Michael J. Hackett and His Good Friend Justice Antonin Gregory Scalia :

Things have been really busy of late, but I intend to keep the updates coming. First up is a nice photo of President & CEO of Hackett Security, Michael J. Hackett and his good friend Justice Antonin Gregory Scalia. The key part in this picture is that Justice Scalia is a Cardninals fan! :D

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

- The Hackett Security Team


Everglades High School uses smart cards to move toward a safer, cashless campus

Everglades High School uses smart cards to move toward a safer, cashless campus

“I remember when my fifth grade teacher said we would be able to buy things without cash,” said Everglades High School Principal Paul Fetscher. “I thought that was the most outrageous thing I’d ever heard. And here we sit, at the beginning of the 21st century. Our kids don’t have cash, they have credit cards. It’s time schools followed suit.” With that objective in mind, Fetscher began a campaign to create a cashless campus at Everglades High School in Miramar, Florida.

All students in Broward County, where the 3,200-student Everglades High School is located, have been using ID cards for school identification for approximately 10 years. Two years ago, the staff at Everglades added a smart chip to its cards, enabling debit card privileges in a number of areas, such as vending machines, media center and certain student activities. Now Everglades students can even purchase yearbooks and prom tickets with their ID cards.

“Broward County had a rash of vending machine break-ins,” said Fred Azrak, athletic director and overseer of the Everglades ID card program. “We discussed using ID cards to allow cashless purchases from our vending machines. They suggested adding a smart chip to our cards. Now, our students can conduct a variety of transactions on campus without cash.”

“This is a unique solution for a high school,” said Alan Mendelson of Plasco. “Many colleges and universities use smart cards for cashless transactions, but Everglades is one of the first high schools in the country with the foresight to create a cashless campus.”

Everglades was able to upgrade its system using its two existing Fargo ID card printers. Already printing bar codes on the cards, the printers now simultaneously enable smart card options. The new, smart ID cards retain the printed bar code because not all applications at Everglades are integrated into the smart card system yet. The cafeteria program, for instance, is run county-wide out of New York using the students’ bar codes. Likewise, the library check-out system references the students’ ID numbers via the bar codes because there is no money involved in checking out a book so the smart card application isn’t needed.

Immediate Rewards
It didn’t take long for Everglades High School to see results from the smart card program. “Vandalism has become non-existent, despite the fact that vending machines stay unlocked outside all night,” said Azrak. “These machines use card readers instead of typical coin or dollar bill slots. Students know there is no money in them. We can’t get a bag of potato chips at our school without an ID card.”

Everglades makes it easy for students to deposit money into their account. They can insert cash into machines conveniently located in the guidance office and the cafeteria, and the money is transferred to the student’s card automatically.

Students have been very responsible with the cards, according to Azrak. They know that if they lose their card, they lose the money in their account. Everglades also charges a small fee for replacing the card. Starting next year, students will be allowed to keep their cards from year to year to defray school expenses. The Fargo printers laminate the cards to enhance their longevity.

Everglades High School paid for its smart card program using Broward County capital funding. “We also had help from companies in the area that donated money to our program,” said Azrak. Everglades has arrangements with three different financial organizations to act as global banks for the school’s activities.

Expansion Plans
The next phase of the Everglades’ smart card program will allow students to use their cards to get into athletic events for a discounted fee, a project that is near and dear to Azrak, especially with the school’s new 4,000-seat stadium for football, soccer and track events. “If someone went to every athletic event on our campus, it may cost $400,” estimated Azrak. “For a discounted upfront fee, students soon will be able to use their cards to get into any athletic event on campus.”

Currently, student ID cards are run through hand-held card readers by staff members at the entrances to events. The simple addition of an icon on the card, such as the school’s mascot, an alligator, will identify the student as having paid in advance. Azrak believes the new system will enable faculty to get the students in and out of an event faster, in addition to improving security at the games.

Before the athletic events are added to the cards, however, Azrak and his colleagues need to address the issue of how to split the ticket revenue with other teams. “Because we will be selling the cards at a reduced rate, we have to consider how this will affect the revenue going to other schools,” he said. “If every school began using smart cards, each school could just keep its own money. There would be no money changing hands.”

Azrak is rightfully concerned about the exchange of money. “Last year, we played a game where we collected more than $12,000,” he said. “I was the one who had to transport the money to the bank. I see a lot of benefits to using smart cards.”

