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Transitioning From Analog Security Cameras To IP Surveillance

Upgrading your analog security cameras to IP security cameras has plenty of benefits, including improved image quality and advanced features. Most IP surveillance systems can make use of existing network infrastructure that is in good condition, decreasing costs for installation. Whether you are looking to upgrade because your analog system is reaching end-of-life for support or because your needs have changed, an IP surveillance system is a smart decision.

Now, the actual task of transitioning from analog to IP security cameras should not be taken lightly. You want to be sure that you take all things into consideration to ensure that you choose the right IP video surveillance system and that it performs sufficiently. Here are a few aspects you should not overlook:

Goals & Challenges
If you are looking to achieve ROI, you must fully understand how your IP security system will be used. Operational goals and potential challenges should be determined beforehand. Think about what types of cameras and how much resolution you need, as well as how long the footage needs to be stored and which areas need coverage. Proper planning is crucial to the success of your security system.

Budgets
No one wants to pay an arm and a leg for a mediocre surveillance system. If done correctly, you don’t need to. By defining a security budget, you can find the right cameras and video management software (VMS) to fulfill your needs and achieve your goals.

Time
As much as a quick transition sounds ideal, it is not always feasible. Understand that a proper transition will take some time, and it may be in your best interest to plan a phased migration. This will help to accommodate budget availability and operational disruptions. Prioritize which area needs immediate attention and begin there.

Storage
Going from analog to IP improves video quality, but also requires more storage. Advanced VMS can help to effectively optimize your network resources and bandwidth consumption, thus decreasing networking and storage costs over time.

Staffing
A new IP video system may need additional staffing, so you should think about this and how you will train the new and existing staff. This will impact both overall costs and ROI of your system, and may affect cameras and software selection. For example, casinos require live monitoring around the clock while parking lot surveillance may use video analytics to alert security personnel of incidents or events that need attention.

Integration
Numerous third-party integrations can help to increase the efficiency of your system as well as manage costs. While most current systems have an IP-based interface for integration, leading suppliers also have a wide range of integrations which are tested and ready to apply. These can offer functionality, automation, and other enhancements to solve project needs.

Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is of utmost importance, especially these days. If not addressed properly, going from analog to IP opens up your system, and any indirectly connected networks, to endless vulnerabilities. Be sure to discuss your specific network safeguards, policies, and strategies with your installer. Also, enlist a new IP security system that provides the appropriate cybersecurity architecture, software, devices, and policies.

Licensing
Pay attention to licensing requirements and Software Upgrade Plans (SUPs) or Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that come with most VMS systems. These cover everything from higher tiers of support to future upgrades. For example, third-party cameras may require a license for each IP address, and these licensing requirements can add additional costs.

Environmental Conditions
These include extreme heat or cold, humidity, corrosion, and high dust levels, along with ambient light levels, existing power sources, and network infrastructure. All of these can impact which security cameras and VMS equipment are necessary for you.

Redundancy
Because your security system should be operational and accessible at all times, it is important plan provisions for redundancy and back up for primary resources in case they fail. For most systems, simple RAID-5 or -6 redundancy in storage is sufficient. However, you should also consider budgeting for “failover” recorders and other server hardware, and have spare cameras on hand in case of failure.

It is only a matter of time until IP surveillance is the norm and analog security cameras are a thing of the past. But when the day comes, it is ever important to understand your security needs and what you expect from your IP surveillance system. Even a small mistake or misstep along the way can compromise your system.

Have you upgraded to an IP security camera system? Share your stories with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. You can shop our selection online at SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294 to inquire about our products, installation services, or request a free quote!

Low-Light Security Cameras

There’s something to be said about low-light security cameras. Because lighting conditions in different environments are not always ideal for surveillance, low-light security cameras enable us to capture respectable footage in these situations. And with new technology, the quality of low-light camera images has vastly improved.

But before you invest in low-light security cameras for your home or business, here are some important facts and tips to know to make the most of your security systems.
Here’s some important information in order to make the most of your security systems.

