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by: Ginger Hill - Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Yesterday in the United States, Data Privacy Day 2019 was celebrated. On social media, tweets flew by offering tips on how to protect data against hackers. Security professionals and enthusiasts on LinkedIn discussed the topic at hand while top privacy leaders, such as the National Cyber Security Alliance Executive Director, Kelvin Coleman; Eva Velasquez, president and CEO, Identity Theft Resource Center; and CEO Larry Magid of Connect Safely, among others, convened in San Francisco for an afternoon of focused discussion about opportunities and challenges for data security moving forward. 

Yes, yesterday was quite the day for data security. However, we must recognize that securing data is a 24/7, 365 day a week operation. Google “data security breach” and incident after incident will pop up … for me, it was about 117 million in .75 seconds. Recently, Ring was outed by major news outlets for Ukraine engineers and executives at Ring having “highly privileged access” to live customer camera feeds — both doorbell cameras and in-home cameras — around the world, while a NEST camera was hijacked with a voice warning a California family that three missiles from North Korea were headed to the U.S., which, of course, was not true, but I can imagine sent the family into sheer panic. 

With breaches such as these, among the millions of other data breaches and exposed records in the United States alone, ADT in partnership with SIA, The Monitoring Association, Electronic Security Association, the Internet Society’s Online Trust Alliance and TrustArc are creating a new consumer privacy initiative.

“Alongside industry organizations and partners, we will be outlining privacy and ethics priorities for the industry, creating an external and internal advisory board, and updating our promise to customers: ‘At ADT we are dedicated to your safety, and helping take care of what you value and cherish most in your life: your loved ones, your property and your privacy,” ADT’s CEO, Jim DeVries, said in an internal company memo that went out to all 19,000 ADT employees and to SSN, exclusively. 

In the coming months, the initiative is focused on the following key objectives, the press release said. 

  • Adopting a set of industry-wide best practices that are customer-centric and drive transparency. 
  • Working with dealers, partners and other industry organizations on enhanced privacy and ethical standards for our industry. 
  • Programs focused on privacy, ethics and transparency. 

ADT is also soliciting participation from other organizations who are interested in helping to drive the objectives. 

So, how do you think this initiative will help with data security? 

Let’s discuss!

 

by: Ginger Hill - Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The end of early bird registration for TechSec Solutions 2019 is quickly approaching; this means only a few short days until the special rate to attend, network and learn will be increasing. Don’t let the dates sneak up. Register and mark your calendars now for February 25-26.

This year’s theme –“Securing a Connected World” – explores exciting new technologies currently being used in real-life situations to enhance security and safety, and how security professionals can leverage these same technologies to achieve their security goals. And, if sunny Florida in February in a beautiful hotel right across from the beach (yes, walking distance!) isn’t enough of an enticement, here are the top six reasons to attend:

  1. Learn about new, currently deployed technologies and gain ideas for future projects.
  2. Visit the exhibit hall – a dedicated space to see and interact with the latest technology and company representatives from the event’s sponsors. 
  3. Attend the Mega Panel - learn from leading industry professionals from top security associations and organizations as they give their perspective and vision for the future of security.
  4. Participate in the dynamic educational program and earn credit from: ALOA – Education credits (AEU); ASIS – Continuing professional education credits (CEP); and NICET – Continuing professional development points (CPD).
  5. Network - a small, relaxed setting offers uninterrupted time for attendees to meet, greet and have conversations with speakers, manufacturers and distributors, and other security professionals to further their learning and knowledge base.
  6. Eat, drink and be merry – delicious meals are provided along with refreshments during breaks from sessions, and make a splash at the poolside reception!

Plan on networking, learning and having some fun “like a boss” at TechSec 2019!

 

What are you most looking forward to at TechSec this year?

by: Ginger Hill - Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Day number 26 … it’s the longest shutdown in U.S. history, and with approximately 800,000 federal employees out of work or working without pay, and three or more hours of wait time to clear security in some of America’s busiest airports—Atlanta, Houston, Miami and Washington—security-related vulnerabilities linger. Just by saying the U.S. is “shutdown” seems to give hackers, terrorists, criminals and such the impression that the whole country is weak and now is the time to strike.

Here’s some specific areas the shutdown is hitting security the hardest, and please clcik here to comment on the topic in our News Poll:

Government payment portals and remote access services: Sites such as NASA, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Court of Appeals, among others, are insecure or inaccessible, due to more than 80 expired TLS certificates used on .gov domains. What’s more, only 1 in 20 HTTPS servers implement the security feature that prevents visitors from making unencrypted HTTP connections to a server.
As more security certificates expire during the shutdown and with furloughed IT employees not renewing them, opportunities for a security hack increase.

