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Covid SecurityRI

How Can Security Assist During Covid-19?

Corona Virus has pushed the entire world down to its knees and has sparked chaos in businesses and economies worldwide. Since the medical sector is still struggling to find a cure, businesses have a narrow choice to either follow the safety protocols or fall prey to business interruptions.

Most businesses are struggling to follow the precautions issued by the health experts and the federal / local governments. The best way to avoid the heavy penalties imposed by the administration against the violations of these safety measures is to appoint security guards to help enforce them.

The security guard roles have evolved ever since the pandemic started. In this new scenario, a well-trained security team not only guards your business against a physical threat but can also assist in the health safety of your employees.

Wondering about the role of security during COVID-19? Let’s find out;

General Public Safety

It has been made clear by health officials that social distancing / masks are the only weapon against the spread of this deadly virus. Adhering to this precaution can get burdensome if there are many inflowing customers. However, a security guard role is paramount here.

Social Distancing

Hiring security guards during COVID-19 can take this burden off of your business. A security guard positioned at the entrance can control the flow of customers entering the store, ensuring proper social distancing inside the store.

Daily health checks are heavily recommended. A security guard stationed at the entrance will also take temperature checks and sanitize the customers entering the shop, organization, or a corporate building. A security team will also make sure that every visitor and employee is wearing a mask.

Making Proper Workplace Arrangements

All the employees in any organization have the right to reasonable seating. However, under the safety measures asking people to maintain social distancing and use a mask when interacting, seating your employees may become a hassle, especially with people with hearing disabilities or breathing difficulties. People with such health conditions may not be able to maintain social distancing or wear a mask throughout the day.

Looking out for such workers may not be possible for the managers themselves.

Security guards will be your ground force in such conditions. A security guard interacts with every employee from top-to-bottom level every day. They can help identify such employees and assist the organization make suitable arrangements for them, ensuring their corporation’s safety.

Guarding Health Care

Health care security teams have raised their bars by helping organizations and governments combat this pandemic onsite level. Security teams can be appointed, especially in the medical sectors, to cordon off the isolation zones. Security teams can also ensure safe passages for doctors and paramedical staff to-and-from the other isolation zones.

It is the responsibility of security guard placed inside the hospital to make sure that other patients or visitors do not come in contact with Covid-19 patients by patrolling those parts of the hospital. Alternate routes to transfer patients or paramedics within the hospital may also be required. Such a task can only be performed by a well-trained security team.

Implementing the SOPs

Even in such times, when Covid-19 has spread to every corner of the world, and around half a million people have fallen prey to this contagion, some people are still not ready to accept it and follow the essential SOPs.

Arguing with such people or forcing the standard procedures over them will only create a scene at your workplace, store, or corporate office. You definitely don’t want that!

A well-trained security team can take care of this and will put your mind at ease. A pair of security guards can be stationed at the entrance where every customer violating the SOPs can be stopped at the entrance. A security guard can provide face masks to visitors, and if one refuses to follow the necessary guidelines, security officers can turn them away without causing a scene as they are trained to handle such conditions smoothly.

Most people would put on a face mask just to enter the premises. Once they are in, they would make no delay in removing the mask or gloves. A patrolling security guard or a team (in large malls, retail stores, and large corporations) can keep a lookout for such violators.

This will not only keep your employees and visitors safe but will also make sure you’re compliant with the local authorities over violation of SOPs at your business location.

Suggest Improvements

Just like a marketing team knows how to sell a product, only a well-trained security team can put effective and proper safety protocols in place.

Security teams are trained to observe events as closely as possible. Therefore they know what works and what needs to be improved. Security will make recommendations to adjust or update the safety protocols.

For example, your security team can recommend to set up hand sanitizing stations for visitors at different places or to have floor markings at points where a crowd might get collected. A sharp lookout by security can help identify such loopholes and help a business improve its safety measures during Covid-19.

Ensuring a Safe Lockdown

It’s been almost a year since the pandemic started, and in many places, the lockdowns are still in place. Local authorities and businesses in many countries have started the practice of mobile security, where a team of security patrols the streets to ensure all the closed shops and stores remain safe from all kinds of burglary / vandalism.

SecurityRI Patrol Vehicle

These security guards also perform checks on shops and retail stores, ensuring their surveillance, locking panels, and other safety equipment is functioning properly. These checks are also carried out on fire alarm systems to ensure they will perform their job when needed.

Role of a Security Officer during COVID-19

In closing, the role of a security officer and proper security company is much needed. Not only when businesses are closed, although to assist with the spike in Covid-19 compliance.

The importance of security during COVID-19 is nonnegotiable. If you are a local or national business, a retail store, non-profit, etc. – please feel free to contact SecurityRI for security assistance during Covid-19.

We operate live, 24/7/365 and here to assist our fellow businesses in need.

Leadership team at SecurityRI

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SecurityRI.com Internet Toy Risks

FBI Warns Parents: Your Kid’s Internet Smart Toys Could Be a Security Risk

While we continue to grow as a technology driven society, so doesn’t our children’s toys. Many smart toys in 2017 connect to the internet, and even though they’re extremely popular, they may introduce security risks to your children / family. As a cyber security company we encourage our community to follow the FBI’s instructions which is the following:

Consider cyber security prior to introducing smart, interactive, internet-connected toys into their homes or trusted environments. Smart toys and entertainment devices for children are increasingly incorporating technologies that learn and tailor their behaviors based on user interactions. These toys typically contain sensors, microphones, cameras, data storage components, and other multimedia capabilities – including speech recognition and GPS options. These features could put the privacy and safety of children at risk due to the large amount of personal information that may be unwittingly disclosed. – FBI

Why Does This Matter To My Family?

