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50 Innovative Companies to Watch 2020

End-to-end, always on security for exceptionally managed buildings, businesses and communities: Kastle Systems


Security and life safety environment has dramatically changed in the last decade. The commercial real estate market is no exception, as owners and managers strive to compete in a market that has elevated security and peace of mind as new amenities.

Today, comprehensive access control, surveillance and an emergency management plan that provides control of who can access a building and how fast management can react to implement a solution has become essential. In addition, systems should give instructions on what to do and what the next steps or communications should be.

New technologies are transforming the state of security in real estate, and we can observe a shift from the traditional stand-alone systems, to an efficient managed security system. There are several efficient security services providers in the market, but one that stands out from the rest is Kastle Systems. The company specializes in providing best-in-class security services for people and infrastructures alike. Some of its services include access control, identity management, and video surveillance. Kastle operates and manages security systems for over 10,000 locations around-the-clock. Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, Kastle is the largest security company in DC, according to the Washington Business Journal. Kastle Systems also has offices in Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, and Sydney, Australia.

In conversation with Haniel J Lynn, CEO of Kastle Systems

Q. Explain your services in brief.

The key concept to stress here is “Managed Security,” which describes Kastle’s end-to-end approach for servicing clients’ security needs by taking full responsibility for their security package and operations. This was an alternative option to the more common practice where a business would simply buy a security system like any standard office product, have it installed, and then attempt to run it themselves. Lacking security expertise, many firms eventually run into unanticipated operational challenges like staff turnover, training needs, ad-hoc maintenance and replacement issues, missing software updates, and other problems where they must consult a series of outside vendors to address incurring significant expense.

Kastle thus came up with a long-term solution by providing an ongoing security setup that covers everything under the domain of security operations. It doesn’t stop by delivering the best systems; rather, it ensures that the expertise required to design, install, monitor, and maintain the systems is made available to the clients forever, thereby forging a long-term relationship with the client. The company has embraced cloud technology that offers superior security to the conventional on-site servers because security data is stored remotely, avoiding any intermingled access to the on-site network for hackers infiltrate. The cloud technology also enables Kastle to “push” software updates to the client system without disruption.

All of the services are designed in a manner that the client can entrust all the burdens of security to trained professionals and dedicate their valuable time to the business.

Q. Where do you think the modern surveillance security system is lacking behind, and how is your company filling the void?

Most providers are not able or are not comfortable with providing an open platform to integrate with other systems, making physical access control a separate scope of work for firms to manage, doubling input times, increasing staffing requirements. In contrast, we openly integrate with other building systems, HR systems, property management systems, even coronavirus testing systems – to make security a part of a single service platform for the convenience and efficiency of our client, rather than remaining a separate, stand-alone system.

Q. There are other reputed companies in the market, how are you a better service provider?

We don’t merely sell security products or systems as do many providers in the industry. We provide clients with a complete security solution from design, hardware, software and installation to monitoring, maintenance and ongoing software upgrades provided by a dedicated team assigned to the client – all of this so the client knows that his/her security is handled by the experts from earliest design to ongoing operations so that they can focus on their own business. For our clients, even amid a coronavirus lockdown, they knew their “empty” facilities were still under the continuous watch and in-person upkeep of Kastle Systems, even when they couldn’t be on-site themselves. And, being that we are a cloud-based provider, they had the comfort and control of knowing they could still manage the operation of their access control and video surveillance even while they worked remotely.

Q. Internal inefficiencies in an organization undermine security analytics and operations. Do you help your clients patch their internal operations?

Yes, we are able to integrate across separate functional or technical systems and platforms to enhance security analytics and operations. We embrace an open interface architecture and have been a leader in establishing the industry standard for Physical Logical Access Interoperability (PLAI), a unified and open solution for cross-platform interoperability spanning physical access control, logical access control, identity management, and next-generation commercial amenities like smart building systems or occupant experience mobile app platforms. We harness the openness of IoT not only to enable physical access control to be an easier, more open user experience across technologies, but also sync data showing occupant presence and behavior with other operational systems to tie together the two data sets.

We can integrate with core occupant or employee identity directories that are the foundation to organizational metrics, let them be a property, commercial or multifamily real estate management, or an individual business organization for facility and HR management. As such, we sync directly with the source such that there is no inefficiency of trying to sync separate databases. We are simultaneously striving to leverage the openness of IoT to enable physical access control to be an easier, more open user experience across technologies, cultures, and geographies while also using the power of cloud-based computing, robust encryption and data intelligence to make the world more secure (and CIOs more relaxed).

In regards to security compliance, we are not only SOC 2 compliant as a cloud-based ACaaS provider, but since we secure many federal buildings, like the SEC and the Department of Homeland Security, we are even FIPS 2 compliant which is the necessary standard for Federal staff and contractors to gain access to Federal facilities and information systems.

Meet the leader behind the success of Kastle Systems

Haniel J Lynn, CEO joined Kastle systems in 2018 with more than 25 years of global operating and executive management experience growing and scaling enterprises from startup to $1 billion, He has the unique ability to oscillate between high-level vision and tactical execution while inspiring a culture of teamwork.

He spent 16 years at CEB (now Gartner), and served as Group president of its Best Practices & Decision Support business and member of the company’s executive leadership team responsible for product strategy, direction, and operating a $600m business globally.

“We are on a mission to be your best service provider by making your spaces safer, smarter and more convenient.”