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April 19, 20220

Cybersecurity Trends for 2022

HQE Systems Cybersecurity 

Source: Pexels

As internet penetration deepens, cybercrime rates are soaring. So much so that the number of reported data breaches in February of this year alone surpassed five million. Alongside this rise in cyber attacks, global cybersecurity spending is estimated to have exceeded $1 trillion over the period from 2017 to 2021. And by the end of 2022, the information security market alone is expected to grow to some $170 billion.

While cybercriminals are continuing to improve their tactics and approaches, cybersecurity trends in 2022 are showing a shift towards more proactive internal strategies. While it’s still early to tell which solutions will prove most effective against breaches and hackers, here are some of the cybersecurity trends gaining the most attention today:

Reducing supply chain issues

While there’s been much written about the physical supply chain experiencing historic interruptions, the cybersecurity supply chain has had its own issues. Currently, cybersecurity code used in most infrastructure is experiencing vulnerabilities due to its roots in open-source projects. This means that while current updates may be more advanced, the code’s skeleton is still vulnerable to sophisticated hackers.

This concern has made fortifying the cybersecurity supply chain a key priority for many cybersecurity investors. In fact, investments in technologies that audit and offer penetration tests were among the most well-received in cybersecurity startups in 2021. This year, with more than $2 billion worth of cybersecurity improvements outlined in a new infrastructure bill, the cybersecurity supply chain is expected to patch its more outdated foundations.

Disaster recovery planning

While some cyber attacks aim to hold assets “hostage” until payments are made, others create more insidious, sometimes irreparable damage. For instance, in December of last year, a government agency in the UK responsible for determining extreme flood warnings suffered a cyber attack. This resulted in dozens of critical weather alert programs and files being lost for good.

These incidents can be extremely dangerous, so more organizations are prioritizing disaster recovery plans (or DRPs). DRPs are developed by information security analysts who specialize in monitoring, investigating, and protecting all things cybersecurity –– meaning they are designed comprehensively, such that organizations can continue to operate even in an emergency. DRPs arranged and overseen by the aforementioned professionals are also specially designed to fast-track data recovery and breach investigations. As such, mission-critical operations can continue without fear of further damage as compromised data are dealt with simultaneously.

DRPs represent a direct improvement on earlier breach strategies that were more reactive rather than proactive.

Enhanced cloud security

As widespread adoption of cloud-based technology continues, entities ranging from mom-and-pop stores to video gaming empires, to healthcare providers have had to upgrade their security practices. To prevent malware and ransomware attacks from compromising an entire complex computing environment, cloud-based security-as-a-service (or SECaaS) solutions are expected to gain popularity.

Often provided by managed services providers (MSP) or managed security services providers (MSSP), security-as-a-service provides holistic end-to-end support that can fortify a cloud network without compromising internal accessibility or convenience. The notion of creating more nuanced cloud security branches is also expected to gain traction among businesses choosing to bridge legacy systems with the modern cloud. In these cases where sustainable pathways for data to travel back and forth are offered, cybersecurity services mitigate the risk that breaches from human error or legacy system weaknesses will affect the cloud.

Ethical AI application

From online shopping to virtual assistants, artificial intelligence (AI) has expanded and shows no signs of slowing down. Using innovative defensive and offensive programming, AI is now expected to become an advantageous tool for the rapid development of cybersecurity strategies.

Since AI never sleeps, it can drastically reduce the average time it takes to contain a breach (which as of now is about 80 days). However, despite total AI investments reaching almost $78 billion last year, 2022 is seeing a demand for more ethical AI rollouts. Since AI in cybersecurity requires that programs be given access to troves of sensitive information, many are calling for more transparency and neutrality in related practices.

With ethics in AI already representing a significant subject of concern among experts, there is now a growing focus on the need to reduce biases in data analysis. Case in point, UNESCO has recently called for AI to receive more diverse data sets and to be more open about their decision-making processes. Through this change, it is expected that AI will become truly objective and accurate.

So long as data is online, malicious individuals will continue to try to exploit the situation for personal gain. Thus, the importance of cybersecurity is only expected to increase from here. With hackers targeting providers, consumers, and agencies alike, keeping updated with cybersecurity trends should be a priority for everyone. 

