There’s a lot going on in the world of physical risk and vulnerability; it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the latest news and developments. We’ll keep you informed with the best content to keep your organization safe and secure. Check out the top news and headlines from the past month.
From The New York Times: Clearview AI has devised a groundbreaking facial recognition app: you upload a picture of a person and get to see public photos of that person, along with links to where those photos appeared. The system — whose backbone is a database of more than three billion images that Clearview claims to have scraped from Facebook, YouTube, Venmo and millions of other websites — goes far beyond anything ever constructed by the United States government or Silicon Valley giants. Federal and state law enforcement officers said that while they had only limited knowledge of how Clearview works and who is behind it, they had used its app to help solve shoplifting, identity theft, credit card fraud, murder and child sexual exploitation cases.
Our take: The Internet might be public, but when people post pictures to social media, they have a reasonable expectation of privacy. They certainly don’t believe their photo will land in a database that will be sold to law enforcement by a private company. While Clearview’s app may have allowed law enforcement to solve some crimes, this sort of technology — a database built with photos of people who haven’t opted in — puts on a scary path. Why? Because this technology will eventually be misused, if not by law enforcement or the private sector, then by criminals who might hack into Clearview’s database.
From Security Sales & Integration: At last month’s Consumer Electronics Show, dozens of (Internet of Things) IoT companies clamored to show off new access-control solutions ranging from smart padlocks to web-enabled parcel lockers. But while IoT technologies are all the rage, there are legitimate concerns about the security of consumer-grade Web-connected devices — and for smart locks, which exist solely to keep your home, business and belongings secure, there’s simply no margin of error.
Our take: In the past few decades, technology has revolutionized access control. Physical keys were tricky to control – you never knew who’d made a copy, and they were easy to lose, and proximity keys and cards are simple to replace and deactivate. Companies, however, should do due diligence before turning to smart locks and other Internet-connected doors. The IoT is notoriously easy to hack and may provide criminals a way into your company’s data and networks even as they’re physically kept outside.
From Security Magazine: Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund (Everytown), the American Federation of Teachers, and the National Education Association are calling for an end to active shooter drills in schools. They released a report recommending that schools refrain from conducting active shooter drills that are unannounced, as well as a prohibition on drills that simulate gun violence, such as ALICE drills. It also includes guidelines and best practices for schools that choose to drill students about active shooters.
Our take: Like fire drills, active shooter drills have become a part of most schools’ monthly routines, and like fire drills, they are necessary so that teachers, staff, and children know where to go in case of an incident. However, lockdowns can be traumatic for kids and teachers, especially if they’re unannounced. It’s a good idea to have a list of best practices for schools so that the drills, which are meant to keep kids safe, aren’t doing psychological damage.
From Security Today: The amount of disinformation surrounding the coronavirus outbreak is the perfect environment for scammers preying on confusion.The Federal Trade Commission is now warning consumers to watch out for fake products and donation scams related to the epidemic.
Our take: There’s a lot of misinformation and disinformation around the coronavirus, and opportunistic criminals will always take advantage of that sort of confusion. Arm yourself with the actual facts, don’t panic, and be careful about the emails you respond to.