Sunstates Blog

A Proactive Security Partner

How to Prepare for an Active Shooter Scenario

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The news, unfortunately, is filled with stories about sudden, unexpected shootings in the workplace and other public spaces. One minute, people are going about their daily routines. The next minute: panic and chaos.

At concerts, in offices, in houses of worship, in schools and on military bases, an active shooter is a possibility. More and more, clients are turning to Sunstates for training and threat mitigation strategies. In conjunction with industry experts, Sunstates can help clients and our officers protect themselves and be safer.

“We want our clients to be safe,” noted Sunstates President Glenn Burrell, CPP. “I’d like to think that we can help save lives. That’s our focus and why we’re happy to provide that as an added value.”

Proactive Strategies
The best way to mitigate threats is before they occur. Sunstates security experts can help clients develop policies and procedures designed to prevent/reduce potential threats, including:

• Access Control. Monitoring and controlling who can enter a facility, or specific areas within that facility, is the first step to mitigating active shooter threats.
• Eyes and Ears. All employees should be aware of who belongs and who doesn’t in a facility or area, as well as who is acting abnormally.
• Preparation. Employees need to understand what to do if an active shooter scenario occurs, and they should regularly prepare and practice.

Client Training
Depending upon the clients’ needs, Sunstates can offer different types of training.

General Education. Sunstates can provide a high-level general presentation on the basic principles of Active Shooter mitigation training. We’d be happy to schedule a lunchtime presentation to help your employees understand threats in the workplace and the community, as well as what to do if the unimaginable occurs.

Advanced Custom Training. For more extensive and facility-focused training, Sunstates partners with industry experts to provide more in-depth training, customized to a client’s facility, employees and situation.

That education often includes the following:

• See something, say something. Employees should have established procedures to voice security-related concerns to supervisors and management quickly and efficiently, with regular feedback to encourage the flow of intelligence.
• Understand the plan. Managers and employees will be trained on the security plan, being aware of their surroundings and other critical factors.
• Communication is key. Before an emergency occurs, companies and facilities should have a communications plan in place. This review will examine current plans and make recommendations where appropriate.
• Know the strategies. In an active shooter scenario, there are three options: run, hide and fight. People should know how to choose their best option.

In many active shooter situations, the immediate response is confusion and denial. Many people will ask, “What is going on?” or say, “This can’t be happening. That was a car backfiring, not gun shots.”

The key takeaway for our active shooter training is to make employees’ responses automatic. Instead of thinking about what is going on, or even doubting that it’s really happening, we want “muscle memory” to take over and help mitigate or minimize the threat.

The bottom line is we want our clients and our officers to be safe, and providing active shooter training and education is a key part of that.

The time to prepare for an active shooter is now, and we can help. Please contact Sunstates Security at 866-710-2019 or email us.

Written by Sunstates Security

January 10th, 2019 at 8:24 pm

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Quality Assurance: Consistent Support for Security Officers

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Sunstates Security has always focused on providing consistent, high-quality service. For clients, that means Sunstates officers are professionals they can count on.

Behind the scenes, what clients don’t see is the high level of training, support and oversight our security officers receive. With double-digit growth for the past several years, we’ve recently promoted one of our own to a new position: Ryan Moran, formerly Sunstates regional manager in Raleigh, is now the director of quality assurance. He’s been in the industry 18 years, starting as a security officer when he was in college, and he knows the demands that challenge clients daily.

His job is simple: to make sure we live up to our principles with every client, and to help managers and officers live those principles every day. He demonstrated that as a regional manager, managing the biggest portfolio of clients in Sunstates.

Sometimes he’ll be an extra expert, dropping in wherever he’s needed. Other times, he’ll be working with regional offices to help officers and managers continue to deliver the high level of professionalism our clients expect.

“What better person to have in the quality assurance position than someone who knows what to look for?” said Sunstates President Glenn Burrell, CPP. “He knows our system so well, and he knows and embraces the Sunstates culture.”

