Subscribe to

Blogs

Feel like poking around the NetVersant case?

 - 
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Have at it. It's currently making my head hurt, but I think I've pulled out some interesting information. Look for a story on our newswire tomorrow.

Cantronic buys in China

 - 
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Not a huge deal, but I think it's interesting that Canadian infrared video maker Cantronic has bought into Chinese video management firm AVINFO. IMS is talking about China being a $3 billion surveillance market. I guess Cantronic's trying to get in while the getting's good:
"The combination of AVINFO's network management software and Cantronic's camera products will allow us to offer a complete solution in China's rapidly expanding security and surveillance market," stated James Zahn, president and CEO of Cantronic. "AVINFO has established its software as one of the leading management platforms for monitoring and surveillance, with small and large installations in some 60 Chinese cities. As these cities expand their networks they are more likely to choose a proven software solution with a user interface that their staff has been trained on. With AVINFO, Cantronic has improved its product offering, acquired a growing customer base in China and added talented technical and sales management. Cantronic is now well positioned to achieve its China growth strategy."

Video surveillance is unbiased

 - 
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
There's an interesting article in the Times today about video surveillance being used against police officers, either in vindicating accused individuals or in the process of perjury investigations against officers. I won't get into the specifics of the article, though it's a good read, because what did or didn't happen isn't really relevant. What I find interesting is that video gets us to a place that seems to be harder and harder to find nowadays: the truth. In a litigious society that's fallen in love with the argument at the expense of fact, good video surveillance delivers an unbiased eye and shows us what actually happened, rather than forcing us to rely on memories and explanations. There's real power in being able to see what actually happened. For those who cry "Big Brother" every time another camera is installed, this is yet another argument for more cameras to be installed. People are not watching these cameras in real time. No one is watching what you're doing. But if you're assaulted by a police officer, you can prove it happened. Isn't that empowering for the the little guy in this country who might be worried about being marginalized by a growing government? Isn't making everyone more accountable a good thing? As long as they're used correctly, video cameras offer public protection in a very real way.

Get in the central station source book

 - 
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
It's time for SSN's annual central station/monitoring source book, where we list all the third-party centrals and the services they offer. To get in, all you need to do is fill out this survey: http://vovici.com/wsb.dll/s/3cdcg24684 But do it now, because the DEADLINE IS MARCH 26. Why so soon? Because we've found that no one fills it out after the first week we send announce anyway. And the sense of urgency might actually generate more responses. Plus, everyone's going to be at ISC West after that.

More on the stimulus

 - 
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I continue to be wary of people who think the stimulus package is going to be a boon for security. Here's another article talking about how ports are likely to use the money. Security isn't what they're concerned about:
The American Association of Port Authorities says more than 200 projects are available for funding to the tune of about $8.5 billion. Projects range from a $100 million lock replacement in the Soo locks to dock wall reconstruction for the Ports of Indiana and numerous dredging and channel maintenance projects around the county.
...
"Ports got a push after 9/11 with port security, but the transportation infrastructure component has really been given short shrift," he said. "There are people on the Hill and in the administration that understand both domestic and international trade is what really helps propel the economy, and if we're going to nurture that business, we've got to make sure the transportation connections are efficient."
Security will be a part of this stimulus, but when they say infrastructure, they mean infrastructure. There's going to be a lot of concrete poured and steel bent because of this stimulus package, but maybe not as much wire pulled and cameras installed as the industry might have hoped.

Bay Alarm getting into medical monitoring

 - 
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
It looks like another big traditional alarm company has gotten into the medical alert monitoring business. I've blogged recently about traditional security companies getting into medical alert monitoring, and about other companies exploiting an under-served market. It just seems once you've got the equipment in place, medical monitoring, personal tracking--protecting people rather than locations--is a natural extension. Should more traditional alarm companies jump on the bandwagon? Should traditional medical alert monitoring companies like SafetyCare be worried? As Christopher Baskin of American Two-Way once said to me, "A rising tide floats all boats."

Smart money likes Brink's and so does Laura

 - 
Monday, March 23, 2009
I'm just brimming with happy news today. Here's a report about what a smart buy Brink's Home Security is ... or will be in the long run. And Brink's booster Jerome Lande's (of MMI hedge fund fame) got nothing on my eighth-grade daughter, Laura, who "bought" this stock as part of a social studies project. She bought it at $20 and the stock's up $2 since her purchase. She keeps me updated, via text, sometimes more than once a day, on its movements.

From the good news folder: Michigan fire co has best year ever

 - 
Monday, March 23, 2009
Wolverine Fire Protection Company,a Michigan fire alarm and sprinkler company that did $38 million in business last year is having "its best year in half a century," according to this story from the Flint Journal. (which I'm sure is thrilled to have some happy economic news to report for a change) This family-owned business has 130 employees and six offices in five states.

Good to see a security firm leading community

 - 
Monday, March 23, 2009
Here's a nice story about Per Mar Security moving back into offices that were destroyed by flooding along the Cedar River in Cedar Rapids. While some security companies spend too much time in the background, I think it's important that they have prominent roles in their community. If security firms are seen as community leaders they're less likely to be seen as taking advantage of people's fears and insecurities. Here's the video - good press for Per Mar:

This is not convergence

 - 
Monday, March 23, 2009
U.S. Senators, scared by Chinese hacks of their computers, are calling for a cyber-security czar. You know, someone who reports directly to the president and would be in charge of ensuring the nation's confidential and classified documents aren't being downloaded by foreign governments. But isn't that already somebody's job? Like the Chief National Security Advisor or the Secretary of Defense or somebody else who already reports to President Obama? I'm reminded of Jack Johnson's keynote from TechSec where he made it clear that it's impossible to separate physical and logical security. Say, as part of that hack of a senator's computer, the hacker downloads an iCal file (this is clearly make-believe; no senator is actually on a Mac, I'm sure), and therefore knows where that senator will be every day for the next month. Isn't that a significant physical security threat? Of course it is. The protection of files and data is tantamount to the protection of people and places and the more you go about separating the two tasks the weaker you'll be in the end. If you want to emphasize the importance of cyber security, hire a bunch more logical security experts and place them in the service of your top national security people, but don't elevate the threat to a cabinet-level position just because you don't really understand it.

Pages