Protecting People Today and Into the Future
Absolute Security & Technologies creates future-proof solutions to keep communities safe, secure
Richard Perini was in college studying fire science when he took a part-time job designing and selling alarm systems. He would go to school in the day and sell systems at night, working in the Antelope Valley in Los Angeles County.
One day, Perini received a phone call from a neighbor for whom he had installed a security alarm system two months earlier. Much to his surprise, she was calling from the hospital; her husband had suffered a heart attack while home alone, and because he was able to press the alarm button that Perini had installed, help quickly arrived and he was sped to the hospital. The man had just survived triple bypass surgery, the wife told Perini.
“She said, ‘You just saved my husband’s life.’ From that point on, she used to basically throw rocks at moving cars to get them to get an alarm system from me,” Perini says.
One evening shortly afterward, Perini was in the living room of a client she referred. This time, his new clients were a couple with a young son who also wanted a security alarm system for their home. Their 4-year-old peppered Perini with questions about his work. Impressed with the child’s intelligence and curiosity, Perini answered his questions until late into the evening.
When the young boy finally needed to go to bed, Perini assumed the meeting was over, and he started to make his way home. Suddenly, the father jumped up and asked him where he was going. “The father insisted that he needed the system designed and installed by the morning,” Perini recalls.
The father informed Perini that the night before, the young boy had heard noises from downstairs, got out of bed and saw a burglar. Although the burglar wasn’t able to get into their home, the little boy hadn’t slept since the event.
“Me being a new father myself,” Perini says, “I took it to heart. I said that I couldn’t promise an exact time for the installation to be complete on such short notice, but that I would have an answer for them by 8 a.m. the next day.”
In the end, Perini had it installed by the afternoon. “The father called me the next day and said his son had slept through the whole night,” he says.
After those two experiences, Perini realized that he had found his calling—to prevent bad things from happening to good people. He quit college and made security systems his career. In 1999, after 10 years in the security industry, he launched Absolute Security & Technologies, Inc. (AS&T).
A Family Business
Today, AS&T is a full-service security integration company, designing and installing all types of security systems tailored to its clients’ specific needs. The technology they provide includes fire alarms, access control systems, camera sensors, intrusion alarms, lock hardware, fiber-optic cabling, hardwiring networks, audio, televisions, low-voltage cabling and more. The company has designed systems for all types of buildings and facilities—from homes to warehouses and from airports to power plants.
Over the years, Perini’s passion for and knowledge of the security business has been passed on to his three oldest sons. From as young as 8 years of age, each son would help his father clean the company trucks or come to an installation site to help run wires. Each son works for the company in very different capacities and with unique skills that complement the other’s contribution to the business.
Dustin Perini, 28, is studying computer sciences in college and loves the information technology (IT) side of the business. Devin, 26, is a people person and he handles sales for the business. Dillin, 24, loves construction and enjoys welding, trenching with backhoes and all site work. He leads the installation of specialized security components, such as gates and custom mounts.
Other members of the company’s core team include Krystal Heiserman, the Office Manager who has been with the business for nine years. Ramon Reyes handles alarm intrusion, camera work and cabling and has also been with the company for eight years.
“It takes years to really learn what we do,” Perini says. “It’s hard to find the right people who are willing to be trained for two or three years to become proficient in this complex area of work.”
A Full-Service Security Business
Perini says that the company differs from its competitors because AS&T encompasses all levels of security, providing integrated solutions for all types of security challenges as well as ongoing services after installation. Oftentimes, Perini’s company is asked to replace systems that have been recently installed by others, but that have run into problems.
“Our competitors tend to be too big and limited, and that means that multiple companies are designing and installing different parts of the system. If there’s a problem, you need to call multiple people to get who you really need to resolve a problem,” Perini says. “What’s nice about our company is that we can resolve any challenges with just one call. We give a turnkey solution.”
With three decades of experience in the industry, Perini’s understanding of security logic means that he can identify the difference behind legitimate advancements in security technology and trends that are fashionable but can quickly become outdated.
“You don’t want to put the client in quicksand,” he says. “We try to future-proof their products so that when new technology arrives, they can quickly incorporate improvements into their systems.”
IT Security Threats and Solutions
Perini explains that the AS&T team is very concerned with ensuring their clients have the right security on all levels, whether it be IT standards, security protocol, post orders, etc. Some of the solutions offered on the market that are meant to offer protection can actually weaken a client’s IT security.
According to Perini, in recent years, Chinese technology companies have flooded the market with products, with an aim to become the largest producers of security cameras and equipment.
Even before the emergence of Chinese brands on the U.S. market, large U.S. security equipment companies have been outsourcing the assembly of their products to factories in China.
Security equipment comes with software that is installed on the devices of those who use the products, and this software can be designed to allow external access to a user’s secure networks, and with it, the capacity for an external entity to monitor mobile phones, cameras, computers and communications.
“One major example is that recently the CIA hired a forensic IT person to go through all of the new computers in its data centers and what they found were chips that were not on the original equipment specifications. These chips were the size of the tip of a pencil head or smaller; they are incredibly hard to detect. The chips were directly connected to servers in China, meaning that those foreign servers had access to their networks,” Perini says.
Hacking attempts and other types of threats are nearly impossible for a typical business to identify without the knowledge and expertise of a professional security system designer like AS&T. Often, the equipment that poses the largest threat is also the most affordable, and so the lion’s share of cameras that Perini sees being installed by his competitors are ones that he believes come with significant threat of being hacked.
“What we do is carefully research brands, determine exactly what our clients’ needs are and educate them on the risks,” Perini says. “We want them to make informed decisions and to be an integral part of the design process and solution.