Here’s what to expect with this new role and resource:

• More support. The expanding quality assurance program will help managers and officers collaborate and support each other.
• More services. We’ll continually add new ways to support our clients, such as site vulnerability assessments and other services.
• More customization. We will expand on our custom quality-assurance checks for specific sites, to ensure we always do what we say we’re going to do.
• More sharing. With Ryan’s new position, we’ll be better able to share insights, strategies and best practices among multiple regions.
• More communications. Ryan will be another point of contact and resource when needed for our clients.

The Game of Work
Every manager at Sunstates receives a book called The Game of Work. The main principle of the book embodies our philosophy: work should be fun, and work teams should succeed together as sports teams do.

Great teams work together: All members know the plan and their role in it. And everyone knows the critical measurements that define success for their team. Those Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, vary by client and region. Our quality assurance initiative will help you identify and achieve the ones that are more important for you and your team.

What Clients Will See
With so much of what we do going on behind the scenes, how will quality assurance help our clients?

The answer comes from a long-time client, who’s been with Sunstates for 20 years. He said he’s never considered going anywhere else because we’ve consistently given him the same high level of service since day one.

“We always want to make sure that we’re doing what we say we are going to do,” said Ryan Moran, Director of Quality Assurance. “It takes oversight to make sure that’s happening.”

We value the trust our clients have in Sunstates, and we always want to live up to that trust. By leveraging Ryan’s operational expertise, we can continue to provide outstanding service to our clients, and continue to support Sunstates’ officers and managers as they provide that service.

Do you want to know what Sunstates’ quality assurance will mean for you and your site? Please contact Sunstates Security at 866-710-2019 or email us.

Written by Sunstates Security

January 10th, 2019 at 8:19 pm

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How Technology Adds Value to Security Services

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The foundation of good security is good people, and that’s always been the focus at Sunstates Security. At the same time, we’re always looking for opportunities to help our people provide even more value. That’s why we partner with proven experts as needed and we employ the best technology to enhance and extend what our security officers are doing. This policy allows us to apply best practices from a wide range of industries to enhance client security programs.

“We apply the concept of ‘dog fooding,’ where you should never promote or sell something that you’ve never tasted yourself,” says Sunstates President Glenn Burrell, CPP. “We identify a strategic partner and use their product or service to better understand its capabilities and limitations so we’re able to advise our clients on whether it’s an appropriate answer to their problem.”

New Solutions for Common Problems
Some of the technology we use is behind the scenes: our clients won’t necessarily know we’re using it. Some is more client facing. We constantly review the available technological solutions and work with trusted partners to employ the best solutions on clients’ behalf.

• Proximity Readers and License Plate Recognition Software. Many facilities, such as corporate/school campuses and residential communities, have a high volume of both regular traffic (e.g., residents, students, employees, etc.) and visitors (e.g., guests, vendors, etc.) driving in. We know what systems can most efficiently read a tag or other device from the front of a vehicle as it approaches a gate, allowing quicker entry. Pairing such technology with license plate recognition software can confirm identity.
• Key Tethers. A key tether connects a key (or set of keys) with another device and provides an instant alert when, say, keys are detached from a belt. We often also attach a GPS tile to find separated keys. Clients frequently entrust us with the keys to their facilities, and we have a critical responsibility to take care of their keys, regardless of cost. Key control is critical to our clients’ safety and well-being.
• KnoxBoxes. Many property management clients have maglocks on their doors because they’re convenient: access cards can be easily programmed to control access for individual employees. But those doors will lock down in a power outage. While they can be opened from the inside, authorized personnel cannot enter the facility, even with an access card. We’ve found a solution by using KnoxBoxes, which uses a master key—available for security or management—to open those doors manually.
• Mass Notification Systems. We partnered with Punch Technologies to offer clients the Punch Alert emergency communication platform. The system allows individuals to report emergencies and safety hazards through a smartphone app. In addition, the platform permits two-way communication during an incident, so users can submit information and responders can issue mass updates.

We evaluate new technology constantly to find solutions that provide a higher level of security and convenience to our clients. Technology will never replace the eyes and ears of trained security officers, but it can help them do their jobs better every day.

Do you have a challenging security issue that’s keeping you awake at night? Contact Sunstates Security at 866-710-2019 or email us. We’ll help you find a solution.