Everglades staff also want to expand smart cards to incorporate access control. Currently, the school uses PlascoTrac, a student violation tracking system, to track infractions such as tardiness. Using a mobile, hand-held device, administrators scan student ID cards at the door and issue late passes to allow students to return to class. On the fifth disciplinary action, students receive an automatic internal suspension. “Someday, we might use palm prints and tie the system into our software,” Azrak said. “If I had the money today, I’d love to do this. I wish I could put a card reader in every room for attendance.”

A Win/Win Situation
Even two years after the introduction of smart cards, Azrak still is impressed with the capabilities of his system. “What’s so neat is that I can tell you that John Doe bought 20 Pepsi drinks at machine number 8,” he said. “When the application expands to athletic events, our system will give me a printout, and within five minutes I will be able to tell parents if their son or daughter was at the game on Friday night. I can even tell them what time he or she came in.”

“Setting this up was a little work at the beginning,” Azrak admitted, “but it’s been worth it. We have had no incidents of robbery, because our students don’t need money here. It is a more secure school now.”

Fetscher agreed. “When the athletic fee system is engaged next year, we will finally arrive at a point where there are no cash transactions on campus,” he said. “Parents will feel better. Staff will feel better. Using smart cards is a win/win for any school.”

Working With Smart Cards

Hackett Security, an authorized Fargo Reseller, is proud to bring you this article on smart card technology from Fargo.

Working with smart cards
Technology cards, or “smart cards”, offer dramatic advancements in ID card security and functionality. Smart cards are small and tamper-resistant. They store, process, communicate and encrypt large amounts of data, including biometric data and monetary values. Smart cards are often used for logical access control to networks or databases, or physical access control to buildings or rooms.

Four current Fargo printer/encoders — HDP600, HDP5000, DTC550 and DTC400 — can encode data in up to three different smart card technologies in the same pass as card printing, when optional encoding modules are installed.

Smart cards defined
Generally speaking, a smart card is any card with embedded circuitry — typically a microprocessor with internal memory — programmed to store information or execute tasks. Data transmission is made via either direct physical contact with a reader, or by holding a card within a few inches of a secure contactless interface.

Unlike other authentication technologies, smart cards can confirm identities in three ways:

Something you have (a secure ID card)
Something you know (a password)
Something you are (a palmprint or eye retinal scan)
Combined, these security layers create the most advanced card security in the marketplace.

Types of smart cards
Smart cards fall into two categories: contact and contactless.

Contact smart cards have a copper interface pad embedded on the surface of the card. The card must be inserted into a smart card reader to make a direct connection for the transfer of data. Contact smart cards typically have more memory and processing power than contactless cards. Some data encryption processes (used in high-security financial or legal applications) can only be performed by contact smart cards. Contact smart card readers work well in office environments, but not outdoors or in industrial applications.

Contactless smart cards only require close proximity to a reader (usually within a few inches) to achieve data transmission. Both the smart card and reader have internal antennas and wireless circuitry for secure communication. Using advanced data encryption techniques, contactless smart cards are every bit as secure as their contact counterparts. Contactless smart cards are ideal for access control, mass transit, vending and cafeteria payment, and dozens of other applications.

Other types of technology cards
While not actually “smart cards”, these other card technologies can enhance the security and functionality of your ID cards:

Proximity cards bring keyless convenience to physical access control systems. Prox cards contain an internal antenna that cardholders wave within a few inches of the reader to request access.

“Combi” proximity cards integrate photo ID, prox, magnetic stripe and even smart card technology into a single card, eliminating the need to carry multiple cards for different purposes.

“Combi” smart cards allow a single smart chip to securely interface with both contact and contactless readers.

Hybrid smart cards contain two smart chips — one with a contact interface, the other contactless — effectively doubling the functionality and security of the card.

Optical laser cards transform CD-ROM technology into ID card form, capable of securely storing megabytes of information.

Learn more about smart cardsFind out how smart cards can enhance your operations by contacting an Authorized Fargo Integrator.

Members Of Congress Briefed By Smart Card Alliance, Secure ID Coalition

Original article found on Security Products's website (http://www.secprodonline.com)

The Smart Card Alliance and Secure ID Coalition briefed members of Congress and staff in July about the best practices and standards for secure and private identity credentials.

“There is a critical need to secure identity documents not only to verify people are who they claim to be, but also to ensure personal information is secure and citizen privacy is protected,” said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. “Government officials need to be aware of how to maximize security while maintaining the principles of good privacy protection and disclosure for the citizens who often have little choice in what type of credential they are issued. Nothing is more personal or valuable than one’s identity; therefore, it is the government’s responsibility to manage it properly.”

