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Crescent Guardian Security Company
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Offices: Atlanta | Dallas
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Crescent Guardian Security Company

Security Tips Blog

Feb 06


The threats facing the modern world seem unending. From physical breaches to cyber attacks, companies and governments across the globe are scrambling to protect themselves from those who wish to do harm.

Security is a challenging, tireless job that requires eternal vigilance. Security professionals across the world face an unending wave of criminals and terrorists looking to exploit any and every loophole or gap in protection. Some bad guys take a high-tech approach while others go basic; meaning the number of potential threats is infinite and methods of attack always changing.

With that in mind, how does our nation's security efforts stack up? According to a recently released report, The Federal Government's Track Record on Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure, not well at all. NakedSecurity.com reports that US federal agencies are failing to employ very basic security measures.

> Read more of NakedSecurity's article here

As impossible as it may seem, security must always be on, alert and ready. Does that mean security can thwart any and every threat from happening? Only in a perfect world is that possible. Even with the best security programs, there is always a chance that criminal activity will occur.

While the report recognizes that our nation has come a long way with security, it also shows that it still has much to do for solidify our defenses against those who wish to do harm.


Breaking Into Buckingham - How strong is your security?

// posted on Monday, October 14, 2013

Oct 14

Is your security stronger than what the Palace has?

Security can be a tricky thing. Buckingham Palace recently found that out after a new incident came about just one month after police arrested two men who broke into the palace in one of the most serious security breaches at the queen's London residence in 30 years.

Last month, a full-scale security review was launched at Buckingham Palace after a man was arrested in a stateroom after scaling a fence and breaking in. Police, who was said to have increased security following the birth of Prince George in July, were left embarrassed. Then, a 44-year-old man who was carrying a knife was arrested in October by police after he tried to enter Buckingham Palace.

The difficult thing with security is people often become complacent if they don’t experience an incident, often assuming their security system is “perfect” because nothing has happened or no one has tried anything… yet. But even with the best security programs, there is always a chance that criminal activity will occur.

Most crimes occur because the criminal found the right opportunity to act. The criminal’s inclination and the victim came together at a time and place where the criminal felt they could successfully commit the crime with minimal risk of interference or apprehension. That is, the criminal found circumstances and conditions to be within their comfort zone. The key is to make criminals feel as though the cost of committing a crime is too high or not worth attempting.

In reality, criminals look to exploit any and every loophole or gap in protection. As impossible as it may seem, security must always be on, alert and ready. Some bad guys take a high-tech approach while others go basic; meaning the number of potential threats is infinite and methods of attack always changing.

Does that mean security can thwart any and every threat from happening? Only in a perfect world is that possible. But that is why performing comprehensive security assessments on a regular basis are imperative -- to stay a few steps ahead and constantly be checking for strengths and vulnerabilities. The assessment will give you a better idea of just how strong your security and what solutions are best, including security guards (armed or unarmed), surveillance cameras, access control, behavioral analytics or others.

In cases where security is unable to entirely prevent a threat from turning into an incident, the response is the next most critical aspect. A fast, effective response will often reduce the degree of damage and keep a tragedy from morphing into a disaster. For instance, in Boston with the marathon bombings the authorities responded instantly, doing an excellent job of diverting runners and spectators, attending to the injured, locking down the crime scene and preventing extreme panic. This is a critical component of security and requires disciplined training for your staff.

The best protection is to make sure your security is strong -- do not assume. Just because nothing has happened as of yet doesn’t mean something eventually won’t. Have a professional security firm perform a risk assessment (annually, at least) to test your security, who will also be able to provide you with insight into the latest security trends, solutions and recommendations to keep you, your people and assets safe.

For more information on Crescent Guardian's physical security and technology solutions,
call 504-483-7811 or email rcavanagh@cgiprotects.com.

Businesses: Close Your Open Door Policy



// posted on Thursday, October 03, 2013

Oct 03





On the heels of the tragic Navy Yard shootings in Washington D.C. where 12 victims were killed, along with the gunman, a new study has revealed that the potential for additional incidents occurring is high.



