7 out of 10 Affected: Will You Be One?

7 out of 10 Affected: Will You Be One?

Written by Scott Hall on . Posted in Computer Security

Seven out of ten medium to enterprise level businesses expect to be impacted by cybersecurity breaches in 2018, with more than 25% of those anticipating a breach to occur within the next six months.


Most businesses are in the dark with the true efforts involved in the breaches that have occurred, and because of that, most businesses are not very confident that they would even be able to detect a breach, let alone how to remediate the damage done in the aftermath.


Around half of all security breaches are employee-related, either through bad actors using inside knowledge, or through lapses in attention or awareness. Most senior IT professionals agree that the insider breach is the biggest threat in network security. With this in mind, it’s important to constantly monitor what your internal users are doing on a daily basis, to form a complete and comprehensive strategy based on real-world actions and behaviors. Learning where your vulnerabilities lie is the first step into determining possible vectors for a breach, and creating a balance between employee education and security technology is crucial to attacking an insider breach, either accidental or overtly malicious.


Protection from the breach includes antivirus & spyware detection programs, email filtering, firewalls, and a robust data backup/archiving platform. But these tools are only as good as the people who use them, and the people protected by them. Your employees need to understand all the potential harmful effects of risky behavior, like clicking links in unknown emails, sharing passwords on sensitive systems, or downloading attachments from unknown sources, even if those sources look legitimate.


Being mindful of your human attack surface is critical as well. Human attack surface is defined as the totality of all exploitable ‘holes’ in security that are created solely by the activities and vulnerabilities of human beings within the organization. This includes things like employee illness, terminations, negiliance, errors and an individual’s susceptibility to social engineering through sites and apps like Facebook, Instagram, and the like.

Increasingly, social engineering is such a serious threat that is now being considered as an attack surface all on its own. One way to combat social engineering is to conduct routine penetration testing that simulates common attack methods used in social engineering breach attempts. Penetration testing can also determine vulnerabilities from negligence and routine errors, especially focusing on employees with specialized access, high-level administration or critical duties within your organization, as these individuals are likely to be key targets in social engineering attempts.


SOS Technology Group can assist your business in facing these threats confidently and knowledgably. Consult with us today.

Social Media Monitoring: Organic Front Line Cybersecurity

Written by Scott Hall on . Posted in Computer Security

If you’ve done business in the last decade, you know how important a social media & web presence can be. It maintains your brand, grows your new customer base, and allows focused engagement with your current clients. Anywhere where people talk, they might not be saying just good things about your business. They might be offering honest feedback, or they could be dishonestly disparaging you. At worst, they could be planning to rob you, or make your business a victim of tragic circumstance.

What is social media monitoring?

By searching publicly accessible social media like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in near real time for keywords or phrases, valuable intelligence can be gained. These social sites are crawled and indexed, and then the indexes built are scoured for key terms, phrases or word strings, and are then collated through an interface to present in a more usable form. By seeing which other words are connected more frequently to your business name, you can get an idea of how you’re presenting socially on the Internet. Taken a bit further, you can see demographics that are interested in your business, and what else they may be interested in to.

But the heart of this utility is security.

Planned protests at your business, or shoplifters showing off their wares can really impact your brand and your profits. Simply knowing that your place of business is close to areas known for a specific kind of crime or risk is immeasurable. Most social media monitoring tools go beyond social networking platforms and can scour the web at large, given an even more accurate picture. And there’s still another piece of security this monitoring can touch.

Suppose you are a victim of a breach, and someone has taken credit card information from your point of sale servers. Eventually, those stolen credit cards will probably wind up somewhere on the dark web, to be bought and sold by users around the globe. Certain metadata, or very basic information that is always tied to a person, like date of birth or social security number, is almost always attached. By turning to a monitoring service that is constantly searching and indexing the dark web for, say, your business’s email addresses or phone numbers, or the names of customers you know might be affected by the breach, you can provide valuable warning to the public and law enforcement in real time. Knowing what was taken can also provide you with the steps needed to remediate the problem in the future, addressing any vulnerabilities you have with your IT department or provider.

Giving your patrons quick notification of breaches and exploits, and the steps you’re taking to prevent them from happening again, shows that you are concerned with their security as well as your own, and are taking every effort you can to keep them safe….

Security in Layers: What does it Mean?

Written by Scott Hall on . Posted in Blog

Even the best security strategies and policies can leave gaps to be exploited by would-be attackers. The best way to overcome this is to integrate different security products, policies and operations together where each one can stop the holes left by the others. By layering security, with both technology and human response, your chances of surviving a security incident intact increase greatly.

Layered security describes the practice of combining multiple mitigating security controls to protect and defend physical locations, personnel or data.

Layered security involves multiple layers of defense that resist rapid penetration by an attacker but yield rather than exhaust themselves by using different methodologies and avoiding tactics that are too rigid. As the threat progresses, resources are consumed and forward movement is slowed until it is turned back or stopped in place.

By using the example of an active shooter in a facility using layered security, the benefits are easily seen.


A facility has a video management system, access control, gunshot detectors in all hallways, elevators, and gathering spaces, and on-site armed security. By using the built in integration points between these layers, events could occur as follows.

