Great Conversations in Security

Are You Building an Intelligent Organization?

Posted on Apr 12, 2017 2:10:34 PM

A Great Conversation update

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Managing Risk - A View Out the Front Windshield Rather than the Rearview Mirror

Posted on Mar 16, 2017 11:55:16 AM

By Dr. Marc H. Siegel, Director, Global Security and Resilience Projects
Homeland Security Graduate Program San Diego State University

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Tags: Aronson Security Group, risk mitigation efforts, 'The Great Conversation', cyber security

When was the last time you had a Great Conversation?

Posted on Mar 13, 2017 11:52:18 AM

On March 6 and 7, executive risk, resilience and security leaders from around the United States and the world, convened with one expressed purpose: to influence innovation and change in the profession and the industry. The leaders were not only executive security officers and their teams, but also their ecosystem of current and future vendors such as risk consultants, security risk management services providers, system integrators and technology vendors. This supported one of the core themes of The Great Conversation in Security™; to raise the standard of performance and value for the entire ecosystem with the end goal of protecting our communities, organizations and our countries.

The Great Conversation took place at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center on the Seattle waterfront with close to 300 registered attendees.

The two-day forum was organized around a collective experience of keynotes and panels with interactive digital polling preceded by video interviews that were conducted before the forum focused on the themes of the presentations.  As well, time was set aside for breakouts around critical communication issues in and around the “campus”: the descriptor we use to define the space by which we organize, communicate, educate and work with employees, visitors, contractors and vendors. Finally, several organizations took part in a collective case study involving the identification of their problem, the mustering of experience around the problem, and the scorecard by which they evaluated potential solutions.

Over the next few months we will be publishing stories from these practitioners and thought leaders as they challenge the status quo and continue the conversation throughout the year.

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Delivering Technologies That Make Sense

Posted on Mar 2, 2017 9:00:00 AM

By AMAG Technology, President, Kurt Takahashi

Technologies must work together to deliver a total security solution. Whether an organization needs access control, video, identity management, visitor management or a host of complementary technologies like audio, biometrics, or incident management, operating in silos no longer works.  

Security systems need to reach beyond their speeds and feeds and deliver greater operational value to the business. When you select the right technology, it can completely impact the overall business from a risk, cost and compliance perspective.  It can reduce the amount of time it takes people to manage the day to day operations and save money by infusing technology to improve the overall process.  As an example, reducing lobby officers from two to one or automating the process entirely and have an unattended environment. Another example would be ensuring compliance by automating the process to provide a safe and easy way to ensure all policies are met and the right people are in the right areas with the right approvals.

At AMAG, we listen to our customers and bring technology solutions to market that help end users perform their jobs better. For example, our new Symmetry Control Desk delivers unrivaled unified security in one place. It fuses what historically takes multiple screens and operating windows into one by fusing together both access control events, live and recorded video, control over surrounding devices and automated workflow to help manage the incident and post orders. It makes the end users job easier to identify risk, make decisions and respond to threats. Managing security is simply, easier.

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Tags: Enterprise Security Risk Management, The Great Conversation in Security, AMAG Technology, security landscape

The Business Drivers that Make Communication Critical

Posted on Feb 27, 2017 9:04:00 AM

An Interview with Jim Hoffpauir, President of Zenitel North America the manufacturers of Vingtor-Stentofon solutions.

Why do you come to The Great Conversation?

The reason we continue to come to the Great Conversation in Security is that it challenges us to listen to the Security Executives who are struggling to optimize their programs at the same time as they are dealing with an ever-expanding risk profile. More than ever, we realize that it is essential to give them the means to hear, be heard and, most importantly, be understood in their critical business and security processes.

What have you learned this year, that you can share with us?

Earlier this year we spoke with the ex-CSO of the Port of Miami, Louis Noriega who expanded our definition of “critical communications” to include all port operations and cruise operations as well as security.

We spoke with the project manager of the Georgia Ports Authority integration of access control, video surveillance, intrusion detection and critical IP Intercom-based communications. Using the IP Intercom supported by video gave this port the means to secure the port of entries across 1,200 acres. It gave their Security Operations Center the ability to reduce the time of entry, increase its security, and reduce the expansion of the port’s security officers by remotely confirming or denying access.

