Physical Security Defense by Design: 10 things you should be doing today!

By David Strickland, Vice President of Kenton Brothers

With a tremendous focus on Cybersecurity right now, many organizations are investing substantial resources in protecting their digital assets from online threats. However, amidst the ever-evolving landscape of security risks, the significance of physical security and it’s role in a holistic approach to protecting people property and possessions should not be underestimated.

A robust physical security plan, employing the principle of defense by design, can fortify businesses against a myriad of threats, ranging from cybersecurity threats, theft and vandalism to unauthorized access and violence in the workplace. In this blog, we’ll explore how businesses can see substantial benefits by implementing a proper physical security plan centered around defense by design.

Understanding Defense by Design

Defense by DesignDefense by design is a proactive approach to security that involves integrating security measures into the design and architecture of a physical space from the very beginning. Rather than treating security as an afterthought, it becomes an integral part of the overall design process. This approach aims to create layers of security that deter, delay, and ultimately thwart potential threats, providing businesses with a comprehensive defense strategy.

One of the primary benefits of adopting defense by design principles in physical security planning is the enhanced protection it offers against various threats. By strategically incorporating barriers, access controls, surveillance systems, and other security features into the layout of a facility, businesses can significantly reduce the likelihood of unauthorized access, theft, or vandalism.

For instance, installing perimeter fencing, access gates with electronic locks, and surveillance cameras can create a formidable first line of defense against intruders. Additionally, implementing measures such as biometric access controls, motion sensors, and alarm systems further reinforce security layers, making it increasingly difficult for unauthorized individuals to breach the premises undetected.

Mitigation of Risks and Liabilities

Effective physical security not only safeguards assets but also helps mitigate risks and liabilities associated with security breaches. Businesses operating in industries handling sensitive information, valuable assets, or high-risk materials are particularly vulnerable to potential threats. A robust physical security plan reduces the likelihood of security incidents, thereby minimizing the risk of theft, property damage, or regulatory non-compliance.

Moreover, in the event of a security breach, having comprehensive security measures in place can demonstrate due diligence on the part of the business, potentially mitigating legal liabilities and financial losses. By investing in defense by design, businesses not only protect their assets but also safeguard their reputation and maintain trust with stakeholders.

Safeguarding Personnel and Assets

In addition to protecting physical assets, a well-executed physical security plan prioritizes the safety and well-being of personnel. Employees are vital assets to any business, and ensuring their safety within the workplace is paramount. By implementing measures such as access control systems, emergency response protocols, and secure areas for sensitive operations, businesses create a secure environment that fosters employee confidence and productivity.

Furthermore, defense by design principles extend beyond the protection of physical assets to safeguarding intellectual property and confidential information. Secure storage facilities, restricted access areas, and surveillance systems help prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data, reducing the risk of intellectual property theft or corporate espionage.

Cost-Efficiency and Long-Term Sustainability

While implementing a comprehensive physical security plan requires an initial investment, the long-term benefits far outweigh the costs. By proactively addressing security vulnerabilities through defense by design, businesses can minimize the need for reactive security measures and costly incident response procedures.

Moreover, the deterrent effect of visible security measures can dissuade potential threats, reducing the likelihood of security incidents and associated expenses. Over time, the cost savings achieved through enhanced security and risk mitigation contribute to the long-term sustainability and profitability of the business.

At Kenton Brothers Systems for Security we work with organizations with a wide range of needs for physical Security. We have specific recommendations on how to implement a proper physical Security Plan that incorporates a holistic approach to our customer’s needs.

The following is a top 10 list of ways to get started:

1. Conduct Comprehensive Risk Assessment

Begin by conducting a thorough risk assessment of your premises and operations. Identify potential security threats and vulnerabilities, considering factors such as location, industry, and business assets. This assessment forms the foundation for developing an effective physical security plan tailored to your specific needs. We offer this service free of charge to help support the communities we serve.

2. Define Clear Security Objectives

Establish clear security objectives aligned with your business goals and risk assessment findings. Determine what assets and areas require protection, whether it’s sensitive data, equipment, or personnel. Clearly defined objectives provide a roadmap for designing and implementing targeted security measures.  This can be overwhelming at first, Kenton Brothers can help guide you through this process.