First and foremost, you should know the related terms you may come across:

  • Low-Light
  • Day/Night
  • Starlight
  • SenseUp
  • Night Vision
  • Light Finder
  • Light Toucher
  • Dark Finder
  • Light Catcher
  • Thermal Imaging

All of these terms refer to the same classification of surveillance cameras. And while some of these terms are trademarked by manufacturers, the most commonly used terms for these cameras are “low-light” and “day/night.”

How It Works
Despite the sometimes confusing terminology, the basic components remain the same for all low-light cameras: a lens and sensor and some level of image processing. And to be clear, low-light cameras are different than thermal cameras (which track heat rather than motion or images) or cameras with IR illuminators.

A majority of low-light cameras use an IR cut filter, which is a mechanical filter that sits between the lens and the sensor (CMOS chip). The name is derived from its ability to “cut out” or filter out IR illumination during the day to improve color quality. At night, as available light diminishes, it slides out of the way to allow more light to get the sensor, thus improving low-light video quality. In order to help the video quality, it is also captured in black and white. In most cameras the filter is mechanically driven by an algorithm, however, some cameras allow manual control.

Optics
Because nearly all the cameras contain IR cut filters, it comes down to the lens and the processing to set these items apart from one another. The lens transmits light to the sensor and then the data on the sensor is processed by a processor. The variance among cameras is often in the optics. You want to be sure that both the lens and the sensor are of great quality, otherwise the potential for stellar images will be wasted.

Processing
Aside from the optics, processing is an important factor in determining the best low-light camera for you. Most manufacturers employ the same OEM processor yet make their own adjustments to them. The ability to control the tuning of an image is crucial as the tuning of an image during daylight will likely not hold up at night or in complete darkness.

Pay close attention to image toning, noise suppression, and the ability to maintain color and contrast in low light as these often differentiate one camera from another.

Lux
Typical IR cameras will capture images between 1 lux and 0.1 lux, however, the latest technologies can allow .01 lux to 0.00001 lux. This means that what would have been a completely black image a few years ago now looks like a near-daytime picture thanks to new low- and ultralow-light sensors.

While this achievement is impressive, in reality, there will rarely be any situations where there is complete darkness. Some ambient light will likely be present, whether it is from street lamps, the moon, or even the stars.

Spec Sheets Vs. Live Demo
As discussed, the impressive low-light sensitivity and lux will likely be included in the spec sheets, along with other important features. However, these spec sheets often represent technical specifications as opposed to actual performance.

Instead of simply relying on spec sheets, try to find a manufacturer or company that will provide you with a live demo and comparisons. This will give you a better idea of the low-light camera’s performance and whether or not it lives up to your requirements. In addition, third party reviews can give you more insight as well.

Resolution
Just because a camera boasts a high megapixel count does not necessarily mean it will produce a better low-light image. With higher resolution and higher megapixels, each pixel becomes a smaller percentage of that sensor. For example, image the sensor has a fixed size, yet the resolution is doubled. The pixels are smaller, thus, the sensor for each pixel is also smaller, increasing the amount of sensitivity needed to maintain the same level of quality.

Lens Speed
The speed of the lens is important and investing in a fast lens and better optics is crucial. The lens determines what information reaches the sensor, and, because of this, you get what you pay for when it comes to lenses and optics.

Positioning & Distance
Proper positioning of your security cameras is critical. Focus on what you want to capture and the level of detail you need when choosing the location of your cameras.

Position surveillance cameras so that the common range of motion is moving across the field of view rather than having common movement coming toward the camera. Also, avoid bright light pointing directly at the lens – this can cause flare or “fog” on the image.

Consider the field of view in terms of distance. The level of detail from the camera is highly dictated by how close the camera is and how much it’s zoomed in.

And when it comes to distance, you want the right combination of lens and camera that factors in the distance from the area you are trying to monitor. If you need to detect motion from long distances, your best bet would be to switch to thermal cameras. Activity will be detected, however, it will be harder to determine whether it is a person or an animal.

