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The Business Baseline


By William Plante, Director of Professional Services

PSIM Webinar features Aronson Security Group

Plante web

On July 30, 2014, starting at 11:00 AM  PST, Commercial Integrator (CI), a leading publication addressing the needs of professional integrators, has asked Aronson Security Group (ASG) to participate in a live, free webinar entitled “PSIM: The Basics and Beyond.”

According to CI’s website, when people think and talk about physical security information management (PSIM), they realize it’s a critical tool in preventing security breaches and major incidents, as well as providing a predictive and proactive response.

CI believes the idea of PSIM seems to still be somewhat contained within and discussed by a select group of people. Those who aren’t part of the “in” crowd don’t always know how they can get involved with PSIM installations or understand why they should, especially in an age when the thirst for security management is at an all-time high.

According to William Plante, Director of Professional Services, ASG believes part of the challenge with integrators is they often lead with products. ASG, however, believes PSIM is a strategy posing as a product. Which is why ASG often pulls their clients back from a product decision and attempts to help them navigate the people, process, and technology strategies first. “We are a risk, resilience, and security solutions provider first,” said Plante. “We are interested in the intersection of risk and value for the business. This will often lead to a roadmap for a common operating picture where “integration” and information management tools are needed.”

Plante will be joining Michael Lamarca, Director of the IP Systems Group of Tyco Integrated Security and CI editor-at-large Craig MacCormack, to discuss the reasons why PSIM is gaining traction, how other integrators can become part of this lucrative but difficult-to-navigate space, and which markets still hold untapped PSIM opportunities.

However, Plante see this as a good webinar for clients as well. This is a healthy discussion that needs to be initiated more often since our industry is changing rapidly. This change will impact how we will optimally manage our people, processes, tools, our risk, and the value proposition of security.

Plante will be sharing some of ASG’s “secret sauce” when it comes to positioning information management within their client’s programs. ASG has done the research, listened intently to comments from the CSO membership community within the Security Executive Council, and had experience with enterprise level migrations of security systems.

Because of this research and partnerships, ASG knows that corporate executives are dealing with more risks than ever. Consequently, security operations need to be more effective and also streamline operations. That means reducing the complexity of collecting, managing, and communicating information. The security program is no different than operations, supply chain management, and sales. All mission critical functions must deliver information at the point of need, at the time of need, and in the context of need. In the end, the business of security is the business.

This means our clients are looking for a new level of leadership, metrics that really matter, a technology platform and strategy that allows them to measure risk, as well as their own processes, and standards.

They can no longer afford silos within their corporate infrastructure or their data. The days of buying point solutions without aligning them with a information management strategy are numbered.

The technology and service vendors must understand this as well.

“Our message to the integrator community is “Don’t think you have to do it all yourself,” said Plante. ASG has architected a ‘Global Security Network’ that believes in process optimization that saves the client time and money and reduces the amount of waste in typical project cycles. Since ASG has that experience, integrators who are close to their clients may want ASG to be partners in helping them roll out an enterprise information management strategy and architecture. “We have a program that is tried and tested and is based on best practices developed over many programs and projects,” said Plante. “We regularly and programmatically work with 20-30 consultants and integrators across the world to deliver quality solutions for our clients.”

CI is accepting questions before the webinar. They can be emailed to in advance of the event and the panelists will be sure to address them during their presentations.

Or let us know your questions directly and we can get back to you with our opinions and share our experience. Click here to go to form.


A Great Conversation About Enterprise Risk Management (ERM)

Sage logo

Recently, The Sage Group, the producer of The Great Conversation, authored an article in the ASIS publication Security Management Magazine. The article was entitled: Seeing Opportunity Through Risk.

The Risk You Have Not Understood or Documented

Value Stream

By William Plante, Director of Professional Services

I cannot imagine facing my executive team after an enterprise system failure and telling them the reason: I reacted to their budget and determined I could not fund a proactive maintenance or performance management plan for my security program. Instead, I determined that I would operate a break, and if necessary, “fix it” program. I treated a mission critical element of our organization as if it were an electronics device I bought in a store or a physical piece of hardware in a building. 

