Securing Your Facility Inside and Out

The need to protect and secure manufacturing personnel and facilities while maintaining a safe working environment is a challenging initiative. Manufacturing plants are dynamic environments with the movement of personnel, goods, and equipment each presenting a unique set of challenges. There is a vast range of hazards ranging from perimeter intrusions, production line malfunctions, theft and workplace violence. Identifying and acting on these issues are crucial components to the productivity and safety of any manufacturing facility. Here are the top three concerns when securing your facility inside and out!

1. Protecting Your Personnel

Your top concern as a manufacturing facility is providing your employees a safe working environment. Workplace violence falls, production line safety and heavy equipment operations can put employees and employers at risk. Video surveillance can be used to monitor operations and make sure that safety procedures are being followed. The video can also be used for liability claims.

 

2. Protecting Your Product

After ensuring the safety of your employees your next focus is protecting your product. This can be done through remote assembly line supervision. While monitoring for safety you can also look for ways to improve production efficiency whether it’s the strategic placement of raw materials or closely viewing equipment for stress or malfunctions video can capture the data you need to take the best course of action.

 

3. Protecting Your Perimeter

Manufacturing facilities contain multiple items that need to be secured. From raw materials including potentially dangerous chemicals to finished goods, tools, powered equipment are all desirable targets to thieves and terrorists. Conducting a professional security assessment of the exterior of your facilities can go along way to keeping these items in your possession helping to keep costs down and maintaining production and delivery schedules.

Partner with Prime

This is where Prime’s National Account team can help. We are committed to being your partner with regards to designing, deploying and supporting security solutions that help you meet these challenges. Prime is aligned with leading manufacturers in video surveillance, access control, intrusion detection, license plate recognition and other security platforms. Our team of in-house experts is ready to assist you in constructing a solution that is easy to use and manage while providing the effectiveness that you need.

Why Prime? Prime Communications prides itself on our three uniques:

  • Responsiveness
  • Project management expertise
  • Customized solutions 
Proven Process Cycle

Our Proven Process

 

Infrastructure and network capabilities make us a single source for the cabling and low voltage components of your project.

Contact National Sales


Improve Customer Experience & In-Store Sales in 5 Steps

1. Customer Flow

The first step in improving customer experience is understanding how customers are moving through your store. In-store traffic counters can identify the flow of traffic and pinpoint how customers are entering, exiting, and moving around your store. By utilizing the foot traffic to your advantage you can better understand what brings shoppers into your store. The shopper traffic data allows marketing to see what promotions are working and ones that don’t. Understanding the trends in footfall can improve the overall customer experience.

Traffic Counter

Traffic Counter

2. Heat Mapping

The second step after understanding traffic flow is understanding how customers are interacting with your product. This is achieved by heat mapping. With the heat mapping capabilities, you can identify hotspots and dead spots. Marketing can then use these analytics to understand product placement and promotions.

Heat Mapping

Heat Mapping

3. Facial Recognition

Next on the list is facial recognition capabilities. With people counters you know how shoppers are coming in the store and what products they are interested in, the next step is identifying who those shoppers are. Facial recognition technology assists with better understanding who your customer is by identifying demographics such as age and gender.

4. Utilizing Staff

The fourth step is utilizing your employees effectively. According to the Timetrade: The State of Retail (2015) 90% of consumers are more likely to convert when helped by a knowledgeable associate. In-store shoppers choose a brick-and-mortar store because they’re looking for an experience. It can be challenging understanding where to deploy your employees, that’s where retail analytics come in. Retail analytics allow you to optimize your personnel by notifying you when departments are more crowded so more shoppers are getting the help they need. This leads to more sales and happy shoppers.

5. Quality Assurance

The last step on this list is quality assurance. Retail analytics have the abilities to ensure that shelves are stocked with products that are in optimal condition. These analytics have the ability to forecast when inventory needs to be replenished. You will always have products in stock and in good condition so your shoppers will get exactly what they came for.

Retail Analytics

Retail Analytics

Interested in improving your customer experience? Contact us about how we can implement Genetec’s Retail Sense in your already existing security system.


