From simple cameras that captured video of the area in front of them to advanced cameras that offer exceptional features, our security camera systems have come a long way. The security industry has embraced the high-tech boom, offering sophisticated solutions and attracting more interest from consumers, thus driving home security system sales up over the years. We can only expect this to continue thanks to these security camera innovations, as well as those yet to come.
Video quality was once the defining factor of how advanced your camera was. Since high-definition and improved resolutions have taken care of that aspect, focus has now turned to the range and extent of camera views. Currently, most cameras can offer about 130-degree views, but 360-degree views are already being offered by newer security cameras.
This type of biometric technology enables your security cameras to distinguish strangers from members of the household. By doing so, home owners can be alerted to when members arrive home, as well as when unwelcome guests try to enter.
What was once a special feature has now become a standard function for security cameras. Night vision cameras can see almost as well as they can during the day and are often built to withstand extreme weather conditions, making them ideal for both indoor and outdoor use.
The security room, dedicated to numerous monitors and feeds, is becoming obsolete. Modern technology is now allowing security cameras to be integrated with smart phones, sending the live feed directly to these devices. Users are even able to change the angle of the camera from their device to investigate the area in question further.
Solar Power Integration
Solar-powered camera systems are much more energy efficient and can cut out the complications and vulnerabilities of hard-wired camera systems. A broader range of businesses are able to access security solutions thanks to solar-powered security cameras paired with wireless systems.
This feature is especially convenient for parents and pet owners to check in on their loved ones. Users are able to communicate through the camera to check in with kids or scold unruly pets. This feature can also be used to scare off intruders remotely, avoiding any immediate danger.
Voice commands and voice control has become a staple in our everyday lives, so bringing it into the security realm only makes sense. With voice control technology, you are able to manage your security systems completely hands-free. For example, you can turn on a camera, lock the house, or close the garage by simply activating voice command.
For a great selection of security cameras and CCTV surveillance systems, visit SecurityCamExpert.com. For more information about free CCTV quotes, site surveys, and installation services, please call 888-203-6294.
For businesses, it is important to keep your data secure and protect your customers. Recent hacks and data breaches have proven that one small misstep can cost you a fortune. Don’t become the next example – heed these helpful business security tips to ensure that your business remains safe and secure.
“Least Privilege” Protocol
Employees should only have access to the systems they need to do their job, no more. Opening access to sensitive systems for all employees is unnecessary and increases the security risk.
Control Removable Media
Limit the use of external devices (ex. USB memory sticks) especially those brought in from home by employees. These external devices are a main route for malware to disrupt systems.
Secure The “Doors”
Old systems, network devices and sites should always be removed and decommissioned. Forgetting about these may allow hackers to access your network.
Devise a plan that encompasses the following: network privileges and devices for new employees, what happens when employee roles are changed, and the protocol for when employees leave. In the event an employee is leaving, be sure to revoke access and collect company devices upon departure. Please note that this process can become quite complex if workers used personal devices in the workplace.
Define “Tolerable Risk”
We all take risks every day, varying from minuscule to major. It is important to understand how much of a risk your business is willing to take to get the job done. For example, are you willing to allow staffers to use their own devices or take data files home? While this may help with productivity, you also run the risk of devices being lost, stolen, hacked, or contaminated with malware.
You MUST properly train your staff in understanding the risks and legal requirements around data security. Explain the different issues and best practices. Without proper training, you leave your organization vulnerable.
Observe & Report
Ensure that your staff knows to be vigilant and report suspicious activity (ex. suspicious emails, attachments) or any unexpected changes to the company system.
As you may have concluded, much of the data security risks start within the business rather than on the outside. Most of these mistakes result from accidental or ill-considered actions by employees, thus, proper education and training is pertinent. In addition, data loss prevention (DLP) technology can prevent unauthorized saving, copying, printing, or emailing of sensitive files. This will prevent insiders from compromising data, whether accidental or criminal.
Unfortunately, home burglaries happen more often than we would like to believe. While the thought of someone breaking into your home, violating your privacy, and stealing your valuables is disheartening, encountering an intruder while you are home can be far more frightening. Panic and fear may set in, but here are some helpful tips if you ever find yourself in this situation.
Stay Calm & Stay Put
This may be easier said than done, but remaining calm rather than panicking can keep you safe. First, listen very closely to the sounds which lead you to believe that someone else is in your home, whether it is the sound of breaking glass, footsteps, or shuffling around. Try to make sure that it is not another family member or a pet without charging toward them or making your presence known.
If it is, in fact, an intruder, you don’t know if they are armed or how aggressive they will be so it is best to avoid engaging and remain undetected.