Click the following links to see examples of expired .gov certificates as of January 16, 2019:
https://ows2.usdoj.gov/
https://rockettest.nasa.gov/

National cybersecurity: It seems “everyone” is furloughed…approximately half of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the employees who protect critical infrastructure, such as banking, water, energy and nuclear; 85 percent of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) employees and other IT professionals knowledgeable about the latest cyberattacks and how to deal with them most appropriately, according to CNBC.

Security operations, software patching and penetration testing are among the activities not getting done for government sites including but not limited to:
•    Departments of State;
•    Homeland Security;
•    Agriculture, Commerce and Housing and Urban Development;
•    Environmental Protection Agency;
•    Internal Revenue Service (IRS);
•    National Institute of Standards and Technology; and
•    National Park Service.

Weakened airport security: Not only is wait time increasing for passengers to get through security, but personal safety is quickly becoming an issue. On January 2, 2019, a Delta passenger successfully deceived TSA, sneaking a gun past agents and onto a flight headed to Tokyo from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

According to USA Today, TSA said they would “hold those responsible appropriately accountable,” as they rejected the assumption that low staffing was to blame. Either way, carelessness or low staffing, security was breached and could have led to dire consequences.

As we see the deterioration of security right before our eyes, what are you most concerned about when it comes to the partial government shutdown and security?

Let’s discuss! Looking forward to your responses.

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by: Ginger Hill - Wednesday, January 9, 2019

It’s good to see registration is open for the second annual Cyber:Secured Forum, and that it’s in my “neck of the woods.” The Westin Dallas Park Central will welcome this conference that helps connect cybersecurity, physical security and systems integration, hosted by ISC Security Events, PSA Security Network and the Security Industry Association (SIA). It’s to be held July 29-31, one of the hottest times in Dallas might I add, so plan on drinking lots of water! Hydration is key during our hot, Texas summers.

(Tip: Walk or Uber over to the Circle K convenience store at 12950 Coit Rd., which is right beside the Westin, and buy water for your hotel room. Usually our convenience stores will have 2 bottles for $2, or some sort of sell.)

According to the SIA website, attendees can look forward to topics including global cybercrime trends, tools and technology for better cybersecurity of physical security systems, monetizing cybersecurity services, cyber-hardening of security systems and more, presented by IT and physical security professionals. The goals of the conference are to connect and share information on risks and liabilities, learn how to respond to cybersecurity threats and work toward establishing security control standards across IT systems.

Plan on attending the July 29th welcome reception, plugging into sessions and strolling around the exhibits displaying various solutions related to cybersecurity, and don’t forget to find me buzzing around. In fact, reach out now, [email protected], and let’s get something on the calendar – a booth visit, coffee, lunch – I’m open to pretty much anything. And of course, I can help you figure out the best places to eat and visit during your stay in Dallas.

I’m excited to attend the forum, meet with you, learn more about cybersecurity trends and what’s going on in that world, and how cyber and physical are successfully merging to keep people and infrastructure safe.

 

by: Ginger Hill - Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Look around in any public place, be it a hospital, stadium, park, retail outlet, bank and even on the shoulders of police officers, and you are likely to see at least one video camera. This sophisticated piece of equipment is recording and retaining data on the activities in its coverage area to ensure safety to people and infrastructure. Over the past 10 years, video cameras and surveillance systems have become a permanent fixture, perhaps so much so that some people don’t even realize the presence of cameras, and according to BIS Research, there is no evidence of this trend slowing down.

BIS recently released a new market intelligence report, “Global Video Surveillance Market – Analysis and Forecast, 2018-2023,” indicating the global video surveillance market is estimated to grow over $77.21 billion by 2023. This increase is driven by the rising demand for IP cameras, video content analytics (VCA) and Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaas) to help mitigate rising security concerns as well as the need for the security industry to provide highly efficient, time-saving surveillance systems at an affordable price, pointed out by BIS in their press release.

BIS also noted the camera market seems to be acquiring major market share within the video surveillance industry as seen by a proliferation of IP camera-based surveillance systems in response to increased consumer demand for more physical security.

Taking a global look with BIS, Asia-Pacific (APAC) led the global video surveillance market last year and is expected to maintain dominance within this five-year time frame, accounting for approximately 41.5% of net revenue generated by video surveillance equipment, in addition to enormous investments in future security-related projects in India and China. A rise in video surveillance demands is also expected from Europe, specifically from the UK and Germany.

The majority of end-users seek three important aspects when deploying a video surveillance system—cost effectiveness, increased safety and convenience. To fulfill these three demands and create a robust surveillance system, in my opinion, IP cameras, intelligent video analytics, video management systems (VMS), VCS and VSaaS must be incorporated.

