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5 Emerging Security Technologies set to level the Battlefield

The war between data defenders and data thieves has been described as a cat-and-mouse game. As soon as the white hats counter one form of black-hat malicious behavior, another malevolent form rears its ugly head. How can the playing field be tilted in favor of the infosec warriors? Here are five emerging security technologies that may be able to do that.

1. Hardware authentication

The inadequacies of usernames and passwords are well known. Clearly, a more secure form of authentication is needed. One method is to bake authentication into a user’s hardware. Intel is moving in that direction with the Authenticate solution in its new, sixth-generation Core vPro processor. It can combine a variety of hardware-enhanced factors at the same time to validate a user’s identity.

Intel has built on previous efforts to dedicate a portion of the chipset for security functions to make a device part of the authentication process. Good authentication requires three things from users: what they know, such as a password; who they are, such as a username; and what they have, such as a token. In the case of Authenticate, the device becomes the what-you-have.

“This isn’t new,” said Scott Crawford, research director for information security at 451 Research. “We’ve seen this in other manifestations, such as licensing technologies and tokens.”

Hardware authentication can be particularly important for the Internet of Things (IoT) where a network wants to ensure that the thing trying to gain access to it is something that should have access to it.

However, Crawford noted, “The most immediate application for the technology is for authenticating an endpoint in a traditional IT environment — laptops, desktops, and mobile devices using Intel chipsets.”

2. User-behavior analytics

Once someone’s username and password are compromised, whoever has them can waltz onto a network and engage in all kinds of malicious behavior. That behavior can trigger a red flag to system defenders if they’re employing user behavior analytics (UBA). The technology uses big data analytics to identify anomalous behavior by a user.

“There’s a lot of interest in this in the enterprise,” 451’s Crawford said.

“User activity is the number one concern of security professionals.”

He explained that the technology addresses a blind spot in enterprise security. “Once an attacker gains entry into an enterprise, what happens then?” he asked. “One of the first things they do is compromise credentials. So then the question becomes, Can you differentiate between a legitimate user’s activity and an attacker who has gained entry, compromised a legitimate user’s credentials and is now looking for other targets?”

Visibility into an activity that does not fit the norm of the legitimate user can close a blind spot in the middle of the attack chain. “If you think of the attack chain as initial penetration, lateral movement, and then compromise, theft, and exfiltration of sensitive data, the middle links in that attack chain have not been very visible to enterprise security pros, and that’s why the interest in user behavior analytics today,” Crawford said.

Comparing a user’s present behavior to past behavior isn’t the only way UBA can identify a malicious actor. “There’s something called ‘peer analysis’,” explained Steven Grossman, vice president for program management at Bay Dynamics, a threat analytics company. “It compares how someone is behaving compared to people with the same manager or same department. That can be an indicator that the person is doing something they shouldn’t be doing or someone else has taken over their account.”

In addition, UBA can be a valuable tool for training employees in better security practices. “One of the biggest problems in a company is employees not following company policy,” Grossman said. “To be able to identify those people and mitigate that risk by training them properly is critical.”

“Users can be identified and automatically signed up for the training appropriate for the policies they were violating.”

3. Data loss prevention

A key to data loss prevention is technologies such as encryption and tokenization. They can protect data down to field and subfield level, which can benefit an enterprise in a number of ways:

  • Cyber-attackers cannot monetize data in the event of a successful breach.
  • Data can be securely moved and used across the extended enterprise — business processes and analytics can be performed on the data in its protected form, dramatically reducing exposure and risk.
  • The enterprise can be greatly aided in compliance with data privacy and security regulations for the protection of payment card information (PCI), personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI).

“There’s been a lot of security spending over the last several years, and yet the number of records breached in 2015 went up considerably over the prior year,” noted 451’s Crawford. “That’s contributing to the surge in interest in encryption.”

However, as John Pescatore, director of Emerging Security Trends at the SANS Institute, points out, authentication plays an important role in data loss prevention.

“There can’t be strong encryption without key management, and there can’t be key management without strong authentication.”

4. Deep learning

Deep learning encompasses a number of technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. “Regardless of what it’s called, there a great deal of interest in it for security purposes,” 451’s Crawford said.

Like user behavior analytics, deep learning focuses on anomalous behavior. “You want to understand where malicious behavior deviates from legitimate or acceptable behavior in terms of security,” Crawford explained.

“When you’re looking at activity on the enterprise network, there’s behavior that’s not user behavior but is still malicious. So even if it’s looking at behavior, it’s looking at a slightly different application of behavioral analytics.”

Instead of looking at users, the system looks at “entities,” explained Brad Medairy, a senior vice president with Booz Allen. “Exact business analytics and recent developments in machine-learning models mean we are now able to look at the various entities that exist across the enterprise at the micro to the macro levels. For example, a data center, as an entity, can behave a certain way, similar to a user.”

Use of machine learning can help stamp out the bane of advanced persistent threats, added Kris Lovejoy, president of Acuity Solutions, maker of an advanced malware detection platform. “With its ability to decipher between good and bad software, at line speed, machine-learning technologies will offer a significant boon to security practitioners who seek to decrease time to advanced threat detection and eradication,” she said.

