You would be surprised how differently people behave when they know they’re being watched.

By Ryan Kaullen, Field Services Manager at Kenton Brothers

In the fall of 2022, Kenton Brothers performed a video monitoring installation with a large, regional banking customer. They were having issues with how their employees were being treated verbally and sometimes physically at their tellers’ stations. The theory behind the installation was that if people can see themselves on camera and see how they are acting, then perhaps they wouldn’t act poorly. And if it worked, it would reduce these incidents in the work place and make their employees feel safer and happier.

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Viewing Monitors = Safer Work Places

The results of the install have been extremely positive. The results were so positive that Homeland Security has since told our customer that this should become a standard across all of their banking footprints. Not only has it stopped violence against the bank employees, it also cut back on fraud as these monitors catch different angles, angles that overhead cameras don’t capture.

Kenton Brothers has been commissioned on several more of these projects for our bank customer and moving forward they will start unrolling them at their other branches.

The video from these monitors is housed within the customer’s video management system (VMS) and can be viewed within the VMS client software. (And their existing storage and retention policies dictate how long the video will be available.

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What does it take to do this install?

The installation of the monitors is relatively easy. The monitors can be mounted in many different spots with various angles depending on the end goal. Typically, the install of the cable and monitors is a two day install. During that time, the individual teller stations will be non-operational for an hour or two, so the down time isn’t extensive. Of course pricing is dependent on the number of monitors and number locations.

The bottom line is that this commercial video surveillance monitoring solution captures different angles, puts people on camera and changes their behavior in positive ways. This directly affects the safety and security of the employees and the facility.

For more information, please give us a call!

Why Physical Security has to be part of the convergence discussion of OT/ICS security.

By David Strickland, Vice President of Kenton Brothers

Why Physical Security has to be part of the convergence discussion of OT/ICS security. There is a real buzz in the security world right now around securing Operational Technology (OT) and Industrial Control Systems (ICS). This buzz comes from two sources: companies and organizations that are being attacked through cyber security and physical attacks, and government agencies trying to get information broadcast to counter these threats. Threat levels have been increasing over the last few years and the cost of these attacks have risen to devastating levels.

According to CISA, in the first half of 2022 there were at least 22 reported large impact attacks on critical infrastructure leading to billions of dollars in losses. As the second half of 2022 numbers are being compiled, the sense of urgency to shore up the vulnerabilities is at an all time high.

How is OT security different than IT Cybersecurity?

IT – Information technology is just that. It is the transfer of data or information through physical appliances such as routers, switches and servers. Security for this technology centers around the prevention, detection and mitigation of attacks from software.

OT or Operational Technology is the manipulation of real world physical devices such as pumps, valves and controls through software or human interaction.  These are called Industrial Control systems. In contrast to IT cybersecurity attacks, the outcomes of successful OT / ICS  attacks include the potential to impact human safety and damage physical equipment. For example, taking any industrial processes OT / ICS equipment offline for extended time periods. This can be done through software or physical attacks known as sabotage.

Many organizations point to the Purdue Model for protecting OT and ICS. 

Why Physical Security has to be part of the convergence discussion of OT/ICS security. The Purdue model, created in the 1990’s is a comprehensive look at protecting ICS and has been the standard for many years. The Purdue Model has five zones that are considered when creating a robust security model. Yes, this model is the current standard, but in our opinion does not adequately address physical security.

Cybersecurity of IT, IIT (Industrial IT) and OT systems is still a very high priority.

A recent comprehensive report provided by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) pointed out a few concerns. “Many organizations lack visibility into their complete OT environments, including IT/OT interconnections and supply chain dependencies. Cybersecurity is overwhelming for organizations and entities with small staffs and budgets. As a result, many are not able to achieve the cybersecurity posture required to adequately secure their IT/OT infrastructure. The majority of legacy OT equipment was never designed for internet connectivity, and may not easily be replaced, making it increasingly challenging to secure in converged environments.”

We must not make the mistake of ignoring the real probability of physical attacks on these same organizations that are overwhelmed with cybersecurity.

