GSN 2012 Awards Dinner, Washington, DC November 29, 2012
Dubhe Beinhorn describes AtHoc, Inc, winner of GSN’s 2012 award for “Best Mass Notification Solutions,” as a company that operates in one sector only: critical communications for crisis management. But it is in this business in a big way, with 50% of the U.S. federal government using the AtHoc System, including U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force, both on an enterprise level, the U.S. Patent Office and TSA. She adds that by using AtHoc’s Alert Warning System 2.0, all 65,000 of Customs and Border Protection employees can receive emergency notifications immediately from emergency operations or headquarters, as can all 80,000 persons affiliated with the U.S. Coast Guard plus port employees. The AtHoc enterprise software is based in the cloud and offers a fully hosted solution utilizing text messaging, email and desktop notification, all put together in one solution. There is a huge demand for AtHoc technology in private sectors, but Beinhorn believes the company’s next move will be into digital 9-1-1, leveraging its technology and incorporating smart phones into its product suite.
Covia Labs received the award for “Best Interoperable First Responder Communications” in the 2012 Awards Program for its “Alert & Respond” software platform and application that provides voice/data interoperability across a variety of platforms ranging from smart phones to police and fire department radios, embedded devices and drones. The top two markets for the company, according to CEO David Kahn, are the military and public safety. The original company was funded by Motorola, but when it became quite clear to Kahn that there was a need to move beyond voice and data communications in public safety in order to manage large events, he and a partner bought the technology from Motorola and proceeded to take the interoperable platform and create the application that is now called Alert & Respond, which provides Blue Force tracking of where police and other resources are and also includes text messaging, sharing of images, GPS and other features. Kahn discusses potential encryption applications that have been recommended to the DoD as well as a successful deployment at a U.S. college where former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was speaking and Alert & Respond provided an interoperable platform that was used by Interpol, local police, the FBI, DHS and other agencies.
GSN 2012 Award Winners/Finalists/Sponsors: RedSeal Networks, Allan Thompson, Executive VP Global Sales and Business Development
RedSeal Networks is both a Sponsor of the 2012 Awards Program and recipient of a Winner’s trophy in the IT Security Category of “Best Continuous Monitoring Solution”. According to Allan Thompson, RedSeal provides proactive network security management, which is accomplished by allowing security teams to visualize their networks, giving them the ability to pinpoint weaknesses on a continuous monitoring basis and see where the threats are. In the federal government sector, where the company expects to be expanding, RedSeal sells to C-level executives such as CISOs in Intel agencies and the DoD. Thompson reports the imminent release of version 6.5 of its software, in which the innovation is to address the BYOD by allowing clients to visualize the wireless controllers in the network as well.
Vanguard Security Professionals has been a multiple Winner and Finalist in previous GSN Awards Programs and was named Winner in the 2012 category of “Best Intrusion Detection/Prevention Solution” and Finalist in the 2012 categories of “Best Identity Management Platform” and “Best Compliance/Vulnerability Assessment Solution.” Steven Ringelberg argues that new language is being used to describe the threat-scape, but many threats are the same as they have been for years. The three “bad actors” are nation/state enterprises, criminal enterprises and hactivists/terrorists, and the four types of controls are technical controls, repetititive controls, compensating controls and corrective controls. We are going away from annual accrediting to continuous monitoring. But continuous monitoring has been a good thing to do for many years. Similarly, Vanguard has been using cloud deployments for years. Ringelberg says what is needed is a return to the concept of “Defense in Depth” that includes host-based security and host-based alerts, because 85% percent of data is processed on the host system. Vanguard Integrity Professionals is going to keep winning awards, says Ringelberg, by building intelligence into its tools and continuing to do what it’s been doing successfully for years.
GSN 2012 Award Winners/Finalists/Sponsors: Drew Morin, Chief Technology Officer, TeleCommunication Systems
TeleCommunication Systems (TCS), which entered its “Commercial Mobile Alerts System” in the 2012 Awards Program, was named a Finalist in the “Best Mass Notification Systems” category. Drew Morin, who is the Chief Technology Officer for TCS, says the publicly traded company is located in Annapolis, MD, and generates approximately $500-million in revenue from both the commercial and government market segments. For over twenty-five years TCS has provided “secure, reliable, mission critical wireless communications” and in the last ten years, the focus has included complete end-to-end solutions of deployable, secure communications including equipment, bandwidth connection, and services - all in a package that can be easily integrated with any other system. Morin points out that TCS is the #1 commercial provider of text messaging in the U.S., the #1 provider for precise location-based services for wireless devices in the world and the #1 provider of wireless and VoIP Next-Generation 9-1-1 solutions. The company offers government agencies deployable, end-to-end satellite systems with secure wireless communication, and cyber security solutions that include computer network and advanced training. Morin says TCS brings the “best in breed” for secure mobile device communications to both enterprises and the government with its Total Mobility Management (TMM) end-to-end solution for “Bring your own device”.
