Combating Pesky Porch Pirates

Combating Pesky Porch Pirates

With today’s digital age, online stores and shopping services have made it easy and economical to shop online and have a whole host of items shipped directly to your front porch. However, that ease and convenience may come at a price. And, unfortunately, it happens way too often: UPS or FedEx drops a package on your doorstep, but a thief scoops it up before you do, and in broad daylight! Meanwhile, you are wondering what’s taking so long for your package to arrive.

No matter the area you live in, package theft has become a prominent problem for homeowners in cities and suburban and rural areas. Here are some tips to try and combat porch pirates:

  • Get the tracking number for all of your purchases and keep on top of the estimated delivery time and date.
  • Provide details to delivery services to place packages in a specific location (i.e. behind the big planter or behind shrubbery).
  • Require a signature for drop-off, especially for large-ticket items.
  • Have packages delivered to a trusted location such as your business or a relative/friend, especially if you will be away from your house for an extended period of time.
  • Use technology! There are products such as package “lock boxes” to package plates that alarm if the package is removed without a code.
  • Install surveillance or doorbell cameras for deterrence or, better yet, to catch a porch pirate in the act.

 

In the event of a theft, trying to get a refund or reshipment of your items will most likely be fruitless, especially if there is a record of a successful delivery. Taking a proactive approach is your best option. Having a residential security camera system may mean the difference between having no evidence of the theft and being able to identify the thief. And if your porch pirate can be identified, they can be caught.

Fight back against porch pirates and make sure your online purchases make it home safely. To learn more about how you can protect your home, contact our security experts at SecureVP today.

Window Security Laminates: Why Every Home Should Have Them

Windows within a home are beautiful and serve a variety of purposes such as letting in natural light and allowing the home’s inhabitants to have a view of the outside. They can be functional as well as majestic statements of architecture and design. However, unfortunately, they can also provide easier access into a home and can provide a weak point when it comes to natural disasters. With window barrier laminates, you can protect your home and family against these threats.

Window barrier laminates, also known as window security laminates, help protect your home from potential injury, break-ins and theft. They help make windows harder to penetrate and keep glass fragments together in the event of an impact whether from natural disasters or human forces.

Window security laminates can greatly deter an unwanted person from entering your home. Most home invasions can be categorized as “smash-and-grab” jobs. In most cases, it is very easy to smash a regular window and gain access into a home. However, with security laminates, it is much more difficult to shatter the window and make a quick and undetected entry. The added time and effort it would take is a huge deterrence and also gives you, the homeowner, time to respond. A person attempting to gain quick access into your home will most likely not hang around to try and figure out how to get through the barrier.

Other Benefits

With security laminates, you gain a host of other benefits in addition to increased physical protection. Window laminates, while not changing the aesthetics of the windows, can deflect heat away from the home while still allowing in natural light. This can significantly cut down on cooling costs during summer months. Window laminates can also protect those inside, as well as your furniture, from harmful UV rays. If you prefer to have tinted windows, tinted laminates are available in different shades. You can talk with a SecureVP professional about what type of window laminate would work best for your particular situation.

The Process

The window security laminates used by SecureVP are of the utmost quality and are coated with a rubber-based adhesive that spreads impact further and over a larger surface area. This helps preserve the intact state of the window as well as protect your valuables by providing a stronger physical barrier.

After being thoroughly cleaned, the window security laminate is placed over your existing windows. After a brief curing time, the laminate binds to the glass. In the event of an attempted breakage, the broken parts of a window are also bound together, so even if the window breaks, shards of glass will not fly around and pose a threat to those inside.

Contact SecureVP today at Solutions@SecureVP.com to learn more about the different types of window barrier laminates and how to better protect your investment and your family.

Four Cyber Security Areas of Concern for Smaller Businesses

The last few years has shown an increasing amount of cybercrime and malware. Industry leading experts predict this trend will show no stoppage in the future. Unfortunate as it is, cybercrime pays. Cybercriminals are broadening their horizons and new players are jumping in looking to grab a piece of the pie. The current threat landscape is broad and expansive, and it can be challenging to keep up with all of the potential threats and vulnerabilities in existence. As a result, all businesses, especially smaller companies, should expect to increasingly become targets.

Below are four key areas where smaller businesses need to be diligent in their cyber security measures:

Security Basics

Some companies do not have the luxury of a dedicated IT staff or budget, much less a team focused on Information Security. Consequently, many basic security practices may be overlooked or performed sporadically at best. Routine practices such as using anti-virus, scheduling automatic updates, minimizing administrative access and enforcing secure password policies are prime examples. Common practice in larger enterprises, these policies need to be developed and defined in businesses of all sizes to protect data, assets and people.

