Healthcare Cyber Security Challenges

 

Healthcare institutions already face a variety of security challenges both physically and in the digital space, and these of course will only continue to evolve. As this happens, the security industries must keep up with change. Particularly vulnerable to data breaches and ransomware are hospitals. This is due in part to the relatively high value of medical data. Besides this, most modern facilities and doctors now use electronic prescriptions which can be vulnerable to fraud and theft. Hospital administrators are under the pressures of a cost only alleviated through the improvement of operational security and workflow efficiency. Here we will look at some ways to accomplish that.

 

A key component in overall healthcare securities is knowing who is going where and when within the different zones of the installation. One way to accomplish this is using “Trusted Identities”. This approach to identity and authentication uses multi-factor authentication, digital certificates, management of credentials, and physical security in a four-pointed approach sometimes called PIAM. Reliable and efficient credential verification has given rise to a more connected and efficient system for hospitals in what is called the IoTT (Internet of Trusted Things). This also opens the door to making use of big data and machine learning to create fundamental changes in how healthcare institutions manage risk and operate in general.

 

Regarding electronic prescriptions, the DEA mandate for a separate two factor authentication for controlled substances is one out of many regulatory requirements facing the digital arm of healthcare. Intelligent systems built to automate much of this type of “red tape” can realize significant decreases in cost. Using integrated systems that can talk to each other will almost always result in better efficiency, done properly. Digital certificates, signatures and signing are backed by public key infrastructure and can incorporate One Time Password (OTP) tokens and biometrics to comply with both DEA and HIPAA. These same systems can be used to solve the fundamental issues of protecting patient data and remotely authenticating through VPNs using mobile devices.

 

Perhaps the most promising up and coming weapon in fighting healthcare fraud like malware and data breaches is real-time risk profiling, which protects against both known and recent threats targeting both online users and mobile devices. Risk profiling in the healthcare setting can use a wide variety of known information to make best guesses about a subject trying to gain access to some device in the network. These data driven cyber surveillance systems combine evidence-based approaches to risk analysis with behavioral biometrics to give the best picture of the real risks to an institution, much in the same way big retail chains can guess who is about to steal from a store.
Security Technology of South Texas is happy to offer custom access control and surveillance solutions to the healthcare market, designed either turn-key and from the ground up, or integrated into an already existing series of cameras.

 

Please contact us through email at admin@gostst.com on our website or via phone at 210-446-4863 24/7 to schedule a consultation.

The Future of Smart Video Systems

Even though huge volumes of video data are collected every day, most statistics indicate that only 10 percent of this data is ever used. The majority of data collected loses its value very quickly after being generated. The reason for this? Our primary focus tends to be delivering the correct information in a crisis or providing it as evidence after criminal activity has taken place. This causes much data to be “wasted” in the sense that we lose our on the opportunity to perform useful analytics.

Video analytics is an increasingly powerful tool. It helps to improve usability of these vast amounts of video information. Analytics software acts as the “brain” of a surveillance system and is built into IP cameras themselves or processed in separate computing infrastructure. This creates a smarter system that “knows” what it sees and alerts guards to potential threats as soon as an alarm rule or condition is met. Analytics gives operators the chance to act faster and more efficiently with better intel.

Video analytics is like an ever-vigilant system operator within the security system itself. It captures data like a panopticon, seeing all in every monitored scene around the clock. Content analysis information, a form of video metadata, is stored as well. As they reduce operating costs and increase efficiency, intelligent cameras deliver a solid return on investment which can be measured in tangible results to the business or other setting in which it operates.

Let’s take a look at what exactly is possible using intelligent video. Smart IP cameras are able to classify the objects they see on their own. Objects entering or leaving the scene can be identified as a person, car, bike, truck, or other object. Because the camera can differentiate objects, it can be told to only alert in the case of a break-in, ignoring things like leaves in the wind or animals wondering through. New low-light cameras allow color-filtering even in scenes with very little ambient light. Even at night, color detection is possible in this way.

Alarm detection can be set to be even more specialized. Rules can be configured to look for specialized behavior patterns such as fighting, running, loitering, path following, abandoned luggage, entering an area, and more. The alarm engine in each camera coordinates with the others in a logical way to interpret this information and determine threat status. All this allows for a very robust alarm condition solution and prevents false and missed alarms.
What’s more, stored metadata enables forensic analysis at a later time. This means that retroactive searches for a specific car or person is possible even if it was not a determined item of interest until well after the event was recorded. Metadata is compact and only barely adds to the size of recordings. It is quick and easy to search through to find a specific event.

The logical next step is to continue to improve analytics for video metadata until we approach 100 percent practical use. Predictive analysis of human traffic patterns can predict shoplifting and identify potential events before they take place, and the more data that can be made useful the more accurate these types of predictions will be. The same technology can monitor customer dwell time at different displays in a store and determine the effectiveness of in-store advertising and product locations. Analyzing customer engagement with these displays can help increase customer engagement with products and lead to increased sales and revenue. As the IoT expands, this type of technology will be more and more critical as there will be many more points of data to analyze. There is no way to fully anticipate the eventual effects this will have on our industry or the world at large.

Security Technology of South Texas is happy to offer custom access control and surveillance solutions with video analytics to the retail and other markets, designed either turn-key and from the ground up, or integrated into an already existing series of cameras.
Please contact us through email at admin@gostst.com on our website or via phone at 210-446-4863 24/7 to schedule a consultation.