A recently released poll showed 40% of American workers say that in terms of security, anyone can walk into their building unchallenged. Yet 94% said that they feel safe and secure at work.



What's alarming is that even with mass shootings and workplace violence making big headlines over the last few years, many companies today seem to be turning a blind eye to the potential serious threats facing them.



Most people don't think about their security until something unfortunate happens and it's too late. By employing even minimal security measures, such as guard services, you can often reduce your business insurance premiums and also give you and your employees greater peace of mind.

According to the report, about 2 million American workers are victimized each year by workplace violence, which includes everything from threats and verbal abuse to simple assaults, aggravated assaults and homicides, which is one of the leading causes of deaths on the job. Even simple assaults can cause debilitating injuries, not to mention emotional trauma. And they can be costly, both personally and in terms of disrupting business.



Ensuring the security of your business and employees is not something to take lightly. With criminals and evil-doers looking to exploit any gap in protection, security needs to be constantly assessed and evaluated to prevent loopholes from developing and turning into gaping holes.




Will your business fall victim to crime?  



Even with the best security programs, there is always a chance that criminal activity will occur. Most crimes occur because the criminal found the right opportunity to act. The criminal’s inclination and the victim came together at a time and place where the criminal felt they could successfully commit the crime with minimal risk of interference or apprehension. That is, the criminal found circumstances and conditions to be within their comfort zone. The key is to make criminals feel as though the cost of committing a crime is too high or not worth attempting.



To evaluate any vulnerabilities in your security, we are offering free security assessments to qualified* businesses as well as reviewing what measures may assist with the protection of your building, assets, and people.



When it comes to protecting your business, our 20+ years experience protecting both public and private entities across the nation has given us unique and valuable insight that can provide you with more security at lower overall operating costs. Let us show you how we can help protect your business. Here's a link to our capabilities brochure to get you started.

Email or call us for more information: rcavanagh@cgiprotects.com | (504) 483 - 7811

8 big challenges facing CIOs and IT leaders in 2014

// posted on Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Oct 02

via mrc-productivity.com

What’s the biggest tech trend facing businesses right now? Is it the rise of mobile? BYOD? Cloud computing? Consumerization?


The fact is, you could make a case for any one of them…which highlights the most important point: We’re currently going through a fundamental shift in technology. We’re seeing a number of disruptive technologies converging on businesses at the same time. When combined, these changes create a unique set of challenges for CIOs and IT leaders going into 2014.

So, what are the biggest challenges facing CIOs and IT leaders in the coming year? Perhaps a better question: How can they address these challenges? We asked these questions to other CIOs and IT leaders, and have listed these responses below. I’ve also included a brief tip on how to address each challenge. So, without further ado, here are the biggest challenges facing CIOs and IT leaders in the coming year:

Challenge #1: How to address physical and IT security

Modern IT departments are currently facing a fundamental shift in security practices. Applications are moving to the web. Employees are using their own mobile devices. Cloud-based, consumer applications are creeping into the business. The challenge of securing devices and data that are increasingly beyond their control is something that CIOs and IT leaders will struggle with in the coming year (and beyond).

“As we enter a brave new world that increasingly relies upon technology and the cloud, it is clear that a fully integrated business plan involving both physical and IT security is critical,” says Ray Cavanagh, a board member of the ASIS Physical Security Council and Physical Security for Cloud Computing Council, and VP of Crescent Guardian, Inc. “But, alarmingly, it is often given minimal attention and puts everyone involved at more risk.”


How to address this challenge?

What’s the answer? Cavanagh shares his thoughts on the matter:

“Both the IT organization and the security team must develop an easy-to-implement, organized plan that incorporates all aspects of security,” explains Cavanagh. “The benefits of such a plan can reduce criminal activity, service disruptions and other risk factors that could impede business continuity. While completely eliminating all threats is impossible, a comprehensive, integrated security plan that converges both physical and IT security can put companies in a position of power instead of fear, action instead of reaction.”