The Top 5 Reasons why a Centralized Security Solution is Crucial to Productivity

The need to protect and secure manufacturing personnel & facilities while maintaining a safe work environment is a challenging initiative. With all the different processes that production facilities follow it can become hectic to manage, which is why it is imperative to have a centralized security solution. To shed light on the concerns facilities managers face the experts at Prime Communications have compiled The Top 5 Reasons why a Centralized Security Solution is Crucial to Productivity.

    1. Detect & Immediately Respond to Threats

 At the top of the list is being able to instantly detect and respond to threats. There can be a vast range of hazards such as workplace violence, perimeter intrusions, production line malfunctions, or internal theft. Identifying and acting on these issues are crucial components to the productivity of any manufacturing facility.

     2. Perimeter Protection

Secondly, manufacturing facilities need a centralized security solution to provide perimeter protection. Knowing all the activity that is coming in and out of your facility alleviates and greatly benefits all areas of the company. Specifically, in the shipping and receiving areas where having the ability to receive alerts, visual verification of personnel and license plates recognition increases safety and eliminates the manpower it takes to manually document shipments coming in and out of the facility.

    3. Monitor Lines & Processes Remotely

 The third reason is having the ability to remotely monitor assembly lines and processes. Gathering live video data and updates improves quality assurance and detects if there are any discrepancies in the production line. With centralized monitoring, facility managers will notice the increase in productivity and the reduction in downtime.

    4. Evaluate Liability Claims

Number four on the list is being able to utilize video surveillance footage to use in the case of liability claims such as slip and fall. Having the ability to access video of an incident has been proven to be useful and valuable in demonstrating the veracity of these claims. The capability to evaluate accidents and document the occurrence allows companies to save the resources and money otherwise spent on dealing with false liability claims.

     5. Provide Remote Troubleshooting and Maintenance Support

Lastly, being able to remotely troubleshoot operational issues and safely determine if onsite maintenance support is required. Manufacturing relies on machine production; therefore it is crucial to be able to have the ability to identify a malfunction via video instead of risking staff safety to identify the problem. With the ability to remotely troubleshoot you can check, analyze, and report the issues with one system. If machinery does require maintenance personnel to fix any issues they are one step ahead by already having the issue identified.

Conclusion

Prime Communications provides the tools your facility needs to allow you to cost effectively meet all the demands of protecting personnel and productivity. We bring a range of manufacturing experience, innovative thinking, and technology-driven solutions to address these issues. By partnering with industry standouts such as Genetec and Axis Communications we have the tools and capabilities to handle any of your security needs:

  • Video Surveillance
  • Access Control
  • Intelligent Video Analytics
  • Intrusion Detection Alarms
  • Perimeter Intrusion Detection
  • Centralized Monitoring
  • License Plate Recognition

View all of our security & infrastructure solutions for manufacturing facilities.


The Top 3 Reasons Hospitals Need a Physical Security Plan

From a patient’s point of view, hospitals are an open welcoming place where healthcare is provided and family and friends can provide support to those recovering. Behind the scenes, security measures need to be put into place to keep the atmosphere open and welcoming and eliminate the violence that is becoming too common in the hospital environment. The experts at Prime Communications, have compiled The Top 3 Reasons Why Hospitals Need a Physical Security Plan for your review and consideration.

  1. Physical Attacks on Staff

The number one reason is to prevent physical violence against the hospital staff. A study completed by the Emergency Nurses Association revealed that 55.6% of nurses reported having been a victim of violence in the workplace and would rate their emergency department security as 5 out of 10. It is crucial that healthcare practitioners feel safe in their environment so that they can focus on patient care. Having a plan initiated will decrease the amount of physical violence on staff allowing them to feel safer in their work environment.

  1. Theft & Abduction

Number two is internal theft, petty theft and child abduction. Hospitals are an easy target for petty theft, but an even bigger concern is internal theft of patient information and prescription pills. According to the Wall Street Journal, it is estimated that 15% of health-care professionals may be addicted to prescription drugs at some point in their career. Without a proper physical security plan in place, medication theft can cost the industry millions in losses every year.

A very serious concern is child abduction. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), 45% of infant abductions occur from healthcare facilities. This statistic alone is a crucial reason hospitals need a physical security plan.

To cut down on the loss of prescription pills medication is being dispensed through autonomous bots, like the Aethon Tug Bot and infant abduction is being managed with RFID technology.