Crawford said he expects investments in deep learning for security purposes to continue. He added, however, that “the challenge for enterprises is there are a lot of companies coming to market with similar approaches for the same problem. Differentiating distinctions from one vendor to another is going to be a major challenge for enterprises in the coming year and beyond.”

5. The cloud

“The cloud is going to have a transformative impact on the security technology industry generally,” Crawford said.

He explained that as more organizations use the cloud for what has traditionally been the domain of on-premises IT, more approaches to security that are born in and for the cloud will appear. On-premises techniques will be transitioned to the cloud. Things such as virtualized security hardware, virtualized firewalls, and virtualized intrusion detection and prevention systems. But that will be an intermediate stage.

“If you think about what an infrastructure-as-a-service provider can do on a very large scale for all of its customers, there may not be the need to pull out all the defenses you need on-prem,” Crawford said. “The infrastructure-as-a-service provider will build that into their platform, which will relieve the need to do that for the individual cloud customer.”

SANS’ Pescatore added that government agencies and private industry have increased the security of their data centers by using IaaS services such as Amazon and Firehost. “The GSA FedRAMP program is a great example of ‘certified secure-enough’ cloud services that make it easier for the average enterprise to have above-average data center security,” he said.

These five should help out the infosec warriors get the upper hand. Any we missed? Which technologies do you suggest will move the needle on information security?

Article Provided by: TechBeacon

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School Safety Techniques

14 School Safety Techniques for a Safer Campus

School safety is a complicated issue.

It affects children, teachers, administrators, and parents in a variety of ways, from the quality of learning to the risk of lawsuits. But it is also everyone’s responsibility, and schools should remind stakeholders of their respective roles in promoting school safety and security.

So where should a school start?

Below is a list of ideas that schools in America have implemented successfully to improve their safety and security measures:

1. Limit entryways to school buildings. Clearly, mark the main entrance to the school and post signs on other entries redirecting visitors to the main entry. Lock outside access doors. Check periodically to make sure the doors haven’t been tampered with or propped open. The periodic inspections should include windows too.

2. Monitor the school parking lot. If possible, have a parking lot monitor who oversees people entering and leaving the campus.

3. Monitor and supervise student common areas such as hallways, cafeterias, and playgrounds. If possible, add video surveillance in these areas to record anything a monitoring person may miss.

4. Promote school-community partnerships to enhance safety measures for students beyond school property (police surveillance, Neighborhood Watch programs). There are willing community organizations that can help.

5. Consider the presence of school resource officers, local police, and/or security guards.

6. Monitor school visitors. Require that visitors report to the main office, sign in, and wear visitor badges. All staff should be trained to report strangers not wearing a visitor badge to the school office.

7. Provide threat-assessment and risk-assessment procedures and teams for conducting them.

8. Develop/update your school’s crisis plan and preparedness training. School emergency plans should include preparedness procedures such as lockdowns, evacuations, parent-student reunification procedures, and emergency communications protocols. These should be shared with parents and the media. Building-level teams should regularly review plans, hold simulation drills, and train staff in how to respond to students’ questions.

9. Create a safe, supportive school climate that provides school-wide behavioral expectations, caring school climate programs, positive interventions and supports, psychological and counseling services, and violence prevention programs.

10. Encourage students to take responsibility for their part in maintaining safe school environments. Reward students who take the initiative to help keep schools safe.

11. Provide students with access to anonymous reporting systems (student hotlines, “suggestion” boxes, “tell an adult” campaigns). Young people sometimes have a difficult time speaking up if they see or hear something that may compromise school security. Allow them the means to communicate without the embarrassment of being labeled a “tattle tale”.

12. Institute strict procedures for key control. Assign the responsibility for locking and unlocking the school to a few individuals as possible. Number the keys in existence and document who has which school keys.

13. Keep unoccupied rooms and spaces locked when not in use.

14. Ensure that all classrooms, including portable and temporary classrooms, have two-way communication with the office.

Administrators can reinforce the importance to school safety by creating a caring school community in which adults and students respect and trust each other and all students feel connected, understand expectations, and receive any behavioral and mental health support they need.

Article Provided by: Visitor Pass Solutions

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Access Control, Security, Security System

What is a Security System and How Does it Work?

All home security systems work on the same basic principle of securing entry points, like doors and windows, as well as interior space containing valuables like art, computers, guns, and coin collections. Regardless of the size of your home, or the number of doors and windows or interior rooms a homeowner decides to protect, the only real difference is in the number of security components deployed throughout the home and monitored by the control panel.

What is a security system?

The most basic definition of any security system is found in its name. It is literally a means or method by which something is secured through a system of interworking components and devices.

In this instance, we’re talking about home security systems, which are networks of integrated electronic devices working together with a central control panel to protect against burglars and other potential home intruders.

A typical home security system includes:

  • A control panel, which is the primary controller of a home’s security system
  • Door and window sensors
  • Motion sensors, both interior, and exterior
  • Wired or wireless security cameras
  • A high-decibel siren or alarm
  • A yard sign and window sticker show

Does a security system work?

Home security systems work on the simple concept of securing entry points into a home with sensors that communicate with a control panel or command center installed in a convenient location somewhere in the home.

