FEATURED INTEGRATOR: eVigilant
At PSA, we believe our integrators are the most innovative, advanced, and effective in the electronic security industry. To recognize these exceptional qualities, we bring PSA integrators to the stage each month and introduce them to the PSA community.
eVigilant provides innovative, cost-effective, IT and security solutions. They offer design, engineering, installation security and maintenance for Electronic Security and Cyber Security customers. eVigilant is licensed by the Department of Criminal Justices in the states of Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia and holds several other state-specific certifications to include LSDBE and MBE.
How long has eVigilant been in business?
eVigilant.com Incorporated– headquartered in Lorton, VA — opened its doors on September 27, 1999 and has since become a leading physical and cyber security integrator.
To date, what has been the most unique or interesting job that eVigilant has been a part of?
Two federal agencies operating in the One World Trade Center awarded eVigilant a contract to build the security design for the entire center. Under this contract, eVigilant implemented one of the first FIPS 201-2 compliant systems following the release of the most recent compliance guidelines.
As an early adopter and SME of this new technology, having the opportunity to spearhead the implementation of one of the first compliant systems was incredibly humbling and an immense honor.
What vertical market does eVigilant work in?
eVigilant’s primary focus is the national HSPD-12 solution deployment for federal agencies, but as an established leader in providing innovative, cost-effective, physical and IT security solutions have helped hundreds of organizations secure their facilities and IT systems using various cost-effective solutions in our 18 years as a business. eVigilant has been recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in America and has experienced 200% growth over the last 3 years due to our commitment to quality service. Much of our business stems from repeat customers who value our commitment to meeting their specific needs through service and results.
How did eVigilant get started working with federal agencies?
From 1999 through 2005 eVigilant primarily provided physical security services to Commercial, State, Local and Federal government.
In February of 2005, the Secretary of Commerce approved HSPD-12. As a result, the NIST Computer Security Division initiated a new program to improve the identification and authentication of Federal employees and contractors for access to Federal facilities and information systems. Accordingly, we began working with access control vendors and federal customers to develop a cost-effective solution to meet the mandate. We are currently developing a similar solution to meet the FIPS201-2, the second iteration of the mandate, and are deploying our solution nationwide for many government agencies.
Working on these deployments for government agencies requires that the network of the systems we connect be STIG [A Security Technical Implementation Guide], which is a cyber security methodology for standardizing security protocols within networks, servers, computers, and logical designs to enhance overall security. These guides, when implemented, enhance security for software, hardware, physical and logical architectures to further reduce vulnerabilities. This led us to open our cyber security practice.
What are some of the biggest challenges that integrators are facing in the governmental market?
Staffing continues to pose a great challenge as talent that understands both physical and IT systems is a rare find. With this in mind, eVigilant spares no expense to recruit, train and retain such talent when we find it.
Another common challenge we face is in translating the FIPS201-2 specifications to government customers. Government clients have used PIV cards to gain entry into their respective offices for years without being required to authenticate their identities beyond that. Accordingly, we have encountered great difficulty in conveying the need for certificate authentication at the card reader and/or other requirements to make the security system fully compliant.
In addition to the government sector, what other types of clients do you have?
While the Federal market accounts for a significant portion of revenue, eVigilant provides services to federal and local government, schools, healthcare, mass transit, local municipalities, and government contractors. Recently, eVigilant began providing managed physical and cyber security to SMB businesses.
Across industries, it has been proven that customer service wins the war on attrition.
What makes eVigilant stand out in the physical security industry?
Commitment, transparency, and customer service. eVigilant provides both managed and un-managed cyber and physical security solutions to our customers. This allows us to ultimately provide a complete turnkey security solution, not just physical security. In providing these services, to service and customer satisfaction, which separates us far and away from our competitors.
This commitment is a top down approach. From our CEO, one of the first 25 CSEIP’s ever registered to the GM who pulls cable or fills in when emergencies arise, to our back office staff and installation technicians who consistently go above and beyond to provide, accurate, timely and efficient service to our customers. All of our employees happily go the extra mile because the precedent is set at the top.
What qualities will a successful security integration company have?
Trust, quality service and the relentless commitment to customer satisfaction. The desire to go above and beyond to deliver a fully compliant and working system to the customer. Across industries, it has been proven that customer service wins the war on attrition. eVigilant’ success is attributed to our employees that are led by amazing managers. Their leadership and vision has led to eVigilant’s success.
What is your advice to individuals who are looking to build a career in security systems integration?
My first piece of advice would be for them to call me on my personal cell immediately (I am easy to find on LinkedIn). The truth is none of us sat in kindergarten and told the teachers we wanted to work in the electronic security industry when we grow up. Most of us came from somewhere else on a different path. Many of our best team members grew up in this business as low voltage apprentice’s decades ago. Now some of our best and brightest came to us with nothing more than a diploma and a personal yearn for technology.
This industry is thirsty for talent. We are growing much faster than the demand for jobs while at the same time migrating to a different role as we had even 10 years ago. eVigilant has taken people without industry skill but a passion for security and tech from entry level to subject matter experts in a surprisingly short amount of time.
I would say that if you’re interested in technology and think this might be a career path to find a reputable company in your area and talk to them. If they are anything like us they will at least take your call. We understand that this industry is very specific. With the right drive and attitude, our training will provide knowledge and job security that few industries can rival.
How has eVigilant benefited from participating at PSA TEC and other PSA events/programs?
eVigilant has worked with many PSA members, especially the NDP for installation and service outside our coverage area. The various government contracting vehicles we hold and our ability to act as SMEs for our clients in this industry this has proven an invaluable resource. Collectively we represent the footprint of a national carrier with the local ownership presence and commitment that a regional integrator can provide. eVigilant also benefits greatly from the negotiated pricing, project registration, and flexible payment terms that come as an additional benefit. eVigilant is open to working with our PSA family at any capacity. We are here to help our fellow PSA members, especially companies that are just starting out.
For more information on eVigilant: http://evigilant.com/