Crescent Guardian Security Company

Navigation

Crescent Guardian Security Company
Headquarters: New Orleans
Offices: Atlanta | Dallas
E-mail: info@cgiprotects.com
1 (800) 650-0706 or (504) 483-7811
Crescent Guardian Security Company

Security Tips Blog

Did The Boston Explosions Wake Americans Up?

// posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Apr 24

 

Did The Boston Marathon Explosions Wake Americans Up?Throughout U.S. history, our nation has rarely experienced the conflict, terrorism, death and destruction seen so often in many other countries. But now that we have once again experienced the horribleness of an attack on the innocent, we evaluate the situation. Patriotic pride and compassion has engulfed the nation, authorities are on high alert and security has tightened. But has it awakened citizens from the unrealistic dream of total reliance upon authorities for their safety?

The Boston tragedy marked the first time since September 11, 2001 that a terrorism-related explosion causing death, injury and destruction had occurred on American soil. While not the magnitude of an event like 9/11, it still shook our country and raised the common, after-event thought: Could we have prevented this?
Questions will undoubtedly continue to snowball over the coming weeks until there are complete answers.

Why did Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev do it?

Did our country become complacent after over a decade of relative quiet?

Why did the government not know about this plot ahead of time?

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.

Over time, it’s easy for people to become increasingly complacent and let their guard down. It’s human nature. Having gone more than a decade since 9/11, many terror plans have been foiled, perhaps lulling the public into a false sense of invincibility and complete reliance upon authorities. But for security to be as effective as possible, everyone must do their part, including citizens being aware of their surroundings and reporting suspicious activity.

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.

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. In Boston, 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.


The most important aspect of security is the help of the public.
While the ultimate goal of any security system is to lower response times and increase overall situational awareness, it’s important to remember that it merely provides tools to help prevent, reduce and respond to threats — such as smart surveillance cameras equipped with behavioral analytics software that instantly alerts security personnel of anything that seems out of the ordinary.

However, even the most advanced technology needs a human component. That human component not only includes security guards and police forces performing their duties, but private citizens as well. It is the responsibility of every man, woman and child to keep their eyes and ears open for anything unusual and to alert the proper authorities when necessary.


Terrorism has continually reared its ugly head all throughout human history, so it’s unlikely we’ve seen the last of it. If the authorities were armed with thousands of guards and the most advanced security technology at all times, they could still protect the public only so much. While the public is on edge at the moment, time will pass and anxiety will once again ease into complacency.

To better
anticipate, thwart and reduce threats, we all must work together and remember to always remain vigilant, not just at times immediately after an incident occurs. To assist and support is our first and last resort of true security. So after evaluating the situation, we now must ask, did what happened in Boston wake Americans up?

Apr 05



Businesses usually get so wrapped up in their operation that security can often take a backseat and become an afterthought. The unfortunate thing is that line of action can cost a business... and cost them big.

Recently, copper thieves in the Greater New Orleans have been targeting air conditioner units in residential and commercial locations because they are easy targets. While this has increased in New Orleans, it's important to remember that copycat criminals often start similar crime waves in other areas. The thieves have been stealing the copper and aluminum condenser coils inside the units to sell as scrap, but because the metal is a mixture, it doesn't fetch as high a price as refined copper.

What's that mean? While the thieves do not make much on the actual theft, the businesses that fall victim to the crime are often left staring at a significant price tag of a few thousand dollars for fixing or replacing the units. One victim incurred $70,000 worth of damage. That's pretty incredible since the thieves don't really make that money on the theft, but do cause significant damage.



Theft of copper, brass and other valuable metals have become common as the cost of metal has risen. Thieves often will pull copper piping in homes under construction and cut brass fittings off office-building emergency fire hoses for easy scores. This type of theft is increasingly becoming one of single the biggest headaches for businesses. Not only are these metals increasingly valuable, access to it is generally pretty easy. Most construction sites or holding areas leave these items out in plain site, with little or no security in place to protect it.



Like any other company asset, copper needs to be accounted for and managed. Businesses concerned with protecting their assets should have a security risk assessment performed by a reputable security firm. It is essential to make sure the premises has all the appropriate security precautions needed. Guard Services and Video Monitoring solutions, such as surveillance cameras, motion detectors, and access control systems, can greatly help reduce loss via theft. These systems can play a large role in deterring crime, often identifying and preventing potential breaches or thefts before they can occur. And if they do occur, it's important to have the resources in place to be used for prosecution and insurance purposes.