Call The Police
Dial 911 immediately if you sense an intruder in your home – the emergency operator will be able to contact and dispatch police to your location. Remember to stay calm and whisper slowly and clearly so that the dispatcher can understand you and the intruder does not hear you. If you feel that you cannot talk without being heard, you can try using the Text-To-911 help function, implemented to assist the deaf and hearing impaired persons.
This is a perfect example of why you should always have a charged cell phone nearby and accessible. While burglars may be able to cut a telephone line, cell phones are wireless and cannot be compromised by the intruder. Also, resist the urge to call a friend or family member before dialing 911, and try to stay on the line until the police arrive as the dispatcher can help guide you through this emergency while you wait.
As mentioned, staying quiet is key. For the most part, burglars don’t want to linger, they want to get in and out as quickly as possible. Any sudden movements or noises can alert the intruder that someone is home. These noises may scare them away, however, a brazen burglar may take forceful action, putting you and anyone else in your home in danger. No material possession is ever worth risking your life, so try your best to stay quiet and hidden until the burglar leaves or the police arrive.
Quietly Alert Other House Members
Always call for help first before alerting others in your home. The emergency dispatcher can guide you about informing other family members or housemates. The average police response time is 10 minutes nationwide. If you can, wait for help to arrive, but if you must, alert others carefully and quietly.
If children are home, lock their doors if possible to prevent the burglar from entering their rooms. Screaming or crying children can make a burglar aware of your presence so remaining calm can help you keep the kids quiet. Creep slowly, whisper and use hand signals to communicate.
Evaluate Possible Escape Plans
You may immediately think that escaping is your only option, but it might not be the best solution. If you can, alert authorities while remaining undetected. But if you fear that this encounter may turn violent, you should seek the nearest escape route. You know your house best so think of a window or door you can use for a quick getaway. If no escape routes are easily accessible or available, try to find a safe place to hide until help arrives or the intruder leaves.
Protect Yourself If Necessary
You must do what you need to do to protect yourself and your family during a home invasion. Material possessions are not worth risking harm or fatality, so, if forced to do so, surrender your things and use any means you can to defend yourself against the attacker.
More and more people are turning their homes into smart homes. What once was seen as an extravagant luxury for the wealthy has now become accessible and affordable for nearly all homeowners.
While there are many ways to upgrade, smart home security seems to be the top priority for most home owners. Aside from protecting your home from burglars, fires, and other potential threats, you may also benefit from smart home security by getting rebates or special discounts from insurance companies.
Advances in technology have enabled smart home security manufacturers to offer varying levels of home security systems at different price points. Here’s how you can protect your home, from basic to advanced features.
If You Are On A Strict Budget…
At the bare minimum, smart home security starts with a camera. Smart security cameras can provide footage to identify burglars after the crime has been committed or can alert owners when unauthorized activity is detected, allowing burglars to be caught in the act. These cameras not only offer security for your home, but can be used as baby monitors and nanny cams. Special features may include the ability to differentiate between human and pets to prevent false alarms, as well as two-way audio to enable communication with anyone in the room
As beneficial as a one-camera setup can be, there are also limitations. The first and most obvious limitation being that one camera can only cover one room. Also, you must actively monitor the feed to maintain security. If you would like a system that needs less attention, you may want to explore other, more advanced options.
If You Are Looking For More Comprehensive Home Security…
You will want to look for a home security system that addresses the different ways your home security can be breached. Additional security components include motion sensors, door and window sensors, and surveillance signs.
If You Want A Highly Sophisticated Home Security System…
For around-the-clock surveillance of your home, you may want to invest in a security company that offers monitoring services for a monthly fee. While the hardware is almost the same as the aforementioned systems, when the alarm is triggered, the security company is notified and they assess the danger and alert the necessary authorities. Since you may not have your phone or device available at all times (ex. movies, traveling), this service can come in very handy.
Protect your home with an affordable CCTV surveillance camera system from SecurityCamExpert.com. Browse our stock online or call 888-203-6294 to discuss your options with a representative today!
Ransomware is often transmitted by email or web pop-ups and involves hackers holding your data hostage with threats of destroying it unless a ransom is paid. The recent WannaCry ransomware attack involved cybercriminals hijacking numerous Windows computers in more than 150 countries.
What is unfortunate about this attack, and sadly, many other attacks, is that cautious online behavior and safe security practices could have prevented this. To keep your business and data safe, check out these expert security tips.
The WannaCry attack is believed to have been spread through an email download. Dishearteningly, a security patch for this vulnerability was released eight weeks prior to the attack, thus, the crisis could have been avoided.
