Ransomware attacks cause one fifth of infected SMEs to cease business operations immediately

More than one third of businesses have experienced a ransomware attack in the last year, while over one-in-five (22%) of these impacted companies had to cease operations immediately. That’s according to a study conducted by Malwarebytes.

The Annual State of Ransomware Report finds that the impact of ransomware on SMEs can be devastating. For roughly one-in-six of impacted organisations, a ransomware infection caused 25 or more hours of downtime, with some companies reporting that it caused systems to be down for more than 100 hours.

Further, among SMEs that experienced a ransomware attack, one-in-five (22%) reported that they had to cease business operations immediately, while 15% lost revenue.

“Businesses of all sizes are increasingly at risk of ransomware attacks,” said Marcin Kleczynski, CEO at Malwarebytes. “However, the stakes of a single attack for a small business are far different than those for a large enterpriseThe findings demonstrate that some SMEs are suffering in the wake of attacks to the point where they must cease business operations. To make matters worse, most of them lack the confidence in their ability to stop an attack, despite significant investments in defensive technologies. To be effective, the security community must thoroughly understand the battles that these companies are facing such that we can better protect them.”

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Most organisations make addressing ransomware a high priority, but still lack confidence in their ability to deal with it. 75% of those organisations surveyed place a high or very high priority on addressing the ransomware problem. Despite these investments, nearly 50% of the companies questioned expressed little to only moderate confidence in their ability to stop a ransomware attack.

For many, the source of ransomware is unknown and infections spread quickly. For 27% of organisations that suffered a ransomware infection, decision-makers couldn’t identify how the endpoint(s) became infected. Further, more than one third of ransomware infections spread to other devices. For 2% of the organisations surveyed, the ransomware infection impacted every device on the network.

SMEs in the US are being hit harder by malicious e-mails containing ransomware than SMEs in Europe. The most common source of ransomware infections in US-based organisations is related to e-mail use. 37% of attacks on SMEs in the US were reported as coming from a malicious e-mail attachment and 27% from a malicious link in an e-mail. However, in Europe, only 22% of attacks were reported as originating from a malicious e-mail attachment. An equal number were reported as having emanated from a malicious link in an e-mail.

Most SMEs don’t believe in paying ransomware demands. 72% of respondents believe that ransomware demands should never be paid. Most of the remaining organisations believe that demands should only be paid if the encrypted data is of value to the organisation. Among organisations that chose not to pay cyber criminals’ ransom demands, about one third of them lost files as a result.

Current investments in technology might not be enough. Over a third of SMEs claim to have been running anti-ransomware technologies, while about one third of businesses surveyed still experienced a ransomware attack.

“It’s clear from these findings that there’s widespread awareness of the threat of ransomware among businesses, but many organisations are not yet confident in their ability to deal with it,” said Adam Kujawa, director of malware intelligence at Malwarebytes. “Companies of all sizes need to remain vigilant and continue to place a higher priority on protecting themselves against ransomware.”

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Axis to host Partner Showcase event demonstrating “cutting edge surveillance technology for a connected world”

Axis Communications has announced the return of its flagship initiative designed to drive innovation through partnership – the Axis Partner Showcase event. The open day, to be held on 11 October in Knutsford, Cheshire will showcase industry-leading security systems from 35 vendors that complement Axis’ intelligent security solutions for enabling a smarter and safer world.

The innovative solutions to be showcased at the event promise to be diverse and go beyond security, ranging from the latest updates in retail analytics, behavioural analysis and sustainability through to hosted services and cyber security.

The Axis Partner Showcase event will be attended by organisations with expertise in areas such as access control and video management systems, among them Morphean, Milestone Systems, Genetec and ASSA Abloy. It provides the ideal forum for security integrators, installers and end users to experience these innovations in person.

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The drive for efficiency, security and staff safety is an essential focus for the security industry. Ensuring technology is not only fit for its intended purpose, but also fit for use in the future, are key drivers of this commitment. With innovation now a daily feature from a variety of market influencers, knowledge of how to best assess the potential of cutting-edge security technology is often ‘lost in the noise’.

