Monthly Archives: August 2014

Guardian24’s lone worker safety app now available on Google Play store

Guardian24 has released its lone worker protection app on the Google Play store. Installing the app directly from the play store provides end users with a quicker and easier download of the app. It also gives the user automatic notifications when a new version of the app is released or when an upgrade is available.

Guardian24 is a lone worker safety service used to protect staff when lone working, travelling to and from work, visiting clients in their homes and businesses and when working in isolation on remote sites. It allows lone workers to log in and out of daily tasks, leaving details of their location and the expected duration (logging an activity).

If an activity overruns, Guardian24 will automatically call the lone worker to verify their safety. If the lone worker cannot be reached, a nominated respondent will then be notified informing them of the overrun activity. At this stage an agreed protocol will be followed to verify the lone worker’s safety and location.

Guardian24's lone worker protection app on the Google Play store

Guardian24’s lone worker protection app on the Google Play store

Should the lone worker feel that their safety has been compromised at any time they can press a ‘hot key’ on their device to summon emergency assistance. At this point, Guardian24 provides the lone worker’s personal details, activity details and live audio to the respondent receiving the escalated call.

The respondent may then call the incident helpline and connect to a live feed through the user’s handset for further emergency audio. This information is invaluable if the emergency services require to be notified.

*To download Guardian24 for Android visit the Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=co.uk.guardian24
**Guardian24 is also available for iOS. To download this version visit the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/guardian24/id743843078?mt=8

Guardian24 supplies security and safety solutions to the UK mobile and lone worker sectors. The Guardian24 subscriber base now exceeds 38,000 users with approximately 400 public and private sector organisations benefiting from the company’s bespoke services.

End user customers include local Governments, healthcare services, housing organisations, central Government bodies, educational institutions, charities and banking, insurance and construction sector companies.

*Guardian24’s services are used via a wide range of devices including BlackBerry smart phones, the Apple iPhone, Android smart phones, Windows PDA, standard mobile phones or specialist lone worker devices. Visit: http://www.guardian24.co.uk for further details

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Pilgrims Group appoints Andrew Melvin to further develop UK security guarding service for end users

Commercial security expert Andrew Melvin has joined security risk mitigation specialist Pilgrims Group as the company’s UK business development director.

Melvin’s appointment follows a 21-year career with the police service and 12 successful years in the private security sector. He’ll now play a key role in developing Pilgrims Group’s domestic business and help continue to grow its security guarding service as a leading independent, dedicated security operation in the UK.

Melvin joins Pilgrims Group following his role as commercial director at The Shield Guarding Company. He’s a trustee of the Cross-Sector Safety and Security Communications (CSSC) charity, a legacy project of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and also a member of the Institute of Directors.

Andrew Melvin: UK business development director at Pilgrims Group

Andrew Melvin: UK business development director at Pilgrims Group

Speaking about his new role, Melvin stated: “I have a passionate belief in the provision of professional, high quality security services through a specialised security company which is not too large and impersonal. Several large companies now dominating the market offer a range of other solutions, such as cleaning and catering, but I believe this dilutes the focus on security.”

Melvin continued: “Pilgrims Group provides one of the broadest ranges of services in this single specialist sector, delivering comprehensive security risk management. The company is completely dedicated to the provision of professional security within the UK and on the international stage. It has a highly experienced management team from backgrounds that include military, policing and intelligence services. I’m looking forward to working closely with the team and building Pilgrims Group’s presence in the UK.”

Pilgrims Group’s managing director Bill Freear added: “We’re delighted to welcome Andrew to the company. We have been looking for a very long time now to discover someone with his talents. We have long had the product and track record but needed the final piece in the puzzle which was someone to ‘lead the charge’. Andrew has all the essential ingredients to fit into the Pilgrims Group team and present our services to the domestic market. We have extensive ambitions to grow our security guarding service which will offer so many opportunities for our clients in the coming months and years.”