Credit:

By Patti Firenze 

HQE’s Guest Blogger

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HQE Systems, Inc.   |   HQE is a FEMA Certified Minority-Owned Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business providing full solutions for Mass Notification Systems, Electronic Security Systems, Software Development Services, Contract Support, and Prototyping Services.  As a brand agnostic solutions provider, HQE prides itself in providing the BEST solution for the project.  HQE possesses factory certifications and reseller licenses to ensure that our clients receive the highest quality of service at the lowest budget.  HQE is capable of providing full design, installation, integrations, upgrades, and long-term maintenance support for any size and scope project.

www.HQESystems.com #HQESystems #HQE #SystemsIntegration #FEMAIPAWS #MassNotificationSystem #ElectronicNotificationSystem #OutdoorWarningSirens #GiantVoiceSpeakers #EarlyWarningSirens #TornadoSirens #TsunamiWarningSirens #SoftwareDevelopment #BrandAgnosticSolutionsProvider #StormSirens


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April 6, 20220

When emergencies strike, public safety officials use timely and reliable systems to alert you. This page describes different warning alerts you can get and how to get them.

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs)

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are short emergency messages from authorized federal, state, local, tribal and territorial public alerting authorities that can be broadcast from cell towers to any WEA‐enabled mobile device in a locally targeted area. WEAs can be sent by state and local public safety officials, the National Weather Service, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the President of the United States.

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Illustration of an AMBER Alert on a mobile phone.
  • WEAs look like text messages but are designed to get your attention with a unique sound and vibration repeated twice.
  • WEAs are no more than 360 characters and include the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, and the agency issuing the alert.
  • WEAs are not affected by network congestion and will not disrupt texts, calls, or data sessions that are in progress.
  • You are not charged for receiving WEAs and there is no need to subscribe.
If you are not receiving WEAs here are some tips to troubleshoot your mobile device:

 

  1. Check the settings on your mobile device and review your user manual (you may be able to find this online too).
    • Older phones may not be WEA capable, and some cell phone models require you to enable WEAs.
    • Some mobile service providers call these messages “Government Alerts,” or “Emergency Alert Messages.”
  2. Check with your wireless provider to see if they can resolve the issue.

To provide comments or concerns about WEAs sent in your area contact local officials directly.

Emergency Alert System (EAS)

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system that allows the president to address the nation within 10 minutes during a national emergency. State and local authorities may also use the system to deliver important emergency information such as weather information, imminent threats, AMBER alerts, and local incident information targeted to specific areas.

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A tv shows the message: Emergency Alert System  National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for the following counties:
  • The EAS is sent through broadcasters, satellite digital audio services, direct broadcast satellite providers, cable television systems, and wireless cable systems.
  • The President has sole responsibility for determining when the national-level EAS will be activated. FEMA and the FCC are responsible for national-level tests and exercises.
  • The EAS is also used when all other means of alerting the public are unavailable.

NOAA Weather Radio (NWR)

NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations that broadcast continuous weather information from the nearest National Weather Service office based on your physical location.

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Illustration of a woman listening to the radio, with heavy rain outside the window.
  • NWR broadcasts official warnings, watches, forecasts, and other hazard information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • NWR also broadcasts alerts of non-weather emergencies such as national security or public safety threats through the Emergency Alert System.

HQE provides a FEMA IPAWS certified Emergency Mass Notification Alert System.

For more information on how to prepare for tornadoes, contact info@HQESystems.com

Credit: Ready.gov

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HQE Systems, Inc.   |   HQE is a FEMA Certified Minority-Owned Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business providing full solutions for Mass Notification Systems, Electronic Security Systems, Software Development Services, Contract Support, and Prototyping Services.  As a brand agnostic solutions provider, HQE prides itself in providing the BEST solution for the project.  HQE possesses over 30+ factory certifications and reseller licenses to ensure that our clients receive the highest quality of service at the lowest budget.  HQE is capable of providing full design, installation, integrations, upgrades, and long-term maintenance support for any size and scope project.

www.HQESystems.com #HQESystems #HQE #SystemsIntegration #FEMAIPAWS #MassNotificationSystem #MNS #ElectronicNotificationSystem #OutdoorWarningSirens #GiantVoiceSpeakers #EarlyWarningSirens #TornadoSirens #TsunamiWarningSirens #FederalSignal #ATISystems #SiRcom #Whelen #Genasys #AmericanSignal #Everbridge #Onsolve #Blackboard #ActiveShooterLocators #CampusViolenceSensors #IndoorNotifications  #ElectronicSecuritySystems #AccessControlSystems #IntrusionDetectionSystems #ClosedCircuitTelevision #ACS #IDS #CCTV #SurveilanceCameras #SoftwareDevelopment #Artificialntelligence #MachineLearningSoftware


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January 20, 20220

Staying Safe from Tornadoes

Tornadoes left a trail of destruction across five states in the south this week. Severe storms continue toward the southeast, with more threats of tornadoes and intense wind. If you’re in the path of these severe storms, it’s important to know how to stay safe.  Since 2014, HQE Systems, Inc. has been installing outdoor warning sirens (tornado warning sirens) for hundreds of clients to ensure that each and every community is protected and prepared for tornadoes.

