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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!

Invest in our excellent security cameras and CCTV surveillance equipment for your physical security. Browse online at SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294 today!

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.

Safeguard Your Security Cameras

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.

Heed these cyber security tips that may apply to security cameras, webcams, as well as baby and pet monitors.

  • Keep Your Internet Private

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.

  • Create Secure Passwords

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.

  • Keep Software Up-To-Date

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.

  • Cover Cameras When They Are Not In Use

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.

  • Don’t Click That Suspicious Link!

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.

  • Avoid Using Unsecured Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi networks are prone to hackers so avoid them when you can.

  • Check Your Camera Log

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.

  • Manage Cameras Settings

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.

  • Consider A Separate Network

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.

How Video Analytics Improve Business Security

Video analytics technology has made great advances in terms of features and efficiency over the years. What was once only available for large government or corporate organizations is now making its way to the consumer market. According to recent research, the video analytics market is expected to continue its growth in the coming years.

Here are some of the many benefits we can expect from video analytics software.

Business Intelligence
With video analytics software, security cameras can do much more. Modern IP network cameras often provide high quality video as well as embedded analytics. With smart business intelligence capabilities, which include queue monitoring and heat mapping, users gain valuable insights for personal safety, marketing, business management, and more. Other helpful analytics tools include people counting, motion detection, facial recognition and license plate readers.

Processing Power
Thanks to advancing technology, the processing power of security cameras and servers has greatly increased and continues to grow. As if that isn’t enough, prices are seemingly on the decline, making it easier for more users to reap the benefits. We can expect to see a market full of highly functional solutions at affordable prices in the near future.

Improved Decision -Making
As video surveillance use continues to soar, video analytics will help operators make informed decisions by delivering reliable information. As a result, the effectiveness and response time for video surveillance will improve.

You should know that most video analytics software for security cameras are either installed on the camera, the NVR, or offered as a third party software. While each will vary slightly, they will follow the same basic operation mode and will produce a beneficial end result.

How do you think video analytics will improve your business security solutions? If you are already using video analytics software, how has it helped? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

If you are looking for affordable CCTV security camera systems or surveillance equipment, visit SecurityCamExpert.com. Browse our options online or speak with us directly at 888-203-6294.

Take Your Security Seriously

Protecting our families, homes, and valuables is a top priority. Home and business security systems aim to give you peace of mind when it comes to intruders, however, not all properties are created equal. A security system tailored to your specific needs is a smarter option. Aside from consulting with Security Cam Experts, you should also take note of these statistics and security tips.

Statistics

  • According to the FBI, in 2014, there were 1,729,806 burglaries in the United States.
  • Of those burglaries, 73.2% were residential burglaries.
  • Of these residential burglaries, nearly 28% occurred during the day while over half happened at night.
  • Top targets include women living alone or wealthy senior citizens.
  • Burglars also choose targets by the type of car you drive, what neighborhood you live in, the size of the home, or signs that a home is unoccupied.

Prevention Tips

  • Never open your door to strangers or solicitors. Remember that delivery persons need not step into your home to make a delivery.
  • Never rely on a chain-latch as a barrier to partially open the door. With enough force, it can easily be broken.
  • If you don’t have one already, install a peephole and always use it to see who is at your door before opening it.
  • Lock all doors, windows, and garages at all times. This helps to prevent unwanted intruders from simply walking through an unlocked entrance.
  • Choose heavy duty locks and use four three-inch screws to secure heavy duty lock strike plates in the door frames.
  • See something, say something. If you notice any suspicious stranger activity, call the police.
  • Have a family meeting in regards to home security plans so that everyone is on the same page.

Having something to protect you is better than nothing, which is why even a simple dummy camera can make a difference. But if you can afford it, investing in surveillance systems and home alarm systems can be a great benefit and put some of your worries at ease. If you have any questions or want to shop a wide variety of affordable security cameras and equipment, please call 888-203-6294 or visit SecurityCamExpert.com today!

