Are your it closets secure? The consequences of not securing your network with physical security can be costly…

Your IT closets contain critical infrastructure your organization needs for daily operations and workflow. Having your network interrupted could be detrimental for your employees, customers, and day-to-day business practices. When it comes to your IT closet – you should implement the highest security measures possible to prevent criminals from gaining access to your organization from the inside.

  • Sensitive Information Might Get stolen
    • After a break in, a criminal can easily gain access to sensitive company and employee information. Think of all the information you gather from your employees throughout their tenure. You may have sensitive health information for insurance purposes or even access to their finances for payroll deposits or expenses. If this information is not properly encrypted and protected, it can cause employees a lot of turmoil if stolen.
    • This is precisely what happened to Coca Cola in 2014 when equipment was stolen from their largest bottling plant. Personal health, financial, and vehicle information of over 74,000 employees were stored on some of the stolen devices. The employees are still affected today. Many of them had their identities stolen and are still attempting to build their credit scores back up and get their finances in order.
  • Loss of Revenue
    • Besides the fees that could come along with any legal action associated with a data breach or burglary, your company needs to replace anything that was stolen. This could cost you tens of thousands of dollars depending on what was taken.
  • Damage to Reputation
    • Not securing your IT closets puts your customers at risk as well. If their information is compromised because you failed to protect it – they are sure to lose confidence in you as a business partner. The same goes for your investors.
    • In fact, Target is still picking up the pieces when it comes to their reputation. After their 2013 security breach, Target saw their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) score, which is an enterprise measurement combining workplace, governance, and citizenship metrics, fall dramatically. According to Market Watch, it was the largest CSR drop among any retail company in the United States.
  • Workplace Culture
    • Similar to both customers and partners, your employees could also lose trust in your company. You may see a shift in company culture after a theft or data breach and employees may start looking to work for more secure organizations.
  • Delayed Business Operations
    • Depending on what was taken, your day-to-day operations could potentially come to a complete stop for several hours or days after a physical security breach. What if your file-sharing sever was taken or compromised? Your entire company shared drive would be gone. All sales documents, invoices, HR files – everything would be lost. Or, what if they took the sever that controlled your phone and internet? Your office would definitely be out of sync for a number of days. Imagine what would happen if someone took your entire server rack…

 

Not sure if your IT closets are up to par? Follow these security best practices to prevent a physical security breach.

  1. Make sure you are keeping your IT equipment in a locked separate room. Having these devices in a person’s office or even in a shared storage space leaves your system vulnerable to damage or theft.
    1. If you can’t keep your equipment in a separate room, you should try to organize the equipment into separate locked sections.
  2. Allow only authorized personnel access to your IDF/ MDF and server rooms. You can even limit access to specific racks for added security!
  3. Utilize an access control system to properly secure your server room. This system will also be able to document all employees who enter your server room, which can prove to be extremely beneficial if anything should happen to your operating system or if you feel that an employee is tampering with your equipment.
  4. Place cameras in and around these secured rooms. As mentioned before, documentation is key if your system goes down unexpectedly. You can even opt to use motion-activated cameras that can trigger an alarm should anyone enter the sever room after hours.
  5. Install temperature and moisture monitoring devices that will notify authorized users if anything malfunctions or seems out of the ordinary. The security experts at Access Security suggest keeping the temperature of your server room between 65 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature should never exceed 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Servers create a lot of heat. Make sure to have your security partner install fire alarms within your server room to protect equipment and data.

The security experts at Access Security Corporation can help your organization effectively implement any of these best practices. Contact your sales representative today or email sales@accesssecurity.com to start the discussion.

Someone Could be Cloning Your Key Fobs Without You Knowing!

In 2013, Francis Brown, a partner at Bishop Fox, a security consulting firm focusing on foreign governments and financial matters, created a device powerful enough to duplicate 125KHz RFID proximity badges and cards from less than a foot away.

