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I-View Now improves MASterMind integration

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

I-View Now, provider of a cloud-based video monitoring platforms for central stations, recently announced an updated and improved integration with monitoring center automation software platform partner MASterMind.

This updated integration improves signaling by utilizing a dedicated MASrecv I-View Now Receiver. Built in conjunction with MAS, these processes employ dedicated and proprietary signal types and signal formats which provide richer contextual information and video, the company said.

“We are thrilled to further our partnership with MASterMind and offer these enhanced features to monitoring stations and their customers. This integration enables the distribution of better information to end users, operators, and first responders,” Larry Folsom, president of I-View Now, said in the announcement. “We’re very proud of this integration allowing for true collaboration between all parties. Our ultimate goal is to catch the bad guy more often, while greatly reducing unwanted false alarm dispatches.”

The MASterMind Auto-Notification and Verification Interface with I-View Now integration provides mobile verification to central station customers. This process allows the end user to cancel the alarm, request dispatch, and call the monitoring center.

“A key value at MAS has always been to help alarm monitoring stations streamline their dispatching processes and provide better service to their customers,” Shin Voeks, general manager for MAS, said in a prepared statement. “The MASterMind integration with I-View enables users to conveniently cancel or confirm an alarm using their mobile devices, and allows monitoring stations to respond to alarms more effectively.”

Cybersecurity benchmarking study released

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

A new benchmarking study of the cybersecurity practices and initiatives of global organizations provides insight into the cyber landscape today and moving forward over the next few years. The study, called The Cybersecurity Imperitive, was produced in partnership with ESI ThoughtLab and WSJ Pro Cybersecurity and is sponsored by Security Industry Association (SIA) and several other partners.

“As validated by SIA’s just-released 2019 Security Megatrends—highlighting the top factors influencing both short- and long-term change in the global security industry—security companies see cybersecurity as the dominant trend shaping the industry,” SIA CEO Don Erickson said in an email announcing the study. “Having these clear benchmarks around cybersecurity not only facilitates the advancement of cybersecurity within your own organizations, but it also allows firms like yours to deliver appropriate solutions to your customers.”

One key finding in the study is that digital transformation is exposing companies to higher and more costly cyber risks. For example, those whose cybersecurity practices do not keep pace with their digital transformation initiatives are more likely to see $1 million or more in losses from cyberattacks. The research showed that cyber risks rise dramatically as companies embrace new technologies, adopt open platforms and tap ecosystems of partners and suppliers.

“Companies need to make sure that their cybersecurity programs keep pace with their digital transformation effort,” Lou Celi, CEO of ESI ThoughtLab and director of the study, said in the announcement. “Cybersecurity should not be an afterthought. It needs to be integrated into the fabric of an organization’s growth strategy.”

According to the study, there will be an increase in cyber-threat vectors by 2020, including:
•    Attacks through partners, customers and vendors (247% growth)
•    Supply chains (+146%)
•    Denial of service (+144%)
•    Apps (+85%)
•    Embedded systems (84%)

Surveyed companies see high risks from external threat actors, such as unsophisticated hackers (cited by 59% of firms), cybercriminals (57%) and social engineers (44%), but the greatest threat lies with untrained general staff (87%). Another 57 percent of firms see data sharing with partners and vendors as their main IT vulnerability. Nonetheless, only 17 percent of companies have made significant progress in training staff and partners on cybersecurity awareness.

The study also cites the leading cyber-threat vectors in 2018, which are:
•    Malware (81%)
•    Phishing (64%)
•    Ransomware (63%)
•    Viruses (62%)
•    Attacks from Apps (62%)

Another key finding is companies are boosting their cybersecurity investments. To cope with rising cyber risks, surveyed companies are increasing their cybersecurity investment by 7 percent this year and 14 percent next year. The biggest upsurge will come from platform companies, which are hiking their spending 59 percent this year and 64 percent next year. On average, companies with revenue between $250 million and $1 billion will spend $2.9 million next year; $1-5 billion ($5.7 million); $5-20 billion ($10.7 million); and $20 billion+ ($16.8 million).

According to the study, companies now use a variety of technologies to improve cybersecurity, such as multi-factor authentication (90%), blockchain (68%), Internet of Things (62%) and artificial intelligence (AI) (44%).

Security Systems News’ Class of 2017 “20 under 40” winner Ryan Fritts, CISO, ADT, said, "We are using AI in our access and entitlement management to analyze the behaviors of end-users and determine whether or not their behaviors are risky."

