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Guardsman partners with foreign firm, expands into cybersecurity

Guardsman Group wants a portion of the cash local companies are doling out to protect their businesses from cybercrime. Concurrently, the security company is broadening its offerings to improve its onsite protection services.

Guardsman company has joined forces with international tech company Intellicene to introduce cybersecurity technology through a newly created company called Guardsman Cyber Intelligence Limited, which will mainly target mid-size enterprises for business. Guardsman Cyber is a direct subsidiary of Guardsman Metaverse.

The Guardsman Group, which has been operating for some five decades in Jamaica and eight other countries across the Caribbean, now has 28 companies under its wings, some of which deal in home and business surveillance systems. In Jamaica, its companies include the new Guardsman Elite, iProtect, Beryllium, M.O.P.S, Nature’s Paradise, and Orkin.

Newly formed companies – Guardsman Cyber Intelligence and Guardsman Metaverse – are playing on the incorporation of artificial intelligence or AI into their service offerings to woo new and existing clients. The platform used for both companies is owned by Intellicene, but under the partnership, Guardsman has distribution and installation rights in Jamaica.

“The difference is in our Guardsman Metaverse product, really, in the operating system. Most companies have in place a CCTV room where they monitor several cameras for security breaches, however, our new platform which is called the Security Operation Centre or SOP allows you to see everything in real-time and can be brought down to one screen,” said Director of Guardsman Group Renee Menzies-McCallum.

“Importantly, the system also alerts you to anything that’s out of the ordinary and tracks the guard’s location along with any unscrupulous individual to ensure swift response,” she added.

The new onsite service is being pitched as a cost-effective way to switch over to more enhanced security systems since the platform is adaptable to older security systems. Menzies-McCallum said the system also provides a check-list of responses in the event of an emergency, such as a break-in or fire, and flags security equipment that isn’t in good working order.

“Effectively, what we seek to do is to create a solution to minimises the number of security guards a company needs to have on site daily. If there is a case where more guards are needed, then Guardsman can respond to that call, but it is costly to have multiple security guards onsite,” she said.

So far, Guardsman Metaverse has secured business from companies operating in the BPO, medical, and hospitality sector, Menzies-McCallum said.

Onsite crimes have ballooned in Jamaica over the years, but so, too, have cybersecurity threats. Recently, experts reported that criminals targeted Jamaica’s cybersecurity systems more than 19 million times in the first half of this year, and the attacks are also getting more sophisticated in nature, causing companies to beef up their spend on security programmes.

The cyberattacks include ransomware and malware and are targeted at the companies in the financial, education, and medical sectors as well as government institutions. Some of the most recent victims include listed firms Mayberry Investments Limited and Derrimon Trading Company Limited and the Financial Services Commission, the supervisor and regulator of the securities industry.

Guardsman hasn’t disclosed the level of investments being made in cybersecurity and AI. Its newest push will see it competing with tech service providers such as tTech Limited and Symptai Consulting.

Guardsman Cyber Intelligence says it seeks to separate itself from the competition with the introduction of customised security solutions tailored to the challenges of local businesses.

“We understand that risk is everywhere, and keeping pace can be difficult. Operators are overwhelmed, but with advanced software and AI, we are able to offer a different approach to security,” Intellicene’s Chief Marketing Officer Jeffrey Lewis said in a joint press release from the companies.

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