 
The device, which is known as the RFID Thief, was created to steal badge information so Bishop Fox associates could gain physical access to restricted networks and devices for penetration testing. The firm shares how to create similar devices on their website. Their goal is to make it easy for security professionals to recreate their own RFID readers so they can perform physical penetration tests and better demonstrate the risks posed by these technologies to their management (Bishop Fox).

 
Since it’s 2013 creation, the device has been improved to now read proximity cards from up to 3 feet away, which makes stealing badge credentials even easier for criminals. Bishop Fox explains that a typical attack scheme would include simply placing the reader in a messenger bag or purse and walking by someone in line at the local coffee shop. The device is completely silent, and even stores all badge information to a text file on a microSD card for future reference.

 
The best way to avoid someone using a RFID reader against you or one of your colleagues is to switch over from old proximity technology to the latest smart card technology.

 
Smart cards use an encrypted computer chip loaded with cardholder information; including employee credentials and access points. Smart cards can also be easily integrated with different technologies and can be used in various locations as well.

 
A smart card is extremely flexible when it comes to growing organizations. The proprietary sequence control mechanism with smart cards will eliminate redundancies or duplication errors and protect your organization from the RFID Thief!

 
If your organization already has multi-technology card readers the change is relatively easy. Contact your Access Security representative or email sales@accesssecurity.com to see what is needed to upgrade your security today.

How to Improve School Entrance Security

A school’s entrance is the first line of defense when it comes to school safety. The right security enhancements and visitor protocols can protect your students from potentially threatening situations or individuals.
Could your school use any of these enhancements at your entrance?

Single Point of Entry

  • During high traffic times, like arrival or dismissal, it’s important to create one single point of entry for all students and visitors. Having just one point of entry makes it much easier to monitor traffic coming in and out of your school. If you need to have more than one point of entry, it’s critical to make sure that all access points are being monitored.

Extra Staff

  • It’s been proven that the presence of security guards or supervising staff members deters unruly behavior or criminal activity. Make sure to station more guards or staff members during the entrances and exits during both arrival and dismissal since those are the most high-traffic points of the day.

Double Entry

  • Having a series of locked doors between your students and visitors is a terrific way to add an extra layer of security to your school. Ideally, visitors would pass through the first set of doors which would lead them directly to the main office. Visitors can only get through the second set of doors into the school if they register or check in with the main office and are allowed access.
    Automatic Gates
  • If you can’t reconfigure your space to have a double entry within your school you can opt to use an automatic gate within the parking lot. With an added intercom system, visitors can check in via the automatic gate and be granted access by staff from within the building. Not only will this option keep trespassers from attempting to enter your school – it will keep them off the property in general.

Security Cameras & Intercom

  • Implementing a security camera and intercom system at the entrance and front office to your school can help your staff to safely identify and allow entrance to visitors and guests. A video surveillance system will help staff to confirm that the guest attempting to enter your school really is who they say they are. Moreover, having cameras at both your exits and entrances is extremely beneficial if an incident should occur. Footage of everyone who came in and out of your school could be very helpful during a criminal investigation.

Access Control

  • Access control systems consist of electrified door hardware and cloud security solutions that are used to monitor who enters a school and at what time. Since these systems help to keep unauthorized individuals outside, school officials have more peace of mind regarding the safety of those on the inside. Unless someone has clearance, access control systems won’t allow them through the doors. Moreover, you can limit some access levels to certain times. If you don’t want your staff to be able to enter after hours then you can make this a rule within your system.

Visitor Management System

  • One of the most important ways to keep your school entrance safe is implementing a visitor management system. Even if it’s just a paper check-in log! A record of who came in and out of your school and at what time is valuable information. Your visitor management procedure needs to be utilized at all times and at every entrance.

5 Things We Learned from the Healthcare Crime Survey

The International Association for Healthcare Safety and Security Foundation (IAHSS Foundation) recently released their healthcare crime survey. The overall purpose of the study is to provide healthcare professionals with a better understand of the crimes that take place within hospitals. It was packed with information.

