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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Computer Networks, Business Networking, Small Businesses, Business, Greenville, South Carolina

Computer Networks and Internet Connections for a Business

Can your business benefit from a computer network and Internet connection?

Nearly any business can reap benefits from the tools available on a computer—core office software like word processors and spreadsheet creators, such as Microsoft Word and Excel, have become essential. While a single, unconnected computer is powerful, that computer connected to a network becomes vastly more scalable in its power and usefulness to your business.

Does Your Business Need a Network?

If you want your business to be competitive in the market, whatever that market may be, then a business computer network is almost certainly going to be necessary. It’s not enough to simply have a computer in your business—a computer needs to be able to connect with other computers and systems.

If your business is made up of more than a single employee, then it can benefit from a computer network within your business. A local area network (or LAN) will allow you and your employees to communicate with one another, and share information and office equipment resources such as printers, scanners and fax machines.

Connecting your business network to the biggest network around—otherwise known as the Internet—greatly expands the value and effectiveness of your business. An internet connection expands communications with email, voice and video options; provides access to critical data and information, and grants access to customers on a global scale.

Business Office Networks

Regardless of the size of your business, you will want to connect your computers, printers and any other equipment with a local area network. Setting up an office network will allow you to share information across your business. In addition, you will also be able to share the equipment that you have. For example, one printer can serve several employees.

Your network is not limited to a single building your business occupies. If there are multiple buildings in an area, a campus network can be set up to connect employees and resources in each building. If your business spans more than one city, more than one state, or even if it is spread across the globe, your business network can be connected by a wide-area network or WAN.

Business Networks and Internet Connections

The Internet is “the world’s marketplace.” With an Internet connection, you can communicate with suppliers, customers, prospective customers, employees and anyone else who may be important to your business. You can also advertise and sell your products and services anywhere in the world.

Beyond giving your business access to the Internet and World Wide Web, an Internet connection can also be used to give employees access to the business network from remote locations, such as from home or through a mobile connection while traveling. A virtual private network, or VPN, allows an employee to securely access the business network from anywhere they are able to connect to the Internet.

Network and Internet Connection Security

When you connect your business to a network and with the Internet, security becomes a critical concern. All connected businesses take steps to protect their information through backup systems, network, and data security.

Despite the risks inherent to connecting your business through networks, the benefits greatly outweigh the risks.

Article Provided by: The Balances Small Business


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Right Security Camera, Video Surveillance, Greenville, South Carolina, Liquid Video Technologies

Choosing the Right Security Camera System

Are you looking for new security camera technology or to enhance your current solution? Overwhelmed by the plethora of options and not sure where to start? In this article we compare the three basic types of video surveillance cameras; Standard Analog, High Definition (HD) Analog, and IP security cameras. Review the relative pros and cons of each to help you choose the camera technology that best matches your current needs now and in the future.

Analog Security Cameras
Analog cameras are the original in security camera technology and remain the most established and popular camera choice. It’s estimated that up to 70% of existing security camera systems currently in use are analog. These basic cameras deliver standard definition video (640×480) over coaxial cabling with a direct connection to a DVR box. Installation for analog security camera systems does not require complex network infrastructures, giving these systems a lower entry price than IP solutions.

thumbs-up.png  Pros:  Low entry price Straight-forward installation

thumns-down.png  Cons: Low-resolution video


HD Analog Security Cameras
HD Analog security camera systems make it possible to upgrade surveillance video quality at a lower cost because you can reuse cables and housing from an existing analog system. HD Analog systems capture video footage with twice the resolution of traditional analog systems. Surveillance video is delivered over coaxial cabling with a direct connection to a DVR box. For those that have existing analog cabling, the cost for HD analog video surveillance hardware can be up to 60% less than IP Cameras while yielding comparable video quality.

