News & Business



Cyber Hack Affects 150,000 Verkada Security Cameras

According to a report by Bloomberg, Verkada, a cloud-managed and edge-based enterprise security software, was victim to a data breach that allowed an international group of hackers to gain access to 150,000 security cameras.

Hospitals, prisons and companies like Tesla and Cloudflare were affected by the breach, according to the report.

The hackers used “Super Admin” credentials found publically on the internet to access the camera data, which included video from inside women’s clinics and Verkada offices.

According to the Bloomberg report, a Verkada camera inside Florida hospital Halifax Health showed what appeared to be eight hospital staffers tackling a man and pinning him to a bed. Halifax Health is featured on Verkada’s website in a case study titled “How a Florida Healthcare Provider Easily Updated and Deployed a Scalable HIPAA Compliant Security System.”

Another video from inside a Tesla warehouse in Shanghai shows workers on an assembly line. The hackers said they gained access to 222 cameras in Tesla factories and warehouses.

Verkada Indoor Camera

Some of Verkada’s cameras use facial recognition technology to identify and sort people in the footage. The hackers said they have access to complete video archives from all Verkada customers, according to the Bloomberg report.

Tillie Kottmann, member of the hacker collective that previously claimed credit for hacking Intel Corp. and Nissan Motor, said the purpose of the collective’s action was to show the “pervasiveness” of the video surveillance industry and the ease of breaking into the systems.

Kottmann said their group was able to obtain root access on the cameras, meaning they could use the cameras to execute their own code. That access could, in some instances, allow them to obtain access to the broader corporate network of Verkada’s customers, or hijack the cameras and use them as a platform to launch future hacks. Obtaining this degree of access to the camera didn’t require any additional hacking, as it was a built-in feature, Kottmann told Bloomberg.

According to Kottmann, after Bloomberg contacted Verkada in regards to the breach, the hackers lost access to the video feeds and archives.

In response, Verkada said it has verified its system is secure and has already restricted administrator access as it conducts a review of its policies and permissions.

“We have disabled all internal administrator accounts to prevent any unauthorized access,” a Verkada spokesperson said in a statement. “Our internal security team and external security firm are investigating the scale and scope of this issue, and we have notified law enforcement.”

Verkada said it previously limited access to internal administrator accounts to engineers and support staff so they could address customers’ questions and technical issues. Verkada’s training program and policies for employees are both clear that support staff members were and are required to secure a customer’s explicit permission before accessing that customer’s video feed, according to the spokesperson.

Although unable to comment on the breach, the Security Industry Association has resources available on its site to help companies improve their cybersecurity and data privacy postures, such as a guide to product and system hardening and a report on the challenges and recommendations for connected physical security products.

Christian Morin, chief security office and vice president of integrations and cloud services at Genetec, a provider of open-platform software, hardware and cloud-based services for the physical security and public safety industry, says that there’s no “silver bullet” when discussing cybersecurity. However, taking steps like separating corporate networks and systems from the ones managing customer data can help mitigate the scope of a breach or prevent it altogether.

“Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility,” Morin said. “All parties involved in the system development, implementation and operation have a critical role to play. It is important that manufacturers, integrators and end users embrace this fact and work together to address this risk.”

Verkada, based in San Mateo, Calif., was founded in 2016. It raised $80 million in venture capital in Jan. 2020, valuing the company at $1.6 billion.—By Amanda Reed, SDM Staff Editor //

Female Firefighter Getty Images 1089972710


94,000 female firefighters in the United States — about 8 percent of the country’s fire service — are wearing PPE that does not fit correctly.

// Source: NFPA


Image courtesy Bill Oxford/ E+ via Getty Images

Milestone Produces Its First Virtual MIPS

The first virtual Milestone Integration Platform Symposium (MIPS) took place March 2-3 for an audience of more than 6,000 registrants (35 percent of which had never attended a MIPS before). The latest in a long line of events gone virtual, Milestone sought to stand out from the rest with shorter sessions weaved together with a narrative that made the conference feel cinematic.

“We wanted to keep our attendees engaged in the presentations, and we quickly realized just converting a physical event to a virtual event was not the way to be successful,” Milestone Vice President Tim Palmquist said to SDM after the show. “We got the idea from television, and utilized professional recording studios and green screens to deliver our message in the virtual city environment. We worked to keep it relatively short over the two days to best ensure engagement throughout the event hours.”

The extra effort apparently worked — Palmquist says they retained their viewership very well over the two days, with almost everyone staying on throughout all of the sessions.

A main topic of discussion throughout the conference was “the new next,” Milestone’s twist on “the new normal.” This theme of innovation and preparing for the future was explored throughout a virtual city, where attendees could move from building to building for different sessions.

