Resource Blogs

Most Recent Blogs Listed.

image

Kidnapping Your Computer

Ransomware is no joke: It’s a type of malicious software used to block access to your data, or threatens to publish and/or delete the data until a ransom is paid to the hacker. Obviously, there’s no guarantee that paying a ransom will return access to you or information or that hacker won’t publish or delete the data. In turn, your computer’s stuck. Read about how you can protect.
read more -->

image

How is the Security Industry Responding to Infrastructure Threats?

More than 57,000 industrial control systems (known as SCADA – Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) are connected to the Internet in our country, many with similarly conceived control systems. See how this impacts security and why we should all be concerned with cyber threats.
read more -->

image

ISC West Recap

ISC West was bigger and better than ever in 2017, and it remains my “go-to” show.

Several technology areas really struck me this year – artificial intelligence, drones, and cyber- so here are my takeaways.
read more -->

image

Apps Designed to Make Your Smartphone Safer

Biometrics are a newer solution to an age old problem when it comes to cellphones. But using your fingerprint to unlock your phone is no longer a novelty. Have you thought about what happens when your fingerprints are stolen? When your photo is cloned? Read more to see what apps can make your smartphone smarter.
read more -->

image

Biometrics and the Future of Travel

Is a fingerprint or iris scan more useful than a photo? Read how some airports have deployed biometrics to travel.
read more -->

image

The Who’s Who of Cyber Threat Intelligence

What was once reserved for the most top-secret conservations is now available to a larger group of people. Cyber threat intelligence is a strategic and operational procedure to fuel many processes and risk management decisions. It also needs to fit your audience because cyber threat intelligence means different things to different people within your company. Read our breakdown of what this means.
read more -->

image

Security Design Award

The Elliot A. Boxerbaum Memorial Award will be presented to a consulting or engineering company that designed and specified a completed security design project in 2016. The award will be given to the top project that showcases collaboration, design excellence, uniqueness, creativity, and administration factors.
read more -->

image

Trending Now: The Faces of Facial Recognition

With significant advancements in available processing power and artificial intelligence (AI), there is no sign that facial recognition will abate. Recently, General Motors announced a system that will monitor a driver’s face to determine if he/she is actually paying attention to the road while the vehicle is in cruise control—effectively using AI to monitor certain behaviors instead of for authentication purposes. In addition, Australia is promoting the use of facial recognition software in airport security by 2020 so it can maintain a more proactive approach to security.
read more -->

image

Happy Holidays from SecuritySpecifiers

As we wind down 2016, a range of thoughts cross my mind. It's been an eventful 2016, to be sure. Here are some of the things I have learned over the last year and what I think we can look forward to in 2017.
read more -->

image

Global State of Information Security

From April 4, 2016 to June 3, 2016, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), and CXO Media (publications CIO, and CSO) conducted “The Global State of Information Security Survey 2017. While clearly meant for the IT sector, I found several areas of interest to the broader security market.
read more -->

image

The Internet of Things or The Internet of Trouble?

While attending SIA’s October Securing New Ground Conference, I was asked to moderate a session on the Internet of Things. Not quite sure what that means? Well, do you have a pacemaker? How about a DVR? The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the billions of connected devices in our world—some say up to 200 billion devices will be connected by 2020.
read more -->

image

Pa55w0rd Pr0bl3ms

Sick and tired of forgetting your password for important information? Concerned that you use one password for everything? With the right software, you can update your technology and better secure your digital information.
read more -->

image

The IoT: Embrace Opportunity and Manage Risk

It seems like everything today is getting connected: your car, garage doors, refrigerator, phone, and camera—the list goes on. Security researchers have long warned that this relatively new technology comes with its own share of security issues (see our recent post on Brian Krebs for more background of the Internet of Things). But, how can we protect ourselves from the imposing risk in being constantly connected?
read more -->

image

The Internet of Trouble

Once defined and restricted by proprietary technology, the security industry has now become part of the movement embracing open connectivity and the Internet of Things, or IoT. The flexibility and simplicity of connecting devices and sensors to our systems is great, but it comes with new vulnerabilities and opened up the opportunity for more risk.
read more -->

image

Highlights from ASIS 2016

From September 12-15, ASIS International’s 62nd Annual Seminar and Exhibits conference became the world’s biggest hub of security information. Over 35,000 people from around the world belong to ASIS International, helping to provide a steady foundation for learning, networking, and exploring the newest products on the trade show floor. Let's look at a quick recap of some of the highlights.
read more -->

image

Neuromorphic Image Sensors Inspired By The Human Eye

New research shows machines can capture moving images more efficiently through prioritizing dynamic parts of the scene as light changes. Read more about this advanced neuromorphic technology and how it is impacting the security industry.
read more -->

image

The Compelling Case for Unifying IT and Physical Security

??Outlines how organizations can use technology to effectively address a combined threat landscape.???

