Integrating Home Security Systems into Control4

Integrating Home Security Systems into Control4

Many homes nowadays are equipped with security alarm systems.  These modern security systems feature sensors for fire, smoke, heat as well as break-in detection.  Security cameras are another common feature that can be included in modern security systems.  A standalone security system provides its owners with peace of mind, but doesn’t offer much in terms of functionality.

Smart home enthusiasts outfit their homes with powerful smart home systems such as Control4Control4 takes different aspects of your home, such as lighting, motorized door locks, audio, thermostats and more, and allows them to work in concert with each other.  This networked automation provides new levels of convenience, such as one button control, scheduled interactions and remote access, while providing increased power savings.

But did you know that home security systems can be fully integrated into a Control4 smart home setup?

Integrating Home Security Systems into Control4Integrating Home Security Systems into Control4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above:  Action shots of Jesse integrating a home security system into a Control4 smart home setup.

Control4 is a convenient way to control all the smart devices in your home.  The real power of Control4 lies in its ability to integrate security with other smart home functions. You can set up custom “scenes” that simultaneously adjust your security settings, lighting, and temperature based on certain triggers.  For example, you could create a scene called “Away” that locks all entrances, sets the alarm, turns off all lights and sets the thermostat to an eco-friendly temperature, all with one button press on your mobile phone.

Control4 interface - security system option  Control4 interface - displaying security camera feeds

Most likely, your alarm system will come with its own control panel that allows you to enter your pin code, enable and disable the alarm, and check for faults in the system.  However, all those functions can also be accessed from any Control4 interface installed in your home, increasing the availability and flexibility of the system.  The pictures above demonstrate security system functions fully integrated into a Control4 interface, to include views of the security cameras on the premises.

Integrating Home Security Systems into Control4

By integrating your security system with Control4, you’re not just enhancing security; you’re enhancing the overall functionality of the entire smart home system.  With Control4’s seamless integration, you can tie together various devices and systems, creating a truly intelligent and responsive home environment that works exactly the way you want it.

If you value both convenience and security, integrating your home security system with Control4 is the way to go. Experience the power of real-time monitoring, remote control, and a unified interface that puts you in charge of your home’s security. Whether you’re just getting started with smart home technology or looking to expand your existing setup, Control4 opens up a world of possibilities.  Contact us to learn about all the installation options available.  Headquartered in Pembroke, GA, we service Savannah, GA and the surrounding areas, including Skidaway IslandTybee IslandStatesboroPoolerRichmond Hill and Hilton Head SC.

 

Enhancing Outdoor Spaces with Smart Home Technology

Enhancing Outdoor Spaces with Smart Home Technology

Are you looking for ways to enhance your outdoor living space?  As we are finishing up another smart home project for one of our clients, we wanted to show some examples of our work and some ways that you can upgrade your outdoor space with smart home technology.  Our client has graciously allowed us to take some pictures and video of their beautiful 3 story home in Downtown Savannah.

Possibly the most breathtaking aspect of this home is actually outside the structure itself.  This house was designed with amazing use of its outdoor spaces, including a private courtyard and a rooftop area, granting its owners and guests a fantastic panoramic view of the surrounding area.

Starting with the rooftop area, there is a 50-inch LG flatscreen television that had been weatherproofed by Sealoc.  The proprietary weatherization process can take an off the shelf television and shield the internal electronics from weather, adverse elements and corrosive environments, increasing the television’s lifespan and usefulness.  Although you can’t really tell from the video above, the television is comfortably viewable in partial sunlight.  However, on the bright sunny day that we recorded this video, the onscreen images were a bit hard to see, especially with the glare.  In those instances, the owners have a retractable sunshade that completely covers the television viewing area.

Most of the smart lighting, as well as the outdoor speaker system has been seamlessly integrated in and around the rooftop vegetation.  This keeps the rooftop area beautiful without being visually cluttered with unnecessary technology.  The outdoor speaker system is integrated into the rest of the whole home audio via Control4, so the family and guests can comfortably listen to the television or enjoy the music that is being piped all throughout the house.

