Maine’s Electric Grid Receives $1.4 Billion Security Overhaul

Security has become a primary concern for the energy and power industry since the 2013 attacks on the Pacific Gas & Electric substation in 2013 that almost caused a wide-scale power outage to millions. The attack on the electrical substation caused phone services outages from severed fiber optic cables and numerous overheating transformers were forced to shut down from coolant oil leak. This unprecedented act showed the gaping holes in the industry’s security measures and spurred a nationwide overhaul.

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President Obama’s Visit to India Spurs Security Overhaul

Anytime the leader of a foreign country visits your own, special security measures are taken to not only protect them while they’re in your capital, but to also prevent a possible international incident. President Obama’s visit to New Delhi, India in a few days is no different except that the Indian government isn’t taking any chances when it comes to the President of the United States’ (POTUS) safety.

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Dover Police Officer Dash Camera

The Dover, Delaware police department staged this video from one of their patrol car surveillance camera to advertise their new “Dashboard Confessionals” videos. Master Corporal Jeff Davis doles out the sass in heaping handfuls and channels his inner Taylor Swift by belting out her “Shake it Off” in this immensely entertaining viral video.

This video has already racked up nearly 15 million views on YouTube and has put a smile on millions of faces across the nation. It’s videos like these that remind us that Police Officers are people just like you and me. They’re out there every day trying to do their jobs the best that they can.

The Future of Red Light Camera Enforcement

Red light cameras have been around for a while now but what most drivers don’t know is that tickets issued from red light cameras are not as enforceable as a ticket you would receive from a cop. Recent public backlash and high cost of maintaining these cameras has caused some cities to reconsider them.

In some cities the fines could go as high as several hundred dollars. Although most don’t know, in Los Angeles the fines from these surveillance cameras are voluntary as the courts find them hard to prove. LA city officials have decided to dump the cameras, Houston has eliminated the cameras a while back, and other cities are not far behind.

The supporters of the red light camera argue that many lives have been saved due to presence of these surveillance cameras. A study done by Institute for Highway Safety shows that during 4-year study period 158 lives have been saved in 14 large US cities.

4K Video in Today’s Security Camera Systems

Although 4K video offers surveillance applications several major advantages in terms of video resolution and frame rate, it has a few limitations that may slow down the roll out of the technology for security and surveillance applications.

4K offers four times the resolution of 1080p HDTV. This added resolution can drastically improve identifying an individual, a vehicle’s license plate, or crucial details in the camera’s field of view. However, to support 4K video, several other components must be considered such as network bandwidth, video storage capacity, and viewing stations/monitors. Implementing 4K video in a security camera system will require much more transmission bandwidth, more storage capacity on the recording servers and 4K compliant monitors to view the video.

For most users, putting these pieces together could be challenging. For example even if you have a 4K camera and your network and recording server has the capacity to support it, but your desk top monitor is not 4K, you will not be able to take advantage of 4K higher resolution.

Despite the challenges facing the technology, certain organizations can still benefit from the increased resolution such as casinos, law enforcement, and banks and should not be deterred in exploring this option.

Secure Your Cameras from Hackers

Internet-Based security cameras. also known as IP cameras, are great tools used by many home owners to check if the pets are okay or if an elderly parent needs help. However in the light of recent events, such as the Russian web site that hacked over 70,000 CCTV cameras worldwide, you have to wonder if you’re the only one watching your kids.

So how do you protect yourself against intruders? Here are a few steps you can take:

  • Change the default username and password. It’s simple and only takes a few minutes. Unfortunately, many people never change their login information.
  • Enable firewall in your router/modem.
  • Avoid wireless / WiFi video transmission and go the wired route if possible.
  • Avoid putting cameras in sensitive areas like your bathroom or bedroom.
  • Encrypt the video stream. Encryption may be too complicated for the average home user, but is strongly recommended for businesses.

So in a nutshell, webcam technology is a great and cost effective tool when installed and configured properly, but use with caution.

What are Layered Video Security Systems?

If you’ve spent any amount of time researching surveillance systems for your business, you’ve probably come across the term Layered Video Security System or 360° Surveillance Solution. These terms refer to multiple specialized security measures working in concert with one another to provide a level of comprehensive protection that could not be achieved if they stood on their own.

The intent behind these types of security systems is to have multiple layers of security in order to deter potential thieves and unauthorized personnel from gaining access to your building earlier, but to also implement multiple “choke-points”, both literal and figurative, to help your security teams identify and defuse potential threats before they become a problem.

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Marathon Bolsters Security Cameras Before the Big Day

Marathons draw tens of thousands of runners, spectators, and event staff to the host city every year for a fun, safe race to the finish line. However, having this many people packed together in the heart of the city presents local Police with a logistical nightmare in patrolling the crowds, spotting potential threats, and responding to incidents before they get out of control. The horror the nation witnessed during the Boston Marathon Bombing of 2013 made it even more important for marathon security teams to have maximum visibility throughout the crowds for the safety of everyone in attendance.

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What is Video Management Software?

Video Management Software, or VMS, provides the platform for video monitoring, analysis, recording, and operation of your IP video security system. VMS software can come pre-installed on your network video recorder (NVR), bundled with network IP cameras from specific brands, or as an open platform software solution that’s purchased in addition to your hardware and installed / configured by an integrator. Which one you use depends solely upon the size and complexity of your surveillance system as well as the versatility needed to manage your day-to-day security operations.

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Security Risks Facing the Legal and Medical Marijuana Dispensary Industry

Whether or not you agree with it, the legalization of marijuana in America is starting to gather steam. Medical marijuana has been legal for some time in 23 states and recent legislation has seen its complete legalization in Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Washington D.C., and Alaska with nearly another dozen more states de-criminalizing the possession of the drug. Marijuana dispensaries have opened up across these regions and cater to customers for both recreational and medical purposes.

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