Read about the other seven challenges here.

Sep 11

The Risk of Breach in Cloud Managed Security

 

Everywhere you look -- online, in magazines, on TV – you will hear stories of companies and governments scrambling to protect themselves from today’s continuously evolving threats, which can now include both physical and cyber attacks. It wasn’t long ago when security was comprised simply of locks and keys and the occasional fence or guard dog as a deterrent. Those days are gone forever.

Security professionals across the world face an unending wave of cyber attacks – people looking to exploit any and every loophole or gap in protection. It is no longer safe to assume that internal personnel are exempt from suspicion, and diligence is the key to prevention.

Some  of these attacks take a high-tech approach while others go to the source,  which means that the number of potential threats is infinite and methods of attack always changing. As we enter a brave new world that increasingly relies upon technology and the cloud, it is clear that a fully integrated plan involving both physical and IT security is critical, but, alarmingly, is often given minimal attention and puts everyone involved at more risk.



Into The Cloud

Cloud computing while still in a growth stage, is growing exponentially and is quickly becoming the most  significant tool for almost every industry. In short, cloud computing lets you use files and applications over the Internet – not exactly a new concept. But use of the cloud has increased tremendously over the past few years as service providers looked for a way to increase capacity or add capabilities on the fly for clients without having to invest in new infrastructure. The security industry, often one to experiment with new trends first, jumped right in. Now, handheld devices and cloud-based applications have become the new standard for managing and viewing all aspects of physical security including video monitoring and access control. 


With this move to online access of applications, physical security professionals must incorporate concerns about cyber security into their repertoire. It is critical for security professionals to understand how physical and cyber security teams must work together to protect all assets, including data management and physical devices. 



While current trends and usage of both public and private cloud environments bring seemingly unlimited mobile access to security systems, we must fully understand both the risks and benefits of cloud computing for physical security, and develop a cohesive plan before implementing it across the enterprise.

Convergence -- a holistic approach to security -- is a hot topic. It is no secret that when we augment security personnel with automation, overall coverage can be vastly improved, costs reduced and the ability to prevent crime before occurring substantially increased.

While the ultimate goal of any security system is to lower response times and increase overall situational awareness, security personnel and emergency responders must be both capable and knowledgeable in how technology is used to augment those real-time events. That’s why both the IT organization and the security team must develop an easy to implement, organized plan that incorporates all aspects of security. The benefits of such a plan can reduce criminal activity, service disruptions and other risk factors that could impede business continuity.

How Modern Security Is Evolving

The days of using only padlocks and fences for security are definitely long gone. Now, it takes critical thinking to guard against not only the usual types of threats, but also the unimaginable -- as impossible as that may seem. Through the integration of advanced security technology, such as IP video surveillance and electronic track and trace, with professionally trained guard services, security directors now can implement comprehensive asset protection plans that go far beyond the traditional. This combination improves security practices, reduces overall costs and enhances efficiency to track, monitor, and protect personnel, corporate information, and assets.



A security system needs to be approached holistically to help ensure the prevention of breaches and reduction of threats. In today’s environment, it seems we are more focused on resolving threats and crimes after they occur, which almost defeats the true purpose of having security. Too often security systems are installed using the least expensive option, with no thought truly given to training personnel on its usage or giving them an easy way to share data and knowledge.

For instance, one typically under-utilized opportunity for integration is surveillance systems. While video is ubiquitous today, there are still many systems that utilize antiquated analog equipment when digital and IP technology
is readily available and can be less expensive in the overall cost of ownership. Moving to digital IP video systems enables roaming guards to receive real-time alerts through the use of handheld devices, which allows for rapid response to potential threats.

Video analytics have traditionally been rules-based systems, meaning software that allows you to write a rule using Boolean logic to anticipate suspicious
behavior. The problem in that scenario is rules must be written for every camera since they will all have different views and encounter different potential threats. In addition, the operator needs to anticipate every potential threat, which is not really feasible. This setup makes rules based analytics software difficult to manage, requires enormous upkeep and still may not “catch the bad guy.”