The downstairs courtyard area, as well as the entire home itself, is monitored by security cameras that discreetly blend into the environment.  Every entryway and window is protected by alarm sensors.  The entire security system, including the camera feeds, smoke, fire and entry alarms are all integrated and controllable by the Control4 panels installed throughout the home.

The courtyard features smart lighting and outdoor speakers, discreetly nestled amongst the trees and bushes of this picturesque garden.  Just like the rooftop area, every aspect of this outdoor system is controllable and integrated into the rest of the home.  Even the water fountain control is integrated can be turned on and off with a simple click of a button.  This courtyard garden this exudes classic old Savannah charm while providing state of the art safety and enjoyment for its owners and guests.

If you have an outdoor area that is in need of a smart home upgrade, connect with one of our professional installation consultants at Allegiance Technology Solutions.  We love to take our client’s vision and make it reality.  We are always researching the newest technology advances and we will be able to intelligently suggest the best components to build the smart home system of your dreams.

 

Shining Light on the Dark Web

Shining Light on the Dark Web

What is the Dark Web?

By now, you may have heard of the Dark Web.  Perhaps it was featured on a news broadcast or it came up during a conversation with your techie friends. The Dark Web refers to the infamous private corners of the internet that are only accessible through special software that mask your IP address. On the Dark Web, you can do just about anything, from joining a book club to hiring an assassin. Maybe you want to play a chess match online? Yes, you can do that! Looking to purchase stolen credit card information? You’re in the right place!

 

What makes the Dark Web so… dark? After all, there is much more to it than illegal activity, much like the activities you could engage in on the public internet.

The Dark Web gets its fame for a few good reasons: anonymity and privacy. While innocent activity does occur on the Dark Web, its notoriety comes from the crime that occurs there.

Criminal Activities

Cybercriminals access the Dark Web routinely. In fact, many rely on the Dark Web to obtain the info they require to carry out their crimes. Cybercriminals also come to the Dark Web to sell or exploit the information they have already compromised. Which brings us to the real problem: Cybercriminals are buying and selling stolen data to carry out a plethora of crimes.

For those of us who understand how to protect their identity online, we may feel confident that we’re doing everything properly to prevent our data from ending up in the wrong hands.  But how do we know with certainty that we’re safe? There’s only one true way to find out: A Dark Web scan.

What Is a Dark Web Scan?

Simply put, a Dark Web scan searches for breaches and compromised credentials for your online accounts.  This type of scan can help identify if your email address has been involved in any data breaches and what information was compromised in that breach.

The value of performing a Dark Web scan is undeniable. Uncovering that you’ve been involved in a breach allows you to take steps to ensure that your compromised data isn’t used against you or on your unauthorized behalf. Although it is impossible to recover your stolen data once it hits the Dark Web, there are actions that you can and should perform following the discovery.

If you are interested in seeing if your accounts have been compromised, contact us so that we can perform a one-time Cybersecurity Risk Assessment for your business.  Not only will we perform a Dark Web scan, we will also survey your business environment, compile the data and present you with a report of issues found. Keep in mind that 24-7 Cybersecurity Monitoring services are included in our standard IT Managed Service plans.

Your Data Is found on the Dark Web – Now What?

If you discover that your data is available online, what should you do to protect yourself?  Change your passwords immediately following news of a data breach for any sites and services that you use. Once a breach is identified, changing your password on that account and any other account you may have reused that password on is critical.

