Security Technology Today

security technology being used to monitor siteJust 15 years ago, the security business was fairly low-tech. Guards were posted, carried out their duties and then completed paper reports. But after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, a new emphasis was placed on security technology and the industry has gone through a revolution.

From reporting to monitoring and beyond, today’s technology has impacted almost every aspect of the security industry. Guards can be monitored in real time through apps on smartphones. Those same apps can allow security managers or clients to see what the guard sees using wearable cameras or smartphone video. Reporting is much more efficient, as well. It can also be carried out through apps, providing valuable information to management or clients in a much more efficient manner.

Video

Video cameras have been used for observation and surveillance almost from their beginning. The first such system was put into use in 1942. This Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) system allowed German scientists to observe the launch of V2 Rockets at Peenemunde during the Second World War.

For five decades after that, video technology evolved and improved.  It was still analog and standard definition, though. So when high definition video became available for security, its use became widespread.

Today, video surveillance is more than just video monitoring. The increased resolution allows threats to be seen that were never noticed before. Computer software also identifies security anomalies, providing a better response time for both dispatch and security officers.

Improved security technology combined with onsite officers allows them to respond in real time with more efficiency.

Artificial Intelligence

Another area of improving security technology is in the realm of artificial intelligence (AI). Once considered only the subject of science fiction stories, today AI is on the verge of becoming viable.

It might not look or sound like HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, but today’s AI systems deliver another level of analysis for security analytics. The recent SecurityInfoWatch.com article, Is Artificial Intelligence the Next Frontier in Security Technology?, featured Armorway’s new AI platform.

This system uses four different types of analytics that provides a comprehensive risk picture. It includes predictive analytics and the use of “game theory” to lay out a “best” course of action.

Armorway has signed deals with the U.S. Coast Guard, Federal Air Marshall Service and other municipal and university police departments around the country. Here in Southern California, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is a customer.

Security Technology for the Future?

Is the future of security technology some combination of AI and onsite robotic apparatus? Perhaps. But we’re not there yet.

A Knightscope K5 security robot ran into a 16-month-old boy last week at a Stanford, California mall. ABC7News.com reports that the robot collided with the toddler, knocked him down and ran over his foot. The child, Harwin Cheng, was not seriously hurt.

The K5 robot is 5’ tall and weighs 300 pounds. It’s designed to “alert authorities of abnormal noises, sudden environmental changes, and known criminals.” It didn’t seem to detect Harwin, though. A security guard working at the mall said another child was hurt by the same robot just days before.

Popular Science wrote about this incident as well, commenting that, “Robots make cheap security guards, but they don’t necessarily make the best security guards.”

If you have questions about the state of your security technology, call American Security Force at 877-722-8585 for answers.

Technology Use Serves Clients Better

Security guard using technology to monitor remote cameras
security guard watching and operating video monitoring surveillance security system

Technology is touching every facet of our personal and professional lives. The security industry is in transition as it continues to develop and employ new technologies that allow officers to report more efficiently, be tracked via GPS and provide real-time intelligence to decision-makers.

Red Rock Security

This week, SecurityMagazine.com tells readers how security officers at the Red Rock Resort and Casino in Las Vegas use technology in every facet of their security operation.

Because of all the interfacing with technology, security officers have become skilled positions in today’s world. Officers use technology throughout the day to report from the field via handheld devices, monitor remote surveillance cameras, or work with access control systems or alarms.

In addition, technology now exists to track and monitor guards as they patrol. In addition, body cameras allow decision-makers to see what is happening at a scene in real-time. This allows for faster response times to situations.

How We Use Technology

In Southern California, American Security Force leads the way by embracing and employing leading-edge technology.

For example, our GuardTrack app allows clients to actively track and monitor security guards on patrol, eliminates the need for bulky two-way radios, and allows officers to record and report what is happening in the field in real time.

