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Love Microsoft's Mike Howard's tweets!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

If you’re not following Mike Howard on Twitter, you should be. Howard is the chief security officer for Microsoft, with a background at the CIA. His focus is on best practices, both in security and in life in general.

I had the pleasure of speaking with him at ISC West 2013 in Las Vegas a few weeks ago. We discussed the challenges that still face security professionals in reaching out the c-suite and talked about Microsoft’s Global Security Operations Center, which I hope to visit one day.

What brings him to mind today for me are his thoughtful tweets from the Columbia Tower Club’s Distinguished Speakers Series, “China Playbook: How and Why U.S. Global Firms Are Being Attacked.”  

From conferences such as that to posting about leadership qualities, women in the workforce and more, Howard is a font of knowledge.

Follow him @MikeHowardMSGS on Twitter.


Day 2 at ISCW13

Friday, April 12, 2013

Bob Hayes, managing director of the Security Executive Council, and Shirley Decker-Lucke, publisher at Elsevier, were first on my agenda on Thursday, my second day at the show. They have a new collaborative venture, announced at ISC West, to produce texts on security topics, both for practitioners and for the 400 colleges with security curriculums. They aim to serve next-gen professionals as well as gathering book ideas from thought leaders in the industry. "They'll tell us what they need and we'll write a book about it," Hayes said.

Next up was Mike Howard from Microsoft. We had an interesting talk about the prevailing challenge security professionals face: Reaching out to the c-suite. "It's getting them out of their comfort zone," Howard said. Having the business acumen to "evangelize" for security and prove ROI is vital, he said. He's in his eleventh year at Microsoft and even at that corporate giant he needed to do some evangelizing of his own, he said. We talked about what he looks for when hiring to his team. Gone are the days of just hiring former law enforcement personnel, he said. He looks for the right attitude, great interpersonal skills, a willingness to learn the business, dedication, selflessness and subject matter expertise. Howard also talked proudly about Microsoft's Global Security Operations Centers, and the ''showcasing" of best-practice use of Microsoft products in a real-world operational environment. You can check that out here: I know I'll be visiting that site when I have more time to really delve into it.

From Microsoft I changed course to learn about Delta Scientific's portable crash barriers. They were used at the 2013 Inauguration and are used at military checkpoints in Afghanistan and Iraq, at busy ports, university football games, graduations and other events requiring other crowd-control. Simplicity is the name of the game, said Garrett Gustason, project manager for high security systems. It only takes 15 minutes to set up one of the barriers, he said, and there's no need to dig up the ground.

Saw a demo of NFC at Ingersoll Rand, quickly being adopted on campuses nationwide, making smartphones even smarter, access-wise.

Polaroid, yes, that Polaroid, is getting into security video. VP Nathan Needel explained to me the full line of surveillance solutions that will be offered to end-users starting June 1. Their solution comes with a 10-year warranty and an integrator dedicated to the user.

On the media stage, I interviewed campus security expert Berkly Trumbo, national business manager for campus solutions at Siemens. He discussed the progress of "the easy button," social media's impact and usefulness in regard to emergency management and the integrated approach to campus safety. I also went on air with Brian Johnson, network systems analyst for the Escambia County, Fla., School District, responsible for security at its 60 facilities. Video surveillance, law enforcement's access to that and active-shooter training were among our topics. You'll be able to watch Trumbo's and Johnson's video interviews soon on the SDN website. You'll enjoy them and get great takeaways.

In addition, I met with Kostas Mellos from interlogix about the company's part in the migration from analog to IP, stopped in to visit with Onvif, attended the Security 5K Awards ceremony and then a couple of receptions.

It's been a very productive show for me. Headed out now for Day 3.

Heading out for ISC West!

Friday, April 5, 2013

I've been finalizing my schedule for ISC West in Las Vegas next week. I've got my work cut out for me, but it's a great lineup.

I'll be meeting with representatives and end users from, among others, March Networks, Tyco, Inovonics, Mobotix, Microsoft, Delta Scientific, Lumidigm, Interlogix, Ingersoll Rand, BRS, Quantum Secure and Cisco. Not to mention meeting up with some folks from SIA, PSIA and the Security Executive Council.

I'll be tweeting and blogging throughout the week, so, please, stay tuned.  

