Is There A Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Cameras?

Is There A Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Cameras?

Video surveillance is an important part of any home security system. They add an extra layer of security, and provide an added level of peace of mind.

But adding video surveillance isn’t as easy as selecting the first camera equipment you find. It can be difficult to know which cameras best suit your needs. And there is a difference between indoor and outdoor cameras; selecting the wrong one won’t provide the proper coverage your home needs.

The primary distinction between indoor and outdoor security cameras is the ability to withstand harsher external elements. While both types of cameras usually come with similar styles and internal features, outdoor cameras need to be able to contend with the harshest winter days, the hottest summer days, and varying light conditions.

Outdoor cameras are also more vulnerable to being tampered with, so they are typically made from more durable materials, possibly housed in a casing that discourages easy break-ins or removal.

Indoor cameras are smaller, more lightweight, and are usually far less intrusive than their bulkier outdoor counterparts. Both indoor and outdoor cameras utilize features like infrared, allowing for clear pictures even in low light situations. They can easily transition when there is a sudden change in lighting conditions, and automatically go from color in daylight to black and white as it darkens.

Dome cameras are also popular in both indoor and outdoor settings in order to keep visitors from knowing exactly where the lens is pointed. This keeps people from easily hiding just out of range, and makes a potential burglar think twice before moving forward.

Keep in mind that in most cases, hidden cameras are better off in indoor applications, where they are designed in such a way as to be hidden in common household items. Concealing a camera outside means selecting a small camera that isn’t designed for outdoor use, and therefore is more susceptible to weather elements.

In order to ensure you have the right camera setup for your situation, connect with a security technician to find out your best options.

Why Senior Living Communities Should Care About Security Technology

Why Senior Living Communities Should Care About Security Technology

Demand for senior housing will continue to rise in the coming year’s thanks to an ever-growing supply of baby boomers that are aging and moving into a phase where they begin needing care. The National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care has reported that established senior housing occupancy rose to an all-time high in 2015 of just over 90 percent. And in every sector – independent living, assisted living, and nursing care – growth and demand continues to rise.

While this tremendous growth is fueling a host of problems within the industry, security is one that is rarely talked about. There’s a general lack of industry-wide best practice principles, while at the same time there’s a growing sophistication of cyber threats in an increasingly digital world.

Cybersecurity risks transcend all industries. It’s not just banks and financial services companies that are at risk. Target knows this. Anthem knows this. According to an IBM report, healthcare tops the list of targeted industries.

Like other organizations, healthcare businesses are rapidly shifting toward adopting electronic reporting and cloud-based storage of information. Senior living facilities hold sensitive resident, patient and employee data in a variety of ways. Because senior living facilities also store financial information on residents, such as credit card and other banking information, their exposure to hackers is even greater than most. Hackers know this, and often target these facilities, knowing they can fetch a much higher price on the black market for personal health information compared with something like credit card information.

It can also be argued that the health care industry has been slower to adopt security policies than other more technology driven industries. It’s not just the large corporations who are at risk. Small, low profile companies are often more susceptible because they are easier to penetrate and may not notice breaches in an instantaneous fashion. In 2014, Assisted Living Concepts’ payroll services computer system was hacked, putting the risk of about 43,600 employees records at risk, including names, birth dates, Social Security numbers and compensation data.

It’s difficult to know what best practices are, especially when they seem to change every day. When it’s not your primary job function, how can you ever keep up with the demands that come along with securing your data? Senior living has been fortunate until now that hackers haven’t focused on the industry as much as others. But that doesn’t mean the trend will continue.

Data security should be at the top of mind for every C-level executive in every industry. It’s not a matter of if a breach attempt occurs, it’s a matter of when. The more you are prepared, the less potential damage will exist.

We can help.

Do You Offer Fraud Protection As A Customer Service?

Do You Offer Fraud Protection As A Customer Service?

Imagine a hurricane slowly moving up the coastline, causing floods and damage as it travels from city to city.

Or a river rising as the rains come down day after day. Eventually, it surpasses its banks and creeps into offices and housing complexes that share the same borders.

You can’t stop Mother Nature. When events happen beyond our control, you simply have to wake up the next morning and deal with the aftermath.

People understand that. And if Mother Nature impacts your business, people will give you a little leeway to make things right.

But what if a hacker gets into your databases and compromises your customer files? What’s it going to take to keep your customers happy in this situation?

Unfortunately, large and small companies alike are finding out every day.

Customer-friendly companies are finding themselves in a unique catch-22 situation. On the one hand, it’s important to keep security issues confidential and work issues and problems internally as quickly as possible. On the other hand, if you don’t share what’s happened quickly and thoroughly and your customer base finds out without your input, your reputation can be severely destroyed.

Nothing loses trust with your customer base faster than a data breach. The way you act from the moment you discover it sets the stage for everything.

