Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Touchscreen Graphic Keypad for Homes and Families

DMP is one of our leading and trusted manufacturers. They offer a touchscreen graphic keypad system that gives home owners a great security tool. 

We believe in keeping your family and property secure at all times. This is not only a question of installing the proper hardware, but also the assurance that alarms are triggered when needed.

The Graphic Touch Screen Keypad provides end users with an easy to use, intuitive keypad that blends with any d├ęcor. This interactive keypad screen offers simple one touch arming/disarming, along with added benefits such as the weather.

To learn more about this product click here.

Article originally published by DMP.

Video Cameras for Businesses

Video cameras connected to commercial security systems give users a powerful security tool. With cameras businesses can check in on their premises at any time, as well as be prompted to determine the situation upon an alarm in the event of an intrusion. Central station operators can also assess the premises upon an alarm as live video and recorded clips are available immediately at the central station.

The SecureCom Video Network Video Recorder (NVR) not only allows users to selectively view recorded clips from their cameras via the Virtual Keypad App. They can view continuous video surveillance video locally from their TV or computer monitor.  It also provides an amazing range of features that greatly expands their system’s video capabilities.

To learn more about this product click here.

Article Originally Published by DMP.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

7 Ways Technology is Changing Home Security

Technology has radically changed the way we protect our homes. What was previously only possible in Sci-Fi movies is now gradually becoming reality. The digital revolution has made its way into our homes.
1. Remote Monitoring: Remote monitoring is a great way to keep an eye on the home when you are at school or work, or on your second home. Even if you are vacationing on a beach miles away, you can still receive real time videos and photos of what is going on at home. Some of the features monitoring systems now provide include the ability to arm and disarm security systems, send fire or intrusion alerts, and stream security camera feeds.
2. Smart Door Locks: Perhaps one of the best new features in home security tech is the advent of the smart lock. These locks can detect your presence automatically using Bluetooth in your smartphone or keyfob and unlock the door for you. The best digital door locks will also connect to your home automation system and inform other devices such as the smart thermostat that you are away and to enter into energy-saving mode. While Bluetooth locks are more secure, they have fewer features. Wi-Fi locks on the other hand have more functionality, such as the ability to see if the door is locked in real-time. However, the connection to the Internet also makes Wi-Fi locks more vulnerable to online security breaches.
3. Home Sensors: There are numerous premium home security kits available now that will be able to sense your presence and open or close the door automatically. Home sensors can be installed on doors and windows and use motion detection, winks, and waves to determine your identity. They can be controlled from a smart phone or tablet easily. Additionally, home sensor kits detect movement in hallways and rooms. When armed, motion triggers will be sent to your smart device by text or email. This way, if anyone attempts to break in, you will be alerted right away. Many home sensors also feature indoor sirens that provide visual and audio warnings when a triggering event occurs.
4. Smart Garage systems: Controlling your garage is easier than ever with smart garage systems. They work by plugging a network adapter into your home router, and then registering the unit with a provider. Then, you can use the app to control the garage door with your iOS or Android device, allowing people to get in and out of the garage when you are not at home. This means you don't have to hide the key under a rock anymore. These systems will also let you know how long the garage door has been open, and come with motion sensors to protect young children and pets who might be crossing in or out of the garage while the door is being closed.
5. Fingerprint scanners: Once a futuristic fantasy for sci-fi lovers, fingerprint scanning is now becoming available to anyone of any socioeconomic background, as long as you have a smart phone or tablet. While the technology is still nascent, fingerprint scanning devices are quickly gaining momentum. Fingerprint door locksare also becoming increasingly widely used, and could be good alternative to the aforementioned WIFI or bluetooth door locks.
6. Smart cameras: Home security cameras are cheaper, easier to install, and smarter than ever. Now that modern smart cameras come with Wi-Fi connectivity, you can stream live feeds of what is going on at home easily. You can also save these feeds to the cloud so you can review them later on should there be a need to.
7. Complete home automation systems: There are also complete home automation systems that allow you to control locks, lights, thermostats and security cameras all from your smartphone or tablet. The best thing is that you don't even have to be at home to do so.
Article originally published by The Huffington Post on October 19, 2015.