Frontsteps HOA Solutions

 

Security Technology of South Texas, Inc. is pleased to announce a new marketing partnership with Frontsteps, the nation’s leader in HOA management and security automation. Fronsteps solutions for HOA and Condo communities feature all encompassing protection of residents and community assets via cloud-based security. In the cloud is stored vast amounts of data, keeping residents in the loop and assisting in their ability to self-serve, reducing the cost of employee overhead. Efficiency is improved by streamlining procedures and allowing workflow automation from a single dashboard interface. Here we will take a look at what makes Frontsteps an ideal solution for home owners associations in both condominium settings and communities of houses.

Frontsteps’ HOA solutions are a turnkey, singular answer to the needs of an HOA. The centerpiece of the solution is the centralized dashboard which allows residents to manage their maintenance requests, access documents from the cloud, and view calendar events, among other things. Email, text, and voice newsfeeds keep residents informed en masse with just a single log-in. Automated workflows allow the HOA to run more efficiently and hold on to more time in the day.

Equally important are the security solutions built into the system. Visitor management is a critical component of any large-scale security operation in a residential setting. Visitor entry is expedited with gated, guarded, and lobby-attended communities. Cars can be processed quickly and residents are notified through the system of guest arrivals. Residents manage their guest lists through the cloud using the app. If human guards are employed, they are aided by the ability to scan mobile passes and guest IDs. This logs the activity and sends guests quickly on their way.

Access control involved the monitoring of an unlimited amount of doors, entry points, and vehicle gates in real time. The software integrates with existing system infrastructure. This can include “clickers, key fobs, proxy cards, [and] vehicle transponders” (frontsteps.com) which gives another layer of security for community assets. This web-based system is backed with local storage, allowing admins to view status and connectivity of hardware in real time. Doors can be unlocked remotely and all transactions monitored. In this way, guards and admins can know who accessed a facility and when, improving incident reporting. Another high-tech feature is license plate recognition. In seconds, visitor and resident license plates are identified and logged into the system with entry either being approved or denied. Camera integration protects assets and residents through cloud-based surveillance camera integration. Again, existing infrastructure can be integrated here.

A key aspect of Frontsteps solution is “Mobile Patrol”. The fully mobile application allows security admins instant access “to patrol status updates and critical information, like incident reports and messaging.” (Frontsteps.com) Guards can give live updates in just seconds and share information for different checkpoints along a given patrol route. GPS GeoTagging assists in this process. This vastly improves the productivity and accountability of security staff as they must check in to their patrol checkpoints.

Security Technology of South Texas is happy to offer custom access control and surveillance solutions to the HOA market, designed either turn-key and from the ground up, or integrated into an already existing series of cameras.
Please contact us through email at admin@gostst.com on our website or via phone at 210-446-4863 24/7 to schedule a consultation.

Using Deep Learning Algorithms to Recognize Individual Faces

Finding a particular face in a crowd is something human minds have difficulty doing in settings much larger than a café. We are able to use context clues in such a setting, like a friend waving their arm or a table with just one person sitting at it. But in something more akin to a major league sports event with 40 thousand people such a task is impossible. Technology which can “fast-track” through massive amounts of data (hours of surveillance video with changing lighting and moving crowds) is now increasingly in demand. Facial recognition allows alerts to be sent out when a specific individual(s) enters a location and helps in post-event investigations as it can identify and track the movements of an individual.

As we have investigated previously, Deep Learning algorithms are the go to solution for these types of tasks. These are the same algorithms used in everything from predictive advertising, crime prediction, and chess/game playing software. Yet facial recognition is uniquely complex and comes with its own host of challenges. Pouring through vast amounts of data or trying to connect old images to the current appearance of an individual is just the beginning, but can still paralyze standard surveillance systems unable to make sense of the information. System hardware is simply too slowed down with the sheer volume of data necessary to perform the tasks needed. Furthermore, traditional “intelligent video” needs a consistent and stable background. It is for these reasons and more that this new, smarter breed of facial recognition is the future of video surveillance.

Something we have not looked at before in our “Security News” section are the two key steps of facial recognition algorithms; “Feature Extraction” and “Classification Learning”, defined briefly below.

 

Classification Learning makes use of so-called “shallow” learning and analysis; the kind used in old intelligent video solutions.

Feature Extraction sets the new technology apart from the old. This is where human design of features allow the system to perform adequately in specific environments even with subtle changes in background and lighting. However, this brings about some degree of sacrifice in accuracy.

 Employing Deep Learning in these tasks improves the accuracy of facial recognition to a significant degree. This is due to a greatly more sophisticated and modern algorithmic structure that more closely resembles human learning. The layers of such a program can reach above 100, permitting data processing in huge amounts and of increased complexity. Like the human learning around which it was designed, Deep Learning uses “layer by layer” feature-extraction processes. With each layer comes a different “weight”, which directly impacts what the program will learn about the components of visual data.

 

Because Deep Learning works alone and without human intervention, it can extract as many of these features  as possible, even if they are abstract or even impossible to describe. Features like this are why the programmers of these systems often cannot explains how their software was able to learn something new. The code is simply too abstract. With more features comes greater accuracy. Through these means, facial recognition above human levels can be achieved, and in a tiny fraction of the time.

 High level facial recognition of this caliber improves both security and investigation and has applications extending into many different industries. Banks, shops, hotels, and even bars and nightclubs all stand to benefit. Finding a face in a crowd of people almost instantly will only increase in demand in the near future.

 

Security Technology of South is proud to offer integration of this service and custom solutions for any and all security needs. Please contact us through email at admin@gostst.com on our website or via phone at  210-446-4863   24/7