The serious business of securing cities

Often in this blog, we are a little light-hearted about the serious business of doing business. That’s because the truth of the matter is that most of the things we consider “important” on our daily to-do list are not really so important in the grand scheme of things.

But one thing that’s no laughing matter is the importance of keeping people in major population centers safe from terrorist attacks and natural disasters. Keeping cities secure and safe is a two part process: keeping negative events from occurring whenever possible, and responding to situations that do come to pass.

Today, a new industry initiative called the Secure City Technology Alliance (SCTA) was announced with the goal of helping in both areas. SCTA brings together the providers of best-in-class security and communications technologies, including Solace, March Networks, DragonWave, and Mitel  to offer integrated solutions that are easy and cost-effective to deploy and run.

As a founding member we share the vision that technology is critical to enabling countries and cities to meet their security and safety goals. As we have seen in our own work with DHS/DNDO in the US, the number of integration points between technologies is a major hurdle to overcome when deploying systems within and across local, state and federal agencies. The SCTA aims to bring together many different kinds of technology to resolve technical and architectural issues in advance so agencies can easily select and implement systems that improve their ability to secure their citizens and infrastructure.

For example, March Networks’ video surveillance systems may use facial or motion detection to generate suspicious activity messages published through a Solace event backbone. Certain events may automatically initiate a real time video sharing session among security personnel on a secure wireless network from BelAir Networks, along with a shared VoIP conference call using Mitel connected to two-way radios in the field using Teldio. Benbria’s technology can integrate wide-scale outreach to responders and citizens, and  Bridgewater’s can manage the personal priorities and preferences of participants in a mobile response network.

The goals and objectives of the SCTA are outlined on the alliance website. Have a look around, it’s a very powerful concept and a step in the right direction in helping governments cope with and embrace what’s possible with leading technology.