  1. Active shooter comes into the main entrance and begins firing. These gunshots are detected in less than a second by the indoor detection system.
  2. The detection system sends an alert to occupants, onsite security, and 911/Police/EMS through email, text, phone, digital radio band, or alarm panel with the shooter’s location, and time of shot detected.
  3. The gunshot detection system then orders the access control system to lock down all elevators and doors that lead to the area where the shooter is detected.
  4. The shooter’s movements are now blocked, and his ability to move through a facility is stopped. They have been confined to a single location, and that location is known to everyone in the facility and first responders.
  5. The gunshot detection system also calls the video management solution to train any PTZ cameras in the area of the shooter to alert and send all available video to on-site security and law enforcement, who will now be able to identify the shooter visually.

Previously, these systems, including security personnel, may not have been integrated, or non-existent. With each one performing a single function without any input from the others, it’s not operating at full efficiency. By putting these layers together from what were previously separate systems acting independently, we now greatly reduced the movement of an attacker, reduced the number of potential victims, and provided law enforcement with actionable intelligence throughout the incident.

With layered security, it’s important to find products that perform well in their class, but that also have open compatibility with other components of the entire security strategy as a whole. It must technologically be easy to adopt and use for humans, but must also communicate with the other layers as well digitally. SOS Technology Group can answer any integration questions you may have, and have a variety of options for your security strategy.

Video Management Software: Unlock your Camera Network’s Full Potential.

Written by Scott Hall on . Posted in Security, Technology

Video Management Software: Unlock your Camera Network’s Full Potential.

risk of theft

Hopefully you’ve selected the correct models for your site based upon your unique security needs. Now your attention turns to their integration into your daily operations. How you utilize your camera video is just as important as the physical specifications of the cameras you’ve installed, and there are many video management solutions to choose from that can fit you. There’s a few critical factors to consider when choosing video management software


Your current number of cameras is a critical piece. Are you planning on expanding your camera network in the future? You want to find a platform that can be scalable while still being cost-effective at every state of your growth. Small networks (1 – 25 cameras), medium networks (25 – 50 cameras) and enterprise networks (50+ cameras) all have great options for management solutions.


How long would you like to archive your video for? This could depend on a number of variables: insurance requirements, state laws depending on your industry, and cooperation with local law enforcement are just a few. The longer you want to store video for, the more storage space you need in the video management server or NVR appliance. If those previous criteria aren’t a factor, you can simply adjust your archive to the storage that you wish to purchase.


Will you need to monitor your site’s cameras during off hours? Or from anywhere you happen to be? Many VMS solutions now include a mobile app on both Apple and Android to view your cameras with a single login anywhere you are. This is especially helpful if you have more than one location to monitor and using a single VMS solution across them all.


Many of the security challenges that require the need of cameras in the first place can be resolved much faster with additional VMS features. One important feature is heatmapping (using analytics and video of human traffic captured by cameras) to determine how many people are entering your facility and which route or locations they use the most. This is especially valuable for retail locations or educational campuses. Another is facial recognition software, which is especially useful for public safety applications. Using 16 points of facial data, and then using a corresponding database, your video management solution can detect and alert you to individuals whom, for any reason, you do not want on your site. This can also be used for license plates on vehicles as well, adding another layer of physical security.

When considering all the above factors, keep in mind your site’s internet connection limits. It may need to be upgraded to allow for the increase of data traffic to and from your network if you decide on a cloud-based VMS, as opposed to an on premise server solution. Keeping these factors in mind will ensure that you’re using your new or existing VMS to its full potential.

Preparing for an Active Shooter

Written by Scott Hall on . Posted in Security

shot detection

Is your facility prepared for an active shooting event?


With the threats that exist in 2018, we owe it to the people in our organizations to ensure we’re doing all we can to protect them should the nightmare scenario of an active shooter in your building.

One of the ways we can leverage technology against gun crime in atypical locations is by revisiting existing surveillance camera and access control systems. Video management platforms and smart card reader systems can now integrate seamlessly, providing a large measure of security to your facility. Here’s how:




Video management solutions like Milestone can receive information from smart access control systems like Isonas to capture & store video every time a door is opened or closed by badging in after, say, your normal business hours, or to certain sensitive areas. In addition to that, alerts via email can be sent to relevant security personnel on or off site, giving another layer of protection. One way to ensure the full functionality of cameras is to assess their physical location at a regular interval, to ensure they haven’t lost focus, have dirty lenses, or are just not aimed at the right area.


Access Control


Visiting the access control system again, the days of relying on people who have had their access revoked to turn in their badges or keys are now over. Real time instant administration of smart access control systems like Isonas means that only people who need to be there are there, and only when they are allowed to be. This can be achieved via web portal, in addition to mobile apps. As with video management systems, they can now alert via email when events occur outside normal operating procedures.


Mass Alerting


You may have seen these on college campuses or large hospital campuses, and if your facility covers a large area, you may want to consider them. It allows anyone with access to a call box to alert everyone campus-wide in the event of a life threatening violent attack.


New Technology


Combating the specific threat of active shooters hasn’t always existed. Now, with indoor gunshot detection systems, law enforcement, emergency medical services, and on-site security can receive verified notification less than a second after a gunshot is detected. These systems integrate with current video management systems, smart access control and mass alerting platforms across the board, unifying security staff and creating organized response plans facility wide.

All of these integration points allow the best use to allow first responders to do what they do best: save lives faster. Putting all four of these platforms together is the best way to ensure that we are doing everything we can to prepare for the unthinkable tragedies that are befalling innocent people around the world.


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