Two Powerful Tools to Help Schools Support a Secure Environment for Learning

By David Strickland, Vice President of Kenton Brothers

At Kenton Brothers Systems for Security, we are proud of our role in protecting People, Property and Possessions, especially when it comes to our partnerships within education. With that in mind, we are happy to spotlight a new collaborative effort that is paying off big time. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) are teaming up to help schools become more secure and to better support a learning environment. They’ve released two guides to help schools create great security plans and to help pay for them!

First, The CISA Resources and DHS Grants guide helps orientate school districts to the multitude of resources available to them to support school security. These include the new collaborative website called:

This is an interagency website created by the Federal government to provide schools and districts with actionable recommendations to create safe and supportive environments for students and educators.


The K-12 School Security Guide Product Suite is designed to provide K-12 districts and campuses with resources, tools, and strategies to improve school physical security. The suite outlines action-oriented practices and helps schools and districts learn the steps necessary to assess vulnerabilities, strengthen security, and better protect against a range of targeted violence and other threats.


The K-12 Bystander Reporting Toolkit supports K-12 schools and districts in strengthening school safety reporting programs and encouraging bystander reporting among students and other members of the school community.


The School Safety Task Force (SSTF) hosts an annual National Summit on K-12 School Safety and Security to bring Federal, state, and local school leaders together to share actionable recommendations that enhance safe and supportive learning environments.

GRANTS FINDER TOOL’s Grants Finder tool houses school safety-related Federal grants in one centralized location and provides members of the K-12 school community with a variety of ways to search for and access funding opportunities. The tool features multiple of Federally available school safety-specific grants searchable based on school safety topic, award amount, application level of effort, and more.

Two Powerful Tools to Help Schools Support a Secure Environment for Learning

CISA Resources and DHS Grants.pdf

Social Media Threat Guidance for School Staff and Authorities

In late December 2023, DHA and CISA published the Social Media Threat Guidance for School Staff and Authorities Infographic. It highlights social media threats affecting school districts in the United States. It goes a step further by providing mitigation and response measures for social media threats directed at a school district. It also connects school safety stakeholders to the suite of tools and resources provided by CISA and its partners to promote a culture of readiness and preparedness.

Technology has revolutionized the American school system, making education more accessible than ever before.  However, the advancements and accessibility of various social media platforms continue to reveal new vulnerabilities and security gaps within the school threat landscape. In the United States, social media-based threats to school districts continue to rise; in 2022, school districts reported closing more frequently due to social media threats than for COVID-19 outbreaks.

Download this powerful resource here:

Two Powerful Tools to Help Schools Support a Secure Environment for Learning

Social Media Threat Guidance for School Staff and Authorities Infographic.pdf

This collaborative approach from DHS and CISA in helping schools understand what resources are available to them and providing financial resources to support the initiatives is a step in the right direction. Kenton Brothers is happy to help guide schools through this process. Please give us a call today.

Dual Technology Credentials

By Ryan Kaullen, Field Services Manager at Kenton Brothers

Dual Technology CredentialsAccess Control has been around for a few decades now, and during that time the technology has evolved. A lot of customers have older access control equipment and can’t afford to change out equipment every time technology and security solutions change. What are ways that a company can increase security but not have to change out everything all at once? How can they avoid impacting large portions of the their current access control solution? One way is by using Dual Technology Credentials.

Proximity Technology

The industry standard at the beginning of development of access control solutions was called proximity technology.

Proximity is a non-encrypted technology. As technology has advanced, and those who wish to hack or break through the security have advanced, the industry adapted. More advanced types of technology were required to combat those new threats. These advanced defenses include solutions like multi technology, new readers with encryption, advanced card formats, and more.

This is where Dual Technology Credentials come into play.

Changing your credential to dual technology allows you to use older technology readers along with the newer options. All while enjoying the benefits of having an encrypted credential for higher security.

Over time, you will be able to upgrade your readers to a newer type of encrypted reader. (In other words, spreading out the investment timeline for doing the reader upgrades.) You will still be able to use your dual technology credentials, but once all the readers have been updated, you can switch from a dual technology credential to an encrypted credential. This will lower the cost of your credentials moving forward while still keeping the correct standard of credential security.

Individuals who intend to cause harm to a location often try to go for the low hanging fruit… which includes access control credentials. A repeater is used to try and reveal the card or FOB’s credentials. This allows them to re-create the card and allow entry. This is where dual technology credentials can really make a difference.

If you are interested in learning more about Dual Technology Credentials, please contact us and we would be happy to see where we can help heighten security and protect your people, property, and possessions.

