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Best security cameras for businesses and home use

Storage, flexibility, quality recording, and easy installation are some of the important factors to consider when deciding on a work-safe security system. Our top picks for commercial properties will help secure the workplace for small and large businesses alike.

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Security, in both the physical and digital sense, is imperative for companies to deter trespassers and would-be thieves, as well as to protect valuable equipment crucial for businesses to operate successfully. A robust security setup can take the pressure off existing security staff and give business owners peace of mind out-of-hours.

Luckily for organizations, the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) technology, improved mobile connectivity, apps, and cloud technologies has radically changed the security landscape and made it easier than ever to set up multi-room or premise systems with easy installation and constant monitoring.

The possibilities are endless: cloud or local feed storage, customizable or automatic alerts and alarms, smartphones and tablet connectivity, wired or wireless, battery-powered or mains options, video capture, audio feeds of varying quality, and the ability to watch in real-time are all on offer and can be tailored depending on the requirements of your business.

To make navigating the variety of hardware and vendor ecosystems available to today’s company owners less of a challenge, we have assembled our top ten picks for businesses, large or small, including outdoor, indoor, and hybrid security offerings.

Ring Stick Up Cam Flexible, mobile security solution without spending a fortune

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It was once the case that to protect a business premise, heavy-duty, wired surveillance systems were the only options available. Times have changed and with the explosion in mobile solutions and the increased bandwidth offered by broadband and 4G, there are mobile-friendly options for SMBs seeking a budget-conscious security option.

Ring began as a smart doorbell containing a camera for live feeds and a microphone, enabling users to speak to visitors remotely. Amazon saw the potential and acquired the company in 2018, resulting in a new range of accompanying products including cameras.

The benefit of the Ring camera range, including indoor, outdoor, stick-up, and floodlights, lies within its flexibility. Each camera can be connected to the same account and accessed via smartphone, alerting users to motion from all areas.

Of particular note is the new Stick Up Cams, which can be placed inside or outdoors, and on flat surfaces or walls. Battery, wired, or solar-powered options are available. The Spotlight and Floodlight models, too, are of interest given their inbuilt security sirens.

Users can set up their Ring devices to feed alerts directly to their mobile phones. Alternatively, Ring offers protection plans for professional monitoring with emergency services on speed dial.

As there are a variety of different cameras users can pick from, a mix-and-match set up to protect a premise is possible. Indoor cameras begin at $59.99. Stick-up cameras — available as battery, wired, or solar-powered options — can be purchased for $99.99 and up. A single spotlight camera will set you back $199, and floodlight cameras begin at $249.

$130 at Monoprice

Google Nest Cam Discreetly keep an eye out for intruders outside of hours

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Google Nest cameras will of interest to business owners already in the Nest ecosystem — including users of the Nest Thermostat, Nest Protect fire and CO2 alarms, as well as Nest X Yale Locks.

The Nest Cam Indoor and Outdoor cameras are mobile options for on-premise security. They are best suited for budget-friendly users that need basic security measures in place. The cameras can record footage in 1080p HD, and when it comes to the outdoor version, this quality is maintained at night due to the use of all-glass lenses — giving users a clear picture if anyone is sneaking around in the darkness.

Both versions have inbuilt speakers and will alert users via their mobile devices if suspicious activity or visitors are detected by motion and noise sensors. Once the app has been installed and an account has been set up, monitoring begins.

A 30-day service, Nest Aware, will record everything 24/7 for free, but after this period expires, users must sign up if they want full video histories and not just real-time alerts. It is also possible to create surveillance zones for important areas — such as where tills or safes are located — for immediate notifications.

The Nest Indoor cameras are priced at $129.99, whereas you can expect to pay $199 for a basic Outdoor camera.

$129 at Best Buy

Arlo Pro 3 Wireless monitoring for the workplace

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Another option is the Arlo Pro 3. This slimline, business-ready option can be used either in or outdoors, being a weather-resistant model with a variety of mounting options that can detect both sound and motion.

The Arlo Pro 2 suits a variety of purposes; as a day-to-day camera on the shop floor; a discreet camera placed outside to act as a night watchman; or as a part of a full network of cameras in a large workplace. Alerts are sent to linked mobile devices and Amazon Alexa, Arlo, Google Assistant, and Samsung SmartThings are supported.

