PSA Empowers Integrators With Cybersecurity Solutions Experts

SSI’s editor-in-chief speaks with a quartet of vendors extending their expertise, products and services to PSA Security Network membership.

Despite almost nonstop rain the whole week, PSA Security Network hit another home run with its perennially excellent PSA-TEC event just outside Denver May 4-8. Fortunately, all the terrific education, exhibits, social activities, awards and other presentations were under cover of the ultra-comfy and aesthetically pleasing Westminster Westin Hotel. Perhaps the most notable change to TEC was the inclusion of a new cybersecurity education track and a series of vendor cybersecurity solutions spotlight sessions.

It was a continuation the cybersecurity initiative PSA launched in 2014 that led to the first Cybersecurity Congress in January in which Security Sales & Integration was the exclusive media partner. I had the opportunity to meet privately with four of those PSA vendor partners ― Bosch, DVTEL, Senstar and SYNNEX. The overriding message is that while security integrators do not need to become cybersecurity experts they do need to understand both the threat and the opportunity. Following is what these suppliers had to convey.

Bosch ― Daniel Murray, director key accounts for systems integrators, said being that Bosch is such a large organization with a vast interest and involvement in the fast-advancing Internet of Things (IoT) that it believes it has the responsibility to ensure its products are not vulnerable to being compromised by hackers. He said standards and encryption throughout the entire chain of data acquisition, transmission and storage are critical. Networked security products should be viewed and treated as any other connected device, as nodes that need to be secured regardless of function. “End users are very concerned about the cyber risks of physical security devices, as well as keenly interested in newer, smarter capabilities and ways to derive intelligence through data acquisition,” Murray told me. “We work closely with our integrator partners to ensure compatibility, and we are sensitive to integrators’ needs to be able to differentiate themselves amid product commoditization. Integrators need to take advantage of the tools now available to help educate end users and give them confidence in their abilities.”

DVTEL ― Ron Grinfeld, director global vertical marketing, explained how the video surveillance specialist is in the process of revamping its entire line to the highest standards of cyber protection. He said the IP-mmune Cyber Defense Suite will roll out its first iteration of its video management system (VMS) in two months with the entire line due out within three to four quarters. “We are not undertaking this initiative as an ROI-driven activity.” Grinfeld told me. “It is driven by expecting it to become required in the near future and helping our integrators by not having them need to worry about it. It is a long-term commitment that incorporates new training and a new mindset.” Grinfeld says the total solution, which will be one of the first of its kind for the industry, encompasses hardware and software as well as a combination of in-house and third-party technologies. “This can be a differentiator for integrators, and can help them shift some end-user budget dollars from cybersecurity to physical security. Integrators need to be educated, proactive and aware where it comes to cybersecurity, not reactive.”

Senstar ― Yossi Appleboum, CTO cybersecurity solutions, showed me the company’s new switch that includes cybersecurity functionality. He told me the StarNet 2 is a full-featured security management system ideal for the management and operation of perimeter protection and intrusion detection systems. He said the network appliance is a simple solution for integrators that can be deployed on the network edge in mere minutes. “Core security is important, but it is not enough,” Appleboum told me. “It is a particularly viable solution for power substations, among many applications. The bottom line is integrators need to take cybersecurity very seriously, and they need to act quickly.” Appleboum said the company is working with other vendor partners to develop an entire cyber-secure ecosystem. He added integrators will be able to keep their clients updated as software upgrades are issued on an ongoing, as-needed basis for the device.

SYNNEX ― Kirk Nesbitt, vice president design & support services, said the global Fortune 500 company is partnering to bring its IT and cybersecurity expertise to PSA member integrators. For a negotiated fee, he said participating integrators can either bring SYNNEX to their clients as a third-party managed services provider or offer those services themselves with SYNNEX behind the scenes. “We have the capabilities to test those customers’ vulnerabilities, provide products and solutions to address and maintain their cybersecurity, and also provide agnostic third-party assessments to ensure ongoing compliance,” Nesbitt told me. “We are looking to actively educate PSA members about the needs, opportunities and solutions for specific vertical markets through a series of Webinars. We have the experts and experience in-house to assist integrators in those markets. We want to help educate them in the process too.” Founded in 1980 and identifying as a wholesale distribution and business process outsourcing enterprise, SYNNEX did $12 billion in business in North America alone in 2014. The firm also operates its own network operations center. According to Nesbitt, integrators can see 20% margins on cybersecurity-related products and 30% to 40% on managed services. 

About the Author

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Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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