Rapid changes in the physical security market this year have largely overshadowed one arena where change has slowed down in 2017 – mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Although there were no “mega-mergers” as in years past (such as Axis-Canon and Johnson Controls-Tyco, M&A activity still made headlines last year on SourceSecurity.com. In 2017, we wrote about M&A news involving companies such as HID Global, Eagle Eye Networks, ADT, and Honeywell. 

 

Here’s a look at the Top 10 M&A stories in 2016, as reported by SourceSecurity.com:

1. HID Global acquires Mercury Security

HID Global, a subsidiary of ASSA ABLOY specialising in trusted identity solutions, agreed in 2017 to acquire Mercury Security, an OEM supplier of controllers for physical access control. Mercury Security has over three million controllers installed at tens of thousands of sites worldwide, including at more than 90 of the Fortune 100 companies. Mercury’s intelligent controllers, interface boards and software complement HID Global’s readers, smart cards and mobile IDs for opening doors. 

2. ASSA ABLOY acquires August Home Smart Locks

ASSA ABLOY signed an agreement to acquire August Home, a leading smart lock business in the United States, reinforcing the company’s position in the residential smart door market. The acquisition includes expansion into complementary smart locks, video doorbells and comprehensive solutions for home delivery. August was founded in 2013. It is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

3. Eagle Eye Networks buys Panasonic CameraManager

One of the largest companies in the cloud video sector, Eagle Eye Networks, aggressively expanded its offerings to the fast-growing market, and its geographic reach, with acquisition this year of Panasonic’s cloud-based video business, including the CameraManager and NuboCam brands. The acquisition expands Eagle Eye Networks’ coverage in the European region, where the CameraManager system is popular, and will include two additional data centres, to be added to EagleEye Network’s existing global network of seven data centres. The acquisition also includes existing CameraManager coverage in Latin America and Asia.

4. dormakaba acquires Stanley Black & Decker’s Mechanical Security

Stanley Black & Decker agreed to sell the majority of its Mechanical Security businesses to dormakaba for $725 million in cash. The sale included the commercial hardware brands of BEST Access, phi Precision and GMT. The remaining part of the Mechanical Security businesses, Sargent and Greenleaf, was not included in the sale.

5. ADT Acquisitions include cybersecurity firm

ADT, provider of security and automation solutions for homes and businesses in North America, announced the acquisition of DATASHIELD, one of the country’s fastest growing cybersecurity companies. Now operating under the brand ADT Cybersecurity, this service is positioned to provide Enterprise and Mid-Market businesses with Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services to combat advanced cyber threats in real time. The acquisition in November closed out a busy year for ADT on the M&A front, including acquisition of commercial security systems integrators Protec in the Pacific Northwest, Gaston Security in Emporia, Va., and MSE Corporate Security in Branchburg, N.J.

6. Honeywell acquires Nextnine

Another big player making a move in the cybersecurity sector was Honeywell, which completed acquisition of Nextnine Ltd., a privately held provider of industrial cyber security solutions. The business is being integrated into Honeywell’s Industrial Cyber Security group and will strengthen Honeywell’s capability to offer multi-vendor, multi-site secure remote access, monitoring and support to protect industrial control systems and critical infrastructure against a growing threat of cyber-attacks.

7. HID Global buys Arjo Systems

In addition to buying Mercury Security, HID Global also expanded its business in physical and digital identity solutions for secure government ID applications in 2017 with the acquisition of Arjo Systems. The move gives HID Global broader capabilities to deploy electronic identification (eID) and ePassport solutions for government programs. The acquisition also brings together complementary strategies, customer bases and offerings that have strong synergies to support continued innovation for government-to-citizen ID customers.

8. Allied Universal acquires ALERT Protective Services

Allied Universal further expanded its footprint in North America with the acquisition of ALERT Protective Services, a residential community security firm based in Sarasota, Florida. Like Allied Universal, ALERT Protective Services offers integrated security systems and uniformed security professionals to work in tandem with a complete security program at community gatehouses, concierge desks, or security command centres. 

9. Veracity buys iComply software company

Veracity, a provider of transmission, storage, and display solutions for IP video, announced in 2017 the acquisition of iComply, a software provider of integrated command and control security solutions. The agreement includes all operational staff, software, intellectual property, ongoing business, and also iComply’s sales and support subsidiary in India. Veracity will maintain iComply as a separate business and expand its operations. Veracity planned to sell software based on icomply’s technology under the Veracity brand in the U.S. market, but will keep the separate brands in the United Kingdom, where icomply is better known.