Over the next two years, studied firms indicated they plan to greatly expand the use of the following technology solutions:
•    Behavioral analytics (+1,735%)
•    Smart grid technologies (+831%)
•    Deception technology (+684%)
•    Hardware security and resilience (+114%)

The study also found that as corporate cybersecurity systems mature, the probability of costly cyberattacks declines. Cybersecurity beginners have a 21.1-percent probability of cyberattacks generating over $1 million in losses versus 16.1 percent for intermediates and 15.6 percent for leaders.

"Security is a holistic discipline. You need to manage both physical and cyber risks,” Joseph Gittens, SIA director of standards, and Cybersecurity Imperative study advisor, said in a prepared statement. “You could have the best physical security ever—guards, gates, guns and surveillance—but if someone can access your network from the comfort of their living room, it's not doing anything. The reverse is true as well. You could have a ton of cybersecurity but fail to lock down your physical space."
 

AvantGuard links false alarm spike with presidential alert

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

OGDEN, Utah—Last week, on Oct. 3, there was a test of the Presidential Alert system, which went out to televisions and radio as well as mobile phones. AvantGuard Monitoring, based here, noticed that there was a spike of false alarms—including glass break sensors and PERS button presses—linked to the test.

“Oftentimes, [when] we see a spike in a certain kind of alarms, they’re related to a storm or a localized natural disaster, and it generally affects a certain type of alarm like a security [system],” Justin Bailey, AvantGuard’s president and COO, told SSN. A simultaneous spike in security and PERS was very unusual for the company, he added.

The alert’s tone happened to match the frequency that some glass break sensors look for, AvantGuard said in an announcement, which caused the sensors to send false alarms. “It was a unique event for us. … As we started looking to see a common causality on the security side, an unusual number of alarms were [triggered by] glass break sensors. It’s not uncommon to have one of them in the buffer at the scale we have,” Bailey said. AvantGuard’s monitoring centers received about 70 glass break alarms that it can link to the presidential alert.

A member of AvantGuard’s team recognized the coincidence in the time of the alarms and the presidential alert, according to Bailey. “When you get a drop of signals, you know something is going on, because of the scale of how many alarms we received in that short time frame,” he said. “It was … part of our troubleshooting process to find commonalities and then get into causality. It was really just our good monitoring center leadership team that made that connection.”

AvantGuard received about 100 PERS alarms related to the presidential alert, as some seniors with PERS devices heard the sound of the alert and didn’t know what the alert tone was or if it was coming from their PERS device. “It was a matter of just talking to the subscribers as we connected to the two-way and—once we determined that they were ok—asking why it was that they had pushed their buttons,” Bailey said.

AvantGuard developed a system to address alarms that were likely false. “With the suspect alarms, we were able to partition them in a different queue, and then dedicate operators to work through those alarms that we believed were affected, allowing us to free up other operators to work alarms that we suspected … were actual, true alarms,” Bailey said.

“The reason we caught it and handled it so well is because we’ve already been prepared to deal with situations like that. So, I think it makes us more aware of challenges living in a connected world,” Bailey said.

Iluminar CEO Eddie Reynolds wins inaugural SIA Progress Award

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Security Industry Association (SIA) has named industry veteran Edwina (Eddie) Reynolds, president and CEO of Iluminar Inc., as the 2018 recipient of the inaugural SIA Progress Award, an honor presented by SIA’s Women in Security Forum celebrating individuals who pave the way to success for women in the security industry. The award will be presented to Reynolds during SIA Honors Night on Wednesday, Nov. 14, in New York City, in conjunction with the ISC East conference and expo.

“I am truly humbled to be the first recipient of the SIA Progress Award, and I want to thank SIA for this incredible honor,” Reynolds said in the award announcement. “I have been working in the security industry for over 25 years, and while challenges still exist, the industry has made a lot of progress, and I am committed to continuing to advocate for more equality and more diversity across the field. As influencers, leaders and companies across the security industry have a greater focus on the advancement of women, I believe we can truly empower women to be leaders and agents of change in their respective fields and shift the narrative in our industry.”

Reynolds has been the founder and CEO of multiple established CCTV lighting companies. She began her security career as an account executive for U.K. integrator Chubb Fire & Security in the mid-1990s and went on to work for Pinkerton Security, Rainbow CCTV and Sony. From 2005 to 2008, Reynolds was the U.S. partner for a U.K.-based CCTV lighting company, and she founded Iluminar in 2009. Reynolds has led Iluminar to develop award-winning solutions and be the lighting solution partner for several market leaders. In 2018, she was appointed to the SIA Executive Council, where she works with other security leaders to launch initiatives that support the growth and advancement of the security industry at large.

