Monthly Archives: February 2014

Home Office/Security Industry Authority: ‘Revised timetable for business licensing’

On Thursday 27 February, at a meeting of the Security Industry Authority’s (SIA) Strategic Consultative Group, Home Office officials updated representatives of the private security industry on the timetable for introducing business licensing.

The group was told that the Home Office remains committed to introducing business licensing.

The necessary arrangements to allow the SIA to start accepting business licence applications in April 2014 are not yet in place, and therefore the ‘Open for Business’ date has been postponed.

The Home Office will announce a revised business licensing timetable as soon as possible.

The private security industry will be given at least three months’ notice of the ‘Open for Business’ date.

SIA CEO Bill Butler

SIA CEO Bill Butler

Revised dates will allow at least six months between the ‘Open for Business’ date and the legal requirement date (when it will become a legal requirement for businesses to hold a licence).

The legal requirement date remains set at 6 April 2015.

The Strategic Consultative Group comprises representatives from the private security industry, the SIA, the Home Office, the Scottish Government, the Department of Justice Northern Ireland, the industry skills sector, Parliament and other parties interested in the private security industry.

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MITIE TSM wins Workforce Safety accolade at UK Rail Industry Awards

MITIE has won an award at the UK Rail Industry Awards for Workforce Safety, recognising the company’s significant contribution to the effective and efficient running of the UK’s rail industry.

The company beat off strong competition to secure the endorsement of the independent judges at the UK rail industry event, which was attended by over 600 industry professionals.

MITIE’s Total Security Management (TSM) business was given the award because of its work with partner Reference Point and client Network Rail, the operators of Britain’s rail infrastructure.

Implementation of the Sentinel scheme

Employees needed a safe and practical tool for managing access to track sites, so MITIE TSM commissioned a platform with the objective of ensuring no-one undertakes an activity unless they have been trained and assessed as competent.

MITIE's new corporate logo

MITIE’s new corporate logo

Working with software partner Reference Point, MITIE TSM’s team implemented the enhanced, fully managed Sentinel scheme – a card system that ensures each and every track worker is fit, trained and competent to start work on Network Rail’s infrastructure.

The new Sentinel card system enables 100% authentication of staff training. With the old system only an estimated 2% of cards were authenticated.

Also, the system provides access to the UK’s only large shared access lone worker protection system.

The partnership has enabled Network Rail to implement a solution that meets the rail industry’s workforce competence and skills checking needs, as well as improving workforce safety for its trackside workforce.

Significance of the technology

Darren Gamage, technology services director for MITIE TSM, said: “I’m delighted this unique and industry leading system has been recognised. This is testament to how significant the technology will be in improving safety across more workforces, not only in the transport sector but across any industry. We see significant opportunities in other sectors with safety-critical activities.”

MITIE TSM's Darren Gamage (second from right) picks up the award

MITIE TSM’s Darren Gamage (second from right) picks up the award

Gareth Llewellyn, director of safety and sustainable development at Network Rail, added: “New Sentinel is the passport for working on our network safely. Technology has moved on apace since we introduced the original Sentinel back in 1999. The opportunity to take advantage of smartcard and smartphone technology will take Sentinel to the next level, providing us with benefits that we haven’t seen before.”

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BTP investigation launched following sale of fake Beyonce tickets

Detectives from British Transport Police are investigating more than 100 cases of ticket fraud relating to Beyonce’s recent concerts at the Phones 4U Arena in Manchester.

Detective Constable Mike Dermody commented: “It seems that someone has been selling fake tickets to concert goers who only realise the tickets aren’t genuine when they reach the venue. We believe there have been more than 140 sets of fake tickets sold, though only seven victims have come forward so far.”

Dermody added: “In most cases, the tickets have sold for at least £100 each and each victim has bought at least two tickets, so we are potentially looking at a fraud worth more than £28,000.”

Each transaction has taken place over the Internet using public selling websites, with the victims arranging to meet someone in Manchester to pick up the tickets.

Beyonce: currently on tour in the UK

Beyonce: currently on tour in the UK

“We believe the victims of this fraudster will be spread far and wide as people travel from all over the UK to see Beyonce,” commented Dermody. “Therefore, we’re appealing to anyone who has been sold fake tickets but has not yet spoken to the police to come forward. We have a number of leads, but need as many people as possible to get in touch.”