Jeremy Spring takes on CFO role

Pilgrims Group has also announced the appointment of Jeremy Spring as Chief Finance Officer.

An experienced Board director, Spring will bring key strategic leadership to Pilgrims Group given his expertise in areas such as growth management, business integration, corporate governance, working capital management, commercial finance and multi-national accounting.

Pilgrims Group’s clients will benefit from Spring’s direction of operational finance, calling on his hands-on knowledge of managing high volume payables and receivable teams, systems integration, accounting infrastructure and customer service.

Jeremy Spring of Pilgrims Group

Jeremy Spring of Pilgrims Group

Chief Operating Officer David Freear commented: “We’re thrilled that Jeremy has joined the company and excited to add such financial expertise to our senior management team in order to create, support and drive the strategy of the business.”

Jeremy Spring stated: “Pilgrims Group has grown significantly in the last five years, establishing itself as a trusted industry partner. Through the proven expert delivery of high quality services and the prioritisation of customer service, the Group is looking to build on its phenomenal reputation and I’m overjoyed to be joining at such an exciting time in the company’s life.”

A member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Spring arrives at Pilgrims Group having spent more than 15 years in the international customer services’ industry, most recently working for a fast-paced, industry-leading multinational corporation with a global footprint.

All you need to know about… Pilgrims Group

Pilgrims Group is a medium-sized company with a global network and a strong crisis management background.

The company provides security guarding and intelligence services for businesses across the UK, including clients operational in the pharmaceutical, media and oil sectors.

Pilgrims Group also operates in countries including Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and Ukraine and has helped clients in times of international crises (including 2013’s tropical storm in the Philippines and the disasters in both New Orleans and Haiti).

Complementing its security guarding offer, Pilgrims Group’s consultancy services include crisis management, evacuation, relocation, business continuity plans and reviews, training and specialist security exercises.

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Personnel excellence celebrated at Ward Security’s Star Employee Awards

Ward Security has announced its top performing employees of the year at the annual Star Employee Awards Ceremony. From its 550-strong team, Ward Security presented nine employees with a Star Award in recognition of their commitment, loyalty and outstanding achievements during 2013.

Winners included employees from the London, Central, South East and West regional offices operated by the company, with two members of staff receiving special recognition awards.

Alex Ambrose, who has been an employee of Ward Security for seven years, was formally recognised by receiving the Outstanding Achievement Award. Ambrose was described at the ceremony as someone “who prefers to work under the radar” and has amazed the head office team with his ability to efficiently collate and analyse data as well as problem solve.

In addition, Ambrose plays a pivotal part in managing the company’s bespoke client Help Desk service.

The seventh annual Ward Security Star Employee Awards were a tremendous success. Pictured (far left) is Ward Security's md David Ward, with Gareth Tancred (CEO, BIFM) second from the right

The seventh annual Ward Security Star Employee Awards were a tremendous success. Pictured (far left) is Ward Security’s md David Ward, with Gareth Tancred (CEO, BIFM) second from the right

Lee Chapman is this year’s winner of the coveted Employee of the Year Award which was presented by Gareth Tancred, the CEO of the British Institute of Facilities Management. Initially employed as a dog handler in May 2007, Chapman quickly progressed to the position of contract manager and is viewed by Ward Security as one of its rising stars.

Chapman was described by the panel of judges as someone who is extremely proactive and diligent and an outstanding ambassador for the company. He was also noted as someone who is a thoughtful and compassionate person which is clearly visible both in the relationships he has with his clients and in his interaction with the security dogs he trains.

Outstanding team members at Ward Security

Commenting on the Star Employee Awards, David Ward – managing director of Ward Security – explained: “Kevin and I always look forward to these awards with a great sense of pride and satisfaction. We’re delighted to host this evening as a Thank You in recognition of the outstanding team members we have at Ward Security. Such is the quality of our team that this year’s winners were harder than ever for the judges to decide upon. We would like to congratulate everyone who was nominated throughout the course of the year and, of course, our worthy winners.”

