Sera4 exhibiting at the CALA TowerXchange 2018 meetup

Come and meet us at the TowerXchange CALA Meetup, June 20-21 at the Boca Raton Resort Resort & Club.

Sera4 Exhibiting at Andina Link 2018

Sera4 is preparing to participate in the Andina Link conference and expo in Cartagena, Colombia on March 7 and 8. We are excited to extend our trade event participations into South America and look forward to meeting new and existing customers and partners.

Smart tech is the smart choice so long as it’s well-engineered

A few weeks ago, we learned about Amazon’s ambitious plans for Amazon Key. Amazon Key is a solution that allows Amazon delivery people to leave packages inside the home rather than outside the door. They do this by converting traditional door locks to smartlocks, which can be accessed by Amazon when needed. A camera is included to monitor the drop offs. I expect that Amazon has done their market research; They know that some consumers will prefer the risk of giving Amazon access to their home over the risk that packages could go missing. Additionally, the service avoids the inconvenience of having to wait at home for deliveries  This is the same tradeoff between operational efficiency and security that Sera4 solves for industrial infrastructure.

Smartlock security was put to the test at last year’s DEFCON conference, where hackers try to break security. Twelve out of sixteen tested smartlocks were hacked within 15 minutes using simple digital equipment. I had hoped that this would send a message to our industry to take security more seriously. Unfortunately, Amazon’s newly-released smartlock system has already been hacked. Although the current vulnerabilities don’t show how to unlock someone’s house without authorization, the security holes destroy trust in the video surveillance that is a core component of the Amazon Key system. I don’t feel confident to put this on my front door. I doubt anyone wants a lock on their house that let hackers walk in, no matter how “smart” the feature list appears.

Designing secure smartlocks is not easy. It requires both physical security and logical security. People have been designing for physical security for centuries. We’ve largely figured out how to do that. Designing for secure wireless control is a new area, where many designers are still just learning. It’s not surprising that they overlook things.  Security is Sera4’s specialty. Since we don’t aim to get our products in residential front doors, I hope that someone else brings secure residential smartlocks to market soon. If not, adoption is going to be very slow, or we’re going to have a lot of unexpected burglaries in the near future.

Sera4 Confirmed to Exhibit at MWC 2018

Sera4 is excited to share that we will be exhibiting in Hall 7 at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. MWC is the world’s largest gathering for the mobile telecom industry and takes place February 26 – March 1, 2018.

The Eternal Struggle: Security versus Efficiency

It is a struggle we all know well, we need to decide whether we want to be efficient or secure. Of course in an ideal world it won’t be choice between the two, however it often is. Even something as simple as working with a contractor when you aren’t available can be difficult.

There are a few options, none of which are ideal;

  • You make sure someone is always around or available – secure but time consuming and inconvenient
  • You make a key copy to give to them – efficient, less secure, and then you still need to keep track of that extra key. In many cases you can’t make copies of security keys.
  • You leave your key somewhere – efficient but not safe as anyone could find it, and then you need to worry about how to get it back so you can access the site.

This is also if there is only one level of security, looking at more secure sites with multiple layers you get further inefficiencies. People lose their keys and access cards, and forgo security measures all the time. Reissuing key cards is time consuming and having to rekey multiple sites is expensive. On top of that when something takes 30 seconds without security but takes 10 minutes with security measures, you can guess what a lazy or malicious employee will eventually do.

There is also the added issue that unless someone is always around you have no idea who is coming and going. You also have no idea if they secure the site, when they leave, or how long they stayed. As a result you are losing time and money no matter what option you choose. If you make it too easy to access people can hack into the system and remotely open locks. When none of the options are great it can be difficult to justify spending a lot to receive so little peace of mind in return.

At Sera4 our goal is to eliminate this struggle through modern technology, and to do it for remote infrastructures that face harsh or unique environments. Every time the lock is opened or closed it is recorded in an audit log so you can keep track of exactly who has been where and for how long. Users can reset their own passwords if they forget, the app is password-protected in case your phone gets lost or stolen, and you can only see and open locks if you are near the locks. We provide a platform that works with whatever phone you already have, and doesn’t allow remote access. We believe that anyone opening a lock should be physically present at the lock, just like with a traditional key. Our architecture choice to only open locks on short-range wireless connections radically reduces the risk of a hacking threat without affecting the practical use of a Teleporte system.

Your Wi-Fi Security is Obsolete!