The sensors are typically placed indoors that lead to and from a house as well as easily accessible windows, particularly any that open, especially those at ground level. Open spaces inside of homes can be secured with motion sensors.

Control Panel: The control panel is the computer that arms and disarms the security systems, communicate with each installed component, sounds the alarm when a security zone is breached and communicates with an alarm monitoring company.

They typically feature a touchpad for easy programming and interaction, is where passcodes are entered to arm and disarm the system, can work on voice commands, and can be programmed to work with wireless remote controls called key fobs.

Door and Window Sensors: Door and window sensors are comprised of two parts installed adjacent to each other. One part of the device is installed on the door or window and the other on the door frame or window sill. When a door or window is closed, the two parts of the sensor are joined together, creating a security circuit.

When the security system is armed at the control panel, these sensors communicate with it by reporting that the point of entry is secure. Should a monitored door or window suddenly be opened, the security circuit is broken and the control panel interprets this as a breach of a secured zone. A high-decibel alarm is sounded and in most instances, the alarm monitoring company is automatically notified.

Motion Sensors: These security components, when armed, protect a given space by creating an invisible zone that cannot be breached without sounding an alarm. These are typically used to protect rooms containing valuables, as well as areas less frequented in larger homes.

Surveillance Cameras: Available in both wired and wireless configurations, surveillance cameras can be used in several different ways as part of an overall security system.

Typical uses include monitoring:

  • Hard to see or distant areas of your property
  • Remote buildings like garages, barns, and workshops
  • Entry points, both exterior, and interiors, like garage doors and front doors

Surveillance cameras can be accessed remotely on computers, smartphones, and tablets. They are often used in this method when homeowners are out of town, to watch for deliveries and other service personnel like caregivers and landscapers, and to monitor the arrival of children after school. They can also be used to record any security breaches, which could result in having footage of a home invasion, including a good look at the burglars and perhaps even the vehicle they drove.

High-decibel Alarm: Loud enough for neighbors to hear, home security alarms serve a few different purposes. First, they alert the people inside the house that a problem occurred. They’re also shrill enough to send a burglar running while also notifying nearby neighbors of the situation.

Yard Sign and Window Stickers: On the surface, these items might seem like nothing more than marketing tools for alarm companies, but they play important roles in home security. When you place a security company’s sticker in a front window and plant their sign in your front yard, you are telling burglars your home is professionally protected and not a wise choice for an attempted burglary. They are effective at conveying this message and should be used as recommended by the security company.

What Happens when an intrusion occurs?

Security systems are designed to perform certain tasks when a secured zone is breached. What your security systems do in the event of an intrusion depends on the type of system you’re using.

Professionally Monitored Security Systems: If your security system is professionally monitored by an alarm company, they are alerted when a security problem arises in your home. Along with the high-decibel alarm that sounds, the monitoring company is alerted. A trained security expert might attempt to communicate with the homeowner via the control panel if it’s set up for 2-Way Voice communication, or will call the emergency contact number listed on the account.

These types of security systems communicate with the monitoring company in one of several ways, including:

  • Over existing home phone lines, which continue to work during power outages when battery backup is in use.
  • Wirelessly through cellular radio frequencies like cell phones use, which also continue to work during power outages when battery backup is in use.
  • Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which typically doesn’t work in a power outage.
  • Via the Internet, which also typically does not work in a power outage.

In the event of an actual emergency, the monitoring company will notify the appropriate emergency response personnel in your area. This includes police, firefighters, and paramedics. The monitoring company will also try to maintain communication with you until emergency response teams arrive at your home.

Monitored systems typically allow for the homeowners (or designees) to be notified by text message and email when a security breach occurs.

Non-monitored Security Systems: There are plenty of DIY security systems available today that don’t include professionally monitored services. In the event of a home intrusion when this type of security system is installed, a high-decibel alarm sounds (provided one is installed). Contacting the police, fire, or other emergency response personnel must be initiated by the homeowner by dialing the appropriate number, typically 911.

These types of systems may or may not allow for text messages or email notifications to be sent to the homeowner in the event of a security breach, depending on the provider and the system you opted for.

What are the advantages of having a home security system?

Numerous studies show homes without security systems, when compared to those with professionally monitored systems, are up to three times more likely to be burglarized because burglars are opportunistic by nature and are on the hunt for easy targets.

Homes without security systems are high on their list.

When you have a home security system professionally monitored, and advertise this by displaying window stickers and yard signs, you’re letting burglars know the likelihood they’ll fail and be caught are very high.

Another advantage is the ability to remotely manage your house. With this, you can typically arm and disarm your security system from anywhere in the world via a web-enabled device, monitor who arrives and leaves your home, as well as use a panic button to elicit an instant response from your alarm monitoring company.

Finally, most home insurance companies provide great discounts-up to 20 percent when you have a home security system in your home.

Article Provided by: Safewise

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Access Control System, Security, For your Business, Greenville South Carolina

The Importance Of Having An Access Control System For Your Business

Both large and small businesses have raised concerns about their security. Most of these entities “hope for the best” rather than taking adequate steps to improve their security. Access control systems enable a business to be proactive and fully in charge of their security.