10. Robotic Assistance Devices acquired by On the Move Systems

Robots came on the security scene in a high-profile way in 2017. On the M&A front, Robotic Assistance Devices (RAD), north American master distributor for SMP featuring exclusive power and other special technology, and a North American distributor for SMP Robotics, announced its acquisition by On the Move Systems (OMVS). The merger with OMVS allows RAD access to capital to scale its product portfolio and further increase its market position as a leader in the robotic guard market.

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Larry Anderson Editor, SourceSecurity.com

An experienced journalist and long-time presence in the US security industry, Larry is SourceSecurity.com's eyes and ears in the fast-changing security marketplace, attending industry and corporate events, interviewing security leaders and contributing original editorial content to the site. He leads SourceSecurity.com's team of dedicated editorial and content professionals, guiding the "editorial roadmap" to ensure the site provides the most relevant content for security professionals.

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Impact of sophisticated IT technologies on the security market
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The IT and security teams needed to address the challenges of their existing standalone server environment, which included siloed systems, management complexity and high administrative and equipment costs. Charleston International Airport embarked on an ambitious upgrade project dubbed the Terminal Redevelopment and Improvement Program Considering the high value of the airport’s video, security and IT data, it required a solution that could deliver reliable data protection, system resiliency and fault tolerance. The airport is required to store video for 30 days, but it seeks to expand its retention time to 60 days. Therefore, technology that can scale simply was key in the selection process. Storage system updates It also required a storage platform that could manage the demanding and write-intensive nature of its nearly 250 IP surveillance cameras — a challenging task for traditional video recorders. 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And they show that solutions like HCI are no longer simply much-talked about technology trends. Video, IT and security data is critical to organisations of all types and they need to ensure their investment in capturing this data is protected. From a security standpoint, users rely on video to validate whether something did or did not happen. If that video data isn’t protected, they lose a very valuable investigative tool. That isn’t an option in today’s complex environment. That’s is why it is paramount to understand how new technologies can help expand current capabilities and evolve security operations. This can’t be left to chance.

Small business owners reduce losses with smart video surveillance
Small business owners reduce losses with smart video surveillance

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After all, they’re the ones who have invested in the business and are responsible for making sure it runs smoothly and profitably from day to day. For small business owners with surveillance systems, vacations can become not only a reality but also the relaxing time they are supposed to be. For small business owners with surveillance systems, vacations can become not only a reality but also the relaxing time Rather than sitting on a beach and worrying about whether the store opened on time or if employees are doing what they’re supposed to be doing, an owner can pull out his or her smartphone, log in to remotely to the video system and know for sure. That peace of mind is invaluable for small business owners. This is also helpful for business owners with multiple locations. Because no one can be in two—or more—places at once, a video surveillance system can provide eyes and in some cases ears at a location, which can be accessed at the click of a button. Video surveillance for training For a small business, it’s imperative that employees follow established policies and that staffing levels are maintained at the most efficient level possible. These are two other areas where video surveillance can help. If a small business owner sees that something isn’t being done properly, whether by a single employee or if the problem is more widespread, he or she can use video for training purposes. They can sit down with the employee or employees to review the video and explain the proper policies and procedures. Conversely, video can be used to demonstrate proper techniques or even to recognise employees for a job well done. From a staffing standpoint, reviewing video could reveal unexpectedly busy or down times Maintaining staffing levels From a staffing standpoint, reviewing video could reveal unexpectedly busy or down times. A business owner can review video from 3 p.m. on a Saturday to see how many customers are in a location and determine the ratio of employees to customers. Looking at a variety of times over a period of weeks or months could help determine optimal staffing levels, which may lead to the decision to increase staffing on Saturday afternoons when a store is busy. This will help improve customer experience and potentially increase sales. Motion detection for accurate access control Cameras can be deployed with motion-detection sensors to alert business owners when someone enters a certain area, whether during or after business hours. In many cases, detected motion can trigger an alert and/or a video clip to be sent to the business owner’s smartphone so they can review and verify whether something is out of the ordinary. These deployments could be set up to monitor a variety of locations, such as an office, safe, doors and other sensitive areas at all times or just during specific hours. 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Four ways the cloud improves your cyber security posture
Four ways the cloud improves your cyber security posture