The 2014 ceremony represents the seventh annual Star Employee Awards run by Ward Security and the culmination of monthly employee awards for which staff are nominated throughout the year. This year’s event took place on Friday 15 August at The Grange City Hotel in London.

The full list of winners is as follows:

*London Regional Award Winner 2013: Lauren Kettlety
*Central Regional Award Winner 2013: John Finley
*South East Regional Award Winner 2013: Tom Atley
*West Regional Award Winner 2013: Allan Clarke
*Response Award Winner 2013: Samuel Asiamah
*Head Office Award Winner 2013: Sarah Jones
*Dog Handler Award Winner 2013: Karen Jones
*Outstanding Contribution Award Winner 2013: Alex Ambrose
*Employee of the Year Award Winner 2013: Lee Chapman

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Honeywell sensing technology takes wireless detector design “to new levels”

Honeywell has introduced a new device that allows the manufacturers of fire and security detection technologies to design smaller, less obtrusive wireless-based products without sacrificing reliability or performance.

Solutions in the new Anisotropic Magnetoresistive (AMR) Sensor ICs, Nanopower Series have higher sensitivity and more reliability than ‘traditional’ sensors yet consume less energy. They’re also smaller and therefore allow greater flexibility in design at a lower cost.

Typical product applications include smoke detectors and door/window alarms. In the case of the latter, the sensor will immediately send a signal to a wireless module which then transmits that signal to a central control unit for processing as soon as a door or window is opened, removing the magnet out of the sensor detection range.

On smoke detectors, the sensor is used as an alarm test switch where an external magnet is brought into the detection range of the sensor to check correct operation.

Smaller, more durable and reliable than reed switches, at the same sensitivity and essentially the same cost, the new AMR Sensor ICs, Nanopower Series is ideal for battery-powered applications where previously only reed switches could be used due to very low power requirements and large air gap needs.

The Honeywell SOT23 fingertip sensors are designed for use in a wide range of battery-operated applications

The Honeywell SOT23 fingertip sensors are designed for use in a wide range of battery-operated applications

Nicholas Roche, product leader at Honeywell Sensing and Control, states that the new Nanopower technology is a game changer. “It’s highly sensitive,” explained Roche, “and more reliable than ‘traditional’ switches that can break and tend to be less stable over time.”

Roche added: “Most important of all is the fact that our new AMR Sensor ICs consume less power which means batteries need to be replaced less often – a major advantage to manufacturers and installers alike. This overcomes one of the major hurdles regarding the wider take-up of wireless detectors.”

The sensors are designed for use in a wide range of battery-operated applications including water and gas meters, electricity meters, exercise equipment, handheld computers, scanners and white goods such as dishwashers, microwaves, washing machines, refrigerators and coffee machines.

They can also be used in medical equipment such as hospital beds, medication dispensing cabinets, infusion pumps and for consumer electronics such as notebook computers, tablets and cordless speakers.

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Exeter-based security directors found guilty of offences against the Private Security Industry Act 2001

On Thursday 21 August 2014 at Exeter Magistrate’s Court, two security directors and their security company were found guilty of offences against the Private Security Industry Act 2001.

Altin Laska, 26, and Jetmir Luli, 29, ran security company Night Owl (Exeter) Security Ltd and were sub-contracted to provide security officers to energy supplier EDF.

Following an investigation by the Security Industry Authority (SIA), the directors were asked to provide information about individuals they had supplied to EDF. Both Laska and Luli failed to provide all of the information requested by the SIA.

Another individual, Ali Abdol Anvari, 50, was known by the SIA as a security director of another company, Night Owl, which is now dissolved.

Anvari was working in an advisory role for Night Owl (Exeter) Security Ltd and was deployed to work as a security officer. During the investigation Anvari admitted working without an SIA licence and to pretending to be Laska while on duty.