thumbs-up.png  Pros: Reuse existing cabling Affordable installation

thumns-down.png  Cons: Higher resolution quality, but not the highest


IP Security Cameras
IP security cameras yield the highest resolution video and support advanced video analytics functionality. In addition to capturing the highest quality surveillance footage, IP security cameras provide network flexibility; transmitting power, video, and data over a single ethernet cable. These systems have the ability to integrate into existing high-bandwidth network infrastructure and capture the highest quality images.

thumbs-up.png  Pros: Highest quality video resolution Supports video analytics

thumns-down.png  Cons: Most expensive hardware


Article Provided by: Envysion

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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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Security for your School, Greenville, South Carolina, Liquid Video Technologies

How Security Professionals Can Help Create Positive School Memories

Every generation is marked by the safety measures it experienced during its formative years. For those whose school days spanned the 1960s – the height of the Cold War – it was the infamous “Duck and Cover” drills. For the next generation, “Stop, Drop and Roll” exercises became the safety mantra of the day. If we want today’s children to look back on their school days as more than just a time of “Run, Hide, Fight” training, lockdowns and lectures on the potential dangers of online behavior, school systems need to institute security measure that will create safer learning environments without making schools feel like prisons.

Meeting the Four Basic Tenets of Physical Security

There are no absolutes for achieving that delicate balance between strong physical security and carefree learning. But any measures a school considers should incorporate the four basic tenets of physical security: deterrence, detection, delay and response.

  • Deterrence: measures to prevent malicious activity from happening
  • Detection: measures to alert school authorities that malicious activities are happening
  • Delay: measures that slow down the perpetrators who are committing the activity
  • Response: measures that alert perpetrators that they have been detected and will face consequences


Keep in mind that these four tenets should apply not only to technology, but to people and processes as well.

Taking a Layered Approach to Security

In the absence of national standards for schools to reference, current approaches to physical security have tended to differ widely from one institution to the next. But one of the most effective approaches schools might consider is one that is built in layers – working from the inside outward.

This concept isn’t unique. Security practitioners have commonly used this defense-in-depth, layered approach when designing security systems for other organizations. In this model, resource deployment is driven by the criticality of the assets needing protection. In the case of schools, life safety would be the most important factor for determining where to invest in security resources.

First Priority (Layer One): The Classroom

Students spend the vast amount of their school day in classrooms, so schools should prioritize those areas first.


The number one recommendation from the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission was to ensure that classroom doors could be locked from the inside by teachers or substitutes. Upgrading door hardware is often considered too expensive. As a consequence, some schools have been resorting to aftermarket, less expensive “barricade” devices that often introduce other life safety issues by compromising fire codes and ADA requirements.

When the budget is not as much of an issue, Electronic Access Control should be considered as it enables centralized lockdown capabilities reducing human error and dangerously slow reaction time. Regardless of the method, preventing intruders from entering the classroom addresses two important tenets of physical security:  deterrence and delay.


Another key technology requirement for classrooms is the ability to communicate with the others in the school building or outside entities. Today, classrooms should be equipped with bi-directional intercoms or phones that provide “push to talk” functionality. You don’t want teachers to have to memorize extensions to call the front office. Modern intercoms are connected to the schools IP network and support the same protocols for communication as the phone system. These Powered-over-Ethernet (PoE) devices can be used not only to connect with the front office but could even allow external entities with the right credentials, such as law enforcement, to connect to the classroom.

With regards to people and process, teachers and substitutes should be trained then tested on these systems regularly. One idea to ensure continued proficiency with the technology is to have teachers use the intercom in their daily routines such as reporting in at the beginning of each day.

Second Priority (Layer Two): Building Perimeter

Moving outward from the classroom our next priority is the building perimeter or “envelope.” We want to control who can enter the facility and limit their movement based on who they are. This can be accomplished through a combination of technology, people and processes.