It'll be my first time at the show, and if I learned anything from the ASIS show in Philadelphia last fall it is to wear comfortable shoes. Actually, I learned a lot more than that because I flew in on my fifth day on the job, but the shoe thing stands out.  

If you're headed to Vegas, too, don't forget to come to the Security Director News/Security Systems News "meet the editor's event" at 9 a.m. on Wednesday. We'll be at the media stage, right outside the main entrance to the show floor. I would truly enjoy meeting my readers and hearing what's on their security-industry minds!

So you want to sit at the C-table?

Security directors need to know the business they are protecting inside and out, pros say

NORTHBROOK, Ill.—After 10 years overseeing security, product stewardship and emergency management and response at the world’s largest fertilizer enterprise, Deborah Allen took a class that changed the way she did business.

ISC West is a Wrap

Monday, April 2, 2012

ISC West is the Security Industry Association's annual conference. As such, its purpose is to give manufacturers the opportunity to show off their latest and greatest security technology to integrators, specifiers and potential manufacturing partners.

As you can imagine, it's a bit overwhelming and the majority of attendants were not end users. However, during my three days on the show floor in Las Vegas I was able to meet and interview several security professionals who were attending the show. In my previous blog post that recapped my first day, I mentioned interviews with Peter Miller, CSO of Florida’s Orange County Government; Linda Florence, dean of the doctorate program in strategic security at Henley-Putnam University and a long-time member of ASIS International’s volunteer leadership; Bryan Warren, senior security manager at Carolinas Healthcare System and newly minted president of the International Association of Healthcare Security & Safety; and Pablo Antonio Sanchez Urbina, security director for 10 prisons and the state police department in the Mexican state of Guanajuato.

But before I get to the details about my second and third days at the show, I must mention the event that took place the morning of the second day: the Security 5K. The three-mile road race (there was also a 2K walk) attracted more than 350 runners to raise money for Mission 500, a non-profit that works with World Vision to feed needy children around the globe. The event ultimately raised $85,000, which will be used to sponsor nearly 300 children. (Security Director News and Security Systems News are sponsors of the race.) It's been a while since I ran a road race, but I was pleased with my performance. I placed 45th overall with a time of 23:22.

During my second and third days at the show, I was able to catch up with a few additional end users in our media studio. On Thursday, I spoke with Mike Howard, CSO of Microsoft, about how security managers should demonstrate their value to the C-Suite and use social media to spread that message. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeHowardMSGS. I also spoke with Lauris Freidenfelds, director of security and emergency management for Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, about a newly completed construction project and the importance of including security in the early design discussions.

I also had a chance to visit several companies' booths. I heard the latest about CheckVideo's Ruggedized Outdoor Mobile Sentry (dubbed the CMS4000), which is a self-contained, cloud-based, wireless video surveillance solution that only requires power be added to provide remote video monitoring capabilities, from company CEO John Estrada. Estrada told me CheckVideo is experiencing as much as 25 percent increases in sales month over month.

Mark Jarman, president of Inovonics, told me about Radius, the company's enterprise mobile duress system. The product, which was originally introduced at the ASIS show in October 2010, has applications across markets, but Inovonics for now is targeting the healthcare industry. Jarman also stressed his company's commitment to supporting the open standards trumpeted by the Physical Security Interoperability Alliance. Though the company's not ready to make any announcements or offer any details, he told me that Inovonics has developed a product in complete accordance with PSIA open standards. "We're walking the walk," he said.

I heard the from Verint about the facial recognition software it's beta testing and its new, all-weather 5-megapixel cameras. I also saw new cameras from Pelco and JVC. The latter is introducing 18 new cameras this year, including several analog cameras, which John Grabowski, JVC's national sales and marketing specialist, was not shy about admitting are still the company's "bread and butter."

I saw a demonstration of IDV Solutions' Visual Command Center. The demo was actually given by a shift manager of Microsoft's GSOC in Redmond, Wash., which uses the platform to monitor its facilities across the globe.

Over at the VidSys booth, I was able to get a demo of the PSIM provider's new collaboration with Bridgeborn to integrate 3D modeling into its software. Another big partnership VidSys recently announced was with BRS Labs to integrate its behavioral analytics software into its PSIM software.