Meaning Of An Access Control System

As the name implies, the system seeks to control access to a given resource. In this context, the resource is the building or rooms used by a business. Installation of an access control system will enable you to monitor and restrict the people who can access the buildings or rooms.

Is there any need for an access control system?

Businesses should strive to keep crucial information inside while keeping any threats outside. All entities acknowledge basic security by having secure locks on the doors and entrusting some employees with the keys to restricted areas. It is costly as well as time-consuming for your business to key and rekeys every time that a key is stolen, lost or an employee leaves with it. Fortunately, there is a solution. By answering yes to any of the questions below, you can derive much benefit from an access control system.

•Could my clients and employees be secure?
•Do I need to have a record showing when a person enters or leaves through a given door?
•Would it be prudent to allow or restrict access based on day or time?
•Do the employees require different access privileges?
•Does a stolen or lost key to your business pose an immediate security threat?

Merits of access control

Access control systems are found in different sizes and types. They come with customized solutions for each business. The most common systems are I.D. badges wireless proximity card as well as keypads having security codes. Your business stands to gain from a professional access control system as highlighted below.

Remote access control – Today, most systems make it possible for businesses to control their locks via a remote client station or smart cell phone. With such systems, it is easy for your entity to lock down in case of an emergency as well as easily remove or add credentials.

•Audit Trail – Through an access control system, you will have a full report of each opening as well as door hold opens and attempted opening of every area or door. Courtesy of audit trails, employee issues such as disputes related to time card can be resolved.

•Stolen or lost keys – It is expensive for a business to rekey each door when keys are stolen, lost or goes with former employees. In addition, it will be a security risk if such locks are not rekeyed. Through access control systems, you may deactivate different security credentials or I.D. badges, thus easily preventing access. This process may prevent your business from incurring loses besides saving on time.

•Day or time restrictions – It is common to have certain employees such as your janitorial staff that are at your business during certain days or times. To this end, it is prudent to restrict their access to such times than giving them keys that allows access any day or time.

Each business should strive to keep its valuable data and assets inside while keeping any security threats outside. Guardian Security is committed to your business’ security and we have solutions for small businesses to large enterprises. Contact us today to find out how we can help you secure your business with an access control system.

Article Provided by: Guardian Security

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Securing, Video Surveillance, Security Cameras, Liquid Video Technologies

Five Best Practices for Securing a Parking Garage

Technology continues to fundamentally change the way many businesses operate. The parking industry is no exception. In recent years, operators have rapidly moved toward automated, unmanned garages. As drivers arrive, they’re greeted with user-friendly ticket dispensers. Exits are equipped with self-service payment stations.

But maintaining security is a greater challenge as operators continue to decrease onsite manpower. According to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than 11 percent of U.S. property crimes occur in parking garages and lots, as well as seven percent of violent crimes against people.

Fortunately, the security industry has proven solutions available. Here are five best practices for keeping both people and property safe in a parking environment.

1. Emergency stations

When garage patrons feel threatened, they want help right away. And it’s not unusual for mobile phone service to fail behind thick concrete walls – above or below ground. That’s when emergency stations, both towers and wall-mount boxes, are needed to provide immediate assistance. With the touch of a button, customers can quickly be in contact with security professionals. Built-in video cameras provide security officers additional information to help evaluate the situation. And the stations’ bright blue lights make them easy to locate.

Stations can broadcast announcements providing patrons with information during emergency situations. In addition, for patrons with a dead battery or flat tire, the stations are there to ask staff for help.

2. Charging area communication

With more electric-powered cars on the road, many parking facilities are installing charging stations as an added convenience for patrons. These are also good places to add a separate communications station for assistance about the charging process or to report an emergency situation.

3. Access control

Access cards and readers let monthly parkers enter and exit through special lanes. The access system’s audit trail provides operators with a better idea of which vehicles are present during emergencies. Operators should lock all pedestrian doors into the garage with a card reader or keypad installed to provide entry for employees or first responders. Adding audio intercoms to ticketing machines provides two-way communication for assistance in case the customer has questions on how to use the machine or should there be an equipment failure.

4. Video surveillance

Live, real-time video from security cameras lets offsite security personnel spot and take action on potential or real problems before they escalate. But choose cameras for their ability to provide clear video in low-light locations. Cameras should monitor entries and exits, pay stations, elevators and stairwells. Security cameras have been shown to be a major criminal deterrent, so paint them bright colors, install a monitor at entries showing live feeds and use large signs announcing the garage is under surveillance.

It’s unlikely video will be monitored 24/7. That’s why video analytics can help. License plate recognition software is effective. LPR links license plates to credit cards so monthly parkers can enter the garage without an access card. Other analytics can improve pedestrian safety by stopping barrier gates when a camera detects a person standing in their paths. Operators can also use analytics to spot abandoned or improperly parked cars or vehicles moving in the wrong direction.

5. Design and maintenance

Criminals often like to work in dark places, so keep the garage well lit. And have a standby source of power to keep the lights on and gates operating in case of a power outage. Fences, gates, bollards – even trees and bushes – can limit the number of pedestrian and vehicular entries into a garage.

People who are lost or confused make good targets for criminals. Signs showing the path to elevators, stairways and emergency stations are helpful. Use colors, symbols or names to help patrons remember what floor they parked on. Choosing payment machines that accept only credit cards eliminates the need for patrons to carry cash, a top target for criminals.