You can also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Video Surveillance Technologies

Video surveillance has often proven helpful in producing evidence after a crime has been committed, and plays a role in deterring some incidents. But unfortunately, it seems video surveillance is no longer enough. Threats of violence and attacks have become more prevalent, forcing us to increase our security measures.

Containing and preventing violence has become rather costly over the years. In fact, the economic costs for prevention and recovery reached a peak high at $52.9 billion in 2014. This cost is far greater than the cost of carrying out the acts.

A real time solution is necessary. This can start with technology that has the ability to detect weapons while assessing the level of threat in the process. While this advanced technology could save lives, it could also save us billions of dollars by stopping these incidents before they happen.

For example, the fiscal impact of the September 11th attacks was found to have cost $55 billion in physical damage, $123 billion in economic damage, along with other expenses such as developing the Homeland Security Department and funding the war. The tragedy of lives lost and money spent to repair damages shows us that a more proactive approach, rather than reactive measures, would prove to be more effective.

It is estimated that the United States spends about $100 billion a year on counter-terrorism measures. With proactive efforts, these reactive expenses could possibly go toward other areas that need attention and improvement.

Aside from anti-terrorism, surveillance technologies can benefit many industries. For example, big retailers are investing more into their security. Wal-Mart, for instance, is in the process of deploying drones to monitor warehouse inventory. It is advances like this that get us one step closer to embracing futuristic machines.

What are your thoughts on the future of surveillance technologies? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Shop our selection of CCTV security cameras systems and more at SecurityCamExpert.com. If you have any questions, please call 888-203-6294.

The Impact Of Drones On Businesses

We have seen a rise in the interest and use of drones in the consumer market, but the use of drones for businesses has been limited thus far. Some drones have been designed to work on oil rigs and telecommunication towers, while others have been used on construction sites, but we have yet to see more widespread use.

This limited use is not because of lack of technology or accessibility, rather the privacy and security issues that arise with the use of drones. “Rise of the Drones,” a recent report from the global technology association ISACA, delves into the potential uses of drones in a commercial environment along with critical elements which must be considered before implementing drone programs. Members were also polled in regards to the use and planning for drones within their industries.

  • 75% say security or privacy are the biggest concern about the business use of drones.
  • 65% say most organizations that would benefit from the use of drones are unprepared to address the necessary security and privacy requirements.
  • 63% do not believe their current staff has sufficient expertise to evaluate the security of drones.
  • Only 25% believe the benefits of drones outweigh the security and privacy risks, but an additional 48% say this will happen eventually, when concerns are addressed more thoroughly.

According to these results, it seems we need more education and awareness in regards to drone use and security. Implementing drone programs prematurely can cost the business lots of money and hassles. While there is potential for drone use within enterprises, it appears most organizations are simply not ready yet.

Share your thoughts on drones for business use with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest! For our selection of security camera systems, parts, and accessories, visit us online at SecurityCamExpert.com. For questions about our packages, services, and more, please call 888-203-6294.

California Surveillance Laws

When it comes to surveillance, there is a fine line between privacy and public safety. Because of this, surveillance laws are often scrutinized by both sides. A new bill was introduced at the end of 2016 which requires any local law enforcement agency in California that uses surveillance technology to submit a plan to local officials on how it uses equipment and information collected. This would need to include surveillance plans for any facial recognition software, drones, and even social media monitoring, and would be presented at an open hearing.

While this disclosure from law enforcement may put some worries at ease, others may want more. Privacy advocates believe that this is still not enough to cover spying equipment and technology that is continuing to evolve and expand. On the other side, law enforcement officials argue that creating plans and policies for each device may be unfeasible and interfere with investigations.

But state Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) says that it was introduced “to create transparency and a check and balance.” Without regulations on these devices and technology, they can easily be abused and infringe on our privacy rights.

