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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Systems Integrators Note September 11th Effect on Security Market

Ever since the catastrophic event of 9/11, systems integrators and other technology specialists have been reexamining IT security. During the Cold War, Canada’s National Optics Institute was responsible for developing a system that could detect approaching enemy tanks or fighter jets. However, after the fall of the Soviet Union, these types of threats were less imminent and the technology was put away for future use.

In 2003, an entrepreneur named Eric Bergeron toured the Institute, inspired by the events of 9/11 and the security threats they raised for systems integrators and others in the IT field. His thought was based on the idea that now security has extended beyond just looking for planes in the sky and now is focused on luggage and other issues that require technology, such as X-rays to examine. Inspired by cold war ideas, Bergeron began the X-ray analysis company based in Quebec, Optosecurity. Bergeron hopes to grow this company into a new way to track and implement homeland security, which has become a huge industry since 9/11.

According to experts, the past five years have actually produced few technological security developments despite insistence by authorities that work was being done, though the market has billions of dollars from U.S. and international governments. In 2007, domestic security spending is expected to reach $58 billion, up from $16.8 billion in 2001 by all U.S. federal agencies. A lot of this money is attached to defense contractors and systems integrators that have long history working with the government and the ability to deal with very sizable projects, including companies like Unisys with a $1 billion contract assigned to set up cell phones, websites and other networks for airport security.

But even the small companies are trying to get in on the security market and are finding themselves doing well. Optosecurity is in the early stages of development with only preliminary funding for test work that will be performed by systems integrators. Optosecurity’s technology is licensed by the Canadian Institute and attaches to X-ray machines to automatically point out weapons and other dangerous items.

However, there is still a long way to go for many of these start-up systems integrators working with security technology in terms of funding. And many experts, Bergeron included, say that there will never be a technology that can detect 100 percent of the problems. Therefore, the post-9/11 vigilance will continue for a long time, leaving the market open for entrepreneurial companies and those looking to continuously perfect existing security technologies.

Added By: Computer Consulting 101 Professional Kit