Federal government agencies across the nation rely on Convergint Technologies to improve current processes, providing operational knowledge, enhancement of safety, reduction of costs and risks, and compliance. Convergint understands the risks and threats facing government agencies and offers tailored solutions for government-specific requirements.
Lenel is a global leader in advanced security systems and services developing innovative solutions to protect buildings, people, and assets. Incorporating open architecture and third-party interfacing, Lenel’s software manages multiple best-in-class enterprise systems to provide a single, seamless security solution for customers worldwide, including unique aspects of the federal government.
Subject matter expert Ryan Kaltenbaugh, Vice President of Federal Government Solutions (FGS) at Lenel, discusses security solutions and federal government trends.
Tell us about your professional background.
I’ve been specializing in the security industry for over 20 years, working on both the manufacturing side and the integration aspect of the market. Prior to security, I spent my early years in fire & life safety systems, specializing in fire suppression like FM-200 deployments for data centers and sales of complex high-rise fire alarm systems in a highly regulated California.
Prior to coming to Lenel, I spent five years with another physical access control manufacturer, leading their federal government practice. Before that, I spent many years with a PSIM manufacturer, and have also worked as Global Account Manager for multi-national security integration firm –selling Lenel – coming full circle.
At Lenel, my role largely is making sure Lenel is on the forefront from a federal government perspective. To accomplish that, I participate on several industry committees and working groups to provide insight on market trends, gain ideas for our solutions and provide a voice of the industry. More importantly, I listen to end-user needs and wants, through regular meetings and interactions.
What do you think are some of the most common security problems, and related solutions, in the federal government space?
The requirements of the federal government are becoming increasingly more complex as it faces a wide variety of threats to both the physical and cybersecurity of government facilities. The federal government increasingly needs a flexible and scalable solution that can be adjusted to include best of breed technology to meet to new threats. Lenel’s OnGuard platform is a GSA-approved Federal Identity, Credential, and Access Management (FICAM) product that provides a flexible, reliable and scalable solution supporting both current and future security priorities. OnGuard’s architecture allows the seamless integration of almost any third-party hardware and/or software solutions to fit the specific needs of any facility.
Can you explain why physical security solutions are so important for federal government facilities and homeland security?
Federal facilities are high-threat environments regardless of their size or location, meaning that smaller and/or isolated locations also require more technologically advanced security solutions that include encrypted multi-factor authentication (MFA).
“Nearly three years ago, with the recent cyber security sprint of the federal government, personally it made me ask: why wasn’t FICAM also included? Physical security is just as important. Along with Convergint, we emphasize this message to our government end user and offer options and solutions.”
In 2015, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) launched a 30-day cybersecurity sprint to assess and improve the health of all federal information technology assets and networks, both civilian and defense. As part of the sprint, OMB directed agencies to immediately patch critical vulnerabilities, identify high-value assets, review and tightly limit the number of privileged users with access to authorized systems, and dramatically accelerate the use of Personal Identity Verification (PIV) cards – or an alternative form of strong multi-factor authentication for accessing networks and systems. Significant progress was made in these areas. During the course of the sprint, federal civilian agencies substantially increased their use of strong authentication for all users.
At Lenel, we are seeing rapid interest and growth in FICAM-compliant physical access control solutions for our government end users. OnGuard’s LNL-4420 now has embedded authentication (starting with v7.3) which streamlines communication and removes middleware products and lowers overall cost of ownership.
Can physical security be used by the federal government to improve operations or reduce costs in any way?
Yes, physical security can be used by the federal government to improve operations or reduce cost through increased automation. For example, the use of automated cardholder administration and reporting across physical access control systems (PACS) for compliance allows facilities to reduce or reassign existing security resources to lower total cost of ownership. Broader PIAM solutions also offer operational efficiencies, which numerous Lenel OAAP partners like Quantum Secure (HID Global) and Alert Enterprise offer and which can be seamlessly integrated with the OnGuard platform. Lenel also continually develops technology reducing the number of manual interventions needed in existing physical access control systems for identity and credential management processes.
What benefits do you think a federal government agency receives when partnering with Lenel and Convergint on security?
Convergint has served the federal government and been an authorized VAR of Lenel for many years. Covergint and Lenel’s collective experience, as well as their passion for collaboration and customer service, allow the design, implementation, and maintenance of exceptional security solutions at federal government facilities. With Lenel certified technicians, installers and program managers Convergint can immediately respond and address a customer’s need.