Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pros and Cons of Safes

Comparing Safes of All Types to Determine Which is Best for You
Which safe is right for your home or business? The following review is a general guide to help you
decide. For complete assistance Call Toll Free 1-866-867-0306

Wall Safe

Floor safe
Pros: Convenient security and fireproof protection for valuables, collectibles and firearms. These safes are easy to use even when hidden in a wall. Installation is simple and can be done by anyone with the right tools or a contractor.
Cons: Most in-wall safes are not fire rated and it's up to you to ensure that you understand the difference between hidden wall safe security and security with UL rated fire protection.

: Hidden from plain sight and easy to conceal fireproof floor safes are some of the most popular for new homes or businesses. When installed in a concrete floor you benefit from added fire safe protection.
Cons: Hidden access in floors made of concrete do make these safes inconvenient to use. You want to keep your valuables hidden and secure and letting everyone know where you hide them is counterproductive. During a fire situation you do run the risk of water damage from sprinklers or fire hoses.

Pros: Often simply referred to as safes, these large free standing units are available on caster wheels for installation. Safes offer protection for paper documents, valuable and computer media (tapes, hard drives, etc).
Cons: Depending on the type of security or fire protection offered these safes can reach into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Pro: Cash deposits can easily be secured through front door drops or rotary hoppers. This means convenience at both the retail or event level! Most models are built to be bolted to the floor or mounted below a counter top. Locks or dual locks provide access control and can limit who has access.
Cons: Deposit drops safe offer NO fireproof protection.
Pros: Complete security vaults allow for tremendous storage capacity and walk in or walk through access. Modular vaults offer "instant" security that can be constructed in nearly any location.
Cons: Construction requirements mean proper planning and building codes must be considered. Construction of modular vaults can be very expensive when compared to concrete wall or block wall vaults.

Bank vs Home Safe

Is it time to stash the cash?

Current economic instability and continued news of failing financial institutions has many of us concerned about the future. Uncertainty about market reaction and the overall strength of various financial sectors can lead to decisions that may or may not be justified. How do you decide what is right for you, and does it come down to a Bank versus Home Safe scenario?

Our advice is two fold.

First, in order for our economy to begin to turn around, we need to be comfortable with our Banks ability to store our savings in a way that is not only Physically secure, but also Financially secure. Rarely do we question the physical security at our Nations banks; however we have been fielding an ever increasing number of questions based around the Financial Security of the banking industry. Simply put, folks are asking us if they should pull their money out of their bank, and store it in a home safe or burglary rated safe in their home.

Recently, the FDIC raised their account protection from $100,000.00 to $250,000.00. This means that the first $250,000.00 you have in the bank is Federally Secured by the United States Government. For the majority of us, this should calm any concerns of Financial Security, as most accounts are below this threshold.

First piece of advice: Do not pull all of your money out of your bank! Rely on the protections provided by the FDIC Insurance, and actively question your bank on both their investments and their plan for the future.

The team at KL Security takes these types of questions very seriously, and while we do not advise that you withdraw all of your money from your bank, we do advise a balanced approach to personal financial security. Just as we would never advise that you backup all of your computer data through just one method, like tape backup, fireproof servers, or off-site storage, we also do not advise storing your savings in just one location.

A home safe or burglary rated safe is a great way to store emergency savings. If your situation allows, we advise keeping enough cash to carry you through 1-3 months of uncertain times. Choosing the right safe for this job is an important one, and careful consideration should be given when deciding the right type of safe for your specific use.

Call us today to learn about some options you may want to consider!

Increasing File Cabinet Security

A Thorough Review of Upgrade Options and Choices
Business document and computer media security is a small but very important part of the overall strategy for safeguarding papers, intellectual property and vital operational or research data. Standard metal filing cabinets do not offer any protection or security from theft or burglary and will not be considered in this review of available options from FireKing and Schwab Corp / Sentry.

File Cabinet Construction
From a physical security perspective the initial construction of a filing cabinet is vital to deterring theft or break-in attempts. When comparing Schwab cabinets to FireKing there is a distinct difference and overall security. Schwab Corp. builds their product using a one piece construction method. This means that there are not several pieces assembled to make the cabinet shell. The only seams that are accessible are those at the back of the cabinet. This makes it more difficult to tamper with the contents of the unit as the back panel should be sitting directly next to a wall.
FireKing cabinets are built using a multi-piece construction that allows both the sides and top of the unit to be removed.

Lock Bars
Locking bars are an added security feature that can be used with a standard file cabinet and fireproof files. FireKing offers the lockable security bar option direct from the factory to beef up physical security and access control initiatives. By having these installed at the time of order you can easily incread file cabinet security and reduce your long term costs typically associated with retrofitted cabinets.

Lock Upgrades and Access Control
All filing cabinets are equipped with plunger key locks. These locks are not "high security" as they can be picked. Simply put these locks are a deterrant to theft. You can easily install or improve this part of your security plan by choosing a Medecco key lock. These locks (standard on every FireKing file) are UL Listed to resist picking and prying.

One of the only downsides to a key lock is that if you loose or misplace your keys, you'll be spending some money on having a locksmith come out to assist you. Many businesses choose to upgrade to a digital electronic lock. Not only will this offer great convenience, but you can easily change the combination at any time. This option is very important for a business with a high turn over rate of employees. What happens if the battery goes dead? This inevitably will happen over time and it's a simple matter of removing the lock face plate and installing a new 9V volt battery. When the battery gets low the lock will emit a beep as a warning.

