Security and the YouTube Generation

When your security officer is in the thick of an incident, he may not notice that it's being recorded by a bystander. Many YouTubers are posting candid videos, which seem to be damaging the security industry's reputation.

The dark side of YouTube is affecting the security industry and it’s no laughing matter. YouTube material can be easy to find, but also threatening to the security industry's image. Postings of attacks and incidents – some gruesome – captured by security video and frightening images of people identifying themselves as security industry workers.

Founded in February 2005 as a place to distribute original videos on the Internet, is a favorite pastime for a large audience of computer users. Cyber citizens can upload videos and enjoy a worldwide audience. The site contains video snippets of hobbies, current events, unusual happenings, parodies, pajama-party skits, anything that peaks your interest. If you have even a modest camera capable of taking videos, you, too, can be an international star. YouTube has a user-friendly search engine that allows the viewer to type in an interest and YouTube will generate a list of relevant posted videos.

It is not surprising that security guards want to be included in an era where everyone gets their 15 minutes of fame. Simply type “Security Guards” into the search engine and you will find a plethora of entries. Some are routine, some are obviously contrived, and others are truly frightening.

Some videos show situations as mundane as tourist asking to have their pictures taken with on-duty airport security guards. One might immediately suspect a diversion of some kind, but there are no videos of stolen Boeing 747s. Other videos show guards sleeping on duty. With video technology readily available, using camcorders, PDAs or cell phones to capture images is easier than ever.

More contrived videos include one titled, Over Zealous Guard at Burger King. An obvious class project for some college level film or journalism class, the video comes complete with credits for scriptwriting, storyboarding and production.

Many videos are undoubtedly set-ups perpetrated against security guards by their archrivals: skateboarders. These skaters play a sly little game. As the skaters trespass private property to execute their “death defying” tricks, another skater, armed with a video camera – sometimes concealed and sometimes in plain view – records the event. The skaters spring the trap as soon as the guards arrive to evict them from the property. Boom! The guards become instant YouTube fodder.

Many of the videos clearly show how trying these trespassers can be even to the most patient security guard. On a few occasions, the guards lose their professional demeanor and fistfights and scuffles ensue, followed by threats of legal action against the guards. It is ironic that property owners have guards remove the skaters for fear of injury liability, and then the guards themselves end up potential targets of legal actions.

Even more serious are the number of real surveillance videos posted on YouTube. One video shows an unarmed guard stationed at the front door of a jewelry store. A man enters the store, pulls out a 10-inch knife and attacks the guard. As the guard fights for his life, a store employee rushes over to help and beats the assailant over the head with a metal mop-handle. The assailant is eventually subdued; and, fortunately, the guard’s wounds are not life threatening.

In an equally disturbing video, a gang of thugs pulls a casino guard from his golf-cart and beats him unmercifully. No one ever comes to his aid, but we see him stumbling back to the cart once the gang leaves. Reality TV has nothing on YouTube.

Although the scope of YouTube is international, most uploaded security videos are from the United States. Thematically, these videos unfairly cast the security industry in a negative light. It creates the perception that the industry is full of uptight, ignorant, cop wannabes. In the minds of many, perception is reality. However, uploading need not be exclusively negative.

Uploading positive videos of award presentations, training videos or anything that promotes the security industry in a positive light will do wonders for the industry as a whole. Video can be a powerful tool for image enhancement, too. Use the positive to counter the negative. Upload something positive today! As a corporate safety and security trainer for one of the world’s largest security firms, I know I will.

SEC Offers Security Evaluation Tools

The Security Executive Council (SEC) is offering, for a limited time, collections of template slides from its presentation library. The SEC’s presentation library is full of customizable presentations created by SEC staff and faculty (former CSOs). The current offering helps security executives both measure and evaluate their security programs and save time creating professional-looking presentations to show senior management security’s contributions to the bottom line.

The presentations provide valuable templates that, when customized with the user’s logo and data, have been proven to resonate with senior management and show how security is aligned with business goals.

For example, one of the templates included in the newly available collections shows how a protective operations program provides an annual return on investment. Another details business units’ conformance to information security policies. Each includes application advice and usage comments in the notes section from SEC faculty.

The collections are available for $150.00 through the SEC store at

IP Surveillance in North America Fueled by Growing Advantages

The advantages of digital technology in analyzing and providing real-time feedback will likely fuel the IP video surveillance storage systems market. In addition to growing security concerns, the possibility of integration with the IT infrastructure provides the necessary business case for security managers to shift from analog to IP surveillance.

New analysis from Frost and Sullivan reports that North American IP video surveillance storage markets earned revenues of $1.26 billion in 2006 and is estimated to reach $2.95 billion in 2013.

“The falling prices of hard disk drives, as well as increasing demand from government and gaming sectors as they replace analog systems with IP surveillance, drives this market,” said Frost and Sullivan research analyst George C. Paul. “Further, the advent of serial advanced technology attachment used for transferring data between hard disk and computer makes IP video surveillance storage systems relatively less complex.”

However, the cost of replacing an existing analog system with an IP surveillance system includes the replacement of cameras, network, servers, recorders and monitoring stations, which represents a major cost for end-users. Additionally, applications such as casino gaming tables can only operate with continuous video monitoring. Therefore, in order to prevent revenue loss, casinos require “hot swapping” wherein the analog surveillance system is replaced in stages by the IP system. Both systems run in parallel until the IP surveillance is ready to take over.

“The challenge for the IP video surveillance storage market is to develop solutions targeting particular applications, with the right balance of flexibility, security and cost,” said Paul. “For instance, intermediate technologies such as encoders can be used to convert analog to digital before setting up IP storage systems so that when the transition from analog to digital takes place, the cost does not seem prohibitive.”

Nonetheless, active public and private security concerns in recent times propel heavy investments in the IP video surveillance storage market.

Continuing demand from casinos, airports, banks and hospitals also promise growth in the IP video surveillance storage market.

SIDEBAR: The Security 500 “Solutions for Enterprise Security Leaders”

The Security 500 Conference is the industry’s breakthrough conference focusing on the business impact of security leaders. The Security 500 includes a full day program bringing together security leaders from top organizations.

Security Magazine presents the leading management conference on managing and measuring the value of the security function within the organization. In addition to this outstanding conference program, attendees will receive The Security 500 Research Report, uniquely ranking the 500 largest buyers of security products and services in the U.S.

The Security 500 is held in concert with Securing New Ground: The Business of Security event featuring industry leaders including investors, dealers and integrators. For more information, please visit


Coverage of the 25 Most Influential People in Security will be the cover feature in the December issue of Security Magazine, which goes to more than 35,000 top security executives.

People could be:
  • Chief security officers who shared their strategies and accomplishments.
  • Enterprise CEOs with a vision relating business to security goals.
  • Consultants and systems integrators making positive impact through clients.
  • Persons researching or developing security technology.
  • Public servants who best serve or challenge security executives and their mission.
  • Association executives with a successful track record.
The requirements for nomination include:
  • Statement of the nominee’s contributions and influence within the security profession.
  • List of association memberships, industry involvement, authorships.
Please e-mail your nominations to Erin Fellores, associate editor of Security Magazine, at


Are you looking for more news and information on the security industry? Visit Zalud’s Security Blog at for the latest market happenings from Bill Zalud, Security Magazine editor. Get the latest from the blog that has coverage with an editor’s viewpoint.

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