360 Vision Technology joins Zitko Talent training programme to impart surveillance-focused expertise

360 Vision Technology – the UK manufacturer of rugged HD, radar and thermal imaging PTZ cameras – has now entered into an enhanced partnership with Zitko and its Talent Programme (a growing alliance of tech providers, educators and manufacturers, all of whom are dedicated to attracting and developing the next generation of fire and security engineers).

With regard to developing and deploying CCTV technologies for the most demanding security requirements and physical conditions, Zitko Talent’s course content will draw on 360 Vision Technology’s expertise in the field of surveillance camera and detection technology.

360 Vision Technology will be running generic course modules on CCTV theory, applications and system design considerations, as well as providing certified product training to Zitko Talent trainee engineers working with their products.

The partnership is active immediately and comes as Zitko Talent welcomes its first quarterly intake of trainees. These include graduates, career changers and experienced engineers entering from other industries.

Developing new talent 

“I’ve worked with Zitko to resource engineering positions for several years now and we’re very pleased to be supporting its new Talent initiative,” enthused Sara Fisher, sales director at 360 Vision Technology. “Developing new talent is the only way in which to solve the looming technical skills shortage and we’re determined to give trainees the strongest possible grounding in CCTV. We’re really looking forward to working with our colleagues across the industry with a view towards making the programme a resounding success.”

George Zitko, managing director at Zitko Consulting, responded: “Manufacturers can play an immense role in developing the next generation of fire and security engineers and it’s terrific to have 360 Vision Technology on board. I cannot think of a better and more innovative company to lead on the subject of CCTV education. The business has a formidable technical team and an outstanding track record having delivered some of the most challenging CCTV solutions seen anywhere in the world. Welcoming them to the initiative is another major milestone for Zitko Talent.”

*For more details about the Zitko Talent Programme visit https://www.zitko.co.uk/divisions/talent

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“IP address key in countering brute force cyber attacks” asserts Verizon

Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report shows that 80% of the breaches caused by hacking involve brute force tactics or the use of lost or stolen credentials. Content Management Systems (CMS) are the usual targets of brute force attacks as over 39% of all websites run on WordPress, the most popular CMS of all.

Cyber criminals choose to attack pages built on CMS because they usually have the same admin page URL across websites and the default login credentials are identical, making these pages a vulnerable target. However, developers and admins can mitigate the risk by reducing IP access to the admin site login page. 

A brute force attack (sometimes referred to as brute force ‘cracking’) is a method of trying various possible passwords until the right one is found. Despite being old, the method is still widely used by hackers who attempt to gain access to a valid account. It allows bad actors to compromise the whole website and use it as a part of their network.

With more people now working remotely amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the number of brute force attacks against remote desktops via Windows’ Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) has soared. Indeed, that number reached nigh on 100,000 attacks each day during last April and May.

In the worse case scenario, criminals can steal important data, such as passwords, pass phrases, e-mail addresses or PINs. They also use compromised websites for various fraud schemes, whereas pages themselves can be included in Google’s #blacklist’ and, as such, become invisible in search results.

Failed authentications

“Developers and admins can indicate an ongoing brute force attack by looking at failed authentications,” explained Juta Gurinaviciute, CTO at NordVPN Teams. “If the same IP address unsuccessfully tries to login to various accounts or different IP addresses are attempting to access one account in a short period of time, this is a clear sign of a data breach attempt.”

As the IP address is one of the indicators of a cyber attack, it can also be a cure. On that basis, it’s wise for companies to reduce the ‘surface area’ available for attack and limit access to the login page. This can be done by making use of IP allowlist, blocklist and fixed IP techniques.

Previously known as whitelist, IP allowlist is a set of IP addresses that have access to a specific website. The developer can specify which IP addresses are allowed to reach an admin login page and perform actions there. It’s also possible to indicate a range of IP addresses that can obtain authorised access. The latter solution is useful within bigger organizations or if numerous people require access to the website. 

However, Internet Service Providers may be changing IP addresses frequently and, as a result, the allowlist might constantly become outdated. This solution only works, then, if there’s a pool of limited IP addresses in use or the changes take place within the specific range.

Intrusion prevention frameworks

Also known as blacklist, IP blocklist is the exact opposite of the previously mentioned IP address directory as it blocks access to websites from the specified IP addresses. As this is difficult to do on a manual basis, admins and developers may employ intrusion prevention frameworks such as Fail2Ban. The framework automatically blocks IP addresses after a few unsuccessful authorisation attempts.

On the other hand, website owners can block the particular IP addresses as well as the whole IP address range. If a company notices that suspicious attacks from specific IP addresses persist, the management team should consider adding them to the blocklist.