If voice communication security over a cellular connection is a concern, we offer a solution called Vigilant Call. It’s a device that plugs into the micro SD slot of any iPhone, Android or Blackberry smartphone. When callers on both ends have Vigilant Call installed, voice communications become encrypted and secure.

Body cameras are another innovation we make available to clients. These small cameras worn on the body offer transparency and documented evidence of events. Video can be recorded, uploaded or live-streamed and monitored by decision-makers.

The importance of security camera video can’t be overstated. It provides empirical, unimpeachable evidence of an event. That’s why American Security Force offers two additional video services.

The first is our Remote Monitoring service. It involves video that is monitored and/or recorded remotely by our security officers at our state-of-the-art command center. There, officers are able to call the authorities if a situation calls for it.

The second is the Remote Surveillance Security service, which is more complex. It is a leading edge, mobile tracking system contained in a mobile unit. The unit has sensitive motion detectors and automated cameras with night-vision. The video is sent to our command center via cellular or internet connection and is monitored and recorded there by our highly trained officers.

Our dedication to technology is not just isolated to our security services, though. American Security Forces has completely embraced cloud computing. This has streamlined the administrative side of our business. Our customers no longer experience service delays because of our server outages.

Cloud computing redundancies ensure that we will always be up and running. So we no longer need outside IT vendors, either. Those savings, as well as those we’ve seen from reduced energy and paper usage, are passed onto our customers.

When it comes to technology, we’re all in! We understand how it streamlines operations and makes our officers more efficient. It also saves our customers a lot of money!

If you want to learn more about how American Security Force uses technology to better serve our clients, call us at 877-722-8585.

 

Source:

http://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/86892-streamlining-guard-tours-with-technology

Drones for Private Security

A photo of a drone in the sky. Drones are being used more for private security.Helicopter drones are becoming more popular both for commercial and consumer use. This year, some 4 million drones were sold to consumers. It’s estimated by Juniper Research that sales will grow to 16 million by 2020.

Drones have also been making news throughout 2015. Many of the stories have been centered around users flying drones where they should not, such as near airports or military installations.

But despite the mistakes by some consumers, drone usage holds a lot of potential for the security industry.

Airborne Cameras

With the ability to launch quickly, be deployed to any location and hover over an area easily, drones offer an aerial view that land-based, stationary cameras cannot provide. They can also deliver a wider field of vision, with a 360-degree arc that the standard security camera does not possess. This means that those under surveillance cannot leave the view of the camera.

Drone cameras also operate out-of-reach of an intruder, so they can’t be tampered with, disabled or sprayed with paint.

A drone can also follow those under surveillance if they decide to run, keeping track of them until the authorities arrive. Stationary cameras can only capture them running away.

Autonomous Drones

A Japanese company, Secom, developed an integrated security system that featured an autonomous drone. When motion is detected along a property’s perimeter, the drone is signaled to lift off and hovers over the area, sending real-time video to a command center.

The drone is programmed using GPS technology, so it won’t leave the property’s air space, but can capture any person or vehicle that does.

Imagine a similar technology that might soon be available for your home, triggered when motion is detected on your property. That drone may have human recognition software. When a person is identified as the source of the motion, the drone alerts you, local law enforcement and shines a bright light on the intruder.

There are also drones be tested now that carry stun guns that could conceivably incapacitate a person.

In the future, drones using GPS technology will likely patrol areas autonomously and continuously, signaling a replacement drone to take its place when its batteries run low. Thus, an area will never need to be left unguarded again.

Cost-Effective

Compared to other security systems, today’s drones are not expensive. The price of the drone itself is in the hundreds-of-dollars right now and there are no installation costs. Drone pricing varies depending on the size of the unit and the type of sensor it employs: A high-resolution camera, thermal imaging or light-detection and ranging systems (LIDAR). Many drones allow for sensors to be interchanged.

Drone flights are also a fraction of the cost of using a full-size helicopter.

Costs may begin to rise when drones are integrated with other security or detection systems. But when that happens, the advanced capabilities of these systems will likely make them cost-effective.

