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more on cs and the cloud / more on providing fire alarm monitoring when you didn't install the system
July 19, 2018
more on cs and the cloud
            Your statement in your article on July 10, 2018 was:
            "I think I addressed the issue. Do you feel more comfortable knowing that your central station has all its data on its own servers, in its offices, or off-premises in someone else's server, "in the cloud". At the end of the line someone has to have a server where the data is stored. 
     It could be that "cloud" based applications have better security than whatever is maintained at someone's office, but cloud based systems have been hacked too. Where there is a will there is a way and securing subscriber data and system information is most likely going to be an on-going issue."

            The position is simple when it comes to central station databases. If the reader is using a professional central station that is not only smart enough to use and recommend your contracts, but spend real dollars in firewalls and NOC services in addition to assembling many other parts of security puzzle than central station data can only sit in the central station environment. 
            USA (my company) started lobbing for increased UL Standards back in the mid 1990’s and these efforts finally have come to fruition.  Multiple central offices, under the same ownership is the only way to best start a defensive plan from hackers and down time due to internal hardware or software failures. Now I admittedly have not done much investigation but it’s clear to me that unless the cloud company has a duty, that is backed by a performance bond, to notify the user that they will be closing with a 90 day or longer notice, the risks are just too great not to control your operation. 
            Do these people know who owns the “cloud” they are on? Do they know where the data centers are? Are there more than one? How can the “cloud” user verify any of these details? How often do they verify? The best answer is a highly trained and certified dedicated group of employee’s with a sole focus, your business and not hundreds or thousands of others.
Bart A. Didden, President 
U.S.A. Central Station Alarm Corp. 
Port Chester, NY 
Milford, CT 
St. Paul, MN 

    In addition to Morgan's concern about the security of information in servers that are maintained by manufacturers, I've wondered why it is that Central Stations have so many restrictions, rules, regulations and standards to comply with, while the manufacturers who process and store the same and sometimes more information then Centrals …… do not. 
Reliable Alarm
            USA Central is listed on The Alarm Exchange under the central station category, and that means you can trust them.
more on providing fire alarm monitoring when you didn't install the system
            Too bad Anon missed the point in his rant in the July 4, 2018 article. Too caught up in something else. In response to “Anon”, why not step into the light? What are you afraid of? Despite your rant, you missed the point.
            Ken, I’m glad that you did understand it (it wasn’t too tough), which has nothing to do with using a subcontracted approved central station services.
            There is obviously some anger or jealousy behind “Anon’s” comments, which must be from something over 25 years ago. That’s how long it’s been since I regularly worked on NYC commercial fire systems. I decided we were not set up for NYC fire and didn’t want the aggravation when there are more profitable and less entangled ways to make money in this business. Even with the protection of Ken’s All-in-One contracts. If a firm is properly set up for it, great! It just wasn’t for me. Just for the record, we never had a problem. Never been sued, and never had a loss that was in any way a fault of our system.  It is a business decision based on risk-reward. Even with a proper contract you can still be sued and dragged through the legal process. The All-in-one can protect you from huge losses, but not the aggravation that comes with a lawsuit.
            Ken is correct about training levels with various manufacturers. Except for modifications, once a fire system is approved, there’s no reason to change programming. Parts are available for almost anything through distributors and the Internet. And Anon might be surprised at how easy it is to find a certified tech for almost any equipment, willing to subcontract his or her services.
            I have nothing I am ashamed of in my 40 plus years in this business.  I have not only changed with the times, I have led some changes with new innovations. Since 2013 we offer a secure hosted and integrated security system using cutting edge technology (with USPTO protection). If you are who I think you are, I had at one time worked with you, as a factory trained “expert”, aside from certifications I myself have. Today, and for a long time I don’t need a 3rd party, as we are VARs for everything we install. And much too busy with integration and hosting to have to take on work that requires a P.E. and licensed electricians who need file and sign off.
            I’ll say this for you, Mr Anon. You sure know how to hold a grudge, though I don’t know what it’s about or why.  
            I stand by my post. That unless the installing firm is the one who subcontracted the monitoring, it is a dangerous situation. It is always dangerous to have multiple parties responsible for various parts or a life safety system. Sometimes it has to be that way, for instance Ansul systems and sprinklers. But not for contracted monitoring. Although I don’t work on them anymore, I still keep up to date on the technology and codes. I am still learning, and proud of it. I had to learn several programming  languages in order to stay current. I wouldn’t touch that system. And I’ll wager most responsible licensed firms would agree.
            Thanks for the smile,
Mitch Cohen

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301
516 747 6700