutions & Services, ‎Axis Communications, said, “James takes every opportunity to educate our current and new team members on the mission and values of SIA and the importance of being involved in moving our industry forward to meet the challenges we face. He is a great internal teacher as well. He instructs us on our work with SIA and how to maximize the efforts with various other committees to bring value to SIA and its members. He has made us all better in that work.”

SIA CEO Don Erickson added, “I very much appreciate the time James has put into leading the Education Committee and working with SIA. I recognize there are many different places he could spend his time with associations and the fact that he has made so many important contributions to help educate the industry in this role is greatly appreciated!”

The contributions Marcella has made as SIA Education Committee Chair include:

•    Co-creating the curriculum for the Systems Technology Associate in Applied Science Degree in Security Systems and Technologies, and serving as the main instructor
•    Leading the update of the Security Project Management Common Body of Knowledge Guidebook
•    Serving as a member of the ISC Education Conference Advisory Board
•    Assisting with the development of Securing New Ground executive conference program content
•    Championing the Certified Security Project Manager certification
•    Promoting SIA across the security industry

Hébert will present the Sandy Jones Volunteer of the Year Award and SIA Chairman's Award, at The Advance, held during ISC West in Rooms 505/506 of the Sands Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Tuesday, April 10, 10:30-11:30 a.m. The Advance is co-located with ISC West, produced by ISC Security Events. Find more info, click here.
 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, February 28, 2018

SEATTLE—Amazon has agreed to buy video doorbell maker Ring, the companies announced on Tuesday, a move that makes sense for both Amazon and Ring on many levels. The deal, which Reuters was reporting at more than $1 billion, is Amazon’s second acquisition in the security space in just the last few months, as the company purchased security camera provider Blink for $90 million in December.

Amazon is expected to continue—and build on—the Ring brand, as it has with some of its other past acquisitions of Zappos, Twitch and Audible. And with the recent launch of its new service Amazon Key, as well as its new Cloud Cam, Amazon really has wedged its foot in the door of not only home delivery but also home security.

“Ring is committed to our mission to reduce crime in neighborhoods by providing effective yet affordable home security tools to our neighbors that make a positive impact on our homes, our communities, and the world,” the company said. “We’ll be able to achieve even more by partnering with an inventive, customer-centric company like Amazon. We look forward to being a part of the Amazon team as we work toward our vision for safer neighborhoods.”

Ring’s security devices, which have expanded to more than just the doorbell camera, should benefit greatly from this acquisition, not only by the exposure from and support of such a large company, but also in support of Amazon Key, a smart lock and camera system that lets delivery personnel put packages inside a home to avoid theft or, in the case of fresh food, spoiling.

“As Amazon moves more aggressively into the grocery delivery space... we believe smart security devices will be an important factor in driving user adoption,” Baird Equity Research analyst Colin Sebastian said in the Reuters press release.

Prior to this deal, Amazon’s Alexa Fund, which offers venture capital to companies working on voice technology, invested in the Santa Monica, Calif.-based Ring. Currently, Ring devices can integrate with Amazon’s voice-controlled assistant Alexa.

Interestingly, Ring CEO and chief inventor James Siminoff brought the product, then called Doorbot, onto the show Shark Tank in 2013, failing to make a deal. In November, Siminoff gave an update on the show, saying that Ring is valued at more than $1 billion and employs more than 1,300 people.
 

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