A Carlow-based intelligent visual security firmís turnover has grown by 1,000pc on the back of spiralling crime against small businesses. It is estimated that the annual cost of crime to small businesses in Ireland is Ä2bn or Ä14,361 per company.
Netwatch, which was founded in 2003, was the first company to use satellite and internet-based technologies to provide remote visual security monitoring to small businesses throughout the country.
In 2003 the system helped to apprehend 98 intruders and Gardai made nine arrests. By 2006 these figures have risen to 2,427 detections with 121 arrests made.
Since 2003 Netwatch's turnover has grown by 1,000pc and the company's workforce has grown from three to 50 full-time workers and six part-time workers protecting over 500 sites nationwide, including one in Tempe, Arizona.
The company's managing director David Walsh said that Netwatch has its sights fixed firmly on expansion into the US security market. The company has opened an office in Arizona and is actively seeking business in the region.
"The US market is a fantastic opportunity for a relatively young company like Netwatch," says Walsh. "We have been receiving a lot of queries from US companies in recent months who have become aware of our services."
The company says it invests heavily in research and development and that each installation is custom designed to suit the needs of each individual site and client. For example, one construction company that deployed the system saved €950,000 annually, or 73pc of its annual costs using traditional security methods, according to Netwatch.
Latest developments in Netwatch's technology enable the system to monitor for smoke, fire or water physical threats as well as alert clients to any unusual occurrences or faults within their physical IT infrastructure.
Another application is an asset-tracking system whereby items of value in a company such as laptops and PC flat screens can be tagged and monitored. A command centre is notified if an asset leaves the protected area without authorisation.
By John Kennedy