Daren Lang, regional manager of business development in Northern Europe at Axis Communications, stated: “As connectivity and the integration of products continues, the security needs of businesses change. This opens up new possibilities. Our strategies and solutions must change to meet the new opportunities created. We’are thrilled to announce the return of the Axis Partner Showcase. This event is designed to demonstrate how our partners, in conjunction with ourselves, can deliver solutions that stand the test of time, whether looking at the shift from forensic to real time analysis, how to deal with issues around cyber security or keeping pace with new regulations such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.”

Lang added: “As security requirements shift, we see an increasing demand for alternative solutions. Instead of focusing on surveillance alone, businesses are increasingly seeking ways in which smart systems can be integrated, ensuring that technology is flexible and future facing. This is how we help to ensure that technology is not only fit for purpose, but also fit for the future.”

Atul Rajput, regional director for Northern Europe at Axis Communications, stated: “The pace of innovation is core to Axis’ philosophy. It’s of critical importance to keep each of our customers and partners up-to-date with the technology available today as well as its potential for tomorrow. The Axis Partner Showcase event brings this under one roof, providing the best forum available to experience these innovations in person.”

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Wisenet X sets the Benchmark with victory in 2017 Innovation Awards

Hanwha Techwin’s Wisenet X cameras have been selected as the winner of the Video Surveillance Hardware category in the Benchmark Innovation Awards 2017.

Designed to recognise and reward innovative thinking and the delivery of benefits through advanced security solutions, the awards scheme is run by Benchmark Magazine, the monthly publication which is widely regarded as the ‘Which?’ magazine for the electronic security industry and is the sister title of Risk UK and Professional Security Installer (PSI) at Pro-Activ Publications.

A Benchmark test team and an independent panel from the security industry judged across nine technology areas, with Wisenet X standing out against stiff competition as the winner of the Video Surveillance Hardware category.

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Defining a new standard

“When we launched the Wisenet X camera series earlier this year, we believed we had also delivered on our commitment to set a new standard for IP network video surveillance cameras,” said Bob Hwang, managing director at Hanwha Techwin Europe. “We’re absolutely delighted the innovative technology developed by our highly talented engineers and product management team has led to our Wisenet X cameras receiving this high profile and prestigious award.”

Equipped with 150 dB Wide Dynamic Range (WDR)  technology and a varifocal F0.94 low-light lens, Wisenet X cameras are ‘supercharged’ by the most powerful DSP chipset ever incorporated into a full camera range. Together, these features ensure that “superb quality” colour images are captured, regardless of the environment or the time of day, and without the need for IR LEDs or supplementary lighting.

The advanced 150 dB WDR technology built into many of the Wisenet X cameras and domes ensures clear, sharp images can be captured even when there may be strong contrasting lighting conditions. A standard WDR image is normally captured by composing two frames with different exposures. Wisenet X 150 dB WDR uses four frames to create a more natural image and negates the problem of image blurring which is a weakness of standard WDR.

Faster processing of video

With an all-new architecture, the Wisenet X chipset runs up to three times faster than older generations of chipsets. This delivers much faster processing of video as well as specialist analytics pre-loaded on board the cameras as standard. This includes people counting, which offers the opportunity to measure store efficiency between footfall and actual sales and also identifies the busiest days, times and seasons, as well as queue management to identify peaks and troughs of customer flow at checkouts.

Heat mapping provides accurate, real-time information about customer in-store behaviour. It does so by displaying ‘hotspots’ within a store to indicate customer buying patterns, including dwell times and areas of a store where there might be low activity in order to assist with product placement decisions.

Processing power

The processing power of the Wisenet X chipset also provides an opportunity to run multiple on-board third party analytics applications in the same way that we all use Apps on our smart phones. These include face recognition to assist security personnel to quickly identify known offenders and ANPR to control vehicle access to sensitive areas such as loading bays, as well as to manage car parking areas.

The latter serves to generate event notifications when an authorised vehicle number plate is recognised and can be configured to trigger access control operations such as opening/closing a barrier, as well as sending activity reports and snapshots via e-mail, FTP or SMS.