By law, security operatives working under contract and all door supervisors must hold and display a valid SIA licence card

By law, security operatives working under contract and all door supervisors must hold and display a valid SIA licence card

Laska (of Broad Park Road, Exmouth) was found guilty of supplying an unlicensed security operative and failing to provide information to the SIA contrary to Sections 5 and 19 of the Private Security Industry Act 2001.

Luli, of Hilary House, Exeter, was found guilty of the same offences.

Night Owl (Exeter) Security Ltd, of North Street, Exeter, was found guilty of supplying an unlicensed security operative contrary to Section 5 of the Private Security Industry Act 2001.

Anvari, of Princes Street, Exeter, was found guilty of false representation to make a gain for himself or another, which is contrary to Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006.

Sentencing due to take place in September

In convicting Laska and Luli, the Magistrate commented that the security directors “did not take all reasonable steps or fulfil duties of company directors” in ensuring that SIA licensed staff were supplied.

Commenting on Anvari, the Magistrate stated that he had acted “dishonestly for the benefit of Night Owl and been unwilling to admit your own identity”.

All three individuals and the company will be sentenced in September.

SIA investigations manager Nathan Salmon explained: “Night Owl was closely guided by Mr Anvari. He appeared to take an active role in the direction and administration of the company. Mr Anvari had previously been a security company director and was very familiar with security industry regulation. However, the business and its directors had disregard for basic safeguards to ensure their contracts were fulfilled with SIA licensed operatives.”

Salmon added: “Laska and Luli did not demonstrate that they had serious interest in controlling their business and, in court, Laska described the legal fulfilment of their contract as “hassle”.”

In conclusion, Salmon said: “This conviction highlights that security regulation exists in order to protect the public and ensure the effectiveness of security businesses.”

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MITIE TSM and SmartWater Technology unveil strategic crime-fighting partnership

MITIE’s Total Security Management business division has orchestrated a strategic partnership with SmartWater Technology, the company famed for its cutting-edge forensics-based security solutions.

In what is the first partnership of its kind to be realised within the security sector, the initiative will see MITIE’s Total Security Management (TSM) arm and SmartWater Technology working in unison across a number of different business areas in order to reduce clients’ risks in the data theft arena.

MITIE TSM will add SmartWater’s services and products to its mobile and void property security offerings, including the business division’s key holding and alarm response services. In addition, MITIE TSM personnel will undergo training with a view to creating an elite team of specialist forensic technicians within the mobile and technology services teams.

This addition will render MITIE TSM’s offering unique to the marketplace and, at the same time, afford additional support to both new and existing customers.

SmartWater Technology's cutting-edge security solution will now benefit clients of MITIE TSM

SmartWater Technology’s cutting-edge security solution will now benefit clients of MITIE TSM

SmartWater has proven to be the most powerful crime deterrent in the UK thanks to ongoing partnerships with police services. SmartWater Technology’s forensic products are deployed on a strategic basis to maximise the traceability of assets and the accountability of criminals. The use of SmartWater has been crucial in hundreds of criminal convictions, with the technology maintaining a 100% conviction rate.

Darren Gamage, managing director of technology services at MITIE TSM, said: “Part of our investment in innovation is forming high value strategic partnerships with new and effective product and service providers such as SmartWater Technology. The potential of introducing SmartWater into our customer base is huge. This is a pivotal opportunity for our key holding customers to better protect their estates and critical infrastructures.”

Phil Cleary, CEO of SmartWater Technology, added: “We believe that enhancing the skills of MITIE’s security officers such that they’re able to use SmartWater and deliver the deterrence strategy that we’ve created adds real value to the TSM business offer. This will ultimately be of benefit to MITIE’s clients. Indeed, we’re confident that our proven success will encourage even more customers to come on board.”

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GCHQ and Cyber Security Challenge UK test public’s ability to prevent cyber terror attack

GCHQ is today calling on the UK public to protect a fictitious aerospace technology company threatened by imminent attack from cyber terrorists.