Crescent Guardian has the means and capabilities to add video to any company's security mix, and guards to respond to potential security breaches -- saving a tremendous amount of time and money in prosecuting and trying to recover lost goods.

For more information on our free security risk assessments or how we can help you increase your security while decreasing your costs, email rcavanagh@cgiprotects.com or call 504.483.7811.

For more on the copper theft from air conditioning units story, click here - http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2013/04/copper_thieves_again_targeting.html#incart_river_default

Mar 25

 

Is airport security becoming too advanced for its own good? Low-tech breaches may pose a significant danger. 
 
In today’s technology obsessed world, many companies often focus their security on stopping criminals who may hack their computer servers or dress in all-black special ops gear for a late night heist. Unsurprisingly, some criminals find a low-tech approach can often be the most successful.
 
There’s a saying that if you walk in somewhere like you own the place no one will question you. This kind of attitude, which surprisingly can be very effective, demands vigilance by security at all times. Take for instance a recent event at the Philadelphia International Airport. There, a phony pilot bluffed his way through airport security, boarded a U.S. Airways flight and actually made it all the way into the cockpit before the crew realized he was lying and arrested. In a situation reminiscent of Leonardo Dicaprio’s movie Catch Me If You Can, French citizen Phillipe Jeannard dressed like an Air France captain and even sported a fake Air France I.D. card. Fortunately, no one was harmed and no damage done… except to confidence in the airport’s security.

While the airport’s security will be thoroughly evaluated, its huge error provides a great opportunity for you to review how your organization protects itself. What kind of security are you employing and what kind of holes may there be? Physical security, an incredibly important aspect for proper safety, provides a primary buffer against criminal activity. When used in tandem with security technology, such as surveillance cameras, behavioral analytics software and access control, it helps ensure you employ several layers of security so an incident like the phony pilot doesn’t happen to you. It’s also important to make sure that physical security is doing its job. While access control can provide a secure barrier to unauthorized access by employees without true credentials, security guards are typically the first ones to interact with a potential criminal and could prevent the incident before advancing. Security guards must always be on their toes and demand proper procedures from everyone they encounter while on the job that is trying to gain access somewhere.

While many people get caught up in the latest security technology and protection methods, which can be essential to security, it’s important we don’t forget to keep our guard up and watch for the less obvious breaches. State-of-the-art security technology can do a lot to help protect us, but in the end it still comes down to people as being the most important line of defense.

Email us at rcavanagh@cgiprotects.com or call 504-483-7811 to find out more about traditional physical security and state-of-the-art technology.

Read more about the phony pilot's story here - http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/22/travel/pennsylvania-pilot-impersonation/index.html

Secrecy & Security at the Vatican - A Cardinal Shhh

// posted on Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Mar 12



When a new pope is about to be elected, the Vatican goes in full lock-down mode as the Roman Catholic Church's College of Cardinals enter a secretive conclave (meeting) to determine who will be the next leader for the world's 1.6 billion Catholics... and there's a great deal to be learned from 2,000 years of fine-tuning security.

[Side-note: A papal conclave is a meeting of the College of Cardinals convened to elect a new Bishop of Rome, also known as the Pope. The conclave has been the procedure for choosing the pope for more than half of the time the church has been in existence, and is the oldest ongoing method for choosing the leader of an institution. Read more]

Odds are good that your organization has its own "conclave" event at some point in the year and, seeing as we've entered the age of cell phones and social media, you must ask yourself, "Is the event still as secure as it once was?" Almost every company has that one big, secret event (think Apple's product launches or a big stakeholder's meeting). And just like Vatican City's papal announcement, your "conclave" may follow up with some kind of exciting unveiling. (Just go with me on this one.)

So what can we learn from the most extreme of secured, public events? Over one hundred Roman Catholic cardinals enter the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City each day of the Conclave until they elect a new Pope. The cardinals are not permitted to have contact with the outside world and therefore may not have access to ANY digital devices. (No phones, iPads, Twitter, Facebook...Nada.) Signal jamming devices will even be employed to ensure that no phones or hidden microphones can transmit conversations while in discussions or when in their sleeping quarters in nearby Santa Marta. These measures are in addition to an oath of secrecy and the promise of excommunication should it be broken. Once a decision has been made, hundreds of thousands pile into St. Peters Square to bear witness to the announcement of the new pope. To recap: Absolute secrecy gives way to absolute jubilation.