Tornadoes are violently rotating columns of air that can destroy buildings, flip cars, and create deadly flying debris. They bring intense winds over 200 miles per hour and can happen anytime, anywhere.

If you are under a severe weather warning, follow NOAA Weather Radio and your local news or official social media accounts for updated emergency information. One way to know a tornado is coming is by the loud, almost freight-like sound they can make.

If there is a tornado warning, you should take shelter immediately. To stay safe during a tornado, follow these steps:

  • Listen for the intelligible tornado warning sirens alerts (modern sirens are capable of sending voice alerts vice the legacy tone alerts)
  • Immediately go to a safe location such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or a small interior room on the lowest level of a sturdy building.
  • Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls.
  • Protect yourself by covering your head or neck with your arms and putting materials such as furniture and blankets around or on top of you.

If you’re in your car, do not try to outrun a tornado. Additionally:

  • Do not go under an overpass or bridge. You’re safer in a low, flat location.
  • Watch out for flying debris that can cause injury or death.

Even after a tornado passes, it’s important to stay alert and use caution when clearing debris.

  • Stay clear of fallen power lines or broken utility lines.
  • Wear appropriate gear during clean-up, such as thick-soled shoes, long pants, and work gloves, and use appropriate face coverings or masks if cleaning mold or other debris.
  • Do not enter damaged buildings until you are told they are safe.

For more information on how to prepare for tornadoes, contact info@HQESystems.com

Credit: FEMA

____________________

HQE Systems, Inc.   |   HQE is a FEMA Certified Minority-Owned Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business providing full solutions for: Mass Notification Systems, Electronic Security Systems, Software Development Services, Contract Support, and Prototyping Services.  As a brand agnostic solutions provider, HQE prides itself in providing the BEST solution for the project.  HQE possesses over 30+ factory certifications and reseller licenses to ensure that our clients receive the highest quality of service at the lowest budget.  HQE is capable of providing full design, installation, integrations, upgrades, and long-term maintenance support for any size and scope project.

www.HQESystems.com #HQESystems #HQE #SystemsIntegration #FEMAIPAWS #MassNotificationSystems #MNS #ElectronicNotificationSystem #OutdoorWarningSirens #GiantVoiceSpeakers #EarlyWarningSirens #TornadoSirens #TsunamiWarningSirens #FederalSignal #ATISystems #SiRcom #Whelen #Genasys #AmericanSignal #Everbridge #Onsolve #Blackboard #ActiveShooterLocators #CampusViolenceSensors #IndoorNotifications  #ElectronicSecuritySystems #AccessControlSystems #IntrusionDetectionSystems #ClosedCircuitTelevision #ACS #IDS #CCTV #SurveilanceCameras #SoftwareDevelopment #Artificialntelligence #MachineLearningSoftware


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December 13, 20210

 

Tornado outbreak of December 10–11, 2021 - Wikipedia

December 10-11 2021 tornado map.  The areas that were affected by the tornado were: Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee.

Release Date:
December 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell and Department of Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas traveled to Kentucky today where they were briefed by local and commonwealth officials and held a media briefing with Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear.

The tour allowed Criswell and Mayorkas to see the tornado destruction firsthand and meet with first responders and emergency management officials conducting operations throughout the state. They toured areas of Graves and Marshall counties, also seeing the destroyed Mayfield Consumer Products factory.

“To all of the people of Kentucky, my heart goes out to each and every one of you who have experienced the tragic events from these tornadoes,” said Administrator Criswell. “I want you to know that the nation, your country, is praying with you. We’ve been seeing the pictures of this, but standing there in these communities, you don’t get that feeling from a picture. When you stand in one direction and look and see all of the devastations and then just turn to your right and all of the devastations around you, you can’t understand how this has impacted these communities until you’re there,” she continued.  “That’s why it’s so important to be here to see it for myself, so we can make sure that we’re providing the right level of assistance to help with your response and your ongoing recovery.”

Criswell added that FEMA still will be working with the commonwealth on all their long-term recovery needs as these communities start to rebuild.

For additional photos from today’s tour visit FEMA’s DVIDS page.

Men and Women Talking in a circle

BENTON, Ky. — Kentucky Emergency Management Director Mike Dossett (center) briefs DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas (left) and FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell (right) as they begin touring damage throughout the area.