On the other hand, next-generation behavioral analytics packages operate by “learning” behavior through observation, completely eliminating the need to write rules. Within a few hours, the software can identify ongoing “normal” behavior and only send alerts or alarms on “out of the ordinary” behavior, which can be sent to a guard’s handheld unit to facilitate rapid response and stop potential breaches. This kind of system essentially allows the user to “set it and forget it,” making it one of the easiest, most effective systems to install and use.

The advent of IP video enables the monitoring of locations remotely via online IP networks.  The beauty of this monitoring option is that it keeps a watchful eye and enables rapid, on-site response while continuing to monitor the situation.

Implementing security solutions that are both cost effective and friendly to the environment is now paramount to safeguarding our nation’s future, a future that depends on us developing a long-term strategy that anticipates threats and adapts to trends in both physical and IT security.

The Future of Physical and IT Security

In a peek at the future of convergence security, Louisiana’s Port Fourchon, which services over 90% of the Gulf of Mexico's deepwater oil production, recently partnered with Crescent Guardian security and BRS Labs to integrate next generation behavioral analytics software to accompany its new advanced video surveillance system. This award-winning, state-of-the-art system began to operate immediately -- generating alerts, alarms and learning behavior from the moment it was turned on.

This kind of software instantly recognizes anything out of the ordinary and automatically sends alerts to officials, without needing to be programmed to do so. This breakthrough ensures that first responders in Port Fourchon are receiving “as they happen” alerts, ultimately improving response times and increasing situational awareness.

The US Department of Defense supported Port Fourchon's efforts by sharing the DoD-developed capabilities of the Knowledge Display and Aggregation System (KDAS) to serve as the basis for the Port's incident command and control system. The use of KDAS provides Port Fourchon with the unique ability to network its system with the DoD in the event of an incident requiring information sharing.

The Greater Lafourche Port Commission’s new system, developed through a collaboration of several companies, is comprised of Disparate Data Sets, Incident Management, What If? Analysis, CCTV integration, Video Analytics, and Alerting integration. Soon, the Harbor Intrusion Detection System (Waterside Radar) will be integrated as well.

What's Next?

As criminals become more tech-savvy, it is up to security professionals to stay several steps ahead. While completely eliminating all threats is impossible, a comprehensive, integrated security plan that converges both physical and IT security can put companies in a position of power instead of fear, action instead of reaction.

Securing both public and private cloud environments, along with understanding both the risks and benefits of cloud computing for physical security, presents a sizable challenge for security professions -- but nothing the continuously evolving security industry can’t handle. In short, physical and cyber security teams simply must work together now to better anticipate, thwart and reduce threats, not just after an incident occurs.

When considering your overall security system, it is important to ensure it is fully integrated and working as one cohesive unit. If your system grew by adding components piecemeal or you don’t know for sure if your various security personnel are talking, you should consider having a professional, full service security firm perform an assessment.

The greatest challenge for security in the 21st century won’t be figuring out how to stop outside threats -- been there, done that -- but instead making sure the many components of a security system are all working as one. In reality, the greatest threat often comes from within.


ASIS Session - September 25th

Want to learn more about the convergence of physical and IT security? Join our vice president, Ray Cavanagh, who will be hosting an information session at ASIS Chicago on September 25, 2013 to discuss Physical Security in The Cloud. For more information on the ASIS session or for other security solutions:

Email - rcavanagh@cgiprotects.com

Call - 504.483.7811

 



Top 10 Dog Breeds for Protection

// posted on Monday, August 26, 2013

Aug 26

 

Today is National Dog Day. So, what does that mean for security?

Dogs are often called all-in-one security systems because of their innate ability to deter, detect and react to situations—often providing one of the greatest sources of protection for businesses, homes and people. Throughout human history, people have relied upon dogs to provide a line of defense against the unknown and other threats.


So, which dogs are best at providing security? Cesarsway.com, a dog training website and resource, has created a list of the Top 10 Dog Breeds for Protection.