Further, IP blocklist can also be used for geo-blocking as the IP address carries the information about where the request was sent from in the first instance. 

The third solution for minimising unauthorised access is the fixed IP method. As already mentioned, developers can limit availability of the login page to a set of trusted IP addresses. With fixed IP, they reduce the risk of IP sharing when a number of devices use the same IP address. This often leads to the ‘bad neighbour effect’ as, due to the deeds of other users, IP addresses end up in various blocked or spam lists.

The fixed IP method can be offered by Internet Service Providers and VPN services alike, but the latter ensures browsing privacy as an additional benefit.

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Quanika-Anixter global distribution deal set to streamline Axis Communications and Milestone integrations

What’s being described as a “landmark” global distribution deal signed between Anixter and Quanika opens up a ‘one-stop shop’-style supply route for major integration projects, making it easy to incorporate Best-in-Class Axis and Milestone video technology with Quanika’s access control and visitor management software. The deal enables off-the-shelf integration with a wide range of third party systems. 

The global distribution deal with Anixter streamlines delivery of major integration projects across both the private and public sector markets. ICT and security systems integrators can now purchase Quanika software direct from Anixter to integrate a full choice of vendor technologies, ensuring efficient procurement and giving them everything they need for project delivery.

Quanika software meets the security, safety and operational demands of companies ranging from SMEs through to corporate enterprise, Government and multi-site applications, duly enabling off-the-shelf integration with a wide range of vendor technologies and systems.

“The addition of Quanika software to Anixter’s global product portfolio provides compelling options for systems integrator customers to deliver end-to-end security and safety integrated solutions,” explained Phil Campbell, European sales director at Quanika. “With Quanika Enterprise, users are no longer constrained by having only a limited number of cameras and devices from which to choose. For the first time, Quanika allows integrators to scale-up AXIS Camera Station VMS to manage larger and multiple sites from a single user interface, while adopting powerful Milestone XProtect functionality for facilities and specific channels where it’s needed the most.”

Quanika’s solutions have been deployed and developed at high-profile sites across Europe, and the company has gained a growing reputation for being able to adapt its off-the-shelf software quickly, adding new integrations to meet site-specific challenges.

Campbell added that the agreement with Anixter will also help integrators and their customers to adapt to the challenges now facing all organisations. 

“Operational efficiency is now more important than ever, while our straightforward approach towards corporate-wide systems allows people to work more safely, flexibly and securely in today’s challenging environments,” he observed. “We now look forward to working with Anixter’s customers to deliver seamless solutions on major projects around the world.”

*For more information on Quanika’s solutions visit quanika.com or email info@quanika.com

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Kings Secure Technologies awarded security guarding services contract by international courier Hermes

Security services and solutions provider Kings Secure Technologies has been awarded a contract by courier business Hermes for the provision of security guarding services across its entire UK property estate. 

Throughout an intensive tendering process, Kings Secure Technologies demonstrated its ability to deliver first-class security teams covering all of Hermes’ sites, in turn affording the client complete confidence in service delivery and management. As part of the mix, Kings Secure Technologies will be realising its commitment to continued innovation and improvement.

Commenting on the contract win, Carrie Eastwood (director of security personnel at Kings Secure Technologies) explained to Security Matters: “Hermes UK is an internationally-recognised company and we’re delighted to have been selected to work with them. We now look forward to building a strategic partnership with Hermes and delivering first class security services for the benefit of the company’s operations, personnel and assets.”

John Ferguson, head of loss prevention at Hermes, responded: “This contract award demonstrates that Kings Secure Technologies is continuing to strengthen its positioning the UK security services market. We’re pleased to work with a leading company that values safety and security and continually invests to protect its resources and people.”

Headquartered in West Yorkshire with satellite offices in Scotland, the Midlands, London and the South East, Kings Secure Technologies focuses on delivering cutting-edge innovative solutions that ensure a full end-to-end risk management approach for its clients. 

The company’s Technology Monitoring Centres work in tandem with the DYMENSION data and incident trend app to provide clients with round-the-clock monitoring and intelligence-led analysis and reporting, actively preventing criminal activity at myriad locations across the UK.

Disrupting child exploitation

In parallel, Kings Secure Technologies has recently joined forces with leading children’s charity Barnardo’s to help disrupt child exploitation in the city of Bradford’s night-time economy.

Child exploitation occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or otherwise deceive a child or a young person under the age of 18 into sexual or criminal activity. Offenders target children and use emotional, financial or physical power over the child in an effort to abuse them.

