Avigilon’s face mask detection technology can determine if a person appears on camera without face protection… and alert your team.
By Neal Bellamy, IT Director at Kenton Brothers
If you’ve been following us for any length of time, you know that Kenton Brothers is all about your physical security. Today, I’d like to talk a little about a different kind of security… your digital security.
Over the past decade you should have got the message to use strong passwords. (Probably too many reminders… but are you still using the same, easy to remember password for all your accounts?)
Passwords like “JackAndJill” and “123456” are fairly easy to hack with brute force methods. Also, as more and more data breaches occur, hackers gets access to lists of usernames and passwords. So even if you did come up with the “un-hackable” password and it got leaked, it’s now compromised.
Is your password on a list somewhere?
Did you know there is a website that can show you how many times your password has been recorded in data breaches? The website is haveibeenpwned.com. You can go there to see if your email or password has shown up on hacked lists. By the way, there is no such thing as an unhackable password. Given enough time, with enough resources, any password can be cracked. It seems pretty dire, doesn’t it? However, there are even better ways to protect yourself.
One way to help protect yourself is to use stronger passwords. Better yet, use passphrases. A passphrase is generally longer than a password, which makes it harder to guess, but easier for you to remember. Think of phrases that you use around your family and work-family and use those phrases as passwords.
For example, my family is pretty sarcastic. So when talking to my daughters about getting asked out on a date, my suggested response for them is “HaHaHaYouInsignificantFool”. Throw in a couple of numbers and special characters and you’ve got an easy to remember, secure password. Just remember… not only is it important to have strong passwords, but you’ve got to change them somewhat frequently.
Password Managers: A Unique Password for Every Website
Another way to protect yourself is to use a unique password for each system or website that you use. Unfortunately, this strategy is harder to implement than it seems. I probably have 100+ unique systems and websites that I would need to remember the unique password for. My brain just doesn’t have that kind of storage. That’s where password managers come into play.
A password manager can remember the passwords for you. You just have to remember the master password for the password manager software. There are lots of options out there. Just Google “password manager” to get started. Some of the most common are LastPass, Roboform and Dashlane.
Password managers can be a little cumbersome, like when I’m browsing from my phone rather than my laptop. However, for important accounts with stored credit cards or other personal information, it’s worth the minor inconvenience.
So far, we have just been talking about passwords. An inherent weakness of a password, besides a weak password, is that they’re a single “key” you need to know to gain access to an account. Even better than a strong, unique password is to pair that password with another form of authentication.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
A lot of websites, including Facebook, Google, and Office365, allow Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). Multi-Factor Authentication makes sure you are who you say you are by asking for an additional “key” in tandem with your password. MFA can be PIN texted to your phone, an app on your phone that has a PIN that changes every 30 seconds, or a notification on your phone that verifies asks you to confirm you’re trying to log into your account. MFA is easier to use, easier to set up, and more secure than a solitary password.
MFA can be required every time you log in, or only when you’re logging in from a new device. When you log into a site or service, you’re asked for your username and password, but then you’re asked for your second form of authentication. After your MFA is confirmed, you can use the site or service as normal. Since your phone is often the method that your MFA uses, a hacker would need to have your password and your phone to gain access to your account.
Next time you’re given the chance to provide your cell phone number for Multi-Factor Authentication, I recommend you do so! It’s easy to set up and easier to use than a password manager. It’s also more secure than using just a password. For a website that has personal information, but doesn’t have MFA, please make sure your password is unique and strong! This will go a long way towards avoiding the pain of identity theft or other challenging situations if someone were to get into your account.
Contact Tracing is the process of identifying people who may have come into contact with an infected person, and collection of information about these contacts.
By Neal Bellamy, IT Director at Kenton Brothers
Like many businesses, Kenton Brothers is adapting to the “Stay at home” order and the “New Normal”. While we remain operational, we are changing our operations to reduce risk and exposure for our team and yours. One of the ways we’ve adapted is by looking at our systems and seeing what they can do for us.
With fewer people in the office, we’ve introduced some new challenges.
One such challenge is when people come to our commercial counter. The commercial counter is not always staffed like it used to be. The employees staffing our commercial counter are still in the building, but they’re helping out other teams. We don’t want a customer waiting for service, so we looked to our systems to increase alerting.
In this case, we used the Axis “People counter” software to send alerts to our team members when someone gets to the commercial counter. This counter is loaded directly onto the camera and can send alerts from the camera itself or notify the Video Management System (VMS) which can apply more logic to the alert.
The intercoms installed at our main entrances have become even more vital.
Old intercom systems used to be answered by a physical device at one or two desks in an office or retail environment. Today, intercoms are assigned to an extension on your phone system and can be answered by any station.
Most intercom systems have mobile applications where you can see and talk to the person at the intercom from anywhere in the world. We have an Axis 8105-E and 2N Solo mounted at two of our main entrances. The person who usually answers the intercom is at home, but shifting the answering station to another person was as simple as changing the extension in our phone system. We could have enabled the mobile app for after-hours answering if that was necessary as well.
Although these are “strange times” we can look to technology to help fill some of the gaps. These tools and technologies can increase our ability to do more with less. If you’re faced with some business or security problems in this new world, give us a call. We’re happy to help!
By Gina Stuelke, CEO of Kenton Brothers
Did you know that 80% of germs are spread with your hands? Kenton Brothers Systems for Security offers several types of door hardware that can aid in the prevention of spreading germs and infectious diseases.
Arm and Foot Pulls
Arm and foot pulls are quick, easy and cost-effective solutions to open a door without touching a handle or lever with your hands. This type of hardware is attached to the door and can be used by pulling with your foot, arm or elbow. We offer a variety of options including stainless steel base material, copper anti-microbial material, anti-microbial coating over stainless steel, and multiple finishes. These types of products are perfect in areas such as restrooms, commercial buildings, restaurants, grocery stores, churches, event spaces and healthcare facilities.
“Healthy” Hardware Options
The door handle of a public facility can be touched by people several thousand times a day. That’s thousands of opportunities to transfer bacteria and infectious diseases. In hospitals alone, there are over 103,000 Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs) reported every year! On openings where pushing or pulling a mechanical door handle or lever is necessary, we offer health conscious bactericidal and/or anti-microbial hardware.
Some of the benefits of this hardware include:
- Kills 99.9% of bacteria in 2 hours.
- Not a coating and won’t wear off! Will continue to kill bacteria for the lifetime of the product.
- Looks like stainless steel to match other hardware products.
- Wide range of hardware and touch surfaces available.
“Hands-Free” Access Control Technology – Empower your phone to be your credential
Another option becoming popular is “hands-free” access control technology. We offer products that use cellular, WiFi, and Bluetooth technologies to create hands-free credentials. These allow you to walk up to a secured opening with your mobile credential and gain entry without needing to take your smartphone out of your pocket or your bag.
For more information about these hands-free security options, please give us a call. We would be happy to walk you through these options to find your perfect solution!