If you have any information about the fraudulent tickets please call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40.

In all calls quote BTP log NWA/B5 of 28/2/14.

About the British Transport Police

The British Transport Police is the specialist, national police service for Britain’s railways. BTP deals with major and minor crime, disorder and incidents and covers the rail system in England, Wales and Scotland (including London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, the Glasgow Subway and the Midland Metro and Croydon Tramlink systems).

The BTP’s 2,880 police officers, 376 Police Community Support Officers, 251 Special Constables and 1,451 support staff are recruited and trained like those of local forces and have the same powers. Find out more at:

The North Western Area of British Transport Police covers the National Rail system throughout the north west from Stoke to the Scottish border. It employs 263 police officers, 36 Police Community Support Officers, 24 Special Constables and 63 support staff.

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Tavcom launches Bite Size Training initiative

Developed with installers, system integrators, operators, security personnel and specifiers in mind, Tavcom’s Bite Size Training allows security professionals to fill gaps in their knowledge without having to spend many hours researching on the Internet.

An award-winning provider of classroom-based, BTEC-certificated training courses, Tavcom has been a pioneer in the provision of online long distance training programmes which offer a cost-effective way for students working within the electronic security world to acquire new skills sets at their own pace and in their own time.

“Our online courses can result in career-enhancing qualifications,” explained Paul Tennent, managing director of Tavcom, “and they’ve proven to be incredibly popular. We’re now offering something distinctly different with our Bite Size Training, the objective of which is to provide Knowledge Modules that address key individual issues.”

Tavcom has announced the launch of its Bite Size Training initiative

Tavcom has announced the launch of its Bite Size Training initiative

Priced from just £9.95 plus VAT, each Bite Size Knowledge Module is totally focused on a specific topical subject. They’re offered in an extremely easy to complete format, and can fill what may be an important gap in a person’s knowledge.

“Participants will find that there is no heavy reading,” added Tennent, “but all they need to know is readily available.”

Details of the Knowledge Modules

To assist them with their learning process, throughout each Knowledge Module students are presented with self assessment questions. By clicking on highlighted key words they can view detailed information about certain aspects of the given Knowledge Module’s subject matter.

At present there are ten Knowledge Modules to choose from but, according to Paul Tennent, a development programme is in place that will see the list being continually expanded during 2014 and beyond.

Paul Tennent: managing director at Tavcom Training

Paul Tennent: managing director at Tavcom Training

“Each module will be produced with the assistance of our expert team of independent tutors and consultants,” explained Tennent. “As you would expect from Tavcom, each will meet the same exacting high standards of education that we have achieved worldwide with our accredited vocational training courses.”

Details of the Knowledge Modules available can be found on the Tavcom website (

When completed, each Knowledge Module offers two CPD (Continuing Professional Development) points. Subject matters includes the essential information needed to reliably gather video evidence, a technical guide to fibre optics, Intrusion Detection Devices, EAS (Electronic Article Surveillance) and video analytics.

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Securitas celebrates milestone with new Northern Ireland HQ opening in Belfast

Arlene Foster – Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment in Northern Ireland – has officially opened a new Belfast headquarters for Securitas Security Services (UK), with the ceremony marking the company’s long-term commitment to the region.

The opening of the new 3,000 square foot building heralds Securitas Security Services (UK)’s positive impact on the local economy.

In a significant commitment to the region by the global industry leader, the Belfast premises will be home to Securitas’ 350-plus staff operating across Northern Ireland.

Minister Foster commented: “This office opening is a significant milestone for Securitas, and enable the company to strengthen its competitive position. Securitas has a strong and established presence in Northern Ireland, and the company’s continued commitment reinforces the message that Belfast is a good place to do business.”

Security solutions for over 100 businesses

Securitas has operated out of the city since 2002, and is the only company in Northern Ireland which can deliver province-wide key holding alarm response and patrols from its three bases (in Belfast, Limavady and Fivemiletown).

