From the Editor's desk

October 2003 News

Welcome to this issue of Hi-Tech Security Solutions. It has been a while since I last wrote an editorial column for the magazine, but I must say that it is good to be back. Much has changed, yet much remains the same. The same people, the same businesses, the same problems, the same clients. But my, has technology changed.

Having recently been involved in the planning and organisation of ISEC 2003 - The Future of CCTV, which took place on 15/16 October, I am astonished by the extent to which IT has increasingly influenced security technology.

That IT is pervasive, and that IT expertise comes with the territory if you are involved in any facet of security, is nothing new. Hi-Tech Security Solutions has been preaching this gospel for years.

What is new, is the extent to which this trend is causing changes in the risk management role within end-users of security. Suddenly, old style security officers, loss control and risk management are rubbing shoulders with compliance officers and IT directors, asking to share bandwidth, networks, infrastructure, resources and skills. Clearly this is a situation fraught with potential for conflict. And skills in change management would augment those newly acquired IT skills no end.

Understanding too, how one can engage with IT staff within an organisation, both from a vendor and from an operational security perspective, is a key determining factor for successful integration of security and IT networks.

I guess, in the midst of this change, we should never forget to get back to the basics. Why on earth are we doing what we are? For what purpose? And to what end? Should security even be integrating with the business infrastructure at all. Should it not stay 'securely' an island unto itself?

Clearly, in the midst of all the IT hype, we should not be swayed by promises of a 'new dawn' ... security is simultaneously simple and complex.

We need not make it any more difficult for ourselves than it already is, by making ill-considered technology choices.

Dr Craig Donald addresses this well, in his article this month entitled 'Reconciling old and new technology systems'.

Other articles highlight some of the changes that are taking place:

* Network digital image transmission systems, high hopes for smoke alarm mobile, outdoor high-security digital motion detector, fleet monitoring/management - what is the difference and can they be integrated? Effective integration of security systems, computer-based intruder detection, broadband microwave probe for CPM-700 countersurveillance receivers, business counterintelligence awareness briefing ...

What a basket! Enjoy this month's issue. And do not forget to contact me directly if you think we have got it wrong in our coverage of the security landscape. E-mail me at A bottle of pop to the most innovative suggestion for a feature.

Till next month,

Darren Smith

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