Identity documents are utilized in many different areas including: financial services, border security, driver’s licenses, employee credentials, e-government authentication and immigration.

“As the government examines initiatives such as REAL ID, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) and immigration visa programs it is imperative that they understand the use of technology to implement these types of programs in the most secure manner,” said Kelli Emerick, executive director of the Secure ID Coalition. “There is a lot of confusion about secure smart credentials, and we are here to show Congress the best way to use this technology for identity.”

The Smart Card Alliance and Secure ID Coalition advocate best practices for use of technology to verify identity. Specifically, that an organization’s requirements for safety and security must be balanced against the genuine desire to protect the privacy of the individuals whose identities need to be verified. This requirement -- how to identify people unequivocally while also protecting their privacy -- must shape every discussion of how to design, build or implement a new, secure, identity management system.

In addition, the ID technology used must be one that can both facilitate and reinforce the system’s privacy and security design and goals. Many ID or badging systems currently rely on technologies such as magnetic stripes or bar codes. Such technologies are no longer appropriate, since it cannot meet the requirement to provide strong security while guarding privacy. IDs based on these technologies are tamper-prone, can easily be counterfeited and provide little or no protection for the information they carry. IDs that use the strong security features contained in smart card technology, like anti-tampering and protection against unauthorized access to personal information, can enhance privacy protection in a well-designed and properly implemented system.

Click here for original story.

Hackett Security Now Offers Premium Badge Reels

We are proud to offer new premium badge reels which keeps ID cards facing forward at all times. This design makes each badge highly visible and easy to read. It accommodates multiple cards and features, and has an imprint area that is 95 percent larger than most standard badge reels. They are available with different end fittings and clip options, including standard strap clips, card clips, and Key Ring end-fittings.

For more information call 314-432-4200 today!

- The Hackett Security Team

Burglarproofing Your Home - By Real Simple Magazine

Real Simple Magazine has some good tips on burglarproofing your home that I would like to share with you.

How to Burglarproof Inside Your Home

There’s a burglary every 15 seconds in the United States — and more than 6 million home break-ins every year. The good news: Your house doesn’t have to be one of them. There’s plenty you can do, experts say, to make it tougher for housebreakers to make off with your hard-earned, perhaps irreplaceable stuff.

A few smart moves within the house can keep a burglar out — or at least minimize his haul.

Put lights and a radio or a television on timers. People who leave the lights on all day “might as well put out a sign in their front yard saying they’re out of town,” says Ann Lindstrom of ADT Security Services, the nation’s oldest alarm-system company. Look for the type of timer that can be set for random on and off times (one brand is Leviton, about $40 each). Otherwise, it’s too easy for crooks to get wise to the fact that your lights are coming on at the same time every night.

Don’t rely on your dog. You’d like to believe that your “vicious” golden retriever will scare off burglars. And though barking may persuade them to skip your house, you shouldn’t count on it. “Most of us train dogs to be friendly to strangers,” says Frank Santamorena, an expert for the Discovery Channel’s burglary-prevention show, It Takes a Thief. Some thieves even bring dog biscuits.

Close most shades. If a thief can’t see inside, he won’t know whether there’s anything worth stealing, says Lauren Russ, executive director of the nonprofit Burglary Prevention Council (BPC). But keep a few shades open on the second floor to make it look as if someone is home.

Lock up valuables. It may sound obvious, but thieves know we all like to hide our most important things under the bed, in a coffee tin, or behind a bookcase. So keep passports, Social Security cards, and the like in a bank safe-deposit box or in a heavy-duty combination safe you can bolt to the floor in a closet. Santamorena likes the Gardall brand (from about $300, depending on size; www.gardall.com).

Keep two jewelry boxes. Store inexpensive pieces in the nice case on your dresser. Stash the good bits in a safe. A thief may be fooled by the “cheap box” and not bother looking for more.

Lock away guns. Weapons are attractive to thieves, so if you have them in the house, hide them in a safe, just as you would conceal other valuables.

Make your stuff harder to sell. Use an engraving pen (sold at hardware stores) to mark big-ticket items, like electronics and computers. Prominently engrave your initials and driver’s-license number (not your Social Security number) on the back. Since many pawnshops won’t accept ID-engraved items or are required by law to report them to the police, burglars may pass on them. At the very least, you’ll have a better chance of recovering them.