3. Design Secure Perimeter Barriers

Create a secure perimeter around your facility using physical barriers such as fencing, walls, locked perimeter doors or bollards. Choose materials and designs that deter unauthorized access and provide visibility for surveillance. Incorporate access control points with electronic locks and gates to regulate entry and exit.  The idea here is to extend your threat detection perimeter as much as possible to allow more time to bring resources to bear on the threat.

4. Implement Access Control Systems

Deploy access control systems to manage and monitor entry points throughout your facility. Utilize technologies such as key cards, biometric scanners, or PIN codes to authenticate individuals and restrict access to authorized personnel only. Integrate access control systems with surveillance cameras and alarms for enhanced security.

5. Install Surveillance Cameras and Monitoring Systems

Strategically place surveillance cameras and monitoring systems to provide comprehensive coverage of your premises. Install cameras in key areas such as entry points, parking lots, and critical infrastructure to deter theft, vandalism, and unauthorized activities. Ensure proper lighting and resolution for clear video footage.

6. Establish Secure Entry and Exit Procedures

Develop secure entry and exit procedures to control the flow of personnel and visitors. Implement protocols for visitor management, including check-in processes and temporary access badges. Train employees on security procedures and reinforce the importance of vigilance in identifying and reporting suspicious behavior.

7. Harden Physical Infrastructure

Strengthen physical infrastructure by reinforcing doors, windows, and other potential entry points. Use tamper-resistant locks, security bars, and shatter-resistant glass to deter break-ins and unauthorized access. Consider implementing intrusion detection systems to alert security personnel of attempted breaches.

8. Create Secure Areas for Sensitive Operations

Designate secure areas within your facility for sensitive operations, data storage, or high-value assets. Restrict access to these areas using additional layers of security such as biometric authentication or keypad entry. Implement measures to prevent unauthorized tampering or theft of sensitive materials.  Concentric circles of tighter and tighter security help organizations keep their people and assets secure.

9. Develop Emergency Response Plans

Develop comprehensive emergency response plans to address various security scenarios, including intrusions, natural disasters, or workplace violence. Conduct regular drills and training exercises to ensure employees are prepared to respond effectively to emergencies. Establish communication protocols and evacuation procedures to minimize risks to personnel and assets.  There is no better resource than a well-trained team member that knows what to look for and how to react in a threating situation.

10. Regularly Evaluate and Update Security Measures

Stay informed about emerging security technologies and best practices to enhance your defense by design approach.  Continuously evaluate and update your physical security measures to adapt to evolving threats and vulnerabilities. Conduct regular audits and assessments to identify weaknesses and areas for improvement. This is a critical piece of defense by design. Stay vigilant in your efforts. There are many stories of the convenience of a propped door and how it led to tragedy.

By following these ten specific steps, businesses can effectively incorporate physical security measures based on defense by design principles, creating safer environments for their People, property and possessions.

Still can’t get started? Give Kenton Brothers Systems for Security a call today to help.

Installing a camera without wires or power? Solar to the rescue.

By Neal Bellamy, IT Director at Kenton Brothers

Installing a camera without wires or power? Solar to the rescue.In a lot of ways, the requirements to install a commercial security camera are usually pretty easy to accomodate. 90% of the time we need just one wire that is smaller than your pinky finger. We can install that wire inside, outside, in conduit, or even stretch it between poles. We used to have limits on how far away a camera could be installed, but with new wire technologies and PoE extenders (Power over Ethernet), distance is rarely an issue. However, there are still times when you just can’t get a wire to where you want to install a camera.

The next best option is to at least have a power source. With a constant power source, we can at least power the camera and hopefully connect it to a wireless or fiber network to get the signal back to a base station. Kenton Brothers has installed numerous cameras where the only resource we had was power. Entire city blocks are blanketed with a wireless network for this type of security situation.

But what is the solution when you have to have a camera, but don’t have power and can’t get a wire there?

Solar Power

Installing a camera without wires or power? Solar to the rescue.Solar power is not a new thing. It’s been around for decades. The hard part about solar is not the technology or the calculations, the hard part about solar is deploying it. Solar panels work by charging a bank of batteries when the sun is out and then using the batteries to power equipment when it’s dark.