Adoption of the cloud is not slowing down. In fact, what’s happening is quite the opposite. According to IDC, worldwide spending on cloud computing is expected to reach $162 billion USD in 2020, growing at a compound annual rate of 19%. This isn’t surprising when you consider that more organisations are looking outside their own environment for solutions that will help them become more agile, maximise resources and save money. Yet, while this study and countless others show that more companies are embracing the cloud and its benefits, many are still hesitant to make the move. One of the biggest reasons why is security. Particularly in the physical security industry, there is a common misconception that on-premises systems on closed networks are more secure. Many still believe that connecting to a cloud-based application becomes a source of vulnerability that will put corporate data and systems at risk. In this article, we will explore why this belief is unfounded, and why more organisations are relying on cloud service providers to enhance their systems’ security. Why isolated on-premises systems are not immune to threats Everyone is working with the same security tools. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an IT team securing an on-premises network, server or system, or a cloud provider protecting its infrastructure and its clients’ applications and data. Essentially, anyone can implement multiple layers of security to reinforce confidentiality, integrity and availability. These can include many mechanisms such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, multi-factor authentication, antivirus software, etc. While these security measures exist, the reality is that organisations either lack the expertise or the capital to build and maintain infrastructures with the utmost protection. This inevitably leaves their isolated networks and on-premises systems vulnerable to attack. The WannaCry and Petya Ransomware attacks are good recent examples of how these vulnerabilities can be exploited, causing catastrophic results. Specifically, WannaCry attacked vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Windows operating system, allowing the malware to quickly spread to neighbouring computers. The vulnerability was promptly patched by Microsoft as soon as they were made aware, but those that did not get around to updating their systems were left at risk. Within a day of the attack being launched, it was reported that over 200,000 systems around the world were infected, holding personal and corporate data hostage in exchange for bitcoin payments. All the money, time and resources invested in building and maintaining a highly-secure cloud platform does not just benefit one company, but thousands or millions of customers Four reasons why the cloud improves your cyber security posture As noted above, attacks often happen when people tap into system vulnerabilities, regardless of whether the system is running in an isolated on-premises environment or in the cloud. Therefore, mitigating system risks is not so much about where the infrastructure is physically located. Instead, it’s about how well the system and its infrastructure is managed from a physical and logical security standpoint. With this in mind, below are a few reasons why cloud applications can often be more secure than isolated on-premises systems that are managed internally by an organisation.  1. Cloud providers make layers of security more accessible Keeping systems safe from threats is costly and complex. To do it alone, and do it well, businesses must have dedicated resources and large budgets. This is why cloud providers have an advantage. They can use economies of scale to enhance their operations and provide high levels of security for their shared infrastructure. All the money, time and resources invested in building and maintaining a highly-secure cloud platform does not just benefit one company, but thousands or millions of customers. Therefore, these businesses can take advantage of multiple layers of security that they would not have been able to put in place themselves. 2. Cloud providers facilitate system updates and patches Ensuring systems are always up to date and minimising risk require constant attention. The landscape of cyber threats is evolving, and many vulnerabilities that hackers prey on are quickly identified and fixed by vendors in software version updates. Unfortunately, updating software is time-consuming, so when an organization is faced with budget constraints, it’s a task that often falls through the cracks. A benefit of using a cloud service is that system updates are facilitated by the cloud service provider. As soon as the latest versions and fixes are available, the organisation will have access to them. This helps to ensure that systems remain protected against known vulnerabilities. Attacks often happen when people tap into system vulnerabilities, regardless of whether the system is running in an isolated on-premises environment or in the cloud 3. Cloud providers take onus for the risk of threats Top-tier cloud service providers use more stringent security measures for their infrastructures than most businesses. This is because their product and core competency is at stake. In fact, companies like Microsoft have a global incident response team that works around the clock to mitigate against attacks. The company also builds security into its cloud platform from the ground up, embedding mandatory security requirements into every phase of the development process. Top cloud providers also go out of their way to comply with international and industry-specific compliance standards, and participate in rigorous third-party audits which test and verify security controls. 4. Cloud providers have strict policies to prevent unauthorised access Physical security plays an important role in safeguarding against cyber attacks. For instance, it is not uncommon to see access control servers sitting under a receptionist’s desk in the front lobby of an organisation. At any point in time, the data can be stolen or destroyed with a single USB key. For a cloud service provider, mitigating against internal threats is a critical component of what they do. From the policies and processes they outline to technologies they use, cloud service providers build datacentres with unprecedented levels of physical security. They also implement comprehensive incident response protocols, so that any breach is promptly detected and immediately dealt with.   Why outsource the risk and costs to cloud providers? When it comes to cyber security, the stakes are high - and organisations are finding it more challenging to keep pace with the onslaught of new threats. This is why many are transferring the responsibility and risk over to cloud service providers. Cloud service providers are not only better equipped to manage and maintain these systems and keep them secure, but also make it more affordable for their customers to access the highest possible levels of security. {##Poll35 - How strong are your company’s defenses against cyber threats?##}