Exclusive Q&A with Ross Wilks from Vanderbilt

Ross Wilks ISJ Exclusive

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Ross Wilks, Head of Marketing Communications for Vanderbilt and ComNet discusses Vanderbilt’s new strategic partnerships and how the company stays one step ahead of cyber attackers.

Vanderbilt recently agreed a partnership with 6SS, could you tell us more about that please?

6SS has a lot of strengths as a training and services provider in the Middle East and Africa and Vanderbilt has now engaged in a strategic partnership with the company to provide training and certification for that market. The region is in high growth mode and is continuing to adopt Vanderbilt access control, intrusion and transmission solutions (from sister company, ComNet), so it’s critical for us to engage with partners who support the high standards for training and implementation we have across the globe. That’s why the relationship we’re building with 6SS is so important. 6SS already has a strong relationship in the MEA region as the exclusive training and professional services partner of one of the largest video management software manufacturers around the globe and will use this experience as a foundation for its relationship with Vanderbilt into the future.

Are there any other strategic partnerships that you can tell us about?

Last fall, Vanderbilt added Akuvox IP Door Entry Phones to its access control portfolio in the EMEA market, which offers a cloud intercom system that allows for smartphone video calling and unlocking, the issuing of temporary keys via QR Code (R29 Only) and a centralised remote property maintenance system. Additionally, Vanderbilt added Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Readers and three ZKTeco Biometric readers, both of which integrate with the ACT Enterprise software, version 2.10 or later. The addition of both of these points to the larger trend we’re embracing of offering a wide variety of readers for end users to adopt that integrate seamlessly with our systems sold throughout the European market and in the UK.

Vanderbilt in the US recently announced the integration of its enterprise-level Security Management System (SMS) with Allegion Von Duprin line of products. The integration expands the reach of Vanderbilt’s SMS to secondary doors through Allegion’s Von Duprin Remote Undogging (RU) and Remote Monitoring (RM) options in a variety of markets, including enterprise, K-12 and university facilities. This means more streamlined lockdown and remote control functionality for these markets.

Why is it important that physical security products are fully cyber secure?

What many don’t realise is that most enterprise networks have protections in place that help thwart would-be cyber attacks. However, these networks are only as strong as their weakest link. That’s why it’s critical for physical security products to be fully cyber secure. Most of these products are linked on a network and attackers are increasingly looking for vulnerable devices that will allow them access, so basic protocols for protecting and testing these devices is crucial.

What precautions does Vanderbilt take to ensure its products are cyber secure?

Vanderbilt does this by engaging in ongoing vulnerability testing. A security vulnerability in a product is a pattern of conditions in the design of the system that is unable to prevent an attack. This may result in perversions of the system such as mishandling, deleting, altering or extracting data. Essentially, this form of testing puts the product through its paces and once weaknesses are exposed, they can be patched up and the cycle of attack-and-defence can take place again until eventually, a watertight ship is in place and ready for market.

Do you see cloud access becoming more prominent throughout 2020?

Absolutely. We’re seeing a huge demand for cloud in the market across the globe. In EMEA, Vanderbilt has cloud-based options for both access control and intrusion solutions and Vanderbilt US has introduced ACT365 into its mix with great success. We’re expecting interest in cloud technologies to continue to increase in 2020 — and we’re ready.

What will Vanderbilt be displaying at ISC West 2020?

The Vanderbilt US team will highlight its suite of access control and video management solutions, including the ACT365 cloud-based access control and video management solution that I mentioned above. Vanderbilt’s suite of access control solutions, lite blue, bright blue, SMS and ACT365, are trusted across the industry by end user customers and integrator partners as a crucial part of an organisation’s overall security plan, highlighting the continuing need to call on manufacturers that concentrate efforts on training and customer service in their core values. The Vanderbilt Video Management System (VVMS) is a versatile line of NVRs and software-only solutions that support IP, analogue or hybrid environments with high-resolution cameras. VVMS can be used as a standalone solution or integrated with SMS for increased security.

Vanderbilt US will also present as part of the Security Industry Association Education@ISC sessions, “Building a Focus on Customer Service and Training,” from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. on Tuesday 17 March. Vanderbilt Training Manager, Bill Nussman will be joined by RS2 Technologies National Sales Manager, Jeff Bransfield and Open Options Director of Education Services, Sherinda Barrow to discuss the key characteristics of a comprehensive training program for both integrators and end users. The session will also help attendees identify the pain points of customers when learning a new platform or system and help provide methods for developing and executing a training program that serves a variety of audiences.

Vanderbilt will be at booth #5065 during the show and will join other ACRE brands, including Open Options (booth #5103), RS2 Technologies (booth #25109) and ComNet (booth #5071).


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