Users often refrain from actively checking for updates, leaving their equipment and data at risk. An easy remedy is to set up your system for automatic installation when updates are available. And just because Windows computers were the main target in this situation, does not mean that other devices and systems are in the clear. Remember that all operating systems are at risk, so regardless of the devices you use, you should always install the latest security updates and patches.
Install Antivirus Software
Aside from keeping your software up to speed, antivirus software can help prevent malware from infecting your computer. Just remember to keep it up-to-date and only download antivirus apps from reputable vendors (ex. Kaspersky Lab, Bitdefender, Malwarebytes).
Be Wary Of Suspicious Emails And Pop-ups
As previously mentioned, it is believed that the WannaCry attack stemmed from email attachments. With that said, we should all be wary of dubious emails containing links or attachments. Things to look out for include the sender (make sure it’s coming from a legitimate address) and any typos or grammatical errors in the body. If there are hyperlinks, hover over them (but don’t click!) to see whether they direct you to suspicious web pages. If an email appears to come from your bank, credit card company, or internet service provider, keep in mind that they will never ask for sensitive information (ex. password, social security number). Lastly, just say no to pop-up windows, regardless if they are advertising software products that remove malware. Whatever it may be is too good to be true and not worth the risk, so simply close the pop-up carefully.
Generally speaking, creating a copy of your data is always a good idea in case your computer fails or is lost. In the event that your computer is successfully hijacked, you can be your own hero. You can simply wipe your computer clean and restore your data with your backup copy. For added security, back up your data onto an external drive, and then store it somewhere safe and away from your computer. And be sure to backup your data regularly.
Create A Business Security Plan
Applying companywide security updates for larger businesses can be challenging, which is why a security plan will come in handy. A strict schedule for installing the latest updates with minimal interruption to productivity should be implemented. The IT department should also actively and regularly educate and test employees on spotting suspicious emails.
If you find that you are a victim of ransomware, your first step should be to disconnect your computer from the internet to limit spreading the attack to other machines. Next, report the crime to law enforcement and get help from a tech professional who specializes in data recovery (this is the best person to detail your options for you). Remember to not lose hope, as future security tools may be able to unlock your files.
Only in extreme cases should you consider paying a ransom. For example, if you have no backups and the encrypted files are of great value, paying the ransom may be your only route. However, in the WannaCry case, you should NOT pay the ransom as some victims have and are not hearing back from the cybercriminals.
When running an online business, one of the most important aspects is security. Aside from protecting your company data, customers want to feel secure and know that they are safe when connecting and shopping on your website. Things like SSL and encryption are standard for any legitimate ecommerce business.
Unfortunately, small businesses with physical locations sometimes overlook the proper security measures, which can end up hurting the company in many ways.
Build confidence with your consumers by employing smart security practices with both your physical locations as well as your online presence.
Benefits Of A Secure Business
By securing your business, first and foremost, you are increasing safety for your employees and your business overall. When taking the appropriate measures, you can create a cohesive team and a sense of belonging among your staff. Applying on-premise security measures delivers the message that you value your employees and are concerned for their safety. In doing so, you are also improving job satisfaction, which can lead to employee retention.
Aside from improving employee morale, securing your business shows your customers that your staff and brand are worth protecting. Security methods also convey professionalism and help to build trust with your customers. By strengthening the legitimacy of your company, you are building a strong foundation for your business.
So how can you improve security in your business? Here are a few things you can implement to get started.
One of the most effective ways to protect your business is to control who gets in or out. Make it harder for unauthorized guests to gain access by graduating from a simple lock and key to access control cards. They are much harder to duplicate than keys, and when someone leaves the company or you need to revoke access to one person for whatever reason, all you need to do is change the database – no need to change the locks or the entry code.
Adding photos ID cards or badges will help your customers clearly identify your team members, as well as promote value amongst your team. It also adds an additional layer of security in helping to identify who should and should not be on site. It may prove beneficial for businesses to invest in their own ID card printer to avoid any possible counterfeits.
Easily Identify Visitors And Contractors
If left to their own devices, visitors and contractors may pose a risk in your building. Make sure you have a check-in system as well as photo pass and color coded lanyard so that everyone on the team can easily identify who’s who. Your team should also know the protocol for when an intruder is on the premises.
Although we are mainly focused on physical security, it is worth mentioning that cyber security is also of the utmost importance. These days, it has bearing on your physical security as well. Strong passwords, multi-step authentication and security from the cloud are smart and simple ways to minimize risks for your business.