Top 10 Dog Breeds for Protection

1. Bullmastiff – This breed is known for its physical strength, protection instincts, courageousness, and extreme family loyalty. If an intruder crosses its path, a Bullmastiff will typically use its strength to knock them over or block their path. The breed is very docile in a family environment, however, and makes a great household pet.

2. Doberman Pinscher – If you have a large piece of property that you are trying to protect, a Doberman Pinscher is a great guard dog for you. This breed is incredibly fast and is able to reach an intruder in a short amount of time. Known as the fifth-smartest dog breed in the world, Dobermans are fearless, alert, and loyal dogs.

 
3. Rottweiler – Originally bred as cattle-protecting dogs, Rottweilers are known to be relentless protectors of their pack. They are an intelligent breed and extremely loyal to their owners. Rottweilers are known to be aloof with strangers until properly introduced to them and are very quick learners.

See numbers 4-10 here - http://www.cesarsway.com/dogbehavior/top-10-dog-breeds-for-protection

While dogs are great for security, they are still living creatures that can get tired or be distracted. They also can't speak to tell you where a threat came from, what happened leading up to their encounter or provide recorded, visual evidence for future prosecution or remediation. That's why it's important to utilize several solutions for your security, such as employing surveillance camera systems, security guards, access control and others.

For more information on Crescent Guardian's physical security and technology solutions,
call 504-483-7811 or email info@cgiprotects.com.


Living The Batman Life

// posted on Friday, August 23, 2013

Aug 23


Much has been made about the recent announcement that Ben Affleck is the new Batman, set to play the Dark Knight in 2015's Superman-Batman summer blockbuster movie. It's been a polarizing issue with people either hating the choice or loving it with almost no opinion in-between the extremes. Twitter even has hot trending topics such as #BetterBatmanThanBenAffleck, #Batfleck and #Batman stirring the conversation.

Regardless of who plays him, the character of Batman has always been one of the world's most respected crime fighters and guardians of security. Unlike almost every other superhero, he has no superpowers or completely implausible story—Just a tenacious desire to keep bad guys from doing their worst.

Security professionals identify with Batman's ambition because we aim to provide the world with as close to real life versions of him as possible. But what about you? Do you identify with him? While you may not wear masks and fight crime, it's important to think like him. Batman battles criminals every day, and although you may not have come face to face with a criminal there may come a time when you do. Whether it's a bad guy breaking into your business or home, stealing your car, vandalizing your property or even approaching you on the street, you need to be prepared.

Like Batman, you need to think like a criminal—imagine how they'd wreak havoc on you, your people or assets and what preventative measures you can take to reduce, minimize or completely eliminate those threats. Do you have security guards? Surveillance cameras? Access control? What about knowing self defense? Like the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Batman utilizes state-of-the-art technology to help him fight crime, which, in this day and age, is no different than security firms such as Crescent Guardian protecting our nation's businesses, government facilities, people and assets. Our security officers, armed with the latest security technology such as surveillance cameras equipped with behavioral analytics, electronic tracking and access control, are part of our way of offering the same secure feeling Batman imparts upon the people of Gotham.

While the Caped Crusader's outfit may be way fancier than the ones used by our security guards, our officers are just as effective at preventing and stopping crime. No matter who you are, there's a hero inside everyone—it just takes opportunity to bring it out. For us at Crescent Guardian, we get to live that life each and every day, protecting clients all across the nation, defending them from threats great and all.

For more information on Crescent Guardian's physical security and technology solutions,
call 504-483-7811 or email info@cgiprotects.com.

Security Threats From the Center of the Earth

// posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Aug 14

Security guards are trained extensively to spot and respond to all kinds of threats. From suspicious people, vehicles, unattended bags… you name it. But there will invariably be threats from the unexpected, including being attacked by the earth.