GSN 2012 Award Winners/Finalists/Sponsors: Brivo, Inc, John Szczygiel, Executive VP Sales and Marketing
John Szczygiel describes Brivo, Winner of the 2012 Award for “Best Integrated System for HSPD-12/FIPS 201 Compliance” for the second year in a row, as a cloud company that provides hosted subscriber services in the physical access control domain. The company’s “CloudPass” product has been established as a government community cloud, specifically for federal government agencies that want to take their physical access control and PAC into a cloud configuration. Brivo also offers a cloud transition service to clients that have on-premise servers and want to make the transition. Government clients include the GSA, which has used Brivo in a number of regions, and the Department of Homeland Security, which uses the company’s “Aparato” solution. Szczygiel points out that state and local governments are also transitioning to the cloud, with entire cities deciding they don’t want to have a client server application at 130 locations. Szczygiel concludes there are a lot of threats out there, and Brivo must be ever vigilant in keeping up with the threats to assure clients that its platform can be trusted.
GSN 2012 Award Winners/Finalists/Sponsors: Jody Mack, Director Business Development, Vanguard Integrity Professionals
Jody Mack provides a thumbnail description of Vanguard Integrity Professionals, a Sponsor of the 2012 GSN Awards Program as well as a Winner in the 2012 IT security category of “Best Intrusion Detection/Prevention Solution” and 2012 Finalist in the categories of “Best ID Management Platform” and “Best Compliance/Vulnerability Assessment Solution”, not to mention a multiple Winner and Finalist in prior GSN Awards Programs. She describes Vanguard Integrity Professionals as one of the largest independent providers of security and software for large enterprises and indicates that the company addresses very complex security challenges for government agencies such as DoD, DHS, FAA, FBI. The company’s broad list of core competencies includes identity and access control, intrusion detection/prevention, continuous monitoring, governance and risk management and compliance. The company’s headquarters are located in Las Vegas, NV, its Research and Development Center is in Orange, CA and it has additional offices across the United States as well as Sidney, Australia and Winchester, UK.
Xceedium Corporation garnered its second GSN awards trophy for the entry of its Xsuite solution in the “Best Privileged Access Management” category of the 2012 Awards Program. Ken Ammon, Chief Strategist for the company, describes how privileged access management has become increasingly important as physical and logical access have merged, and the government, through HSPD-12, has required that the PIV smart card, historically used for physical access now must be used for logical access as well. He discusses key shifts of federal government policy with regard to virtualization, which allows consolidation of IT assets and utilization of single platforms for multiple uses, and utilization of cloud computing as public utility. But he points out that in both models, privileged access becomes a large barrier to entry for compliance, regulatory and security reasons. Ammon indicates that Xceedium can enable compliance to regulatory requirements and has recently announced a partnership with Safenet enabling a high level of assurance, FIPS 42 Level 3 capability, that allows use of Smart Card 2 factor authentication issued by the government for a private or cloud infrastructure.
John D. Clark, Sr. and the Whitestone Group, which he founded in 2000, returned to the GSN Awards Dinner in 2012 to pick up their second trophy in two years, this time for the “Best Facility Security/Force Protection Service.” The Whitestone Group’s A-list of clients includes NASA, DoD, USDA, VA, DHS, Social Security Administration, U.S. Coast Guard, Army, Air Force and the Department of Interior, which has just approved a new 5-year facility security contract for the Hoover Dam. The company has also recently signed a contract with NASA, a new VA site in New York and a major regional contract with the FAA. In addition to its traditional services of physical security, access control, force protection, patrolling and counter-terrorism, the company has recently created a new division called Strategic Services, which provides personal protection services, vulnerability assessments and training. Clark attributes the success of the Whitestone Group to the right management at the corporate level and hiring people with knowledge and experience, such as Special Forces veterans. “But they have to be managed and they have to be trained and they have to have pride,” he concludes.
Vumii, the Atlanta, GA manufacturer of thermal imaging and illuminated IR cameras, was awarded a Winner’s trophy for “Best Thermal/Night Vision/Infrared Cameras” at the 2012 awards dinner. Primary markets for the cameras, according to President and CEO Randall Foster, are facilities with large, outdoor perimeters to protect, such as airports, seaports, utilities, government sites and military bases. The company’s “Accuracy 1500”, which was entered in the competition, has long range detection of 700 meters and human recognition at 1,500 meters, which is very unique for uncooled solid state technology. It leverages at 25 to 225 mm continuous zoom, an autofocus can be incorporated, and has long-range color capabilities with advanced optics. The company sells to all four military branches in the DoD, with its products offering protection, assessment and a very high level of detail, day or night. “Ultimately,” Foster concludes, “customers want to see at night just as they do in the day, and until they get that capability, they won’t be satisfied.”