Managing security effectively requires a clear understanding of the changing threat landscape and continuous improvement through the integration of technology. The same technologies that operate a business (databases, surveillance systems, remote access, etc.) can be leveraged to improve security management. Integrating business silos can proactively protect companies from new threats while improving security and reducing costs.
One of the interesting things about emerging technology discussions (new platforms) is that the physical security industry has a habit of being late. Caulk it up to a culture of conservatism. A case in point is the cell phone. One aspect of the digital revolution, or “evolution” if you will, is how quickly it changes our behavior on a personal level, yet simultaneously many people believe that same technology adoption into the business cycle will take much longer. Why?
I recently had the pleasure of attending the fifth annual IT Security Entrepreneurs’ Forum at Stanford University. Robert Rodriguez, chairman and managing principal of The Security Innovation Network, (SINET), summed up the organization’s goal as “being a catalyst between federal agencies, private industry, system integrators, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, investment bankers, academics and scientists within the global security community.”
The future of cloud-based technologies is pretty clear to forward-thinking security integrators. Cloud computing is really about freedom and location independence. The cloud model and its impact on the future of business are established. Software as a service is one of three major cloud architectures (platform and infrastructure being the other two) that are being embraced for both cost savings and security considerations. Surveillance as a service is a starting point.
Physical guarding is the oldest service in the security business. Starting with night watchmen and advancing to integrated command and control centers, this segment of our industry is quickly converging
On Oct. 6, 2010, Kratos Defense and Security Solutions Inc., a national security solutions provider based in San Diego, Calif., announced its intention to acquire Henry Bros. Electronics Inc. for approximately $45 million in cash. This purchase will take Henry Brothers into a new phase of growth and I believe sends a clear message to the traditional physical security market about (a) how to build an attractive company (Henry Brothers), and (b) where the market is heading through security convergence.
For many years now the convergence of physical and logical security has progressed from concept to reality. The security cycle has evolved into a continuous model of technology adoption, financial justification, and new security policies to address new threats.
With the security industry undergoing a rapid transformation in many respects, from technology deployments to executive responsibilities, it is important to cultivate new business relationships and uncover additional sales opportunities. Homeland security funding is ongoing and can supplement revenues in a down economy. Security integrators can find opportunities during tough times by embracing business outside their traditional markets. Understanding the opportunities in the homeland security market is a great starting point.
I believe in studying the backgrounds and career paths of successful people for insights into operational thinking and future industry directions. Integrators can benefit from studying our industry’s security executives.