A best practice is to have all students and visitors enter through one set of doors which is clearly marked as the main entrance. These doors would be unlocked during a specified time in the morning and afternoon for easy entry and egress but would be physically monitored by staff such as a school resource officer who would greet people as they enter. The doors would be locked for the rest of the school day.


These doors would have a networked intercom system that includes video so that visitors can be screened before the doors are unlocked. In some cases, schools could require visitors to hold up a driver’s license or other photo ID before unlocking the doors. Once inside, the visitor should be required to show a picture ID that would be entered into an electronic visitor management system that produces a credential that indicates this person is a visitor. By requiring visitors to sign in, schools create a deterrent as well as control who can enter the facility.

Third Priority (Layer Three):  Outdoor Space

Not all schools are contained within four walls. Many K-12 institutions in America are made up of multiple buildings, and almost all of them have outdoor spaces that students utilize throughout the day. Often these outdoor areas are considered public property and are used by private citizens when school is not in session. Schools commonly define their grounds by installing fencing around school property. But fencing does not always provide the deterrence value school security professionals hope for, especially if the public is permitted to use the space after hours. This dilemma has led schools to look for detection methods that can provide early warning of an intruder entering school grounds during school hours and prevent after-hours issues such as vandalism or theft.


Many schools leverage video surveillance with motion detection analytics to proactively notify security when anyone enters restricted areas around school property.  For instance, kids playing on the school’s basketball court over the weekend won’t trigger an alert. But if they approach the school building itself, an alert will be sent to authorities (whether school security staff or local law enforcement).

School Security Shouldn’t Feel Like Prison

Schools are faced with security challenges on multiple fronts. Some of those challenges can be addressed through technology. But people and processes following the basic tenets of physical security are also important to ensure that safe schools don’t feel like prisons.

Article Provided By: Security Magazine

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All Sites that don’t use HTTPS, will soon start being shamed on Google as ‘ Not Secure ‘!

The HTTPS in a URL stands for, Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure, and states that when transferring data between your browser and the website that you are connected is ‘secure.’ If your website is using the http, your connection is not encrypted and therefore not secure. The good news is that the HTTPS is relatively cheap to implement and serves as a powerful baseline before approaching other difficult issues, as far as protective measures go.

Starting in July 2018, Google will start marking all sites still using unencrypted HTTP as ‘not secure’ on the new updated Chrome (version 48). This will then put a bigger burden on website owners to switch over to the encrypted HTTPS, also, this form of tagging (Not Secure) will notify users about how the sites they visit operate and maintain their websites. Right now, Google says, “68 percent of Chrome traffic on Android and Windows is protected, while that number rises to 78 percent on Chrome OS and Mac, with 81 of the top 100 sites on the web using HTTPS by default.”

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Still a few major sites like Alibaba.com, BBC.com, and IMDB.com don’t use HTTPS. This will become a bigger potential problem for these sites, in the future, with security concerns. Plus, Google also uses HTTPS as a ranking metric for searching on its browser. By continuing to use the HTTP, sites should be getting less traffic directed to them than others site on the web use HTTPS. Which presumably influences the website’s overall revenue.

Note that, labeling sites using HTTP, as not secure, is something Mozilla toyed around with as well. After it was implemented a similar approach to sites using HTTP in Firefox Nightly version 59 back in December 2017.

If needing more information on Upgrading your website to HTTPS please contact Liquid Video Technologies at (864) 859-9848. Where our friendly staff will be happy to assist you.

Article Written by: Morgan Justice


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Home Security Apps and Smart Home Apps

When considering a home security and home automation system, one of the things you should consider is how well their associated apps function.

Today’s home security and automation features are most often controlled using an app. Therefore, the app is the one feature that needs to perform exceptionally well. Otherwise, you could find yourself wasting valuable time and possibly risking the safety of your family. Especially if the app is either too hard to use or doesn’t work consistently and like it is supposed to.

So what exactly are home security and home automation apps supposed to do?