We spoke with the Dylan Hayes, Physical Security Program Manager, at Children’s Hospital the #1 children’s hospital on the west coast. To Children’s “patients and families come first”. Because of that, the time it takes to respond to a distress signal can mean the difference between life and death. Seconds matter. Children’s integrated the IP Intercom with the access control and guard radio systems by leveraging the interoperability inherent in the IP Intercom and access control system. “Many hospitals are not able to staff a security operations center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week”, said Larry Minaker, ASG’s Client Manager for Children’s. “At the end of the day, not only was a solution tested and validated that maximized Children’s existing investments, but added operational functionality and communication redundancy was established.  These were important benefits bridging the gap of time sensitive communications and staff response.”  The solution expanded the capability to monitor and respond to all types of critical infrastructure alarms, further improving the culture of safety at Children’s.”

The common themes we see with all these clients, is the need for the following core elements of any evaluation of communications technology we call this:

The Critical Communication Scorecard

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How Visitor Management leads to a Safer, more Secure Facility

Posted on Feb 23, 2017 9:00:00 AM

By Brady People ID

On the surface, the goal of a Visitor Management system seems pretty clear: to process and track guests at a facility to give an organization a better idea of who’s coming and going.

However, Visitor Management has a high-level goal that’s arguably more important than the one mentioned above: to increase facility security.

Visitor Management and facility security go hand-in-hand, and both are key to providing a great experience for employees and guests. A good Visitor Management system will make a site safer in a number of ways.

  1. A Visitor Management installation deters would-be troublemakers.

Imagine a nefarious character approaches a worksite, intent on gaining access to a building and walking off with some cash or other valuables.

He walks up to the front door, casing the joint.

What would he prefer to see in the front lobby: an elevator bank without a soul around or a staffed front desk with a guard standing by a sign that says “GUESTS MUST SIGN IN”?

The answer is obvious: one of those scenarios causes the would-be bad guy to bail and go to a different site, while the other only makes him feel more bold.

One of the most obvious benefits of a staffed Visitor Management installation is that it serves as a visual deterrent, discouraging people with bad intentions from even trying to enter a facility.

A Visitor Management installation at a site entrance sends a clear message to troublemakers of all kinds: this site takes security seriously, and any threats to that security will not be tolerated.

  1. Visitor Management makes it easy to identify people who aren’t authorized to be on-site.

At a busy worksite, like a multi-tenant office building or crowded warehouse, one of the most difficult things for security personnel to do is determine who’s allowed to be on-site and who isn’t.

Particularly at large facilities, faces change frequently. New employees are hired, different groups work different shifts. It can be hard for a security officer to get to know everyone’s face, and can be even harder to quickly identify that face in a crowd.

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Tags: security risks, visitor management, secure facilities

What’s Ahead for Surveillance and Security Storage in 2017?

Posted on Feb 21, 2017 9:09:00 AM

By Wayne Arvidson

2016 saw video surveillance and security increasingly become the focus of mainstream media conversations, with video playing a pivotal role in bringing terror suspects to justice (as it did recently in NYC) and with police body worn cameras capturing sometimes controversial incidents that spark national conversations. Behind the camera, technology has continued to evolve and storage has become an even more important consideration for anyone implementing a surveillance and security system. Integrators, resellers, vendors, and end-users can look to 2017 as a time of vigorous change for video surveillance and security.

  1. Increased Intelligence in Cameras

In 2016 we saw a surge in camera counts – particularly HD cameras– leading to an exponential leap in data to manage.  Not Homeland Security but also universities, municipalities, schools, and commercial enterprises are increasingly adopting cameras with more sensors, wider panoramas, and higher resolutions.  We see these organizations increasingly expect more sophisticated surveillance capabilities – compression, streaming, storage, and analytics – built into the cameras themselves for better value. As camera prices continue trending downward, even more organizations will switch from analog and SD cameras.  The increased amount of data obviously puts a strain on storage and increases the importance of an intelligent, multi-tier storage strategy, but the improved intelligence in cameras also increases the importance of storage management software to effectively manage the influx of data.

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Tags: video surveillance, Enterprise Security Risk Management, security storage, biometrics

6 Power Trends that Will Shape Your Physical Security Protection

Posted on Feb 16, 2017 9:00:00 AM

The category reached new heights, offering intelligence and analytics - By LIfeSafety Power

What’s new in power? Everything! Here are six trends that benefit the end-user with greater reliability and lower total cost of ownership.

  1. Network Migration

Power solutions are no longer static commodity products. They’ve evolved into intelligent networking and management appliances capable of providing detailed analytics and data that aid the end-user in continued uptime and ongoing connectivity. For example, network communications modules with intuitive software and easy to use interfaces, provide predictive analysis, history reports and documentation that keeps solutions healthy and viable for the long haul.

