Daily Archives: 07/08/2013

Frost & Sullivan: “Biometrics can revolutionise mobile payment security”

In terms of ‘pure’ payment protection, biometrics offer “undeniably higher levels of security” coupled with an “intuitive customer experience”.

With the explosion in smartphone usage, the number of payments carried out via mobile devices has significantly increased over recent years.

As eCommerce becomes mCommerce, the industry has to focus on payment security. During a Card Not Present process, a personal account number (PAN), expiration date and card validation code (CVC) are not enough to completely secure a transaction. Biometrics that provide high levels of security and an intuitive customer experience might be the solution for secure mobile payments.

“Protecting the mobile device itself is a first step towards secure mobile payments,” explained Jean-Noel Georges, Frost & Sullivan’s global program director, ICT in financial services. “Although a personal identification number (PIN) can do the job, in 2011 more than 60% of smartphone users were not using a PIN to protect their mobile access.”

Biometrics could be the future key to mobile payment security

Biometrics could be the future key to mobile payment security

Over the past decade many biometric projects have emerged with the aim of enabling user identification on mobile devices. In Europe, the MOBIO (Mobile Biometry) Project is noteworthy, with the aim to develop advanced biometric tech solutions for authentication on personal mobile devices.

Leveraging the existing technologies embedded within these devices (eg headphones, microphone and camera), the optimal solutions included voice and facial recognition as well as bi-modal authentication.

“The time is now right for biometric technology to emerge as a secure solution for mobile applications that require high levels of security, particularly payment,” said Georges. “From a pure payment security point of view, biometrics has already delivered significant advantages.”

Need for simple and intuitive payment solutions

The need to have a simple and intuitive payment solution precedes success. Natural Security, for example, developed a biometric Point of Sale (POS) solution based on fingerprint (veins or digital) recognition. The fingerprint reader connects to a contactless object (contactless card) to verify that the identified personal data matches the information stored on the card. This is a practically effortless payment mechanism that doesn’t require a PIN or card and provides a great customer experience.

“One potential mobile development could have a huge impact on biometric security solutions,” added Georges. “Rumours persist that the next iPhone will include a fingerprint sensor. Given that Apple acquired Authentec – with its TouchChip product family – in 2012, this is a strong possibility.”

The need for remembering PINs could soon become a thing of the past. With biometrics the user is the unique key to the device, application and payment security, making it a high rank of protection. However, even if these technologies are ready, the cost and complexity of integrating them into mobile devices make widespread roll-out a huge challenge.

Moreover, the end user will need time to accept this new way of interacting with his or her device.

Other projects have already appeared that use an individual’s personal magnetic field as an identifying signature. “We expect to see biometrics becoming increasingly prevalent over the course of the next three to four years,” concluded Georges, “driven by a desire among vendors and consumers alike to be better protected when accessing mobile services.”

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“Transformational growth” delivered at Reliance High-Tech

An emphasis on IP technologies and security software integration has generated strong first quarter results for the security integrator.

The strategy of focusing on specialist technologies for markets where security is a business critical issue is reaping rewards for Reliance High-Tech.

A new breed of IT-centric solutions has stimulated growth across integrated IP, Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) and networked digital interviewing markets.

The strategy has yielded a diversity of new customers including Pfizer, Newell Rubbermaid and Loughborough University. It has also resulted in major projects with EDF Energy Nuclear New Build and a new deep-sea container port and logistics park in the Thames Estuary, where Reliance has integrated traditional and new technologies to protect critical infrastructure programs.

Terry Sallas: managing director at Reliance High-Tech

Terry Sallas: managing director at Reliance High-Tech

This success is coupled to new long-term frameworks with (among others) Western Power Distribution and the National Health Service, and consolidates Reliance’s position across the criminal justice, utilities, education and healthcare sectors.

Tangible results include sales in excess of £10 million in the first financial quarter, up 140% on the previous year.

Blending of security and IT expertise

Terry Sallas, managing director of Reliance High-Tech, commented: “We recognise that issues such as IT convergence, disruptive technologies and evolving security threats will increasingly coexist with traditional security needs.”

He continued: “Through blending security and IT expertise and collaborating with specialist partners, we’re providing solutions that improve security and address complex technical issues pragmatically and efficiently. This approach has increased the proximity to our customers and created new opportunities.”

Reliance High-Tech's company logo

Reliance High-Tech’s company logo

Looking ahead, Reliance High-Tech will continue to embrace new technology shifts and grow its capabilities in security-based software, data mining and analytics.

Later this year, the company is set to launch its 720˚ Security Solution, a multi-dimensional offering addressing a diverse spectrum of security issues from the protection of physical and logical assets through to the remote monitoring of critical systems and the protection of lone workers.

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Securitas AB issues Interim Report for January-June 2013

The Securitas AB Interim Report for the period January-June 2013 has been issued this morning.

The topline figures from April through until June are as follows:

• Total sales: MSEK 16 510 (16 970)
• Organic sales growth: 1% (0)
• Operating income before amortisation: MSEK 809 (717)
• Operating margin: 4.9% (4.2)
• Earnings per share SEK: 1.26 (0.90)

The figures for the period January-June 2013 are as follows:

• Total sales: MSEK 32 370 (33 234)
• Organic sales growth: 1% (1)
• Operating income before amortisation: MSEK 1 558 (1 437)
• Operating margin: 4.8% (4.3)
• Earnings per share: SEK 2.30 (1.85)
• Free cash flow/net debt: 0.15 (0.15)

Comments from the President and CEO

Speaking about this latest set of figures, Alf Göransson (President and CEO at Securitas) commented: “The organic sales growth was 1% and reflected the challenging macroeconomic situation that prevails in Europe. The security market in countries such as France, Portugal and Spain continues to deteriorate. The US economy seems to be in a slow and gradual recovery mode. Latin America continued to show strong organic sales growth.”

Alf Göransson: president and CEO at Securitas

Alf Göransson: president and CEO at Securitas

Göransson continued: “The operating margin improved in all divisions compared to the previous year, mainly driven by the various restructuring and cost saving actions taken in 2012. We achieved cost savings according to our restructuring plan.”

The CEO also stated: “In 2012, the sales of security solutions and technology represented approximately 6% of Group sales. We have set a target to triple this share of sales by the end of 2015. We continued to increase our investments in resources within security solutions and technology, and in the first half of 2013 we were at 7%.”

Healthcare reform in the USA delayed

Talking about the US market, Göransson explained: “The main aspects impacting Securitas of the US law mandating employers to offer health care benefits to full-time employees has been delayed for one year and will apply first as of 2015. This will give us more time to comply with the new legislation, and also allow us to progressively adjust our offering to our clients.”

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