Breaking News! These security systems are mission critical. They are information system components that are, in part, intended to collect data that feed a common operating picture of program performance and risk mitigation to your organization – they are not locks on doors or entertainment devices.

Each of these system components requires a professional discipline to manage and maintain it. Hence, both certification and experience is necessary. Qualified people can be hard to find, train, and certify. And it takes investment. You do not task an intern, admin, or security staff member to manage application performance or conduct database maintenance. It needs qualified support just like a production network and the databases of your critical line of business applications like ERP, HR and Supply Chain Management. 

What can security teams learn from IT technology departments?

Arecont Camera Solutions Applied in Stadium Environments

Arecont Vision

Last year one of the most famous stadiums in North America became a customer of Arecont Vision megapixel cameras. The process is instructive to others so we were able to gain permission to share with you the challenge, the approach and the promise.

New Trend in Physical Security – Leveling Up!

Blog NewTrendPhysSec 1

As a manufacturer that offers a full range of physical security entrance products, Boon Edam has the ability to see changes in buying behavior across its product range. We would like to share with you a trend that we have observed in recent years in the hopes that this may spur further discussion or assist you and your clients.
Physical Security Is Increasing Across all Verticals
Since the terrorist attacks from 9/11, the demand for physical security products (turnstiles, security revolving doors and mantrap portals) has continued to grow across many verticals. There has been a continued and upward trend in the installation of turnstiles and security doors in Class A office buildings (single-owned or multiple tenant) and corporate and government offices and campuses. We have also seen increased installations in more recent years in universities, infrastructure (utilities and gas/oil facilities), data centers (more data centers are being built now worldwide) and airports (Federal support of security staffing is being reduced). Finally, with the recent active shootings that have occurred in K-12 schools, movie theatres and shopping malls, there are new verticals that are searching for solutions. So just about everywhere, owners are looking for physical security solutions.

In summary, it can be said that longstanding verticals are experiencing growth and new verticals are emerging. However, this article is not about “more”….but rather, “more of what?”
The Emerging Trend in Class A Office Buildings
In the last 3 years we’ve observed a shift in physical security installations in Class A office buildings. When you think of a Class A office building that is solely owned or multi-tenant, do you envision a lobby, with a security guard or two at a reception desk and optical turnstiles to allow access to the elevators? If your answer is “yes”, then you are describing what has been the “status quo” since the 1990’s and the emergence of optical turnstiles into the marketplace. And, it is still true today that this is the most common solution for Class A office buildings.
But, here is what we are starting to see:

  1. The level of security is increasing on the ground floor. This means higher security capabilities are being requested than what is provided by optical turnstiles.
  2. Physical security is being installed in upper levels in the building vs. only the ground floor.

Overall, we are seeing an entire high rise office building becoming far more secure than in times past, with layers of security within. To use a term from the data center industry, Class A office buildings are “hardening the core.”  Let’s take a closer look at what is happening…
What is “Level of Security?”
First of all, when we talk about the level of security we are talking about the ability to control physical passage by users into a secure area. We break this ability down into into three levels based on ability to deter crime as follows:

  1. Low – Monitoring or controlling traffic – Upon authorization, users are slowed down through a physical barrier, such as a waist high or full height turnstile or a gate. This situation requires supervision at all times because the purely physical operation of the barriers can be defeated by either jumping or piggybacking. The benefit of a low level of security is primarily controlling crowds – such as at a museum, a stadium, mass transit, etc. The role of supervision is to prevent or quickly respond to attempts to defeat the barriers.
  2. Medium – Tailgating/Piggybacking Detection – A turnstile, typically an optical turnstile, has sensors installed that will sound an alarm when tailgating occurs. This level of security allows for supervision to be at a further distance and possibly less supervisors. However, it should be clear how the supervisor would respond when tailgating occurs.  Is anyone else notified to confront the tailgater? Do cameras zoom in to the area to identify the users in the area?
  3. High – Tailgating/Piggybacking Prevention – The very design or operation of the physical security product makes tailgating or piggybacking impossible or extremely difficult. Examples of such products are security revolving doors or security mantrap portals. No supervision is needed, however cameras are often recommended for monitoring in case of trapped users or suspicious loitering activity nearby.

