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The gated entrance is closed to a mansion in Beverly Hills, Calif. Even while the housing market suffered, the security industry prospered. - 

We hear a lot about the strain on the housing market -- but what about the barriers we put up to protect our homes?

According to a new Wall Street Journal report, security gates are more advanced than ever, and business is booming for those who fortify.

Here to speak with us in today's Mid-day Extra is Lauren Schuker, who wrote the piece for the Wall Street Journal.

She says that the trend towards the super-expensive security gates and systems could come in part from the growing income inequality -- and the tension it produces -- in the United States. At the same time, the development of technologies like the iPad have also allowed a lot more security than we ever had in the days of drawbridges and moats.

The question remains: Are all the big gates, cameras, and alarm systems for show?

Follow David Brancaccio at @DavidBrancaccio