PSASpecialReport: “Out-of-the-Box” Partnership
Four years ago, Wunderlich-Malec decided to take their 21-years of engineering knowledge and experience and try their hand at security. Today, the Minneapolis, Minn.-based company, registered as engineers in 34 states, is using its background in installing networks and integrating dissimilar systems to help secure facilities in a wide-variety of industries, including mining, pulp and paper, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing.
“We realized there was a market in the security business for this expertise,” said Roy Marin of Wunderlich-Malec’s Center of Excellence for Security in Dallas, Tex. “We understand how to get information in a format and integrated in such a way that it becomes meaningful for the operators. We learned that in our control systems for industrial plants. Because operators can’t watch everything all the time they need a first and second level of intuitiveness in the system to point them in the right direction.”
“We joined PSA as a member and a vendor,” Marin explained. “As it turned out, our dual membership was a very natural fit because we have never done actual installations but rather sub-contract them out – now we can partner with PSA members on the installations.”
For Wunderlich-Malec, its foray into security came at a perfect time — a time when the convergence of IT and physical security was in its infancy. Today, the integration of both worlds is well underway, which for Marin, is due the tremendous growth of IP-based security systems. He believes IP-centric security systems are here to stay because of three reasons: their ability to work on open protocols; their scalability; and the fact that the products used within a networked system can be mixed and matched from different manufacturers.
Besides designing networks, building control systems and offering security integration, Wunderlich-Malec also provides security risk and assessment for all of its current and potential clients. On staff, it has an employee certified with the Department of Homeland Security, who can visit a particular site and/or facility and make an evaluation on its potential risks, and then make recommendations as to what security procedures, systems and policies should be implemented.