Given its extensive network of security officers operating across the UK, Kings Secure Technologies recognised that it could help to prevent child exploitation in Bradford and, on that basis, has linked with Barnardo’s to work the latter’s Trusted Relationship Group Work Programme.

The team from the Trusted Relationship Group Work Programme will be operating alongside Kings Secure Technologies’ security officers, initially in the West Yorkshire region, and teaching them how to look out for the signs of child exploitation, speak out on the matter and adopt a zero tolerance approach.

Kings Security Technologies’ Security Personnel division provides security guarding services on a 24/7/365 basis. Each of its security officers is Security Industry Authority-licensed and trained. They’re often the ‘eyes and ears’ on the ground, with an increased presence during the hours of darkness. It follows that developing the Kings Secure Technologies guarding team member to be fully aware of chiled exploitation is key to the company’s safeguarding efforts.

Tackling the issue

Marianne Wadsworth, who leads on the Trusted Relationship Group Work Programme for Barnardo’s, stated: “Exploitation is occurring. It’s an issue that we can all help to tackle just by opening our eyes and allowing ourselves to really see what’s happening before us and speaking up. The victims of exploitation often don’t recognise they’re being exploited so we should all know the signs to look out for and feel confident to report any concerns.”

Barnardo’s is the UK’s largest children’s charity. Established by Dr Thomas Barnardo, the charity celebrated its 150th Anniversary in 2016. Each day, the organisation works to transform the lives of the UK’s most vulnerable children and, every year, helps thousands of families to build a better future.

Last year, more than 300,000 children, young people and families were supported by Barnardo’s through upwards of 1,000 services across the UK.

The charity works with young carers, care leavers, young people at risk of child sexual exploitation, disabled young people, foster carers and adoptive parents and provides training, skills and parenting classes.

Bob Forsyth, CEO at Kings Secure Technologies, concluded: “Our partnership with Barnardo’s is an exciting development and demonstrates how, as a business working within the night-time economy, we can play an active role in safeguarding children and young people. The training provided by Trusted Relationship Group Work Programme initiates advice, support and guidance on how to spot the signs of child sexual exploitation, child criminal exploitation, county lines, modern slavery and human trafficking. It’s absolutely vital.”

*Further information on the work of Kings Secure Technologies and the breadth of services provided by the company can be found online at www.kingsltd.co.uk

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Magenta Security’s leader warns of modern day slavery “hiding in plain sight”

Abbey Petkar, the managing director of security guarding solutions provider Magenta Security, is advising businesses of all shapes and sizes that they might unwittingly be supporting modern day slavery through their use of low-cost security providers.

The Magenta Security team has recently lost tenders against low-cost security providers that charge workers out at less than £10 per hour, which Magenta believes is a commercially unsustainable position. When legally required taxes, pensions and other statutory requirements (such as holidays) are added to the National Minimum Wage, it’s then impossible to charge such low rates, yet some continue to do so.

By hiring these low-cost security providers, businesses are often unwittingly going against their own Corporate Social Responsibility and anti-slavery policies, while at the same time allowing “criminal” levels of pay to continue.

Abbey Petkar

Magenta is strongly advising business owners and directors alike to pay special attention to workers’ pay and check their own systems and processes thoroughly to ensure they’re not part of the problem by condoning this practice.

“There are any number of perfectly innocent reasons why this is happening, and people might genuinely be receiving a good deal,” commented Petkar. “Perhaps workers on the ground making decisions have seen a good price and not considered the consequences. Perhaps the security firm is providing officers as a loss leader for other services. However, in most cases low-cost traders are at fault, abusing their workforce, paying below the National Minimum Wage and getting away with it because the officers are desperate for work.”

In conversation with Security Matters, Petkar concluded: “Owners, directors and managers of companies need to be made aware of what’s going on within their businesses and they need to react accordingly. While the actual criminal behaviour in this scenario might lie at the door of the security provider, I think we can all agree that it’s morally criminal for organisations to knowingly use cheap solution providers who, in turn, violate the basic rights of their workers and are therefore complicit in modern day slavery.”

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Dahua’s TMAC integration with PAC access control helps keep workplaces safe

PAC has produced an integration guide for Dahua’s Thermal Monitoring Access Control (TMAC) terminal to allow easy checking of an individual’s temperature as well as confirmation that a face mask is being worn when someone’s entering a building or any area secured by PAC access control. This integration guide is for use in the UK, Europe and the APAC region.

As businesses continue to adapt to the current COVID-19 measures, building managers need technology to help them enhance the safety of building occupants. In conjunction with other measures and procedures, and as part of an overall strategy, thermal monitoring and automated face mask detection presents an additional method for controlling security and adherence to safety measures by visitors to a given building.

