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Posts Tagged ‘Small Business’

It’s time for seasonal maintenance

Weren’t we shivering under a blanket of snow just a couple of weeks ago? Then temps became warmer, with sunshine abundant, and spring fever started setting in. Of course, then it snowed last night.

Spring will officially start on March 20. Between now and then we could see several inches of snow, afternoon highs in the 80s, tornadoes, floods and just about anything in between. If you have any doubts, just check your Facebook memories and you’ll probably see evidence of all of these weather conditions on this day over the last several years.

With spring on the way, now is the time to tackle some routine maintenance and seasonal tasks. Put these on your to-do list now:

Check outside lighting. Walk your parking areas and around the outside of your facility. Look for outside lighting that may have been damaged during snowy, icy weather. Look for light bulbs that have burned out and replace them.

Check landscaping. Flower beds, parking lot islands, sidewalks and lawn areas might have taken a beating when being plowed, scraped and salted this winter. Look for signs of damage and note needed repairs. Look for potholes in parking lots that need repair, and significant gaps or cracks in sidewalks that can cause slips and falls.

Check security cameras and alarms. Review the placement and condition of all inside and outside cameras. Inspect wiring, and check placement to be sure views haven’t shifted or otherwise been compromised.

Clean or change HVAC filters and schedule routine maintenance. Pollen is already flying, and more will be in the air soon. Cleaning or changing out filters is a must to keep allergen levels down inside your facility. Plus, the system is likely to have trapped a lot of debris over the winter months; cleaning or changing the filter is a must for keeping the system running at peak efficiency.

Review severe weather policies and procedures. Tornado season is already underway. Schedule a drill with your team and make sure they all know what to do in the case of severe weather. Update checklists and rosters, especially is you’ve welcomed new team members or made other personnel changes since your last drill.

If you’d like to know more about how you can optimize and integrate your building systems, call us at (800) 567-1180 for a consultation.

Axis Device Manager is on task for the future.

Remember that time hackers wiggled their way through security weaknesses in Internet-connected security cameras and unleashed the Mirai botnet, taking down major sites such as Twitter and Spotify?

The event highlighted the vulnerabilities exposed by IoT (Internet of Things) devices. The same devices that offer us incredible scalability and insight can also be used to disrupt our world when exploited by bad actors. That event and many others like it have prompted device developers to innovate and launch new platforms that step up security for connected devices.

Axis’ new Device Manager is the latest entry in the market. The new platform, which replaces Camera Management, offers users the ability to manage thousands of cameras, access control and audio devices in one place. Features include the ability to automatically assign IP addresses; install, configure, replace or upgrade devices; set restore points and factory default settings; upgrade device firmware; manage user accounts and passwords; copy configurations between thousands of devices; connect to multiple servers and systems; and deploy and renew HTTPS & IEEE 802.1x certificates.

“Being able to access and efficiently install, adapt and secure all of the devices on your network saves a tremendous amount of time and effort. AXIS Device Manager is the go-to tool for reaching all Axis devices — whatever stage of their lifecycle — and make needed adjustments,” said Ola Lennartsson, global product manager, System Management at Axis Communications in a press release.”

“In today’s fast-paced world, any device or network that is static is not only old-fashioned, it is potentially prone to cyber threats. Therefore it is important we ensure our customers can use a tool that allows them to easily, rapidly and decisively manage all of the devices on their network. AXIS Device Manager is that tool.”

Dynamic, centralized control of devices makes it easier to stay a step ahead or security threats, especially for larger installations across multiple locations.

Interested in learning more? Our team can take you through a system integration project from design to completion. Call (800) 567-1180 to arrange for a consultation.

Will processor chip vulnerabilities weaken your integrated building systems?

Shortly after the New Year, news broke world wide of potential weaknesses in the hardware that drives nearly every device on the planet from computers to smart phones. “Update everything now” dominated the news cycles for several days.

Now that the conversation has calmed a bit, facilities managers may be wondering, “What exactly was that all about, and how might it impact my integrated systems?” Here’s a high level explanation:

Last summer, researchers with Google and several universities discovered a new way hackers might be able to work their way around modern processors to gain access passwords and other sensitive information. One type of exploit was patchable, and patches were quickly developed and deployed.

The other approach is not so easily patchable, and will require a redesign of processors themselves. That will require years of research and work.
So, where does that leave the rest of the world? The situation may not be quite as dire or threatening as it seems. Keep in mind, these exploits were discovered by researchers. They are extremely novel approaches and will require a high level of expertise to develop attacks. To date, there’s no evidence that any attacks have been made using these weaknesses. Make no mistake, however, hackers are likely hard at work trying to figure out how to exploit these vulnerabilities, but right now security experts remain one step ahead with patches and other fixes.

Patches have already been pushed out, and longer term fixes will likely be ready by mid-year.

So what should you do in the meantime? The best thing to do is to make sure to implement all system updates in a timely fashion.

For our part, we have been vigorously researching the problem to determine if our customers’ integrated building systems will be impacted. Our goal is to bring you solid information and solutions that securely function and provide value.  We currently have no indication that these exploits have been used to obtain customer data, and we will continue to closely follow this situation.