“SIA is proud to present Eddie Reynolds with the first-ever SIA Progress Award for serving as a longtime advocate and role model for women in the security industry,” Don Erickson, SIA’s CEO, said in the announcement. “Mentorship and thought leadership are critical to helping women grow in this field, and we applaud Eddie for her dedicated involvement in the industry and contributing her expert insight, knowledge and advice.”

Reynolds has been a longtime supporter of initiatives to support the advancement of women and overall diversity in the security and technology industries. As part of these efforts, she traveled to the University of Arkansas on behalf of the International Organization of Black Security Executives in early 2018 to speak to students about career development skills and job opportunities within the industry.

Reynolds recently contributed to the first women-authored issue of SIA Technology Insights with an article on the importance of external illumination systems when lighting for video surveillance and will speak on a women’s panel at ISC West 2019, coming up April 10-12 in Las Vegas, Nev.

In addition to presenting the SIA Progress Award, SIA will honor industry leaders at Honors Night 2018 with the George R. Lippert Memorial Award, the Insightful Practitioner Award, the Jay Hauhn Excellence in Partnerships Award and the Women in Biometrics Award. SIA will also honor the 2018 recipients of the SIA RISE Scholarship and the inaugural Denis R. Hebert Identity Management Scholarship.

Editor’s Note: Security Systems News is excited but not surprised to see Reynolds honored in this way, as SSN featured her in our annual Women in Security issue in 2016. You can read the profile here. And speaking on women in security, if you know of a woman who is making a difference in the industry, we would love to highlight her in our December Women in Security issue. Emails can be sent to: pragusa@securitysystemsnews.com.
 

Brinks Home Security teams with Mission 500 for annual 5K

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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Brinks Home Security is teaming with Mission 500 for the company’s third annual Brinks Home Security 5K on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018, in Farmers Branch, Texas. Desiree Linden, the fastest woman in the 2018 Boston Marathon, will join the event as a special guest. Organizers are hoping to top last year’s total of more than $35,000 to support children and communities in need throughout North Texas including those affected by Hurricane Florence.

For those who can’t attend the event, there is an option to sign up as a “virtual runner” with all proceeds to benefit Mission 500, a nonprofit organization that works closely with the security industry to serve the needs of children and communities in crisis.

“We’re proud that the Brinks Home Security 5K is becoming a signature event each fall,” Jeff Gardner, Brinks Home Security president and CEO said in the announcement. “We are especially excited that Des Linden will be running in this year’s race to help us make an impact in our community.”

The race is open to people of all ages. Participants can register now and find more information at brinkshomesecurity5k.com. Registration is $35 and cash prizes and trophies are planned for the top finishers in several categories.

Mission 500 is once again partnering with Brinks Home Security for this year’s event. Corporate sponsorships are available at the Platinum, Gold and Silver levels, and in-kind sponsorships (product donations) are also encouraged. Sponsor benefits include a table at the event, company logo on event marketing materials, verbal recognition, and the opportunity to increase the sponsor’s profile within the local community.

Corporate sponsors include Alarm.com and Cyber Group (Platinum); CDE Tech Solutions (Gold); KMPG, MFB Business Solutions, Northern Lights Direct, and USI Southwest (Silver); and SMB Suite (Bronze). In Kind sponsors include Alpha Graphics and Three Nations Brewery.

For more information on Mission 500 or on how to become involved in supporting Mission 500, contact Jeff Eichenlaub at jeichenlaub@mission500.org, or call 631-219-8728.

UTC finalizes S2 Security deal, combines S2 and Lenel

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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

UTC Climate, Controls & Security has completed its recently announced purchase of S2 Security, and will combine the newly acquired company with Lenel, creating LenelS2. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

LenelS2 will provide scalable, customer solutions in the access control and security management systems industry, serving global enterprises to small- and mid-sized companies, the announcement said. The business is part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp.

"LenelS2 unites two world-class teams with complementary strengths," Alex Housten, VP and GM, Fire & Security Products, UTC Climate, Controls & Security, said in the announcement. "Together, we have more than 50,000 systems installed worldwide. We look forward to providing enhanced service capabilities and offerings for our customers, and accelerating our access control and video-centric solutions for intelligent buildings across the globe."