Written by Sunstates Security

August 14th, 2018 at 3:54 pm

Gated Communities: Combining Security + Public Relations

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Security in gated communities presents challenges that vary widely from other facilities. These residential settings also require specialized skill sets and personnel that, again, are quite different.

For example, at a school or corporate campus, it’s quite obvious if someone attempting to enter has a purpose or belongs there. At many gated communities, the sheer volume and variety of   people seeking entry requires an equal blend of rigor and diplomacy.

Community Challenges
With residential communities, security personnel serve as both protectors and as public ambassadors. The open setting creates access-control challenges as officers decide whether or not to grant entry. As a result, officers must follow policies and procedures firmly and courteously, even though diligence might anger residents whose visitors have been delayed.

“Most people would say, that’s good. It shows they’re doing their job,” says Sunstates President Glenn Burrell, CPP. “It’s fine when it’s someone else’s guest, but when it’s your guest, it can be a problem.”

Depending on the size of the community, high volume at peak hours can affect the surrounding neighborhood. For example, many homeowners’ associations (HOAs) do not allow contractors to start work before eight o’clock in the morning. Larger communities may have 100 contractors waiting for entry, which affects public roads. Consequently, security officers need to be aware of what’s happening beyond their immediate vicinity.

In addition, security must enforce HOA rules and regulations, as well as standard procedures for safety and security. Diplomacy is an essential skill in such settings.

Community Best Practices
Based on extensive experience serving this specialized market, Sunstates Security has identified several key practices for meeting the unique needs of gated communities:

• Comprehensive procedures. Security personnel should have procedures, developed jointly with community representatives, for handling every conceivable situation, from background checks to emergency incidents. Such planning can help minimize common issues, such as visitor backlogs. In many communities, for instance, all guests and contractors must have prior approval, which includes background screening for vendors.
• Selection and training. The delicate nature of residential security demands personnel with exceptional public-relations skills. A discriminating selection process identifies individuals with the right temperament and attitude. Then, specialized training expands on core security skills to include gatehouse operations, community patrols, homeowner relations and diplomacy. First-aid and AED training prepares security personnel to respond to medical emergencies.
• On-site management. Having a dedicated manager at the community full-time helps align the security team with homeowners, property managers and other stakeholders. Such individuals have extensive experience securing residential communities, and they have the power to make informed decisions quickly and efficiently.
• Technology. Modern technology offers powerful tools for supporting the security function, while minimizing inconvenience. For instance, systems can scan and capture information from drivers’ licenses and compare that information to sex crime/pedophile registries. Other technology vets and processes visitors and issues temporary badges. New vehicle identification technology uses microwave RFID and semi-active transponders to identify residents and other approved vehicles. A more affordable option, tag or card systems on vehicles can speed entry for residents, while flagging non-residents.
• Two-tier authentication. While technology is indispensable for modern communities, those with automated vehicle-access systems need to heed the cautionary tale of the Trojan horse. Currently, most systems only identify the vehicle, not the occupant(s). The latest technology provides two tiers of authorization: the vehicle tag only works if an additional reader assigned to the owner is also in the car.
• Law enforcement liaison. The community security force is an ally of local law enforcement, and vice versa. Both groups should serve as the eyes and ears of the community and communicate regularly about incidents and potential threats. In addition, security teams need to monitor local crime trends and prepare for possible challenges.
• Resident resource. Hosting special events where board members and residents can meet security staff and managers has two benefits: it fosters trust and creates better relationships, and it allows security personnel to hear about and discuss issues and concerns firsthand.

To discuss how Sunstates Security can meet the needs of your community, please call 866-710-2019 or email us.

Written by Sunstates Security

August 14th, 2018 at 3:53 pm

4 Steps for Strengthening School Security

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4 Steps for Strengthening School Security

The February 2018 shooting in Parkland, Fla., provided a tragic reminder that schools and other soft target need to strengthen
security against active shooter threats. Clearly it would be impractical—if not impossible—to fortify campuses with a ring of steel, and arming teachers and staff is not a feasible solution. It seems equally unlikely  that the United States would follow the footsteps of UK legislators, who outlawed the purchase and possession of handguns after the 1996 massacre in Dunblane, Scotland, when a gunman killed 16 first graders and their teacher.

