Verkada

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Verkada
TypePrivate
IndustryPhysical security
Founded2016; 6 years ago (2016)
Founder
  • Filip Kaliszan
  • James Ren
  • Benjamin Bercovitz
  • Hans Robertson
HeadquartersSan Mateo, California
Key people
Filip Kaliszan, CEO
ProductsSecurity Cameras, Access Control, Environmental Sensors, Intrusion Alarms, Guest Management
Number of employees
1,050 (est.)[1]
Websitewww.verkada.com

Verkada Inc. is a San Mateo, CA-based company that develops cloud-based building security systems. The company combines security equipment such as video cameras, access control systems and environmental sensors, with cloud based machine vision and artificial intelligence.[2]

The company was founded in 2016.[3] In 2021, it was the target of a data breach that accessed security camera footage and private data.

History[edit]

Verkada Inc. was founded in 2016 in Menlo Park, California by three Stanford University graduates: Filip Kailiszan, James Ren, and Benjamin Bercowitz, who were joined by Hans Robertson, co-founder and former COO of Meraki (now Cisco Meraki). Kaliszan, Ren, and Bercowitz had previously collaborated on Courserank, a class data aggregation platform that was acquired by Chegg in 2010.[3]

Verkada exited the beta development stage in September 2017, with a product offering of two camera models.

In 2019, Forbes included Verkada in its Next Billion Dollar Startups list, as well as that year’s AI 50 list of most promising artificial intelligence companies.[4][5] In April, the company announced a $40 million Series B funding round, which valued the company at $540 million.[3]

In January 2020, the company raised $80 million in a Series C funding found led by Felicis Ventures, giving the company a $1.6 billion valuation.[2] In Spring 2020, the company launched its first access control device, the first move in a shift to moving beyond cameras, and integrating security cameras and locks onto a single platform.[2] In June during the COVID-19 crisis Verkada instituted a program to offer free surveillance kits to businesses and healthcare institutions in order to remotely monitor high-risk locations.[6] It also added features to let customers detect when crowds are forming, and to identify high traffic areas that might need more cleaning.[7] In September, the company launched a line of integrated environmental sensors.[8] In September, it introduced a line of environmental sensors for facilities monitoring.[6]

In April 2021, news site Bloomberg News reported allegations by former employees accusing the company of having a "bro" culture, with lax device security, excessive focus on profit, and parties during the COVID-19 pandemic.[9] In the Bloomberg reporting, Verkada acknowledged an internal lapse in judgment, and was reportedly working to create a more inclusive work environment, including reviewing gender pay equity and implementing better training.[9] In September, the company began donating security cameras to Asian Pacific American business communities, starting with the Oakland California Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, to address growing anti-Asian threats and violence against its members.[10]

Products[edit]

Verkada develops cloud managed enterprise building security including security cameras, door access control systems, environmental sensors, alarms and guest management technology. The systems incorporate advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Cameras[edit]

Verkada's cameras combine edge processing and local storage (via solid state drive) with a centralized web-based platform to provide advanced physical security across numerous sites.[2] The cloud-enabled system allows rapid sharing of video feeds via SMS text or weblink, such as with offsite law enforcement personnel or company management.[2]

Access control systems[edit]

Verkada's cloud managed access control systems are integrated with its security cameras, which can be centrally managed remotely over the cloud, across all sites.[11] The systems allow security personnel to remotely monitor entryways, provision badges, and unlock doors without requiring IT involvement.[11]

Environmental sensors[edit]

Verkada develops indoor environmental sensors that measure air quality, temperature, humidity, motion and noise. The sensors are integrated with security cameras, and send alerts when a threshold reading is exceeded, allowing operators to view the area of interest.[6]

Alarms[edit]

Verkada’s Alarms product analyzes information from the company's cloud-based physical security products including video security, door-based access control, and environmental sensors. The product's intrusion detection devices include the BP41 Alarm Panel, motion and contact sensors, and the BC51 Alarm Console.[citation needed]

Guest management[edit]

Verkada’s Guest management platform integrates cameras and access control systems into a software platform based on Apple's iPad. The system tracks guests, creating executable documents required for entry, and can cross reference across national databases, such as sex offender.[citation needed]

Data breach[edit]

On March 8, 2021, Verkada was hacked by an international group including Tillie Kottmann and calling themselves the "APT - 69420 Arson Cats," which gained access to their network for about 36 hours and collected about 5 gigabytes of data.[12] Initially, it was reported that the scope of the incident included live and recorded security camera footage from more than 150,000 cameras. It was later reported that 95 customers' video and images data were accessed[13][14] [15] Kottmann told Bloomberg News that the hack "exposes just how broadly we're being surveilled".[16]

In response to the data breach, in April 2021 it was reported that Verkada CEO Filip Kaliszan announced a series of measures, including red team/blue team exercises, a bug bounty program, mandatory two-factor authentication use by Verkada support staff, and the sharing of more audit logs with Verkada customers.[17]