A poorly maintained garage sends a message a garage operator isn’t likely serious about security. So, immediately repair any damage, replace burned out bulbs and paint over graffiti. Let criminals know they need to pick another target.

It’s good business for parking operators to protect the people and vehicles in their garages. And most do their best to employ the best available security practices so they can continue with their long-term plans for total automation.

Article Provided By: Security Magazine

 

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Home Security, Security, Liquid Video Technologies, Greenville, South Carolina

Top 10 Reasons to Install Home Security Systems

Installing a home security system can be costly, but not installing one could cost you even more. Below we will take a look at the top ten reasons to install a home security system or upgrading your existing home alarm system.

1. Protect Your Home and Family from Intruders

The biggest reason a home owner should consider installing a home security system is that it offers protection to family members from intruders. According to “Securing Home and Business” by Simon Hakim/Erwin Blackstone, homes without security systems are 2.7 times more likely to be targeted by a burglar. This indicates that the mere presence of an alarm system is enough in most cases to protect the home and its occupants from break-in. In some cases, burglars may still target a home either knowingly or unknowingly when members of the family are inside. For the burglar who enters the home expecting it to be empty, finding members of the family inside can cause enough shock and panic to facilitate aggressive behavior. Having a security system in place often provides family members with enough warning to get to a safe location in our outside the home while the alarm system dispatches local authorities. For burglars that enter a home knowing that family members are inside, their intentions are often much more malicious and the home alarm system again serves as an early warning system and calls the authorities.

2. Protect Your Home and Family from Fires

The mention of home security systems tends to bring to mind home intrusion scenarios; however, these alarm systems also provide additional protection barriers for homeowners. While many homeowners rely upon smoke alarms to warn them of a fire outbreak, home security systems offer an early warning system.

Monitored home alarm systems will not only warn home occupants of the presence of smoke in the home, but they will also warn of sources of heat and contact authorities. The saying goes ‘where there is smoke, there is fire’ but it is also true that where there is heat, there could be a fire building which is why it is important to incorporate heat detectors into a fire prevention technique. While heat detectors can be purchased without the installation of a home security system, using a heat detector alone will not signal authorities.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, in just thirty seconds a small flame can turn in to a full-blown fire. In just minutes of a fire breaking out, the home will be filled with thick black smoke that makes it impossible for family members to breathe. These two facts alone are enough to reinforce the importance of having a home security system that will signal authorities to respond to a house fire. Time is the biggest factor in any emergency, but in the case of fire, time is of the essence. A few seconds of a fire safety concern could mean death or the complete destruction of a home and all of its contents.

3. Protect Your Family from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning is caused by a colorless and odorless gas that is found in combustion fumes. Within the home, carbon monoxide can be released from stoves, burning wood or charcoal, heating systems, and gas ranges among other things.

Since carbon monoxide is undetectable by the human senses, individuals are often blindsided by carbon monoxide poisoning that has been building up over time. In the human body, carbon monoxide is picked up by the red blood cells much more rapidly than oxygen is. As these blood cells release carbon monoxide into the blood, it begins to replace oxygen and this prevents tissues and organs from receiving necessary oxygen. The most severe cases of carbon monoxide poisoning can result in death. Other symptoms may include: dizziness, headache, chest pain, nausea, vomiting and confusion.

Carbon monoxide leaks can be discovered via carbon monoxide detectors. These small devices resemble smoke detectors and can be purchased alone or as part of a home security system. Similar to a home alarm-monitored smoke detector, the benefit of having these devices installed as part of a home security system is that it provides emergency service dispatch as well as calling paramedics able to treat symptoms of CO poisoning. The faster individuals are able to leave the home and receive medical treatment, the less severe CO poisoning symptoms will be.

4. Provide Your Family with Peace of Mind

The presence of a home security system provides many families with a peace of mind knowing that their home is protected from a variety of devastating scenarios. When homeowners are elderly, incapacitated in some way or frequently left home alone, this peace of mind is invaluable. For the elderly who may be unable to get out of a home with the speed required in many dangerous situations, home security systems dispatch authorities that are capable of assisting. For those who are incapacitated and unable to leave the home, home security systems not only monitor all areas of the home but again, they dispatch authorities when needed. Some home security systems also provide medical alert pendants for users to wear that are designed to call for help for specific medical situations. Finally, home alarm systems are beneficial for families that often leave family members home alone. Whether it is children of working parents being left alone, or whether it is spouses of the military who are frequently left alone for extended periods, home security systems provide peace of mind.

5. Protect Your Valuables

Throughout our lifetimes we collect and purchase a slew of items that have meaning to us. From sentimental inheritances to big ticket purchases, these things represent who we are and the accomplishments we have made. When burglars enter our home however, our feelings towards our possessions are the furthest thing from their minds, as they focus on the retail value of what they are taking. Each year it is estimated that there are some two and a half million burglaries across the United States. These burglaries cost homeowners some $3.1 billion with the average loss per burglary at around $1,700. For most homeowners, the presence of a home alarm system is enough to deter burglars but when it is not, it serves an additional function. As well as signaling authorities that the home has been burgled and increasing the chances that intruders will be caught, the cameras installed with many modern alarm systems catch the intruders in the act. Having visual documentation of the home intrusion increases the likelihood that the burglar will be identified for the crime committed. Video footage also helps homeowners create a record of what has been taken from their home during a burglary.