For more updates from ISC West, check out the blogs from Security Systems News' team, who were blogging throughout the event: Martha Entwistle's On the Editor's Desk; Rich Miller's Monitor This!; and Tess Nacelewicz's This Blogs on Fire.

ASIS: Day one

Monday, September 21, 2009

Although day one here at ASIS International isn't quite concluded yet (I'm on west coast time, after all), I've had a very productive day at the show. Despite fairly light foot traffic at the onset, by this time in the day things seemed to have livened up. I've seen a lot of people pass through with luggage in tow, so I'm guessing that today was a travel day for many and tomorrow will show much stronger numbers.

I haven't had much time to wander the show floor (I usually save that for Wednesday of the show), but have had some great discussions with security practitioners as part of sdnTVnews. For example, I spoke with Brian Tuskan, senior director of Microsoft Global Security, about what he called the 'secret sauce' to security solutions. Tuskan, who is charged with protecting more than 700 sites in 100 different countries and over 90,000 employees said that Microsoft utilizes a variety of solutions and doesn't use an integrator, but instead partners with different companies (like PPM2000, for example) to put together a holistic solution. Microsoft even has a booth here at ASIS International displaying their solution.

Also, I sat down with Sergeant Chris Kovac from the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department to talk about the deployment of everything from video surveillance to license plater reader technology and mobile fingerprint readers. He talked about the challenges that municipality's face and how these different types of technologies can really make departments more efficient and cost effective.

Both of those interviews will be on sdnTVnews in the upcoming weeks.

In addition, I also sat down with Steve Russell and Al Shipp from 3VR about some recent patents they've acquired concerning searchable video as well as their continued focus on the retail space. Since that ORC conference I attended a few weeks ago, my awareness of retail theft issues has certainly been heightened and it sounds like 3VR has a broad offering of video solutions tailored toward the needs of retailers. There was a mention of an integration of their solution with POS systems that has helped retailers identify internal theft and fraud issues. Hopefully I'll report in more detail on that one in the future.

As you might remember, Al Shipp is a former technology executive with Apple and he was quite impressed with SDN's launch of it's iPhone application that delivers the news right to your phone (how do you like that promo? I've really embraced the ASIS spirit, don't you think?). Actually, I didn't actually get to show Al the app (I'm a BlackBerry user myself), but I could tell by his reaction that he was indeed impressed with how innovative we are at SDN.

Anyway, several more interviews to look forward to in the next two days of the show and by every indication they will be equally as productive as today. Now off to catch Anaheim Angels vs. New York Yankees game. See you on the show floor!

Here's an interesting number

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Microsoft's latest Security Intelligence Report, which provides "an in-depth perspective on the changing threat landscape including software vulnerability and exploits, malware and potentially unwanted software." This report details trends observed in the second half of 2007; its purpose is to keep Microsoft customers informed to help them improve their security programs in the face of these threats.

I know that phishing, exploits, hacking. trojan downloaders and rogue security software trends aren't a priority for you but the report does include one interesting data point for you physical security junkies:

Exploits, malware and hacking accounted for no more than 23 percent of all security breach notifications recorded from 2000 through 2007, and they only accounted for 13 percent of security breach notifications during the second half of 2007. 57 percent of the security breaches publicly disclosed involved lost or stolen equipment in 2H07.

Bring that number to your CEO.

It's news to me

Monday, November 26, 2007

I was just thumbing through the November/December issue of ASIS International's Dynamics publication and came across some interesting news. Did you know that ASIS and Microsoft (yes, that Microsoft) have partnered up? I hadn't heard either.

The short piece says that the two have joined together in "recognition of the convergence of IT and operational security." The main goal is to raise IT awareness among ASIS members and also let IT professionals know about the educational resources ASIS offers. I would link to the story here, but I cannot find it anywhere online. (If anybody has the link, you can leave it in the comment section below.)

Microsoft will also promote ASIS to its customers and partners, the article says, while ASIS will provide its members with access to security-focused IT information provided by Microsoft.

When I spoke with ASIS President Steve Chupa earlier this year he said cyber security was part of ASIS' 2007 initiatives and noted that it is a part of building a comprehensive security program.

Last week I said I would find some good news to share with you. Although this may not qualify as "feel-good," it is still quite interesting. Will IT and cyber security play a bigger role within ASIS in the coming years? Is this a sign of things to come? A bigger focus on convergence possibly?