What to consider in a home security company

Q: What are some important things to ask a home security company?
A: There's no shortage of options, but finding the right home security company means knowing your security needs, how much you can afford to spend and understanding a security company's contract.
First, you'll need to decide whether you want to work with a national home security company or a local business.
One advantage to hiring a local company is you'll be more familiar with the business, its technicians and the way they work. That kind of familiarity is vital if your alarm system activates and you need to speak with someone during a very tense part of the day or night.
Make sure to ask prospective home security companies how they charge for different products and services.
Some companies offer free equipment or low installation fees, but paying little or no money upfront sometimes means paying more for monitoring later.
Monitoring typically costs $25 to $50 per month, but some companies charge $100 or more. Be sure to ask about their monitoring fees and included security features.
You might be able to cut costs by purchasing the equipment for your alarm system. Leasing home security equipment for three or four years could mean paying $3,000 or $4,000 for $1,200 worth of equipment.
You should also ask security companies about their short- and long-term contracts.
If you're not planning on moving anytime soon, a long-term contract isn't necessarily a problem. But if you're unsure how long you'll stay in your current home or whether you even want a home security system, you might want to avoid signing a long-term contract.
Ask for help choosing security features that best fit for your home and family. If you have a lot of expensive valuables at home it might be worth investing in cameras, motion detectors and window sensors. But if you have pets that wander free during the day or kids who are home alone, they could trigger false alarms, which can cost you.
Municipalities across the country have ordinances charging residents for false alarms. Fines usually start around $25 and increase with each false alarm. Be sure to check local regulations regarding false alarm fines, and ask security companies what they do to minimize false alarms.
It's important to interview several contractors before making a hiring decision. Reputable companies should have no problem sending a technician to your house to assess your needs, and honest technicians shouldn't try to pressure you into a sale.
Article originally published by Duluth News Tribune on February 20, 2016.

Biggest cybersecurity threats in 2016

Headless worms, machine-to-machine attacks, jailbreaking, ghostware and two-faced malware: The language of cybersecurity incites a level of fear that seems appropriate, given all that's at stake.
In the coming year, hackers will launch increasingly sophisticated attacks on everything from critical infrastructure to medical devices, said Fortinet global security strategist Derek Manky.

"We are facing an arms race in terms of security," said Manky. Fortinet provides network security software and services, and its customers include carriers, data centers, enterprises, distributed offices and managed security service providers.
Here's how the 2016 threat landscape looks to some experts:
The rise of machine-to-machine attacks
Research company Gartner predicts there will be 6.8 billion connected devices in use in 2016, a 30 percent increase over 2015. By 2020, that number will jump to more than 20 billion connected devices, predicts Gartner. Put another way, for every human being on the planet, there will be between two and three connected devices (based on current U.N. population projections).
The sheer number of connected devices, or the "Internet of Things," presents an unprecedented opportunity for hackers. "We're facing a massive problem moving forward for growing attack surface," said Manky.
"That's a very large playground for attackers, and consumer and corporate information is swimming in that playground," he said. Many consumer connected devices do not prioritize security. As they proliferate, expect the number of attacks to skyrocket. "A lot of these products and services, oftentimes security will take a backseat, so it puts a lot of information at risk," said Manky.
In its 2016 Planning Guide for Security and Risk Management, Gartner puts it like this: "The evolution of cloud and mobile technologies, as well as the emergence of the 'Internet of Things,' is elevating the importance of security and risk management as foundations."
Smartphones present the biggest risk category going forward, said Manky. They are particularly attractive to cybercriminals because of the sheer number in use and multiple vectors of attack, including malicious apps and web browsing.
"We call this drive-by attacks — websites that will fingerprint your phone when you connect to them and understand what that phone is vulnerable to," said Manky.
Apple devices are still the most secure, said Manky. "Apple's had a good security policy because of application code review. So that helps, certainly, to filter out a lot of these potential malicious applications before they make it onto the consumer device," he said.
"With that, nothing is ever safe," he said.
Are you nurturing a headless worm?
The new year will likely bring entirely new worms and viruses able to propagate from device to device, predicts Fortinet. 2016 will see the first "headless worms" — malicious code — targeting "headless devices" such as smartwatches, smartphones and medical hardware.
"These are nasty bits of code that will float through millions and millions of computers," said Manky.
Of course, the potential for harm when such threats can multiply across billions of connected devices is orders of magnitude greater.
"The largest we've seen to date is about 15 million infected machines controlled by one network with an attack surface of 20 billion devices. Certainly that number can easily spike to 50 million or more," said Manky. "You can suddenly have a massive outage globally in terms of all these consumer devices just simply dying and going down."
Jailbreaking the cloud
Expect a proliferation of attacks on cloud and cloud infrastructure, including so-called virtual machines, which are software-based computers. There will be malware specifically built to crack these cloud-based systems.
"Growing reliance on virtualization and both private and hybrid clouds will make these kinds of attacks even more fruitful for cybercriminals," according to Fortinet.
At the same time, because apps rely on the cloud, mobile devices running compromised apps will provide a way for hackers to remotely attack public and private clouds and access corporate networks.
Hackers will use ghostware to conceal attacks
As law enforcement boosts its forensic capabilities, hackers will adapt to evade detection. Malware designed to penetrate networks, steal information, then cover up its tracks will emerge in 2016. So-called ghostware will make it extremely difficult for companies to track exactly how much data has been compromised, and hinder the ability of law enforcement to prosecute cybercriminals.
"The attacker and the adversaries are getting much more intelligent now," said Manky.
Alongside ghostware, cybercriminals will continue to employ so-called "blastware" which destroys or disables a systems when detected. "Blastware can be used to take out things like critical infrastructure, and it's much more of a damaging attack," he said.
"Because attackers may circumvent preventative controls, detection and response capabilities are becoming increasingly critical," advises Gartner in its report. 
Two-faced malware
Many corporations now test new software in a safe environment called a sandbox before running it on their networks.
"A sandbox is designed to do deeper inspection to catch some of these different ways that they're trying to change their behaviors," said Manky. "It's a very effective way to look at these new threats as we move forward."
That said, hackers in turn are creating malevolent software that seems benign under surveillance, but morphs into malicious code once it's no longer under suspicion. It's called two-faced malware.
This is at least partially the sheer volume of attacks is so high — Fortinet sees half a million security threats per minute.
"The reason we see so much volume as well is because cybercriminals are trying to evade [detection]. They know about security vendors, they know about law enforcement, they're trying to constantly morph and shift their tactics," said Manky.
What can companies and individuals do to protect themselves?
"Companies should definitely enforce more security policies," said Manky. "Security's becoming a board level discussion, so that's already happening, and it should continue to happen."
Part of any cybersecurity strategy should be the use of antivirus software, the education of employees not to click on unknown attachments or links as well as keeping software up to date, also know as patch management.
"A lot of these devices are not going to be patched that quickly or they might not have an update mechanism on them," said Manky. "Certainly, any time a patch becomes available, companies should enforce that because these are closing a lot of the holes where attackers are navigating through."
Here is how Gartner frames it for business seeking to protect themselves in 2016. "While some traditional controls have or will become less effective, techniques such as removing administrative privileges from endpoint users should not be forgotten. Similarly, vulnerability management, configuration management and other basic practices have to be priorities in organizations that have not yet implemented them effectively."
And ultimately, something is better than nothing, advises the firm: "Addressing priorities does not mean striving for perfection, but rather ensuring, at least, that critical exposures are remediated (or, if applicable, mitigated with compensating controls) and that the residual risks are minimal and acceptable (or at least enumerated and tracked)."
Article originally published by CNBC on December 28, 2015.

