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physical security

Vector Security acquires IRG, managed network services company

CEO Petrow says deal is just the beginning of Vector's move into managed infrastructure and business intelligence space
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08/19/2013

PITTSBURG—National integrator Vector Security will be able to offer managed network services to its customers and will have access to the "Who’s Who of retail customers”—including American Eagle, Estée Lauder and Coach—as the result of its acquisition of Industry Retail Group (IRG), a managed network services company based in Bethesda, Md.

The tale of ‘Black Friday’ plus 9 safety tips

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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Did you know the first recorded use of the term “Black Friday” was used to describe a financial crisis in the 1800s? How’s that for some Thanksgiving trivia to share with family and friends around the turkey this year? 

History of 'Black Friday'

As the story goes, the gold market crashed on Friday, September 24, 1869 when two notoriously ruthless Wall Street financiers, Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, teamed up to buy as much of the nation’s gold as they possibly could, according to the History Channel. Gould and Fisk hoped it would drive up the price of gold so they could sell it for bewildering profits, but instead, the conspiracy unraveled, sending the stock market into a free-fall, bankrupting everyone from Wall Street barons to farmers. 

More recently, and more related to the modern-day “Black Friday,” is the story of the Philadelphia police in the 1950s, who used the term to describe the chaos that ensued the day after Thanksgiving when hordes of suburban shoppers and tourists flooded into the city prior to the big Army-Navy football game. Philly cops were forced to work extra-long shifts to deal with the additional crowds and traffic, and shoplifters, who would take advantage of the pandemonium in stores to make off with merchandise. 

By the early 1960s, the term “Black Friday” had caught on in Philly, as the city’s merchants tried desperately, but to no avail, to change it to “Big Friday” to remove any negative connotations related to the day. But it was the 1980s to the rescue! Retailers reinvented Black Friday by offering one-day sales, freebies, fun family events, etc. and since, it has morphed into a four-day event, spawning even more shopping-related holiday extravaganzas including “Cyber Monday” and “Small Business Saturday.”  

Shopping safety tips

Needless to say, present-day shoppers have more risk to manage during their retail therapy experiences, not only physically but digitally. Mat Newfield, CISO of Unisys, offers some tips to keep you and your loved ones safe while shopping, with added commentary from yours truly: 

  1. Only shop with official retailers and websites you trust. If you haven’t verified that a website is who they portray to be, even if they’re offering the top toy of the year at a whopping 75 percent off, move on to a trusted site. 
  2. Make sure the website shows the security padlock icon in the browser and that the address begins with “https://”. (Remember “s” in the addy means “secure.”) 
  3. If shopping away from home, for example, in a local coffee shop while sipping on your favorite beverage, be sure your mobile device is updated and avoid unsecure Wi-Fi networks. 
  4. Keep your phone charged at all times in case of emergencies. Consider bringing along a portable charger to avoid plugging into a random USB port you may find. 
  5. Check local authorities’ alerts. Sign up to receive updates on traffic or news of any potential disturbances with local news and/or radio stations. 
  6. Where ever you choose to shop, especially if you are going at it alone, let someone you trust know your destination plans. 
  7. As soon as you walk into a store, survey your surroundings and make sure you know the location of all exits. 
  8. Stay alert. Have fun and enjoy, but be vigilant for suspicious activity happening around you. 
  9. In an emergency, stay calm and move to the edges of crowds. Don’t allow yourself to get caught in the middle of something unsafe.

Cyber:Secured Forum 2019 rehash

A discussion about connecting cyber and physical security
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09/04/2019

DALLAS—About a month ago, Cyber:Secured Forum made its way to the Lone Star state and now with the pumpkin spice latte (PSL) trend well on its way in early September, it’s time to grab one and reflect on cyber and physical security.

Federal government aims to modernize physical security practices

Government agencies intend to evolve their security approach to address changing technology, threats and budgets.
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07/19/2019

WASHINGTON—The Security Industry Association’s 16th annual GovSummit in Washington, D.C. was jam-packed with sessions outlining the physical security challenges the federal government is facing and what the security industry can do to help address them.

The door is open for IT integrators to enter the physical security market

A look at how and why IT integrators should get into security
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03/20/2019

BOULDER, Colo.—Disruption is creating rapid growth in the security market, as new technologies are introduced, new players are entering the arena and bringing solutions that are merging and blending technologies and industries.

AI coming to the aid of security-related applications

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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Our May 2019 News Poll got me really thinking about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), and the possibilities. My previous AI-related thoughts have been around Watson, the IBM-created, question-answering computer system that answers in natural language, and robots, and how AI can take over the world one day, according to some! Spooky! But, I wanted to know if AI is a legit, practical application for security-related functions, so I scoured the internet and found some exciting and unique, currently deployed uses. 

