LAPD Drops Gmail, Questions Cloud-based Security

Security consultant says cloud-based security is going through a 'confusing time' as LAPD dumps Google Gmail due to security concerns.

Jason Knott · December 27, 2011

The LAPD is dumping Google’s Gmail email service, saying it could not meet the security needs of the the police department.

Does Gmail’s failure to meet security needs bring into question the legitimacy of cloud-based security applications where video surveillance images are recorded and stored offsite, primarily for financial reasons?

Google had wooed the LAPD into the system in 2009 promising lower costs and higher security for its 13,000 employees.

According to the LA Times, city officials said Gmail “does not have the technical ability to comply with the city’s security requirements” and that those requirements are “not currently compatible with cloud computing.”

The article cites critics who say cloud computing “might not be ready for prime time.”

A Google spokesman said Google was “disappointed,” but pointed out that Gmail had saved the LAPD more than $2 million. But in the security world, it’s not always about saving money for clients.

Dave Dearborn, CEO of DCRM, a security consulting firm in Massachusetts, has no qualms about deploying cloud-based security systems for his clients, which include integrators, central stations and end users. Dearborn uses CheckVideo Systems, which combines video analytics and cloud storage to save clients 25 percent or more just in hardware, depending on the application.

Dearborn, who has done installations in multi-family housing, senior living and retail locations among others, says the systems are easy to deploy and allow for off-site configuration for integrators. In some cases, the systems have supplemented or even replaced guard services. He admits, however, it is a still a fledgling time for cloud-based security offerings.

“Pricing models for cloud-based security are still be fleshed out,” he says. “Many companies are under valuing it and some have figured it out. It’s a confusing time and it’s going to take time.”

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  About the Author

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald Expositions Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at

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  Article Topics

Security · News · CCTV · Cloud · Google · All Topics
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