The core of our mission is to help you stay current with critical trends and management issues. Bill Zalud has brought together his team of thought leading experts, columnists and writers to do just that.

In this month’s special cover story: The Facility: Top-Down, Security goes inside leading facilities including Property Management, Education, Government, Healthcare and Utilities.

This issue provides a unique look at what works, what does not and what we all can learn from the best security practices used by leading facilities.

About half of a company’s spending is allocated to guards and guard services. With the promise of technology comes an expectation that guard requirements and associated costs would decline. But remember, computers were expected to reduce staffing, but in reality have created IT departments and added headcount.

Because guards and guard service companies are a significant expense, this month’s issue includes a Special Report: Guard Firm Rankings and first glance results from our new research report: Security Contract Guard Study conducted by Clear Seas Research. Clear Seas Research is a wholly owned subsidiary of BNP Media focused on the delivery of superior information to our clients.

Among the key findings in the study, 85% of those surveyed expect to increase guard service spending in 2007 or remain at the same level and 37% are using contract guard services for other services including executive bodyguards, cash handling and lobby security.

We at Security Magazine never stop searching the globe for what’s new and innovative. And this month, columnist Steve Hunt has found security innovation in America’s Heartland--Illinois. Having embarked upon as well as created the leading Centers for Excellence in security, Hunt has learned powerful lessons in how to eliminate the “silos” that cause failure and end careers.

During a recent press trip to Sweden, I had the opportunity to meet two of Axis Communications’ best: co-founder and chairman Martin Gren and CEO Ray Mauritsson. Axis invented the network camera and over 60% of all network video cameras sold are manufactured by Axis Communications. Mauritsson shares his insights on the IP Video market and security applications in this month’s Visions.

Also while visiting Sweden, my laptop was stolen. Beyond inconvenience and cost, the possibility of losing confidential and sensitive data, network passwords or irreplaceable files due to poor back-up policies and programs was what made me most worried. It is with Bill Zalud’s empathy or wicked sense of humor (you decide) that he provides two features on encryption and mobile device security. Done properly, mobile devices become worthless to a thief and while the loss of dollars and time is real, the greater risk of lost data is easily mitigated.

As the New Year ramps toward the ISC West show in late March, many new technologies and management practices are integrating to serve both business and security needs. So you will also find outstanding features on access control badging, IP video management and biometrics.