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Top News in the Security and Risk Industry and Grants— August 2020

August 27, 2020 | 4 min read
August 2019 news post

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.

Doctors Insist People Should Get The Flu Shot

From NPR: Vaccine manufacturers have increased production of flu shots for this season. And the message from doctors and public health experts say, is get one. And coronavirus continues to circulate widely, killing around 1,000 people a day in the U.S. Experts say a combination of COVID-19 and seasonal flu could be a lethal mix. In one state, Massachusetts, schools are requiring all students to get a vaccine.

Our take: Early in the pandemic, medical experts hoped hot weather would slow the spread of Covid-19, but that’s not been the case. Cases have increased, no matter the weather. Despite the fact that the weather has no effect on the spread of Covid, we are headed into fall — a dangerous time because of flu season and the reopening of businesses and schools. To avoid your business being sidelined by a “twindemic,” encourage your team to protect themselves and each other by getting their flu shots early this year.

Cozaint Corp.'s BOBBY-W Physical Security Kiosk

From Security InfoWatch: Cozaint Corporation, manufacturer of ‘smart’ physical security platforms, this month announced the launch of the BOBBY-W wall-mounted physical security kiosk. Available immediately, this ‘Video Surveillance as a Service’ [VSaaS] device has been designed to augment human security guard environments that need additional eyes and ears on their premises.

Our take: While good security officers are irreplaceable, technology is excellent at taking on some jobs that are wasted on guards — such as watching doors. A Robotic Assisted Device (RAD) such as this one can be a good supplement to a guard force, especially during a pandemic when you may not want people physically on the premises.

Thermal Cameras to Fight Coronavirus in the Workplace?

From Security Magazine: As the nation reopens, businesses have a host of logistical and legal issues to resolve in order to bring their employees back safely in the age of COVID-19. Many are turning to technological solutions, ranging from standard forehead thermometer guns, to more sophisticated, social-distancing and heat-detection cameras, some of which are even paired with facial recognition software that can track and identify individuals who have a fever or who flout the distancing rules. Before implementing such technology in the workplace, however, enterprises must consider the potential legal implications associated with their use.

Our take: Thermal cameras have a lot of potential when it comes to detecting sick visitors to a site during a pandemic. However, it’s a new technology that needs to be tested before a business goes all in. (Imagine relying on a thermal camera just to discover it’s malfunctioning.) While thermal cameras are certainly tech to keep an eye on, you may want to back them up with infrared thermometers for now.

Pandemic has changed the outlook of workers on access control

From Security Infowatch: Access control has traditionally been viewed by many workers as a necessary evil; a system that organizations must leverage to keep unauthorized persons out of the workplace but that also presents a hassle to those that may have mistakenly left their key card at home or had it malfunction for one reason or another. However, a recent survey found that 44% of employees feel access control is more important in the wake of the pandemic and that 67% prioritize security over convenience now when it comes to choosing an access control system.

Our take: It’s rare that good news comes out of the pandemic, but knowing that workers are taking access control seriously is a bright spot for security experts. Access control has always been important — done right, it helps organizations know who has been on site, when they arrived, and when they left. If Covid is helping workers to see how important it is, that’s a good thing. The challenge will be to keep them invested in access control when the pandemic is over.

August’s Top Security Grants

The National Science Foundation: In today’s increasingly networked, distributed, and asynchronous world, cybersecurity involves hardware, software, networks, data, people, and integration with the physical world. Society’s overwhelming reliance on this complex cyberspace, however, has exposed its fragility and vulnerabilities that defy existing cyber-defense measures; corporations, agencies, national infrastructure and individuals continue to suffer cyber-attacks. Achieving a truly secure cyberspace requires addressing both challenging scientific and engineering problems involving many components of a system, and vulnerabilities that stem from human behaviors and choices. Examining the fundamentals of security and privacy as a multidisciplinary subject can lead to fundamentally new ways to design, build and operate cyber systems, protect existing infrastructure, and motivate and educate individuals about cybersecurity. This grant welcomes proposals that address cybersecurity and privacy, and draw on expertise in one or more of these areas: computing, communication and information sciences; engineering; education; mathematics; statistics; and social, behavioral, and economic sciences. No posted close date.

Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response: This grant, announced on the behalf of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, (BARDA), is a response to the COVID-19 epidemic. BARDA is interested in proposals from businesses related to COVID-19 tests, vaccines, therapeutics and manufacturing technologies. Grant closes: Oct. 31.

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