As imaging, robotic and detection technologies continue to evolve, tying them with a mobile aerial device such as a drone will create additional capabilities that have not been imagined or realized yet. As a tool, we are just beginning to see what the security applications of drone technology might be.

Looking forward, the sky is the limit!

Source:

http://www.securitysales.com/article/dear_security_industry_are_these_the_drones_youre_looking_for/

How Dealers and Property Owners Can Avoid Auto Thefts to Car Hackers

ASF-Car-Hacks-8-26-15-300x225In the 1982 movie Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, Captain Kirk regains control of another starship from renegades by using a code that unlocked that ship’s functions so that it could be controlled remotely. That science fiction idea seemed hard to imagine back in the 80s.

In today’s world, however, that scenario has become a fact, at least as it relates to modern automobiles. With their cellular connectivity it has become fairly simple for new models to be hacked and taken over. That represents a dangerous scenario for not just that car’s driver, but for all of us on the roads.

Cars today are computers on wheels with dozens of chips running dozens of operations. To entice potential buyers, automakers have rushed to add connectivity features to cars, but they have not thought about internet security. The cellular connection that allows our cars to make calls and connect to the web is also how hackers can remotely control the vehicle.

That control is not limited to just the cellular phone system, either. Once inside the car’s control system, an attacker can jump from chip to chip and take over systems: locks, windows and windshield wipers. Shockingly, more vital systems can also be accessed: Brakes, transmission, and steering!

Imagine driving down the freeway and suddenly finding you have no control over your vehicle! Brakes and steering don’t work and the transmission can’t be shifted into neutral. This scenario seems unimaginable!

While all makes and models don’t suffer from this lack of security, a good number are susceptible to outside infiltration. Right now, Chrysler cars are the most vulnerable.

Attackers can gain access by knowing the car’s IP address.   They get in through the system’s Uconnect cellular connection and then gain access to more important functions of the car.

In late July, Chrysler recalled 1.4 million cars to repair this security flaw with a software patch. In the future, carmakers will need to think like software developers and include updated security protocols into their systems.

In the meantime, the simplest hack an attacker can make on a vehicle is unlocking the doors. Attackers could simply position themselves near any parking lot and open doors one car at a time. Once a car is open, attackers can access the ignition system and drive the vehicle away.

While automakers sort out their security concerns, property managers can keep their parking lots safe with the highly trained and professional security guards from American Security Force. By patrolling your lot, our officers can keep it secure and act as a deterrent against possible cyber attackers and thieves. Security guards can also help reduce your insurance premiums.

To learn how American Security Force can keep your property secure, call us today at 877-722-8585.

 

Sources:

http://www.wired.com/2015/07/hackers-remotely-kill-jeep-highway/

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2015/07/21/hack-connected-car-raises-alarm-over-driver-safety/30462317/

http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/chrysler-recalls-1-4-million-cars-after-remote-hacking-jeep-n397851

The Importance of Video for Keeping Your Property Secure

how to keep your property secure with video surveillanceThere’s been a lot of news about body cameras for police and security personnel in the last few months. We’ve written about it here ourselves. Those pushing for that move feel that the video from wearable cameras would help prove the guilt or innocence of those arrested, and document the behavior of police and security officers.

But it is not just video from body cameras that is of value. Last fall, we saw how video from a few casino security cameras impacted the domestic violence case against Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice. The video clearly showed his behavior towards his wife that night.

The importance of video footage can’t be over stated. Video can provide something that an eye witness is not able to do: Deliver empirical, unimpeachable evidence from the scene of an event.

Witnesses have human memories, and they can often forget details or can remember things incorrectly. Video records an event as it happened, without the bias of an observer. Video can serve as clear documentation of what transpired.

Video of Ray Rice gets released from the Baltimore Ravens

Remote surveillance security Los Angeles

For those Southern California businesses interested in video documentation, American Security Force offers several services.  Wireless cameras with high resolution are used as part of our Remote Monitoring service.

