Doug Bedell — May 19, 2014, 9:50 am

Risks in Buying Used Tech Equipment

Meet Steve Hunt, publisher of the SecurityDreamer blog. He writes about security, technology, society and quality improvement, and he’s got a great post on “spring cleaning” in the office – how “it may create new information risks.” One of the risks he’s mindful of arises in buying used office equipment, something that may be attractive to cash-stretched businesses.

Steve reports on research conducted by DePaul University students, who checked out “equipment purchased by McAfee, part of Intel Security, from various online retailers, such as Amazon Marketplace and eBay.” They found sensitive, personal information on used tablets the most, followed by laptops. Not so on mobile phones, however, since they’re usually easier to wipe clean.

Doug Bedell — May 16, 2014, 12:36 pm

Down the Road, GPS Could Give Way to a ‘Quantum Compass’

The Global Positioning System (GPS), dating from the 1970′s, is facing replacement by a “quantum compass” system, In Homeland Security (IHS) reports. It will be 3-5 years before the new system is ready for mass production, but scientists in the UK, at least, believe it’s definitely in the cards, says IHS writer William Tucker.

A quantum compass “determines location based upon supercooling trapped ions, thereby reducing the effect of external radiation. This allows the ions to become so sensitive that they only respond to electromagnetic fluctuations produced by the earth. Measuring those fluctuations would then be used to determine location.” Wow! Turn right at Futuristic Road…

Doug Bedell — May 14, 2014, 11:58 am

‘Antivirus’ Alone Not Enough Any Longer, Krebs Says

It used to be that reputable antivirus software alone would protect computers from hackers, but not anymore, says Brian Krebs in his Krebs on Security blog. The post provides a review of Internet security trends over the past, say, 15 years.

Antivirus software remains useful, “if somewhat antiquated and ineffective,” Krebs says. “Security is all about layers,” he adds, “and not depending on any one technology or approach to detect or save you from the latest threats. The most important layer in that security defense? You! Most threats succeed because they take advantage of human weaknesses (laziness, apathy, ignorance, etc.), and less because of their sophistication.

“So, take a few minutes to browse Krebs’s 3 Rules for Online Safety, and my Tools for a Safer PC primer. See, it’s not just about antivirus any longer.

Doug Bedell — May 12, 2014, 12:29 pm

3D Printers Can Create An ‘Arsenal’

Oh dear, what the new 3D printers can do. A Danger Room post talks about how they can print out pistols – and there’s even a demonstration of the accuracy of a 3D-printed shotgun shell. The printers are fairly expensive and the process takes a while – but 3D printing works, all too well, some might say.

3D Printers, it appears, amount to another security challenge to keep track of.

Doug Bedell — May 9, 2014, 11:06 am

Cyber Security a Booming Market

The cyber security market – protecting against electronic intrusion, tampering and theft – is hot and growing rapidly. in a post on Information Week’s Dark Reading blog, Rick Gordon explains why.

Cybercrime, Gordon notes, is a growing threat; a vast array of Internet-connected devices has emerged; people are increasingly mindful of cyber risks, and “the competitive (information security) market is finally rewarding innovation.” No longer can cyber security companies simply “milk their antivirus cows.”

Thus cyber security is, unfortunately, providing another illustration of how booming markets trigger competitive zeal.

Here’s a further pertinent post, from eWeek, on “10 Reasons Today’s Malware Threats Require Defense in Depth.”

Doug Bedell — May 7, 2014, 11:13 am

Dispose of Cyber Materials Securely, Too


Got all your old cyber materials securely deposited in the landfill’s trash? Don’t bet on it. Dr. Guy Bunker writes on the Clearswift cyber protection blog about an ET game for Atari (remember back then?) being found in a New Mexico landfill. And then there’s the story of artwork that Andy Warhol made on floppy disks 30 years ago being found.

The lessons, Dr. Bunker says, are to have an explicit process for the disposal of computer disks – one akin to running them through the shredder you use for disposing of paper documents. Don’t take chances with your office’s security – whether your information’s on paper, metal or plastic.

Doug Bedell — May 5, 2014, 10:21 am

TSA Caught Fidgeting Again

Security organizations need continually to evaluate how well their equipment is performing and be alert to opportunities to enhance it. That no-nonsense observation apparently hasn’t applied to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), however.

Quoting the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Government Security News reports, among other apparent lapses, that “At approximately half of the airports utilizing AIT (Advanced Imaging Technology in TSA’s scanning machines), TSA does not conduct mandatory weekly Improvised Explosive Device drills simply because TSA does not know what office is responsible for enforcing the directive.”

Yet again, does this give you a cozy feeling about the organization responsible for airport security? GAO made four recommendations to address its airport-related findings, and “TSA agreed with all four.” What kind of detector will it take to insure that that happens?

Doug Bedell — May 2, 2014, 11:43 am

Cyber Security Risks Rising

Here’s unsettling news, indeed. A majority of security professionals don’t think “they cab truly protect their organizations from cyberattacks.”

That’s the word from Information Week’s Dark Reading blog in a post by Kelly Jackson Higgins. She’s noting a report by the Ponemon Institute in Traverse City, MI, that “Some 57 percent of security pros say their organizations aren’t protected from advanced attacks, and 63 percent don’t think they can stop confidential information from leaking out of the enterprise.” Thus a new level of security challenge and awareness to be wrestled with.

Doug Bedell — April 30, 2014, 9:59 am

We’re Open to Access Control Innovation

American City & County has a post reflecting on how fiber optic cable and wireless communication increasingly are the preferred technologies for communication networks. Brainstorming and innovation are the order of our times.

PRO Barrier Engineering gets that. We invite you to connect and brainstorm with us on your site security needs. Together, we might well come up with new approaches to operating vehicle access control barriers.

Doug Bedell — April 28, 2014, 4:55 pm

PRO Barrier Integrates Handily With a Customer’s Needs

Andrew Goldsmith on the Government Security News site notes that establishing a security checkpoint can be “rather daunting – particularly in today’s security environment of constantly changing protocols, mandates, equipment, and threats.” That may well be so with some vehicle access control systems.

But we at PRO Barrier Engineering would like to note, indeed stress, that PRO Barrier’s equipment can be integrated with any system, whether existing or new. We’ve got the flexibility to fit a given landscape, and also to provide for both current and future needs. Because PRO Barrier builds to suit a customer’s requirements, we can ensure compatibility to other systems as well. Check with us on such matters.