Despite the inherent challenges of school safety and the political minefield of gun control, schools can take several steps to mitigate their vulnerability. The following recommendations combine best practices from law enforcement and private security, as well as lessons learned from recent attacks.

• Counter-surveillance. Most prospective attackers have done a dry run or know the school well enough to  determine whether an attack will succeed. To identify such reconnaissance efforts, schools need to have trained security personnel—either law enforcement or private security officers—who can observe activities on and around the campus, supported by live video surveillance. While many schools have security cameras, these devices are often used as an investigative tool. Skilled personnel need to monitor these feeds in real time to spot suspicious behavior.
• Intelligence gathering. Often, collecting intelligence proves more effective than beefing up security. This proactive approach focuses on averting a potential incident, rather than improving response efforts. In addition to maintaining open, two-way communication with local law enforcement, security teams should encourage frequent meetings with teachers and staff. Rumors often become reality, as was the case in the Parkland attack, when the FBI received a tip about the suspected shooter one month before the assault. Schools need to cultivate an environment where students feel comfortable approaching teachers and security professionals with concerns.
• Intervention. Schools also need to have an intervention plan for managing potential threats. Installation of high-security doors, for instance, can buy time against a would-be attacker, while teachers and students retreat to a safe room and alert law enforcement. In addition, use of assault weapons raises the stakes—and the requirements of safe rooms. Such spaces should be designed to withstand 15-20 minutes of concerted attack.
• Flexible training. Even though faculty, administration and students at the Parkland high school had undergone “active shooter training,” the gunman—a former student who was familiar with the emergency plans—nullified that preparation by triggering the fire alarm. Over-reliance on any one response method, including lockdowns and sheltering in place, is less effective than teaching students and staff how to think for themselves.

For information on how Sunstates Security can support your emergency response preparation and training, please call 866-710-2019 or email us.

Written by Sunstates Security

May 1st, 2018 at 9:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Managing Modern Threats with Protective Intelligence

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Managing Modern Threats with Protective Intelligence

Social media makes it easier than ever for like-minded individuals not only to find one another, but also to organize demonstrations for their cause. Consequently, more companies are calling on security partners for assistance in identifying and preparing for pop-up protests and other potential disruptions.
Technology can provide advance warning of such threats, but skilled human intervention continues to play a critical role in analyzing data and developing a sound strategy for risk management.

Sources of Intelligence
Advances in technology make security operations centers (SOCs) more affordable than ever, often providing in-house intelligence as needed. At the same time, organizations have other excellent information sources at their disposal for a fraction of the cost.

• Local partnerships. The same technology used to organize protests and other demonstrations also keeps the public informed of local developments. Many law enforcement agencies have email alert systems to notify residents of unusual conditions, such as extreme weather, vehicle accidents, and police activity. Most large cities have downtown alliances for businesses and other organizations that operate in these districts; information-sharing among members is an important benefit. In addition to these publicly available resources, private security teams should cultivate strong working relationships with local authorities, which encourage a two-way flow of information.
• Social media monitoring. Instead of relying on public alerts, more organizations are monitoring and analyzing social media activity, often through a partner with the tools and skills required to mine the raw data. Such monitoring efforts frequently fo-cus on a specific geographic area for a discrete period of time. For example, social media monitoring can provide real-time intelligence to support traveling executives and company events or to prepare for public reaction to current affairs, such as the student protests following the Parkland shooting.

Planning and prevention
Securing advance warning is only the first step. Managing potential threats requires more finesse than increasing the security staff in response to possible demonstrations.

• Staff management. While additional personnel may be required, a large, visible security presence may have the unintended effect of antagonizing protesters. Organizations should develop a strategy for making additional support available and ready to respond, without fueling already-high tensions.
• Building security. In some cases, it might make sense for an organization to go into lockdown mode and to prevent public access during a planned event. Even during a peaceful gathering, companies should have a plan for managing practical concerns, such as access control for employees and visitors and public runs on the restroom facilities.
• Training. Long before any potential threat materializes, security team members should complete training on non-violent crisis intervention. This specialized training teaches individuals how to defuse challenging situations before they escalate into crises.

