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

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

CURRENT SIZE

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.

STORAGE

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.

REMOTE ACCESS

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.

FEATURES

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:

 

Cameras

 

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.

 

Modern Access Control Systems

Written by Scott Hall on . Posted in Security

Why Your Business Should Have An Access Control System

Is it time for an update to your access control?

 

When your business is in a state of growth, operational needs quickly become more complex. This typically shows in the form of new employee additions, which leads to larger office space, more desks and more people to keep track of during the work day. This is the time to invest in a new access control system, one that can scale with your business needs as

If you’re seeing the following 4 signs, it’s time to consider an update to access control.

 

  1. Your company is experiencing high growth.

You are on the steady track to accelerated growth, and on average you are hiring 3 to 5 employees a month. It’s a positive indicator, but your existing access control system may not be keeping up as fast and efficient as it could be.

Employee onboarding is inefficient and you cannot give your new hires access and keys to the office on their first day because you just don’t have any extra key cards and keys for them. You are waiting for external services, locksmiths and your access system provider to duplicate your keys and key cards and a week later? Your locksmiths or access system provider experience delays in producing new keys and key cards and you still can’t give out individual access rights to your new hires.

Your existing access control system may not be as efficient, and now it’s cutting into worker ramp-up to productivity.

 

  1. Your company aware of security risks or has experienced criminal activity.

Last week there was a break in and multiple laptops, desktops and other company property was stolen, so who do you blame and how do you prevent it from happening again?

Maybe none of your past employees returned their keys, or you don’t know who has access to which door or who copied whose key. Without clear evidence of forced entry, these are the most likely possibilities.

And even if such evidence is present, bothering past employees to return old keys is not a viable and intuitive solution. But it does indicate that your access control solution is not preventing security risks because you have a lacking overview of your facility’s access rights.

Now is the time to find solutions that can eliminate access much more efficiently and find new ways to keep track of existing access.

 

  1. Your existing access control system is obsolete.

In a perfect world, your company was one of the first to get a keycard/prox reader system, but a few decades later that same system is still in place. You are regularly seeing problems such as non-working fobs or cards; and in more than one occasion personnel have been locked out because your outdated system stops working. With an outdated access control system, they do their basic functions – letting you in and out of the office and space – but they are not intuitive to meet your company’s growing operational needs.

You want to position your company as a leader of innovation so you may want to consider a switch by adopting a 21st Century access system. The only way to go is to go the modern way. #gokeyless

 

Is it time?

Well, if you experience any one of these 4 signs, it’s time to consider switching from your old access control system to a current system that would adapt intuitively to your modern needs. Integration has never been easier, and SOS Technology Group is here to help. Consult with us today.

Beyond Antivirus: Cybersecurity in the Era of Cryptocurrency

Written by Scott Hall on . Posted in Computer Security, Security

ransomware

You can’t read financial news today without seeing something on cryptocurrency as a hot new investment vehicle.  And it doesn’t take a lot more searching to find that some of the biggest financial thefts in human history have occurred on cryptocurrency exchanges since the emergence of Bitcoin on 2013.

The latest is a $500 million dollar theft on servers belonging to Coincheck, an online cryptocurrency exchange located in Japan. Hackers targeting a single type of cryptocurrency were able to make off with half a billion dollars, and thanks to the structure of blockchain, it is virtually untraceable.

Cryptocurrency began out of a distrust of the typical banking/financial exchange model, and sought to replace it with a decentralized platform, free from government oversight and the influence of the global banking industry. This has come with its own set of drawbacks, namely that anonymous transactions are just that: anonymous, with no master ledger or clearinghouse to monitor deposits and withdraws across the entire network of exchanges. Each exchange relies on current best standards and practices to secure the wallets of its depositors on its exchange. But in the world crypto, as in the traditional banking system, all security is not created equal.

To date, more than 3 million bitcoins have been lost or stolen, with a current market value of $39 billion USD. Factoring in that there is a finite supply of them, that accounts for 14% of all the available Bitcoins could be permanently gone.

If you plan on investing in any cryptocurrency, or are currently doing so, there are a few measures you should absolutely be taking.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK

Stick to the well-known exchanges, some of which do include some level of insurance on deposits on their exchanges. These include Binance, Coinbase, Kraken, and BitSquare.

Use two-factor authentication when logging into these exchanges, and do not share your password & authentication with ANYONE.

OFFLINE STORAGE

If you accumulate a large amount of any particular currency, or simply want to be as secure as possible, transfer both your wallet contents and wallet private keys to what is known as a ‘hardware wallet’. A hardware wallet is a USB device that stores your coins, wallet ledger and access keys completely offline, and can be used to check against loss or theft on an online wallet. They are set up with PINs, and can provide a string of words for easy recall in the event you’re ever locked out of the hardware. The most popular hardware wallet is the Ledger Nano S, available on Amazon for around $150.

BACKUP THAT BACKUP

Redundancy is the best way to assure your safety, so keep your hardware wallet in a safe place, and keep your 24 word pass phrase in a separate place as well. It may very well protect your entire investment from some of the smartest thieves in the world. Update your hardware wallet after every transaction, every time.

KNOW THE RISKS

Cryptocurrency is a new frontier and, as such, uses present day capability and paradigms with future technology that hasn’t even reached its full potential yet. The crypto market is global, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is not governed by rules in the typical investment platforms we have used before. If you’re safe, you can learn more about how the blockchain will potentially change your life in the future. If you’re safe and lucky, you might just increase your net worth beyond anything you could imagine

Combatting the Active Shooter Epidemic

Written by Scott Hall on . Posted in Security

shot detection
The active shooter event is becoming all too common in American society today. We hear about them on the news almost weekly. They seem a distant threat, until we realize that it could have been our family and friends caught in these tragedies at our schools, our workplaces, our places of worship, even our city streets.
Police and first responders across the country will say that the first seconds in these events are the most critical, when anyone caught in the chaos is confronted with literally hiding for their lives. With people rightfully concerned about survival, minutes wind down and the event occurs in a vacuum until someone can contact the outside world.
What if there were a way to automatically notify police and EMS the very instant a gun was fired in your building?
Now there is.
With the Guardian Detection System, placed in strategic points in any indoor area, alerts are sent less than a second after a gunshot has been detected. With Guardian’s two-factor authentication of both sound and flash, there’s almost no risk of a false alarm. Police are given real time location data from the sensor when a shot is fired, providing actionable intelligence and response methods, and saving lives when it counts.
Guardian is the only indoor gunshot detection system certified by the SAFETY Act from the Department of Homeland Security, and as such, is eligible for a number of grants to a number of organizations, helping to protect lives in many of the places you visit daily.
A proactive, accurate and definitive way to alert first responders the second tragedy strikes is now available for your schools, stadiums, houses of worship, and workplaces. SOS Technology Group is committed to getting this life-saving technology where it is desperately needed. Call us today to schedule a site visit and an overview of Guardian at no cost.

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