So the question becomes, what is your "conclave?" And do you take the same measures to ensure its secrecy? Just like individuals, every organization has secrets or decisions that cannot be made public until an appropriate point in time. This is not wrong and certainly prevents backlash from conversations taken out of context. Think of this exercise as a panic room but one created for important decisions. This is a place where things can be discussed openly and the greatest of care is taken to ensure that the information does not leave before it's time. 

In today's modern world information is not only money, it's everything. So it's important to assess the situation in which your business finds itself. To create this secured location, walk through every possible entrance, survey your surroundings at every room or corridor and think like a thief. What piece of information would be worth recording and how could it be recorded? From a guard at every entrance, to signal jamming devices, to access control systems, to a nondisclosure agreement (NDA), your own conclave could be just the thing to help you rethink what information is most important in your business.

For more information on our security site assessments and security consulting, email rcavanagh@cgiprotects.com or call 504-483-7811.


Read more about the history of the Vatican's Conclaves, click the link below.

U.S. Ports Activity & Security - An Infographic

// posted on Friday, March 08, 2013

Mar 08




U.S. ports are tempting targets criminals looking to smuggle or steal goods and for terrorists bent on killing large numbers of people, grabbing media attention, and disrupting the U.S. economy.

Port, ferry, and cruise-ship terminals are often located in highly congested areas where large numbers of people live and work. Given the importance of foreign trade to the U.S. economy, an attack that shuts down a major American port for even a few days could devastate the regional economy served by that port.

With billions in goods and hundreds of thousands of people moving in and out of U.S. waterways every day, the incredible pressure on security personnel to constantly safeguard vessels, harbors, ports, waterfront facilities, and cargo from threats can seem overwhelming. But through some ground-breaking technology such as smart cameras with behavioral analytics, ports across the country are discovering there is an easier, more effective and cost-efficient way to protect themselves and the nation.

Review the infographic below and then email us at info@cgiprotects.com or call 504-483-7811 to find how this new technology can help put your port's security among the most advanced in the nation. (You can download a high resolution PDF of the graphic by clicking here.)






Let us help keep your port from becoming a victim to crime. Email or call us at 504-483-7811.



Mar 01



Since the events of December 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut, Crescent Guardian has been actively reaching out to school administrators to offer guidance as well as meticulously following news stories and developments in technologies designed to specifically secure our children's schools. Some schools, such as Emerson Academy in Dayton, Ohio, have gotten creative with an automated 'machine' called the Lobby Guard, whereas others are still in debate over the presence of armed or unarmed guards in their schools and whether that is a good use of community funds. The answer is simple: Yes, it is

While a robot monitoring the halls seems like a good idea on paper (maybe not the balance sheet), the fact is that someone - teacher, police officer, armed guard - still needs to be present to dispatch any serious threat. The few minutes that could take could be the difference between a peaceful resolution or something more dire. One example of an elementary school facing this dilemma, of many across the country, is Eliot Elementary in Tulsa, Oklahoma. While they have finally been able to hire an armed guard for $10,000 (this article does not state if the duration is for a year or specific times on duty), the school is still receiving push-back from parents who do not want guns present on the campus—at all.

We applaud the school for this effort, and without getting into whether or not the option of an unarmed or Taser/pepper spray-yielding guard could have been an option, the fact remains that a person devoted to the security of an area is better than no protection at all. Could $10,000 have gone to computers? Absolutely. But without anyone to ensure they stay on premises, they're only useful tools until they walk out the door. 

Our children's security should never be up for discussion. The options are plentiful: Guards, cameras, RFID badges... Even a robot. Something is better than nothing.

Sidenote: If you have not received an email or call from one of our team regarding a free assessment to keep our schools safe, please reach out to us at 504-483-7811 or email rcavanagh@cgiprotects.com



To Guard Or Not To Guard: The Debate on School Security

// posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Feb 26

How to best protect children has been a lifelong concern for parents since the dawn of time. Yet, today, safety at schools unfortunately stands at the forefront of those fears ever since the horrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut occurred in December 2012. Once considered almost untouchable sanctuaries of learning, schools across the country now find themselves among an evolving world where almost nothing seems as safe as  it once was.