Share your own knowledge of low-light surveillance cameras with us and your peers on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. To shop our selection of quality CCTV surveillance systems and security cameras, please visit SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294 today!

Artificial Intelligence For Video Surveillance

There’s no denying that video surveillance technology has come a long way over the years. From grainy videos in its early stages to the quality software and clarity today, video surveillance continues to make great strides and advancements.

History
The goal of security cameras and surveillance systems is to capture, detect, and deter any unlawful behavior in and around homes, businesses, and public areas. Before, installing a security camera system was a costly and laborious job, involving lots of wires and cables running throughout the building. As technology progressed, security cameras became more accessible and affordable, allowing more users the opportunity to invest in their security. Now there are numerous DIY solutions that make it easy for homeowners to install and set up on their own security systems.

For businesses, implementing a team of people to actively monitor security cameras at all times was once the only option. Now, much of the monitoring aspect of security and surveillance systems can be automated. Rather than having the mundane task of watching numerous monitors, security cameras now have the ability to detect any suspicious or abnormal behaviors and will alert a security officer as necessary.

While we have seen the security industry flourish over the years, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Our technology will continue to advance and amaze us in ways we never thought possible.

Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) in video surveillance enables the “smart” features we now see with security cameras. In general, security cameras enable us to monitor situations in real-time or go back to review previous footage. With the integration of AI technology, not only can we monitor in real-time, but potential issues can be identified before they become real problems.

With the emergence of video analytics, footage can be analyzed immediately to identify any abnormal activity or threats early on. This technology helps the software ‘learn’ what is normal in order to identify unusual behavior and is meant to make up for human error, rather than replace human monitoring all together.

While it was always a goal to integrate AI and video surveillance, the technology, from a hardware standpoint, was not ready. One of the issues that needed to be addressed was decreasing the power demand to a level low enough that would allow the technology to be embedded into the cameras.

As more cameras emerge with new AI technologies and processes, we will begin to see more advanced features including crowd density monitoring, facial recognition, stereoscopic vision, and behavior analysis.

Behavior analysis in particular is what a lot of tech companies are focusing on. By implementing a technology that can identify and recognize precursor patterns associated with crimes and other bad behavior, we may be able to greatly improve public safety and security.

A great example comes from the West Japan Railway, where it was found that 60% of people hit by trains in Japan were intoxicated. They have now installed security cameras that can automatically search for and detect signs of intoxication. Sleeping on benches, stumbling, falling, or standing motionless for long periods of time are behaviors that are recognized by the AI system. Human attendees are then notified and sent to check on the person.

Of course, a conversation about video surveillance always includes concerns about privacy. No one wants to feel like they are constantly being monitored, but developers insist that these systems know when to stop collecting information and monitoring. As these technologies continue to develop, you may soon be able to “teach” your system when to record and in which situations recording should halt.

Although it is still in its early stages, AI technology and video surveillance is heading in a positive and exciting direction. Mass adoption may still be a ways to go, but it’s great to see AI being applied in a new setting.

What are your thoughts on artificial intelligence and the video surveillance industry? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Browse our selection of security cameras and equipment online at SecurityCamExpert.com. To learn more about our installation services or to request a free quote, please call 888-203-6294.

CyberLabLA

It seems Los Angeles is continuing its efforts to shed light on cybersecurity in hopes to decrease risks all around. Initially, the city used federal grant funds to install tools to centralize cybersecurity issue monitoring. Now, officials have unveiled a cybersecurity initiative geared toward businesses and residents.

The Los Angeles Cyber Lab (CyberLabLA) is a new public-private-partnership led by a Board of Advisors including Mayor Eric Garcetti along with top Los Angeles businesses and government officials. CyberLabLA’s mission is to protect personal and protected information from malicious cyber threats by sharing the latest cybersecurity threat data, alerts and intelligence gathered by those involved. Free membership will be open to all businesses and Los Angeles residents.