First, of course, is knowing the load that will be running on the circuit. Second, is knowing which solar zone you’re in. (This is a measurement of how much sun you can expect in the area you will be deploying solar.) Last is knowing how long you need to be able to tolerate not having any sunlight. Based on all of that information, you or your solar system provider can determine how big the solar panels will need to be and how many will be needed to support periods of time without sunlight.

Solar Kits

A solar kit comes with solar panels, a solar controller, and batteries. What isn’t commonly thought of is the size of the panels and the weight of the batteries. For a recent project at a lake, our single 300-watt panel was about 3′ by 5′. This large surface area acts like a sail in the wind . If installed on a pole (the most likely type of installation) you have to account for the wind when specifying the size and strength of the pole. Likewise, the batteries that were needed for this installation weighed almost 120 pounds!

Using solar panels on poles provides a way to install cameras where there is no wire and no power. The solar panels can support the power requirements of the camera(s) as well as communication equipment like point to point or wireless. (It would also be possible to record locally to the camera or a weather hardened server, but a bit more challenging to get to that data.)

As you can see in these project pictures, the end result is a sturdy, self contained, solar powered security camera with a wireless data connection. And it’s high enough off the ground to avoid tampering.

If you have a unique situation where you aren’t sure how to get power and connectivity to a camera, give us a call. We will have the products and techniques to solve your problem!

Installing a camera without wires or power? Solar to the rescue. Installing a camera without wires or power? Solar to the rescue.

Place of Worship Security: The Basics

By Mike Krohn, Project Manager at Kenton Brothers

Place of Worship Security: The BasicsWhere do you feel safe? Home? Work? In your car?

What about church? Do you feel safe in your place of worship? You should, right? After all, the church goes out of its way to create an inviting, warm, open-arms atmosphere to attract as many people as possible to worship and hear the Word. Whether you live in the big city, or a smaller community (as I do); attend a mega church with its own coffee shop or attend a burgeoning church in a rented building or school, we all want to relax and feel our place of worship is safe and secure.

Let’s face it, we live in an ever changing, constantly evolving world, which moves faster every single day. What were once hard-line standards and accepted practices are now being reimagined to accommodate current ideas and interpretations. Nothing is exempt from this, not even religion or the church. Sometimes, change and evolution are a good thing. But often, growth and change are painful and difficult to accept. This can lead to feelings of rejection, animosity, and unfortunately, even sometimes violence.

This year, my church will hold a global general conference and will be discussing some very controversial, if not popular topics. The way we worship may have to change. Many denominations are experiencing these same challenges. Many of us will adopt new opinions and attitudes and accept these changes. However, many people may view this as a slight to deeply engrained feelings about how they were raised in the church.

As a former law enforcement officer, security professional and facility director, I have worn many of the hats assigned to these issues. The energy behind our faith is strong and so are the feelings about how it should change. I’m fond of saying that where there is passion, there is energy; good or bad. In the case of a church where dozens or thousands of people will be gathered at any one time, this causes us to think more seriously about security at our houses of worship.

A Team Effort

The decision to increase security infrastructure and/or to have a security team or safety team is a complex effort, not to be entered into lightly or without the prerequisite foundational concepts being discussed. Again, this may change some well-established customs at your place of worship.

Physical infrastructure improvements rarely raise too many eyebrows, and the use of cameras, alarms, access control and projectile film have all become affordable, and often come with insurance benefits and discounts. As I said previously, while going from no security to physical site improvements and a safety team can be complex, we can and should make every effort to keep the team creation and operation as simple as possible.

Questions that need answers.

Place of Worship Security: The BasicsIs the congregation and board willing to make these changes?
Do they agree there is a need?
Are there people in the building willing to take on the responsibility?

 -OR-

Are we going to hire out law enforcement/security professionals to keep us safe?
Do we have the infrastructure and equipment needed to create and equip this team?
What will this look like to the community? To the congregation?

Let us dive in and assume the idea of a safety team has been raised at your place of worship.

Q1. What comes first?