ECT Services is dedicated to the safety and security of our customers.   As more information becomes available, we will continue to provide updates.   In the meantime, if you have any questions or would like further information, please contact us at (800) 567-1180. Thank you.

Can flu pose a security risk to your facility?

Flu activity is now widespread across much of the country, and hitting hard in the Ohio Valley. The strain going around this year seems to be particularly vicious and not included in the flu shot.

If it hasn’t already made its way through your staff, it probably will soon. Team members will be out sick or caring for sick family members. While having a team member out can be a challenge in terms of workload and project deadlines for the rest of the team, can it also pose a security risk?

Without proper planning and redundancies, yes. Being short staffed can lead to weaknesses in processes as overburdened staff members scramble to fill in gaps, especially if they are unfamiliar with systems or don’t have access to systems.

Here are some ideas for reducing the risk:

– Prevent the spread of the flu. The strongest weapon to combat the flu is simple hygiene. Make sure bathrooms are well stocked with handwashing supplies and cleaned and disinfected regularly. Post reminders in bathrooms and breakrooms about handwashing. Cleaning crews should also regularly wipe down light switch plates, door handles, counter tops, phones and any other surfaces that are touched frequently.

– Give clear guidance that those who are experiencing symptoms – fever, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea – should stay home. Support that by giving adequate sick days or allowing work to be made up later. Keeping sick workers out of the office is key to keeping the rest of the staff well.

– Cross train and document key roles. Make sure roles and basic duties are documented, and buddy up team members to cross train one another. Use regular staff meetings to give updates on key projects and issues so everyone has some familiarity with what other team members are doing, and can step in at a moment’s notice. Make it a practice to run emergency drills and review policies and procedures regularly, so staff members are always prepared.

– Where possible, allow work from home. If flu starts making its way through your staff, it might be best to allow team members to work from home to reduce their chances of being exposed. Consider flexible work policies when possible.


Active shooters are a liability risk

If an active shooter targets your facility, will your insurance policy protect you against claims from victims?

It’s hard to tell.

Current insurance policies aren’t clear, and neither is case law. That leaves open the possibility that if an active shooter causes harm in your facility, you could be open to a lawsuit from victims, and your insurance provider might push back against covering you.
As a result, some carriers are now offering stand along active shooter policies, according to a post on InsuranceJournal.com.

One program cited in the article includes liability coverage for “lawsuits arising from harm caused by attacks using deadly weapons.” The program also features risk assessment and crisis management services, as well as event responders and post-event counseling services.
Insurers originally began by offering the coverage to educational institutions, but now the coverage is offered to all types, including hospitals, sporting venues, retailers, religious organizations and more.

Business and organizations should also consider including fully integrated shooter detection systems alongside other safety and comfort systems like fire detection and suppression systems and HVAC systems.

Shooter Detection System’s Guardian uses acoustic and infrared sensors to instantly identify gunshots inside a facility. The precise location of the gunshots is noted, and authorities are alerted immediately. Warnings are also instantly sent out to people in the facility and vicinity advising them to evacuate or take cover. Guardian gunshot detection can also be integrated with a number of other systems, including text alerts, incident management dashboards and building systems like door locks and video surveillance.

The instantaneous response significantly cuts response time and reduces the opportunity for human error.

Interested in learning more about the Guardian active shooter detection system? Register now for one of our Live Fire events to see a live demonstration, or call us at (800) 567-1180.

ECT Services partners continue growth

Recent weeks have brought news of new integrations, products and acquisitions for several ECT Services partners.

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On December 1, HID Global announced the acquisition of Bluvision, adding enterprise Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to its capabilities.
Bluevision offers real-time location system technology, presence and proximity-based location capabilities and condition monitoring solutions as well as cloud infrastructure, gateways, beacons and software as a service (SaaS).The acquisition will expand HID’s real-time asset tracking capabilities and extend HID’s cloud services for access control and related applications.
HID also announced the launch of the industry’s first end-to-end identity access management solution that offers a single credential for accessing doors, IT systems, networks and data. HID PIV unifies physical and IT security systems, a must for government and regulated industries.
On December 5, Shooter Detection Systems announced that its Guardian Indoor Active Shooter Detection System now integrates with Software House’s C•CURE 9000 access control system.
Then integration will provides the ability for instant shot location information, initiation of lock down procedures, capturing live and recorded video from cameras in the incident related areas, and immediate notification to first responders.
On December 15, target=”_blank”>Axis announced it would begin marketing seven new models of Canon network cameras. According to a press release, the cameras include the VB-S30VE, a compact outdoor mini PTZ dome camera, and the VB-H761LVE, an outdoor fixed box camera with 20 times zoom and IR illumination. Most are designed for outdoor surveillance, and all offer HDTV 1080p resolution in full frame rate.
Looking for innovative, effective building integration solutions? We can connect you to the right partners.


The news this weekend was horrifyingly familiar.


A gunman opened fire in a popular Orlando, Fla. nightclub over the weekend, taking the lives of 50 patrons and wounding scores of others before he was finally gunned down by police.