“A top priority must be to prevent unauthorized physical access, damage and interference to the organization’s information and information processing facilities. Essentially a key aspect of this standard is to implement effective access control and protection of systems and equipment from damage.”

Physical Security for the OT Starts here:

Policies and Procedures:

Why Physical Security has to be part of the convergence discussion of OT/ICS security.It’s a well-known fact that most breaches (95%+) are a failure of procedure or policy over systems. A good red team will tell you that their most effective weapon for entry is a poorly trained or poorly disciplined employee. Polices and procedures must be created, trained, followed and tested constantly.

Establishing your perimeter:

As with most things involving physical security, you must start with a strong perimeter. This perimeter must be extended as far as physically possible. Access should be granted to only authorized personnel that have been through proper background checks and assigned clearance based on their job function. The perimeter is your best chance at early detection, reaction and mitigation.

Access Control:

Only authorized personnel with the proper clearance and certifications should ever be allowed access to your OT systems. These authorized personnel should constantly be vetted. Many organizations don’t remove terminated employees from this list quickly. No visitors or vendors should ever be allowed access without proper vetting and escort. Your access control systems should be set up in concentric circles with stronger policy the closer you get to critical infrastructure. All access control devices should be kept in proper working order and updated with proper firmware and cyber security practices.


Why Physical Security has to be part of the convergence discussion of OT/ICS security.Too many times we see organizations practice poor alarm management. Alarms in any form (Fire, Access Control, Intrusion Detection, Car) should never be ignored yet many times are. OT devices are vulnerable to physical attack and to things like flooding, fire and electrical damage. A system alarm can help bring immediate attention if properly managed.


Who inspects the inspector? Your IP video surveillance system. It keeps honest people honest and identifies those who are not. Critical infrastructure devices should have surveillance on the device itself and the human interaction point. This of course is on top of all perimeter entrance areas and key points throughout your property.

Knowledge and Cooperation:

The United States can leverage an existing body of knowledge to secure OT infrastructure. Prioritizing and applying these best practices, recommendations, and standards more broadly, in a comprehensive and accelerated manner, would strengthen security and achieve strategic outcomes.

Kenton Brothers Systems for Security stands by to do our part. Please let us know how we can help your organization.

Everything is Sunny in the Cloud… Maybe Even Sunnier When the Robots Take Over?

By Neal Bellamy, IT Director at Kenton Brothers

Cloud-based physical access control systems offer several advantages over on-premise access control servers.

Here are a few key reasons why this is true:

Commercial Security and Artificial Intelligence1. Scalability: Cloud-based systems can easily scale to accommodate a growing number of users and devices, without the need for expensive hardware upgrades. This makes them a cost-effective solution for businesses that are expanding or experiencing high levels of turnover.
2. Remote Management: Cloud-based systems can be managed remotely, allowing administrators to manage access control from anywhere with an internet connection. This is especially useful for businesses with multiple locations or employees who travel frequently.
3. Increased Security: Cloud-based systems are often more secure than on-premise systems because they are managed by experts who specialize in security. They also benefit from automatic software updates and backups, which can help protect against data breaches and other security threats.
4. Cost-Effective: Cloud-based systems generally require a lower upfront investment than on-premise systems, as they do not require expensive hardware or software. Additionally, they eliminate the need for costly IT staff to manage and maintain the system.
5. Flexibility: Cloud-based systems can integrate with a wide range of devices and platforms, making them more flexible than on-premise systems. This allows businesses to easily add new features and functionality as their needs evolve.

It might surprise you that the content above was written by Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Commercial Security and Artificial IntelligenceIt’s certainly not the best blog I’ve ever written, but it might not be the worst either. It’s factual, it is the top 5 reasons IT companies got to the cloud, and it has no grammatical errors. The coolest part about this content is that I asked only a single question to the AI… “Can you write a blog post on why cloud based physical access control is better than on premise access control server?”

As you can see from the question, I didn’t give much information. Yet the AI had gathered enough information to create five bullet points, use a beginning and ending paragraph and come up with valid statements. This particular AI is not specifically programmed to write blog content. It can also tell you about world events, write a Haiku in the voice of Captain Kirk, and solve math problems.

“Galaxy vast and wide
Stars that shine so bright and bold
Adventure calls forth.”