With fairly comprehensive digital privacy laws, California has been actively working toward disclosure when it comes to law enforcement surveillance. State laws require a probable cause warrant for access to digital content and devices (ex. cell phones) and law enforcement must catalog information and make it publicly available.

The new bill gives agencies until July 1, 2018 to draft policies detailing all the types of surveillance technology used and the authorized reasons for using them, along with the types of data collected, who can access them, and a description of their training. It also prohibits an agency from acquiring new technology unless approved by local officials at a regularly scheduled public meeting.

Last year, two surveillance laws went into effect, one of which requires to draft and publicly post privacy and usage policies for operating automated license-plate recognition software. The other requires the same for the use of cell-site simulators (“Stingrays” or “Dirtboxes”). These are powerful tracking devices that function as fake cellphone towers to collect information. However, their ability to collect information from innocent people not under investigation has sparked outrage and court battles.

Despite current surveillance laws, privacy advocates believe that not all agencies are complying and that not enough is being done to ensure that they do. To evade the disclosure requirements, agencies could borrow technology from other federal agencies, which is not subject to state law.

In an effort to check compliance, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other nonprofits and watchdog groups searched through numerous California government websites to make sure surveillance policies were posted. While many were easily located, policies for at least 90 agencies (which, based on public records, were believed to use surveillance technology) could not be found. Since this task in April 2016, more agencies have posted their policies online.

While the new bill is meant to be inclusive and comprehensive, concerns remain. Some worry that criminals may figure out how they are being tracked, others bring up issues of time sensitivity when it comes to buying or borrowing new technology, and privacy advocates are still skeptical about the cost, risks, and enforcement.

There are obviously mixed feelings about this new bill, and other surveillance laws. What are your views? Share your thoughts and opinions with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Keep an eye on your home or business with quality CCTV surveillance systems. Find a great selection at SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294 to speak with a representative.

2017 Video Surveillance Trends

We have seen the video surveillance industry change over the years. With improvements in quality and accessibility, surveillance camera popularity among businesses and consumers has grown.  As we embark on this New Year, we look ahead to what new surveillance trends are on the horizon.

Developments
According to industry experts, aside from working on image quality and cost-efficiency, we will see an increasing focus on software developments. Things like built-in intelligence, deep learning, and other advances in video management are sure to surface this year.

New vendors and product lines with new configurations are likely to emerge this year as well, expanding upon multi-sensor and multi-directional cameras. The advanced technologies will soon make their way to the market for home and private use, forcing others to provide alternate offerings.

Managed services and moving toward cloud computing will rise in demand. By utilizing managed services and the cloud, businesses can manage their cyber security risk by employing companies whose sole purpose is to maintain data security. This will then force manufacturers to provide end-users with more network-based solutions.

Cyber Security
With cyber security issues with surveillance cameras and devices making headlines last year, it has become a more prominent concern. This negative attention can drive down demand, which means manufacturers must address this issue immediately and proactively.

Things that will be considered include rigorous testing of products, increasing end-user and integrator education on how to use the system as well as a best practices guide. Firmware must be updated quickly and often, especially when new vulnerabilities are found.

Overall, cyber security must be approached as a team effort. Manufacturers should take all considerations into account when building and designing hardware and software, as well as strengthen password requirements and incorporate strong data encryption, and take lead when educating users and the industry of potential risks. In the same vein, customers should know what is insecure and how to best protect themselves for attacks.

Competition
Competition will be high throughout the year. Most manufacturers are working to improve image quality, frame rate, and low-light performance to please the consumer demand. As features and functions progress, so will the surveillance industry as a whole. Bottom line for customers is that they will be looking for the best solution with the best total cost of ownership.

What other trends do you foresee for 2017? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Shop our affordable selection of CCTV surveillance cameras and equipment online at SecurityCamExpert.com. To inquire about site surveys or installation services, please call 888-203-6294.

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