Of course, with such technology comes issues of concern. Let’s discuss data protection, data surveillance laws, unskilled security professionals and more:
•    Do you believe the industry is creating ways to protect the data produced by the high-capacity storage required by IP-based video surveillance systems?
•    Do you feel there is a lack of data surveillance laws? If so, what laws should we consider passing?
•    Do you think there is a shortage of skilled security professionals available to manage the operation and software of IP-based surveillance systems?
•    According to this report’s executive summary – “Cameras are the most important part of any surveillance system.” Do you find this statement to true or false, and why?

I look forward to receiving your thoughts and opinions to get the conversation started, and to continue to explore the rapidly growing and expanding world of video surveillance.
 

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by: Ginger Hill - Wednesday, December 19, 2018

“It’s good to be back.” This phrase has been running through my mind since I joined SSN’s editorial team as managing editor just a few days ago. I have fond memories of the security industry, and although a lot has changed and I have some re-learning to do, I’m refreshed and ready to take it on.

Having served the security industry previously for three years, and after about a four-year hiatus, I’m back to doing what I love: meeting industry professionals, writing and editing, being part of the security industry “family,” and shaking things up a bit with fun, conversational yet professional, honest and authentic commentary.

I am excited to engage again with industry leaders, build strong relationships, and share and report on newfound industry knowledge as well as establish and retain rapport with readers. I hope to inform, educate and inspire in my role at Security System News by assisting with editorial content, providing thought-provoking blog posts, participating in trade shows and chatting on social media.

I feel like I’ve returned home. I’m ecstatic to be a part of the SSN team and returning to an industry that truly impacts the world for the better.
 

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by: Spencer Ives - Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Mission 500 recently hosted a service trip in Ponce, Puerto Rico, where volunteers from the professional security industry worked on repairing the homes of two families still suffering from the effects of hurricane Maria in October of 2017.

Hurricane Maria caused $92 billion in damage, leaving millions of families without everyday necessities. Volunteers spent several days repairing roofs, siding and plumbing; installing new windows; and removing trees capable of causing additional damage to the affected structures. Additionally, Mission 500 volunteers bought food, supplies and toys for the children.

“Our team of Mission 500 volunteers, including several of our children were able to not only improve the living conditions of these two families, we also helped to restore their sense of dignity with a little happiness and hope for a brighter future,” Alan Forman, president of Altronix Corporation, said in the announcement.

This year’s service trip to Ponce, Puerto Rico took place from Oct. 31 through Nov. 4 and raised $12,000, which was used to provide two families with extensive home renovations.

“The trip to Ponce, Puerto Rico was Mission 500’s third service trip, which aim to help families in need whether located here in the United Stated or abroad,” George Fletcher, advisory board member of Mission 500, said in a prepared statement. “In providing assistance to people in crisis, Mission 500 continues to bring together the growing community of security industry professionals who are looking to give back and make a difference.”

Tom Nolan, director of Strategic Partnerships for Mission 500, told Security Systems News that these trips end up being very rewarding for those who volunteer.

“At our first team meeting in Puerto Rico we instructed the team that as you participate in the work of helping those in desperate need it is very likely that the experience will have a greater impact on your life, personally, than on those you seek to help,” Nolan told SSN. “In our daily end of the day debriefing time we heard many personal stories from our team about the effects that serving had on their lives. One great story came from Stephanie Mayes from Synectics. As she spoke at the SIA night of Honors dinner, Steph stated that participating on the past Mission 500 Service Trip was the most impactful experience of her life.”
 
Nolan pointed out that while in the past Mission 500 scheduled one service trip per year, in 2019 and beyond it would like to schedule two per year. “After the trip to Puerto Rico we all realize how important it is to join together from many different organizations as one industry to get involved with some of the tragic situations we see happening around the U.S.,” he said. “As we pulled our team together, we were all amazed at how much work we accomplished in a short one-week experience.”

Mission 500 extends a big thank you to the individuals who donated their time, financial support and gifts to ensure the success of this trip, as well as to corporate sponsors including: Aiphone, Altronix Corporation, Axis Communications, BRINKS Home Security, ESA, Hikvision USA, Milestone Systems and Synetics Global.

Mission 500 is a nonprofit organization that works closely with the security industry to serve the needs of children and communities in crisis. Mission 500’s primary goal was to focus security industry efforts on sponsoring more than 500 children through World Vision’s humanitarian outreach.

For more information on Mission 500 or on how to become involved in supporting Mission 500, contact Tom Nolan at [email protected], or call 516-903-7291. For more information on contributions or sponsorships, please visit mission500.org or contact Jeff Eichenlaub at [email protected].
 