Moving forward, passwords should never be reused across accounts. All passwords should be complex, difficult to guess and reasonably long. You may want to consider a few options:

  • Create a passphrase, which many consider best practice.  A passphrase is a series of words that may make no sense as a sentence, but will be harder for cybercriminals to crack due to its length.  Passphrases are much easier to remember than a series of random letters, numbers and symbols.  Here is an example passphrase to help you visualize the idea: Water-Orange-Telephone.
  • Remembering several difficult to guess passwords is no easy feat. A password manager is highly recommended for added security and convenience. This will allow you to store all your passwords in one place, requiring you to remember only one strong, difficult password.
  • Two-factor authentication is also a great added security feature to confirm your identity. 2FA, also known as MFA or Multi-factor authentication, will require a second form of identification aside from your password to gain access to your accounts.  This might come from a code sent as a text message to your phone or email, or in a dedicated authentication app.  If you decide to use an authentication app, use one from a trusted service provider, such as Microsoft Authenticator or Google Authenticator.

A One-Time Scan Will Not Protect You

A Dark Web scan can help you identify current risks and data breaches you have already been involved in, but what happens next? Maybe you were involved in multiple data breaches. You found what data was compromised and you changed your passwords as a follow-up. Does that mean you won’t be involved in another data breach next week? Or perhaps you were already involved in another data breach that has not yet been brought to light. If you don’t continuously search the Dark Web, you are putting yourself at risk of the unknown. The next time your data is compromised, it may go unnoticed or unused for days, months, or even years.  If you aren’t constantly monitoring, you are potentially leaving your data up for grabs for cybercriminals to use at their leisure.

Dark Web Monitoring – The Protection You Need

Allegiance Technology Solutions provides 24-7 Cybersecurity Monitoring services for our Managed IT Service clients. Our service will proactively monitor the Dark Web for you and notify you immediately when your data is found to be compromised.  There is minimal effort needed to protect your business when you partner with us.  We will automatically monitor for your organization’s email domain on the Dark Web. If we find anything floating around out there, you can rest assured that you will be notified, and we will be there to help protect your personal and company data.  When it comes to the security of your company data, we want to provide you peace of mind so you can focus on other areas of your business.

Cybercriminals are relentless and show no signs of slowing down. They will continue to wreak havoc on every industry where they can profit. Much like cybercriminals, the Dark Web is not going away either. Remember, after all, it’s a place where you can innocently join a literature club, or you know, steal someone’s entire identity.​

 

 

7 Key Things to Know About Smart Home Technology

7 Key Things to Know About Smart Home Technology

Smart home technology transforms the way we interact with our households, offering comfort, convenience, and efficiency. By combining intelligent systems, appliances and devices, homeowners can easily control and manage their houses, either with a few taps or voice commands. From customizing lighting or temperature to managing security systems, home automation technology allows people to cater to their needs by just a click of a button.

Here are seven key things to know about smart home technology:

  • Compatibility – It is important to ensure that your devices are compatible with each other and with your chosen platform.  Modern voice assistants, such as Amazon Alexa, Siri from Apple or Google Home have become a convenient way to automate devices in the home.  Of course, for the most powerful smart home package on the market, Control4 is the way to go!
  • Security – As with any internet-connected device, home automation technology can be vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. It is important to follow best practices for cybersecurity and to ensure that your devices are protected against potential breaches.
  • Ease of use – A smart home installation should be easy to use and intuitive, with clear instructions and a user-friendly interface.
  • Integration – home automation technology should integrate seamlessly with your existing home systems, such as your home Wi-Fi network and entertainment systems.
  • Scalability – Like technologies used in other industries, home automation technology should be scalable, allowing you to add and remove devices as needed without disrupting your overall system.
  • Energy savings – A properly configured smart home can help you save on your energy bills by allowing you to control your heating and cooling systems and lighting more efficiently.
  • Cost – Smart home technology can be expensive, with some devices costing hundreds of dollars. It is important to set a budget and to shop around for the best deals.

Home automation technology offers the chance for you to remotely monitor and control different aspects of your home environment that provides energy saving, peace of mind, and convenience.

If you have questions about your current smart home installation or are interested in making your home smarter, contact us or give us a call at 912-216-4050.  Our technicians at Allegiance Technology Solutions are experts at home automation and will help you embrace the future of smart living!