The video is monitored and/or recorded remotely by our security officers at our state-of-the-art command center. Officers at our center are able to call the authorities if a situation calls for it.

Our Remote Surveillance Security service involves a leading-edge mobile tracking system. This mobile unit contains sensitive motion detectors and automated cameras with night-vision. The video is sent to our command via cellular or internet and is monitored and recorded there by highly trained officers.

Officers on patrol can also be equipped with a mobile phone app that we developed called GuardTrack. Guard Track allows onsite officers to communicate with bulky two-way radios. It also provides a means for officers to record reports while onsite.

But perhaps GuardTrack’s most intriguing feature is its ability to record and upload video in real time.

All of these cost-effective services allow managers and clients to view and record what is happening at their property. But more importantly, they provide business owners and property managers with peace of mind. They know their property is secure while they are away.

If you’re looking for a company that offers specialized security solutions, such as video recording, remote monitoring and surveillance, then call American Security Force today at 877-722-8585.

Body Cameras: Can They Protect Your Property?

body cameras for security patrol los angelesAfter the riots in Ferguson, MO and New York, President Obama promised that the federal government would provide 50,000 body cameras for law enforcement.

The intention behind this move was that with cameras mounted on police officers, they would not only follow the letter of the law, but there would also be documented evidence of what transpired during arrests.

With the role of security officers expanding today, and with the wider adoption of this technology by law enforcement, one has to assume that it is only a matter of time before wearable cameras will become standard equipment in the security industry.

Body Cameras Provide Transparency and Evidence

Security guards with American Security Force have had the ability to be outfitted with cameras for some time now. These body cameras will not only record and upload video, but also allow for streaming video. This ability allows managers and clients to have a real time view of what is transpiring remotely.

Stationary video surveillance cameras serve their purpose,  but the body cameras give an up close and personal point of view that the “eye in the sky” can’t capture.

Body cameras mean better security, as well. When events unfold quickly, memories are not perfect, even trained ones. When you add the fact that eyes don’t always see well in the dark, the value of recording officers while they are patrolling or protecting others becomes clear. Wearable cameras become a solution to human inabilities. They provide documented evidence of events.

The Fresno Police Department in Fresno, California has announced the integration of wearable cameras.

They also provide an added layer of transparency. When dealing with thieves, trespassers or those engaged in unlawful activities, body cameras provide property owners and clients with peace of mind. There will be video evidence to show what really happened.

Wearable cameras are also affordable. They are available for as little as $89 and, at that price, include built-in DVRs that record 720 X 480 HD video. They can capture still images in HD, as well.

Added security, enhanced transparency and affordability. Body cameras will be the next technology adopted by the security industry.

If you want to learn more about security guards with wearable cameras, contact Southern California’s provider of specialized security solutions. Contact American Security force at 877-722-8585.

How Today’s Mobile Apps Can Keep Your Property Safe

security word on digital smart phone isolated white background

There are thousands of apps for smartphones and tablets. Each performs a different function that, just a few short years ago, we did for ourselves, or was something we couldn’t imagine doing.

Today there are apps for nearly every aspect of our lives, both private and professional. The Security Guard Industry is no exception.

Smartphone and tablet apps for security tend to fall into one of two categories: reporting only and management and reporting

The reporting only apps allow guards in the field to do reports or logs on their mobile device. Once completed, the reports can then be uploaded to a central server, or emailed to a supervisor or client.

These apps provide a much more efficient means for reporting activities by eliminating paper reports. They also allow managers or clients to check on what’s happening throughout the day or night, providing instant access to security officer’s reports when they are needed.

More robust apps with management features are also available. These apps provide managers or clients with a higher level of input and control over their security.

Some allow managers to set up checkpoints in their app and pair them to the physical locations using barcodes or geotags. The barcodes are scanned and the app records that an officer arrived at a location.