An interesting feature of this camera is the improved night vision capabilities in comparison to the Arlo Pro 2, in which night recordings are captured in color.

Users will receive real-time alerts whenever motion or sound is detected and footage is captured in up to 2K HDR resolution with a 160-degree field of view. Alternatively, cloud storage plans are available for users if they wish to secure continual monitoring and recordings. An inbuilt siren can be triggered remotely.

You can purchase the Arlo Pro 3 as a two-pack camera kit for $299.99, or a four-pack for $499.99.

$299 at Best Buy

Logitech Circle 2 Compatible with a variety of smart hubs

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The Logitech Circle 2 is a motion-based camera which can be used at home or in the workplace.

Offering a 180-degree field of view, 1080p recording, and automatic day-to-night recording changes, the weatherproof system can be used in or outdoors and is best suited for those who want peace of mind without an overcomplicated CCTV setup.

The cameras connect to an Android, iOS, or Internet-based application. After sign up, users can check in on their devices at any point and will receive alerts for any suspicious activity detected through motion sensors. The free period for storing recordings is 24 hours, or subscriptions can be purchased to keep footage for up to 31 days.

Logitech’s wired camera is also compatible with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Amazon Echo Show, and Logitech POP. However, the wireless version is not compatible with Apple HomeKit.

With low usage and an estimated two daytime events per day, you can expect the wireless option to last up to 90 days. Medium usage, based on seven-day events and three-night events every 24 hours, will reduce battery life to 60 days, whereas usage deemed high — up to 27 daytime events and 13-night events — may reduce battery life to 30 days before a recharge is needed.

The Circle 2’s starting price begins at $179.99 for the wired option, rising to $199.99 for a wire-free alternative. A combination pack containing two wireless cameras with a spare rechargeable battery can be picked up for $399.99. Accessories including mounts and extra, rechargeable batteries can also be purchased.

$179 at Logitech

Netatmo Smart Outdoor Camera Protection for multiple outdoor zones

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The Netatmo Smart Outdoor Camera should be considered if outside security is the priority for your business.

This option is a weatherproof camera substantial enough to be seen — and may potentially deter unwanted visitors by its presence alone — and does not rely purely on night vision. Instead, the camera is equipped with a floodlight that can be remotely enabled, disabled, or set to power up when motion is detected at up to 20 feet.

Users can also set up specific zones for immediate motion alerts.

The camera is compatible with iOS and Android, as well as Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant. In addition, there is no subscription fee as users can choose to store recorded HD footage locally, backup videos via an FTP server, or link their account to a Dropbox account.

A single outdoor camera with a floodlight is priced at $299.99, while versions equipped with a siren are priced at $349.99.

$299 at Amazon

Metra Spyclops SPY-NVR4720WB wireless camera system Expansive wireless surveillance across your premises

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The Spyclops SPY-NVR4720WB wireless camera system is a more traditional option for business users.

The Spyclops SPY-NVR4720WB is a Wi-Fi-enabled, four-channel network video recorder (NVR) able to facilitate up to four cameras and is best suited for companies that require around-the-clock security.

The NVR comes with 1TB internal storage and input from the included indoor/outdoor cameras is sent wirelessly to the NVR, eradicating the need for additional cables. Each bullet camera, using a 3.6mm fixed lens, can record in 1280 x 720p resolution.

While a video monitor is not included, a mobile app on the Android and iOS platforms are available for remote viewing, and a mouse has been thrown into the package for controlling the surveillance system via its Linux-based GUI.

The Spyclops camera system is priced at $499.99. At the time of writing, however, the kit is on sale for $349.

$349 at Crutchfield

D-Link Vigilance DCS-4605EV 360-degree, panoramic coverage of your business premises

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The D-Link Vigilance DCS-4605EV will suit business users who want panoramic security coverage of the shop floor.

This camera is best suited for businesses concerned about vandalism as the camera has been specifically housed in a rugged casing to prevent tampering or damage. Another advantage of this camera is how weatherproof it is; being able to operate in a range of conditions and temperatures from 30 degrees C to 50 degrees C.

The D-Link Vigilance includes a fixed 5-megapixel lens with a focal length of 2.8 mm and is able to record Full HD 2560 x 1920 pixel footage at a 20-foot range.