read more -->

image

The State of Security Video Analytics

Examines the current state of video analytics technology & considerations for modern deployment.
read more -->

image

Maintaining a Global Security Focus

Cyber security is an ever-growing problem, and for widespread operations, hunkering down in silos is probably not the answer. Here’s a few thoughts to apply to your global security team.
read more -->

image

Cloud-based Deep Learning Neural Networks

In case you missed it, Facebook has artificial intelligence (AI). It’s there to help you tag your friends in photo albums by facial recognition and aids in search queries. And they’re not alone. AI is one of the hottest, fastest growing technologies when it comes to making sense of loads of data. Read how cloud-based deep learning is impacting the security world.
read more -->

image

Big Data and Privacy for Physical Security

Examines the business expectations regarding big data supported security technology including privacy.
read more -->

image

The Buzz About Security Convergence

Everyone these days is talking about convergence and security. We summed up some of the top 5 current trends that are blurring the lines between traditional security paths.
read more -->

image

The Basics Behind Converging IT and Physical Security

Are you thinking about merging your physical security with your cyber security? We’ll cover what it means to converge your security and what you can expect through any payoffs and pitfalls.
read more -->

image

Biometric Security For All, Including Your Bank

Frustrated by thieves stealing personal data from millions of customers, banks are investing in biometric technology to offer better security. Read our take on a recent NY Times article.
read more -->

image

Simple Cybersecurity Measures Even Mark Zuckerberg Uses

Recently, a photo of Mark Zuckerberg sitting at his desk at work went viral after a keen-eyed Twitter user pointed out that Zuckerberg had taped over his laptop’s microphone jack and camera. While you may laugh, the Facebook creator isn’t so far off base. Read how to protect yourself against cyber threats.
read more -->

image

Study Shows Cybersecurity is Not a Priority for Small Businesses

A study by Barclaycard shows that in more than 250 small companies polled, only 20 percent viewed cybersecurity as a top business priority. But almost half admitted to falling victim to a cyber attack within the past year, and 54 percent admitted to being fearful of a cyber hack. So why isn’t cyber security a bigger priority?
read more -->

image

Considering a Security Consultant?

Most anyone selling a security product can call themselves a 'security consultant' or 'security advisor', but what really matters when considering a consultant for security project design?
read more -->

image

Today's Top Trends in Cyber Security

Protecting information online should be a top priority for all. From encryption and decryption, to block chaining and protecting databases, we rounded up three of today’s most interesting trends in cyber security.
read more -->

image

PSIA Primer

In my last column, I provided thoughts on the ONVIF specification effort, which was initiated in 2008 by Axis, Bosch, and Sony. This month, I'll turn my attention to another effort to drive system interoperability. Also founded in 2008 by over 20 companies, including Cisco, Honeywell, GE (now UTC), and Tyco, that organization is the PSIA, short for the Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (www.psialliance.org). Although neither have the power of a true standards making organization, I believe that either would claim success if their efforts became de-facto standards and widely adopted by both manufacturers and specifiers.