Summer Bay Resort, a hotel 10 miles west of Disney World, is swallowed by the earth. Fortunately, a security guard made quick decisions that saved over 20 lives.Sinkholes, for example, have become big news lately as sneaky assassins taking out roads, homes and businesses in a single, earth-shaking gulp. There have been incredible instances of sinkholes instantly appearing in states across the country, even in our home base of Louisiana. It is exactly these sort of surprise threats where having a person dedicated to security is invaluable.

Crescent Guardian likes to celebrate the actions of individuals who have made us proud to be a part of the security industry. Richard Shanley, a security guard at a resort hotel 10 miles west of Florida's Disney World, has been credited with saving the lives of more than 20 guests through his situational awareness and quick, fearless actions. Not only did he recognize the imminent collapse of a building due to shifting limestone, but he ran end to end of the building ensuring everyone had evacuated.

Whether there is a medical emergency, fire or some type of crime, security guards like Mr. Shanley prove that when the heat rises you want someone who can handle and mitigate the situation with ease. We salute Mr. Shanley and all those, our team included, who spot and react to threats from above, around, and especially below their charge.

Discover how our security guard services can help protect your assets. Call 504.483.7811 or email info@cgiprotects.com.

 

Read more about Richard Shanley and the recent sinkhole - http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/possible-sinkhole-triggers-building-collapse/nZLtL/

Aug 06



 8 Simple 'Back To School' Security Tips - Keeping Children SafeAs the new school year draws closer, teachers and staff are scrambling to prepare for their incoming students. From developing lesson plans and dressing up classrooms to organizing files and holding meetings, it’s almost go time for schools. But recently, one of the most important aspects of preparing for the school year has become security.

While it is unfortunate to say, today's educational institutions must prepare for the worst while hoping for the best. It is the only way to help reduce the risk of an incident becoming yet another tragedy.

Children deserve to feel and be safe, especially in environments where they learn, play and grow into the future of our cities, nation and world. That’s why we here at Crescent Guardian would like to share these simple tips that can be implemented along with any security plans that have been instituted at your school.

8 SIMPLE SCHOOL SECURITY TIPS TO HELP INCREASE SAFETY

  • On a daily basis, make sure all classroom windows are locked
  • Distribute lists that notify staff who share copies of which keys
  • Designate different doors for entry and exit
  • Establish secure locations/safe rooms for hiding
  • Develop code words for intercom use that alerts staff and students of specific situations
  • Form teams so every member knows what role to perform in an emergency
  • Train faculty and staff how to defuse potentially violent situations
  • Turn off all lights in a room to signify to first responders that no one is in the room or to give that illusion to any possible perpetrators

 
For Further Assistance

Crescent Guardian is using its 20 years of experience in the public and private sector to offer holistic security solutions to interested school systems -- as there is no greater 'asset' we can safeguard than our children's safety. Our school-specific consultancy works with every type of school (K – 12, public, private, chartered and higher education) to identify potential security gaps and offer a full service, comprehensive assessment and recommendations for building stronger security.

Crescent Guardian is committed to the safety and security of our students and teachers. Let us work with you to find the right solutions.

  • Overall School Safety and Security Assessment
  • Emergency Preparedness Planning
  • Crisis Planning
  • Situational Awareness and Multi-System Integration
  • Security Risk Management - Identification, Assessment, and Prioritization of risks
  • Measurement of Risk Reduction
  • Evaluate effectiveness of the programs
  • Train personnel for effective security management

For more information on these school security consulting services,
please call (504) 483-7811 or email rcavanagh@cgiprotects.com.


Together, we can create safer and more secure learning environments for our children.

Aug 02

(CNN) - A State Department travel alert Friday said al-Qaida may launch attacks in the Middle East, North Africa and beyond, as the United States is closing 21 embassies and consulates Sunday as a precaution.

The alert says al-Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August. The alert also warns that "terrorists may elect to use a variety of means and weapons and target both official and private interests."

A U.S. official told CNN the embassy closures were because of "more than the usual chatter" about a potential terrorist threat, which was not specific about time and location. It was "directed at American targets overseas," but may not be confined to main diplomatic facilities, the official said. 

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