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surveillance cameras and other interactive devices and how to protect your company
April 11, 2017
Today's webinar: See below for details.
TitleAll You Need To Know About Getting Top Dollar for your  Alarm Business -sale or financing
Register here:
surveillance cameras and other interactive devices and how to protect your company
    We are concerned with surveillance cameras and other interactive devices and how to protect our company if a client’s videos is hacked and distributed online.  (think worst case scenario- video of your kids or wife suddenly online).         We have a form in place however we are not using it as frequently as we probably should.  When I reached out to other integrators to see how they handled this type of situation, I was shocked to hear that even the larger companies did not have any paperwork in place to protect them in such a situation.  
    This, of course, leads to discussions regarding liability for other systems (i.e. security systems- who is liable if someone is able to break into the house)  Once we began talking about possible issues with Alexa and/or other devices that have recently been added to our list of devices, this takes that topic even further.  What happens when someone hacks a client’s network and controls their lighting, A/V, pool… the list goes on and on.  Or uses that information to determine if a client is home or away.  The number of nefarious opportunities is unending. 
    Of course, my main concern is protecting our clients.  However, a business must focus on their exposure/liability in every situation.  What, as an industry, are we going to do to make sure the both of us are protected and that we stay ahead of the evil-doers in the world?  
    Concerns over where video and audio devices are installed coincided with concerns over how the subscriber would ultimately use the data.  As alarm companies continue to transition from strictly security and fire to remote interactive devices, security and non-security, such as home automation devices, the issue of hacking is an increasing problem.  As the technology of the devices continues to evolve so does the ingenuity of the evil-doers, the hackers continue to become more sophisticated and potentially dangerous.  
    I can't help thinking about the drug commercials I see all over TV.  Half the ad is spent on telling you how you should pressure your doctor to prescribe the medication and the other half of the ad is spent telling you all the side effects you can expect.  Last time you made or heard about an alarm sales pitch did it spend half the time on system or service negatives and possible breaches of personal video or audio or access to the premises?  More than one modern "horror" movie has involved remote access interception and hacking, taking over control of remote devices for lights, garage, window, drapes, heat or A/C, running water and making coffee.  What happened to vampires?  I thought the modern horror story was now about getting a tenant destroying the place out of your house or the money pit house you buy.  Hacking internet or wireless devices was probably just a concept when those movies were made, but it's real enough now.
    Alarm companies can address these concerns by using the Standard Form Agreements which addressed the issue in updates as early as the 2015 updates and continue to update the provisions as appropriate.  If you "have a form in place" but don't use it most of the time, then you've been ignoring all of the advice we present on this forum and all of the advice recommended by industry experts.  You should not be performing any security / fire/ home automation integration without a proper contract.  What's a proper contract and do you have one?  If you don't have a Standard Form Agreement then the answer is maybe, probably not.  If you don't have an updated Standard Form Agreement then you're better off than the first group, but you need to keep your agreements updated; at least as frequently as you update the equipment and services you offer your subscribers.
    The issue is communication pathways.  A recent article to Physicians who access their patient records remotely warned:
    "Data traveling across the internet is not encrypted and susceptible to being copied and read by others.  If you access your data through a web browser, ensure that the connection is encrypted, look for the https:// in the browser address bar.  But realize that this doesn't protect non-browser data (e.g., email or other stand-alone apps for messaging and social networking).  The best security is provided by a VPN service, which encrypts all data coming into and out of your device.  This is especially important if you use public WiFi, since other devices in that coffee shop or hotel lobby may be able to connect directly to your device and hack it.  The best choice is to purchase and use a cellular WiFi hotspot or tethering from your cellphone."
    Your subscriber face these same issues, though they probably don't know it and certainly don't realize how serious a breach can disrupt their lives.  A subscriber has one system to worry about.  You have hundreds if not thousands.  It will be bad enough if your subscriber's system is hacked, but when your subscriber decides to blame you, your life and business will be disrupted.  
    Your subscriber contracts should warn your subscribers about the possible risks of wireless and internet devices and services and, more selfishly, protect your company from claims when hackers reek havoc and cause real damages and loss.  Update your contracts today:

WEBINARS:  Sign up for any or all of the webinars that interest you.
FREE Webinar Series "All You Need To Know About" alarm industry issues. 
Register for one or all.  Each presentation scheduled for half hour to hour.  Not recorded.
TitleAll You Need To Know About Getting Top Dollar for your  Alarm Business -sale or financing
When: April 11, 2017 noon EST
Where: Your computer for power point, live video and call in on computer or phone
What will be covered: General discussion about how to maximize the value of your alarm business and position yourself for sale or financing
Who should attend: Alarm company owners.
Presented by: Rory Russell, Acquisition Funding Services, 888 551 0476
Register here:

TitleAll You Need To Know About Alarm dealer program contracts - getting in and getting out
When: April 18, 2017 noon EST
Where: Your computer for power point, live video and call in on computer or phone
What will be covered: General discussion about honeypots/trappings of dealer program contracts and how difficult they are to get out of. 
Who should attend: Alarm company owners.
Presented by: James Babbitt, Esq. General Counsel, RMR Capital Group; 952 467 8610
Register here
TitleAll You Need to know about Internet security and why is it relevant for the alarm industry 
When: April 25,  2017 noon EST
Where: Your computer for power point, live video and call in on computer or phone
What will be covered: Discussion of securing Internet devices.  Attacks by Mirai and other botnets and disruption to Internet services around the world made possible because of the millions of poorly secured cameras, DVRs and other installed network devices. 
Who should attend: Alarm company owners, general and technical managers
Presented by: Securifi, a leading router and smart home hub company, soon to be offering its own comprehensive Total Security Solution (Monitored Security + IoT Security + Parental Controls + Malware Blocking) to the alarm industry.  Rohit Somani    855 969 7328  
Register here:


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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
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