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Cougar Monitoring and BT Redcare to run joint Roadshow for fire and security installers in Midlands region

Led by Cougar Monitoring, the Roadshow will be hosted on Friday 6 October at one of BT’s key buildings in Birmingham city centre near to Birmingham New Street Station. In addition to presentations from representatives of Cougar and BT Redcare, there will also be representatives from the technical departments of both companies available for advice, guidance and training.

Eric Roberts, CEO of Cougar Monitoring, said: “BT Redcare has been in the alarm signalling market for over 30 years. The company is tried and tested and the majority of its products are third party certified. Having met with the new BT Redcare management team recently, it’s abundantly clear that they have a renewed focus and intention to work closer with both ourselves and installers. We’re delighted to join them to reinforce that message to our installers.”

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BT Redcare sits at the heart of home and business security, bridging the gap between customers, installers and Alarm Receiving Centres (ARCs). Backed by BT’s trusted technology and the largest R&D budget in the UK, the business has been leading the way in reliable alarm signalling. Having recently undertaken a refresh of its brand and approach to the market, the company has now pledged to work closer with ARCs and installers to help grow their businesses.

Cougar Monitoring was established in 1996 and holds a number of nationally-recognised accreditations. The business is registered by the Security Industry Authority as an Approved Contractor for key holding, security guarding and Public Space (CCTV) Surveillance and has also received the National Security Inspectorate’s Gold standard EMS and Health and Safety accreditations.

Cougar Monitoring is part of the Prime Interaction Group that also includes Securenett and Kings Security, making it one of the largest independent security groups in the UK. The company invests heavily in cutting-edge technology to provide clients with an “innovative and inclusive” security service. Its high specification alarm receiving and monitoring set-up enables the company to keep response times enviably sharp and to provide reliable and professional assistance.

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Going forward, Securenett will be recommending BT Redcare alarm signalling products to its customers.

Commenting on the Cougar initiative, John Ware (general manager of BT Redcare) said: “I met personally with the senior leaders of Cougar Monitoring recently and it’s clear that they, like us, are looking to the future and wish to expand their operation. We’re perfectly placed to help them do this. The combination of our expertise in the market and Cougar’s reach to installers means attendees at the Roadshow will receive the best advice, value and support from both companies.”

*Details of the Roadshow will be issued soon. In the meantime, installers wishing to register an interest in attending can do so online at www.formwize.com/cougarroadshow

 

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London Digital Security Centre introduces ‘Cyber Crisis Simulation’ event to help businesses prepare for cyber breaches

The London Digital Security Centre (LDSC) is inviting senior representatives from SMEs across London to attend its ‘Cyber Crisis Simulation’ Breakfast Briefing at the University of Greenwich. The event takes place on Thursday 3 August from 10.00 am to noon. The ‘Cyber Crisis Simulation’ itself will be run by Cyber Rescue, which is one of the LDSC’s carefully selected partners.

Reputations are ruined when businesses are unprepared for the consequences of a cyber breach. With that in mind, this new event will help businesses to prepare for the day that happens so that they can act accordingly in mitigating disaster.

The simulation will be based on learnings from over 100 major data breaches and cover the following topics: why shock and ambiguity are common responses in the Boardroom, where Command and Control systems are stressed after a major breach, who expects what among regulators, customers, partners and the police, how the exponential growth in cyber attacks puts jobs on the line and what companies can do today to protect themselves from the cyber attacks of tomorrow.

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There are an estimated one million SMEs operating in London and, each month, more than 1,000 of them report being the victim of a cyber crime or fraud to Action Fraud. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Report published in April this year found that just under half (46%) of all businesses have identified at least one breach or attack in the last year. Of those, 45% were micro or small businesses.

The new event is part of a series organised by the London Digital Security Centre to help protect businesses – and primarily micro to medium-sized concerns – to operate in a secure digital environment.

John Unsworth, CEO of the London Digital Security Centre, commented: “Small and medium-sized businesses shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that criminals don’t target them, or that they’re safe from online vulnerabilities. Any company that holds data is a viable target.”

