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Risk

4/3/2008
06:53 AM
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Security Market Gets Physical

Historically, enterprise security consisted of putting a deadbolt lock on the front door. Hackers hijinks shifted companies attention to computer system breaches, but recently a sense of dj vu has arisen as corporations are again focusing on physical security.

Historically, enterprise security consisted of putting a deadbolt lock on the front door. Hackers hijinks shifted companies attention to computer system breaches, but recently a sense of dj vu has arisen as corporations are again focusing on physical security.Many of the top network and systems security vendors have been inching into the physical security tools market. In fact, Cisco enhanced its Cisco Connected Physical Security product line. The new Cisco Video Surveillance 4500 IP Camera features high-definition imaging, video compression and an intelligent digital signal processor. The device relies on H.264 Main Profile video compression and a high-speed imager to generate pictures supporting 1920 x 1080 images at 30 frames a second. Also, the Cisco Video Surveillance 2500 IP Camera works as a wired Power-over-Ethernet (POE) device, a DC powered system relying on an external power supply, or a wireless connection.

In addition to the cameras, the company introduced an IP-based physical access control solution, which supports a single door or thousands of them. One component in the new offering, the Cisco Access Gateway, works with existing door readers, locks and biometric devices. The Cisco Physical Access Manager software manages the hardware and can be integrated with the Cisco Video Surveillance systems. Cisco has been able to gain customers trust with its network and security products despite the fact that they are often higher priced than competitors systems. Consequently, the vendor is in a good position to become a key supplier of physical security products.

The companys announcement underscores a couple of changes in the security market. Increasingly, physical security systems are becoming less physical and more intelligent. As these products gain smarts, they are being integrated into corporate networks. In addition, vendors are shifting their attention to physical security products as other markets, such as computer hardware and network equipment, continue to reach commodity status. Also increasingly, physical security is shifting from an area that was under the bailiwick of the facilities department to the IT department. And small and Medium businesses are funneling more and more money into security products. While the risk of a break in and someone stealing a computer with sensitive information is miniscule, companies still need to protect themselves from such possible intrusions. The net/net is small and medium businesses need to pay more attention to developments in this market now more than ever before.

Who is in charge of physical security at your company? What products have you installed? What new products are you looking to deploy?

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