Geotags are small devices with microchips inside that can be attached to a pole, fence, building or other stationary structure. As officers pass by the geotags, the app records their presence at that location. When an app recognizes the geotags, it shares that information with its online version.

There are some management apps that actually make it possible to view and manage a guard’s activities in real time. In addition to the monitoring guards and their performance, managers can schedule officers for their shifts through apps, deploy officers, and assign them to their routes.

Higher-level features available in some apps will allow onsite officers to record and post voice memos, photos and video.

To ensure our security officers have the most advanced app with the right capabilities, American Security Force developed GuardTrack. This security app was designed by security professionals, for security professionals. It meets the demands of the guard in the field, and provides them with the capabilities to accurately record conditions and communicate them back to the manager or client.

Guardtrack helps you to monitor your guards from dozing off on the job as well.

Image credit: guardtrack.co.za
Image credit: guardtrack.co.za

This mobile app gives managers and clients a real time view of what’s happening. Along with real time reporting and GPS tracking, GuardTrack can record and upload photos and video.

But perhaps the most valuable feature of this advanced app is the ability to stream real-time video. That’s something not found in other apps. This feature allows managers or clients to respond to situations in seconds, and removes that burden from the onsite officer, who is dealing with the situation at the scene.

When onsite officers attempt to apprehend dangerous individuals, streaming video will allow those monitoring to call for back up or notify law enforcement instantly. This ability is an incredible advantage to both officers in the field, and the businesses they serve. Seconds are often the difference between a situation being contained, or one growing out of control.

For businesses, out of control situations can result in increased costs caused by property damage, criminal charges or lawsuits.

Are you looking for a security guard provider that not only utilizes new technology but also develops it? Then call American Security Force today at 877-722-8585.

Remote Monitoring Gives You Peace of Mind…And is Easier on Your Budget

remote monitoring security for los angeles businesses

Business owners and property managers in Southern California deal with many issues. One that might keep them up at night is worry over what is happening at their property after hours, while they are not there.

One answer that might help is having a security guard on the premises. But because of budgetary concerns, that is not always the right solution for all businesses.

But, as it has done in other industries, technology can provide an alternative.

Recent advances in wireless and internet technology have made remote monitoring a more affordable security option for businesses.

Today’s technology allows for smaller cameras with better resolution that can operate wirelessly. This means that cameras can be placed anywhere, without the need for running electric and video cables.

Remote monitoring security company in Los Angeles

To make use of this advanced technology, American Security Force upgraded our entire technology infrastructure.   The upgrade included new modems and fiber optic cable to increase video download speeds. In addition, we created an advanced, command center that will allow us to remotely monitor the properties of our clients who enroll in our Remote Monitoring service.

It provides an affordable alternative to 24-hour, onsite security guards for clients with budget constraints. The service is simple and straightforward.

We install high-resolution, wireless cameras around your business property. Our staff will then monitor your property remotely, at our command center. If there is a problem, we will call the proper authorities.

As part of our Remote Monitoring service, we also offer a reception service that can take calls for your business after hours.

Our Remote Monitoring service provides property managers and business owners with the peace of mind of knowing that their property is being monitored when they are away. It is also an attractive alternative for those with tight budgets. You won’t spend the additional money to have a security guard onsite after hours.

To learn more about our Remote Monitoring service, visit our website atwww.AmericanSecurityForce.com. You can also call us at 323-722-8585 to speak to one of our representatives.

Is This The Future of Security for Your Property?

k5 robot security guards the future of security guards
ExtremeTech.com

Technology seems to move at an ever increasing pace these days. At times, it seems like we are living in that distant-future that we imagined as kids.

Here’s further proof that we are and it’s impacting the security guard industry.

Meet the K5 Autonomous Data Machine. It looks like a combination of a Dalek from the TV show Doctor Who and EVE from the movie Wall-E. K5 was designed to operate in a security capacity. It has the ability to patrol an area, and recognize and report any anomalies it senses.