  1. Predictive Analysis

Wouldn’t it be great if an end-user knew, ahead of time, of impending lock failure or battery fatigue –offering the ability to replace components in a timely manner and maintain system uptime? It’s possible today with proactive power system management and predictive analysis data from networked components. For the end user, being able to budget for new products and services is also a big benefit, as upgrades and new hardware specifications can be figured into monthly operating expenses. With intuitive software and easy user interfaces, end users have at their disposable some of the best predictive tools available.

  1. Remote Serviceability

Remote power networking is part of a bigger solution. When integrators don’t have to roll a truck to a site for a system reboot or other servicing issue, that’s a big savings to both installer and end-user customer. Not only is there an ongoing cost savings to the integration business, but the user is assured of greater uptime, connectivity and the possibility of avoiding a major business disruption. Many times a simple system reboot or battery test can be accomplished off-site quickly before any real issues or challenges arise. In addition, ongoing health reports provide a comprehensive history of power activity and proactive statistics on real-time, ongoing system status. Giving customers better service and greater peace of mind is also an end result.

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Tags: cyber security, entrance security, security risk optimization, critical data

Approaching Residence Hall Security Upgrades at Colleges and Universities

Posted on Feb 14, 2017 9:00:00 AM

By Angelo Faenza, General Manager, PERSONA and Vice President of Campus Electronic Access Control Security Solutions, ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions

As colleges and universities are faced with the challenges of securing their campuses, there is inevitably, and unfortunately, a need to prioritize activities based on the available budget. Though this may seem like an impossible choice, campuses need to ask themselves, ‘What is most important to protect?’.

The answer is, of course, the students - the core of the campus community. Students and their families trust the college or university to provide a safe and enriching environment in which they can learn and grow. As such, any discussion about security must begin with the residence halls. This is the place students call home in their time on campus, and it should offer the same sense of security as any other home.  

Important Steps

Because every campus is unique, there are no absolute, one-size-fits-all rules when it comes to upgrading security. There are, however, a number of guidelines used by many schools.

Step 1: Select the best partner

The first and often most critical step in your upgrade is partner selection. Be sure to do your research and ask the right questions. Request details on the company’s support offerings. Ask for examples of challenges encountered during the installation process and how they were addressed or resolved. Will the company work directly with the integrator to ensure that you can quickly overcome issues as they occur?

Step 2: Timing

The next area to consider is timing. It’s important to map out a comprehensive schedule. Whether you are upgrading all at once or in phases, scheduling has become more complex as colleges are increasingly using residence halls to house summer conference attendees. The long summer breaks that used to be perfect for maintenance and improvement projects are becoming a thing of the past. To make the most of the time you do have, schedule at the granular level, calculating how many locks will be installed per day. With proper communication and respect for students’ time and space, it is even feasible to upgrade security with students present in the resident halls.

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Tags: assa abloy, higher education campus risks, securing your campus, safe campus

Time, Energy, Money, Quality: Total Cost of Ownership and your security success

Posted on Feb 9, 2017 9:00:00 AM

By Axis Communications


Total cost of ownership, or TCO, is a way to assess direct and indirect costs and benefits related to the purchase of any IT component. The goal is to create a total estimate of fixed and variable costs that may be used for budget development.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) says that, on average, it costs 52.2 cents to drive one mile. To drive a Ford Focus 20K miles per year, the average cost is 37.6 cents per mile.[1]

Based on J.D. Roth’s vehicle purchase price ($16,500), interest paid ($1,300), actual mileage (82K over 5 ½ years), fuel ($1,650, $0.0812 per mile), insurance ($765, $0.0376 per mile) and service ($507.07, $0.0250 per mile), the actual TCO/mile is 36 cents, pretty much the same as the AAA estimate.

In The Millionaire Next Door, one of the best-performing groups in terms of personal net worth were “quality used car prone” people. These folks buy a car with an excellent service record that is 3 to 5 years old and drive it for many years, contributing to very high net worth.

With security solutions, purchasing compliance, quality, efficiency and stability is not too far off from our “millionaire.”  Purchasing a lower cost video surveillance camera may not be very efficient in digital storage when compared with next-generation compression technologies like Zipstream.

Significantly more efficient implementation of AVC/h.264 video encoding, and purpose-built for surveillance applications, Zipstream compression technology analyzes and optimizes video in real-time to save bandwidth and storage while maintaining image quality. This technology makes it possible to use Pan-Tilt-Zoom cameras for optimum viewing on demand while reducing storage requirements. Important forensic details such as facial features and vehicle plates are preserved, while scene elements that stay constant like walls, land and other surfaces are rendered at a higher compression.

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Tags: Enterprise Risk Management, Total Cost of Ownership, security solutions