The new Belfast office cements the company’s presence in Northern Ireland, where it already offers a diverse range of security solutions to more than 100 businesses.

Left to Right: Danny Williams, Minister Arlene Foster, Brian Riis Nielson, David Lee, Shaun Kennedy and Ann McGregor

Left to Right: Danny Williams, Minister Arlene Foster, Brian Riis Nielson, David Lee, Shaun Kennedy and Ann McGregor

End users of Securitas solutions incloude Stena Line, Thales, Siemens, Sainsbury’s and the Northern Ireland Science Park, with Securitas personnel providing services including Front of House, retail and commercial security, controlled response and loss prevention support.

A recent contract win has placed Securitas wardens across Antrim Borough as part of a community safety project tackling anti-social behaviour in priority areas and reducing residents’ fear of crime. The contract will see Securitas staff engaging with local youths in evening patrols in a bid to encourage them towards more positive activities. Gathered intelligence will be fed through to the relevant statutory agencies.

Set to boost employment

With rapid deployment of security personnel a core part of Securitas’ business, the opening of the headquarters is expected to boost employment. Job creation is anticipated within six months.

Securitas has a policy of staffing 30% over all contracted personnel to ensure it can meet customer demand, which will lead to further employment opportunities moving forward.

City dignitaries (including Chamber of Commerce CEO Ann McGregor MBE) also attended the office opening. In an address to guests, McGregor said: “As CEO of Northern Ireland Chambers I’m delighted to see an organisation like Securitas, which is a globally-recognised brand, demonstrating its commitment to Northern Ireland.”

McGregor continued: “We’re dedicated to working alongside the Government to drive the economy. We launched a campaign last year called ‘Growing Something Brilliant’ to set a mood of confidence and optimism in the business community as a catalyst for change. Our core message is that the economy is on the up, but it will not gather momentum unless we each play a part. With more than 350 staff already employed here, and with these wonderful new premises, Securitas is already an example of a company growing something brilliant.”

Local experience: driving the business forward

Commenting on the new office opening, Securitas Country President Brian Riis Nielsen said: “It’s a fantastic recognition of the commitment and expertise of our Northern Ireland workforce that we are celebrating the launch of our Belfast headquarters.”

Nielsen added: “While Securitas is a global knowledge leader within this industry, it’s our local experience that defines success and drives our business forward. We look forward to building on our firm foundations in this region, and hope our long term growth plans will also help boost employment in the area.”

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Axis Communications introduces interactive camera visualisations tool for SketchUp® 3D CAD software

Using the Axis Communications Camera Extension for the SketchUp® 3D CAD software, system designers can conveniently select Axis Network Cameras and insert them into 3D models of buildings.

Different mounting positions and view angles can be evaluated through interactive camera views showing the respective camera coverage areas. Users can pan, tilt and zoom the cameras to determine the optimal set-up for the best video surveillance coverage.

The Axis Camera Extension for SketchUp provides interactive 3D models of Axis Network Cameras to aid in the planning and design of video surveillance systems. Users can place cameras directly into CAD building plans and visualise the areas the cameras will cover.

The new SketchUp extension from Axis allows users to see exactly how the cameras fit into the building layout and to easily spot if camera views are obstructed by columns or walls. This effectively reduces the risk of unexpected blind spots when planning and designing video surveillance systems.

SketchUp in action

SketchUp in action

Axis Network Cameras can be conveniently selected from the SketchUp toolbar allowing users to compare and evaluate different camera models as well as to determine the optimal camera mounting positions. Users can pan, tilt and zoom the cameras to adjust the field of view and define the optimal camera settings.

Precise planning of camera angles and coverage

“SketchUp is a popular and easy-to-use 3D CAD software for security system design,” explained Peter Friberg, director of systems and services at Axis Communications. “With the new Axis Camera Extension, system integrators can use SketchUp to place Axis Network Cameras into virtual buildings to precisely plan camera view angles and coverage.”

Friberg continued: “As SketchUp integrates with Google Maps, it makes it easy when working on city surveillance or critical infrastructure projects to get a good overview of the environment where the cameras are placed. The Axis Camera Extension allows system integrators to find the optimal camera model and settings for a given mounting position, and significantly streamlines the overall planning and design process for video surveillance systems.”