Fire Protection, 1 Hour or 2 Hour?
The industry standard is a 1 hour UL fire rating. Why then is there a Schwab 2 Hour cabinet and a FireKing 2 Hour cabinet? There are several reasons and one being that if you want the best, you will buy the best fire rated file cabinet available. If it's worth protecting, it is safe to say that a 2 hour fire rating is a better choice. If you are located in a rural area or have a remote office location it would be a wise choice to purchase the two hour rated fire file - logic tells us that it will take longer for the fire department to respond. In most urban situations a 1 hour fire file will suffice.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

FireKing Vertical File Cabinet Review

There are many file cabinets to choose from at FireKing including different widths, depths and heights of cabinets to meet your document storage needs.

Below is a complete list of the FireKing Model #'s and online examples of these cabinets.

31" Deep vertical cabinets with Medecco key locks and UL 1 hour fire and impact rated protection


25" Deep FireKing Cabinets with Medecco key locks and UL 1 hour fireproof and impact rated protection.


2 Hour Fire Safe Filing Cabinets from FireKing have the best UL rating possible to ensure complete integrity of your business paper documents.


Lateral File Cabinets for extra filing space are available in either 44", 38" or 31" wide versions to accommodate your office environment.


Compare Fire Safes and Brands

A Comparison of FireKing, Schwab Corp and Sentry Safes
When making your data or document storage safe decision you need to make sure you are buying a safe that meets all of your business needs and future storage and security goals. Be careful to review your options and features and always ask an expert! One safe brand may be right for your unique business needs, while a competitor brand may not!

Data / Media Storage Safe Comparison
Schwab Corp and FireKing make several models of safes for the storage of media that come in a variety of sizes, UL ratings and customized interior accessories.

UL Rating Comparison
Is your business located in an urban / city area? If yes then you will be okay with the industry standard 1 Hour fire rating label on your safe.

Is a 2 hour fire rating better than a 1 Hour rated safe? In terms of fire protection the 2 hour safe offers superior protection from fire disaster. Does this mean you need to have the higher rated safe? Technically no, as it depends on what your are storing and if your building is equipped with sprinkler systems, etc.

Schwab 1 Hour Safe FireKing 2 Hour Safe FireKing 3 Hour Safe

As you research to compare safes make sure to ask colleagues and other storage or physical security professionals about their own choices and experiences.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hard Drives

Choices, Choices, Choices...
No matter what your storage requirements might be you can choose from a wide range of manufacturers of hard drives that offer a choice of USB, Firewire, NAS or iSCSI transfer speeds in a variety of flavors, shapes and sizes.

Brand Consideration
While most consumers know that they can pick up a Maxtor, Western Digital or Seagate hard drive at any box store, there are several other brands to choose from that offer great storage capacity and backup features.

Want to get elegant about your storage? If you answered yes then you should take a look at the Lacie custom made artist / designer hard drives. These award winning products will look great sitting in that new home entertainment center.

Fujitsu recently announced their partnership with ioSafe for the manufacturing of fireproof backup - an internal hard drive that is waterproof and can withstand damage during a disaster such as fire, flood or sprinklers systems.

Connectivity - USB? FireWire? NAS?
Which hard drive is best for you? Well this can depend on the type of digital media that you are storing (photos, images, video, etc) as well as how fast you need to access this data. NAS or network attached storage can offer data transfer speeds of up to 1 GB per minute - perfect for showing off family photo slideshow at blazing speeds this holiday season :) This doesn't mean you can't do the same with USB 2.0 or FireWire 400 or 800, but you'll get that data faster on a network!

If you are sharing the backup drive at the office or at home, you'll appreciate the NAS version even more! But please don't loose any doubt about direct attached storage USB devices!

So what can you learn here? Looks at your options, make a comparison of the pros and cons of each brand and read a lot of reviews before making your purchase!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Compare Fireproof Data Storage Safes

Choosing the Best Safe for your Unique Business Needs
Part 1 of 3 in a Series for Comparing the Pros and Cons of Data Backup and Storage Products

There are many types, sizes and brands of data storage safes on the market today including industry leaders Schwab Corp, FireKing and ioSafe. While each of these safe manufacturers products have their own unique selling points, this series will compare, contrast and review each product as it relates to a a specific business problem or challenge and how each fireproof safe offers a solution.

Computer Media Storage Challenges
The proper storage of removable computer media tapes (DLT, LTO, etc) needs to be taken into consideration to prevent data loss, mitigate data security risks and improve both business operational objectives and meet storage goals.

Challenge Number #1
Improve Backup Media Security - this is accomplished by ensuring your safe is locked, has limited access control. Ensure that your safe has a lock that meets any federal or industry specifications. This can include HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) PCI storage requirements, etc. Data centers or locked door rooms are also optimal for achieving these goals.

Challenge Number # 2
Choosing the Right Fire Rating - the best fire rating for your unique business needs relates to you physical location and proximity to a local fire department. A one hour safe is typically the best choice for most businesses operating in a city / urban environment. Rural or remote office locations should strongly consider a fire safe with a 2 hour rating or the best 3 hour rating.

Challeng Number # 3
Improve Data Backup Strategy - if you have already implemented a tape backup strategy you should consider supplementing or replacing your tape drive system with a disk based solution. This will allow your to automate the data backup process as well as reduce yearly operating expenses by reducing the number of tape rotations. This can mean a drastic reduction in labor costs. It is suggested that if you supplement your tape media with hard drives that you still use a tape for weekly or monthly archiving of mission critical data.

A thorough review of ioSafe hardware to Dell, IBM, HP and other backup disk drives and servers will help you understand how combining fire protection, physical security and disk based backup into a single system or purchase offers better ROI in the short, medium and long term.

In the second part of this series will look more closely at each general data backup and storage challenge and provide complete lists of vendors, appliances, safes and solutions to both technology issues and solving business problems.