According to a timeline of the shooting put together by CNN, the shooter entered the nightclub and began shooting at 2:02 a.m. Survivors say that the shooting went on as long as an entire song, perhaps three or four minutes. A uniformed police officer working extra duty at the club responded within the first moments. By 2:09 a.m., just seven minutes after the attack began, Pulse posted a message to Facebook advising patrons to get out of the club and keep running.

In just a few brief, terrifying moments of chaos, many innocent lives were taken, and many more lives were altered forever.

Perhaps the worst part is realizing it can happen again, and it probably will.

Community leaders and lawmakers will continue to grapple with solutions. In the meantime, business owners and building managers will do the best they can to reduce risks and protect employees and guests. Some ideas:

Plan an active shooter drill. Resources are available to help you start the conversation and identify steps.

Talk to children about gun violence.

Carefully consider automated detection, security and notification systems.

Growing our team: Scott Kohler

We’re pleased to announce that Scott Kohler has been promoted to Sales Manager.

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Kohler, who has more than 15 years of sales and leadership experience, took the reins of the Controls and Security Sales Team on June 1.

“Scott demonstrates strong leadership and is instrumental in developing the growth of the business,” said Jeff Murphy, president and CEO of ECT Services.

Scott joined the ECT Services team three years ago, and most recently served as service account manager. His goal is to continue delivering a strong customer experience.

“I love what I do, where I do it, and I love working with and helping people,” said Kohler.

But what would he be doing if he wasn’t the sales manager at ECT Services? The avid golfer would love to turn pro.

When he’s not at work, the University of Louisville graduate enjoys spending time with his daughter, golfing, enjoying his friends or cheering on the Cardinals.

No one is giving away free Ray-Bans on Facebook.

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Here’s the thing: no one is giving away free Ray-Bans on Facebook. Or even discounted ones.

That $100 Kroger gift card? It’s a fake. Ditto the Aldi’s discount.

You’ve probably noticed spammy links clogging your newsfeed or posted on your wall by a friend. Those spammy links lead to phishing scams, hacks and malware. How can you avoid getting sucked in?

Don’t click those links. Just don’t. Be cautious about any links you click, even if they appear to be from a friend. Poor grammar, sensational content and outrageous discounts all scream spam. Clicking that link could unleash malicious scripts on your computer and turn it into a spambot, compromising your reputation.

Don’t accept duplicate friend requests. If you see a friend request from someone who is already a friend, don’t accept it. Alert your friend that their account has been compromised.

Change passwords frequently. Change your social media passwords frequently, across all of your accounts. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts, either, as tempting as that may be.

Clean up those third party apps. If you’ve taken a quiz or played a game on Facebook, you’ve probably given a third party permission to access your account in some way – including your friends list. Now’s the time to go through that list and clean up access. These instructions will walk you through the steps.

Resist the urge to take that quiz. Quizzes can be fun, especially if all your friends are taking them. Is discovering that your unicorn name should be Sparkle McGlitterpants really worth compromising your security? Probably not. Those quizzes are often just a way to gain access to your info and spread malicious links. Avoid them.

Scan your computer for malware. Regularly scan your computer for viruses and malware using software from a credible source.

Now hiring: Integration Security Control Design Engineer

Put your great skills to work by joining our team.

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**Integration Security Control Design Engineer***

(Louisville, KY)

Position Summary:

The individual expected to be proficient in applying engineering principles and practices for all Security Controls Projects. Fire Alarm design capabilities preferred.  This person is expected to meet performance standards as set by the Operations Manager, exhibit a high level of leadership, demonstrate initiative and take ownership for projects successful design and implementation.   This individual is responsible for maintaining regular contact with staff, owners and property managers, effectively communicate to project managers.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Demonstrate proficiency applying engineering principles
  • Assist Account Managers with project design
  • Attend and lead sales to operations pass down meetings
  • Coordinate with contractors and customers all engineering requirements on security projects
  • Coordinate project schedule and all project related information with Project Managers
  • Obtain all materials required to engineer and execute projects
  • Complete in a timely fashion all design documents to meet the scope, plans and specifications
  • Obtain and review submittals
  • Complete engineering design sheet and product cut sheet submittal
  • Respond to submittal review/responses
  • Assist with as-builts
  • Respond to all Request for Information documents
  • Complete procurement documents for procurement
  • Coordinate with all required parties on all proposed design packages
  • Track and maintain all engineering phases of assigned projects
  • Schedule CAD resources with Department Manager
  • Perform site walkthroughs as required



  • Mechanical/Electrical Degree preferred
  • Minimum 5 years Security Integration industry experience
  • Experienced in both new and retrofit construction projects
  • Programming knowledge and experience with Lenel, Bosch, etc.
  • Goal oriented with a strong desire to succeed
  • Ability to work independently or in team environment
  • Positive Attitude
  • Posses excellent oral, written and verbal communication
  • Desire to grow and overcome challenges
  • Ability to interact with customers, field staff, management and office team
  • Knowledge of Fire Alarm design a plus
  • Proficient in CAD or Visio, Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint

For more information or to apply, please  contact David Stumler: