It is rare and wonderful when a new infrastructure platform unites with applications to create a truly dynamic technology solution that provides significant leverage to both the cost/benefit equation of an enterprise security system and measurable return on the value and impact of the security organization’s performance. This is not about cloud computing security, or securing the actual cloud. That is an IT function.

This is about the powerful world of Security Cloud Computing (SCC) — applied security leveraging the cloud platform. I encourage you to do all you can to get your arms around the concept and begin to integrate SCC into your strategic and operational planning. SCC will have a significant impact on your current product offerings and technical team as an integration and/or installing company.

Yes, SCC is a bigger opportunity and a bigger threat than IP network video technology. We will witness the security body set upon an IT chassis maximizing performance and economics in a similar way that we watched PCs set upon networks in the ‘90s, putting Digital Equipment, Wang and Prime Computer companies out of business.

What is this stuff and why am I so excited for this transformational technology to impact our industry?

Today, most organizations base their video surveillance system on a local network. That is what most channel companies propose and sell because that is what they know how to design, install and service — and that is where their vendor distribution agreements exist.

That means your customer’s video monitoring and storage is hosted or stored on several DVRs within a monitoring center. In the IT world that is called a LAN or local area network. As you know, the video is viewed within a local surveillance or monitoring center and that video is stored on DVRs within the monitoring center.

If you run wires and enable, let’s say, the building across the street to the local police to view your surveillance video, then you have changed from a LAN to a WAN or a wide area network. And the video is moved to a SAN, or storage area network, for wide area access. The result is that the folks in the next building (city police, for example) will also be able to view your live surveillance video just as security staff can do in a monitoring center. That is a powerful application and one that is common today.

Let’s fast forward to You Tube ( Everyone with Internet access can view all of the video on You Tube. You Tube is the ultimate cloud computing platform for video storage, access and viewing.

But note the word “security” is missing for many reasons. First, it is not secure, meaning no one is prevented from posting or viewing any video they choose. And second, it is an entertainment, not a security, medium. Your video is designed to identify risks that require analysis, response and mitigation. It is meant to be viewed only by select individuals.

So here we are: somewhere between the DVR in the monitoring center and the entire Internet-connected planet. How does Security Cloud Computing make this a wonderful business for you and powerful application for your customers?

What if your surveillance was stored outside of your organization in that mythical “cloud” in a way that was truly “secure”? Only those that you wanted to see the video would be able to do so. But what if we blew up your LAN or WAN? What if your video was stored securely and externally so that your customer’s security monitoring officers and others you selected including police, fire, emergency operations, iPhone toting CEOs, and others were able to see, if and when necessary, the same video images that previously only one security person in a monitoring center were able to view? What if surveillance video came to your handheld the same way e-mail does? Immediate, accessible, personally addressed, secure.

What if the cost of the cloud model was actually less than the cost of the local storage model? (That is not a typo.) What if moving video storage and access outside of the organization had such economic dynamics that the cost and business benefits were exponential to your current operational processes?

While the train for SCC is just leaving the station, there is plenty of time to get on board. The time for the discussion is now. Join SIA and SDM at a pre-ASIS 2010 networking event on October 11 in Dallas where we will kick off the conversation on SCC. Go to to register.