Here are a few takeaways…

  1. The most common type of crime within a hospital in 2016 could be classified as disorderly conduct, with assault and theft coming in second and third respectively.
  2. “Violent Crimes”, which include murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, have decreased by almost 50% since 2014.
  3. For 2016, “Workplace Violence, Type” dominated every other type of workplace violence. The IAHSS defines Workplace Violence, Type 2, as “Violence directed at employees by customers, clients, patients, students, inmates, or any others for whom an organization provides services.”
  4. In 2016, “Workplace Violence, Type 2” accounted for 91% of all assaults in U.S. Hospitals.
  5. On average, only 15% Workplace Violence, Type 2 incidents resulted in legal action during 2016.

Click Here to view the full report

Top 6 Places to Install Security Cameras

Today, it seems that most businesses are utilizing security cameras throughout their facilities for both investigative and preventative reasons. With that being said; how can you be sure you are installing your cameras in the right places? Here is a list of the top 6 areas you NEED a camera!

  1. All entrances and exits
    • Having cameras at all entrances and exits is a great way to capture facial images that can be used later to identify individuals should they cause any trouble. However, the placement of these cameras is very tricky due to lighting changes, especially in areas with large windows and doors (ex: lobby or waiting room).
  2. Near Valuables
    • Your organization needs to install security cameras if you have valuable machinery, expensive retail items, or a cash register. These items are prime targets for thieves and a noticeable video surveillance camera could prevent and/or record a robbery or any suspicious behaviors.
  3. Employee Work Stations
    • A lot of businesses, especially those in a more retail setting, can use their video surveillance systems to capture stellar job performances. Managers can use these videos during training sessions or team meetings. Not so stellar performances can also be used for one on one employee reviews.
  4. Storage and Stock Rooms
    • It’s not uncommon for businesses to store extra inventory, electronics, valuable customer data, and even critical business information in storage closets or stockrooms. Cameras near these locations will prevent employee theft, protect your customers, and help to track inventory.
  5. Loading Areas
    • A lot of our clients have highly valuable shipments coming in and out of their facilities on a daily basis. The main goal for this is to keep the area safe and secure, but they also use these cameras to keep an extra set of eyes on any precious cargo. Moreover, a surprising number of employee injuries take place in the loading area or loading dock. A video surveillance system could protect your business from any false worker’s compensation claims.
  6. Secluded Areas
    • Security cameras can give you coverage in places you wouldn’t normally look, like back alleys, dumpsters, and even parking lots (hint: license plates). Our security experts even recommend installing floodlights in these locations in addition to security cameras. Criminals and trespassers will think twice when they see all the precautions you have implemented in these usually vulnerable locations.

Security Best Practices for Residential Property Managers

A sound security system for your residential property will protect both your residents, your property, and your business!

  1. Screen both residents and employees
    • Background checks and security screenings ensure that you are bringing in quality residents and employees. A potential resident, or employee, with prior arrests may disrupt the community and cause issues with other residents.
  2. Preform preventative maintenance
    • Property managers and maintenance staff should regularly test and evaluate security cameras, lights, locks, and all other equipment. Making sure all your systems are in proper working condition can prevent future incidents from taking place.
  3. Communicate with residents
    • Make sure your residents know they need to always lock their doors, windows, and mailboxes. A great way to do this is through a monthly newsletter with security tips. Or, your leasing consultant can walk all new residents through the community’s security features when they first move in.
  4. Make your staff recognizable
    • All your staff members should be easily identifiable – especially those who enter resident’s homes on a regular basis. Burglars can often be mistaken for maintenance workers if they make sure they look the part. Access Security recommends requiring all staff to carry an ID badge and wear a uniform that is unique to your community. Moreover, residents should be alerted in advance when a member of your team is scheduled to enter their residence.
  5. Implement a community crime watch program
    • All resident should feel comfortable reporting suspicious activity. More importantly, they should know how to report it and to whom. You could even implement an official committee consisting of a committed group of residents who wish to make a safer environment for the entire community. This committee could work together to update residents on security protocols and work as an active neighborhood watch group.