A man pointing at a board in from a woman, a man and another man

BENTON, Ky. — Local Marshall County incident commander briefs DHS Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas (center) and Administrator Criswell, showing a satellite image of the tornado’s path.

A man and Woman speaking outside

 

MAYFIELD, Ky. — Louisville Emergency Management Director E.J. Meiman and Administrator Criswell discuss response operations near the Mayfield Consumer Products factory that was destroyed by a tornado late Friday.


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October 25, 20210

HQE Systems, Inc. is looking to partner with Fayette County, KY.

HQE’s partner should have a technical workforce that can operate hand tools, have an understanding of low voltage hardware, and be ready to provide customer support (telephonic, email, and customer support portal).

As a Minority-Owned, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business, HQE is looking to partner with a certified Minority Woman Owned Small Business that is operating in Fayette County, KY.

If you qualify as one of the certified business entities below, please contact us.

From the client:  OUR MISSION: The mission of the Minority Business Enterprise Program is to facilitate the full participation
of minority and women owned businesses in the procurement process and to promote economic inclusion as a
business imperative essential to the long term economic viability of Lexington-Fayette Urban County
Government. To that end the city council adopted and implemented Resolution 484-2017 – A Certified Minority, Women and
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise ten percent (10%) minimum goal and a three (3%) minimum goal for
Certified Veteran-Owned Small Businesses and Certified Service Disabled Veteran – Owned Businesses for
government contracts. The resolution states the following definitions shall be used for the purposes of reaching these goals (a full copy is available in Central Purchasing):
Certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) – a business in which at least fifty-one percent (51%) is owned, managed
and controlled by a person(s) who is socially and economically disadvantaged as define by 49 CFR subpart 26.

Certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) – a business in which at least fifty-one percent (51%) is owned, managed and
controlled by an ethnic minority (i.e. African American, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Hispanic Islander, Native American/Native Alaskan Indian) as defined in federal law or regulation as it may be amended from time-to-time.

Certified Women Business Enterprise (WBE) – a business in which at least fifty-one percent (51%) is owned, managed and
controlled by a woman.

Certified Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) – a business in which at least fifty-one percent (51%) is owned, managed
and controlled by a veteran who served on active duty with the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines or Coast Guard.
Certified Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) – a business in which at least fifty-one percent
(51%) is owned, managed and controlled by a disabled veteran who served on active duty with the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines or Coast Guard.

The term “Certified” shall mean the business is appropriately certified, licensed, verified, or validated by an organization or entity recognized by the Division of Purchasing as having the appropriate credentials to make a determination as to the status of the business.


 

HQE Systems Inc. is a  FEMA Certified, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), and a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE).  HQE is a software and technology innovation company that can mitigate any pain points for clients of all sizes.

www.HQESystems.com

#HQESystems #HQE #MassNotificationSystem #MassNotificationsSystem #GiantVoice #EarlyWarningSirens #OutdoorWarningSirens #TornadoWarning #HurricaneWarning #ActiveShooterWarning #AlertingSoftware #ElectronicNotificationSystems #ElectronicNotificationsSystems #ElectronicSecuritySystems #MNS #ESS #SystemsIntegrator #SystemsIntegrations #SiRcom #FederalSignal #Whelen #ATISystems #Alertus #Genasys


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October 14, 20200

Every moment counts in an emergency, so getting help should be as simple as dialing 911. In Kari Hunt Dunn’s case, that phone call proved impossible — her hotel room didn’t allow guests to directly dial emergency services. As Dunn’s estranged husband attacked her in 2013, her young daughter made several attempts to call authorities for help. None went through because she didn’t first dial “9” for an outside line.

But a new federal law will make a difference for the next victim. Kari’s Law requires multi-line phone systems to have a default configuration that enables users to dial 911 directly. While the law doesn’t require mass notification, it highly recommends organizations deploy on-site notification – which automatically sends alerts to executives and on-site emergency responders – if the communications solution in place supports it.

As a result, government agencies, universities and K-12 schools need to be sure their communications solutions comply with the law. Although many legacy phone systems don’t have this functionality, today’s communications technology offers a robust and easily installed solution at a reasonable cost.

To help with your planning, here’s an overview of two technologies – on-site notification and mass notification – and how they can make your school community and government offices safer.

On-site notification

On-site notification keeps the people in your care safer by automatically notifying first responders of an emergency, getting trained assistance to the right people in less time.

Executives can notify staff and on-site police and security as soon as someone dials 911. Alerts include the name, extension number and exact location of the caller. This is especially important in large government buildings and school campuses. Simultaneous notification allows the right people to respond immediately in an appropriate and unified manner. The system’s built-in messaging even allows text communications to be sent from desktops, further enhancing a timely and coordinated response.