MIPS 2021

The future of video, and what that future might look like, was of particular focus. “Video is the new next of the 21st century, and we are the pioneers of the new next,” said Milestone Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Kenneth Hune Petersen in the first keynote. “We have an obligation to tell our end customers about the possibility of video, the possibility of tomorrow … because if we don’t tell them, they will miss out.”

The rest of day one included a presentation on the future of Milestone technology by Chief Technology Officer Bjørn Skou Eilertsen; a session about investing in the right partnerships by Palmquist; the exploration of a case study by Todd Brown of integration partner Affinitech; an interview with new Milestone CEO Thomas Jensen about the future of the company; and a second keynote by Peter Hinssen about thriving in what he called the “never normal.” Hinssen is an author and thought leader on radical innovation, leadership and the impact of all things digital on society and business.

“Companies need to keep a very keen eye on the day after tomorrow — new ideas, concepts and business models that change the game,” Hinssen said. “We don’t have to fear this uncertainty — we have to trust the opportunities in the never normal.”

There were also a number of on-demand sessions that attendees could (and still can) watch.

Day two was made up of three different tracks dedicated to the retail, cities and transportation industries. The first session of the day was a panel discussion focused on Milestone products and services, and what’s on the horizon for the company.

“We are in a time of disruption,” said Milestone Director of Product Marketing Anders Bo Rasmussen, who led the discussion. “It’s going to be a journey where we must balance technology, ways of working and business ethics.”

At the end of the two days, the fact that everyone in the industry — and world — needs to start preparing for the future was made clear.

“We see the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of technology in many aspects of life, and now is a great time for the Milestone community to come together and shape the opportunities of tomorrow — that’s the new next,” Palmquist said. “We’re messaging that the future is speeding up and disruptions of the status quo are catalysts for change. It was a message to our partners that we are getting ready for this acceleration, and want to come together with them and get back into business in high gear.”

Reflecting on his first digital event, Palmquist says his team learned it is possible to keep people engaged online, and was happy that a broader audience was able to attend the virtual event due to its accessible nature.

Still, the company is looking forward to when they can host their next in-person event.

“I cannot wait to get back to a physical event, there’s no question about that,” Palmquist said. “But it is sometimes good to be forced to change and explore new territory.” —By Courtney Wolfe, SDM Managing Editor //

The Global Market for the Internet of Things in Smart Commercial Buildings

($Bn, 2019-2025)


According to a report by Memoori, the global market for the Internet of Things (IoT) in smart commercial buildings will reach between $65.5-$82.7 billion by 2025.

// Source: Memoori

IoT In Smart Buildings

Triton Acquires ACRE, Including Vanderbilt, ComNet & Razberi

Triton, an investment firm based in Europe, has acquired ACRE, an end-to-end security solutions provider based in Dallas and Dublin, Ireland.

Triton will invest alongside the current management team of ACRE. ACRE’s previous majority investor, LLR Partners, who has partnered with the company since 2013, will exit the business.

“We look forward to actively supporting the management and employees of ACRE as a stable owner by investing in the growth and development of the company,” said Peder Prahl, director of the general partner for Triton. “Our industry expertise and international network will further strengthen ACRE’s position as a leading global provider of intelligent electronic security solutions.”

ACRE logo

The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

ACRE delivers security systems for access control and intrusion detection, as well as video solutions with a communication networking and intelligent appliance portfolio. ACRE’s family of companies includes Vanderbilt, Open Options, RS2 Technologies, ComNet and Razberi.

“As we reach our next stage of growth and strive to hit new milestones, we are pleased to welcome Triton as the partner to help us expand our presence and capabilities organically and via new acquisitions,” said Joseph Grillo, ACRE CEO. “This partnership will allow us to continue to invest in innovation and bring our market leading solutions to customers.”

Triton will bring industry expertise and additional capital to support ACRE’s continued innovation and proven buy and build strategy.

“ACRE operates in the structurally growing, fragmented and resilient electronic security market, with an attractive product portfolio and strong market position in the geographies it operates in,” said Sachin Jivanji, investment advisory professional and advisor to Triton. “We look forward to partnering with Joe and the team as ACRE embarks on the next phase of its journey.” //

Allied Universal Acquires G4S in $5.3 Billion Deal

Allied Universal has acquired G4S, ending a months-long battle between Allied Universal and GardaWorld, based in Canada, to acquire the London-based security company.

“The combination of G4S and Allied Universal creates the global leader in security with revenues of over $18 billion, industry leading talent and expertise and unmatched market coverage,” said Ashley Almanza, G4S CEO. “This unique combination will offer customers exceptional service and provides employees with an exciting future. I would like to thank the board and our shareholders for their support and to thank colleagues across G4S for their outstanding contribution to the successful repositioning of G4S that has made this transaction possible. My team and I look forward to working with Allied to support a successful integration of the two businesses.”

