Physical therapy

NetBotz hammers home a physical security message with its new IP-based environmental monitoring appliances.

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By  Simon Duddy Published  November 25, 2004

|~|phys-security_m.jpg|~||~|NetBotz has released its 320 and 420 IP-based appliances, which are designed to provide physical security monitoring for small sites. The devices cost between US$1,000-1,500 and are designed to provide an entry-level solution. NetBotz unveiled the products to the region at this year’s Gitex exhibition in Dubai and took the opportunity to spread its message that physical security should not be underestimated. “NetBotz was founded to look at physical security solutions,” says Dave Watkins, managing director of NetBotz EMEA. “We have found that physical issues cause more downtime than digital dangers such as hacking,” he explains. NetBotz address two areas; environment and people, with the environment covering areas such as power, water, heat, gas and smoke with the people side focusing on cameras looking out for man-made accidents and sabotage. The NetBotz appliances use both in-built and external sensors, which are used to monitor physical threats. They then use an IP infrastructure to relay this information to staff. “Our platform makes it easy to take information from analogue or digital sensors and alert staff using the IP infrastructure. For example, if there is a water leak or someone re-patches a cable incorrectly, sensors will pick this up and an SMS or e-mail can be relayed to the interested party,” explains Watkins. NetBotz is a US company and has been established in EMEA for two and a half years, with one and a half years experience in the Middle East. During this time, it has picked up some high profile customers such as Jordanian mobile phone operator Fastlink and the UAE’s Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority and Dubai Internet City. NetBotz delivers environmental monitoring of IT facilities for these companies but had a more unusual request from a Saudi company for a Cobalt 60 sensor, which is used to detect the radiation from dirty bombs. The main customers of NetBotz are IT operations staff wanting to secure data centres or remote locations, although other critical assets that are protected include refrigeration plants and hospitals. NetBotz works with incubation company Vesta Group in the region, although the company actively supports the region from the UK office also. Watkins envisages NetBotz taking a more direct role in Middle East with staff and offices on the ground in 2005. “Physical security is a new discipline and we are trying to impart knowledge learned from customers such as London Underground in the UK and Vesta Group has been very helpful as we are in the initial stages of exploring the region. We were able to leverage its contacts, get the right channel to market and win customers,” says Watkins.||**||

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