‘Assignment: Astute Explorer’ is the latest game to be devised by the Cyber Security Challenge UK, the Government-backed project designed to run an inspirational series of national competitions aimed at attracting talented people into the profession and informing them about cyber security careers.

The latest process affords members of the public a chance to act like a GCHQ operative, using their cyber security skills to investigate and attempt to fix the vulnerabilities of a global defence company ahead of a forewarned cyber attack.

Earlier this year, the Cyber Security Challenge UK launched its 2014-2015 programme of online and face-to-face cyber games by introducing a new enemy, The Flag Day Associates, via a threat video that warned of future cyber attacks against the UK. The Challenge’s first recurring characters, the investigation and defence against this new nemesis forms the basis of this year’s competitions.

The Cyber Security Challenge UK: testing the public's cyber skills

The Cyber Security Challenge UK: testing the public’s cyber skills

‘Astute Explorer’ follows on from an assignment set by global security software vendor Sophos which, over this past weekend, tasked the public to analyse a hard drive recovered from The Flag Day Associates. The hundreds of candidates who tackled the Sophos-devised competition revealed plans for a future attack on ‘Ebell Technologies’ – described as an aerospace and electrical engineering company who are world leaders in the production of military and civilian aircraft, green energy technologies (such as wind turbines) and a variety of electronics products.

In launching its new game, the Challenge has revealed that Ebell Technologies is understandably concerned about the threat of an imminent attack and has thus approached GCHQ to assess its susceptibility to being compromised. As part of the analysis, GCHQ’s ‘Astute Explorer’ – an automated code scanning tool after which the game is named – has returned various snippets of code that may contain vulnerabilities. Those who take up the challenge will be asked to identify these vulnerabilities, explain why and how they could be exploited and suggest appropriate fixes.

Need for a skilled cyber security workforce

“As the UK’s National Technical Authority for Information Assurance (NTAIA), GCHQ is pleased to have been able to develop an original game for the Cyber Security Challenge UK,” explained Chris Ensor, deputy director for the NTAIA. “We have designed ‘Astute Explorer’ to really test candidates’ cyber security skills. We absolutely recognise the need for a skilled workforce which is why we’re delighted to once again support the Cyber Security Challenge UK and help inspire the next generation of cyber security talent.”

Those who register will be competing to book their place at the Challenge’s first of a series of reconnaissance meet-ups organised as part of ‘Operation: Flag Day’. Here, the most impressive candidates from the virtual assignments will be asked to report for duty in person at secret locations around the UK to carry out investigations face-to-face in teams.

As well as uncovering vital clues on the objectives and identities of The Flag Day Associates, these gatherings will ultimately determine the final line-up of online defenders to take on the cyber terrorist group at next year’s Masterclass final.

“There’s no doubt that ‘Astute Explorer’ is an ingenious game from GCHQ which will not only provide an enjoyable challenge but also test skills that are in high demand by employers in this sector,” said Stephanie Daman, CEO of the Cyber Security Challenge UK. “I would encourage anyone with an interest in how IT systems and the information they hold can be protected to sign up and give it a go.”

Series of national competitions

As stated, the Cyber Security Challenge UK runs a series of national inspirational competitions aimed at attracting talented people into the profession and informing them about cyber security careers and learning opportunities.

Now in its fourth year, the Challenge is running an ambitious programme of competitions and activities designed to spread the word about why cyber security is such a fulfilling and varied career and help talented people obtain their first cyber security job.

The Challenge is sponsored by some of the UK’s most prestigious public, private and academic sector organisations and already making a notable difference to the career prospects of those with the talents and aptitude to become cyber security professionals.

Further detail is available at: https://cybersecuritychallenge.org.uk/

GCHQ is, of course, one of the three UK intelligence agencies. Further information on its work can be found at: http://www.gchq.gov.uk

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