read more -->

image

The Inside Scoop on ONVIF

ONVIF was originally organized as the Open Network Video Interface Forum in 2008 by Axis, Bosch, and Sony. With IT standards in mind, these companies realized that standards for devices and clients to communicate and operate with a high level of functionality would be vital to the long term health of the industry. Today, ONVIF has 31 Full Members, an additional 21 Contributing members, and another 454 User Members (see the ONVIF web site www.onvif.org.) The initial focus was on video systems.
read more -->

image

PSIM Possibilities

In the December 22, 2014 Fortune Magazine article, 'How to Invest in the Internet of Things', the author, Erin Griffith states,'For now the potential of the Internet of things radically outpaces the reality. Research firm Gartner predicts the hype will soon collapse into a 'trough of disillusionment,' followed by a 'slope of enlightenment,' and then, eventually, a 'plateau of productivity.' Notes Tim Herbert at CompTIA: 'We often overestimate a technology's impact in the short term and underestimate it in the long term.'' This reflects my own thinking on the evolution of impactful technologies, and we have two great examples of this in physical security - video analytics and PSIM. Didn't we see all of the early hype surrounding video analytics dissipate into disillusionment, only to witness the technology become mainstream, reaching the 'plateau of productivity' in cameras and VMS systems? PSIM also had great early promise with upstart companies tackling enormous information management problems, only to see many of those acquired (think Verint, NICE, Tyco) and their technologies evolve into broader, more capable product offerings.
read more -->

image

IT Security in the Spotlight

PSA is aggressively taking a lead role in initiating an industry conversation and awareness of Cyber Security issues. Why PSA? The answer lies in its commitment to its owners, members, and partners to educate and position them to deliver the highest level of security to their customers. Today, that must include cyber security.

read more -->

image

Remote Power Management

I recently read a whitepaper from Minuteman Power Technologies dealing with the subject of remote power management that discusses the need for a capability to remotely reboot devices through power cycling, as well as proper procedures and associated economics. What should 'management' really mean when it comes to power? Clearly, the answer involves more than just recycling power.
read more -->

image

Identity Management for More Secure Video

Presidential Executive Order 13636, 'Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity,' issued in February, 2013, called for the development of a voluntary risk-based Cybersecurity Framework - a set of industry standards and best practices to help organizations manage cybersecurity risks. Version 1.0 of the framework was published by NIST in February, 2014. The Framework focuses on business drivers to guide cybersecurity activities and on considering cybersecurity risks in the organization's risk management processes.
read more -->

image

Video Vulnerability Alert: Don't Get Shellshocked

In Sept. 2014, a vulnerability known as Shellshock (also known as Bashdoor) was discovered and disclosed. And that's potentially big news for organizations who operate, maintain or otherwise use Linux-based security equipment - which can now be considered vulnerable to hackers.
read more -->

image

The Latest in Lighting and Power

Raytec (www.rayteccctv.com) has offered network controllable lighting for about two years, and a new wrinkle I recently noticed was powering the light via 'high PoE'. Two not-so-new innovations make this possible - high efficiency LED light sources and high PoE levels which go beyond the IEEE 802.3at PoE+ standard.
read more -->

image

Hack Attack

Recently, I have been included in an extensive e-mail thread initiated by PSA's CEO, Bill Bozeman. Bill's e-mail obviously struck a chord with the many people who were included in this communication. In part, Bill said, 'We are at the beginning of what I perceive to be a major finger pointing blame game in our niche as related to cyber security. Who is at fault if physical security devices are hacked and information that was incorrectly assumed to be secure by the end user is stolen? Will the manufacturer be held accountable? the integrator? the consultant?'
read more -->

image

We're Surrounded

It's no secret that megapixel cameras have taken the market by storm, providing the ability to see more with fewer cameras, with progressively better video quality and digital PTZ features. Conversely, fish eye lenses providing up to 360 degree images of varying quality have been around for years. So, it's not surprising that the combination of high pixel density sensors and appropriate lenses, enhanced by sophisticated image processing algorithms, has led to expanded product offerings in really good 180 degree and 360 degree panoramic IP cameras. Let's take a closer look at these three elements to see how they have combined to create this growing class of products.
read more -->

image

UPS and Downs

Since early in time, back up batteries have been a fact of life in intrusion, access and even CCTV systems. Whether it is in a local panel or as part of a power supply enclosure, batteries serve the function of maintaining power during a limited duration power outage. UL standards cover these, requiring 4 hours for access control (UL294), 12 or 24 hours for intrusion (UL 603 and UL 1076), and 24 hours for fire (UL 864 and UL 1481). If video systems are used as sensors in these systems, they may full under the umbrella of these, also. Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems provide protection beyond batteries, supplying line level voltage to certain end devices or to power supply panels themselves. If the power supply itself has battery backup, there is additional redundancy. Let's examine some design considerations for these systems and features worth considering.
read more -->