From a technological point of view, this is groundbreaking.

Computers have started to “think” for themselves. AI has been around for several years, but until now the “thinking” has been mainly contained to “What color is this object?” or “What fruit is in this video?” This is the first example I’ve seen where an artificial intelligence can take a subject and formulate a response on almost any topic based on its trained knowledge.

I can see AI launching into the commercial security world in an impactful way. While everything is “AI” right now, there is a major difference between telling a program what to look for to determine an outcome versus letting a program learn and make decisions based on past learning. I can certainly see a future where we don’t have to monitor commercial security systems for every single alert. Instead, an AI will monitor the incoming data and alert us when there is an anomaly. And we can define the rules that define an anomaly. I can see where an AI will alert us intelligently. Not that a person is in the parking lot. But the fact that there is a person in the parking lot, they have a saw, and they just disappeared under a car.

It will be interesting to see where this new AI charge leads us. I will certainly be paying attention to how AI can keep us safer while making it easier to manage commercial security systems.

If you need help designing and implementing a commercial security system to protect your people, property and possessions, please give us a call.

License Plate Capture: Does your Commercial Video Surveillance have a WOW Factor?

License Plate CaptureBy Neal Bellamy, IT Director at Kenton Brothers

We’ve been doing a series about commercial security products with a Wow! factor. (If you missed it, check out Does your Access Control have a WOW Factor? ) In this article, I’d like for you to consider if your current commercial video surveillance system has a WOW factor, specifically around license plates.

License Plate Capture

There are many cases where you would want to be able to capture the information on a license plate. Obvious situations include theft or accidents in the parking lot. Lots of people call this concept license plate recognition (LPR), but we prefer to call it license plate capture (LPC). When you say license plate recognition, most people are expecting 100% accuracy in all weather and lighting conditions, and with vehicles moving at any speed. It’s possible to achieve high accuracy with license plate capture, but it becomes an expensive endeavor to compensate for all the environmental possibilities. License plate capture success is in the 70%-80% range. Cameras will capture a still image of the license plate and usually strike a good balance of performance and cost.

I’ve talked about license plate capture previously. The same rules still apply. You need stable lighting, cars that are as squarely oriented as possible to the camera, and good video analytics. Let’s explore a couple of options in the LPR/LPC world. In the solutions below, Kenton Brothers has installed systems with successful results. Each solution has their own pros and cons that need to be considered before choosing a path for your own business.


License Plate CaptureFirst up is Avigilon. Avigilon has dedicated software that will capture license plates across any of their cameras, and a dedicated camera to give the software the best chance at getting license plates. The Avigilon LPR software is well integrated into their Avigilon Control Center (ACC) video management system.

Searching for license plates is as easy as searching for any video. The LPR software is organized into “lanes” in the camera’s view as an area where it will search for license plates. Watchlists can be created to watch for important cars. The horsepower needed to perform the analytics comes from a graphics processing unit (GPU) in the server. Most people would refer to it as a video card, although it needs to be slightly more powerful than your standard video card. The Avigilon LPR software is a good choice if you already have an Avigilon camera system or are replacing a video system and want License Plate Capture.


Next, is Vaxtor. Vaxtor is a software-only solution that can integrate into many different video management systems. Although we tend to implement their “On Camera” solution, they also have a PC-based solution.

Vaxtor’s On Camera solution uses an Axis camera with the Vaxtor software loaded onto it to perform the license plate capture. Once the capture is done, the license plate information is sent to the video management system. Axis has many cameras that can do license plate capture, and they have a dedicated Q-1700, just for that purpose.

Vaxtor integrates with many video management systems. We typically use Milestone for this. Searching for video is still fairly easy using the Milestone interface. Since the horsepower here is on the camera itself, there is no need to add or use horsepower from the servers. Watchlists are loaded to each license plate camera in the system as needed. Vaxtor is a good solution if you already have a video management system in place that Vaxtor supports.

Dedicated LPC Solutions

License Plate CaptureThe main difference with a dedicated solution versus the other 2 solutions is the camera. While both Avigilon and Vaxtor use a camera that produces a color, person-usable image, a dedicated LPC camera does not.