K5 has no weapons. But it has been equipped with GPS, laser-ranging technology, and an array of sensors that detect movement, sound and changes in temperature and barometric pressure. If an anomaly is detected, K5 can emit an alarm and uses Wi-Fi to connect with the command center and call for human backup where security guards can respond within seconds.

Are robots replacing security guards?

The Microsoft campus in Silicon Valley is the first business to use K5. They currently have five of the 300-pound, five-foot-tall units on patrol. If someone attempts to tamper with or harass K5 while it is policing an area, it will emit an alarm and contact the command center. Then an operator can talk with anyone there using the proprietary, browser-based software.

The company Knightscope of Mountain View, California developed the security robot. Along with the five patrolling at Microsoft, only two others have been constructed by the company thus far.

Is K5 meant to completely replace security personnel? Stacy Stephens, Vice-President of Sales and Marketing and cofounder of Knightscope says not necessarily. Her description of K5’s role in security is that it, “…takes away the monotonous and sometimes dangerous work, and leaves the strategic work to law enforcement or private security, depending on the application.”

Knightscope is hoping to begin employing the robots widely in 2015. The charge will be just $6.25 per hour.

With a new technology like K5, the real question remains, is it ready for the real-world security challenges it will meet? The following might be an indication that it is not. During an interview for their article on K5, a TechnologyReview.com reporter witnessed one robot roll off a sidewalk and topple over. It needed human help to stand it upright again.

While K5 represents and interesting first step in automated security guards, it is not the final step. K5 can only detect and report. It is not able to intervene, or use good judgment. Only human security officers can offer those services. You probably don’t want to use a K5 in a high-security-risk area, either, because of its limited abilities. Humans would be the best choice. Its physical form of movement, rolling on wheels, also means that it can’t be used well in areas with stairs or sidewalks.

But K5 is intriguing. It offers an interesting look into the future. K5 shows us the possibility of what could be a high-tech, security augmentation that is just around the corner.

For more information about onsite, specialized, security solutions for your business, call us at (323) 722-8585, or click here to contact us.

Are Your Voice Communications Secure?

secure cell phone comminication, mobile phone encryptionCell phones operate differently than the phones most of us grew up with in our homes. Those were landline phones, which are a closed system where the signal travels along a cable. Because the signal never leaves the cabled system, there is a measure of security built into the technology.

 

Cell phones, on the other hand, are basically a radio. They send a radio signal to a cell tower that receives the signal and puts it into the wider telephone system. Because of the radio frequency (RF) transmission through the air, cell phone conversations can be intercepted through the use of radio scanners, fake cell towers and intercept systems.

For businesses, this can be a disaster, as sensitive information is often discussed across the cellular network.

Watch this video to see how any cell phone can be hacked and how they can listen to everything you say…even when you are not on the phone!

How to encrypt your cell phone calls

There is a way, however, to achieve secure voice communications over cell phones. American Security Force offers a cost-effective, hardware-based solution that encrypts the RF signal making it secure. It’s called Vigilant Call.

The technology works with iPhone, Android, and Blackberry smartphones. The Vigilant Call Micro-SD Engine looks like a typical Micro-SD card. When placed in the card slot of the cell phones on both ends of the conversation, it creates a random, secure encryption key that also authenticates the traffic.

The result is a secure call that travels from the originating mobile device, through the network, to the destination cell phone.

Vigilant Call is certified by the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS). For the medical, financial or government sectors, it is also compliant with HIPAA, GLBA, SOX and FISMA.

The Vigilant Call encryption module is certified by the National Institute of Standard & Technology, as well. Its CC EAL5+ security level can resist any and all network attacks.

American Security Force offers the Vigilant Call service to business clients looking for secure, cellular communications. The service allows our security guards to communicate with each other, or the client, without the risk of conversations being intercepted or recorded unknowingly.

Contact us today to learn more about the Vigilant Call service with American Security Force.