Credential Technologies: You may not be as protected as you think

By Neal Bellamy, IT Director at Kenton Brothers

Credential TechnologiesToday, I want to talk about credential technology. While not an extremely exciting topic, it can be, and often is the weakest link in many organization’s access control system. Remember that an attacker doesn’t need to get through every defense in your system, most often they just need to get past the weakest one (or two).

Let’s start with how cards and readers work.

Any RFID reader, including the ones used for access control, puts out an electromagnetic field around the reader. This field is usually measured in inches, but in special readers like a Nedap long-range reader, fields can be measured in feet.

When a credential (card, fob, wristband, sticker, etc.) passes through the field, it electrifies the antenna giving the chip on the credential enough electricity to transmit the data stored on the chip. Most often the data that is stored is the “Card number”. I put it in quotes because that “Card number” could be many things.

Next, we need to talk about card numbers or more specifically card formats.

Unfortunately, most card formats are simple and relatively easy to guess. The most common card formation is 26 bits in length. HID calls this H10301. The first 8 bits designate the facility code and the next 16 bits designate the card number itself. The facility code is a way to group the cards together and in theory, verify that the card belongs to the access control system.

The low bit count means that there are only 256 possible facility codes and 65,535 card numbers. For those people paying attention to the details, the extra 2 bits are used for error checking.

Most people start with card number 1 and work their way up. There are other card formats like 33-bit, 37-bit, 40-bit, and so on. Each increases the possible facility code and card number options. The important takeaway is that once an attacker has the card format, facility code, and card number of a person who has access, they can gain access to your facility.


Like most things in commercial security, encryption is a way to combat the wrong people seeing the real card number. Encryption and card formats are independent of each other. You can have a 26-bit card that uses encryption and a 26-bit card that does not use encryption. That is based on the card technology.

Card technology like Prox and Indala are not encrypted. This means that almost any card reader can read the actual card format, facility code, and card number, it just has to get close enough to a card that has access.

Some technologies are encrypted but have already been cracked. Examples of these are Mifare Classic, HID iclass Classic, etc. Because the technology is already cracked, there are several ways of reading the encrypted data, and then applying the workaround to get to the actual card data again. Using a cracked technology is better than unencrypted, but it is still not advised.

Some technologies are not yet cracked like Mifare EV3 and HID iclass SEOS.

Encryption Usage

Credential TechnologiesWhen an encrypted technology is in use, both the card and reader must be using the same set of keys. Public/Private key is a long topic, but effectively a matching pair of keys are used to encrypt and decrypt data. (More information here.)

This means that readers and credentials are matched for the different manufacturers. If you are using HID readers, you almost always need to use HID credentials. Even with an encrypted, uncracked, card technology, the most commonly sold readers and credentials use the same key pair across all readers and credentials. This means that anyone can buy the latest HID reader to read almost every HID card ever sold.

There are special programs where a business can “own” its own set of keys. Another option is to use a system that generates a unique key and then can use that key to encrypt the cards specifically for a given system like Gallagher.

I know this was a lot of information, so let’s distill it a bit.

First, make sure you are using encrypted card technology.

Second, use the latest technology when you are using encryption. This will be based on the card readers you are using.

Finally, if at all possible, own your public/private keys. Sign up for a unique key system like Corporate 1000, or use a system like Gallagher to generate a unique key for your system.

If you have more questions or need help with your current/future commercial security solution, please give us a call.

Unveiling the New AXIS P1468-XLE: Revolutionizing Surveillance in Hazardous Environments

By David Strickland, Vice President of Kenton Brothers

Unveiling the New AXIS P1468-XLE: Revolutionizing Surveillance in Hazardous EnvironmentsAs part of the Kenton Brothers Systems for Security core values: Innovation, we strive not only stay on top of the newest technology but bring it to you, our customers, when we come across true game changers. The Axis P1468-XLE is one those game changers.

The NEW AXIS P1468-XLE Explosion-Protected Bullet Camera has emerged as a groundbreaking solution tailored for Class 1/Division 2 and ATEX Zone 2 environments. This state-of-the-art camera redefines safety and security, offering unprecedented features designed to meet the stringent requirements of hazardous areas.

Class 1/Division 2 and ATEX Zone 2 environments are known for their potentially explosive atmospheres, often found in industries such as oil and gas, petrochemicals, distilleries and manufacturing. In these settings, conventional surveillance systems may pose safety risks due to the presence of flammable gases, vapors, or dust. The AXIS P1468-XLE addresses this challenge by providing a robust and reliable solution that ensures continuous monitoring without compromising safety.

Key Features:

Explosion-Protected Design:

The AXIS P1468-XLE is engineered with an explosion-protected housing, ensuring that it can operate safely in hazardous environments. This design minimizes the risk of ignition in the presence of combustible substances, making it an ideal choice for areas where safety is paramount.

