April: InfrastructureOrsus Situator to be deployed at water supplier facilities

Published 3 April 2008

The new approach to critical infrastructure security is “holistic”: Planning, training, positioning information gathering equipment, imposing intelligence on video streams and other information coming in, presenting all information in accessible fashion, offering a menu of responses when an incident occurs; Orsus offers a situation management solution to critical infrastructure operators

It appears that in Israel they take a comprehensive — or “holistic” — approach to the security critical infrastructure facilities. This approach says that it takes much more to secure a building or a group of buildings than buying a few CCTVs and a couple of chemical sensors and connecting them to a screen in the facility’s control room. Holistic approach to security begins with studying to site to be protected and the likely threats it faces; it moves on to place security equipment and information gathering devices at all the right spots in and around the faciity; it then ties the information gathering devices to intelligent video analysis so that real threats would be distinguished from non-threatening events; it then creates a control room in which security managers have easily accessible information presented to them on screens; and the holistic approach also includes menues of responses to incidents — from sending security guards to the troubles spot to evacuating employees and visitors, and more. Becasue we think that this comprehensive approach is the way to go in security management, we will, in two weeks, we will publish a detailed profile of an Israeli company which champions this approach — and doing it very well (see name of company and product at the end*).

Now, as we were wrting the detailed discussion of one Israeli company and its comprehensive security offering, we noted that another company from the same country — Or Yehuda-based Orsus — has sold a holistic situation management tool to a large U.S.-based supplier of water and wastewater treatment services (more precisely: Chester Springs, Pennsylvania-based Unlimited Technologies, the integrator for the water company security contract, selected Orsus). Orsus describes its approach as “a new holistic approach to optimizing situation

planning, response and analysis,” and its flagship product is the Situator product suite. The project involves integrating access control, video surveillance, sensors, and radar systems located at fifty facilities into a unified platform. The company says that the deployment of Situator began in February 2008 and is expected to double in size over the next year. The fifty facilities connected via the Situator include pump stations and water treatment facilities to reservoirs and holding tanks. The unnamed water supply company serves 2.8 million residents and will monitor and manage Situator from its corporate headquarters.

The reason this water supply company chose to deploy Situator is because