For further details and to register for the event visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cyber-crisis-simulation-tickets-36271637444

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ONVIF publishes Release Candidate for Profile T on Advanced Video Streaming

ONVIF – the global standardisation initiative for IP-based physical security products – has announced the Release Candidate for Profile T, a draft specification with advanced streaming capabilities that includes support for H.265 video compression and an expanded feature set that extends the capabilities of ONVIF video Profiles for system integrators and end users alike. 

ONVIF Profile T for advanced streaming employs a new media service that enables the support of High Efficiency Video Coding based on the international H.265 video compression standard that specifies how to decode data into displayable video.

Profile T-conformant clients support both H.264 and H.265 video compression, while Profile T-conformant devices support at least one of these formats.

The new Profile also encompasses Transport Layer Security (TLS)-enabled communications and new functionalities such as bi-directional audio streaming, standardisation of events, imaging configuration and on screen display configuration.

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“Profile T broadens the scope of the ONVIF video profile to include both the H.264 video compression standard that’s widely used in video surveillance solutions today and H.265 video compression, which is set to become the de facto video compression standard in the very near future,” said Fredrik Svensson, chairman of ONVIF’s Profile T Working Group. “In addition to support for multiple video compression types, Profile T establishes conformance regarding motion detection, metadata streaming, analytics and other important features that ultimately offer an expanded and standardised feature set to system integrators and end users, in addition to interoperability between manufacturers’ solutions.”

Profile T for advanced streaming supports transport over Websockets, which allows end users to stream video to a browser instead of a VMS client. Profile T also features bi-directional audio that’s often used in city surveillance, transportation and parking security as well as for other security applications that require two-way audio communication. Support for the TLS protocol adds another level of security to communications between Profile T-conformant clients and devices.

Standardisation of events such as motion detection and tampering is included in Profile T. Digital input and relay output events are covered, as is their configuration through the device I/O service which can expedite installation.

Profile T allows motion region detector configuration through the analytics service, which means that a specific area of an image can be selected for analysis. Streaming of metadata – such as events and analytics data – is also covered by Profile T.

ONVIF circulates a new Profile first as a Release Candidate for at least six months, allowing members and stakeholders a final implementation review. When that process is complete, the final Profile is published and technology providers will be able to test their products for conformance to the final version of Profile T. This process is intended to allow members to more quickly introduce conformant products when the final version of Profile T is released in 2018.

*Further information about the Release Candidate of ONVIF Profile T and ONVIF conformant products, including the vendors and the conformant models, is available on the ONVIF website: www.onvif.org

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TDSi names ABCA Systems as ‘UK Partner of the Year – North’

Integrated security solutions developer TDSi has announced that ABCA Systems is the company’s ‘UK Partner of the Year – North’. The accolade was recently presented to ABCA’s managing director Philip Miller by TDSi channel partner manager Neil Hughes after IFSEC International 2017.

Speaking after the award was presented, Miller commented: “I’m delighted and proud to accept this award on behalf of the entire team at ABCA. We work very closely with TDSi to ensure our customers receive the best security solutions. We specify TDSi products because they offer outstanding quality of service and value for money, which helps us to provide our clients with very attractive levels of RoI in a highly competitive market. We very much look forward to continuing and growing our highly successful partnership.”

Neil Hughes of TDSi presents the award to ABCA_s Managing Director, Philip Miller

Commenting on the presentation of the award, Neil Hughes added: “ABCA has continuously proven and demonstrated the highest levels of technical expertise, market awareness and professionalism which makes the business an ideal TDSi partner.”

Hughes continued: “Backed by a highly keen interest in the market, ABCA has grown its business with TDSi significantly throughout the last 12 months. A stand-out project has been the access control solution realised in seven schools in South Yorkshire. This award is richly deserved and we’re proud to be forging a continued partnership of success.”

Established back in 1986, ABCA Systems is a UK-wide specialist electrical systems provider with an enviable reputation for experience, expertise and excellence. The company provides myriad products, systems and services to large public sector organisations and private residential homeowners alike.

ABCA specialises in providing and installing multi-disciplined, fully-integrated systems. The company’s proud of its ‘One Call, We Do It All’ tradition, whereby ABCA will survey, design, quote, install and maintain a given security system, in turn eliminating the need for multiple contractors to handle multiple systems.

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