Security Culture Among Team
Your team should have a strong knowledge of your security procedures. You should have security specialists analyze your business needs and assist you in creating clear, actionable policies for your employees to follow. Once implemented, these should be reviewed for all employees so that your team is on the same page and understand the company’s security policy.
Security procedures can play a crucial role in building a legitimate, successful business. What security measures do you implement to safeguard your business? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Despite the fact that businesses are four times more likely to be burglarized than residences thanks to their computers and electronics, it seems very few small businesses employ appropriate security measures. According to Security Magazine, only 31% of small businesses take the necessary steps to protect themselves.
An unfortunate example of lax security is the former office building of Draft Sharks, chosen because of its alarm system. The subscription-based fantasy football advice site learned the hard way that, although the building was alarmed, their particular office was not. Thieves broke into a window of an adjacent restaurant and were able to break into the Draft Sharks office. While $1000 worth of stolen computer equipment may seem like a relatively minor loss, the data on those machines was worth much more.
After this event, Draft Sharks changed their ways and adjusted their security measures. Now, nothing of value is stored on-site. Work laptops are taken home daily and everything is stored in the cloud.
You do not necessarily need to take drastic measures to protect your business. Even the smallest changes in security can produce great benefits. Here are some smart yet simple ways to improve your business security.
Better Door Locks
Your door locks often act as your first line of defense. If you have a weak lock, criminals can easily pick it and break in. Choose a lock that is strong and impenetrable. With so many more advanced and smart locks on the market now, you are sure to find one that will suit your needs and protect your business.
Bright, illuminated areas make it hard for criminals to creep around. Keep the exterior of your property well-lit after hours to prevent thieves from targeting your business. You may also want to consider keeping the interior lights on as well. That way, it is much more obvious when someone has broken in.
Video surveillance, whether monitored in house or by a professional service, will keep you alert and aware of what’s going on within your business. Should something occur, you can provide video evidence to law enforcement.
Bolted Down Safe
If your clients demand confidentiality, a heavy, relatively inconspicuous, fireproof safe bolted to the ground may be a sound investment. It provides a place for you to store sensitive documents away from danger and the wrong hands.
Securing Digital Assets
Aside from your physical equipment, your data needs security as well. By storing your data in the cloud, you may still access your files in case your equipment is damaged or stolen, and the cloud also offers encryption for added security.
As you can see, business security can be simple and easy. There are plenty of cost-effective options to secure your company data and equipment. Share your tips for business security with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
For cost-effective, quality security cameras and surveillance packages, feel free to visit SecurityCamExpert.com and browse our selection. To learn more about our installation and support services, or to request a site survey or free quote, please call 888-203-6294.
While it is a testament to the quality of the product, systems that have maintained their performance over many years may eventually pose a risk to your business. Although they may be working fine, if the manufacturer discontinues support for that product and you continue to use it, your security risks will steadily increase. Because support is eliminated, your system will no longer receive the necessary updates and patches, leaving your system vulnerable to hackers.
A great example of this is the case with Windows Vista. Moving forward, it will no longer be supported, thus no further security updates or functionality fixes will be provided. Security risks run high the longer you leave these unsupported systems within your business.
There are many cases that prove the high risks of end-of life technology. Recently, a remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability in Microsoft’s Internet Information Server (IIS) version 6 and proof-of-concept (PoC) exploitation was found. The extended support for IIS 6 ended in July 2015, meaning systems could have been upgraded in the two years since then. However, “independent web server surveys suggest that IIS 6.0 still powers millions of public websites” on at least 300,000 public servers.
Since evidence of exploitation of this IIS 6 vulnerability was found over a year after the end of support, hackers are likely to use the PoC technique to take advantage of the flaw. Once hackers have gained access, they can navigate their way through the system to exploit various aspects. Hackers may compromise the IIS 6 server, extract intelligence and use that and its resources to compromise more systems and possibly escalate privileges. Furthermore, anything hosted by the IIS 6 server machine becomes at risk.
How To Manage End-Of-Life Risks
Protection should begin with the basics of risk management and technology planning. Companies should actively manage risks in regards to maintaining and securing obsolete technology versus the cost of upgrading the system. While vendors often give early notices of end-of-life milestones, these things should be considered early on.
When considering your risks, ask yourself these questions:
Once you have the inventory, the next step is basic risk and cost analysis:
It may be hard to decide whether to keep your old equipment or upgrade, especially for those with tight budgets. Sometimes the cost of maintaining obsolete technologies is about the same or more than replacing the system all together, which is why all aspects should be taken into consideration.
As mentioned, the change-of-platform planning should be discussed during the design process. If not, the end-of-life notice from the vendor should serve as a reminder to begin planning transitions for all systems, clients, servers, and other invisible back-end and interconnected systems that may be forgotten. And not only does IT staff need to be on top of these things, but everyone who would be affected by a system transition should be made aware of impending changes.