5 Video Surveillance Trends for 2016

We’ve compiled a list of the leading trends in the video surveillance market that we expect to see in 2016.

In some cases, these trends aren’t new, but their relevance and maturity in the market is such that they still made the cut.
You may not necessarily read about any surprises; you will though find the list compelling as we consider how the market will be impacted by them and the future innovations they bring. It will be interesting to see how they play out and the impact they’ll have on future trends– we’ll let you know.

1. Integration between VMS and ACS
Intuitive integration between the two most common and active systems in a security centre seems to be a growing market demand, especially now that the access control systems (ACS) market is on an innovation trajectory with cloud and wireless solutions. Security operators need to follow procedures that combine tasks from both the VMS and ACS worlds. A straightforward integration makes this process more efficient and effective, saving the operator and thus the control centre valuable time.
2. Incident Management
Video surveillance is more than just watching video, it’s about taking the next step to manage an incident once identified. Security organisations work with operational procedures that are often performed using paper forms and even by memory, which can stymy communication, collaboration, not to mention contribute to human error. By computerising, pre-configuring and when possible, automating tasks, security operations can create the necessary structure to improve the response itself, and its timing, while minimising the risk of human errors. Incident management solutions also allow organisations to capture all related and relevant information such as video footage, map extents and notes in a single record so that all stakeholders can have access to the same, accurate information based on their permissions. This not only enhances collaboration, it’s very valuable for post-event investigation.
3. Video Analytics
This is not a new one, and has been showing up on yearly trend lists for the past few years. It remains on our list as it continues to evolve and is becoming increasingly prevalent. Being more available and reachable in the market, manufacturers are introducing more cameras with embedded analytics capabilities. The challenge now will be to leverage the technology by correlating it with other information sources. We also see emerging concepts that utilise video analytics in an interactive process, rather than depending on its results alone.
4. Central Storage
While VSaaS and available Cloud solutions may not be relevant for high-end security customers, central storage is becoming an attractive option for many in the market. The important thing is to be aware of the pros and cons associated with central storage, and select the right solution to compensate for any drawbacks. We’re seeing some in the market choosing central storage, even in highly distributed environments, and keeping local storage mainly for buffering purposes.
5. Panoramic Cameras
Another growing trend are panoramic or 360° cameras. Camera manufacturers forecast increased demand for those cameras in the major security verticals. They are ideal for covering wide areas, and usually allow the selection of various view modes. Video surveillance systems are expected to support new camera models by integrating with their dewarping APIs for perspective correction, as well as support the different features they offer.
Article originally published by IFSEC Global on February 1, 2016.