Transparency

While it’s difficult to recover from a data breach, it’s not impossible. If a company acts with integrity and total transparency from the beginning, it can build a stronger customer base throughout the process.

Where do you start?

With your customer messaging.

You can’t hide. You can’t ignore. All it takes is one person finding out the truth, and they can hit social media in an instant. Within minutes, a tidal wave can occur throughout sites like Twitter or Facebook.

Even before you have a data breach, you can begin to build trust by letting your customer base know your security plans. Show them your commitment by talking about upgrades. Send a clear message that security is everything.

If a data breach occurs, begin the campaign to tell your customers where the problem lies as soon as you possibly can. The message should be clear: something happened, and we won’t stop until we fix it. Because hiding problems will get you nowhere. Even giants like eBay have learned the hard way, when it didn’t release information on a security breach with its customer data.

Then talk about the problem throughout the clean-up process. What should your customer base do? What steps are you taking to ensure it never happens again? Remember your customer base is on multiple channels. If you’re where they are, they will be more accepting of the process. That means through print, mobile, and online technology.

Today’s threats and challenges are real. How you respond to them even before a crisis happens sets the stage for your continued growth.

What message are you sending your customer base?

Why It May Be Time To Hand Over Your IT To A Managed Service Provider

Why It May Be Time To Hand Over Your IT To A Managed Service Provider

Managed Service Provider. It’s a buzzword you’ll often hear throughout the business world. If you’ve been searching for the right company to provide IT services, you’ve probably seen it again and again.

As defined, Managed Services allows a business to offload their IT operations. The managed service provider assumes all responsibility for monitoring, managing and fixing problems for the IT systems within the business.

Companies today are increasingly relying on outside providers for part of their IT needs. But that doesn’t mean MSPs replace your IT function; in many cases, they complement rather than replace. MSPs help free up existing IT staff to focus on more strategic projects. It allows them to begin development and implementation of projects that in many cases have been calendared for months, even years, without proper time for implementation.

Managed service providers originally were companies consisting of networks of people that were self-taught in the area of break-fix maintenance. When something broke, the company called the service provider to come and fix it. And hopefully, it worked.

As time went on, these networks became more developed and offered greater tools, programs, and procedures. They would periodically come on-site to perform systems reviews and look for hints of bigger problems that were stored within. Still, in most cases, you simply could not see what didn’t exist. Most support still happened only when emergency situations occurred, and the MSP was called in to fix it.

Since that time, hardware and software has continued to improve. Technology continued to change. And today’s managed service providers are better equipped than ever before. The managed services software used today allows providers to

  • Be alerted for every symptom or risk that occurs as it happens
  • Be alerted when anything of importance needs to be addressed

Support services today need to oversee increasingly complex IT environments and be quick to move on everything that takes place. If you fall behind in any area – backups, patches, outages, problems or security issues – it can quickly have a negative impact in all areas of business, including your customer service relationships and ultimately your bottom line.

Businesses today can no longer afford a “break-fix” mentality. A broken system can quickly bring your world to a crashing halt. You simply no longer have time for this.

One of the biggest benefits of managed services is discovering and fixing symptoms long before they have the opportunity to become problems. A well-maintained computer network will always run better than the alternative. A proactive 24-hour monitored system will help you reduce cost and increase operating efficiencies right from the beginning.

Is your network running as efficiently as it could?

5 Steps For Recovering From A Security Breach

5 Steps For Recovering From A Security Breach

As you approach your desk, you flip on your computer, check your calendar, and prepare to start your day. But something’s not quite right. You can’t login. You can’t pull anything up. And what’s that weird message that keeps flashing your way?

You’ve been hacked.

You’re not alone. In fact, millions of security threats reveal themselves every year. And while it’s easy to read about them and think to yourself “not me,” the truth is they all impact us in some way at some point in time.

It’s not a matter of  “if,” it’s a matter of “when.”

There are many ways to ward off threats and attempt to keep your data safe and secure. We talk about many of them here.

But the reality is at some point, the unthinkable will happen. And once it does, speed will be your best ally in recovering from a security breach.

1. Identify and Investigate

Discovering a data breach can be difficult. Many of us go into denial, wondering what went wrong and how it happened. Depending on the size and scope of the breach, it can sometimes be put off for short periods of time. But in all cases, the quicker you act, the easier it will be to arrive at the solution. Full panic mode is standard for any company, especially if you don’t know exactly what happened. That’s why the first step to recovery is acknowledging a breach has occurred, identifying how widespread the attack was, and investigating all areas it has touched.

2. Contain 

Once a breach has occurred and is identified, many businesses quickly move to the “all of nothing” mode, shutting everything down all at once to contain the problem. That’s actually the wrong approach because it might hinder further investigation. Your first goal is to find out your reality. And only when you understand all of the pieces of your problem will you be able to discover the best way to repair your systems and create a new strategy for moving forward.