To learn how Sunstates Security can assist your organization, please call 866-710-2019 or email us .

Written by Sunstates Security

May 1st, 2018 at 8:53 pm

4 New Year’s Resolutions for Security Directors

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4 New Year’s Resolutions for Security Directors

As we start the New Year, most of us have personal and professional goals to which we aspire. For security professionals, we recommend the following resolutions to help make 2018 a successful, uneventful one for your organization.

  1. Update and test the business continuity plan (BCP). Beyond the dangers of a national emergency, every organization needs a current, robust plan to recover from a crisis. In recent years, companies across the country have experienced disruption from weather emergencies. Advances in cloud computing and increasingly remote workforces are two developments that can have a dramatic impact on a BCP. The breakneck pace at which technology continues to transform business practices makes annual review and testing of BCPs more important than ever. Today, the plan should include procedures that apprise organizations of employees’ whereabouts—particularly when key personnel are traveling. Putting a plan on paper is not enough; companies need to conduct a tabletop exercise and drill at least annually.
  2. Establish (or enhance) an active shooter policy. Every company should have at least a basic policy that is communicated to employees. The U.S. Department of Homeland Safety publishes a guide that organizations can use as a starting point. In reviewing the active shooter policy, security directors need to keep in mind that the threat has increased. More shooters are forgoing handguns in favor of assault weapons. By the time police arrive, the assault is typically over. Contingency plans should include safe rooms where employees can retreat. In addition, organizations need clear guidelines regarding who closes and locks the door and when. Similar to BCPs, active shooter plans should also be tested annually with a combination of tabletop and live drills.
  3. Ensure vendor compliance with internal screening standards. Many organizations have strict background screening standards for their employees but don’t extend those requirements to vendors that provide contract or temporary personnel. As some companies have learned through repeated incidents and infractions, external partners may perform minimum screening to fulfill a vague contractual obligation. Outline the basic requirements for vendor background screenings in the security policy. At a minimum, service agreements should include this specific language. Preferably, the host organization should identify a trusted third party to ensure consistent screening standards for all on-site personnel.
  4. Perform penetration testing at key locations. While security protocols may appear iron-clad on paper, most are surprisingly easy to overcome. Resolve this year to put access control to the test: inspect perimeter fencing, check for blind spots in CCTV monitoring. Internal personnel can conduct preliminary testing, but organizations should consider contracting a qualified third party for unbiased reporting. Testing should focus on vulnerable entry points, testing the physical, human and technological aspects of the security program.

For information on how Sunstates Security can help your organization implement these resolutions, call 866-710-2019 or email us.

Written by Sunstates Security

January 26th, 2018 at 7:40 pm

Security Operations Centers: More Accessible Than Ever

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Security Operations Centers: More Accessible Than Ever

As technology becomes more sophisticated, more affordable and more compatible, an increasing number of organizations are developing security operations centers, or SOCs, to support their security programs. In fact, Sunstates Security has partnered with companies to manage these command centers both locally and internationally.

Benefits of GSOCs
No longer restricted to spy thrillers and global mega-corporations, SOCs allow small-to-medium enterprises to leverage technology in expanding their security capabilities, while reducing headcount.