Lenel president Jeff Stanek will lead the new organization and S2 Security founder and CEO John Moss will serve as chief product officer. The broader leadership team will consist of key members from each company, the announcement said.

"These are two leading brands that share a strong culture of innovation and commitment to customer service," Stanek said in a prepared statement. "Together, we will harness the power of our talented workforce to better serve the needs of customers and offer them more choices."

Moss said in the announcement, "The depth of Lenel's OnGuard platform and BlueDiamond™ mobile credentialing together with the breadth of S2's product ecosystem and channel, creates a new offering that is far greater than the sum of its parts."

Moss continued, "We will continue to advance the capabilities of all product lines, including NetBox and OnGuard."

Houlihan Lokey, global boutique investment bank focused on M+A and capital raising transactions, advised S2 on the transaction. The bank has a practice focused on the security industry and had developed a relationship with Moss, Michael Morabito, director at Houlihan Lokey, told Security Systems News.

“The sale process was robust with strong interest from a number of parties both domestic and foreign – the interest level from financial sponsors interested in deploying capital in the security industry was strong,” Morabito said.

He continued, “For Lenel/UTC, the new LenelS2 combination helps them to re-invigorate innovation within their organization, helps complement Lenel’s enterprise end-user base with S2’s strong SMB end-users/references, add world-class access control as well as video solutions.”

ADT and Amazon team up

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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

BOCA RATON, Fla.—ADT announced a new strategic initiative with Amazon where it will support integration of Amazon’s new Alexa Guard feature with the ADT Pulse security system.

Starting later this year, this partnership helps ADT customers enhance their home’s security capabilities by detecting specific sounds via the customer’s Echo device when they’re away from home, ADT said. Once available, ADT professional installation and monitoring solutions will be offered to customers through the Alexa Guard website and Amazon mobile app.

“In 2018, ADT set out to redefine security with innovative products and services, such as ADT Go and Digital Security. The integration of Amazon’s Alexa Guard with ADT’s Pulse security system and professional installation and security monitoring services is an exciting next step on our innovation roadmap and our successful collaboration with Amazon,” Jim DeVries, current president and incoming CEO of ADT, said in the announcement.

He continued, “Amazon’s vision to simplify the smart home experience through voice-enabled action matches perfectly with ADT’s passion for security and customer service, making us natural collaborators to ensure our customer’s smart home is a safe home. Today’s announcement will extend our footprint in the security and automation space, open new eCommerce sales and marketing channels for our products and services, and further expand our leadership in the category. We look forward to continuing to work alongside Amazon to provide innovative security solutions to our customers and broader audiences.”

ADT worked closely with Amazon to seamlessly integrate Alexa Guard with ADT’s Pulse security system and professional monitoring to enhance ADT customers’ security when they’re away from home. When a customer enables Alexa Guard on their Amazon Echo device and says “Alexa, I’m leaving,” Alexa will notify the customer if she detects the sound of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms or breaking glass while the customer is away. These notifications, called Smart Alerts, are delivered to a customer’s smartphone to let them know which sound was detected, and provide an audio clip of that event. Customers with an ADT Pulse system using Alexa Guard can choose to forward Smart Alerts to ADT monitoring professionals to help determine if additional action should be taken, including dispatching first responders if needed.

“Customers love using Alexa to help make their daily lives easier, and we continue to build new voice-first experiences to make customers’ homes even smarter,” Daniel Rausch, VP, Amazon Alexa, said in the announcement. “ADT has over 140 years of experience in the professional security installation and monitoring business. We’re so excited to team up with them for the launch of Alexa Guard. Since ADT brought the simplicity of Alexa voice control to their home security systems, we’ve heard from customers that they enjoy the added convenience and peace of mind they have using the ADT Pulse skill. Now, with Alexa Guard we’re making that experience even better for customers. When Alexa Guard is enabled, customers can choose to have their Echo devices detect the sounds of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, or breaking glass when they’re away from home. When the selected sound is detected, customers with ADT Pulse will be able to forward their Smart Alerts to ADT, offering an extra layer of security.”

Later this year, ADT will offer new Echo devices directly to new and existing customers, assisting with product set-up and additional support for those who purchase the device through ADT. Additionally, ADT and Amazon are working together to provide offers and promotions to Amazon customers for ADT services and solutions, creating eCommerce opportunities for ADT while enabling customers to have enhanced home security options nationwide.