Physical Security

According the to China Morning Post, AI is revolutionizing physical security in Asia. It can detect people acting out of the ordinary and flag them, and then transmit that information to a command center, where human operators can make an informed decision. Additionally, AI and high-definition cameras can work together to first communicate to a human that a smoke detector, for example, has been activated, with the cameras identifying the exact location of the fire. 

Financial Security

Shoplifting literally costs billions of dollars here in the United States, which trickles down to honest consumers who end up paying more for goods and services. Vaak, a Tokyo-based company, spent more than 100 hours showing their AI system closed-circuit television footage of honest shoppers and shoplifters. The system can now identify suspicious activity based on more than 100 aspects of shoppers’ behavior including gait, hand movements, facial expressions, clothing choices and even “restless” and “sneaking” behaviors. Store employees are alerted of suspiciousness via an app and they can decide what to do. 

Life Security

Paris-based startup, Pharnext, was founded by Daniel Cohen, who “mapped” the human genome and demonstrated it is possible to use Big Data and automation to speed up the processing of DNA samples. Today, Cohen is using AI to analyze and map the chain of reactions of disease in the body. With this information, he and his team are combining existing drugs, known as “repurposing,” to create therapeutic effects that each drug lacks on its own. His overall goal is to use existing medicines to treat all disease, preventing the design of new medicines. 

Cybersecurity

Post-doctoral research fellow at Stanford University, Dr. Srijan Kuman, is developing an AI method — REV2 — to identify online conflict using data and machine learning to predict internet trolling before it happens. (Trolling is an action by a person who posts inflammatory and often deceptive and disinformation online to provoke others to respond on pure emotion.) Kuman uses statistical analysis, graph mining, embedding and deep learning to determine normal and malicious behaviors. His method is currently being used by Flipkart, an online store, to identify fake reviews and reviewers, and he was able to accurately predict when one Reddit community will troll another. 

Be sure to check out our editor’s blog that talks about worldwide spending on AI systems to reach $35.8 billion in 2019, according to International Data Corporation. 

 

BluBØX hires Scaparro, Koken

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06/13/2016

ANDOVER, Mass.—Cloud technology provider BluBØX on June 10 announced the hiring of two industry veterans: Mark Scaparro was named SVP of sales, and Phillip Koken has joined as regional sales manager, Western region.

New Viscount CEO Sieracki looks to commercial market

Sieracki touts cybersecurity benefits of ‘panel-less’ architecture
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08/05/2015

VANCOUVER, British Columbia—Scott Sieracki, newly named CEO of access control provider Viscount, believes the company offers an economical alternative to traditional access control and also addresses current cybersecurity concerns.

New product debuting at ASIS?

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Do you have a new product to introduce at ASIS next month?

If so, get it in gear, folks, and submit relevant information for Security Systems News’ ASIS New Show Products section. Just giving a shout out for your benefit and for your last chance. The SSN show issue is always popular and space is limited, so please get in touch asap! We want to know, and so do our readers!

All companies exhibiting at the show can submit a product that is making its debut at ASIS 2015 in September. Companies that have more than one product division may submit one product for each division.

To take advantage of this free editorial opportunity, please send an email with the following information in the body of the text to [email protected]

1.  Company name
2.  Company website
3.  Product name
4.  Three bullet points that describe your product, each 12 words or less
5.  ASIS booth number (essential; you must be exhibiting at ASIS)
6.  Image of product (JPEG file with a DPI of 300 or greater. No PDFs, please.)

We can wait until Friday, but that’s it.

Space in the issue is limited, so submitting early ensures you a place in the section!

Hope you all have a great show!

 

Digging deeper at TechSec

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Exec ed Martha Entwistle and I had an excellent conference call yesterday with SSN’s TechSec Advisory Board. We’re gearing up for the annual conference on new and emerging technology, and our advisors assist us as we determine programming.

One thing I can say at this point is that the educational sessions at the TechSech conference Feb. 2-3 will be different from what you’ve heard over and over again. I attended ISC West and ESX, and the people I met with and the panelists at the sessions I attended were certainly very smart and at the top of their games, reinforcing topics we’ve heard about for months and have written about. But I was left with the questions, “Are there new takes on these persistent topics? What angles haven’t been pursued?” We want to dive deeper at TechSec. And we will.

The conversation Martha and I had with our advisors led to some interesting, topical points. We’ll be announcing the program and panelists soon. You can check out last year’s educational here for a feel of what we’ll be aiming at, bigger and even better in 2016. It will be great, and you can hold me to that!

I especially like how we have some of our past “20 under 40” winners on our advisory board: Ralph Nerette, Sharon Shaw and Jeremy Brecher. (We know how to pick them!) Along with input from longtime industry pros, they provide us with unique perspectives and know what those in the industry want and need to know in today’s fast-changing security environment.

Thanks to each member of our advisory board. Please stay tuned for more info on TechSec, filled with what will be most current and forward-looking hot topics in the industry. 

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