G4S Logo

Seventy-nine percent of G4S’s shareholders approved the deal, worth $5.3 billion.

“The G4S board believes that the offer provides shareholders with an attractive premium, while securing the future success of G4S for employees, customers, pension scheme members and other stakeholders,” said John Connolly, chairman of the G4S board. “I would like to thank Ashley and his team together with all employees for the successful transformation of G4S in recent years, which has made this transaction possible, and I would like to thank my fellow board members for their excellent work. Finally, I would like to thank all of our shareholders for their strong support.” //

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Becklar Announces New CEO

Becklar, parent company of both AvantGuard Monitoring Centers and Freeus, announced the appointment of Steve Richards as CEO. Richards has led numerous publicly traded and private companies. Josh Garner, Becklar’s founder and former CEO, has assumed the role of executive chairman of the company’s board of directors. Garner, who remains a shareholder, will continue to be actively involved in the company’s strategic growth and direction as he chairs the company’s board.

“We heartily welcome Steve as chief executive officer,” Garner said. “We are confident that Steve brings the right balance of expertise and leadership skills to take Becklar through its next phase of growth. We have a deep and experienced management team and a formidable platform to continue to execute our proven business plan and consistently deliver outstanding results. Steve and I share a common vision for the continued growth of Becklar. I’m excited to continue to focus on our business strategy and M&A efforts while Steve assumes day to day leadership at the organization.”


Steve Richards

Richards has experience across technology, media, communications, business process outsourcing and recurring services firms, marked by a consistent history of driving growth and client service.

“It is both an honor and privilege to be appointed chief executive officer of Becklar,” Richards said. “I have a great respect and admiration for the strategic focus, track record and uniquely positive culture that Josh and the team have built at Becklar, Avantguard Monitoring and Freeus. Josh is an exemplary business leader; I am confident that together we will seamlessly transition into our new roles and accelerate growth in the months and years to come.” //

ASIS, SIA, PSA & More Comment on Cybersecurity Threats

Global security industry organizations ASIS International, the Electronic Security Association (ESA), The Monitoring Association (TMA), PSA Security Network and the Security Industry Association (SIA) have issued a joint statement regarding cybersecurity threats.

“As representatives of the security practitioners and security solutions providers responsible for protecting people and assets around the globe, our organizations have long championed and promoted robust cyber readiness education and adherence to international cybersecurity standards,” the statement said. “We share a unified vision to continuously strengthen cyber readiness practices by all stakeholders within the security ecosystem.”

The statement goes on to mention education efforts from each organization to prevent cybersecurity threats.

“Building a community of partnership and trust among the industry and its many stakeholders helps us share information and learn about the evolving threat landscape so we can be better prepared and learn from common challenges,” according to the statement. //

Securitas Reveals New Brand Identity

Securitas, an intelligent protective services partner, has launched a major update to its global brand identity and positioning. Headlined by the tagline “See a different world,” the new brand highlights the company’s approach to security and the impact of its technology. It includes the first major update of the Securitas logo since 1972.

“This is a milestone for our company and our industry,” said Mauro Silva, vice president of brand and strategic marketing, Securitas. “We reflected on our strategy, our world and what clients expect from us today and saw an opportunity for differentiation. Securitas is a knowledge-driven company where engaged and talented people make a positive difference every day. This brand expresses our confidence in the future, while remaining true to our heritage and people, and makes our leadership clearer than ever.”

Securitas New Logo

Securitas’ new brand will be visible on Securitas’ personnel uniforms, vehicles, equipment and facilities, as well as its digital tools and online channels. The brand will be rolled out gradually across the company’s worldwide operations.

“Our new brand shows the world who we are and where we’re going,” said Magnus Ahlqvist, president and CEO, Securitas. “It builds on Securitas’ proud heritage and values of integrity, vigilance and helpfulness, and focuses on our unique people and high-impact technology. We work with many of the world’s most recognizable companies, and our new identity makes it clear how we can help create a more sustainable and inclusive future together with our clients and partners. It will open even more doors for our business and accelerate our strategy execution.” //

SIA Welcomes New Chair of Women in Security Forum

The Security Industry Association (SIA) has named Kasia Hanson as the new chair of the SIA Women in Security Forum. Hanson — global director for IoT partner sales for digital safety and security in multiple areas, including creating safe cities and sports and entertainment, at Intel Corporation — will lead the forum in offering programs, professional development opportunities and networking events to support the participation of women in the security industry.

