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Specifically Speaking with Eric Reither, Security By Design

Specifically Speaking with Eric Reither, Security By Design

Specifically Speaking with Eric Reither, Security By Design

YARMOUTH, Maine—For this month’s Specifically Speaking column, Security Systems News features Eric Reither, senior consultant, principal at Security By Design Inc. based in Pacheco, Calif., who looks at the evolution and benefits of business/video analytics and machine learning within security.

What's your role at Security By Design?

I work closely with our clients to assist them in making educated security decisions, which will meet their goals, budget and schedules. As a principal, I am also involved in managing the day to day running of the business. I collaborate with our engineering and production teams to ensure that the standards and approach that SBD has been developing over the past 45 years are being followed.

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

I design and specify physical access control systems (PACS), security video systems (SVS), and communications systems like intercoms, wide area broadcast and emergency phones. Our company primarily specializes in developing security standards for our clients, performing general security, vulnerability and threat assessments and creating design and construction documents. We have recently provided database management on a global basis for several clients.

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

SBD primarily focuses on the Commercial, High Tech, Government, Education, and Finance markets, however, we have worked on projects across all verticals that include airports, utilities, high end residential, jails, and casinos. Most of our clients are multi-site, multi-national, or campuses.

We just completed a large global PACS migration for a major technology company in which we had to have 45 sites surveyed in 10 countries, replace 90 PACS controllers and power supplies that were supporting approximately 830 card readers. This effort used 6 different security integrators while keeping everything running. Then the team had to test all devices, review all as-builts, and sign-off all of it during the COVID-19 restrictions. I’m pleased to say that, while not everything went exactly as planned, at the end, the client, the security integrators, and SBD felt like the project was a success. This is our goal for every project, to have a Win-Win-Win!

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

I worked for a hospital communications company for 9 years starting off as an installer, moving up to estimator/designer. At that time, we specialized in nurse call, paging, CCTV and infant abduction systems. The company started manufacturing their own product and I then migrated to working with our VARs to train them on our product. Then a previous mentor of mine, who worked at SBD, reached out as they needed a liaison between the Engineering and Consulting groups. I have been at SBD now for 20 years and worked in several roles, from a liaison, to assisting in developing our design layouts and CAD standards, to security consultant, and now as Principal and Senior Consultant.

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

When I started in the industry, few systems had any “out of the box” ability to integrate with other systems, but now everyone has an SDK to allow a much deeper level of integration. We are seeing several of the top end security companies creating platforms that allow many other systems to work together in a more seamless manner.

I also have watched the world of analytics morph from an exciting “yet unreliable” tool to an essential proven tool through the maturing of machine learning. This includes both video and business analytics. During this COVID era, which I suspect will have lingering effects for many years to come, we can now know who is in a building, how close they were to others, who they interacted with, if they have a fever and are wearing a mask, and trigger actions if someone turns out to be infected.

What is your view on the industry moving forward? 

In my opinion, the use of machine learning to further refine detection of aberrant behavior, whether through video surveillance, building Wi-Fi, or other sensors and monitoring tools, will continue the migration from monitoring and responding to incidents to proactively detecting probable threats, intervention, and education to mitigate against incidents occurring. I expect these tools to be employed to change the recent trend of school violence.

Many of the necessary tools exist today but are either too costly to employ on a large scale for many clients, or there is a lack of desire to do what it necessary by the decision makers. Nobody wants to do anything that appears to walk on others’ freedoms, but at the same time, nobody wants to have an incident that was preventable. It is always a conundrum.

Specifically Speaking, a Security Systems News monthly column, features Q-and-A with a security consultant provided to SSN by SecuritySpecifiers.


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