***** Integrated Security Systems Design. By Thomas Norman, CPP, PSP, CSC; published by Butterworth-Heinemann, www.elsevier.com (Web); 472 pages; $49.95.
In recent months I had to read numerous books on security integration and convergence as background study for a series of work projects. All of them now collect dust on my office bookshelf, except one: Integrated Security Systems Design, which I now carry in my briefcase, its pages crammed with yellow sticky notes for quick reference.
Author Thomas Norman and his publishers do some things that should set an example for their peers. First, the book’s font is rather large. This may seem trivial, but I really appreciate it. He also uses large, bold topic headings that provide an easy reference when you need a quick answer to a specific question. This, accompanied with just the appropriate amount of visual aids, makes it an easy, enjoyable read and a valuable resource tool.
The book is primarily divided into three easy-to-follow sections: Introduction, Design, and Specialized Design. The book stresses that the future of security applications will be IT based, and that security practitioners must prepare. The book covers topics from access control to the history of the World Wide Web, and everything else in between.
I took the liberty of introducing this publication to a 20-year veteran engineer working on a security-related project for our company. He too now uses it with confidence in order to meet the demands of his superiors and clients.
New publications will come forward that cover similar territory as Norman’s book, but for now, it is one of the best resources on the topic. If you are interested in security systems design, buy it. You won’t be disappointed.
Scott Yost, CPP, is a senior security advisor with EPCOR Utilities Inc., in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He is a former provincial sheriff with the government of Alberta and has an extensive background in staff training and development. He is a member of ASIS International.