PAC’s long-standing tradition of security integration with Time and Attendance, CCTV monitoring and other building and occupancy control services is now extended to the Dahua TMAC terminal, which has the functionality to check a person’s temperature and determine if a face mask is being worn when they’re entering a building or specific area.

This integration with Dahua’s TMAC allows access rights for individuals to be dynamically managed. By taking an output from the Dahua TMAC into the PAC access control system, access rights can be withdrawn for anyone not meeting the safety standards required to gain entrance.

Integrators will find set-up simple, with only some basic wiring and a few configuration settings within the Dahua TMAC required in order for the system to be ready and active. For end users, access control list set-up and management are also easy with a single access control system provided for the management of all secured areas and entrances.

Multifactor authentication supports the Dahua temperature and mask checking functionality before being able to use the PAC access control ID device to unlock the secured entrance.

A single keyholder database enables the clear demarcation of building controls as the PAC access control system is used for all access control and the Dahua TMAC is effectively employed as an added check for temperature and mask wearing.

*To access a copy of the integration visit http://pacgdx.com/products/dahua-tmac-integration-with-pac

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Eagle Eye Networks appoints David Barr as enterprise sales manager for EMEA

Eagle Eye Networks, the global leader in smart cloud video security, has appointed David Barr as enterprise sales manager for Europe in order to build the enterprise market segment throughout the region.

Barr has 30 years of experience in the security industry, joining Eagle Eye Networks after 17 years with Xtralis ADPRO, which in recent times was acquired by Honeywell. 

In his new role, Barr will work with Eagle Eye Networks’ global and EMEA end users and partners to develop their strategy as the security market transitions from an on-premise recorder market to a true cloud market for video surveillance. 

“This change isn’t happening overnight, but the great thing about Eagle Eye Networks is the possibility to start with a hybrid on-premise and cloud solution where clients can immediately see the benefits of the cloud without investing in new hardware,” explained Barr.

David Barr

“Eagle Eye Networks works with more than 3,500 existing analogue or IP cameras. Even DVRs can now be directly connected to the cloud. This is a game-changer for those companies wishing to upgrade their video surveillance, migrate to the cloud for additional cyber security and better manage their operations in a multi-site environment.” 

Rishi Lodhia, managing director for the EMEA region, added: “The creation of this new role and the experience David brings to Eagle Eye Networks illustrates the company’s continued growth and commitment to support enterprise customers within the region. Enterprise customers are transitioning rapidly to the cloud due to easy API integrations and open platform capabilities.”  

This appointment follows the recent announcement of an investment in Eagle Eye Networks of $40 million from Accel such that the business can further develop its cloud solution and Artificial Intelligence capabilities globally.  

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First Response Group listed in Sunday Times ‘10 Fast-Track Ones to Watch’

Yorkshire-based security and facilities service provider the First Response Group is featured in the latest Sunday Times ‘10 Fast-Track Ones to Watch’ listed. The business has been recognised as one of the companies set to grow rapidly and shows the potential to secure its place in the ‘Fast Track 100’ in the future.

Businesses are identified based on factors such as past sales, growth forecasts, international expansion and external investment. This summer, the Leeds-based company competed a £6 million refinancing agreement, allowing it to continue the strong growth it has experienced over the last few years.

A series of targeted acquisitions – coupled with recent high-profile tender wins in the insurance, corporate and construction sectors which accelerated the company’s growth – triggered the need to increase available working capital for business continuity and future investment.

Founded back in 2007 by directors Jamal Tahlil and Edgar Chibaka, First Response Group provides security, fire and facilities management services for customers including Aldi and the NHS. Sales this year have risen by 51% to hot a total of £18.6 million.

Simon Alderson, CEO at the First Response Group, said: “It’s an honour to be named as one of The Sunday Times’ ‘10 Fast-Track Ones to Watch’. The extraordinary growth we’ve seen over the past few years has firmly established the First Response Group as a rising star in the security industry, and this achievement recognises the dedication and hard work shown by our entire team.”

Alderson added: “This summer’s funding, coupled with our mission to provide the best service and innovation possible by cultivating a culture of employee inclusion and happiness, will continue to position First Response Group as a leader in the security and FM solutions markets.” First Response Group holds the coveted National Security Inspectorate Guarding Gold accreditation and, as an Approved Contractor Scheme Pacesetter, is ranked in the Top 15% of firms registered on the Security Industry Authority’s Approved Contractor Scheme.

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Banham Academy apprentice “sets benchmark” for fire and security sector

The South West London-based Banham Academy continues to pave the way within the security skills and learning sector thanks to an outstanding achievement by apprentice Elliot Veheary.