  1. Disorderly Conduct

 The last reason for implementing a physical security plan is the distractions and chaos of disorderly conduct. If the staff has to take the time to discipline and control patients and visitors it takes them away from their daily duties and interrupts patient care.

The items listed above are just some of the many challenges faced by Healthcare Security professionals. Here are some more solutions that  Prime Communications can offer in order to create a safe and secure environment for patients, staff and visitors.

Prime Communications brings a breadth of healthcare experience, innovative thinking and the application of technology-driven solutions to address these challenges. We specialize in integrated IP-based physical security and access control solutions to assist you in effectively meeting these objectives. Our tools and capabilities include:

  • Video Surveillance
  • Access Control:
    • Intelligent Controllers
    • Electronic Locks
    • Motion Sensors
    • Panic Buttons
    • Threat Level Management
    • Visitor Management

Medical image created by Peoplecreations – Freepik.com


Do you ever wonder why cybersecurity professionals are increasing their budget year-after-year? Increased digital business, mobile computing and now the Internet of Things is impacting Enterprise at breakneck speeds. Although a positive move for many, IT executives now stress about the cost of continued data breaches, which is estimated to go up into the trillions of dollars, according to Gartner, Inc.

A Glimpse At The Future Of Networking

If Network updates are in your future, you are not alone. Cybersecurity spending is expected to climb to $101 billion in 2018, according to Gartner, Inc. Here are five more facts that should make you sit up and take notice that the cybersecurity market is a topic of importance for all IT professionals for years to come.

  • IT security is set to increase 8.2 percent in 2015 to $77 billion, and the world will spend $101 billion on information security in 2018. [Gartner, Inc.]
  • The cyber security market is estimated to grow to $170 billion (USD) by 2020, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9.8 percent from 2015 to 2020. [Markets and Markets]
  • North America and Europe are the leading cybersecurity revenue contributors. [TechSci Research].
  • U.S. information security budgets have grown at almost double the rate of IT budgets over the last two years. [PwC Global State of Information Security Survey 2015]
  • Based on responses from over 1,000 IT professionals, primarily in North America, spending on security remains strong with 37 percent of enterprise security managers expecting to increase their budget in the next 90 days. [Voice of the Enterprise: Information Security quarterly study]

With that in mind, one critical recommendation from Prime Communications’ Engineers includes ensuring stronger device and app security through automated threat protection safeguarding each device so that it is given appropriate network access privileges.

So, to stop any sleepless nights due to the concerns around cybersecurity, read more about the solutions available to you! Check back with Prime Communications for further updates on how cybercrime will impact your budgets in the future!


“Ransomware is betting IT organizations don’t have a good backup solution,” said Dixon Greenfield, Director of Technology at Prime Communications, Inc. “There is a potent solution available to fight the toughest battle out there today.”

Thanks to our friends at Palo Alto, a strategic partner we trust, we are passing along their expertise to you.

Ransomware persists as one of the top crimeware threats thus far into 2016. While the use of document-based macros for ransomware distribution remains relatively uncommon, a new family calling itself “Locky” has borrowed the technique from the eminently successful Dridex to maximize its target base. We first learned of Locky through Invincea and expanded on qualifying this threat with the help of PhishMe. Locky has also gained enough traction to find its way onto Dynamoo’s Blog and Reddit.

Using Palo Alto Networks AutoFocus, Unit 42 observed over 400,000 individual sessions containing the Bartallex macro downloader, which in turned dropped Locky ransomware onto victim machines. Researchers suspect there is a link between the Dridex botnet affiliate 220 and Locky due to similar styles of distribution, overlapping filenames, and an absence of campaigns from this particularly aggressive affiliate coinciding with the initial emergence of Locky. This blog post explores this threat further and offers recommendations on mitigating its impact.

 Delivery And Installation

Palo Alto Networks telemetry showed that Locky focuses primarily on e-mail delivery through massive phishing campaigns with Microsoft Word document attachments. The subjects for these malicious messages adhere to the following convention:

ATTN: Invoice_J-< 8-digits>

The naming convention of respective malicious Word document carrier files match the e-mail subject line portion after the “ATTN: “, switch the “i” in invoice to lowercase, and append a “.doc” extension. An example follows:

Subject: ATTN: Invoice J-11256978
Attachment: invoice_J-11256978.doc

Our analysis revealed that this ransomware requires command and control (C2) communication for a key exchange, prior to encrypting victim files. It performs its key exchange in memory for this process. This is interesting, as most ransomware generates a random encryption key locally on the victim host and then transmits an encrypted copy to attacker infrastructure. This also presents an actionable strategy for mitigating this generation of Locky by disrupting associated C2.