 

Huronia acquires Ontario Security Systems

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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

MIDLAND, Ontario—Huronia Alarm & Fire Security Inc., a full service security company based here, recently announced its purchase of Ontario Security Systems' monitored accounts.

OSS president and owner Henry Droder wanted to retire, and “we were already doing their monitoring, so, it made sense for him to pass the business over to us,” Rob Thorburn Jr., Huronia’s president and CEO, told Security Systems News. “The customers already knew of us, already [were] familiar with our station. … It’s a pretty seamless integration going forward.”

The deal, finalized at the end of August, brought about 450 accounts to Huronia. This account base was mostly commercial, small-to-medium business. Huronia’s total account base is now more than 10,000 monitored customers, with about 60 percent of those being residential.

OSS was a well-run, family owned business, Thorburn noted. “Since they’re in our backyard, it just makes sense to stay with a local company, rather than going to a national,” he said. “It fits within out boundaries quite nicely.”

Huronia’s main footprint is around Georgian Bay in Ontario, Thorburn said. “The nice thing about it: [OSS] accounts can be serviced out of three offices easily, because it’s about equal distance—more or less within 15 minutes of every office,” he said.

SSN seeks nominations for great Women in Security

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Security Systems News is preparing to once again highlight notable women in the security industry, with a special Women in Security feature in our December print edition, as well as online.

Security has traditionally been a male-dominated industry. SSN has been doing this feature for several years and the response has been great each year—hearing from various professionals and companies about the importance of promoting diversity in the industry.

If there is a woman in your business that you feel should be applauded, please email her name and contact information to us, along with a message about why you believe she should be recognized. Emails can be sent to Sives@securitysystemsnews.com.

If you are interested to see SSN’s Women in Security profile articles from last year, this article will give you an overview and direct you to each piece. 

Parks looks at IP camera sales, DIY’s impact

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

An estimated 7.7 million standalone and all-in-one networked/IP cameras will be sold in the U.S. in 2018, with $889 million in revenues, according to research from Parks Associates entitled Smart Product Market Assessment: Networked Cameras.

“Networked cameras have experienced a positive growth rate over the last year—2018 is expected to witness a roughly 11 percent increase in unit sales from the year prior,” Dina Abdelrazik, research analyst, Parks Associates, told Security Systems News. “Overall, the broadband household penetration rate is estimated at 9 percent in 2017 and is expected to nearly triple by 2023. Furthermore, the CAGR rate for all-in-one camera purchases from 2018 to 2023 is about 19 percent.”

Abdelrazik noted that advances in image recognition and ease of self-installation, combined with a strong user experience, “are driving increased adoption, with retail channels (online and in-store) starting to dominate sales,” she said. “IP cameras are key security-related devices and provide peace of mind to consumers. As such, these devices are consistently among the most popular smart home devices.”

While retail channels dominate (approximately two-thirds) in terms of channel purchase locations for consumers, security dealers were the next option, followed closely by “broadband service provider” and “direct from manufacturer.”

According to Parks’ findings, DIY cameras represent the majority of sales as these products are improving consumer experiences for installation, setup and usage. The good news for security dealers is that consumers still value recommendations and setup assistance, as 7 out of 10 consumers planning to buy a networked/IP camera would consider recommendations from an insurance or security company to be “important or very important,” according to Parks.

“Standalone IP cameras, video doorbells, and all-in-one cameras all provide an added layer of security for the home alongside security systems,” said Abdelrazik. “Security dealers have an opportunity to offer these products during their sales or installation processes to educate the consumer on the value of the device, as well as enhance the overall utility of the security system.”

She continued, “The attachment rate of video cameras and home control products to new security systems continues to climb, as does the incremental RMR from video services. Video provides unique value to consumers. Once consumers have the ability to check in to see a live view of their home from anywhere in the world, it is hard to give up that experience.”

Parks’ market assessment notes that voice integration and the development of AI as it relates to image and sound recognition will drive the next generation of networked cameras. For example, more than 80 percent of consumers who own or plan to buy a networked camera consider image or sound recognition abilities to identify safety and security events (like glass breaking or a person falling) to be appealing or very appealing, Parks found.

Looking forward, Abdelrazik said AI and the integration of voice control “will help drive further engagement with consumers, which will continue to drive positive consumer experiences. While consumer privacy concerns do exist with networked/IP cameras, we project double-digit growth for the IP camera market, as consumer familiarity rises, price points continue to drop, and millennials buy homes, acquire pets, and begin having families.”

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