(Nikkei BP Group)
(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)
| Secom Offers Cyberspace Security Services, Founder Says
February 4, 1999 (TOKYO) -- Secom Co., Ltd., which has most of its sales
in the security and alarm business, also offers security services designed
for such fields as medical services and information systems, according
to the company's founder.
|Secom has seen both its sales and profit increase for 34 consecutive
years thanks to its top-notch management and expansion into network-based
The BizTech group interviewed Ryo Iida, Secom's director and supreme adviser founder. Iida, who founded
the company, spoke mainly of its future directions.
BizTech: What is Secom's overall business policy?
Iida: Secom acquires companies that suit its business
policy, but we don't hesitate to sell them once we judge that they are
no longer promising. Of course, sometimes we must sell them because
they aren't sufficiently profitable. That's the key to Secom's business
In 1998, we sold Westec Residential Security Inc. and Valley Burglar
and Fire Alarm Co., two home security business firms in the United States.
Pricing battles are fierce for the home security business in the U.S.
market. Thus, we decided to withdraw from the home security business
to focus more on our U.S. corporate customers.
Also last year, Secom sold Tokyo Internet Corp., an Internet service
provider. Although the network infrastructure is important, we ourselves
don't need to be a provider of such network services.
So far this year, Secom liquidated one of its affiliates specializing
in CAD-related services on the grounds that the services are not really
related to the security business.
Secom has five pillars of business: security services, non-life insurance,
medical services, information systems and education. They are interrelated
and they help pave the way for integrated services.
BizTech: Secom has been a leader in offering home security services
based on networks. How will Secom differentiate itself from its major
Iida: The company's main asset is its service personnel stationed
at 850 locations nationwide, and those staff members are ready for dispatch
on a 24-hour basis. Since 1966, Secom has been steadily increasing the
number of such personnel stations across the country and we train personnel
to provide security services everywhere in Japan.
Some people might think that anybody can start a security business with
sensor devices and a network, but that is not true. It is most important
to have well-trained staff to provide actual services.
BizTech: Secom established Entrust Japan Co., Ltd. in December
1998 to offer security services for cyberspace. How will Secom position
Iida: Secom has so far been providing home security services for
society, including prevention of intrusions into homes and even monitoring
gas leakage. In the future, Secom intends to expand its business to
the network security sector for the electronic or cyber community.
Entrust Japan will provide user authentication services and sell authentication
systems. Fifteen companies, including Entrust Technologies Ltd. of the
United States and NTT Data Corp., have invested in the firm.
The company will add a new service in which authentication servers located
at corporate customer premises will be managed together. Secom will
start the business soon because NTT Data, one of the participants in
the project, has already entered the authentication business.
As for security services for cyberspace, we will tie up with Trend Micro
Inc., which has a large market share for anti-virus software products.
In April, the two companies will launch a joint virus detection and
The service will use Secom servers to monitor and detect any virus intrusions
via a network. The focus will be personal computers in homes and offices.
If users cannot get rid of the detected virus with the use of the virus
removal software, Secom's staff will then visit them to do the job.
When the cyber community is more firmly established, such authentication
and monitoring services will be in demand. And there are no national
borders in cyberspace.
The authentication technologies offered by Entrust Japan have already
been implemented in Europe and the United States. And I think the service
will grow into a huge business in Japan.
� Secom to Enter Computer Network Security Service Market
� Entrust Technology, Secom to Sell CA Software to Financial Institutions
(BizTech News Dept.)
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