Let’s find out…

Home Security Apps

If you have a smart home security system, an app can be used to monitor, access and control your system remotely through the use of a mobile or other web-enabled device.

If you want to see who is at your front door, tap your app. If you want to see what your kids or pets are doing, tap your app and select any given security camera for a live update. Did you forget to lock the doors, turn off the lights, or shut your garage door? Tap your app to find out, then you can remotely handle any necessary tasks using that app.

Those are just a few of the things you can do using a home security app. But there’s more…so let’s go over the most popular home security and home automation apps in a little more detail. We’ll first start with the home security apps and finish with the home automation apps.

Here are the top 13 most popular home security apps along with their features and uses.

Xfinity Home App

With the Xfinity app, you can view your entire system. You can also arm and disarm the alarm, control the lights, appliances, thermostat, cameras, and manage the zones and sensors. You can also sign in and out, change the rules and scenes, as well as view any and all activity and/or system alerts.

SimpliSafe App

With the SimpliSafe app, you can control your entire security system. It also allows you to view your security cameras live, arm/disarm your system, receive home entry alerts, and watch recorded video clips. You can also monitor your home for leaks, floods, and home temperatures (to alert you to the possibility of frozen pipes). In addition, you can check on your kids, pets, babysitters, or anyone else who might be in your home, as well as monitor gun, alcohol, and medicine cabinets, or anything else for that matter. However, SimpliSafe doesn’t offer any home automation features so neither does their app.

Vivint Sky Mobile App

With the Vivint app, you can control your entire security system, which includes viewing doorbell and indoor/outdoor surveillance cameras, monitoring window sensors, and smoke detectors. You can also remotely control your home automation features such as the thermostat, lights, door locks, garage door, and more.

Canary App

With the Canary app, you can monitor your entire home and control all your security devices via your phone, or any other web-enabled device. You can watch surveillance videos (live or recorded) during the day or night. You can also receive activity alerts along with a video clip of the event, as well as arm/disarm your system. The Canary app is customizable so you can set your own notification and privacy rules. In addition, you can trigger the siren and/or be connected to emergency responders. You can also monitor the air quality, temperature, and humidity of your home.

Ring App

With the Ring app, you can monitor and control your security features from any web-enabled device including video doorbells, security cameras, and your entire security system, all from one dashboard. That means you can view videos, use the built-in microphone and speaker to hear and talk with anyone on your property, receive motion detection alerts, crime/safety alerts, and share videos with your neighbors.

Arlo App

With the Arlo app, you can view your live camera feeds and time-stamped recorded images, activate push notifications based on your chosen triggers, motion, and sound detection alerts, and review daily cloud recordings. You can also arm/disarm your system, create a custom mode, adjust individual camera settings, and receive automatic system updates.

Nest App

With the Nest app, you can arm/disarm your system, view your Nest cams to see who is coming and going from your home and receive alerts and notifications if you forget to set your alarm or if an event triggers your system, etc. You can also control your home automation systems including the locks, thermostat, check your energy usage, and receive extreme temperature alerts to help prevent frozen pipes. This app will also send you an alert if smoke or carbon monoxide is detected and it will provide you with instructions about what to do. In addition, it will also run a safety check to test your alarms once a month.

Moni Smart Security App

With the Moni app, you can view and control almost every part of your security system and home automation features. You can easily interact with your alarm system, arm/disarm your system and remotely control your security cameras (live or recorded), lights, locks, thermostat, garage doors, or interact with the video doorbell. This system uses geofencing which detects your location so the app can send you useful alerts if you left your garage door open, to adjust your thermostat, or turn off the lights. The system also relays information to the app in real-time when your kids get home from school, if there has been a break-in, and even equipment failures, etc.

