Technology Countermeasures

Steve Keller is a technology Geek, there’s no denying it. If it’s new and if it has flashing lights or a computer chip, he has one. But Steve was one of the first people in the security profession to sound the alarm--a lone voice criticized by many--about the dangers of technology.

One of Steve’s hobbies is computer hacking. No, he doesn’t hack your computer, he studies ways of keeping others from doing so. His assistant, Steve Swen, is a network engineer and also an expert on computer security. Why is this important? It is important because all modern alarm, access control and CCTV systems are nothing more than computer systems running on networks, and as such they can be hacked, infected with a virus, or brought to their knees by a Denial of Service attack.

Steve has come to believe that we are less secure today than at any time in our history. Technology has made us less secure. The reason is that the pace of change in technology is so fast that it is difficult if not impossible to know all of the vulnerabilities hidden within a technology before it changes. Example: A flaw in the Windows operating system was  discovered in 2008 that has existed since

Steve’s Personal Philosophy

the very first day Windows was released. Further, the number of people capable of and trying to hack into computers and computer driven equipment is growing. The iPhone, for example, was hacked the very first day it was released. Even more frightening, the incidence of cyber crime committed by organized criminals is on the rise.

At the same time that all of this is happening, the prevailing theory in computer technology and the philosophy adopted aggressively by cultural properties, is “convergence”. The goal is to save money by putting every computer, copier, telephone, intercom, ticketing system, point of sale cash register, HVAC system, fire system, burglar alarm system, library system, access control system, collection inventory system, watch patrol system, CCTV system, object alarm system, and anything else with an IP address on one single massive network that connects to the internet and then to every other museum and information source on the planet. With 200 million computers in the U.S. alone, that’s 200 million portals that hackers can use to enter our systems. Then, there is the rest of the internet.

Steve Keller feels that convergence, when it includes the mission critical security systems, is putting us at even greater risk and has made us more vulnerable than ever before.

Our consulting services in this regard include the following:

Systems we design are as secure as they can be with the current state of technology.

We know the threats and we know the countermeasures.

We challenge inflated claims by IT department managers who insist that their networks can’t be compromised. They can. In the past several years, we know of many museums whose security systems were brought down by viruses and we’ve found many to be grossly insecure during audits.

We thoroughly explain what clients need to do to assure that their security systems not only are secure but also remain secure.

We will aggressively oppose convergence as it involves security systems. They must be isolated from all access to the outside world and the primary countermeasure against hackers, viruses and attacks.

We will oppose transferring control of the security system’s computers and networks to the control of the I.T. Department.

We will help you establish a plan to obtain affordable but secure service and technical support for your systems that isolates them from tampering.

Steve Keller recently told a New York City museum group:

The first Billion dollar museum heist will occur sometime during the career of those entering the profession today. It will involve a cyber crime perpetrated by someone working in the I.T. Department and will not only be unsolvable, law enforcement will never figure out how it was done.”

My job is to make sure that this never happens to any client we are involved with.

“Steve has come to believe that we are less secure today than at any time in our history. Technology has made us less secure.”

copyright 2007 All Rights Reserved