A recent Associated Press article titled 
Trained police needed for school security purported that the debate on school security originally hinged on whether or not to have a police officer present on campus in any capacity. Now, the debate includes whether anyone (hired guard, officer or employee) should be allowed to carry weapons on school property, and whether that armed 'guard' must be a law enforcement official, volunteer or security guard.

Adding fuel to the debate, the 
National Rifle Association recently called for trained, armed volunteers to be present at every school inthe nation. Regardless of which stance a person may take on any part of this issue, the simple fact remains that a person, trained or untrained, armed or unarmed, who is solely dedicated to the safety of the school grounds will do more to prevent an incident than not having one at all. If that seems like an oversimplification, it is.

The debate concerning a 'guard' tends to progress into an all or nothing scenario. At which point, the duty of protection may be assigned to a faculty or staff member for reasons of budget or fear of backlash. The truth is, a person with another primary function, such as a teacher or principal, cannot consistently devote the necessary attention to keep an area safe while also doing their main job satisfactorily. On the other hand, a guard who has created a working safety relationship with the people and environment he or she is protecting allows those being protected to remain calmer and focused on education, not 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. To help offset possible crises, 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.


Crescent Guardian can assess a school system's campus, and make suggestions on a wide variety of security measures, such as access points management proactive video monitoring, asset and personnel tracking, and others. Yet the simple truth remains that a guard dedicated to the security of an area remains an active deterrent to security breaches and can be used efficiently and effectively with the aforementioned options.


Email info@cgiprotects.com to ask about our
Consultation Services For Schools
or call 504.483.7811



More discussion
on the school security debate

School groups question proposals for armed security

To lock classroom doors or not?

Military veterans could solve school security problems


The Brussels Job: A $50 Million Diamond Heist

// posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Feb 20



What could be stolen from your building in 3 minutes... confidential information? Artwork? A safe? 


On Monday, February 18, masked thieves stole $50 million in diamonds in a blitzkrieg-style heist at the Brussels Airport in Belgium in just three short minutes.

Using two vehicles, a team of heavily armed robbers were able to "breach" the security gates and offload diamonds, as well as an unspecified amount of gold and platinum, from the cargo hold of a stationery aircraft that was loading passengers. This flight, a simple passenger plane from Brussels to Zurich operated by Helvetic Airlines, was transporting part of the daily $200 million in stones entering and exiting the country for the Antwerp World Diamond Center. While most of the details have yet to be released, the sheer speed at which this heist was executed tells us a few things. First, the thieves may have had help from an employee or former employee. Second, there was significant knowledge of the diamond's daily flight schedule. And finally, the loaded cargo was insufficiently protected for the window of time in which it took for the passengers to load the plane.

While we have no doubt that the authorities will eventually catch the perpetrators and am thankful that no one was hurt in such a brazen escapade, it's important to learn from such an extreme example of theft while it is a topic of conversation. After all, it's the extreme for which we must always prepare. First, the questions: Were security cameras in place and operational? Were background checks performed on every employee and security guard? Were they issued firearms? Was any sensitive information leaked from the Antwerp World Diamond Center? Until more information is released, we are only able to learn from the obvious. 

The fact that such sensitive cargo was placed on a passenger plane is not a new concept; however, it should be noted that anyone with Internet access had the ability to at least narrow down the flights at which to focus their efforts. With a simple piece of inside information, reducing a handful of flights down to one becomes very easy. A simple change of this regularity may have averted such a disaster. In this case, occasionally using a flight with a layover in another airport, utilizing an armored car or even smaller shipments may have been just the thing to keep a would-be thief from executing such a flawless maneuver. While it may cost a bit more, the breaking of habits could have been the ounce of prevention for the pound of cure. Every day we engage in habits. Habits that can be learned and ultimately exploited. 