Currently only a recommendation, on-site notification will likely become required in the future. In fact, this technology is already available and affordable with new communications technology solutions. As legacy phone systems reach the end of their lifespans, more organizations are sure to adopt this feature.

Finally, integrating your emergency notification system with door locks removes the need to physically lock doors, providing increased protection in an instant. Staffers can initiate a lockdown or lockout from any type of phone.

Mass notification

The technology that underlies onsite notifications systems – intelligent mass notification – offers additional safety features. Most importantly, governments and schools can quickly deliver critical information to an entire community or relevant subgroup when emergencies arise. The technology is also versatile. For example, administrators can use a variety of channels and devices to send alerts.


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September 3, 20200

If you’re in the financial services industry, you’re familiar with the dozens of whitepapers, trend reports, and news articles discussing the importance of legacy system modernization.

But “legacy modernization” as a buzzword doesn’t have to mean starting from scratch, rather it hints at the idea of bridging the divide between your existing legacy systems and the new ecosystem of apps that your customers demand connectivity to.

bridging the gap between legacy and modern systems

We’ve found that it’s helpful to think of this connectivity through a construction metaphor – an integration “bridge” that helps data move back and forth among your current infrastructure, your customers’ legacy (ERP) systems, and the “latest and greatest” apps that your users are consistently requesting from your CS team.

In theory, any skilled developer can build a brittle bridge of point-to-point connectivity between each business-critical application – whether it’s flexible, maintainable, and easy to adapt in the future is another question in and of itself.

According to BDO’s 2019 Middle Market Digital Transformation report, customers “will want to manage all their finances—not just one component—in one place, on the devices convenient to them. They will expect nothing less than real-time engagement when they need it. They will value simplicity, efficiency, and transparency.” But to achieve this reality, FIs need to offer myriad seamless integrations that connect to the applications customers need.

Banks’ widespread offerings (payments, lending, investment management, etc.) necessitate more. A better experience to retain customers, overcome fintech competition, and gain a future-ready technological edge.

PwC’s “Financial Services Technology 2020 and Beyond” report explains, “APIs require that financial institutions think differently about strategy… This is not just an issue for business strategists; it has clear technical implications for the teams who are responsible for doing the work.” As systems become more diverse and complex, FIs are forced to up their game via holistic data access.

Building More Bridges – Sustainably

You’re probably really happy with me at this point for telling you to do more with your integrations (sarcasm), but building better experiences for your customers doesn’t necessarily mean building one-off connections that require a large portion of your development team’s time to maintain. There’s another option – one-to-many integrations.

With one-to-many integrations, you map your data objects once to a canonical resource (such as our Finance Hub) and, via that multi-tenanted content, quickly connect to leading ERPs such as QuickBooks, NetSuite, & Microsoft Dynamics GP. One-to-many integrations offer both faster time-to-value and reduced LOE for your developers so your junior devs can take care of the integration work while others on the team focus on innovation.

The Maintenance Burden

But what happens when a bridge is broken and the data crossing the bridge (legacy <–> modern) can’t make it from one system to the other? Gaps in usability that necessitate hastened development work and hours on the phone assuring customers that a fix is ongoing.

You might have read about (or encountered) the very public dispute between Plaid and Capital One a couple of years ago. Using integration techniques that cause security concerns (screen-scraping vs API), or failing to offer robust, usable APIs are both characteristics of brittle bridges that make sharing data between legacy and modern systems difficult.

Not only did the collapse of this bridge eventually lead to integrations breaking (TurboTax couldn’t pull interest statements automatically for Capital One accounts this spring, frustrating my colleague on tax day…), but consider also the amount of rework needed behind the scenes to rebuild functionality customers have come to expect.

Sure, this FI vs. fintech battle is a public manifestation of how many banks feel about providing customer data access to fintech upstarts, but the public drama and backend hair-pulling & patching could have been avoided by building secure, multi-use integration ‘bridges’ (to our metaphor) from the start. Think about integration platforms as the people managing the bridge day-to-day to make sure nothing goes awry rather than the repair crew that comes in when cables start to snap.

Summing it Up

Financial institutions are in a unique position where one-to-many integrations can prove maximally beneficial in bridging the gap between existing and “new-to-them” systems. The need for connectivity to boost customer retention, gain a competitive edge, and provide a seamless experience is here to stay.


 

HQE Systems Inc. is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), and a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE).  HQE is a software and technology innovation company that can mitigate any paint points for clients of all sizes.

www.HQESystems.com

#HQE Systems


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