Axis Communications' headquarters in Lund, Sweden

Axis Communications’ headquarters in Lund, Sweden

Axis’ broad portfolio of video surveillance system design tools also includes Axis Coverage Shapes for Microsoft Visio and Axis Camera Families for Autodesk Revit.

The Axis Camera Extension for SketchUp may be downloaded free of charge from The Axis Camera Extension for SketchUp is initially available in English. More languages (French, Italian, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese and Chinese) will be added in Q2 2014.

SketchUp is a trademark of Trimble Navigation Limited

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AT&T and IBM simplify cyber security management through new joint venture

AT&T* and IBM have announced a new strategic relationship to give businesses a simplified, single-source for network security and threat management.

The two companies will offer business customers a new joint service combining security network infrastructure with advanced threat monitoring and analytics. The new service is initilly available in the US with plans for global expansion.

Cyber threats have become a Boardroom agenda with the potential to bring down an organisation’s network, create compliance issues, damage bottom lines and impact brand reputation.

Additionally, disparate security technologies create ‘security silos’ and can increase the cost and complexity of security management, making it almost impossible to uniformly monitor security threats across IT environments.

The new service from AT&T and IBM will help businesses address these challenges with a highly secure network infrastructure, analytics and the optimal blend of on-premise and next generation cloud-managed security capabilities.

AT&T and IBM will improve the management of these capabilities with the following customer benefits:
• Reduced costs and minimised complexities
• Advanced visibility with intelligence and control across diverse IT environments
• Simplified infrastructure with less need for security hardware, licenses and maintenance

Specifics of the joint offer

Individually, AT&T and IBM boast world class IT security data monitoring operations, each generating advanced security threat intelligence from the billions of security events they track each day.

Together, the companies will create a combined security intelligence source and analytics capability that will be “unmatched” in the industry.

The new offering is comprised of proven solutions from AT&T and IBM. Specific elements of the new offering include Network Security Infrastructure and Managed Security Services from AT&T, including network-based firewall, IDS/IPS, web filtering, secure e-mail gateway and distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection services for security devices managed on premise or in the AT&T cloud.

IBM capabilities include IBM Network Security Consulting to assess and transform network security, IBM Security Monitoring and Threat Intelligence for faster threat detection and response and IBM Emergency Response Services for around-the-clock security expert support in responding to sophisticated attacks and helping remediate them.

“With today’s constantly changing threat environment, companies need cost-effective solutions that provide end-to-end protection alongside real-time monitoring and response operations,” said Andy Daudelin, vice-president (security services) at AT&T Business Solutions. “We’ve created an unparalleled solution with the combined strength, reliability and agility of AT&T network-based security services and IBM threat intelligence and analytics.”

Kris Lovejoy – general manager for IBM Security Services – added: “Organizations are finding great benefits with hybrid IT strategies that blend mobile, cloud-based and on-premise IT resources. However, securing these infrastructures can be complicated without a single, integrated management system that avoids creating silos of security data making it almost impossible to uniformly monitor security threats across environments. IBM and AT&T have come together to offer unprecedented security services designed to break down those silos and better secure data no matter where it resides.”

“This is an advantageous combination of industry-leading network-based security, consulting, and analytics,” commented Christina Richmond, program director for infrastructure security at IDC.

“AT&T and IBM are meeting a real market need with a robust end-to-end security solution that provides enterprise customers with both integration and simplicity.”

Note: *AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

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McAfee study highlights mobile threat for SMEs

New research conducted by McAfee has found that mobile malware tripled in scope last year, compromising 82% of Android apps.

McAfee has discovered that 82% of Android apps are compromised with increasingly malicious and invasive malware, in particular placing at risk those smaller businesses without a mobile device management strategy in place.

The study found a steep rise in malware downloaded through seemingly harmless apps, such as tools, to give cyber criminals remote control over devices or use exploits to get installed on vulnerable systems. It also revealed that over a third of apps (36%) know users’ account information, while more than a quarter (26%) read how individuals use the apps on their chosen device.