Four Reasons to Introduce Video Surveillance to Your Security Guards

Access Security Corporation believes that every guard team should be working directly with a video surveillance system to enhance a facility’s overall security. The combination of manual security and digital security greatly enhances the security of a facility.

  1. A video surveillance system can be your guard team’s extra set of eyes
    • A security guard, or even an entire team of guards, is bound to miss something – they are human after all. Perhaps, they missed an incident because they were on rounds elsewhere, or maybe they just had their back turned at the wrong time. A video surveillance system, and the guard monitoring it, will pick up the slack when a guard may simply overlook something suspicious.
    • Tip: Some video surveillance systems can detect motion and track objects and people as they move through an area. Contact our team of security experts to learn more.

  2. Your guards will be able to cover more ground
    • Even with all the walking security guards do – a video surveillance system still covers more ground. Cameras can cover every inch of your facility if needed. With the cost of IP cameras falling and video quality continuing to improve large high quality systems are becoming more common than ever.
    • Tip: Unlike a camera, a security guard can stop a crime. It is best practice and whenever possible to have a guard or monitoring service viewing the surveillance camera system. Monitoring of the system allows on-site guards to respond to situations, events and alarms.
  3. A video surveillance system is more credible during investigations
    • Compared to video, eyewitness testimonies are inherently unreliable. Many eyewitness accounts are vulnerable to recall bias, which occurs when outside forces cause the brain to completely rewrite a memory. A person can easily forget or not even notice important details of an event. In fact, according to ISPUB, 20% of critical details are sometimes not even recognized and other details are completely irretrievable after the incident. It will be a lot easier for your guards to analyze incidents and recall information using a video surveillance system because they can easily watch the recorded event.
    • Tip: When research video surveillance systems ensure that it’s easy to use and you can quickly locate, retrieve, and export video. Make sure to ask your security vendors or partner how many steps it takes to perform this common and simple task. The more steps – the more complicated the surveillance software is. A quality system should be able to deliver a video in 3 to 5 clicks.
  4. You’ll save money
    • The combination of security guards and video surveillance is undoubtedly a reliable option for increased security, but you may be able to scale back on your guard force or minimize certain shifts after implementing a video surveillance system. According to PayScale, a team of ten (10) team guards could cost you up to $350,000 per year, not including benefits. Implementing a video surveillance system could easily help save upwards of $100,000 per year! While a video surveillance system may be more upfront; the payout can easily be worth it.
    • Tip: Is your team worried about additional costs after the system has been installed? Make sure that you have keep money in the budget for software upgrades and camera upgrades. Technology is always advancing with higher resolution and feature rich IP cameras.  Keeping a small amount in a budget for updates and upgrades is always a good idea.

Why Your Schools Needs Video Surveillance

According to the US Department of Education, over 75% of schools have at least one video surveillance camera within their school to improve safety and monitor activities.

While some may argue with the idea of having camera within our school, they have proven to be very effective in the prevention, control, and aftermath of any unsafe situations.

If you don’t have a video surveillance system yet, let us try to convince you…

Here are 5 top reasons surveillance cameras are a key to any security plan:

  1. Faster Detection of Intruders
    Camera coverage, especially when covering a large area is key to speeding the time to identify and locate an intruder.
  2. Identification
    Cameras can help security staff identify a person during an incident or assist with identification after the fact.
  3. Documentation
    Video retrieval will depend on the Video Management Software and the amount of storage used. The right system will allow you to easily identify an incident and retrieve the video for playback.
  4. Verification
    When trying to secure a large area, security cameras allow staff to quickly verify if an alarm or incident is real and respond with the appropriate actions.
  5. Safer Environment
    According to a recent report by Ipsos Public Affairs, 60% of parents feel that their children would be safer at a school with surveillance cameras in place.

 

Want to learn more about securing your school?

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Hidden Benefits of Using Video Surveillance

Your video surveillance system can do a lot more than you think. These systems can save your company millions of dollars, improve employee productivity, and even assist in training exercises!

