How to Conquer Vaping in Schools and Get Students Back to Learning

Kids will be kids. It’s their job to find ways to fit in and push back against authority. In the previous decades, this natural tendency has resulted in challenging trends ranging from ducktail hairdos, sagging jeans and disruptive toys, such as the “clicker-clackers” of the 1970s, to serious, illegal habits such as street racing, drinking, smoking and sniffing solvents. It’s a never-ending challenge for parents and educators.

One of the latest worrisome youth trends is e-cigarettes, or “vaping,” an activity that is putting kids in danger and taking too much focus off learning. Teachers and administrators are taking drastic, time-consuming action to fight the trend with little to no positive impact. However new technology, according to first-time users, has all but stopped vaping in some schools.


3 Things to Consider When Developing Your Emergency Plan: Starting with Your Technology

In our schools, workplaces and government buildings, we fear the unimaginable: an armed intruder.

Because these unfathomable scenarios are becoming more common, this increases the need for a fully-integrated emergency response plan. If disaster strikes without one, nothing goes to plan—the proper personnel are not alerted, radio frequencies are overcrowded blocking the transfer of messages, and delayed video footage prevents law enforcement from efficiently tracking and evacuating the scene. Each of these examples were a reality on February 14, 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

The sales and engineering team from Prime Communications Inc. (PCI) recently completed a training session with Jerry Wilkins, PSP® NREMT®-EMR, and professional active-shooter emergency plan operations expert from Active Risk Survival, Inc. During the training he shared security footage from the scenario described above and the Virginia Beach shooting. No, it was not easy to watch.

“The most difficult aspect of the video,” said Shannon Neubauer, PCI’s Director of Security Engineering, “was the fact that the footage being monitored by first responders was 20 minutes old.” By the time it was used for situational assessment, the shooter already had left the area and some of the people in the video had lost their lives.

It’s not unusual for an organization to find it is not as prepared as it thought when a real incident happens. “I see so many companies who go through the time and effort to put together an emergency response plan but when I ask them how they are leveraging their technology with the plan, the response is I didn’t take that into consideration,” Wilkins explained.

As a society, we can do better. And we want you to know your technology integrator can help.


Securing Security: The Top Vulnerabilities and How to Solve Them

If you work for a large organization where it’s assumed that the business security solutions have been investigated and researched carefully or a small company with limited resources, as a security professional it’s unsettling to read headlines like, Equifax Data Breach Settlement: What You Should Know. Whether you had the foresight and funding to protect yourself from potential threats at the start or had to quickly respond to a specific incident when it arose, you’ve studied and purchased cameras, card access, electronic locks and cybersecurity software to establish a secure environment. But have you researched deeply enough to discover unexpected vulnerabilities that could allow your security solutions to be compromised? You should be actively, continually examining your system to protect it.


Understanding the Nuances of Integrated Hospital Security and Safety Systems: Saving Time, Money and Lives

It’s no secret that technology has exponentially increased the ability of hospitals to operate more efficiently, protect patients and staff in new ways, and of course improve services. With all this new tech, things can get confusing. The sheer amount of technology in a hospital after years of installations can cause a drop in efficiency rather than improving it. For many hospitals, it may be time to begin thinking seriously about technology integration.

Technology tools are commonly added one at a time as a hospital can afford them or as problems arise and solutions are found. Violence in an emergency room, for example, may lead to the purchase of new surveillance cameras and access controls – a type of technology that tends to be one of the first upgraded safety and security tools a hospital feels it can afford to install. In fact, after a violent event, many hospitals believe they can’t afford NOT to install these tools.


6 Vulnerabilities Even Your Firewall May Be Missing – and a Free Solution

Firewalls have become a standard tool for stopping malicious network activity. We have become increasingly complacent with our firewalls to the extent that we often fail to see what they might be missing. As technology – and malicious activities – advance, it’s natural for older firewall technology to fall short in their ability to uncover the latest vulnerabilities. For that reason, it’s critical to reevaluate firewall activity periodically and ensure the equipment in place is keeping up with current threats.

Unfortunately, not all firewalls are created equal, and their size and capabilities tend to be misunderstood. Even the most vigilant IT departments can miss things if the firewall is not quite right. This article will flag several gaps in protection you may not know you have and spotlight a method of getting your wall of protection as tight as possible.

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