Thus, we have three levels of security: monitoring traffic, detecting tailgating and preventing tailgating. And, as the level of security increases, the amount of supervision decreases, which has a financial benefit if not an operational benefit. For example, you can reduce supervision staff or allocate them to other areas of need in the building.
Increasing the Level of Security in the Lobby
So, let’s take a look at what is happening in the lobby area of Class A office buildings that are solely owned or have only a single tenant. We are seeing a shift from low and medium levels of security, such as mechanical and optical turnstiles, that require supervision, to the highest level of security provided by security revolving doors, which require no supervision. Visitors to the building can be greeted and provided with a pass at the “front” of the building and proceed through the revolving door, while employees can enter other sides of the building via security revolving doors without any supervision. What’s the payoff or motivation for doing this?

  1. High crime deterrence on all sides of the building and in the lobby. Downtown locations benefit the most.
  2. No tailgating occurrences. Ability to accurately know who is in the building at all times via the access control system.
  3. Less staff needed to supervise and respond – only handle visitors.
  4. Energy savings from reduced air infiltration of revolving doors vs. swinging doors.

What are the potential downsides to be mitigated?

Ringing In The New Year, Learning From The Old One


By Steve Lasky, Editorial Director/Editor-in-Chief, Security Technology Executive

Last year at this time as we transitioned from 2012 into 2013, the stark reality of the Sandy Hook school shootings numbed our collective senses. As we move into 2014 and leave this year in the rearview mirror, I feel like Dr. Who (shame on those of you who don’t know the good Doctor), caught up in some sort of parallel universe -- one that my favorite science fiction author, Isaac Asimov, would both appreciate and view with foreboding.

The brilliant writer who penned the classic Foundation series and I, Robot, was once asked about the rapid pace of technology and its effect on society. He responded by saying, “The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”

And what did Asimov view as the one constant of this frenetic technological advancement?

Police Force Achieves Success Through Cloud Technology


Law Enforcement agencies across the country and the globe are beginning to see the benefits of moving critical workflow, documents and processes to the Cloud to gain more efficiency and reduce cost.  The Richland Police Department, a 73 person agency in Washington State, did just that in 2012 when they moved their infrastructure to Microsoft’s Office 365 platform.

The City of Richland saw a dramatic increase in crime in 2011, prompting some tough questions from the Chief of Police, Chris Skinner.  A 50% increase in crime over that 12 month period forced the organization to become more efficient and streamline processes to better allocate its limited resources to fight crime.

A redundancy of paper work was one of the first obstacles identified by officers and department leadership that kept officers from spending more time in the field.  In addition, the organization was encumbered with numerous manual processes, outdated versioning of forms and a lack of document control.  After reviewing the officers daily tasks it was discovered that 25% of an officer’s week was spent doing administrative work that had nothing to do with report writing or crime; time that kept them out of the field where they could have a better impact on crime.

Datacenter Security: Is Security Protection for the Building Enough?

Dirak E Line

Most data centers today are protected with sophisticated security systems for the building and rooms in which the enclosures are housed; including RFID card access and video sur    veillance.  However, protection at the individual enclosure is most commonly still mechanical key access at best.  Once a person is inside a data center, access to individual enclosures are not protected with security systems that both physically secure the enclosures as well as monitor which individuals have access, control which (and when) enclosures are accessed, and provide a complete audit trail of access.

Keynote Speaker for The Great Conversation Announced

The Great Conversation

The first keynote speaker was announced today for the premier leadership event: The Great Conversation.

Caitlin Durkovich, is the Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  In her role, she leads the Departments efforts to strengthen public-private partnerships and coordinate programs to protect the Nations critical infrastructure, assess and mitigate risk, build resilience, and strengthen incident response and recovery. She will present “Building a More Resilient Future for Critical Infrastructure.“

“The Sage Group monitors the conversations within the risk, resilience and security community” said Ron Worman, Managing Director of The Sage Group. “Over and over again we heard of Assistant Secretary Durkovich’s ability to convey the value of an integrated threat strategy involving public and private collaboration. We are honored to have her contribute her voice to The Great Conversation.”

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