  • A video surveillance system can drastically lower your company’s insurance rates.
    • According to Insurance321, many insurance companies provide discounts on premiums for customers who implement security and threat prevention devices. Insurance companies prefer clients who pose the lowest threat and research has shown that properties with video surveillance are less likely to be broken into or vandalized.
  • A video surveillance system can protect your company from fraudulent lawsuits.
    • The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud discovered that fake “slip and fall” setups can cost businesses up to $30 billion each year! Footage from your video surveillance system can be used as a defense in a lawsuit against your company.
    • A video surveillance system can also help you in any suspicious workers’ compensation situations. Just a few months ago, The Department of Financial Services’ Division of Investigation and Forensic Services arrested a Fort Lauderdale woman after she attempted to collect workers’ compensation payments for an injury on the job. This woman claimed an object fell from the ceiling and hit her on the head, however video surveillance later proved that she struck herself with the object instead.
  • Your employees will prove to work more effectively with a video surveillance system present.
    • In most cases, employees are inclined to work more efficiently if they know they are being watched. However, not many organizations are utilizing their video surveillance systems to evaluate employee performance. In fact, according to Amanet, only 7% of the companies surveyed admitted to terminating an employee based on what they witnessed on their video surveillance system. Employee performance is definitely an untapped use for surveillance cameras!
  • You can utilize surveillance footage for employee training purposes.
    • A lot of businesses, especially those in a more retail setting, can use their video surveillance systems to capture stellar job performances. Managers can use these videos during training sessions or team meetings. Not so stellar performances can also be used for one on one employee reviews.
  • A visible video surveillance system will discourage untrustworthy employees.
    • The main purpose for a video surveillance system is to monitor your property against criminals…but sometimes those criminals are your own employees. According to CBS Money Watch News, a typical organization can expect to lose up to 7% in revenue due to employee theft and over 75% of people have stolen at least once from their employer.
  • Live footage from your video surveillance system can keep our first responders safe.
    • A surveillance system will keep first responders more prepared during any kind of threatening situation. For example, what if you had an active shooter in your building? With a surveillance system, first responders may be able to locate the shooter within the building. Additionally, they may be able to detect what kind of weapon the suspect is carrying or what they look like.

 

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5 Signs You Should Invest in Access Control

Have you been thinking about finally getting an electronic access control system? Here are five signs that you NEED to invest!

1. You leave your doors or areas open during normal business hours.

Workplaces, schools, retail stores, hospitals or office buildings all contain expensive equipment and assets. Are you leaving your locks open for convenience? If your answer is “yes”, then it may be time to invest in an electronic access control system to make sure you are protecting your businesses’ investments. Besides, at the end of the day, wouldn’t it be significantly more expensive to replace all of your stolen equipment than to invest in an access control system?

2. You are about to terminate a trusted employee.

Letting an employee go is never an easy task. It’s even harder when they have their own set of keys. Even if you make a point to ask for them back, how do you know they didn’t make multiple copies? An access control system will make this process easier, and will give you peace of mind. No one wants an ex-employee entering your building unannounced or unnoticed.

3. You want to be able to track your employee’s whereabouts.
Do you have a team member that takes one too many breaks? What about an employee who takes an extra-long lunch hour and attempts to sneak back in unnoticed? Are things disappearing from your stock room or warehouse? Or, do you simply want to check on who is in the office working and who is not? An access control system would give you the flexibility to report on employee whereabouts without seeming like a micro-manager. In addition, most systems allow for you to easily export this data and create automatic email reports.

4. You wish for enhanced control of your building– especially when you are not there.

An access control system is perfect for managers who can’t always make it to the office each day. As long as you have an internet connection; you’ll be able to lock and unlock doors from anywhere!

5. You want to restrict access to employees based on specific times.
Use your access control system to keep your team’s work life balance in check with an automated schedule. You can set your system to lock down during off hours, holidays, and weekends. You can always remotely lift barriers or locks if it’s an absolute emergency and someone needs to pop by the office after hours!

If you want to take the next step and learn even more about our access control system’s – just email sales@accesssecurity.com or give us a call at (800) 886-5625