Built In Plume Detection

Smoke alert analytics monitors for signs of smoke or fire in potentially combustible environments. In operational efficiency applications, “There’s no smoke without fire” is a proverb most of us are familiar with, but even taking its literal meaning is of value: smoke is an early warning sign of a much more serious potential issue if not tackled quickly.

In any environment – from public spaces to warehouses, from stadiums to factories – it’s obvious to say that smoke itself and certainly the fire that might follow is a serious risk to human life, let alone the damage it can cause to buildings and their contents.

But in those environments where even the smallest fire or source of ignition could cause a catastrophic explosion, rapid reaction is absolutely essential. Modern network cameras combined with advanced image analysis can be used to detect possible signs of smoke or fire in a scene, complementing and providing valuable time before smoke is detected using traditional methods.

High-Quality Imaging:

Equipped with advanced imaging capabilities, this camera delivers high-resolution video even in challenging lighting conditions. Its ability to capture clear and detailed footage ensures that security personnel can identify potential threats or incidents with precision.

Unveiling the New AXIS P1468-XLE: Revolutionizing Surveillance in Hazardous Environments

Extended Low-Light Performance:

Unveiling the New AXIS P1468-XLE: Revolutionizing Surveillance in Hazardous EnvironmentsThe camera’s low-light capabilities are enhanced, allowing it to capture usable footage in conditions with minimal illumination. This feature is crucial for maintaining surveillance effectiveness during nighttime or in poorly lit areas.

Integrated Infrared (IR) Illumination:

The AXIS P1468-XLE comes equipped with integrated IR illumination, extending its surveillance capabilities into the dark. This feature is essential for 24/7 monitoring, providing continuous security coverage regardless of external lighting conditions.

Remote Management and Monitoring:

The camera is designed to facilitate remote management and monitoring, allowing security personnel to access live feeds and recorded footage from a central location. This feature enhances situational awareness and enables swift response to potential incidents.

Compliance with Industry Standards:

The AXIS P1468-XLE complies with international standards and certifications for hazardous environments, including ATEX and UL certifications. This ensures that the camera meets the strict safety requirements necessary for deployment in Class 1/Division 2 and ATEX Zone 2 areas.


Enhanced Safety:

The foremost benefit of the AXIS P1468-XLE is its contribution to enhanced safety. By providing reliable surveillance in hazardous environments, it helps prevent incidents and ensures the well-being of personnel and assets.

Operational Continuity:

The camera’s robust design and advanced features enable it to operate seamlessly in challenging conditions. This contributes to operational continuity by maintaining surveillance capabilities in all circumstances.

Cost-Effective Security:

Unveiling the New AXIS P1468-XLE: Revolutionizing Surveillance in Hazardous EnvironmentsInvesting in a specialized camera designed for hazardous environments is a cost-effective solution. The AXIS P1468-XLE minimizes the risk of equipment failure and potential damage caused by explosive atmospheres, reducing the overall cost of security infrastructure.

Regulatory Compliance:

With its adherence to international safety standards, the AXIS P1468-XLE assists organizations in meeting regulatory requirements for surveillance in hazardous locations. This compliance is essential for legal and insurance purposes.

The AXIS P1468-XLE

The AXIS P1468-XLE Explosion-Protected Bullet Camera stands at the forefront of innovation, addressing the unique challenges posed by Class 1/Division 2 and ATEX Zone 2 environments. Its combination of advanced features, compliance with safety standards, and commitment to reliability make it an indispensable tool for industries where safety and security are non-negotiable. As technology continues to evolve, the AXIS P1468-XLE sets a new standard for surveillance in hazardous environments, ensuring that organizations can embrace the future with confidence and peace of mind.

Give us a call today to demo one of these amazing cameras!

CPTED Part 3: Territorial Reinforcement and Maintenance

By Kevin Whaley, CPP, Sr. Security Consultant at Kenton Brothers

Welcome to Part 3 of our discussion about Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).

In Part 1, I introduced the concept of CPTED and the importance of ensuring CPTED principles are considered when developing or enhancing your security program. In Part 2, we dove into greater detail on the concepts of Natural Surveillance & Natural Access Control. In Part 3 of the series, we will be looking at Territorial Reinforcement and Maintenance.