End-of-life tech issues are much more complex than they appear. Because the IT industry is so widely diverse, the products and tech often expire quickly. Because of this, conscious planning for this is crucial.
You should maintain inventory and thoroughly map the connected systems and their value to help any future upgrades.
Drones can be helpful in many different situations since they can monitor and even deliver tangible items to areas with limited access. In farming especially, drone imagery can provide a close, more in-depth look at crops, without spending excessive time on the fields. In fact, farmers have been using drones for years now.
Because farms are often located in remote areas where powerful computers and networks are few and far between, the shift from centralized computing to edge computing is gaining traction. Aside from agriculture, edge computing is coming into play in many other industries as well. In general, this entails light processing on the periphery of the network, or the edge, as close to the originating source as possible. The end result is faster speeds with less strain on the core network.
With this advanced technology comes more precise, data-driven agriculture. Drones are a much faster, cost-effective way of combing through the field than obtaining images from satellites or planes. These days, drones can be launched and controlled with an app and come equipped to guide itself through the field and take detailed pictures in various lighting environments. Specialized software can then analyze all the data collected to pinpoint problems (ex. dead plants, poor drainage), allowing farmers to address these issues in a prompt manner.
For example, in conjunction with Fieldscanner (the latest product from software vendor DroneDeploy), farmers are able to view their crops in real-time, while the drone is still flying. Via a wireless link, computing takes place on board the drone and on the user’s Apple device.
Previously with DroneDeploy, an expensive drone-based modem and LTE connection was necessary to send photos to the cloud for instant analysis. Now with Fieldscanner, the images are sent to an Apple device in real-time. The need for internet connection is unnecessary thanks to the processing power of both the drone and the mobile device.
Aside from being able to address issues promptly, immediate feedback allows farmers to quickly move on if the area appears fine. This saves network capacity since a more detailed reading is unnecessary. In addition, farmers can upload the data to the computer or a cloud service and produce detailed 3D imagery.
While this drone software is still in beta testing, it is indicative of where the future of drones and farming is headed. What are your thoughts on farming with drones? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
These days, most of our devices are connected thanks to the Internet of Things. While this can make things more convenient for us, it can also leave us vulnerable to hackers.
There have been many public stories about cyber attacks and spying, from hacked baby monitors to internet outages. And while we may never see an end to cyber criminals, this proves that we can never be too cautious.
These unfortunate hacks can occur from unsecure Wi-Fi connections, open devices (no passwords), or malware attacks. Luckily, there are ways to combat attacks and minimize our risks.
Employ a full-service security suite for your internet and keep it up to date. Use a strong, unique password and encryption to protect your network.
Always change the default password that comes with your wireless networks and any of your devices. When choosing a password, remember to incorporate numbers, capital letters, and, when allowed, multiple punctuation marks. You should also try to use 12 digits, and avoid names, places, or anything that can easily be guessed. To ensure you’ve created strong and secure passwords, use a password checker.
As stated previously, keep all your devices and software updated as these help to patch any known or found vulnerabilities that allow hackers to gain access. Although this simple step can easily be overlooked, it is important to stay on top of these updates.
If your camera indicator light goes on without your permission, you can assume that your computer has been compromised. However, just because the light is off, you cannot assume that your camera is safe. Researchers have found that hackers can infiltrate and turn on webcams without activating the indicator light.
To err on the side of caution, keep your cameras covered. There are different types of patches, stickers, devices, and other products on the market that you can use. However, for an immediate fix, masking tape will suffice.
If there is any uncertainty, do not click the link. Only download attachments or click on links from people you know and trust. If you were not expecting a message or attachment from a trusted person, be sure to check with them before opening or downloading anything.
Public Wi-Fi networks are prone to hackers so avoid them when you can.
If your security system permits (most do), check the IP addresses that have accessed your cameras. If you find any suspicious IP addresses on your log, be sure to change your access codes right away and notify your security company.
Network connected security cameras allow you to remotely monitor your cameras via an app or a website. If you do not need this feature, turn it off.
It may be beneficial to have one network for your phone and computers and another network solely dedicated to your security systems and other monitors.
Being an educated consumer will minimize your risk of becoming a victim. These security precautions promote safe use of personal technology and can go a long way for your cyber security. Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest to share your own cyber security tips.
Need quality security cameras and CCTV surveillance equipment? Look no further than SecurityCamExpert.com! Call 888-203-6294 to schedule a free* site survey, request a quote, or inquire about our installation services.