Each camera can be connected to D-ViewCam, free surveillance software to manage a network of up to 32 cameras simultaneously. The camera also supports Power over Ethernet (PoE), to make deployment possible with a single cable.

The D-Link Vigilance is currently on offer for $259.99.

$259 at CDW

Panasonic WV-S3131L High-quality night vision

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The Panasonic WV-S3131L is an alternative dome camera option for enterprise players.

Equipped with a 2.8mm fixed lens able to record 1920 x 1080 pixel footage at 60fps, Panasonic’s offering comes with a 108-degree field of view, a built-in microphone, and color night vision. The camera utilizes AI-based algorithms to improve recording quality when moving people or objects are in the device’s field of view.

After detecting motion, alarms can be set to respond in different ways; simply to record, send an email notification, or to transfer images in real-time via FTP. Privacy “masks” for up to eight zones can also be enabled to stop the camera from recording particular areas of corporate sensitivity.

Recorded content is encrypted and each camera comes with an onboard memory card slot for up to 64GB storage. PoE is supported, as are ONVIF profiles S and G.

The Panasonic WV-S3131L can be purchased for $396.

$396 at B&H

Hikvision ColorVu Security camera and spotlight combination

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The Hikvision ColorVu turret camera is a weatherproof model suitable to keep track of outside movement on business premises.

Equipped with a 4mm fixed lens and a spotlight, the camera can record 2688 x 1520 pixel footage at 30fps. In addition, the ColorVu is encased in a rugged shell to protect against vandalism, can be rotated 360-degrees, and a range of image settings can be changed including contract, brightness, and white balance.

Users can set their device to trigger an alarm when motion or tampering is detected, as well as when unauthorized logins are noticed.

The ColorVu also comes with a built-in microphone for audio recording and a memory card slot for up to 128GB local storage. PoE is enabled and ONVIF profiles S and G are supported with up to six channels of simultaneous viewing. Users can also download an Android or iOS app to manage their systems.

Hikvision’s ColorVu is currently available for $302.

$302 at B&H

ZOSI 1080P security camera system Versatile surveillance network with local storage facilities

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ZOSI’s 1080p CCTV system should be considered by companies that want a more traditional surveillance setup but have a budget to consider.

To install, the cameras must be wired and connected to a television or monitor. Video feeds, which can be set to begin when motion is detected whether day or night, record at 1080p and footage can be both stored in an internal hard drive or transferred to a USB storage device. HDMI and VGA outputs are available.

These weatherproof cameras can also be accessed in real-time through an accompanying Android or iOS mobile application.

The ZOSI 1080p four-camera system comes in at $159.83, complete with a 1TB hard drive. An upgrade to a 4K wired system with eight cameras will set you back $299.99 with the same level of storage.

$159 at Amazon

Scout DIY security system A must for do-it-yourself fans

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Scout should be considered if you are a DIY fan and want to apply your hobby to home security.

The company’s DIY system allows customers to pick the components they want — such as a hub, door panels, access and motion sensors, indoor cameras, and water detection devices. In addition, you can pick the color and finish suitable for your home (black or white) and the level of remote support you want.

Scout’s product line is focused on mobility. Users pick their components, connect them to their mobile device, and then set you’re good to go. Features include remote real-time access to activity feeds; false alarm checks; arming and disarming, and choosing how the DIY system reacts in different situations — such as how you want to be notified of motion at your front door.

Packages range from a $229 starter kit containing a hub, door panel, one motion sensor, two access sensors, and two key fobs, to a large $549 package offered with a hub, door panel, one motion sensor, four access sensors, two key fobs, a smart lock, and glass break sensor.

Customers can also pick-and-mix different components if they prefer.

A 4G backup system is in place if home Wi-Fi cuts out and subscription-based professional monitoring is also available.

$229 at Scout

SimpliSafe Best for small homes and apartments

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SimpliSafe is another worthy addition to our list and would suit users who need a flexible solution for smaller homes and apartments.

SimpliSafe is a Wi-Fi-connected security solution backed by real-time monitoring in six centers. While wired, in the case of a blackout, devices in the SimpliSafe range have backup batteries.

The basic ‘Foundation’ package, starting at $137, includes a base station, keypad, entry sensor, and motion sensor so you can monitor your doorway and one other area, such as a window. Moving up the product range, users can also purchase the $155 Essentials kit, containing a base station, keypad, motion sensor, and three entry sensors.