Mobile technology: crucial for SME business success

For small businesses this proliferation of threats comes at a critical time. According to an Oxford Economics study, mobile technology is crucial for SMEs to succeed in business. For most SMEs, mobile is instrumental for delivering customer service benefits and improving product development.

The steep rise in attacks against mobile devices not only puts small businesses at risk but also opens up access to the much larger organisations with which many SMEs do business. Protecting SMEs and securing the supply chain is incredibly important to ensure any potential data breaches are not exacerbated and cause widespread damage.

Tim Stone: SME director for the EMEA region at security specialist McAfee

Tim Stone: SME director for the EMEA region at security specialist McAfee

Information gathered through malware can give cyber criminals the exact geographic location of infected devices as well as the ability to contact the victim via SMS to launch attacks such as highly personalised phishing scams.

The vulnerabilities also allow hackers to find defences such as antivirus software and instruct malware to manoeuvre around or interfere with it.

Protecting against mobile malware

SME business leaders should take this proliferation of threats as a stark warning and ensure their business is protected against mobile malware by following the below advice:

(1) Educate employees
Mobile and remote users often struggle with technology and see security systems as an obstacle to productivity. They will click past a software update alert or defer a suggested scan in the interest of speed. Small business owners should educate remote employees and provide security tools that work well and as unobtrusively as possible to minimise any potential threats, user error or naivety.

(2) Inventory devices
SMEs should identify and secure all devices employees use, including USB sticks, smartphones, tablets and laptops. This will enable them to identify devices that shouldn’t be accessing the network.

(3) Protect the network
With employees logging on at various times and places, networks are under threat. Protect network access with virtual private networks (VPNs) and firewalls.

(4) Remove access to the network once employment is terminated
It may sound obvious, but it’s not always top of the list when an employee leaves. Blocking access immediately will prevent past employees from having access to valuable and confidential company data.

Tim Stone, SME director for the EMEA region at security specialist McAfee, urges small business owners to take action now.

“Small businesses have become a prime target for cyber criminals,” said Stone. “The research findings show that mobile malware is the weapon of choice. One incident is enough to potentially obliterate businesses and reverberate through the supply chain, causing further damage. It’s critical that SMEs do not gamble their reputation and their customers’ details and put into place basic steps that will deter attackers and boost defences.”

To find out more about the mobile threat download the McAfee Mobile Security report

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AMG Systems’ Wonderbox range carried by technology partner Norbain

AMG – the British manufacturer of CCTV transmission solutions and sophisticated 5 Megapixel cameras – has entered an agreement with Norbain SD Ltd. The agreement will see AMG’s Wonderbox – a series of ruggedised Ethernet switches launched in 2013 – integrated within Norbain’s product range and marketed to all major systems integrators in the UK.

Sara Bullock, sales and marketing director at the AMG Group, commented: “We’re delighted with Norbain’s decision to incorporate the Wonderbox range into its existing product portfolio. The Wonderbox is AMG’s combination of analogue and IP systems, supporting easy integration of low-speed serial data channels and alarm contacts alongside analogue and IP video onto an Ethernet backbone.”

Sara Bullock: the AMG Group's sales and marketing director

Sara Bullock: the AMG Group’s sales and marketing director

Bullock continued: “AMG’s ability to develop products in close response to both customer and market needs has underpinned the company’s success over 20-plus years, and this is reflected in the Wonderbox. Its introduction into Norbain’s product range will ensure that AMG’s foothold here in the UK, the epicentre of the industry, will be strengthened.”

In conclusion, Bullock explained: “With Norbain’s wide reach into the systems integrator community we’re expecting to see an increase in demand for this revolutionary product series.”

AMG's Wonderbox

AMG’s Wonderbox

Support for large and complex systems

Andrew Pigram, Norbain’s technical director, commented: “We have a long-standing relationship with AMG Systems over many years. The company’s technology has been – and still is – very innovative. They aim to facilitate better use of the infrastructure and, although AMG’s world could be considered very specialist, they have expert know-how within the sectors they work and the company is extremely good at supporting large complex systems.”

Pigram went on to state: “AMG’s products are very easy to install and to work with. A key point is that their training is very good, as is their pre-sales support, which is very valuable when we embark on new projects.”