A1. A security assessment! This can be done by local law enforcementpublic safety staff, by an insurance company, or by a private security integration company (I am partial to Kenton Brothers Systems for Security!)

The assessment will go over items such as are exits clearly marked, how many points of entry to the church are there? Are there areas where people can be secured in the event of an incident/weather calamity etc? Where is the church located in the community? What is the crime rate in the local area? Where will people park and walk towards the building? How many people will be in the building at one time? Are there stairs, elevators etc.?

Q2. What equipment, if any, do we need?

A2.  Communication tools! Two-way radios are almost a necessity. Flashlights, vests or identification badges are a solid idea to make these people readily identifiable when the need arises.

Q3. What operational changes are needed at our facility or building?

A3. Without being on your particular site, this is a more difficult question to answer, but common concerns range from creating traffic flow and parking lot designations with guided attendants, to limiting entry through certain doors at certain times. A general rule is one designated point of entry with attendants after services begin, or just prior. The remainder of all doors should be secured.

Q4. How do we prepare for an actual incident?

A4. Define the roles each member will have. DONT ASSUME ANYTHING! Practice! The teams should all know each other’s roles, and practice actual incident response from various approaches. Again, work to make these simple and realistic. Plans should be inclusive of every age group, from children to the elderly, and all levels of mobility from ambulatory to those who need assistance or wheelchairs.

Involving your local emergency responders is always a great idea. Invite them to tour the facility, see your video systems, doors and safety plans. Invite them to do an assessment, (sometimes they simply cannot for liability reasons) or just seek their input on your first or next training day. As a former SWAT commander, I can tell you, we were ALWAYS looking for places to train! WIN-WIN!

Finally, please remember this is NOT a comprehensive list or manual. These are just some thoughts to get the conversations going. Please seek out the professionals in your area, do the research, and work through this with the idea that the process will have a natural evolution as the church and community changes with the world around it.

If you’re interested in reference materials, they are out there!

There are so many great articles and books. I recommend:

“Evil invades Sanctuary – The Case for Security in Faith-Based Organizations” by Carl Chinn
“Defending the Flock – A security guide for church safety directors” by Kris Maloney

CISA.gov has a suite of resources for faith based organizations also. “The Physical Security Performance Goals for Faith-Based Communities”. The first in a series of impending related documents geared toward industry partners—are a set of physical security practices that houses of worship and related facilities can use to reduce security risks to their congregations. You can find them here.

Please stay safe, be well and and if we can help, please call us at Kenton Brothers Systems for Security!

SALTO Systems: Unique Access Control Solutions for a 100+ Year Old Building

By Ryan Kaullen, Field Services Manager at Kenton Brothers

SALTO Systems: Unique Access Control SolutionsIn late 2023, Kenton Brothers was approached by a property management company about adding access control to a local, 100+ year old tenant-based building in Kansas City, MO. The building has more than 16 floors and multiple elevators needed access control. As you can imagine, when the building was being built access control was not in the minds of the architect nor builders. So, the task became how does Kenton Brothers provide access control for this unique situation while keeping costs in-line with the customer’s budget?

SALTO Systems

The answer was an access control platform that supports both online and offline locks while at same time being able to take care of access control for the elevators. The system is made by a company called SALTO Systems. Their array of lock solutions allowed Kenton Brothers technicians to install cable where it was accessible to connect to the server and have some of the locks being online, while also being able to install locks at doors where cable wasn’t an option. All while still granting access or denying access depending on the credential presented.

Here is the interesting feature of this system: Online readers re-program each card as they are presented, and then the new information is carried to the offline locks the next time they are used. This allows the system to be centrally managed without running wires to every lock. (Remember, this building is over 100 years old.) Pretty cool, right?

Our solution allows the property management company to grant access to individuals with the correct credentials into certain spaces like the gym, pool area, rooftop, etc. And they can deny individuals who should not have access to those spaces. Without the SALTO access control system, this is almost impossible to control.

SALTO Systems: Unique Access Control Solutions SALTO Systems: Unique Access Control Solutions

The next phase of the project was the elevators.