Veheary has passed the End Point Assessment Level 3 for the Fire, Emergency and Security Systems Apprenticeship Standard. That achievements marks a significant milestone not only for his career, but also for the skills training provider itself as Veheary is the first Banham apprentice to pass the necessary assessment at the Banham Academy.

This achievement is a true testament to Banham’s long-standing commitment when it comes to investing in young people by providing them with the necessary technical and vocational skills they require to embark on a career within the security and fire industries.

Since its inception, the Banham Academy has had over 100 apprentices successfully enrol on its industry-leading skills and training programmes. The business remains one of the largest industry providers of training in England and was the first End Point Assessment Centre for the Fire, Emergency and Security Systems Apprenticeship Standard.

Elliot Veheary

Formal skills measurement

The End Point Assessment takes place over two days, involving the formal measurement of practical skills, knowledge and behaviours via a professional discussion.

Once successfully completed, the apprentice is then able to apply for membership of the Institution of Engineering and Technology as an engineering technician. This demonstrates to employers that the individual has had their competence independently assessed and their credentials verified.

Also, the apprentice will have accredited prior learning for a Gold card under the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme.

Kevin Faulkner, head of the Banham Academy, explained: “Elliot’s achievement in passing the Apprenticeship Standard through our End Point Assessment Centre is a proud moment for us all at Banham. Not only is Elliot the first Banham apprentice to pass, but his achievement showcases the quality of talent that’s being cultivated through our specialist training programme. The level of skill and knowledge being demonstrated by young apprentices like Elliot is setting a new benchmark in the fire and security industry.”

Faulkner added: “I strongly encourage all employers in our industry to take on more apprentices. There are so many capable young people who are motivated and committed to bettering their futures and simply require an opportunity to do so. These homegrown, talented, young apprentices are truly shaping the future of our industry.”

The Banham Academy

Engineering career

Croydon-based Veheary joined the Banham Academy three years ago after completing a City & Guilds electrician course, which gave him the insight to find a career as an engineer. He has thrived during his time as an apprentice, duly showcasing significant personal development, and is now an integral member of the Banham team.

Veheary said: “I’m really proud of passing the Apprenticeship Standard and also being the first apprentice at Banham to do this. This is a huge personal achievement for me and I’m really thankful to the Banham Academy for all the support given to me along the way. Since joining the apprenticeship scheme I’ve learned so much. Everyone has made me feel welcomed and included as part of the team.”

He concluded: “To have been given an opportunity as a Banham apprentice has been life-changing for me. I couldn’t recommend the Academy more highly to anyone looking to gain a career in the industry. Within three years, I’m now able to install, commission and maintain even the most complex of security systems. I’m looking forward to continuing my career with Banham.”

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Brivo partners with Reliance High-Tech to accelerate growth of cloud-based access control for UK and European enterprises

Brivo has announced a new partnership with Reliance High-Tech, the independent security systems integrator serving the UK and Europe. As cloud-based access control adoption continues to grow across Europe, Reliance High-Tech will add Brivo to its service offer, thereby delivering on its commitment to bring key technology innovation and excellence in customer support to the market.

Both companies share a passion for innovation and forward-thinking technology and boast a record of high standards in customer service and support.

With 20 years of experience gained from delivering cloud-based security, Brivo replaces on-premises solutions for single-site, multi-site and enterprise businesses across multiple industries.

There are three key benefits of upgrading to a cloud-based system including the ability to access sites at all times from anywhere, save on security professionals’ time and money by giving them more efficient tools and using data to make better informed decisions about security requirements.

Elevation in demand

“The global pandemic has elevated the demand for cloud-based security that’s accessible from anywhere, is mobile-enabled, increases efficiency and is affordable,” explained Steve Van Till, CEO at Brivo. “Partners like Reliance High-Tech are helping to drive the adoption of cloud solutions to provide all commercial properties with better solutions to protect people and property.”

Tom Clarke, sales and marketing director for Reliance High-Tech, responded: “We’re really excited to partner with Brivo. Across our various markets, we’ve seen an opportunity to deliver more agile and robust security solutions while also noting that cloud-based access control demand has been accelerated by the pandemic. Adding Brivo to our portfolio allows us to bring Best-in-Class cloud-based access control options to our customers.”

Jon Polon, senior director of business development for Brivo, concluded: “Reliance High-Tech is an important partner for us. As the market for cloud-based access control continues to grow internationally, partners like Reliance High-Tech can engage with enterprise businesses to help them realise the many benefits of cloud computing.”

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