6. Having Someone Else to Monitor Your Home

One of the biggest benefits to having a monitored home security system is that it provides constant monitoring even when you are unable to do so yourself. Leaving town for business or going on vacation can be nerve-wracking even with a home security alarm, but with monitoring services, there is always someone to respond to emergency situations.

These services do not act like house sitters, but they do track significant events and dispatch emergency personnel when needed. Home security systems are able to respond to alarms triggered as a result of a house fire, a carbon monoxide leak, a significant temperature drop or increase, an intruder, or a natural disaster such as a flood. Without the watchful eye of a monitoring company, the damage caused by these tragic events could be much worse than they otherwise would be.

7. Save on Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners insurance is a mandatory part of becoming a homeowner in most circumstances. The cost of this type of insurance coverage varies on location, coverage, payment plans, insurance company, type of house and a few other factors. Some people see homeowners insurance as a waste of money, those who have ever had to use it (or wish that had had it to use) will disagree.

Homeowner’s insurance is designed to cover private homes and the possessions therein from losses or damage that can occur as the result of a number of devastating events. Homeowner insurance covers most events such as fires, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Flood insurance is generally not included and must be purchased separately since floods are a more common occurrence. The cost of homeowners insurance is generally not taken into consideration by first-time homeowners when buying their home, but a significant discount is generally given to homeowners with home security systems installed. The total discount given as a result of homes having security systems differs based upon the features of the system (for instance, a system monitored by a central monitoring station should provide a larger discount compared to one that is not monitored) and the amount of coverage purchased initially and the company offering the insurance. In general, homeowners receive a 10-20% discount on their insurance by having a functioning home alarm system installed.

8. Keep an Eye on Your Home Remotely

For some homeowners, the ability to keep an eye on their home even when they are away is one of the biggest perks of having a home alarm system. As technology has improved, many home alarm systems now allow users to log on to the internet via their computers or smartphone and access their home security system remotely.

This type of system allows the home alarm to be remotely armed or disarmed, cameras to be monitored, household lights to be turned off and on, air conditioning or heating to be turned on or changed, and motion detectors to be monitored. All of these functions not only allow homeowners to watch for intruders, but they also help to protect the home remotely. Turning on lights at a specified time through remote access can help to give the illusion that someone is at home even when they are not. Accessing the heating or air conditioning can help to prepare the home for sudden temperature changes to prevent pipe damage and can also help to save on electric or gas bills. In most cases, remote access comes with a small fee, but it offers homeowners the opportunity to take charge of their home even when they are out of town.

9. Get Medical Assistance When Needed

Medical conditions are a real concern for many homeowners and many home alarm companies offer medical alert pendants or emergency pulls. These types of devices are designed so that individuals can press a button or pull a cord and immediately have emergency services dispatched to their home. Most commonly these types of services are requested by children of elderly parents, family members of sick individuals and those living with loved ones who have special needs. One of the biggest concerns for family members of the elderly is the potential of falling; fortunately, with a medical alert feature, if an elderly person falls at home when they are alone, they can signal the authorities for help immediately. For families of sick or special needs individuals, this service can be used in a similar way, signaling authorities or medical professionals that assistance is needed in the event of seizures or other medical emergencies. This feature is not standard on many home security systems but is common enough that it can be obtained for a fee. Or, click on over to see our recommendations for the best medical alert systems.

10. Reduce Energy Consumption in Your Home

Home automation is a relatively new concept and as such it is not offered by many home security companies yet but is becoming more popular. This service allows users to access and control the lighting, thermostat and, in some cases, small appliances of the home through remote access. Some homeowners utilize this feature to shut down heating and cooling when no one is home and log on to start it an hour or so before heading back to the home so they arrive to a comfortable home. Other homeowners use this feature to turn on lighting in the home before they leave their office so they do not have to enter an unlit home. This feature is also beneficial for deterring intruders since it allows homeowners to make it look as though someone is home when they are not. Jump on over to see our top recommendations for the best home automation systems that will help reduce the energy consumption in your home.

Additional Reasons Why You Should Install a Home Security System

  • Security systems not only protect family and possessions, but they also provide protection for pets. If a fire were to break out when no one but the family pet was home, without a home alarm system that pet would be doomed.
  • Home security systems allow for homeowners to secure less frequented areas of the home such as the basement and the garage. This makes it more difficult for intruders to take their preferred methods of entry into the home and go unnoticed.
  • Home security systems mean that homeowners do not have to depend upon neighbors to watch over their home when they are away. There is less chance of human error with alarm systems.
  • Home alarm systems prevent home intruders from staying too long if they do gain access to the house since there is a higher likelihood of them being scared away when an alarm is sounding loudly.
  • Modern wireless alarm systems are affordable and much easier to set up and maintain than the wired systems of the past.
  • Having a home alarm system installed actually increases your home value when it comes to selling your home. As an added bonus, it also keeps your home protected throughout the selling process where a number of strangers will be inside your home.
  • Homes with security systems installed have a quicker emergency response time because they cut out the middleman and directly contact authorities for faster dispatch.
  • The majority of large home protection companies offer 24/7 monitoring and support of their alarm systems which reduces the likelihood that the alarm system will fail and your home safety would be at risk.
  • Some home alarm systems that come equipped with outdoor cameras allow for homeowners and their families to see who is at the front door without going close to it. This feature is particularly useful for families with children of working parents who often have to leave children at home alone.