Alarm.com App

With the Alarm.com app, you can remotely monitor and control your entire home in real-time. When using this app you can access the live video feeds and cameras or watch recorded clips, as well as arm and disarm your system. You can also control and manage your home automation features including your lights, thermostat, door locks, search the system’s event history, and more. This app will send you alerts when your kids get home from school, the housekeeper arrives, if you left your garage door open, if the system detects flooding or a water leak, or even if your kids open your medicine cabinet or enter any other restricted area.

ADT Pulse App

With the ADT Pulse app, you can arm/disarm your security system, turn your lights on before you arrive home or off if you forgot. You can also turn off your small appliances, adjust your thermostat, receive alerts or view live video feeds of when your kids get home from school. You can even lock and unlock your doors so you can let someone in remotely if you need to. Additionally, you can setup custom automation and schedules that include your vacations and other events.

Frontpoint Security App

With the Frontpoint app, you can monitor, access and control your security and home automation systems remotely. This app allows you to arm or disarm your system from anywhere, view a live camera feed or watch recorded video clips. You can also control your lights, locks, thermostat, and receive real-time alerts for any event based on your exact specifications. And much more!

Protect America App

With the Protect America app, you can control your home security and home automation systems from the palm of your hand. You can arm/disarm your security system, view live or recorded video clips from anywhere, including from your bed if you hear a noise, and view your event history anytime. You can also lock or unlock your doors for easy access and to control who comes and goes and when, as well as adjust your thermostat, and more.

Scout Alarm App

With the Scout app, you can create custom security modes and monitor the status of your home remotely. You can also receive custom alerts, allow instant access to approved visitors, and be immediately alerted when an event occurs. In addition, you can monitor and control your home automation features which are easily integrated with many popular smart home technology and devices, such as Zwave, Alexa, Nest, Google Home, and others.

Now let’s take a look at the home automation apps.

Smart Home Apps

Home automation apps work the same way as the home security apps. In fact, most home security companies offer both home security and home automation features which can both be remotely monitored, accessed and controlled from one dashboard on the app. So let’s take a look at the most popular home automation apps.

Here are the top four most popular smart home apps along with their features and uses.

WeMo App

The WeMo home automation app is currently in beta mode. However, it’s able to control your lights, appliances, thermostat, or any whole room in your home from anywhere in the world. This means you can pair the app with the WeMo Mini, Nest, Amazon Echo, Google Home, or other compatible devices to control your smart home features. This will allow you to turn on your lights before you get home, or set them to turn on and off automatically. This will also make it look like your home, even when you’re not. In addition, WeMo is also compatible with IFTTT so the possibilities are literally endless.

Wink App

The Wink home automation app is compatible with hundreds of different smart products and any one of them, when paired with the Wink app, will allow you to remotely monitor, access, and control your lights, door locks,  thermostat, as well as receive sensor alerts. These alerts will notify you when an event is detected,  such as motion, opened windows or doors, fire, smoke, front door visitors (so you can unlock the door remotely), unlocked doors or garage doors(so you can lock them remotely). And, this app lets you control these features from anywhere. In addition, you can also customize shortcuts, set up schedules, and even Robots to work with your smart features.

SmartThings App

The SmartThings home automation app, you can monitor, access, and control your home’s smart features including the lights, locks, garage door, doorbell, motion and water leak sensors, and other devices using the Samsung SmartThings Hub. In addition, it’s compatible with a variety of other Z-Wave or ZibBee chipped devices.


The IFTTT (If This, Then That) app works with over 400 apps, including Twitter, Instagram, Gmail, Google Drive and more. In addition, IFTTT also works with devices such as Alexa, Nest, Philips, Google Home and others. This applet helps to access all the smart features around you using voice controlled devices. It also helps keep you informed using major publications such as The New York Times, etc. You can also receive the weather, message your friends, receive Craigslist (and other) alerts, home security alerts, streamline your social media, backup important files, pictures and other valuable information to a cloud storage option such as Dropbox or Google Drive. You can also remotely control your thermostat, and trigger events based on your current location.

Article Provided by: Safe Home

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