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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?

Securing the City with Aronson Security Group

Secured Cities

Aronson Security Group addresses The Common Operating Picture at the Secured Cities Conference, November 14-15 in Baltimore's Convention Center.
Steve Lasky, Cygnus’ Editorial Director, helped develop this conference a few years ago after sponsoring and attending The Great Conversation in Seattle for a number of years. Like The Great Conversation, it attempts to align the conversations that are occurring in and around security but with a focus on the unique needs of cities and the mitigation of collective risk. Therefore it involves stakeholders from state and local government as well as the private sector. That means healthcare, education, transportation and other critical infrastructure.
It also involves 60 concurrent sessions packed into two intense days.
They also sponsor live tours of facilities in the area hosted by the security professionals in those organizations.
This is the 5th Secured Cities event. The first one initially launched as a niche municipal video surveillance best practices conference. But Cygnus quickly saw that the ecosystem of urban public and private partners spanned many areas including security directors and campus police chiefs from major colleges and universities, public school system administrators, security managers at large healthcare facilities and security directors for city transit authorities.
That is why Cygnus expanded the umbrella to include all of these stakeholders in the new Secured Cities Conference for 2013. This year's comprehensive session tracks are laser-focused to include specific technology and management classes for those in the campus, healthcare, transit and public safety sectors. Most of the sessions are peer-led and interactive.
On the conference's final day, Cyngus will be hosting on-site tours of Baltimore Police Department's impressive CitiWatch Command & Control Center, where attendees will get a behind-the-scenes look at both technology and operations; the acclaimed R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center, which is one of the highest volume trauma centers in the country; and finally, the Maryland Department of Transportation Authority's control center, which serves as the security and public safety hub for state-wide operations. These tours will be limited and included with attendee's registration.
Secured Cities has also announced that Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley will serve as a keynote speaker at the luncheon on Friday, Nov. 15. Mr. O'Malley is the former mayor of Baltimore and was a supporter of the city's world-class video surveillance system.
Aronson Security Group (ASG) will be presenting The Common Operating Picture in Security. William Plante, the Director of Professional Services & Mike Kobelin, Vice President of Global Development will be the guest speakers. They will be reviewing the necessity of creating a holistic view of the security program to create the context for continuous compliance and continuous quality improvement. They will also discuss the true role of an information management architecture for security that intersects with the organization's goals and objectives, not just a integration layer for disparate systems.
ASG suggests if you are interested you can register for the event at and enter promo code SC2013. There are special rates for government attendees, as well as for IAHSS, ASIS and Infragard members, so check the website. There is also a way to reduce your costs on hotel accomodations on the website.
We look forward to seeing you at the event. Let us know if you are considering going by dropping us a line at

Introducing Physical Security Cloud Services


By Shayne P. Bates CCSK, CPP, CHS-V, DABCHS

Without question, we are highly dependent on computing technology to be effective security practitioners. Without it, even with reduced capacity, our effectiveness to manage enterprise risk is significantly impacted. Therefore, doesn’t it make sense to explore how we can optimize our effectiveness as security practitioners through the use of technology?

What does cloud computing mean to the business of physical security, what are the opportunities, and why should I pay attention?

A Generational Change is Underway (again)
The generational change in computing that occurred when technology transformed from mainframes to PCs and servers had enormous economic implications: most mainframes were rendered a relic of a bygone era due to their need to be optimized for efficiency because of their high cost. Mainframes were quickly replaced by distributed storage and compute, which was optimized for agility due to the low cost. The explosion of networking and bandwidth helped fuel a whole new era in which inexpensive operating systems were licensed perpetually, replacing the legacy model of high upfront costs for hardware and software.

High cost necessitates efficiency and low cost enables agility. We are constantly reminded of this principal as we discard our gadgets in favor of new ones that are smarter, cheaper and faster. Gone is the notion of repair when tempted by the economics and promise of something better and almost immediate.

Today, we are seeing the explosive scale-out of large data centers with commodity hardware, which is an order of magnitude better in efficiency and agility.

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