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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

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.


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.

Jul 23

 

Do you have an eye for security? Here's your chance to prove it. Try to find all five security threats in the image below in less than 20 seconds.

If a security team has not yet integrated behavioral analytics into their surveillance camera system, which can spot and prevent threats before they can become crimes, then they must rely on human eyes to watch and catch everything.

Now you get to test yourself and see how well you'd do watching one camera.

 

The Pope, Security Personnel and You

// posted on Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Jul 17


The Pope is heading to Brazil next week, and so is a massive security force—Technically, a small army. The head of the Catholic church is visiting Rio de Janeiro July 22-28 for World Youth Day, a major Roman Catholic event that is expected to draw more than 1.5 million pilgrims to the city.

According to the defense ministry, which is coordinating the security, 7,000 police will beef up the city's 12,000 police, in addition to 1,700 members of the elite National Force and units of the civilian, highway and federal police forces." It is also boosting from an initial 8,500 to 10,266 the number of army, air force and navy personnel to be deployed for the high-profile event, which will handle security in 10 areas, including control of the airspace, border surveillance, chemical and biological weapons, explosives trade, maritime defense and cyber-security.

That's quite a force to be reckoned with, but you can be sure criminals and terrorists are looking for gaps in that protection. 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 and not worth attempting.

So then, what is a business executive or person not quite on the level of the Pope but still concerned with safety whether at home or when traveling? Typically, the answer involves hiring personnel who can watch their back. Over the last few years, we have seen an increase in the need for armed security personnel accompanying executives on overseas travel. Armed guards offer the client peace of mind and can also be a very effective deterrent. For a more specific example and all too common occurrence, an executive traveling in a somewhat hostile country in South America can be accosted by a potential kidnapper. An armed guard is able to efficiently protect the executive and send the would-be kidnapper on their way without incident.

Security is almost never cut and dry—Meaning it typically takes a lot of planning and preparation. So while armed security guards often provide the best option for those concerned with safety while traveling, it is imperative the client discuss their situation with a qualified security firm so that a risk assessment can be performed. Even if you aren't the Pope with an armada of security surrounding you, there are options that will keep you safe and give you peace of mind.

For more information on guard services or other security solutions,
email info@cgiprotects.com or call 504.483.7811.


Jul 11

If a security team has not yet integrated behavioral analytics into their surveillance camera system, which can spot and prevent threats before they can become crimes, then they must rely on human eyes to watch and catch everything. Test yourself to see how well you'd do watching one camera.

 

Preventing crime with new surveillance camera technology

// posted on Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Jun 04

 

When it comes to preventing and solving crimes, surveillance video is only as good as the person looking at it. But what if the cameras could learn to spot suspicious behavior before a crime is committed?

After the Boston marathon bombings, it was surveillance and other photos that helped catch the two suspects.

Now there's a company that says those same cameras can prevent crimes like that from happening in the first place.

It's a software program tied into existing surveillance cameras and it looks for suspicious or out-of-the-ordinary behavior. Police are then alerted to this suspicious activity.

To watch the full story, click on news clip above from KPRC-TV in Houston.

In one actual surveillance video, captured in an undisclosed location outside of Houston at a train platform, a man put something suspicious under a bench. The camera noticed it and placed a red box around it, alerting authorities.

"We are trying to identify through video feeds what anomalous behavior is occurring," said Ray Cavanagh with software technology company Crescent Guardian. "If it's something out of the ordinary, it warrants a second look and should be responded."

It's not just packages. The software highlights other odd events, like video of a car following a train through a tunnel or where someone left a bag unintended.

In all these cases police or others were notified.

While none of these examples took place in the Houston area, Cavanagh said he has clients in Houston. For security reasons though, he can't disclose specifically what offices or agencies.

"It's not a magic pill in and of itself," said Cavanagh. "The video is out there. We know the video systems exist."

Cavanagh said outfitting an existing camera with this technology could run $5,000.

"Most importantly of all, what's the cost of a human life?" said Cavanagh. "A human life is worth trying to save and so if there are security events that we can prevent, such as some of the events that have occurred recently, it's well worth the price."

Visit KPRC-TV's website to see the original story.

 

 

May 23

Recently, Time Magazine published an article titled Homeland Insecurity: After Boston, The Struggle Between Liberty and Security. The piece questions at what point does the increased threat of terrorism encroach on our right to privacy. Well, as the world becomes more populated and potential threats rise, this very hot topic will continue to grow.

In short, the TIME article states, “With al-Qaeda weakened abroad but self-taught, wi-fi-empowered jihadis increasingly a threat at home, balancing freedom and security is an old problem we’ll have to get used to once again."

Security is a way of life in today’s world, and yet, all Americans deserve the right to their individual freedom. So, how can we strike a balance?

The article points to video surveillance and its intrusion on all individuals regardless of the possibility of security threats. While I believe that all individuals deserve their right to freedom, I equally believe that we deserve to be protected, or as protected as can be, from senseless and arbitrary violence.

The article goes on to say, “The failure to detect the brothers’ [Tsarnaev] plot seemed to some like a replay of 9/11, when communication failures between U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement services blew a chance to stop the attacks.”

In today’s world, video exists, whether we like it or not. Whether it is from stationary cameras posted on stoplights and street corners, or cameras in retails stores or offices, or on phones and handheld devices, it is everywhere. It is used most often as a forensic tool – evaluating situations after a breach occurs, such as breaking and entering, holdups, or even more violent acts of crime.

Although a camera captures images of all those in its field of view – perpetrator and victim alike – it is really only those who have had a hand in illegal acts that have cause for concern. According to Time’s article, authorities have identified a total of 21 homegrown jihadist-inspired terrorist plots and two attacks in the eight years after 9/11, and U.S. law enforcement made 42 arrests from May 2009 to December 2012. So whether it is acknowledged or not, the threat is real and it is here.

Now, take the fact that the average attention span of a security guard viewing CCTV feeds peaks at only 20 minutes. Given fatigue and other human factors, such as the blinking of an eye or some type of distraction, a high probability exists that some behavior will be missed. Fortunately, there are new tools, such as behavioral analytics, that assist human eyes by taking these video feeds and highlighting the potential threats while ignoring normal or ongoing behavior. This allows security personnel to anticipate possible threats and act accordingly. 



Not all potential threats can be acted upon and stopped before they occur, sometimes, because there is not enough warning. But the solutions such as behavioral analytics bypass the burden of needing human eyes staring at hundreds and hundreds of minutes of video footage 24x7, enabling primarily potential threats to be highlighted. At that point, experienced security personnel can decide if the threat is real and if it warrants further investigation.

By reducing the requirement to view all footage all the time, it does not offer greater liberty, but does put the emphasis squarely on prevention of threats rather than reacting to them after the fact.

We at Crescent Guardian believe it is every citizen’s right to civil liberties, but we also believe it is every citizen’s right to expect safety and security measures to protect us from harm. Continued vigilance by our citizens is the best way to reduce threats, but a helping hand from technology can go a long way to helping in the fight against crime and terrorism.

Fo more information on "smart" cameras and behavioral analytics, email rcavanagh@cgiprotects.com or call 504-483-7811.

Read the entire Time Magazine article here - http://swampland.time.com/2013/05/01/homeland-insecurity-after-boston-the-struggle-between-liberty-and-security/

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

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.



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