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Remote monitoring market exceeds $29 billion in 2011

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09/26/2012

The world market for remote monitoring services was worth more than $29 billion in 2011, with the North American market accounting for about 45 percent of revenues, according to a new report from IMS Research.

Alarm.com: ‘Reduce Your Use’ will help increase RMR

Company says new partnership with utility will save customers money and drive demand for ‘smart’ thermostats and security systems
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09/26/2012

VIENNA, Va.—Alarm.com has found a new way to tap into consumers’ growing interest in saving energy: It is partnering with a California utility in a program that gives Alarm.com customers extra savings on their utility bills if they cut energy usage during peak demand times.

Telguard kit upgrades 2G communicators facing ‘sunset’

Commercial units can be converted to 3G/4G while preserving UL certifications
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09/26/2012

ATLANTA, Ga.—Telguard, a provider of wireless alarm monitoring solutions, has rolled out a conversion kit that allows dealers to upgrade their commercial 2G cellular communicators to 3G/4G without voiding UL certifications at the installation site.

Help the CSAA track trends in monitoring

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What are central stations doing to keep up with times—and the competition—when it comes to technology, reducing false alarms and other issues of importance to the industry?

The Central Station Alarm Association would like to know.

The CSAA is looking for help in tracking technology trends and investments in personnel at monitoring centers across the country. The goal is to establish a databank “that will be useful in benchmarking performance” in the industry, according to CSAA Executive Vice President Steve Doyle.

The topics range from the basics—the number of accounts that a central handles and the certifications it has—to specifics about advanced technologies and operational policies. PERS, GPS-assisted calls, UL2050 accounts, video monitoring, video-verified alarms, ASAP protocols and employee training procedures—it’s all covered.

It’s important information that will allow the CSAA to see where the monitoring industry is and where it’s heading. The 25-question survey is also easy to complete—I filled out a placebo version in five minutes, faster than the refs could sort out a holding call in the Pats-Ravens game.

To complete the survey, click here. Participants will receive an executive summary of the findings, which will be released publicly Nov. 11-13 at the CSAA Fall Operations Management Seminar in Fairfax, Va.
 

Panasonic post reorg

Dealers to gather in Arizona
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09/25/2012

PHILADELPHIA—Panasonic dealers from security and other business units will gather in Chandler, Ariz., on Oct. 15, the first meeting since Panasonic last spring announced its latest reorganization into what is now called PSCNA, Panasonic System Communications Company of North America.

Illinois enacts new law on dorm sprinklers

All public and private colleges and universities must install sprinklers by September 2014
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09/24/2012

ORLAND PARK, Ill.—Parents of college students should be able to rest easier as the result of a new law requiring fire sprinklers in on-campus dormitories at public and private colleges and universities in Illinois by September 2014, according to the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board.

SIA urges industry to tell candidates that security matters

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09/19/2012

YARMOUTH, Maine—Summer is over, the political conventions are a memory and Congress is back in session. Pressure is building on Capitol Hill about how to fund the federal government through March 2013, with items of great interest to the security industry hanging in the balance.

KRG Capital invests in Convergint Technologies

With cash infusion, Convergint is on acquisition trail
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09/19/2012

SCHAUMBURG, Ill.—Convergint Technologies will look at “acquisitions that would complement [its] strong services focus and IT security capabilities” as the result of a new investment, announced Sept. 17, by KRG Capital, Convergint CEO Dan Moceri told Security Systems News.

Self-monitoring on the down low

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I just saw an item that takes self-monitoring of a home security alarm system to new heights … or should I say to new lows?

It also falls under the category of: “Dude, wouldn’t it be easier (not to mention safer) to have your alarm system professionally monitored?”

What I saw was on a site called Hack A Day. The site is devoted to news about hacking, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised about the item, which describes how a hacker who wanted to cancel his monitoring contract decided to rig up a system in which he could monitor his security system himself.

Security Systems News has already written about the drawbacks of legitimate self-monitored systems like Lowe’s Iris home management system. Check out what my colleague Rich Miller wrote on that topic about how most homeowners really don’t want to function as their own central station, trying to decide when to call 911 or not.

In the case of this hacker … yeah, so after what looks like a lot of work he reportedly can now monitor his home security system himself. But to provide the service a central station does, he has to be keeping tabs on his home 24/7 and know how to respond appropriately to each emergency when it occurs. Those kinds of benefits can’t just be hacked into.

State of the cloud: Is it safer than you think?

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Is your cloud provider secure?

That question, the basis of a TechSec forum in February, came to mind again this week with the release of Alert Logic’s “State of Cloud Security Report—Fall 2012.” The company, a provider of security solutions for the cloud, issued the report after analyzing more than 70,000 security incidents among 1,600 business customers.

Among the key conclusions was that “on-premise IT infrastructure is more likely to be attacked, more often, and through a broader spectrum of attack vendors than cloud-based infrastructures.” The report also cited a higher incidence of “brute force attacks and reconnaissance attacks” in on-premise environments.

The findings echo one of the points made at TechSec: While many security companies don’t trust their data in the cloud, having it on-site doesn’t guarantee it’s going to be safe.

“[Cloud] security is far greater than open data systems,” said TechSec panelist Brian McIlravey, co-CEO of PPM 2000, a manufacturer of incident reporting and investigation management software. “The enterprise-class cloud is very secure. Third parties that hold data take it very seriously—we don’t want it accessed any more than you do.”

McIlravey stressed due diligence when selecting and moving data to a cloud provider, including asking for certification and knowing what is covered in the service-level agreement. He said the same scrutiny should occur internally in the company that is moving data off-site.

“The cloud provider must have certification, but you should be asking the same questions of your IT group,” McIlravey said, referring to data access, encryption and other safeguards.

Due diligence aside, skepticism could well linger in the security industry because of the “myth” that the cloud isn’t as secure as on-site environments, said Stephen Coty, research director at Alert Logic.

“[It] is a stereotype that has prevented the industry from focusing on the real issues impacting enterprise security,” he said in a news release announcing the fall 2012 report. “Rather than falling victim to perception-based beliefs, businesses should leverage factual data to evaluate their vulnerabilities and better plan their security posture.”

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