Other packages and bolt-on options include panic buttons, freeze and water sensors, smoke detectors, and sirens.

The vendor has a variety of different subscription models available.

At the time of writing, SimpliSafe is offering an additional $99 camera for free with package purchases.

$137 at SimpliSafe

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/best-security-camera/

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National Australia Bank keeping staff connected with Google Pixel rollout

More than 2,000 Google Pixel devices were issued to NAB’s customer contact teams to enable them to support customers remotely.

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15664-android-nab-blog-v2-max-1000x1000.png Image: Google

When National Australia Bank (NAB) recently revised its device strategy to look at new ways it could support the mobility of its employees and reduce the time and cost of support legacy devices across multiple platforms, the big bank partnered with Google to issue more than 2,000 Pixel devices to its customer contact teams.

Each device, managed with Android enterprise, was rolled out by Vodafone using “zero-touch” enrolment to set up the devices and configure each one with the necessary applications.

“With zero-touch enrolment, each Pixel setup was 20 minutes faster than our previous device enrolments, saving our IT team and colleagues over 500 hours during the initiative. With our communication and collaboration apps available right out of the box, our teams could get to work right away to help customers,” NAB Mobility manager Simon Thoday said.

Another consideration of the rollout was how customer data was going to remain secure, with Thoday pointing out that using Android Enterprise provided the solution to that question.

“Pixel security updates from Google provide a reliable cadence of ongoing protection as threats evolve, and the work profile hits the right balance between security and privacy for our teams,” Thoday said.

“Our contact centre teams use Pixel devices that are fully managed, which allows us to provide the necessary security controls, and wipe and re-enroll them when transferred to a new employee,” he said.

“Branch managers use Pixels with the work profile, separating work and personal applications. This gives employees the ability to use the device in a personal capacity while our IT team manages and ensures data security over the work profile.”

Additionally, with managed Google Play, NAB can assign the apps that are necessary on its managed devices.

“Providing our teams the flexibility to assign apps to the right teams is a major time saver and ensures everyone has the resources they need,” Thoday said.

“Branch managers can look up customer service records or answer a ping more quickly from their Pixel, instead of returning back to their desk and logging back on to their desktop computer. Android Enterprise has been a catalyst in a more mobile and responsive environment for our various teams.”

Earlier this month, the red and black bank completed its transition to TPG to deliver fixed and mobile network services across the bank.

The transition follows a deal struck between the two companies in September for the newly merged telecommunications giant to deliver fixed network services across NAB’s corporate offices, business banking centres, and branches, as well as providing mobile connectivity to the majority of the NAB workforce.

Vodafone delivered the solution to more than 80% of NAB’s mobile fleet across corporate offices and branches in metro and major regional areas. The company said Vodafone, alongside Google, would also be providing those who opt for a company phone with the Pixel 4a.

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Another consideration of the rollout was how customer data was going to remain secure, with Thoday pointing out that using Android Enterprise provided the solution to that question.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/national-australia-bank-keeping-staff-connected-with-google-pixel-roll-out/

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Crackonosh malware abuses Windows Safe mode to quietly mine for cryptocurrency

The malware is thought to have generated millions of dollars in just a few short years.

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Researchers have discovered a strain of cryptocurrency-mining malware that abuses Windows Safe mode during attacks.

The malware, dubbed Crackonosh by researchers at Avast, spreads through pirated and cracked software, often found through torrents, forums, and “warez” websites.

After finding reports on Reddit of Avast antivirus users querying the sudden loss of the antivirus software from their system files, the team conducted an investigation into the situation, realizing it was due to a malware infection.

Crackonosh has been in circulation since at least June 2018. Once a victim executes a file they believe to be a cracked version of legitimate software, the malware is also deployed.

The infection chain begins with the drop of an installer and a script that modifies the Windows registry to allow the main malware executable to run in Safe mode. The infected system is set to boot in Safe Mode on its next startup.

“While the Windows system is in safe mode antivirus software doesn’t work,” the researchers say. “This can enable the malicious Serviceinstaller.exe to easily disable and delete Windows Defender. It also uses WQL to query all antivirus software installed SELECT * FROM AntiVirusProduct.”

Crackonosh will scan for the existence of antivirus programs — including Avast, Kaspersky, McAfee’s scanner, Norton, and Bitdefender — and will attempt to disable or delete them. Log system files are then wiped to cover its tracks.