First, the camera does not rely on visible light, rather it uses Infrared (IR) light, to blast the reflective parts of the license plate. Then the camera only captures IR light. The main benefit is that it’s not dependent on any ambient lighting and that the process of recognizing the plate is not fooled by colors. Usually, these cameras also record at a much higher framerate, typically 60 – 120 frames per second. This makes it easier to detect cars that are moving quickly, by capturing more frames.

Dedicated systems are more flexible in the setup process, but also require more expertise to operate. Usually, this type of system is more expensive, but also more accurate. If you need a solution where you ­must capture the license plate, this is your best option.

If you want to add WOW to your commercial video surveillance system by adding license plate capture, KB will help you design and install an LPC solution to fit your needs! Just give us a call.

Project Spotlight: City Union Mission

By Alana Hanly, Security Consultant at Kenton Brothers

City Union Mission LogoMany natives recognize City Union Mission as one of Kansas City’s long-standing organizations committed to ending the cycle of homelessness and poverty for the underserved men, women and children in the area. Since 1924, City Union Mission has run, operated and flourished in part through the donation and assistance of many individuals, churches, groups, foundations and businesses that have a heart for the poor and homeless in Kansas City.

Recently, City Union Mission reached out to many integrators in the area seeking proposals on how to help their organization, now occupying 14 different properties, keep their people, property and assets safe. We are so fortunate to have won their business and the opportunity to show them how it’s done: two large projects each completed in a single month. That’s the KB Way.

One Building at a Time? Not Kenton Brothers

City Union Mission Project - 2022In order to upgrade multiple facilities, most organizations have to go through the process one at a time.

For City Union Mission, their first priority was their Admin Building. Initially they had an idea of the direction they wanted to go for access control at this facility, but ultimately decided that a Gallagher Security solution was the platform they wanted for their facilities. For this project, Kenton Brothers was tasked to electronically secure 16 doors and their vehicle gate at this location. On the surface, that might seem simple enough, but there are no projects without hurdles.

For this particular project the obstacle was understanding and organizing all of the key players to develop a complete solution that encompassed the most important mission objectives. Our Senior Security Consultant, Kevin Whaley, worked extensively with City Union Mission’s IT and Security team to ensure the final plan would meet their current and future needs. Upon completion of the project and following up with the CIO, Mark Rondaeu shared, “The Gallagher System is just impressive, and when we have questions about anything your team is quick to answer. Your team really knows what they are talking about.”

From Kansas City to Warsaw

City Union Mission Project - 2022While we were working on the Admin Building Project, the City Union Mission team also tasked us with their next important location: their Youth Camp.

The Youth Camp covers over 800 acres! The City Union Mission Camp in the Ozarks is a place for children from low-income families to get away, learn and grow in a positive setting. For them, having a good surveillance system that allows them full viewing coverage of their critical risk points was crucial. Kenton Brothers installed a Hanhwa Techwin commercial video surveillance solution that can withstand the fluctuating outdoor climate of the Midwest. We also recommended a maintenance plan to ensure their investment lasts.

This project required close coordination with City Union Mission because of the tight deadlines we needed to meet along with the various players that were in charge of the completion of the many project milestones. Like creating flawless rows of Tetris, the project management team had a lot of people putting a great amount of effort into what became a great result.

Sometimes our most remarkable project moments take place after a project is finished.

It’s not often when reviewing a project with a customer for feedback that we hear their most memorable part of it was our billing. This is something we rarely hear about when getting post project feedback. But as the project completed and City Union Mission paid off the investment of their new systems, it came to our Accounting Department’s attention that we were actually overpaid! When speaking to Mark about this, he declared, “When your team called us and let us know we overpaid, I went to our [leadership] and told them we cannot do business with anyone else in the area. To have such high integrity means so much to us! And because of that, we look forward to a long partnership with Kenton Brothers.”

At Kenton Brothers, we’re proud to partner with organizations as compassionate as City Union Mission. This project was a great reminder why Customer Focus and Integrity are some of the core values we live by.

Thank you again to City Union Mission for a wonderful new relationship and a successful project.

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