As a quick recap: in the first part, we touched on the four key overlapping concepts of CPTED which include:
  1. Natural Surveillance
  2. Natural Access Control
  3. Territorial Reinforcement
  4. Maintenance
In the second installment, we went into greater detail about the in’s & out’s of Natural Surveillance & Natural Access Control such as;
  • Natural Surveillance – the placement of physical features, activities and people in a way that maximized visibility from the surrounding environment.
    • WHY? It increases the threat of apprehension by taking steps to increase the perception that people can be seen.
  • Natural Access Control – Natural access control means controlling access to a site. People are physically guided through a space by the strategic design of streets, sidewalks, building entrances, and landscaping.
    • Clearly defines entryways and guides personnel to specific entrances that are well lit and overlooked by surrounding areas.
Just as a reminder, the overall goal in the successful implementation a CPTED plan of action, we must understand that all human space:
  • Has some designated purpose.
  • Has social, cultural, legal, or physical definitions (such as expectations or regulations) that prescribe the desired and acceptable behaviors.
  • Is designed to support and control the desired and acceptable behaviors.
With that understanding in mind, our approach should focus on:
  • Manipulating the physical environment to produce behavior effects that reduce the fear and incidence of certain types of criminal acts;
  • Understanding and modifying people’s behavior in relation to their physical environment
  • Redesigning space or using it differently to encourage desirable behaviors and discourage illegitimate activities; and
  • Reducing the conflicts between incompatible building users and building uses, with the goal of eliminating “no person’s land” that no one takes ownership of.

There are various controls that can be implemented that can supplement or support the approaches listed above.

CPTED Part 3: Territorial Reinforcement and Maintenance

Territorial Reinforcement and Maintenance of your CPTED program.

Territorial Reinforcement:

Territorial reinforcement involves establishing a sense of ownership and belonging in a specific space, which can be achieved through various design elements and strategies. When a space appears to be clearly defined and “owned” by a particular group or individual, it may discourage potential criminals by making them feel like trespassers or intruders and that the potential for detection is high.

Importance in CPTED: By implementing territorial reinforcement, CPTED aims to deter criminal activity by promoting the perception of active ownership and surveillance. A well-defined and cared-for area signals to potential offenders that their presence is likely to be noticed and that there is a higher risk of detection and apprehension. This may lead to a decrease in the opportunities for criminal acts to occur, as criminals tend to avoid spaces where they feel more vulnerable and exposed.

Examples of Territorial Reinforcement:
  1. Clear boundaries and property lines demarcated with fences, hedges, or other physical barriers.
  2. Well-maintained landscaping and exterior areas, indicating active use and care.
  3. Signage and symbols that represent community ownership or surveillance, such as neighborhood watch signs.
CPTED Part 3: Territorial Reinforcement and MaintenanceThese examples of territorial reinforcement can (and should be) enhanced with other physical security measures including but not limited to:
  1. Surveillance cameras
  2. Speakers with pre-recorded messages stating that the person is being watched or that authorities have been called.
  3. Sufficient illumination
  4. Security officers
  5. Access Controls
  6. Active/Passive intrusion sensors

However, no matter how advanced or intricate your CPTED program is, it can deteriorate and become obsolete without proper care and maintenance.

CPTED Maintenance:

CPTED maintenance involves sustaining a sense of ownership and control over a space through ongoing upkeep and community involvement. Neglected or poorly maintained areas can attract criminal activity as they signal a lack of guardianship and a reduced risk of detection.

Importance in CPTED: Regular maintenance of public and private spaces is critical to the success of CPTED. Well-maintained environments foster a sense of pride, ownership, and responsibility among community members. It reinforces the idea that residents are actively invested in their surroundings and are vigilant against criminal behavior. This collective effort makes it less attractive for criminals to target such areas, as they are more likely to be noticed and reported by the community.

Examples of Territorial Maintenance:
  • Prompt repair of broken windows, damaged fences, or graffiti.
  • Adequate lighting to ensure visibility and reduce hiding spots.
  • Community engagement and participation in the upkeep of shared spaces.

CPTED Part 3: Territorial Reinforcement and Maintenance


The image to the right is an example of POOR CPTED maintenance. As you can see, the vegetation is growing through the fence line, damaging it significantly and there are various areas where intruders have cut and recut through the fence line. The lack of prompt repair, landscaping maintenance, and lack of illumination, make this industrial facility a tempting target.

In conclusion, territorial reinforcement and maintenance are essential components of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. By creating a sense of ownership and responsibility within a community and ensuring that spaces are well-cared for, CPTED aims to discourage criminal activity and promote a safer environment for residents and visitors alike. These proactive measures empower communities to take control of their surroundings and play an active role in crime prevention.

I hope you will watch out for the final installment where we will review the concepts we’ve discussed and how they all can be tied together.

Have more questions about CPTED or would like an assessment? Give us a call at 816-842-3700 and our board certified security professionals will get you taken care of!