To accomplish getting readers to work with the elevators, and the readers needing to be offline readers, Kenton Brothers worked closely with the elevator company whose software and the access control software would work in tandem to take tenants to the correct floors while still allowing the property management company to program proper access to the readers. This was a close coordination between our team and the elevator company to accomplish our customer’s goals. And this was crucial to the success of the project because it again helps keep the flow of traffic of people going to the correct floors where they are allowed to be.

Projects like these are what Kenton Brothers loves to take on. These kinds of projects make us think outside the box, deliver one-of-a-kind systems, and come up with unique and customizable solutions to take care of the customer.  This is the type of work that has made Kenton Brothers stand out for over 127 years.

To see how Kenton Brothers can help with your unique needs, please give us a call.

SALTO Systems: Unique Access Control Solutions SALTO Systems: Unique Access Control Solutions

Integrating Facial Recognition into Access Control Physical Security, Increasing Security and Convenience!

By David Strickland, Vice President of Kenton Brothers

“Innovate or Die”

Facial RecognitionWhen walking through Kenton Brothers Systems for Security, you will see this phrase prominently displayed on the walls throughout our building. Innovation is one of our core values and it’s a big reason we continue to provide remarkable physical security solutions for our customers… going on 126 years.

The world is very different than it was 125 years ago, and so are the solutions we provide to mitigate today’s security risks. The need for robust access control measures to safeguard sensitive areas is more critical than ever. As the security industry innovates, traditional methods like mechanical locks, keycards and PINs are gradually being replaced by cutting-edge biometric technologies. Among these, facial recognition stands out as a revolutionary tool, offering enhanced security and convenience in commercial access control physical security.

This blog explores the role of facial recognition as a biometric credential in access control. Here are five ways we think it will have a big impact.

1. Enhanced Security through Uniqueness:

Facial recognition technology capitalizes on the uniqueness of each individual’s facial features. Unlike passwords or keycards, which can be lost, stolen, or shared, faces are inherently unique, making them an ideal biometric credential. By registering authorized personnel in the system, access control devices can accurately match live facial images with the stored templates, ensuring that only authorized individuals gain entry.

2. Seamless and Contactless Authentication:

One of the standout advantages of facial recognition in access control is its contactless nature. Users no longer need to physically interact with devices or carry identification cards. Authentication is as simple as glancing at a camera, making it more convenient and hygienic—particularly in a post-pandemic world where reducing physical contact is thought to be essential.

3. Rapid and Real-Time Identification:

Facial RecognitionFacial recognition technology operates at impressive speeds, providing real-time identification results. This capability is especially valuable in high-traffic areas like airports, offices, and educational institutions, where quick and efficient access control is necessary. The system can process multiple faces simultaneously, reducing bottlenecks and ensuring smooth entry flows.

4. Integration with Existing Systems:

Facial recognition can seamlessly integrate with existing access control infrastructure. Many modern access control systems are designed with open architecture, allowing easy integration with biometric devices. By retrofitting facial recognition solutions into their current systems, organizations can upgrade security measures without a complete overhaul.

5. Multifactor Authentication with one “credential”:

The fusion of facial recognition with other biometric security measures, such as fingerprint or iris recognition, could create biometric systems that offer even higher security levels and resistance to spoofing attempts.  Multifactor authentication all within one “credential” – the human body!

So what about the other side of the coin… Can facial recognition be spoofed?

Yes, facial recognition can be defeated if the installation and calibration processes aren’t followed correctly. One innovation in the commercial security world is helping along that front. For instance, some systems such as  IDEMIA use liveness detection, which ensures that the face presented for authentication is a live, three-dimensional image rather than a photograph. This feature guards against spoofing attempts, where adversaries try to trick the system with static images.

The future of facial recognition in access control physical security looks very promising. Advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms will likely improve the accuracy and efficiency of these systems. Additionally, including 3D facial recognition technology could further improve security by adding an extra layer of depth and precision to the identification process.

We believe Facial Recognition as a biometric credential in access control physical security represents a remarkable leap forward in safety and convenience. With enhanced security features, contactless authentication, and rapid identification capabilities, facial recognition technology is reshaping access control best practices.

Want to learn more? Let’s get together and discuss how utilizing this technology can increase your commercial physical security while increasing convenience: two things that are traditionally in conflict!