The 3 minutes that the diamonds were left unprotected was all it took for them to be stolen. What could feasibily be taken from your company in that time? Is there a schedule that a person could access that would clue them into a window of opportunity? Think about the most extreme situation that could happen... Helicopters lowering criminals... Escapes by jet boat. In this particular scenario, (did we mention $200 MILLION IN DIAMONDS BEING TRANSPORTED A DAY) one might be inclined to think that this was not a what-if situation but rather just a question of when. So don't let your business become the victim of the next "Italian Job"

Read more about the $50 million heist here - http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/19/world/europe/belgium-diamond-heist/index.html

An American Woman Goes Missing: A Case For Security Cameras

// posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Feb 13

 

Traveling abroad can be perilous at times, especially for Americans. Citizens are typically advised by the U.S. State Department to be cautious when leaving the country due to various factors. Even with that in mind, situations can still develop.

Recently, an American woman went missing after visiting a mall in Istanbul, Turkey in what was her first trip outside U.S. borders. It is with a hopeful heart that we wish for her speedy and safe return. Now what, if anything, could have been done to help prevent this situation from occurring? 

One of the first lines of defense against any crime is a surveillance camera. Video systems are essential to deter theft, alert security of suspicious behavior and also provide the forensics necessary to help law enforcement find those who perpetrated a crime. The mall she visited just prior to her disappearance had a few security cameras in place that captured her alive and well, and even what she was wearing.

Now imagine if the surrounding businesses all had cameras, providing a web of eyes capturing all that went on. While this much surveillance may sound like a case of paranoia or “big brother,” it is important to note that cameras, even if not in service, can help prevent malicious behavior. It is the responsibility of every business to not only protect their assets and employees, but their customers as well—That includes around their stores as well. Better yet, a good security camera system will often decrease your insurance costs while providing more peace of mind to both you and your customers.

State-of-the-art surveillance cameras are now being equipped with cutting edge behavioral analytics software. These next-generation behavioral analytics packages “learn” behavior through observation, such determining the difference between employees working a loading dock and someone who is suspicious hanging around it. Within a few hours of launching, the analytics software can identify ongoing “normal” behavior and send alerts or alarms only on any behavior that is out of the ordinary, which can be delivered to a guard’s handheld unit for rapid response to stop potential crimes. Also, 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.

Whether you use standard surveillance cameras or advanced models, they can help prevent crime and expedite remediation if something does happen. Some people only need to see the security cameras on the wall to think twice before committing a crime. The threat of efficient punishment is often enough to dissuade a would-be criminal and, at other times, it can provide enough video to track the movements of an individual, such as the missing American.
 
While some people may feel adding more public surveillance cameras to be an invasion of privacy, they must remember that most cameras are operated by private businesses to protect their assets, employees and customers. Finally, imagine if a situation like the one with the woman happened to someone you cared about and there was a web of cameras to witness it as opposed to few or no cameras—Which would you prefer?
 
For more information on the latest surveillance systems and other security and technology, email us at info@cgiprotects.com or call 504-483-7811.

Read more about the missing woman here - http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/01/29/missing-american-woman-turkey/1875587/


Jan 30

Are criminals spying on you with your own webcams? It's possible.Webcams are everywhere. They're on buildings giving feeds on traffic, crowds, and activity. They're in homes for personal use and businesses for web conferences and presentations. But what if someone could access those personal cameras without your knowledge to spy on every little thing that's going on and you do?

One new website (which has since been taken down) allowed you, your neighbor, your ex, your nemesis—anyone—to view unsecured webcams at will. While this instance is limited to one particular brand of webcam, a reader would only need to browse the comments beneath the article to see that this is far from being an isolated glitch.

Webcams, like anything running an operating system connected to the Internet (your smartphone, laptop, house alarm), require regular updates such as software patches... like when your computer seems to annoyingly always ask you to update the system, often referencing security vulnerabilities that need patching. Although the compromised webcams seem to be limited to individual homes and certain office spaces, it's little loopholes like this that enable a thief or terrorist to establish employee patterns, learn access codes or identify possible weaknesses.

Technology isn't perfect. That's why it's important to stay alert and make sure all needed updates are downloaded and precautions taken. Updates give technology the ability to adapt as thieves are always looking for ways to compromise the technology to their benefit.


Protect your business or home by occasionally checking your webcam provider's website or making a quick call to see if there are any notifications. For information on state-of-the-art security cameras and other security technology, email us at info@cgiprotects.com or call 504.483.7811.

Read more about the unsecured webcams here - http://gizmodo.com/5977915/this-interactive-map-lets-you-spy-on-insecure-webcam-feeds

Tags

Archive