Bits 'n bytes

November 2004 News

Why is it that so much time and money is spent on security?

Is it that crime is that much higher? Do we have that much more to protect? Or do we feel we work so hard for what we have that we merely want it to remain our property?

It is more than likely a combination of these three and a host of other things.

Whatever the reasons are, they are driving huge technological advances in the industry - intrusion detection and alarm systems for homes, tracking devices for cars, micro-chips for assets (not to forget pets), the list is endless, and growing!

On 14 August, The Star ran an interview with a former car hijacker. I did not see the article, but am led to believe that this was part of it:

"Question: How effective are modern anti-theft and tracking systems?

Answer: When I was stealing cars three years ago, most of them were a joke. I could break into almost any car and drive it away within minutes. With tracking systems, it was usually very easy to find where the device was hidden. While one guy drove the car, his accomplices would strip the interior looking for the tracker's hiding place. Then sometimes we would place the tracking unit into a taxi and trick the police and the helicopters into following the taxi. Nowadays the tracking systems are getting a lot better though, with quicker response times, and towards the end I nearly got caught a couple of times."

Well that is both encouraging and motivating - I am encouraged to know that the technology is advancing and I hope that fact keeps motivating developers and manufacturers to keep working towards even better products.

Read about The Vehicle Security Association of South Africa (Vesa) and how it maintains industry standards. We look at various options of mobile and vehicular security available, predominantly for trains and automobiles.

As usual, CCTV and access control receive quite a bit of attention. Read about what is new and what is hot, including video motion detection and a whole lot of new products.

Access control is surely one of the broadest aspects of security, with so many other components tying in with it as a whole, we go back to basics and explain an access control system from start to finish. Biometrics is certainly an important player in the access control arena and we examine the use of the technology in identification and authentication.

And did you know that South African organisations are giving information security top-level priority compared to their global counterparts. This was the finding of Ernst & Young's 2004 Global Information Security Survey.

As we head towards the final issue of the year, take some time to think about your company's product of the year, from your perception - not necessarily the biggest selling or most innovative, although it could well be, but also those that have stood the test of time and are still out-performing many newer products. Then let us know what they are and why you regard them as 'products of the year', that is our focus for next month.

Till then,

Lynne Larsen

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