Strong Passwords and Multi-Factor Authentication are no joke.

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.

Strong Passwords

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?

Kenton Brothers: Strong Passwords and Multi-Factor AuthenticationDid you know there is a website that can show you how many times your password has been recorded in data breaches? The website is 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)

Kenton Brothers: Strong Passwords and Multi-Factor AuthenticationA 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.

Employee Spotlight: Taylor Peebles, Field Services Coordinator

By Kristen Harper, Controller and HR Manager at Kenton Brothers.

Taylor Peebles and her dogsTaylor Peebles joins the Kenton Brothers team with a strong background in project management with an emphasis on customer service.

Taylor’s eight years of experience in custom interiors and construction bring a customer focus to the forefront of her work. She is good at making sure the small details are always treated carefully and with the customer in mind. You’ll often see Taylor in our office answering calls for customers. She also assists the Kenton Brothers team with every day duties such as scheduling and helping customers/colleagues by listening to their concerns and looking for solutions.

Taylor enjoys being involved in business planning, problem solving and teamwork to achieve company and personal employee goals.

When Taylor is not in the office, you can find her enjoying time in her first home with her partner, Evan. Taylor is a dog mom of two very opposite, fun-loving dogs; Boston the Schnoodle and Bonnie the Pitt-mix. Outside of new homeowner life, Taylor loves spending time at the lake with her family, swimming with her two nephews and grilling over a fire pit. You’ll likely catch Taylor “thrifting” and shopping for antiques on the weekends.

Taylor Peebles and Evan

If you ever get a chance to speak with Taylor, you’ll quickly learn that she feels laughter is the best medicine.

“I love making people laugh when things get hectic or stressful, although I know when to get serious. I think it’s important to take time out of your day to smile. And hopefully, you feel lucky to be part of a great team… like we have here at KB.” – Taylor Peebles

Dirty Domes Done Dirt Cheap.

Security System Maintenance that Rocks

Dirty Domes MaintenanceNot working is not an option when protecting your people, property, and possessions. We know – deep in our souls – that a security system must be maintained properly if we expect it to work correctly. We know it intuitively. But if that’s the case, why is it that too often commercial security pros neglect their systems? It’s human nature.

We expect the planning and installation phases of a security system to take time and resources. Too often, we mistakenly think the work ends with a completed project. The critical post-installation support is what protects the original investment and keeps the system running well for years to come.

What kind of things do we see on a regular basis when we’re inspecting and protecting the commercial security systems we install and support? Dirty domes may be done dirt cheap, but some of these examples trash the hotel room like rock stars.

Here’s an all access backstage tour:


Dirty Domes - System Maintenance

A wasp nest isn’t just a hassle for the tech cleaning this dome. It’s also a visual impairment that can keep a camera’s focus off of trouble spots.

Dirty Domes- Maintain your Cameras

Rain or shine, maintenance is required to keep your commercial security cameras working properly.

Jeremy's Magical Hardware Bag

Sometimes, we have to defend against wasp nests… with creative solutions. Just ask Jeremy.

So why do we need to stay vigilant with preventative maintenance?

The answers are simple, but they deserve an encore.

Even the best technology can fail.

As these components become more technologically advanced, it’s critical that systems are maintained properly. The primary goal of our service agreement is to keep your system functioning while reducing or eliminating downtime. That means software and firmware updates are completed to protect against found vulnerabilities before they’re exploited, not after. Plus, when firmware is updated, new features are often added that add value to your entire corporate security system.

Preventative maintenance is critical to safety.

Many organizational stakeholders view the preventative maintenance budget line as an expense that can be reduced. Maybe even eliminated. But when maintenance, upgrades, and testing are neglected, the cost to repair and replace key components can be significantly more than the original line item – and may cost lives.

A maintenance service agreement that fits your unique circumstances can be the difference between a well-planned system that functions properly and one that lets you down when you need it most. At Kenton Brothers Systems for Security, we want to offer our clients the kind of white glove service that leaves their systems in peak condition, ready to serve at a moment’s notice and in all conditions. To make sure your maintenance agreement is right for your needs and your system is concert ready, let’s talk.

Invest in training your people… and reap the rewards.

By Kristen Harper, Controller and HR Manager and Kassie Lyons, Accounting Specialist at Kenton Brothers.

This year at Kenton Brothers, we’re investing in our employees to become better humans. That’s a lofty goal so we’re breaking it down a bite at a time

Joe CalhoonAt the beginning of 2019, the staff at Kenton Brothers starting a 10-month training program with Joe Calhoon with a focus on customer service and leadership. Joe has worked directly with Stephen Covey, author of teaching “7 Habits” and “Principle-Centered Leadership” and specializes in working with businesses of all sizes to build their customer service skills and teach a community servant mentality to all organizations.

Strengths Assessment

We starting the training with every employee taking a Clifton Strengths assessment. Joe helped us understand how our strengths make everyone uniquely qualified to serve. We also learned how understanding our coworkers’ strengths will help us communicate better with each other internally.

People who focus on using their strengths are three times as likely to have an excellent quality of life and six times as likely to be engaged in their work.

One of the key attributes that Joe has been teaching Kenton Brothers is that in ‘doing service’ people are happier. By giving remarkable service to our customer, our customer is happier and is better able to serve their customer. We reap the benefits of knowing we have done our job well.

The Power of Training

By doing this training, Kenton Brothers is not only wanting our staff to work better with our customers, but also to be able to have better positive relationships with everyone in our lives both inside and outside of the workplace. Joe taught us through personal stories and illustrations that have made him relatable to our entire team.

Additionally, our management team is working through Emotional Intelligence evaluations.  This specifically helps each individual understand where they need to improve upon different emotional strengths and how to help them better evaluate problem solving, lead staff and support the organization as a whole.

Kenton Brothers is deeming this insightful training of our people our best investment ever as it is creating a stronger culture, forcing us all to look deeper into the meaning of what we do and how we communicate with each other for the overall goal of proving the best experience possible to our customers.

Thank you to Joe, as he is a living example of what he teaches and we’re a better team thanks to him!