Controversies[edit]

In August 2021, Motorola Solutions filed a 52-page complaint[18] against Verkada with the United States International Trade Commission, alleging that Verkada cameras and software infringe upon patents held by Motorola subsidiary Avigilon.[19][20] Verkada subsequently filed a lawsuit against Motorola Solutions in the California Northern District Court in September 2021,[21][22][23] arguing that Motorola has "sought to effectively shut Verkada’s business down."[24][23] Later in September, the International Trade Commission initiated its investigation into Motorola's complaint,[25] with Verkada stating in its response that it does not infringe upon any of Motorola's patents.[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Verkada Company Profile - Office Locations, Competitors, Revenue, Financials, Employees, Key People, Subsidiaries". www.craft.co. August 22, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Verkada raises $80M at $1.6B to be every building's security OS". www.techcrunch.com. January 29, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "This Startup Making Cloud-Connected Security Camera Systems Reached A $540 Million Valuation In 3 Years". www.forbes.com. April 25, 2019.
  4. ^ "Next Billion Dollar Startups 2019". www.forbes.com. July 16, 2019.
  5. ^ "AI 50: America's Most Promising Artificial Intelligence Companies". www.forbes.com. September 17, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c "Beef up your security against COVID with this new environmental sensor suite". The American Genius. September 21, 2020. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  7. ^ "LinkedIn's 50 Best Startups To Work For In 2020". Forbes. September 22, 2020. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  8. ^ "Verkada raises $80M at $1.6B to be every building's security OS". TechCrunch. January 29, 2020. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  9. ^ a b Turton, William; Gallagher, Ryan; McBride, Sarah; Ford, Brody. "'Bro Culture' at Camera Maker Verkada Pushed Profits, Parties". Bloomberg. Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 2021-04-09. Retrieved April 9, 2021.
  10. ^ "New surveillance cameras installed in Oakland's Chinatown to combat violent attacks". ABC News. September 30, 2021. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  11. ^ a b "Verkada Enters Enterprise Access Control Arena With Cloud-Based Solution". Security Sales & Integration. June 16, 2020. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  12. ^ Bajak, Frank; O'Brien, Matt (March 10, 2021). "Security camera hack exposes hospitals, workplaces, schools". Seattle Times. Retrieved March 19, 2021.
  13. ^ Goodin, Dan (March 10, 2021). "Hackers access security cameras inside Cloudflare, jails, and hospitals". Ars Technica. Retrieved March 19, 2021.
  14. ^ Turton, William (March 31, 2021). "Verkada Says Hackers Accessed Cameras of 95 Customers". Bloomberg News. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
  15. ^ Gartenberg, Chaim (March 9, 2021). "Security startup Verkada hack exposes 150,000 security cameras in Tesla factories, jails, and more". The Verge. Retrieved March 19, 2021.
  16. ^ Turton, William (March 9, 2021). "Hackers Breach Thousands of Security Cameras, Exposing Tesla, Jails, Hospitals". Bloomberg News. Retrieved March 19, 2021.
  17. ^ Healy, Conor (March 25, 2021). "Verkada Revokes Global Admin Access To Cameras, Says Requiring 2FA 'Excellent Suggestion'". IPVM. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  18. ^ Kattan, Lisa M. (August 9, 2021). "Certain Video Security Equipment and Systems, Related Software, Components Thereof, and Products Containing Same, Inv. No. 337-TA-" (PDF). Letter to The Honorable Lisa R. Barton. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
  19. ^ Decker, Susan (August 9, 2021). "Motorola Solutions Seeks to Block Rival Security Camera Imports". Bloomberg Law. Retrieved October 15, 2021.(Subscription required.)
  20. ^ Griffin, Joel (August 12, 2021). "Motorola Solutions files ITC complaint against Verkada". Security Info Watch.com. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
  21. ^ "Verkada, Inc. v. Motorola Solutions, Inc. et al". Law.com. ALM Media Properties, LLC. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
  22. ^ "Verkada, Inc. v. Motorola Solutions, Inc. et al". LAW360. Portfolio Media, Inc. September 2, 2021. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
  23. ^ a b Karantzoulidis, Steve (September 7, 2021). "Verkada Sues Motorola Over Patent Infringement Complaint". Security Sales & Integration. San Mateo, Calif. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
  24. ^ VERKADA, INC. v. MOTOROLA SOLUTIONS, INC.; AVIGILON CORPORATION; AVIGILON FORTRESS CORPORATION; AVIGILON PATENT HOLDING 1 CORPORATION; AND AVIGILON TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION (N.D. Cal. 2021).Text
  25. ^ "NOTICE OF INSTITUTION OF INVESTIGATION" (PDF). September 8, 2021. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
  26. ^ (US ITC September 29, 2021).Text

External links[edit]