Sir William Gallagher heads up New Zealand electronic security manufacturer Gallagher, a company that is unquestionably a world leader in access control and automation solutions. Sir William is a witty and erudite lateral thinker, rich in anecdotes, who rarely takes his eye off underlying business principles.
JA: How old were you when you first started on the factory floor at Gallagher, Sir William?
SWG: SCUBA diving was my thing when I was young – I was still at school and was running a little business making SCUBA regulators. I was about 22 when I joined Gallagher – it was a 10-man band back then and now we have 950 staff on the direct payroll and about 1100 staff in total. We’ve certainly grown a bit.
JA: What do you put the growth of the Gallagher business down to?
Networking will be more pervasive, more wireless, more everything
COMBINING the thoughts of manufacturers and distributors in the first few months of 2017 with comments from integrators like Schneider Electric, as well as considering growing trends in the U.S. and Europe towards cloud services, it’s hard not to feel that we’re in for a wild ride in 2017 and beyond.
Last month we talked about the growing prevalence of biometrics but the changeful feel in the marketplace is bigger than biometrics. It’s deeper and it’s likely to change things in every way. Something that’s notable in big systems is the U.S. Army’s decision to turn to cloud services, with a $US62 billion contract awarded to IBM.
OVER the past couple of years, it has been repeatedly brought home that electronic security solutions are being conceptually liberated by the digital transition, allowing them to incorporate a wide range of lateral technologies that will expand the challenges and opportunities of the future.
Alongside this liberation of technology runs a hunger for cost reduction among end users, as well as an increased threat profile that applies to population centres as much as to commercial and government organisations. Ordinary citizens globally feel connected to concepts of security surrounding empirically proven threats.
Appearance Search from Avigilon - among the best security solutions of 2016
What were the best and most innovative products of 2016? And where do they suggest the electronic security industry is heading over the next 12 months? Are we pushing ahead when it comes to technology or are market forces giving users and installers easier access to the functionalities of lower quality hardware?
MAKING calls about the best products over a 12-month period is tough. You’re pretty much guaranteed to get plenty wrong. There are products you overlook and products you never saw. But there’s no doubt it <I>is<I> possible to get a strong sense of the market as well as a feel for the direction the best solutions are likely to take into the future.
2016 was a pivotal year in electronic security technology
LOOKING back on 2016 it’s hard not to see groundswells across the electronic security industry that don’t just point to future trends but underscore the nature of our technology.
The impact of Mirai malware, which turns CCTV recorders and cameras into attack bots, rolls on. Mirai shows us many things – that the electronic security industry is a networked animal and that online ecosystems are unsafe. For the longest time, integrators and end users have managed to avoid being targeted by high profile attacks – mostly through the judicious use of subnets and VLANs – but network defence is going to be a serious consideration in our future.
Entry camera test array at Westfield, Bondi Junction
Last month Scentre Group’s National CCTV Camera Shootout was held at Westfield in Bondi Junction. This is the largest CCTV camera shootout of its type in Australia, with the diverse mall environment giving attendees plenty to think about across 4 camera groups.
WE often rattle on about objective camera testing in SEN and we do this because there is absolutely nothing that highlights strengths and weaknesses of performance more clearly than lining up a group of cameras in generally identical circumstances and seeing which image looks best. The challenge is getting all the latest cameras in one place – even more difficult, providing a series of real world applications that allow adequate conditions for comparison.
Physical security industry carries potential viral load
LAST month a vast distributed denial of service attack was launched by a group that marshalled 500,000 network-connected devices, including IP cameras and DVRs, using Mirai malware. The first stage of the attack was the creation of an army of botnets which subsequently flooded popular websites, including twitter, with DDoS traffic and volumes that crashed servers.
Particular products with basic default passwords have been called out for their involvement but there’s a much larger issue here – it’s the clear vulnerability of all network-connected devices to attack. Running parallel with this trend is a tidal trend to drive security solutions of all types of security systems using mobile devices – a trend that’s driven by changes in the way we all consume information and interact with layers of system functionality.
Echostar, a satellite TV and internet provider based in the U.S. with global operations and annual earnings of $US3.1 billion, has turned its attention to the security market and plans to provide automation, intrusion detection, video verification and video monitoring, as well as self-monitoring. Can its plan work? Maybe…
The smartest technology is that most fit for purpose...
SOMETHING SEN talks about with monotonous regularity is ‘operational requirements’ yet we consistently see products and applications which leave us wondering whether or not these imperatives got lost somewhere during the process of design and installation.
It’s easy to see how this might happen when considering the complexity of many solutions and the variable performance parameters of much of the technology currently available. There’s also the cognitive bias inevitably introduced by products a company sells or installs. That pointed saying that when you’re holding a hammer every problem looks like a nail applies to electronic security solutions, as well.
Security 2016 Exhibition in Melbourne gave us a chance to take a look at the latest product releases, get a sense of trends, as well checking out some of the vapourware teasers that manufacturers and distributors roll out at big events.
SECURITY 2016 had a nice feel – it’s a good venue and the square layout at the MCEC somehow mitigates the sense of being tucked away in far corners. The organisers quoted visitor numbers of around 4500, which seemed slightly optimistic from behind Sony's New York Loft Bar. Regardless, it was another good show considering this was a third year in Melbourne thanks to the ongoing revamp of the Exhibition and Convention Centre in Darling Harbour. While some exhibitors were jumping to conclusions on the first day, by the end of the show on Friday afternoon, most were happy with the turnout and quality of the visitors they'd seen.