  • Universal protocols. Managing security operations from a SOC makes it easier for large companies to apply security standards across their organizations. Controlling access from a central location, for instance, reduces the need to rely on individuals to follow company protocols. SOCs can help ensure that every facility adheres to the same procedures and benefits from the same level of security expertise.
  • Improved asset control. Many companies use these centers to provide additional layers of asset control. Local employees are trusted to do the right thing, and technology provides verification. For example, some companies track high-value shipments with GPS technology. Geo-fencing the route sends an alert if the vehicle travels a specific distance off course, and SOC personnel can contact the driver and offer assistance, if needed. Similarly, SOCs can support employees traveling to high-risk countries by providing information on demonstrations or other incidents that could affect their safety.
  • Remote monitoring. Technology integration has significantly increased the capabilities of SOC operators. In addition to monitoring an airplane hangar, for instance, to prevent tampering with corporate aircraft, security personnel can interact with individuals on site. In some cases, SOCs have allowed the remote identification of intruders, who ultimately left the facility before causing damage. Other operators have witnessed medical emergencies and directed responders to provide assistance.
  • Real-time intelligence. Some sophisticated organizations have built briefing rooms adjacent to the command centers. If a major incident affects a company or one of its operating regions, executive teams move to the briefing room, which duplicates many of the monitors and other equipment in the SOC.

Additional Considerations
In developing and supporting SOCs for client companies, we’ve seen some common misconceptions. Frequently, organizations tend to overestimate cost savings from reduction in security personnel, while underestimating the risk of information overload.

  • Lower headcount, higher skill level. Beyond the expense of creating the SOC, these sophisticated centers require highly skilled operators with specialized training. Security departments are “doing more with less” in terms of personnel, but these positions command higher pay, better benefits and increased training. At some locations, for instance, operators complete between 80 and 120 hours of one-on-one training before they enter the SOC.
  • Less is more. Many organizations want to fill an entire wall with monitors, allowing command-center personnel to view more areas at once. However, operators can only absorb so much information. A more efficient practice is to support primary monitors with secondary monitors. If an incident occurs, the relevant images are transferred to the primary screens.

Thinking of creating a SOC at your organization? Sunstates Security can help you optimize a control center from a security perspective, in addition to arranging tours of active SOCs. Call us at 866-710-2019 or email us.

Written by Sunstates Security

January 26th, 2018 at 7:32 pm

Sunstates Security Expands with Key Management

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Sunstates Security Expands with Key Management

Continued Double-Digit Organic Growth Drives Expansion of Management Team

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RALEIGH, N.C., November 8, 2017—Sunstates Security’s commitment to their Mission and Vision of Honesty, Integrity and Trust continue to drive the company’s double-digit, organic growth. Sunstates is pleased to announce the additions of key management team members.

Travis Miller has joined the Sunstates Security management team with a comprehensive background in the contract security industry. During the past 13 years in the industry, he has served in several multi-faceted roles. Beginning his security career in a business development role, he successfully established a new client base in the Orlando area while building and expanding existing partnerships. As natural leader and motivator, he began to take on more operational and management responsibility as a Branch Manager, a role in which he developed a cohesive management team and achieved significant branch growth. He was promoted to Regional Manager, an expanded role in which he assumed responsibility for a team of 400+ employees and a portfolio of clients across the state of Florida. The combination of Travis’ adaptability, leadership style, and experience with every aspect of the security business make him a valuable member of the Sunstates Security team, and an excellent resource for Sunstates clients in the Florida market. Travis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Central Florida, and has attended numerous leadership and customer service training programs through a variety of organizations to include Dale Carnegie, Ty Boyd, and Miller Heiman. He is active in several professional organizations to include ASIS International (at the national and local level) and the Orlando and Gold Coast Chapters of the Community Associations Institute (CAI).

Virginia Lumsden has more than 20 years’ experience as a Facility Security Officer (FSO), Office Administrator, Task Manager, and Human Resources representative for various defense contractors. She has successfully created and maintained multiple security management programs for several defense contractors that were not only compliant with numerous government agency’s policies, but also received Superior ratings from those agencies during yearly assessments. Virginia has provided logistical support to multiple teams of security personnel who were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as to emergency relief teams during Hurricane Katrina. She has also provided support to the instructors of the U.S. Air Marshals after 9/11, as well as instructors providing counter-terrorism training at U.S. embassies worldwide. Virginia received her B.A. from UNC-Greensboro and is currently pursuing a degree in Cyber Security.

 

 

Myketa “Keta” Mitchell joined Sunstates Corporate office as the new Staff Accountant on September 1st. Keta graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a degree in Finance and brings 3 years of accounting experience to the team. As a Staff Accountant, Keta’s role is to support corporate and field staff by processing accounts payable and receivable transactions. These processes will also require her to liaison with our clients and vendors. Keta’s organizational skills and positive attitude have already made an impact and we look forward to her development within the Corporate Finance team.

