HID Global®, a subsidiary of ASSA ABLOY specializing in trusted identity solutions, has signed an agreement to acquire Mercury Security, an OEM supplier of controllers for physical access control. Mercury Security has over three million controllers installed at tens of thousands of sites worldwide, including at more than 90 of the Fortune 100 companies. Mercury’s intelligent controllers, interface boards and software complement HID’s readers, smart cards and mobile IDs for opening doors.

Advancing HID Global Leadership

“The acquisition of Mercury Security will advance HID‘s global leadership in the physical access control industry, adding Mercury Security’s high-quality controllers to HID’s product portfolio while extending HID’s installed base of millions of users beyond the readers and smart cards that we are already well known for,” said Stefan Widing, President and CEO of HID Global. “Customers of both HID and Mercury Security will benefit from tighter and more seamless integration of controllers with readers and credentials, as well as from our shared vision for an open, flexible approach to access control.”

Selling Mercury Security Products to HID Global is Access Control Related Enterprises, LLC (ACRE), owner of Vanderbilt, a manufacturer of access control, intrusion and video solutions, and ComNet, a manufacturer of video and data transmission equipment.

ACRE CEO Joseph Grillo stated, “Divesting Mercury after many years of success since ACRE purchased the business in 2013 is a strategic move that allows ACRE to focus on its core Access Control, Video and Intrusion businesses under the Vanderbilt and ComNet brands. HID is the perfect home to provide for the continued growth and success of Mercury, which will remain a valued technology supplier to Vanderbilt.”

Mercury has relationships with nearly all the significant OEM partners and has been working together with HID as a partner for over a decade

Closing The Acquisition

HID’s acquisition of Mercury Security is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions. The closing of the deal is expected to happen by Q4 2017. Financial terms of the agreement are not being publicly disclosed. Houlihan Lokey Capital, Inc. and Raymond James & Associates, Inc., acted as financial advisors to ACRE and Mercury. 

Based in Long Beach, California, Mercury has relationships with nearly all the significant OEM partners and has been working together with HID as a partner for over a decade.

Pending the close, the Mercury Security team will report into HID’s Physical Access Control Solutions (PACS) business, which is led by Harm Radstaak, Vice President and Managing Director.

The remaining ACRE portfolio consists of global brands and provides over 2,000 products across access control, intrusion, video and cloud-based access and video systems in 95 countries. ComNet offers a broad line of fiber optic, copper, and wireless video and data transmission equipment designed for security and surveillance applications in intelligent transportation systems, utility and industrial markets.

ACRE Security Industry Acquisitions

ACRE was formed in 2012 by security industry veteran Joseph Grillo as a platform to consolidate acquisitions in the electronic security industry. ACRE acquired the Schlage SMS business from Ingersoll Rand in 2012, followed by the 2013 acquisition of Mercury, the 2015 purchase of the Security Products Division of Siemens AG, and the 2016 acquisitions of Access Control Technology (ACT) and ComNet.

Millions of people around the world use HID products and services to navigate their everyday lives, and over 2 billion things are connected through HID technology. HID works with governments, educational institutions, hospitals, financial institutions, industrial businesses and some of the most innovative companies on the planet. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, HID Global has over 3,200 employees worldwide and operates in more than 100 countries. HID Global® is an ASSA ABLOY Group brand.

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

In case you missed it

What Is The Impact Of Remote Working On Security?
What Is The Impact Of Remote Working On Security?

During the coronavirus lockdown, employees worked from home in record numbers. But the growing trend came with a new set of security challenges. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the impact of the transition to remote working/home offices on the security market?

Water Plant Attack Emphasizes Cyber’s Impact On Physical Security
Water Plant Attack Emphasizes Cyber’s Impact On Physical Security