While there have been threat-sharing partnerships in the past, none have emerged to address an entire region or small- and medium-sized businesses like this program plans to do. And despite the fact that companies in the same industry are more likely to face similar threats than those in unrelated industries, all businesses are expected to find value. Mayor Garcetti hopes that through shared knowledge of threats, regardless of industry, businesses in Los Angeles will be better protected.

Still in its infancy, CyberLabLA will roll out in three phases. Phase 1 will begin with Protection and Alerts in which Los Angeles will share information generated from its Integrated Security Operations Center (ISOC) with all members. These updates include cybersecurity data, alerts, indicators of compromise and threat intelligence. Phase 2 will invite members to share data with the organization, sans confidential or proprietary information for added security. Phase 3 will develop the Cyber Lab Innovation Incubator (Incubator). Security vendors will be able to test appliances and tools via virtual connections to a live, but isolated, city of Los Angeles network (“Honeypot”). The Incubator will be populated with student interns, affording them real world experience in a security environment. Eventually, the Incubator will generate additional intelligence and information to share with members.

Initial advisors include Anschutz Entertainment Group (Staples Center), Cisco, Motorola, Cedars-Sinai, City National Bank, Dollar Shave Club and SoCal Edison. The city’s move to push cybersecurity as a public service will not only benefit businesses, but its effects will trickle down and help to protect customers and residents as well.

What are your thoughts on CyberLabLA? Would you consider joining? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

For your physical security, browse our selection of CCTV surveillance systems at SecurityCamExpert.com. To request a site survey, free quote, or to schedule an installation, please call 888-203-6294.

Fingerprint Sensor Myths

As the Internet of Things continues to grow, more and more of our personal and business matters are being handled online. Thus, the internet is becoming a hotbed for cyber attacks, demonstrated by the various hacking stories in the news lately. Smartphones and PCs are often targeted since they usually contain a wealth of personal data. Thus fingerprint sensors are being implemented on these devices in order to properly identify and grant access to the legitimate owner.

But with new technology comes new concerns and critiques. Some people believe that fingerprint sensors are not as secure as they are being touted, while others believe the concept is simply not feasible. Here are some of the most common myths about this biometric technology.

Myth: It’s easy to spoof a fingerprint.
Despite its portrayal on the big screen, taking a high-resolution photo of a fingerprint or recovering a latent print would be extremely difficult. This method is known as an “attack spoof” and, because of its challenging nature, would not be a method that a criminal would likely use. With the exception of an extremely high-value target, it simply would not be worth the effort.

The main reason this myth persist is because this process can be easily demonstrated with a willing participant. You can create a spoof of your own fingerprint by creating a mold with various substances, including glue or clay. Fortunately, new anti-spoofing algorithms are constantly working to combat this.

Myth: Optical sensors are less secure than capacitive sensors because they store the actual fingerprint image.
Optical sensors do NOT store the complete fingerprint image. Instead, the biometric information is converted into a “template”. This template retains certain parameters while discarding the rest, and is then encrypted when the abstract data is stored. Since it is not a complete image, even if the fingerprint template is somehow retrieved, recreating a fingerprint from the template data is not possible. This applies to both optical and capacitive sensors.

Myth: If a bad guy gets the fingerprint image off of your phone or PC, he can use it to access your phone.
As previously mentioned, fingerprint images are not stored on your smartphone or PC, therefore, they cannot be stolen from your device.

Myth: Multi-factor biometric security on mobile devices is hard and/or expensive to do.
There is some truth to this. Mobile devices already have fingerprint sensors and front-facing cameras, so we can expect to see an increase in multi-factor authentication based on your fingerprint and face. Other combinations (e.g. iris and voice recognition) will likely follow.

Now comes the hard part. The algorithms that combine multiple biometric factors into a single trust score need to be thoroughly verified. While this is a complex process, expect to see it become available in the near future. When that happens, we will see a strong network in place that supports multi-factor authentication across various platforms and applications.

