In the hectic pace of business, we often fail to note historic change. Underwriter Laboratories has provided central station security standards since 1924. The announcement of new UL regulations on October 29, 2014, will go down as UL’s first major change in central station rules for reliability and security. And, no, I am not referring to locks on the doors.

Cybersecurity poses a risk that can destroy any business and any industry. Remember the breach at Target where a password gave easy access to credit information? How about the recent hack of Sony, where trillions of megabytes of data were easily whisked away? These situations are not hypothetical. Moreover, these risks apply to every dealer. Have you considered your vulnerabilities and response to a breach? Over 60 percent of small businesses don’t survive 6 months after an attack (National Cyber Security Alliance, 2014). The reputational damage is a killer. Lacking a security plan exacerbates the problem of recovery.

In an exceptionally timely coincidence, UL regulations being formulated over the last several years include important steps to move the 21st century alarm industry in new directions.

The world of cyber-security was rocked by the announcement of a new mega-breach involving 4.5 BILLION stolen credentials from over 400,000 websites. Cyber criminals collect data from these various sources and create unique identities & then match other stolen data, like bank accounts. The fallout from this event impacts over 1.2 billion individual identities around the world. It is likely that simple exploits were used against many unprotected sites and unprotected data. Stay tuned as this latest drama unfolds and hope your business is not a victim.

The alarm industry is not known for rapid technology adoption.