3. Repair and Upgrade

Once you understand where the problem lies, then comes the process of repairing everything that was damaged by the breach. This might require replacement of devices and programs. With a more severe breach, it might mean revamping your infrastructure. During the repair process, don’t underestimate the value of upgrading to the latest technology wherever possible, installing the newest features to create a resilient front against future attacks. Placing bandaids over existing equipment and programs will only leave you vulnerable once everything is returned to normal.

4. Transparency

We’ve all seen the backlash from large companies admitting their data breaches. They make news headlines on a regular basis. And while these news stories might warn you to do the exact opposite, they are actually doing it the right way. The problem is with most data breaches, the news leaks eventually in one way or another. The more open and upfront you are about what happened, the more trust you will build with your followers, ensuring you are doing all you can to correct the problem. Your customers, your prospects, and your partners will all place higher value on your integrity if you keep them informed every step of the way.

5. Prevention

Prevention is something to think about all throughout the process. It starts before you ever turn on the first computer in your office, and it will be a part of your strategy for as long as you’re in business. Prevention is about upgrading your equipment and systems at the appropriate time to avoid high risk situations. It’s about educating and training your employees to minimize all risk factors that can leave backdoors wide open. It’s about future thinking, anticipating future risks and needs, and putting things in place before problems arise. It’s not one person’s problem; it’s not up to a small team to contain. Instead, security is something that we all should be involved in, to ensure the safest work environment possible every day.

What’s your plan for recovering from a security breach?

Changes To Google Cloud Platform Might Make Your Business Better

Changes To Google Cloud Platform Might Make Your Business Better

Google recently announced a few changes to the way they do business. You’ll find Google Cloud is about to change the way you do business.

Google Cloud platform includes the products, technologies, and services that allow you to work easily in the digital world. It also includes G Suite, what was previously known as Google Apps for Work, which includes apps like Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Hangouts and more.

Google’s public cloud already has 1 billion active users, and 2 million businesses currently pay for G Suite. And with the investment Google is putting into the new platform, that number will only increase in the coming months and years.

But what does that mean for you?

Google is already an important part of your day. You search. You check Gmail. You share using Google Docs. And while all of that has allowed you to become more efficient in the things you do, Google Cloud can help you do that even more efficiently than before.

Google Cloud products aren’t just for big enterprises or for technology and design firms. Instead, Google is creating a work environment that is perfect for all levels of customers, from the self-employed and startup world al the way to the largest enterprises in the world.

Google is integrating more artificial intelligence and machine learning into their G Suite apps. For instance, with the Drive app, they have developed a “quick access” feature that looks at your user activity patterns and predictably serves you the files you use and need on a regular basis. It predicts your patterns and makes your search process shorter and more refined.

Google is also integrating a new “team meeting” approach. It’s designed to help businesses move away from the idea that data is managed by individuals, and instead gives a more fluid access to those that truly need it. This allows people to work more efficiently every day, no matter where they are in the world.

And all of this is just the beginning. With more integration and more collaboration than ever before, one thing is for sure: Google can change the way you do business.

There are many ways to increase productivity with your most common tasks. With the changes Google is making to the tools you have access to, right now, you can become more efficient and get more done with just a few changes to your daily activity.

Are you ready to learn how?

Will Technology Eliminate Doctors In The Future?

Will Technology Eliminate Doctors In The Future?

Who would you trust with your life, a human or a machine?

Where once we would laugh at that question, we now have to take a second glance.

IBMs Watson, probably one of the most well-known supercomputers in the world, is quickly topping his game-skill abilities and becoming a medical genius.

Artificial intelligence is moving into fields like radiology – where there currently is about 30,000 radiologists providing analysis each day – and is taking center stage in interpreting image results.

Smart surgical bots are also showing up in all kinds of places, including orthopedic knee replacement and Lasik eye surgery, though at current merely assisting rather than completing the surgery on its own.

But how long before that changes?

According to a report compiled by professor of management practice at London Business School Lynda Gratton, and futurologist David A Smith, in just a few years we could be seeing job titles like:

  • Human to machine interface programmer
  • Avatar manager
  • Robot counsellor
  • Old age wellness managers, and
  • Synthetic life designers

While we’ve always predicted that technology will take over repetitive and laborious tasks – many are gone already – what is surprising about our future is how much artificial intelligence will be integrated into what we currently do.

Are people prepared for both the good and the bad that go along with it?

A computer or robot is only as good as it is programmed. Yes, it can grow and change; artificial intelligence is bringing that into place. But fundamentally, a machine will never be able to fully understand the human condition. All the intricate details that make us unique individuals.

Because let’s face it, humans make mistakes, but technology does too.

Yes, safeguards are in place to prevent humans from making critical errors. And while technology is only in its beginning stages of what its true potential will be in the coming years, we all realize that it’s the Wild West out there, and technology needs its fair share of safeguards too.