Get an alarm system. A recent survey by Temple University researchers found that alarms, when used in combination with other precautions, reduce the likelihood of burglary by as much as 66 percent. All monitored electronic-security systems operate through phone lines. More recent types have backup service that uses cellular technology or digital radio, so if the line is cut or the power goes out, you’re still protected. This can add a few hundred dollars to the bill, but experts say it’s a must. Expect to pay at least $350 for installation and $35 a month in monitoring fees.

How to Burglarproof Outside Your Home

A thief usually assesses your house from the street first. Take these steps and he’ll avoid yours.

Evaluate the landscaping. Is that lovely flowering dogwood a good hiding spot for someone jimmying open a ground-floor window? “Prune back shrubbery from windows, doors, and walkways,” says Russ. Also, she adds, “examine the ‘climbability’ of tall trees near second-floor windows.” Prune these as well so burglars can’t use them like ladders.

Check the lighting. Every exterior door should be illuminated with at least a 40-watt bulb. Experts recommend easy-to-install motion-detecting light sensors (about $20 each at home-improvement stores). “Thieves want anonymity,” says Santamorena. “If a spotlight shines on them the second they step on your property, they’ll keep moving.” Random timers are also a good idea, especially if you typically arrive home after dark.

Secure windows and sliding glass doors. Look for windows made with laminated glass, which is not as breakable as tempered glass. Sliding glass doors are notoriously simple for thieves to get open, so put a metal bar or a solid-wood dowel in the tracking to secure the door when it’s closed, says Terri Kelly, managing director of Community Outreach & Government Relations for the National Crime Prevention Council.

Install — and use — reliable locks. In about 32 percent of home burglaries, there’s no sign of forced entry, meaning the burglar entered through an unlocked or open door or window. It takes most burglars less than 60 seconds to get inside, according to the BPC, and they typically enter through the front door. For all exterior doors, plus the door inside the garage that leads into the house, choose high-quality dead bolts (such as ASSA Abloy, Medeco, or the Schlage Primus, which start at around $140). If the lock is near a window or within 40 inches of a glass pane, install a double-cylinder dead bolt, which can be opened from the inside and the outside only with a key. (This way, burglars can’t break the glass, reach in, and turn the lock.) It’s best to use a locksmith who is a certified dealer of the brand you want, says Santamorena. (To find a locksmith, visit the manufacturer’s website.)

Fortify your doors. Exterior doors, including the garage door, should be solid wood, fiberglass, or steel, and the hinges should be on the inside, not the outside. If you do have exterior hinges and don’t want to move them, Santamorena suggests that you at least secure them with a locking pin, which makes the hinges difficult to move.

Put your street number, not your name, on the mailbox to avoid what Kelly calls one of the oldest tricks in the book: “Thieves dial information with your name and street address, and then call to see if anyone’s home.” But make sure your house number is clearly marked so emergency personnel can find you.

Advertise an alarm system, even if you don’t have one. While it’s best to have the real deal, just posting a lawn sign or a sticker will help, says Russ. Try to get one from a friend or a neighbor who has an alarm; experienced thieves can spot a fake.

Declutter the yard. When you’re out or away, don’t leave tools, ladders, or even toys lying around. Thieves can use them to break into your house.

Forget the fake rock and other hide-a-key tricks. Thieves know all the hiding spots you’ve thought of. “You can’t fool a burglar by putting a key above the doorjamb, under the doormat, or beneath a plastic figurine in your yard,” says Santamorena. Give a spare key to a trusted neighbor, or buy a steel combination lockbox made specifically for keys. (One model is the GE AccessPoint KeySafe, from $40. ) Bolt it to something on the property that is easy for everyone in your family to access. “These lockboxes are so reliable that I’ve installed them right next to a door,” says Santamorena.

Don’t leave your garage-door opener exposed. Burglars can swipe a garage-door opener from an unlocked car and use it later to get into the house.

Censor your trash. The box your new flat-screen TV came in announces that you have stuff worth stealing. “Cut the carton up and tie the pieces together before you put them out on the curb,” says Russ.

How to Burglarprooof Your Home When You Go on Vacation

Make sure you can really relax on your next getaway by taking these extra safety precautions.

Enlist a trusted neighbor or family member to keep an eye out, park a car in your driveway, and have the lawn mowed or the walks shoveled. The fewer clues you give that your house is vacant, the better.

Don’t leave e-mail or phone messages saying you’re away. Forgo the “automatic vacation reply” feature on e-mail and keep a generic message on your answering machine. Use call forwarding to screen phone calls from the road.

Suspend delivery of newspapers and mail, or have someone collect them for you. Avoid telltale pileups. To a thief, they’re an open-house invitation.