In addition, Crackonosh will attempt to stop Windows Update and will replace Windows Security with a fake green tick tray icon.

The final step of the journey is the deployment of XMRig, a cryptocurrency miner that leverages system power and resources to mine the Monero (XMR) cryptocurrency.

Overall, Avast says that Crackonosh has generated at least $2 million for its operators in Monero at today’s prices, with over 9000 XMR coins having been mined.

Approximately 1,000 devices are being hit each day and over 222,000 machines have been infected worldwide.

In total, 30 variants of the malware have been identified, with the latest version being released in November 2020.

“As long as people continue to download cracked software, attacks like these will continue and continue to be profitable for attackers,” Avast says. “The key take-away from this is that you really can’t get something for nothing and when you try to steal software, odds are someone is trying to steal from you.”

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Have a tip? Get in touch securely via WhatsApp | Signal at +447713 025 499, or over at Keybase: charlie0

Crackonosh has been in circulation since at least June 2018. Once a victim executes a file they believe to be a cracked version of legitimate software, the malware is also deployed.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/crackonosh-malware-abuses-windows-safe-mode-to-quietly-mine-for-cryptocurrency/

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South Australia splashes out on space, defence, and cybersecurity in 2021-22 Budget

The South Australian government believes tech-focused sectors such as defence, space, and cybersecurity will have a key role to play in the state’s future.

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In taking a forward-looking approach into what the future of South Australia will look like, the South Australian government has announced it will bolster investment in tech-focused sectors such as defence, space, and cybersecurity as it hands down the 2021-22 Budget [PDF].

“This Budget is our blueprint for a stronger South Australia, creating jobs, building what matters and delivering better services to further secure our growing global reputation as one of the safest and most attractive places in the world to live, work, and raise a family,” Treasurer Rob Lucas said on Tuesday.

Some of the specific funding announcements include AU$20.8 million to upgrade the existing buildings at Lot Fourteen to make way for the expansion of space, digital, hi-tech, and cyber companies, with a particular focus on companies involved in small satellite development.

Separately, AU$6.6 million will be contributed over five years to assist with the SASAT1 Space Services Mission, which will see a local manufacturer launch a small satellite in mid-2022 as well as deliver space-derived services to the state.

South Australia’s Defence and Space Landing Pad program has also received a boost, with the state government saying it will deliver AU$860,000 over three years for the program that is used to support international defence and space companies that bring new, sought-after capability to South Australia.

Local artificial intelligence and health technology companies are set to receive additional support through a AU$1.6 million allocation delivered over four years. Under this investment, AU$985,000 will be used for grants to support AI and health technology companies through matching co-funding for health application pilots, and $589,000 to deliver project support activities, including investment concierge services.

Meanwhile, AU$2.6 million will be earmarked to support small businesses developing digital and cyber security capabilities as well as other capabilities to enter the national market.

The Budget papers also indicated AU$21.1 million over three years will be dedicated towards the implementation of stages three and four of the South Australia Police Shield project, which involves linking South Australia Police’s data and records management system directly with other justice sector agencies. The state government touted the move will improve collaboration and data sharing capabilities.

In a bid to boost bushfire response, the 2021-22 Budget revealed that it will contribute AU$7.7 million over four years towards the ongoing management, support, and maintenance of automatic vehicle location systems (AVL) used by the emergency services sector. AVL provides real time location information of firefighting and other emergency response vehicles during incidents. AVL is expected to be installed in approximately 1,400 vehicles at a total cost of AU$12.7 million.

Additionally, the 2021-22 Budget indicated support for the state government’s commitment to improving digital services for citizens remains ongoing through its AU$120 million Digital Restart Fund, noting that AU$4.3 million in 2021-22 will be put towards the South Australian government’s online services portal, AU$5.5 million over two years for the expansion of the residential aged care enterprise system, AU$1.3 million over two years for the child and family services information systems, and AU$500,000 in 2021-22 for the Safeguarding smartphone app.

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Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/south-australia-splashes-out-on-space-defence-and-cybersecurity-in-2021-22-budget/

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National Australia Bank keeping staff connected with Google Pixel rollout

More than 2,000 Google Pixel devices were issued to NAB's customer contact teams to enable them to support customers remotely.

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