Interview With Todd Morris - Founder & CEO at BrickHouse Security

Published on: May 9, 2024
Shauli Zacks Shauli Zacks
Published on: May 9, 2024

In a recent interview with SafetyDetectives, Todd Morris, Founder and CEO at BrickHouse Security, offered invaluable insights into the dynamic landscape of personal and home security solutions. With over two decades of experience in the industry, Morris shared his expertise on topics ranging from the evolution of security technology to the impact of smart home advancements and common misconceptions surrounding security systems. Delving into BrickHouse Security’s approach to balancing technology with user privacy, Morris provides essential guidance for individuals navigating the realm of security solutions. This interview illuminates the ethos and commitment of BrickHouse Security to deliver reliable, innovative, and privacy-conscious security solutions to its clientele.

Can you share a bit about your background and what led you to your role as CEO at BrickHouse Security?

I worked for Apple for two years before I graduated, and another two years after I graduated college. From there, I went to Adobe and worked there for five years before joining MapQuest. When AOL bought MapQuest, I moved to IntelliSync, where I was involved in early synchronization of mobile devices.

After that, I really just wanted to start my own business. I took some of my experiences from MapQuest, where I was licensing mapping technology to some logistics companies that were doing early GPS tracking. This was back when a GPS tracker was the size of a shoebox and was connected to antennas like garden hoses and other bulky components.

I remembered this experience from my time at MapQuest and always thought about how I wanted to be in a business selling directly to customers, having more of a direct customer connection and being part of that. So, it indirectly led me to BrickHouse Security, which I founded back in 2005. We started working on the website in 2004, and it officially became a company in 2005. We began by offering a wide variety of security products, but quickly honed in on location-based security, including everything from child locators to GPS trackers and RFID technology. As the company has grown over the last 20 years, our focus has primarily been on location-based security.

What are the flagship services offered by BrickHouse Security?

We offer a cloud-based service for GPS tracking, which is connected over cellular networks to our many GPS trackers. We have a variety of different types of GPS trackers, from teeny little ones that you can hold in your hand and are battery-powered, to advanced GPS systems that include onboard cameras and artificial intelligence to analyze driving behavior. These systems alert you to find out if some of your delivery men are following too closely, driving unsafely, or showing up late for their deliveries when they really shouldn’t be, claiming they’re stuck in traffic when they’re not.

We can track everything from babies in strollers being pushed by their nannies to guidance systems for rockets that need to be shipped around the country to factories where they’ll be turned into end products. We have a wide variety of customers, supporting everyone from consumers to government agencies, government contractors, and large businesses of all types.

How is the rise of smart home technology impacting traditional security services?

As people have become more exposed to what is now commonly referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT), it used to be called M2M, they are increasingly integrating internet-connected devices into their homes. Whether it’s wearing a Garmin watch connected to a cloud system that analyzes fitness data or installing smart thermostats and security cameras, the proliferation of IoT devices has raised awareness among consumers about what’s possible.

When I started doing this back in 2005, people were shocked and amazed that you could put a GPS tracker on a painting being shipped across the country and track its journey from an auction house to an end user. They would often remark, “I thought this was something out of 24 or James Bond. I didn’t think it was real.” However, we don’t hear that sentiment anymore. The biggest change with the advent of IoT in our daily lives is that people have become much more aware of the possibilities and are less surprised by the capabilities of these technologies.

It’s no longer considered science fiction to have a tiny tracker in your child’s car to monitor their speed and location. Similarly, the idea of installing cameras in vehicles to monitor driving behavior, such as following distance and adherence to traffic signals, was once seen as futuristic but is now a reality. People are much more willing to believe and understand the capabilities of these technologies today. Consequently, we spend less time convincing people that these solutions are real and effective, and more time addressing the expectations of individuals who may have even more advanced technological aspirations. They may desire features that are not yet a reality but could be in the future.

What are some common misconceptions people have about personal and home security systems?

There are several misconceptions regarding how technology operates within personal and home security systems. Many individuals understand the concept of having an app on their phone that connects to various devices in their car, house, or even appliances like cameras, alarm systems, refrigerators, or toasters. However, there can be confusion about how these connections actually function and what their limitations entail.

For instance, some people mistakenly believe that Wi-Fi is synonymous with the internet. However, if your Wi-Fi connection cuts out, it doesn’t mean you’ve lost internet access entirely; it simply means your Wi-Fi connection has been disrupted. Many devices within personal and home security systems rely on internet connectivity, which can be established through wired internet, Wi-Fi, or increasingly, cellular networks.

There are also misconceptions surrounding how different types of connections work, such as the difference between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections, and how they interact within a household setting. Educating individuals about these distinctions is an essential part of the process in ensuring they understand the capabilities and limitations of their personal and home security systems.

How does BrickHouse Security approach the balance between technology and user privacy?

User privacy is a significant concern for us at BrickHouse Security. While some security companies may only have information about whether your house is occupied or not, we collect more detailed data, such as your location, how you got there, and your travel patterns. We recognize the sensitivity of this information and take the privacy of our users very seriously.

For instance, if we’re tracking a company’s assets or their delivery personnel carrying expensive luxury items, it’s crucial that this data remains secure. We store all our data in secure silos and operate on a need-to-know basis. This means that only individuals who require access to specific information have it, and our systems are compartmentalized accordingly. For example, our GPS tracking data is kept separate from our credit card system, which handles billing information for our services.

Our credit card processing system is encrypted and dedicated solely to handling payment information, while our GPS cloud is housed on a different highly encrypted server system. This ensures that there’s no crossover between sensitive data sets. Even if someone were to gain access to the GPS tracking system, they wouldn’t be able to obtain credit card information, and vice versa.

Additionally, we monitor the use of SIM cards in our devices to prevent unauthorized access or attempts to reverse-engineer our technology. Any attempt to tamper with or misuse SIM cards is closely monitored and encrypted to maintain the integrity of our users’ privacy and security.

What are the key factors someone should consider when choosing a security solution for their needs?

One of the most critical factors to consider is the long-term track record and reputation of the security provider for customer satisfaction. Conducting research by searching for a company’s name alongside keywords like “reviews” can reveal valuable insights. However, it’s essential to delve deeper and assess whether the company has a consistent history of keeping customers happy over the years. Look for a provider with a substantial number of testimonials, reviews, positive press coverage, and a solid track record. Entrusting your security needs to a company with a proven history instills confidence and minimizes the risk of dissatisfaction or future uncertainties.

Be cautious of newer companies entering the market without an established reputation. While it’s tempting to explore innovative solutions, working with a company lacking a track record poses risks, as you may essentially become a test subject for their services. Additionally, be mindful of well-known companies from other industries, such as Amazon, Google, or Apple, venturing into security solutions. While these companies may excel in other areas, their expertise and commitment to security may not be as robust. Some of these companies have a history of acquiring companies and later discontinuing their products or services, potentially leaving customers stranded.

Ultimately, prioritize choosing a security provider that you can trust in the long term, one with a solid reputation, a commitment to customer satisfaction, and a track record of reliability and longevity.

About the Author
Shauli Zacks
Published on: May 9, 2024

About the Author

Shauli Zacks is a tech enthusiast who has reviewed and compared hundreds of programs in multiple niches, including cybersecurity, office and productivity tools, and parental control apps. He enjoys researching and understanding what features are important to the people using these tools.