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by: Spencer Ives - Wednesday, December 5, 2018

EMERgency 24, a network of wholesale monitoring centers headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill., recently named Steve Mayer its vice president of operations and administration. Mayer will replace long-time executive, Patrick Devereaux, who has retired but will remain with the company in an advisory role.

Prior to joining EMERgency24, Mayer served as the VP of operations for Cook’s Direct, an Illinois-based distribution company. He has also worked in finance, operations, corporate real estate and procurement at United Airlines, Bally Fitness and Career Education.

“Steve’s diverse professional experience will allow him to delve into Emergency24’s operations with a unique and fresh perspective,” Baird Larson, E24’s vice president and director of technology, said in the recent announcement. “We selected Steve because he demonstrated the ability to achieve strong financial, operational and customer-service performance. He has in-depth experience in strategic planning, financial analysis and process improvement.”

Like his predecessor Devereaux, Mayer is a “numbers person” and he says the company will continue to measure itself and implement ways to further strengthen operations, the company said.

“I’m excited to join a well-running and long-standing operation that is already a market leader with its people, service and technology. The culture is a great fit with my continuous improvement philosophy,” Mayer said in a prepared statement. “Emergency24 has many strengths and a tremendous future. It is very clear that our people and our technology are what attract new customers and have retained existing customers for decades. What excites me most is our opportunity to use these core strengths to grow and improve our services and customer experience.”

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by: Spencer Ives - Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Monitoring Association announced today through its blog that AvantGuard’s president and COO Justin Bailey has joined TMA’s board of directors, representing contract monitoring companies.

Justin Bailey has worked with AvantGuard Monitoring since 2010. Bailey was promoted to the role of president and COO mid last year, prior to that he served as the company’s COO. Bailey is also a Security Systems News “20 under 40” award winner from the Class of 2011.

“I’m excited to join the TMA board, after having served on committees for a number of years,” Bailey said in TMA’s blog. “I see the pace of change increasing from within the industry as well as from disruptors, and know we need to evolve more quickly as an industry to remain relevant.  I look forward to working with the other TMA board members to that end.”

AvantGuard Monitoring, a wholesale central station with locations in Ogden, Utah, and Rexburg, Iowa, offers a variety of monitoring services, including security, fire, PERS and mPERS, and IoT monitoring. In addition, the company has also been creating hybrid monitoring options, for security companies that would like to use their own central station part of the time.

 

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by: Spencer Ives - Wednesday, November 14, 2018

WILLIAMSTOWN, N.J.—COPS Monitoring recently hired Joe Parisi to its leadership team as director of project management. Parisi has more than 20 years of alarm industry experience and will play a key role on the company’s management team by leading technological projects related to COPS’ network of monitoring centers, the company said.

“The last two years have been very dynamic for us,” Jim McMullen, president and COO of COPS, said in the announcement. “As a result of our sustained growth, we believe it’s best to narrow the areas of responsibility of executives to ensure we maintain high quality support and throughput from their respective departments.” 

Parisi’s new role of director of project management is a newly created position, designed specifically for his skill sets, according to COPS. Key areas of the job will include facilities, alarm receiving equipment, and telephone system infrastructure. Parisi will also oversee the COPS technical support team that is designed to support COPS’ alarm dealer customers in troubleshooting communications related to signal transmissions.

Parisi will also spearhead large-scale initiatives such as facility expansions/updates, infrastructure upgrades, and other special projects, including the imminent launch of COPS’ Mobile Personal Emergency Response System division.

McMullen explained that the restructuring strengthens further its management team as it “adds depth to the bench.” Parisi is one of three competent and focused leaders in COPS’ technical department who help position COPS and its customers for the future.

“My career in the United States Marine Corps has been the foundation of my technical and leadership skills that have been instrumental behind my successful 20-year career in the security industry,” Parisi said in a prepared statement. “My extensive electronics training in avionics lead to an electrical engineering degree from Rochester Institute of Technology. I joined Radionics [now Bosch] after graduation as a Research and Development Engineer. I was fortunate to be a part of the team of engineers who developed the state-of-the art D6600 central station receiver utilized by today’s leading monitoring companies.”

Parisi is a Security Systems News “20 under 40” award winner, Class of 2013.

After his time with Radionics, Parisi shifted his focus of expertise to wholesale monitoring where he integrated new technology, trained operations personnel and field support, and converted central stations onto a single platform.

He has also volunteered with the Electronic Security Association. “I had the pleasure of leading the New Jersey Chapter as President of the New Jersey Electronic Security Association (NJESA), now one of the largest chapters in the country,” Parisi said. As NJESA president, the national ESA recognized Parisi as 2013 Chapter President of the Year at the Leadership Awards.

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