image

Converging on Convergence

If the end point for where the explosion of network devices and available data is what we are coming to know as big data, it's useful to think about 'convergence' as a journey to that end. So the beginning of this journey today is from a position I'll call 'little data', or the information from a closed security system - cameras, some storage, video management, and often a tie into access control, loosely or tightly integrated.
read more -->

image

You Can't Kill Coax

It's funny how certain legacy security technologies seem to keep hanging on long past the handwriting of their demise is on the wall or find new life by being repurposed. A large number of analog cameras have shipped over the last 5 years, though their share of the market has steadily declined. Their close cousin, analog-to-fiber optic transceivers, have also stubbornly resisted extinction. But while these electronic product products are sure to go sooner or later, old transmission media doesn't have to. It's easy to see that fiber optic cable can be repurposed to carry any information for which it has the capacity. It's more of a stretch to think the same about coax, but coax lives on. Why? Because it's in place and it has high bandwidth - generally higher than twisted pair.
read more -->

image

Lights, Camera..Activity

Newark Airport got quite a bit of press in February for its deployment of 171 LED light fixtures that form the backbone of a new wireless network that would not only control lighting, but also transmit data from security devices. The fact that surveillance cameras and activity sensors were to be part of this network caused a great deal of consternation - which tells me how little-informed the mainstream media, not to mention the public in general, really is when it comes to the potential of security technology.
read more -->

image

Should I Recommend My Competition?

Too often, people sell what they have instead of focusing on solving the customer or client problem. It takes moxie to step out of the box and, if necessary, recommend a competitor’s solution. For a manufacturer, an A&E program is a commitment to the future, and a short term ‘hit’ can yield big long term benefits.
read more -->

image

Consumer Market Guinea Pigs

Two articles about advances in consumer-focused technologies have caught my eye recently. While neither was written with the theme of physical security, I nevertheless saw their topics as potential game changers in our market: Wearable cameras and software that tracks facial expressions to predict future behavior.
read more -->

image

SFP Finally Moving into Security

You may remember the early days of fiber optic transceivers, where, in addition to specifying the function that was needed - for example, RS-232 to fiber optic - you had to define wavelength, number of fibers, connector type and possibly optical budget. In addition, there might have been the choice of end-point, repeater or multi-port star or hub. All of this made for a dizzying array of part numbers and complicated the specification, ordering and stocking of transceiver products.
read more -->

image

Thermal Imagers: Shrink Wrapped

A new generation of thermal devices open up a potential new set of sensing possibilities, raise awareness, and, perhaps most importantly, put low power thermal imaging into the hands of gadgeteers and tinkerers around the world to conceive new interesting applications.
read more -->

image

SNMP Primer

SNMP ... today, this could mean “Security - Not My Protocol” for all the use we’re getting out of it. What SMP officially stands for is Simple Network Management Protocol. You may have seen it on a configuration screen for an IP camera or other security device and wondered what it was used for. It really is a pretty useful protocol, and it’s time we did something with it.
read more -->

image

The Challenge of an Emerging “Quicksilver”Security Environment

What is going on with security and consulting that is significantly different than the decades in the years past? What I have experienced in the last 5 years is Physical Security Quicksilver. (Quicksilver - rapid or unpredictable in movement or change”.) The industry used to describe this movement as convergence; however it is more than that now. In many ways the technologies have already converged. Consequently this raises more questions than answers for the security technologist consulting within this moving target.
read more -->

image

Notes on the Security Consultant of Tomorrow

Two key factors have permanently changed the landscape in which a security design consultant works. This doesn't alter the basic purpose of a security design consultant, but it drastically changes the mindset required to be one in several important ways.
read more -->

image

The Future Definition of a 'Security Consultant'

The definition of a security consultant has different meanings to different people and organizations looking for someone to help them find solutions to their security problems. I’m sometimes asked to “just design me a system that will solve all my problems” or “just tell me what equipment to buy”. Often times this request is without asking to for a comprehensive review of their security program, installed technologies, organizational capabilities and support, and security policies and procedures, while taking into consideration organizational threats and vulnerabilities. Security technologies, albeit an important part of an organization’s security posture, should not stand alone.
read more -->