Planning & Preparedness

The industry is realizing an ever-rising use of malware and ransomware tactics. Ensuring a business can maintain its operations in the face of an attack, or in its aftermath, is crucial. According to Nationwide’s 2015 Small Business Owner Study, 79% of smaller companies do not have a response plan in place. [1]

An incident response plan should, at the very least, define the following:

  1. -Overall goal of the plan
  2. -Definition of an incident
  3. -Lifecycle of the incident (Prepare, Detect, Analyze, Contain, Eradicate, Recover and Refine)
  4. -Actions or steps that need to occur in each lifecycle phase.

Businesses should invest in an appropriate data backup solution in the case of a breach or loss of data. Attention should be given to protecting employee and customer data through the use of encryption software and two-factor authentication for accessing sensitive information.

Regulatory Compliance

Although it may not be a requirement for all companies, some do need to comply with one or more regulatory standards such as HIPAA, PCI and Sarbanes-Oxley as examples. Many think it may not be worth the cost and effort to maintain compliance. Many may not understand how to become compliant and, as with PCI non-compliance, see a monthly fee as a “cost of doing business.” However, costs may not be limited to a monthly charge if there is a breach of customer credit card data. Even if only a limited number of credit card transactions are conducted, if a breach occurs, the cost/benefit calculation of ensuring compliance shifts drastically. From additional fines to investigating how a breach happened and loss of customer trust, the cost of non-compliance begins to grow.

Compliance solutions should not be overly complicated and burdensome. They should align with the associated volume and risk of those transactions requiring compliance.

Awareness & Training

People are one of the most important and vital components in securing a business from threats. No matter how good the security policies, if people are unaware and feel that it “is not their job,” there will be a huge gap in any security plan.

All employees should be trained to be aware of company policies, as well as have a basic understanding of the avenues of attack and how cybercriminals can infiltrate a system or network. They should be armed with knowledge and taught to recognize the signs of an attack and how to stay safe while using the company’s assets and network. At a minimum, employees should be able to explain acceptable use of company assets and their responsibility when it comes to helping secure the company.

Cybercriminals have targeted small business and will continue to take aim at weak security controls. As a result, small businesses need to understand they are most certainly a target and need to be ever diligent in securing themselves against cyber threats.

 

[1] http://www.nfib.com/content/resources/technology/infographic-small-businesses-worry-about-cyberattacks-but-lack-response-plans-73267/

Physical Security – As Relevant As Ever

In today’s cyber landscape, a week doesn’t go by without news of a brand new exploit or ransomware attack. With this changing and complex landscape, the need for Information Security is at an all-time high. And as a result, businesses are racing to protect themselves as best they can through any number of logical security mechanisms and controls. Unfortunately, in the melee, the domain of physical security has taken a secondary, backseat position.

However, physical security is still very much a relevant and important aspect of Information Security, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. Every business is potentially vulnerable to threats such as physical theft, theft of data and intellectual property and physical-safety risks to employees and customers. Specifically, retailers all to often understand the significance of theft on their bottom line. According to the 2015 National Retail Security Survey by the National Retail Federation, inventory shrink amounted to $44 billion in losses for retailers in 2014. 38% was attributed to shoplifting and 34.5% was attributed to employee/internal theft.

Physical security can be described as those fundamental controls used to protect the actual premise, site and/or building as well as any other physical assets. Physical security systems can include any of the following:

  1. Surveillance & Monitoring (cameras, CCTVs, monitors, sensors, alarms, encoders)
  2. Access controls (gates, doors, locks, biometrics)
  3. Intrusion deterrents (window barriers, motion lights)
  4. Security guards

When in place, sound physical security systems help to do the following:

  • Protect – Installing a multi-faceted security system will help protect your business and site against theft, crime and unauthorized access.
  • Monitor – Implementing physical security controls can help track and monitor the productivity and security of employees.
  • Track – In the unfortunate event that a business has been a victim of a crime, evidence stored or recorded in any of the physical security controls can be used for investigative and legal purposes.

 

Lastly, performing regular security assessments to test the effectiveness of physical controls is a best practice that all businesses should conduct.

The bottom line: Physical security is just as important as it has ever been. Although logical controls are essential in today’s environment, overlooking the need for physical security can most certainly have a negative impact on business and the bottom line.

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