Facts to Consider

If you still have any doubts about whether or not your home or family could benefit from purchasing a home alarm system take a look at some of the following facts:

  • Approximately every twenty seconds a home fire is reported.
  • House fires are the third leading cause of fatal home injury in the nation.
  • Each year fires kill more people in the United States than all natural disasters combined.
  • 39% of residential fires and 52% of residential fatalities from fires occur in homes with no smoke alarms.
  • 70% of all burglaries occur in residential properties.
  • Every 14.5 seconds a robbery is reported.
  • Most burglaries take place between 10am and 3pm when the majority of homeowners are at work.
  • 8% of robberies are committed with a gun according to the FBI’s crime statistics.
  • The majority of burglars gain entry to the home via the front door, back door and first floor windows.
  • FBI crime statistics state that during 60% of reported burglaries, someone was at home.
  • Only 13% of reported burglaries are solved by the police.
  • Only 15% of property that is stolen in burglaries is ever recovered by the police.
  • Approximately two-thirds of home fire deaths between 2005 and 2009 were the result of fires in homes without smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

Article Provided by: A Secure Life

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NAC – Network Access Control

What is Network Access Control and is it right for your business?

Network access control (NAC), also called network admission control, is a method of bolstering the security of a proprietary network by restricting the availability of network resources to endpoint devices that comply with a defined security policy.

A traditional network access server (NAS) is a server that performs authentication and authorization functions for potential users by verifying login information. In addition to these functions, NAC restricts the data that each particular user can access, as well as implementing anti-threat applications such as firewalls, antivirus software, and spyware-detection programs. network access control also regulates and restricts the things individual subscribers can do once they are connected. Several major networking and IT vendors have introduced network access control products.
NAC is ideal for corporations and agencies where the user environment can be rigidly controlled. However, some administrators have expressed doubt about the practicality of NAC deployment in networks with large numbers of diverse users and devices, the nature of which constantly change. An example is a network for a large university with multiple departments, numerous access points and thousands of users with various backgrounds and objectives.

Getting started with Network Access Control

To explore how NAC is used in the enterprise, here are additional resources:
Network access control — More than endpoint security: Learn how to gauge if your enterprise is ready for network access control (NAC).
NAC — Strengthening your SSL VPN: This tip explores why and how network access control functions are used to strengthen SSLVPNs, and their relationship to industry NAC initiatives.
Compliance in a virtualized world: Server virtualization and NAC security: Server virtualization presents challenges for network security, particularly NAC and compliance issues. Learn what these challenges are and how to overcome them.

Article Provided By:TechTarget

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Security Finger Print, Greenville, South Carolina

Access – Peace Sign Pics Could Give Hackers Your Fingerprints

Biometric Access – Finger Prints

Researchers at Japan’s National Institute of Informatics have claimed they can accurately copy fingerprints from digital photographs, raising fears that the access security of biometric authentication systems could be undermined.

Isao Echizen from the Institute told the Sankei Shimbun that his team was able to copy fingerprints based on photos taken from as far away as three metres, as long as they’re in focus and with strong lighting, AFP reported.

“Just by casually making a peace sign in front of a camera, fingerprints can become widely available,” the researcher claimed.

He argued that anyone could do so—without the need for advanced technology.

Social media, especially in Asia, is filled with the images of individuals doing the two-fingered ‘peace’ sign, taken with the increasingly powerful digital cameras found on smartphones.

That could lead to fears over the security of fingerprint-based authentication systems, although it’s not clear how easy it would be to transfer a captured fingerprint into a form which could be used to authenticate.

Researchers famously ‘cracked’ Apple’s TouchID system in the iPhone 5 and 6 models, but the method required a laser-printed image of the fingerprint and then a convoluted process of creating a mould with pink latex milk or white wood glue.

The skill, patience and time needed to do so would deter most criminals.

However, some commentators said the research still serves a valuable purpose in highlighting the problem with static biometric identifiers.

Robert Capps, VP of business development at biometrics firm NuData Security, argued that humans leave fingerprint data behind on everything they touch, adding that researchers have also been able to use photographs to trick iris scanners.

“Once biometric data is stolen and resold on the Dark Web, the risk of inappropriate access to a user’s accounts and identity will persist for that person’s lifetime. As the most stringent of authentication verifications deploy physical biometrics, such as immigration and banking, physical biometric data will become very desirable to hackers,” he argued.

“We can expect more creative attempts by hackers to capture this information. The benefit of passive behavioural biometrics is that the information used to uniquely identify a user is passively collected and dynamically analyzed, and has an extremely limited shelf life of usefulness—making theft and successful reuse of raw behavioural signals nearly impossible.”

