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Specifically Speaking with Andrew Hall – “Security industry remains vibrant”

Specifically Speaking with Andrew Hall – “Security industry remains vibrant” Founder of HLM Associates discusses physical security design and production, industrial security challenges, and more

Specifically Speaking with Andrew Hall – “The security industry remains a vibrant industry”

YARMOUTH, Maine—Andrew Hall founded HLM Associates in 2015, and with a staff providing over 100 years of security experience, the company certainly lives by its credo of “Your security is our priority.”

HLM Associates is a Strasburg, Va.-based professional security consulting, management services and staff augmentation provider, and physical security specifier focused on the protection of classified information.

“As a veteran-owned small business with many years of government, military, intelligence, and private sector security experience, we provide comprehensive, responsive, and cost-effective security consulting, staff augmentation and support, risk management, and educational services,” said Hall, who currently serves as director of physical security services. “Our client base includes the Department of Defense, the intelligence community, civilian agencies, and the private sector industrial base.”

As part of Security Systems News’ monthly column Specifically Speaking, the following is an exclusive Q&A with Hall:

SSN: What's your title and role at the company?

HALL: After founding HLM Associates in 2015, my current role is management of the physical security services team on design, construction oversight, and accreditation support for sensitive compartmented information facilities (SCIF), special access program facilities (SAPF) and open storage facilities. Our team of security professionals manages projects across the U.S. with a concentration in the greater Washington, D.C. area.

SSN: What kinds of systems do you design/specify and what services does the company provide?

HALL: HLM Associates provides two distinct lines of business to our customers, but those service offerings often coincide with one another. For example, we focus on specifying security systems, such as UL 2050 and UL 1076 listed systems, for SCIFs, SAPFs, and open storage facilities which protect classified information at varying levels.

Post build and accreditation, many of our clients request our assistance in managing their cleared environments and industrial security programs thereafter through fractional support contracts and task orders. For some clients, our security managers become co-employees of their companies and are their appointed FSO, CSSO, CPSO, and/or ITPSO. For others, we simply provide alternate or assistant-managed security services. We are a one-source solution to industrial security challenges.

SSN: What vertical markets does the company specialize in? Any interesting projects that you can mention?

HALL: Our market focus is on defense and intelligence contractors with a few direct U.S. government contracts. We have completed several large headquarters projects over the past eight years for key clients to include FTS International and SecureG, which included commercial risk assessments with appropriate headquarters design, build-out oversight, and commissioning for move-in and ongoing industrial security management support.

SecureG builds innovative PKI solutions for devices and virtualized critical infrastructure. SecureG’s next-generation PKI is an essential component of Zero Trust Architecture initiatives in government and commercial supply chains. HLM Associates teamed with Force Security (integrator) to provide SecureG with one of the most secure underground facilities within the U.S. This facility has advanced intrusion detection, shock, and vibration coverage, integrated biometric credentials, and PIN which also counts people into the facility enforcing two-person integrity, managing access based on roles within different sub-areas/rooms. All rooms have both camera and two-way audio microphone coverage, and PKI ceremonies are taped and stored in perpetuity.

HLM Associates teamed with Faraday Structures to supply integrated rF countermeasure/reduction, which was designed and integrated into the construction. Faraday Structures supplied EMCoat rF paint and EMCaulk products as rF countermeasures. These products were chosen for ease of installation and effectiveness and suitability within the environment. Other products, such as rFoil, could not be overlapped from the solid wall to the natural limestone ceilings and walls. The EMCoat could be overlapped into the grounding plane (limestone ceiling and walls) and then overcoated with the standard “ultra white” to return to the desired finish.

SSN: How did you get started in security and designing/specifying?

HALL: After departing the U.S. Marine Corps in 1999, I went to work for SAIC and began my career journey learning access control systems, intrusion detection systems, guard force management, and U.S. government policy surrounding the protection of classified information. I was quickly introduced to my first design/build project with a CCure ACS & IDS. By April 2000, the first network-based UL 2050 Alarm System protecting classified information was approved by the DIA. Around this time I began participating in the Physical Technical Expert Working Group with the rewrite of DCID 1/21 to DCID 6/9 (Annex B) and have continued to represent the contractor community to present-day ICD 705 Tech Specs v1.5.1 and pending v1.

SSN: Can you talk about what new or emerging technologies you are seeing or specifying today?

HALL: Most new and emerging technologies are not allowed in the protection UL 2050 systems. Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), wireless, and IoT are prohibited technologies with these systems. Use of vibration sensors and lasers are seeing an upturn in use and deployment in harsher environments. Data centers are a good example where standard PIR (passive infrared) may be useless.

SSN: What is your view on the industry moving forward?

HALL: The security industry remains a vibrant industry where open-source threat data, building automation, access control, video surveillance and guard response converge to sense and respond to threats both natural and man-made. The leaders and innovators within the industry continue to explore ways to convert available data into actionable information, and that is my perceived future of our industry.


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