Myth: Contextual factors aren’t enough to secure a mobile device.
This statement should read that contextual factors “alone” are not enough to secure a mobile device. When combined with biometric authentication, contextual factors can be part of a smart and strong security solution. For example, smartwatches can stay unlocked until you take them off, offering convenience and security. Contextual factors, such as location, proximity, room monitoring, etc., will allow your device to remain unlocked as long as you are in your office, or to authorize transactions without additional authentication.

Myth: Fingerprint sensors have to be on the home button or back of the smartphone.
Fingerprint sensors are available in a broad range of form factors, including slim sensors that fit within the power button. New sensors also work under the cover glass and detect fingerprints so that the physical home button can be eliminated, thus enabling edge-to-edge infinity displays. We may eventually see solutions in which the entire display contains sensors, allowing an effective fingerprint scan from anywhere on the screen.

Myth: Biometric authentication is just for security.
This technology is not only used for security, but can also enhance the user experience. For example, if you are driving a car that uses a fingerprint scan on the start button, it may adjust preferences (e.g. seat, mirrors, infotainment) to match the user. In the case of a smart home, a fingerprint scan may unlock a door, trigger preferred lighting and music settings, and possibly restrict access to certain home features (for time-shares or rentals).

Myth: Optical sensors are too big/power-hungry for fingerprint scanning in a mobile device.
Thanks to technological advances, optical sensors are small and efficient enough to be used in mobile devices. Some optical sensors can generate more in-depth fingerprint images which allow for more details to be used in the fingerprint template.

Myth: All fingerprint solutions are equal, so cost should be the deciding factor.
Fingerprint-sensor providers offer a range of solutions utilizing different technologies (e.g. capacitive vs. optical) with varying security levels, form-factor options, power consumption, durability, and software. It is best to look at the specifications of both the hardware and software involved before making your decision, rather than basing your decision solely on cost.

Myth: Biometrics are too difficult/too expensive to manage for use in enterprise environments.
When it comes to enterprise environments, fingerprint solutions are actually more secure than username/password configurations. With fingerprint solutions, the need for password resets or IT support calls are eliminated. Because of this, maintenance and support for these systems is easier, which is crucial in today’s cloud-based business world. And updating PCs is simple via a peripheral USB dongle-based fingerprint sensor, or a mouse with embedded fingerprint sensor.

Myth: Encryption is enough to protect a fingerprint template file.
Encryption is used to protect the template file while it is being stored, generally in a small amount of non-volatile RAM (NVRAM). However, more protection is necessary for when the template must be decrypted, for example, during the testing for a match. These security architectures can include match-on-host solutions, secure element, and match-in-sensor solutions.

What are your thoughts on the future of fingerprint sensors and biometric technology? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Invest in your security and safety when you shop at SecurityCamExpert.com. Find CCTV surveillance cameras, DVRs, NVRs, and more to monitor and secure your home or business. Call 888-203-6294 to learn more!

The Modernization Of The Security Camera Industry

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.

360-Degree Views
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.

Facial Recognition
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.

Night Vision
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.

Smartphone Integration
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.

Two-Way Talk
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 Control
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.

Which of these features do you find is the most effective and convenient? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

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.

Keep Your Business Data Safe & Secure

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.

Start-To-Finish Process
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.

Training
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.

Do you have any other security tips to share? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Shop our CCTV surveillance packages, security cameras, DVRs, NVRs, and more at SecurityCamExpert.com. Call 888-203-6294 to learn more about our products and installation services.

Prevent Ransomware Attacks

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.

Update Software
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.

Data Backups
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.

Already Infected?
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.

What security measures or plans do you implement at home or at your business? Share your top security tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest!

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More Than Just Cyber Security

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.

Access Control
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.

Photo ID
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.

Secure Networks
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.

Contact us at 888-203-6294 or visit SecurityCamExpert.com to learn more about our CCTV surveillance packages, site surveys, and installation services for your home or business today!

Simple Security Measures For Your Business

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.

Improved Lighting
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.

Security Cameras
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.

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