Firewall Geeks Meet the Night Watchmen

Wednesday, 29 January 2003, 11:55 AM EST

As the information-technology director for Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Jon Koskey keeps a close eye on computer security at the venerable Brickyard, home to the Indy 500. His three-person staff monitors 450 networked devices including servers, desktops, and printers. With security concerns on the rise last year, Koskey wanted to protect his network not only from cyber-threats but also from physical assaults such as heat, humidity, and human intruders.

Koskey could have relied on cumbersome video monitors and temperature sensors with dedicated wiring. That would have entailed watching miles of tapes and maintaining separate temperature-monitoring systems. Instead, he purchased three specialized security devices from NetBotz in Austin, Tex. Costing between $1,000 and $1,800 apiece, NetBotz (also the product's name) are only a couple of inches thick and mount in standard server racks or on wall brackets. The devices slip right into Koskey's existing Ethernet data network. NetBotz' sensors monitor fluctuations in temperature or humidity. They also have built-in motion detectors that trigger cameras to snap pictures of anyone entering a designated area.

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