Kasia Hanson is a sales executive with a history of impact in artificial intelligence (AI), IoT, data, the cloud, networking, storage solutions, cybersecurity and software. She joined Intel in 2000, and over the past 20 years she has delivered solutions globally for the company with multi-billion-dollar customers, including Hewlett Packard and Oracle, distribution partners, the security industry and end users. In her current role, she drives Intel’s presence and revenue in the global video industry, develops and executes partner sales acceleration initiatives and directs ecosystem development and scale initiatives around AI and IoT, with an emphasis on computer vision and deep learning in the video industry.

“I am honored to lead the SIA Women in Security Forum and look forward to applying my experience in technology to the outstanding foundation that has been built over the years,” Hanson said. “Diversity of experience and inclusion of the full community of security professionals is so important, and I look forward to working with SIA to bring more women into the industry to create an amazing and safe future.”

Hanson has served on the SIA Women in Security Forum’s education and outreach subcommittee since 2019. She participates in several industry initiatives to advance the use of AI and IoT in cities and sports, including the Innovation Institute for Fan Experience and the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security, and served as a board member for Women of the Channel in 2017 and 2018. She also led the economic recovery team for Intel’s Pandemic Response Technology Initiative.


Kasia Hanson

“SIA’s Women in Security Forum has made remarkable accomplishments over the last three years, and the valuable contributions of the WISF steering committee and forum members like Kasia Hanson have helped make these achievements possible,” said SIA CEO Don Erickson. “We applaud Kasia for her leadership and service to SIA and the industry, congratulate her on her new role leading the Women in Security Forum and look forward to partnering with her in promoting the advancement of a diverse and inclusive security workforce.”

Founded in 2018, SIA’s Women in Security Forum works to engage all security professionals to promote, recruit and cultivate the leadership of women for a more inclusive and diversified industry. //

Maroon, Carmine, Font, Red, Text

Sage Integration, a security integration provider serving enterprise Fortune 100 clients, has named Ross Westermann as its national project manager. Westermann will oversee project and contract management, engineering review and provide sales support as Sage expands its client base across the U.S.


Ross Westermann

Nortek Control announced that Ryan Kosterow has been promoted to business development manager for the Linear brand in its Western region. Kosterow originally joined the company as a Linear Pro Channel regional sales manager in 2018 representing the brand’s perimeter products.


Ryan Kosterow Headshot

SnapAV, an industry provider of A/V, surveillance, control, networking and remote management products, announced the appointment of Sean Halloran as security business development manager in the Western U.S.


Sean Halloran

Security Information Systems (SIS), an EverCommerce company and global provider in alarm monitoring and interface services for the security industry, announced that Eric Young will join its team as senior vice president of operations as part of the company’s larger focus on hiring key talent to accelerate growth in 2021.


Eric Young

SALTO Systems, a manufacturer of electronic access control solutions, has named Laura Turman as retail vertical leader for North America. Turman has previously served as regional sales manager for Senstar, a regional security expert for Schneider Electric, regional sales manager for Open Options, and as an account executive for Anixter.


Laura Turman

Clare Controls, maker of the ClareOne wireless security and smart home automation system and brand of SnapAV, announced the appointment of Bob DeProspero as national security sales manager.


Bob DeProspero

ON2IT, a global managed security services company, announced that John Kindervag will join the company as senior vice president- cybersecurity strategy and group fellow. Kindervag has held the position of field chief technology officer at Palo Alto Networks for the past four years. He previously spent eight and a half years at Forrester Research as a vice president and principal analyst on the security and risk team. He is best known for creating the zero trust strategy for cybersecurity.


John Kindervag

Vector Security has made two appointments. Tara Park has joined the company as vice president of human resources. Park will be responsible for creating and driving Vector Security’s HR strategy to complement and support the strategic initiatives of its four business units.

Dan Reynolds has joined the company as director of customer experience. Reynolds will be responsible for defining, executing and managing the overall customer experience across all areas of Vector Security.


Tara Park


Dan Reynolds

Guardian Protection has announced a staff promotion and addition. Justin Demek has been promoted to director of dealer programs. In this role, he will oversee the team that supports Guardian’s dealer relationships and will also focus on the growth and success of Guardian’s authorized dealer business.

David Errera has joined Guardian Protection as commercial sales manager, responsible for activities related to the strategic growth and development of the commercial business unit which focuses on prospective clients in industrial, institutional and corporate sectors.


Justin Demek


David Errera

Calipsa, a provider of deep learning-powered video analytics for false alarm reduction, has promoted Brian Baker to the newly created role of chief revenue officer for global business development. He was previously Calipsa’s vice president of the Americas, with similar duties for the North American continent.


Brian Baker

Virsec announced it has hired Jim Routh as chief security advisor and board participant. Routh formerly served as the CISO for MassMutual, the CSO at Aetna and the global head of application and mobile Security for J.P. Morgan Chase.


Jim Routh