Today, the world came to know that Wi-Fi has a catastrophic vulnerability in its negotiation of security keys.

Unlike the cracking of WEP (over 15 years ago) – this represents a huge concern for individual and corporate “privacy” as:

  • the reliance of Wi-Fi for data transport has become the default standard rather than the exception,
  • without software updates, there is no “alternate” way to configure your network to protect yourself (short of turning it off)

Fortunately, the report of the WPA2 security hole came many months ago – allowing vendors to implement fixes to their products.

Unfortunately, it will take many years to proliferate those fixes to everyone and every device.  I shudder to think how many products will be abandoned as “obsolete” by their manufacturers, meanwhile millions of users will go unprotected.

This Public Service Announcement hopefully highlights your immediate need to seek firmware upgrades for all your Wi-Fi devices (phones, laptops, routers)!

All our customers can rest assured that Sera4 products are not subject to this type of attack. Our current technologies and strict security protocols – prevent “man-in-the-middle” attacks – and we’re staying on top of all security threats to maintain our leadership in high-tech security.

Sera4 exhibits at the TowerXchange Africa meetup

Sera4 entered Africa for the first time, exhibiting at the TowerXchange meetup in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Sera4 New Office

We are excited to announce we have moved to our new office! After a hard morning of moving furniture we grab some pizza and beer to help unpack. We are still getting settled but we have now expanded to accommodate our growing team.

Will Your Employees’ Mobile Devices Work With New Smart Locks?

Will your employees’ phones all work with the new Smart Locks you want to buy?

Designing and supporting a wireless application for the many variants of Android is challenging.  Add to this, a plethora of device manufacturers who use a variety of wireless stacks, and you get:          an interoperability nightmare

Just ask Kevo, they support only specific devices from 5 Android device manufacturers.

In today’s day and age, we are subject to traditional hardware makers trying to “tack on” technology (and worse yet — digital security) to their products.

Have you seen the Whirlpool washing machine with Wi-Fi?

Consider that the leaders of tomorrow are the technology companies that live/breathe/understand a complex, mobile, Internet.

Netflix is the tech pioneer changing the landscape of media content production and distribution.

Tesla is the genius changing the landscape of many industries.

Uber — need I say more?

Sera4 is a tech company focusing on the integration of secure high technology into the physical security packages you already use and trust. Turning your traditional padlock, electric strike, or maglock into “Smart Locks” is what we do.  Our application already interoperates with over 300 different mobile device / operating system pairings. We are pairing our technology expertise with the best in physical security — not just to add a cool feature – but to evolve the market.

En Sera4 también hablamos Español

Cómo ingeniero en telecomunicaciones y electrónica, trabajar en un startup de un país diferente al tuyo es un gran reto. Tomando en cuenta que la matriz está en Canadá, se vuelve esencial la adaptación a un idioma y una cultura diferente; pero nada de esto es un obstáculo cuando te encuentras colaborando con personas extraordinarias, en una empresa que ingresa al mercado Mexicano con un producto innovador; donde el trabajo constante se gana la confianza de los clientes para demostrar la efectividad de su tecnología.

Brindando soporte a usuarios me a dado la oportunidad de conocer mejor nuestras soluciones, ya que conozco de primera mano los problemas que se presentan en el día a día. Las solicitudes de los clientes son diversas, y me agrada saber que podemos modificar nuestros productos para cumplir con sus expectativas. Nuestro tiempo de respuesta para resolver los problemas de los usuarios es casi siempre inmediato, lo cual genera una grata experiencia para la persona que usa nuestros productos.

Nuestro servicio técnico del dia a dia resuelve varios tipos de problemas que se puedan presentar; desde el simple olvido de una contraseña, hasta problemas más complejos de hardware en las cerraduras. Nuestro servicio eficiente nos ha dado la oportunidad de mejorar continuamente para que las incidencias más comunes no se vuelvan a presentar.

Mi trabajo va más allá de los tecnico ya que he formado parte de las negociaciones con futuros nuevos cliente para conocer de ellos directamente sus requerimientos. Con estas especificaciones creamos maquetas que llevan a la instalación de demos en campo para que los clientes tengan la oportunidad de utilizar el producto.

Como Mexicano es emocionante colaborar en una empresa con estas características, y poder formar parte un equipo altamente calificado e innovador; y así contribuir al desarrollo de tecnologías de punta de control acceso.

 

Written by: Joel Gonzalez