The features and functions of different toys vary widely. In some cases, toys with microphones could record and collect conversations within earshot of the device. Information such as the child’s name, school, likes and dislikes, and activities may be disclosed through normal conversation with the toy or in the surrounding environment. The collection of a child’s personal information combined with a toy’s ability to connect to the Internet or other devices raises concerns for privacy and physical safety. Personal information (e.g., name, date of birth, pictures, address) is typically provided when creating user accounts. In addition, companies collect large amounts of additional data, such as voice messages, conversation recordings, past and real-time physical locations, Internet use history, and Internet addresses/IPs. The exposure of such information could create opportunities for child identity fraud. Additionally, the potential misuse of sensitive data such as GPS location information, visual identifiers from pictures or videos, and known interests to garner trust from a child could present exploitation risks.

Consumers should examine toy company user agreement disclosures and privacy practices, and should know where their family’s personal data is sent and stored, including if it’s sent to third-party services. Security safeguards for these toys can be overlooked in the rush to market them and to make them easy to use. Consumers should perform online research of these products for any known issues that have been identified by security researchers or in consumer reports.

What Makes Internet-Connected Toys Vulnerable?

Data collected from interactions or conversations between children and toys are typically sent and stored by the manufacturer or developer via server or cloud service. In some cases, it is also collected by third-party companies who manage the voice recognition software used in the toys. Voice recordings, toy Web application (parent app) passwords, home addresses, Wi-Fi information, or sensitive personal data could be exposed if the security of the data is not sufficiently protected with the proper use of digital certificates and encryption when it is being transmitted or stored.

Smart toys generally connect to the Internet either:

  • Directly, through Wi-Fi to an Internet-connected wireless access point; or
  • Indirectly, via Bluetooth to an Android or iOS device that is connected to the Internet.

This information can be breached / hacked which may fall in the hands of the unwanted.

WHAT SHOULD I DO?

The FBI encourages consumers to consider the following recommendations, at a minimum, prior to using Internet-connected toys.

  • Research for any known reported security issues online to include, but not limited to:
  • Only connect and use toys in environments with trusted and secured Wi-Fi Internet access
  • Research the toy’s Internet and device connection security measures
    • Use authentication when pairing the device with Bluetooth (via PIN code or password)
    • Use encryption when transmitting data from the toy to the Wi-Fi access point and to the server or cloud
  • Research if your toys can receive firmware and/or software updates and security patches
    • If they can, ensure your toys are running on the most updated versions and any available patches are implemented
  • Research where user data is stored – with the company, third party services, or both – and whether any publicly available reporting exists on their reputation and posture for cyber security
  • Carefully read disclosures and privacy policies (from company and any third parties) and consider the following:
    • If the company is victimized by a cyber-attack and your data may have been exposed, will the company notify you?
    • If vulnerabilities to the toy are discovered, will the company notify you?
    • Where is your data being stored?
    • Who has access to your data?
    • If changes are made to the disclosure and privacy policies, will the company notify you?
    • Is the company contact information openly available in case you have questions or concerns?
  • Closely monitor children’s activity with the toys (such as conversations and voice recordings) through the toy’s partner parent application, if such features are available
  • Ensure the toy is turned off, particularly those with microphones and cameras, when not in use
  • Use strong and unique login passwords when creating user accounts (e.g., lower and upper case letters, numbers, and special characters)
  • Provide only what is minimally required when inputting information for user accounts (e.g., some services offer additional features if birthdays or information on a child’s preferences are provided) – FBI’s Website
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High Alert! Ransomware is locking down local businesses

BE AWARE! Ransomware is on the rise and is shutting down businesses in our local community.

If you’re unsure what Ransomware is, it’s a computer malware that installs covertly on a victim’s device (computer, smartphone, wearable devices, etc.). The malware holds the victim’s data hostage, or exposes the victim’s data until the ransom is paid.

Think about how crippling Ransomware is, your entire business is shut down until the ransom is paid. Business transactions cannot be made, disgruntled customers,  and negative exposure.

Our company has recently noticed an article from the Providence Journal regarding a Ransomware shutdown of a prominent Providence law firm. The article talks about how the Providence law firm was held captive for months by encrypting its files and then demanding $25,000 in ransom paid in cyber currency to restore access. During the seizure, the firm claims they were left unproductive and unable to operate, resulting in $700,000 lost billing. Not only did they lose $700,000, the insurance company refused to pay their claim.

As a “Complete Security Solution” company, we want to warn our community and inform that cyber threats are no joke. Prevention should not be taken lightly, and you must implement prevention instead of reaction. Listed below are a few prevention tips:

  1. Start with a well-rounded antivirus with active monitoring
    • The software must include anti-malware and anti-ransomware programs.
  2. Next, create secure backups of your data on a regular basis
    • You can purchase USBs, external hard drive or cloud storage.
  3. Stay Informed
    • Read about current events, follow cyber security blogs, search the web, educate yourself.
  4. Outsource
    • When all fails or you simply do not want to deal with the cyber drama, you can outsource to the professionals.

In closing, be safe. Complete your due-diligence, understand the different types of cyber threats. Protect yourself, business, employees and customers.

 

 

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Microsoft Office 365 IT Security Benefits

microsoft office 365Microsoft Office 365 was first announced back in October 2010. It has been a long time since the announcement, but it looks like Microsoft Office 365 is ready for the corporate world. Fact of the matter is: your business can benefit from using Microsoft Office 365. Our goal is to ensure that your company optimizes the IT security benefits of the new cloud-based platform. (more…)

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