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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

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.

 

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?

The Convergence of Physical and IT Security

// posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sep 13


It wasn’t long ago when physical security was comprised simply of locks and keys and the occasional fence or guard dog as a deterrent. Those days have passed as surely as vinyl records have been replaced by digital music.

Guard services serve a two-fold purpose: To deter potential security breaches via their presence, and to react to breaches as they occur. However, the technique of simply stationing a guard or patrolling an area is no longer adequate and must be augmented by electronic tools that enable personnel to increase overall coverage.

Unlike on TV shows and movies, a guard making rounds typically will not see signs of forced entry very easily. Although the move to automated access control, such as swipe, prox and smart cards, has modernized entrance points of facilities, it also becomes more difficult to identify when those portals have been breached. Access control can be fooled through the use of cloned cards or access to the network, making the facility appear as though all is well.

So, how does today’s security officer counter the potential threat? The use of video is one possibility. But how does a guard both observe video while inspecting a facility? One answer can be found in the next generation of analytics.

While video is ubiquitous today, many cameras still employ analog devices. 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 anomalous behavior, which can be sent to a guard’s handheld unit to facilitate rapid response and stop potential breaches. This system essentially allows the user to “set it and forget it,” making it one of the easiest, most effective systems to install and use.

Remote monitoring is another way of leveraging technology with physical security. Video today is used most often for remediation, not prevention. In our litigious society, lawsuits abound on falls from spilled coffee, or broken bones from tripping on a carpet at the store. While it is critically important to be able to use video for remedying these issues, it is more efficient and less time consuming to prevent these issues in the first place. While live monitoring of video might not be able to stop an individual from slipping on a coffee spill, it might provide staff the opportunity to clean up the spot before an accident occurs.

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. Additionally, on-site monitoring feeds can be disrupted, damaged or even lost.
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 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, cohesive 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.

As criminals become more tech-savvy, it is up to security professionals to stay several steps ahead. We will never eliminate the need for live response to situations and security personnel to deter threats. However, by augmenting the human factor with automation, overall coverage can be vastly improved, costs reduced and the ability to prevent crime before occurring substantially increased. In a peek at the future, the convergence of physical and IT security will play a huge role in better anticipating threats and adapting to trends. Now, it is just a matter of making sure everyone’s security has switched from “vinyl” to “digital.”


To see this article as published in Security Magazine, click here.

Written by Ray Cavanagh, Vice President of Crescent Guardian & ASIS Physical Security Council Board Member

Could The "$80 Million Heist" Have Been Prevented?

// posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2012

May 08

Arrests Made in $80 Million Eli Lilly Drug Theft

Two brothers were recently arrested and charged by federal authorities for their alleged participation in the largest drug heist in the history of the state of Connecticut—The theft of $80 million worth of pharmaceutical drugs from the Eli Lilly Co. distribution center in 2010. [Read more of the story here]

Could The "$80 Million Heist" Have Been Prevented?

Tom Cruise's character from the Mission Impossible movies would have been impressed with how the thieves executed their heist, but that's about it. Unlike most movies, the law eventually catches up with criminals.

CGI Protects is thrilled that the perpetrators in the Eli Lilly case were finally captured, but this is a classic example of how our approach to Security—Which is to prevent rather than remediate breaches—is incredibly important now more than ever. The time drained to identify the perpetrators of the thefts and the loss of an estimated $80M in stolen prescription drugs might have been easily avoided with a holistic Security approach that could include video, analytics and RFID tags. 

CGI has been in the business of preventing Security breaches such as this for over 20 years using a wide array of technology solutions, including remote monitoring of sites, first responder services and cutting edge video monitoring and analytics software. With a holistic approach, you not only save money, but also prevent wasted time and money after experiencing a crime.

See if you have any weak points with a Free Security Assessment

Ready to see how you can increase your overall security coverage while spending less?

CGI Protects offers free security assessments for company sites to evaluate and recommend solutions designed to prevent security breaches such as the Eli Lilly case from occurring, potentially saving tens of thousands of dollars in pursuing legal recourse and other costs, such as increased insurance premiums.

Call 504.483.811 or email us to learn more about our free security assessments.

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