 

 

 

David “Dave” Kleiman brings over 10 years of legal expertise to corporate headquarters as our Legal, Compliance and Risk Management Director. He obtained his Juris Doctor from The John Marshall Law School and licensed to practice in the state of Illinois.

For several years Dave owned his own practice focusing on consumer, corporate, criminal, real estate, workers’ compensation, and personal injury matters. He later transitioned to the corporate world taking on large roles with two international companies. The first company sponsored the Manchester United soccer team and is a global leader in human resources, insurance and risk management. The second company produced many household items that many of us know and love such as Oreos and Sour Patch Kids.

“We are pleased to welcome new leadership talent to Sunstates,” says President Glenn Burrell, who founded Sunstates Security after serving 20 years in Scotland Yard. “We look forward to the contributions of each of these individuals in their new roles.”

About Sunstates Security
Based in Raleigh, N.C., Sunstates Security provides uniformed security personnel and security consulting services to clients throughout the United States. The company is certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Greater Business Women’s Council, a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).

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Written by Sunstates Security

November 8th, 2017 at 8:40 pm

Security Technology for Today—and Tomorrow

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At last month’s ASIS International Annual Seminar and Exhibits in Dallas, technology dominated the showroom floor. Vendors showcased robots and drones, along with the ubiquitous access-control and surveillance systems. In the real world, however, even sophisticated organizations are waiting before taking the technological plunge.

This article highlights emerging technologies, as well as familiar systems that are doing more than ever—often for less money.

New Technologies

These advancements are emerging from science fiction novels and films into 21st century reality.

  • Robots. Several companies featured security robots as an alternative to human patrol officers. While these mechanical sentries offer cost savings and other benefits, such as the ability to capture video, they’re not likely to replace security personnel entirely. Robots may gradually find their way into corporate security forces, but they’ll ultimately report their findings to skilled humans. Still, continuing advancements in robotics will spark interesting debates in the coming years.
  • Drones. These unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are generating a lot of interest as the technology improves. While future restrictions inevitably will govern where, how and when these devices can fly, UAVs add a new dimension to surveillance, especially when conducting vulnerability assessments. Drones allow security teams to not only focus on their facilities, but also on potential threats beyond the site perimeter. Some companies are marketing drones that capture other drones, highlighting some of the privacy concerns created by these vehicles.
  • Facial Recognition. This technology recently went mainstream with the announcement of iPhone X. Apple’s $1,000+ smartphone will replace the familiar fingerprint reader with facial recognition, which is reportedly 20x more secure. Already, the technology is changing the security game. Last month, Chinese police used cameras equipped with automated facial recognition (AFR) software to arrest 25 wanted criminals at a beer festival, including one who had eluded authorities for a decade.

Improved Technologies

While not as exciting as the previous advances, the following technology improvements are transforming security in more subtle ways.

  • Investigative tools. Online proliferation of public data has enhanced investigations in recent years, while creating its own challenges. Consulting multiple sources for information consumes time, as does sifting through the results for relevance. New technologies are making it easier both to collect data in a single source and to narrow results for human analysis. Some of these tools remain prohibitively expensive for smaller organizations, but prices will fall as the technology evolves.
  • Access control. Today’s access-control systems offer increased security and efficiency, in addition to improving the user experience. Electronic systems can integrate with other and personnel management security systems. Plus, a missing access card can be quickly deactivated and replaced. New access-control technologies are amplifying these benefits, replacing cards with smartphones, mobile devices and biometrics.
  • Audio/visual recording. High-definition cameras, digital recorders and cloud computing have made it easier, and more affordable, than ever for businesses to upgrade their security systems. Many clients are replacing decade-old closed-circuit televisions with state-of-the-art systems that allow remote monitoring.

To discuss how these technologies can help your security program, call Sunstates Security at 866-710-2019 or email us.

Written by Sunstates Security

October 19th, 2017 at 4:05 pm