For consumers, another option would be to wait two years until the NII launches a new transparent film currently in development, which is designed to hide the wearer’s fingerprints.

Article Provded By: Info Security Magazine

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Digital identity, Greenville, South Carolina

Why Your Business Needs a Security System

Today’s Security System are not just Bells and Whistles.

It’s a new age for Security Systems and Technology, with today’s systems employing many different kinds of technology. Technology like, Surveillance Cameras, Access Control, devices for the Networking of building systems, Fire Alarms, and Monitoring.

Access Control

 

Any mechanism or system that manages access through the authorization or revocation of rights to physical or logical assets within an organization is considered access control. Great definition right! But why do I need access control? Well, there can be many different reasons why a company or property owner could need access control. Here are just a few.

  • Who is in the Building.  Know who is in your facility, manage their level of access and meet regulatory compliance objectives.
  • A safe environment for tenants, employees, visitors, and contractors. Protect people, facilities, networks, and assets.
  • Control access to highly secure areas.  Solutions can be designed to protect your facilities that require a higher level security. Areas with sensitive data, networks, and critical or high-value information.
  • Commercial fleet fueling stations. RFID enabled fueling automation system to monitor and control commercial fleet fuel access, cost, and billing.

Cameras

The cameras are most often used for security, but they can also be used for building management. If there’s a broken window, trash left in the hallways (like a couch or old bed), tenants walking pets around the buildings social areas and leaving a mess (you can guess what kind), all of these and more can be monitored with Security Cameras to better help the property manager/owner manage the property or properties if you have more than one location.

Tenants who engage in any kind of misbehavior are caught on camera, identified and can be warned or fined for their actions. Once tenants and their visitors realize they can’t get away with the inappropriate behavior, it will stop. This translates to significant savings in operational costs for the property owners and justifies the cost of the cameras.

Fire Alarms and Monitoring

If there is a fire, a break-in, or if someone pushes a panic button, an alarm monitoring team is aware of it the moment it happens. Emergency agencies can be called into action immediately – police, fire, ambulance, or any necessary support services are filled in on the details about your home or business, and the designated contact is called. All of this happens within minutes of the alarm.

So, Why?

There are many reasons to have a Security System, and security companies try to plan for your needs. But it’s the things in life that happen that you least except that generate the need for a Security System.

So, Why do you need a Security System? Put simply, a Security System is your plan to handle the worst of what life throws at you.

By: Lance Roberts

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Network security primer: What is access control?

What is access control?

During its testimony on security weaknesses among federal agencies, theGovernment Accountability Office detailed a number of critical elements that make up effective protection systems.

The GAO offered a look at what it considers to be the six critical elements in an access control system:

Boundary protection: Boundary protection controls logical connectivity into and out of networks and controls connectivity to and from devices that are connected to a network. For example, multiple firewalls can be deployed to prevent both outsiders and trusted insiders from gaining unauthorized access to systems, and intrusion detection and prevention technologies can be deployed to defend against attacks from the Internet.

User identification and authentication: A computer system must be able to identify and authenticate different users so that activities on the system can be linked to specific individuals. When an organization assigns a unique user account to specific users, the system is able to distinguish one user from another—a process called identification. The system also must establish the validity of a user’s claimed identity by requesting some kind of information, such as a password, that is known only by the user—a process known as authentication.

Multifactor authentication involves using two or more factors to achieve authentication. Factors include something you know (password or personal identification number), something you have (cryptographic identification device or token), or something you are (biometric). The combination of identification and authentication provides the basis for establishing accountability and for controlling access to the system.

Authorization: Authorization is the process of granting or denying access rights and permissions to a protected resource, such as a network, a system, an application, a function, or a file. For example, operating systems have some built-in authorization features such as permissions for files and folders. Network devices, such as routers, may have access control lists that can be used to authorize users who can access and perform certain actions on the device.

Authorization controls help implement the principle of “least privilege, “which the National Institute of Standards and Technology describes as allowing only authorized accesses for users (or processes acting on behalf of users) which are necessary to accomplish assigned tasks in accordance with organizational missions and business functions.

Cryptography: Cryptography underlies many of the mechanisms used to enforce the confidentiality and integrity of critical and sensitive information. Examples of cryptographic services are encryption, authentication, digital signature, and key management. Cryptographic tools help control access to information by making it unintelligible to unauthorized users and by protecting the integrity of transmitted or stored information.

Auditing and Monitoring: To establish individual accountability, monitor compliance with security policies, and investigate security violations, it is necessary to determine what, when, and by whom specific actions have been taken on a system. Agencies do so by implementing software that provides an audit trail, or logs of system activity, that they can use to determine the source of a transaction or attempted transaction and to monitor users’ activities.

Physical security: Physical security controls help protect computer facilities and resources from espionage, sabotage, damage, and theft. Examples of physical security controls include perimeter fencing, surveillance cameras, security guards, locks, and procedures for granting or denying individuals physical access to computing resources.

Physical controls also include environmental controls such as smoke detectors, fire alarms, extinguishers, and uninterruptible power supplies. Considerations for perimeter security include controlling vehicular and pedestrian traffic. In addition, visitors’ access to sensitive areas is to be managed appropriately.

Article Provided By: Networkworld

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