At an Oldsmar, Fla., water treatment facility on Feb. 5, an operator watched a computer screen as someone remotely accessed the system monitoring the water supply and increased the amount of sodium hydroxide from 100 parts per million to 11,100 parts per million. The chemical, also known as lye, is used in small concentrations to control acidity in the water. In larger concentrations, the compound is poisonous – the same corrosive chemical used to eat away at clogged drains. The impact of cybersecurity attacks The incident is the latest example of how cybersecurity attacks can translate into real-world, physical security consequences – even deadly ones.Cybersecurity attacks on small municipal water systems have been a concern among security professionals for years. The computer system was set up to allow remote access only to authorized users. The source of the unauthorized access is unknown. However, the attacker was only in the system for 3 to 5 minutes, and an operator corrected the concentration back to 100 parts per million soon after. It would have taken a day or more for contaminated water to enter the system. In the end, the city’s water supply was not affected. There were other safeguards in place that would have prevented contaminated water from entering the city’s water supply, which serves around 15,000 residents. The remote access used for the attack was disabled pending an investigation by the FBI, Secret Service and Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. On Feb. 2, a compilation of breached usernames and passwords, known as COMB for “Compilation of Many Breaches,” was leaked online. COMB contains 3.2 billion unique email/password pairs. It was later discovered that the breach included the credentials for the Oldsmar water plant. Water plant attacks feared for years Cybersecurity attacks on small municipal water systems have been a concern among security professionals for years. Florida’s Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted that the attempt to poison the water supply should be treated as a “matter of national security.” “The incident at the Oldsmar water treatment plant is a reminder that our nation’s critical infrastructure is continually at risk; not only from nation-state attackers, but also from malicious actors with unknown motives and goals,” comments Mieng Lim, VP of Product Management at Digital Defense Inc., a provider of vulnerability management and threat assessment solutions.The attack on Oldsmar’s water treatment system shows how critical national infrastructure is increasingly becoming a target for hackers as organizations bring systems online “Our dependency on critical infrastructure – power grids, utilities, water supplies, communications, financial services, emergency services, etc. – on a daily basis emphasizes the need to ensure the systems are defended against any adversary,” Mieng Lim adds. “Proactive security measures are crucial to safeguard critical infrastructure systems when perimeter defenses have been compromised or circumvented. We have to get back to the basics – re-evaluate and rebuild security protections from the ground up.” "This event reinforces the increasing need to authenticate not only users, but the devices and machine identities that are authorized to connect to an organization's network,” adds Chris Hickman, Chief Security Officer at digital identity security vendor Keyfactor. “If your only line of protection is user authentication, it will be compromised. It's not necessarily about who connects to the system, but what that user can access once they're inside. "If the network could have authenticated the validity of the device connecting to the network, the connection would have failed because hackers rarely have possession of authorized devices. This and other cases of hijacked user credentials can be limited or mitigated if devices are issued strong, crypto-derived, unique credentials like a digital certificate. In this case, it looks like the network had trust in the user credential but not in the validity of the device itself. Unfortunately, this kind of scenario is what can happen when zero trust is your end state, not your beginning point." “The attack on Oldsmar’s water treatment system shows how critical national infrastructure is increasingly becoming a target for hackers as organizations bring systems online for the first time as part of digital transformation projects,” says Gareth Williams, Vice President - Secure Communications & Information Systems, Thales UK. “While the move towards greater automation and connected switches and control systems brings unprecedented opportunities, it is not without risk, as anything that is brought online immediately becomes a target to be hacked.” Operational technology to mitigate attacks Williams advises organizations to approach Operational Technology as its own entity and put in place procedures that mitigate against the impact of an attack that could ultimately cost lives. This means understanding what is connected, who has access to it and what else might be at risk should that system be compromised, he says. “Once that is established, they can secure access through protocols like access management and fail-safe systems.”  “The cyberattack against the water supply in Oldsmar should come as a wakeup call,” says Saryu Nayyar, CEO, Gurucul.  “Cybersecurity professionals have been talking about infrastructure vulnerabilities for years, detailing the potential for attacks like this, and this is a near perfect example of what we have been warning about,” she says.  Although this attack was not successful, there is little doubt a skilled attacker could execute a similar infrastructure attack with more destructive results, says Nayyar. Organizations tasked with operating and protecting critical public infrastructure must assume the worst and take more serious measures to protect their environments, she advises. Fortunately, there were backup systems in place in Oldsmar. What could have been a tragedy instead became a cautionary tale. Both physical security and cybersecurity professionals should pay attention.

How Have Security Solutions Failed Our Schools?
How Have Security Solutions Failed Our Schools?

School shootings are a high-profile reminder of the need for the highest levels of security at our schools and education facilities. Increasingly, a remedy to boost the security at schools is to use more technology. However, no technology is a panacea, and ongoing violence and other threats at our schools suggest some level of failure. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How have security solutions failed our schools and what is the solution?