Unfortunate victims unable to mitigate this threat would see the following ransom demand.

locky1

And a subsequent visit to the referenced Locky payment portal site would reveal the following options for victims.

locky2

 

Threat Volume And Targeting

We observed approximately 446,000 sessions for this threat, over half of which targeted the United States (54%). For comparison, the next most impacted countries, Canada and Australia, only accounted for another nine percent combined.

locky3

Industry analysis for targeting reveals expected indiscriminant distribution within impacted countries; however, Higher Education, Wholesale and Retail, and Manufacturing make up over a third of observed targeting.

 

Pairing this volume with the “decryption cost” advertised for Locky victims, it is clear why ransomware in general continues to thrive in the threat landscape. Using some napkin math furnished by our friends at PhishMe, even if one assumed a 50% efficacy / infection rate for these 446,000 sessions and a 1% payment rate of 0.5 bitcoins (BTC) from victims, the currently observed activity alone yields several hundred thousands of dollars in profits for Locky’s malicious actors.

 Conclusion

Locky is aiming high in an effort to join the ranks of other big name ransomware families. Despite some weaknesses in its current implementation, we can expect to see further developments for this threat in the future. Ultimately, successes experienced by one attacker group embolden and inspire others. It goes without saying that cybercrime adversaries will continue to advance efforts to commoditize the already lucrative extortion of victims through encryption-based extortion.

Defending against ransomware first requires a focus on the basics of a strong security posture: security awareness and the hardening and patching of systems. Ransomware can be especially damaging in enterprises, where this class of threat commonly targets network shares and other media attached to corporate assets. To further reduce associated risks, layered preventive controls are a must.

Palo Alto Networks customers are protected through our next-generation security platform:

  • WildFire successfully detects this threat as malware
  • AutoFocus identifies this threat under the Unit 42 “Locky” tag
  • The C2 domains and files mentioned in this report are blocked in our Threat Prevention product

Reprint from Palo Alto Blog Post originally published by Brandon Levene, Micah Yates and Rob Downs


It’s not a surprise that security will be incredibly tight at Super Bowl 50 on February 7 at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. The venue can fit 68,500 people, according to the stadium website. As the big event approaches, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security has labeled the event a “level one” event, which is the highest classification for national events.

To help local law enforcement, the FBI and U.S Department of Homeland Security issued a memo assessing potential threats. The agencies said: “There will be plenty of security inside Levi’s Stadium. The memo also read: “The most vulnerable targets of opportunity are not inside Levi’s Stadium itself, but outside the stadium,” retired FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Harp said.

Government security officials are examining whether recent attacks on fiber optic systems in California could be connected to a “more complex plot” against the game.A series of unsolved incidents in which fiber optic cables in the Bay Area were deliberately severed is one of several risks detailed in memo by the FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security intelligence analysts. The concern individuals may be using these incidents to test and prod network durability in conjunction with a more complex plot,” the memo said.

Michele Ernst, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s San Francisco field office, said there have been 15 attacks against fiber optic lines in the region since 2014. Most of the incidents occurred in San Jose, Fremont and Walnut Creek, California. Though San Jose is within five miles of Levi’s Stadium, the other incidents occurred more than 20 to 40 miles away. Adding to security concerns, Intelligence analysts also said the recent terror attacks in Paris raise the possibility that attackers would target spaces outside sports stadiums.

“There’s no question that the Super Bowl would be a highly attractive target. But so would any sporting event,” said Anthony Cordesman, a security strategist for the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Security Systems In Place

Part of the city’s security strategy is to share data with the community. Most of the system is in place, according to Santa Clara CIO Gaurav Garg. For instance, the city has made public the video streams from 15 cameras trained on intersections near the stadium. The streams, available through a smartphone application and on the city’s website.

“Really it is creating a single pane of glass for multiple types of information [that can] then be visualized: where the situations are happening, where our public safety assets are, where the cameras are and what the traffic conditions are, according to Garg.