Andrew Pigram: technical director at Norbain

Andrew Pigram: technical director at Norbain

Pigram added: “With the ‘Wonderbox’, AMG has delivered a solution which allows complex installations to move into the IP world while retaining existing infrastructures. We welcome the product into our portfolio and I’m convinced that our customers will appreciate the value they can derive from implementing it. As a result, I expect that Norbain will have an increased sale of AMG products in 2014-2015.”

About Norbain
Norbain is one of the UK’s most successful distributors of CCTV, IP, Access Control and Intruder Detection solutions.
As well as being an authorised distributor of over 90 of the World’s leading electronic security brands, Norbain is also the home of Vista, the UK’s largest selling range of CCTV equipment.

Further information on AMG

AMG is a leading global provider of video and communication transmission solutions designed for CCTV surveillance operations in the transport, public, Government and military sectors.

The company also manufactures a range of IP cameras under the AMG-Panogenics brand.

AMG Transmission Solutions offer a full range of transmission technologies including multimode and singlemode video, data and audio fibre optic transmission systems, single and multi-channel unshielded twisted pair (UTP) links for video, data and audio, multi-port Ethernet switches for the transmission of IP-based solutions over fibre and both analogue and digital wireless products for the transmission of video and data.

As a result, AMG transmission solutions have been successfully implemented in many high profile projects throughout the world. Those projects include supplying the transmission system for the UK’s NRTS project and the security and surveillance of the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar.

Visit for further detail.

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Hidden Security Dangers of the BYOD Phenomenon

Amir Lehr – vice-president of cellular products and business development at Cellebrite – discusses the business repercussions of sensitive data not being wiped from old mobile phones.

The thought of losing our mobile phone fills many of us with dread and fear. After all, we run our entire lives from these pocket devices.

Gone are the days of using our mobile phones exclusively for making calls, sending text messages and light Internet surfing. Now we keep all our personal information on them including text messages, contacts, e-mails, photographs and videos, birthdays, identification data and so much more.

To find that you’ve forever lost a sentimental text message from your husband or an old photograph of your grandmother would be devastating enough, but what if your mobile phone held valuable information belonging to the company you work for?

With many employees now owning an exclusively work mobile phone and others holding business information on their personal phones, their devices could hold anything including usernames, passwords, financial information and highly confidential data.

So now the devastation doesn’t just affect the individual, but the entire business.

While mobile phone security during use is important, it's imperative to see security right through to the end

While mobile phone security during use is important, it’s imperative to see security right through to the end

Bring Your Own Device: the risk factors

Bring Your Own Device (or BYOD) policies may allow employees to bring personally owned mobile devices (laptops, tablets and smart phones) to their workplace and use those devices to access company information. This phenomenon has taken the world by storm but, by using private smartphones alongside professional handsets (and especially as the refreshment cycle for consumer handsets is more rapid than work devices), this brings even more danger. Precautions must be taken at all stages.

As current developments indicate, our mobile phones could soon be used to control everything we do – from giving us access to our home, car, medical and financial records to being a communications hub for e-mail accounts, surfing the Internet and managing social media profiles. The potential for the business world is enormous, but with that comes an equally enormous level of risk.

Security breaches are commonplace these days and employees must do all they can to ensure they are not making such an incident easy, as many often overlook how much risk their mobile phone carries.

There are two main scenarios in which specific precautions need to be taken.

One sees the mobile phone being sent to a laboratory or workshop for critical repairs. Once the phone is out of its owner’s hands, it’s difficult to protect the data it contains.

The other is when a phone is traded-in for a newer model while the old phone – and all of its content – is left with the store or recycler.

In fact, research has found that between 54% and 60% of discarded or traded-in used mobile phones still contain the personal data of their previous owners.

One overlook can risk a whole business and, with all this highly sensitive information at stake, employers and employees alike should be advocating the need to protect themselves and company information from risk.

Many may be reassured by the fact that resetting the phone would dispose of some information. In fact, unless expert equipment is used, no deletion is permanent.

While mobile phone security during use is important, it’s imperative to see security right through to the end. Information will still remain on the phone even if you’re not using it unless it’s correctly wiped.

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