Daily Archives: 17/09/2014

Guardian24’s Alarm Receiving Centre awarded BS 8484 certification

Guardian24’s Alarm Receiving Centre, Community Safety Glasgow (CSG), has been awarded the BS 8484 accreditation for its capability to monitor lone working alarms.

BS 8484 is the Code of Practice for the provision of lone worker device services. Being awarded this accreditation ensures that, should a panic alert be received by CSG, operators can bypass the 999 system and go straight to the appropriate police Control Room, in turn receiving the highest level of police response available.

Speed of response can be critical in potentially life-threatening circumstances as precious time is saved when despatching the appropriate response.

Alarm Receiving Centres (ARCs) not audited and certified to BS 8484 are reliant on dialling 999 in an emergency and cannot guarantee a timely police response. Being accredited to BS 8484 means that, when a lone worker raises a panic alert on their personal safety solution, the police will respond with the highest level of response available as they will know the alarm emanates from an accredited ARC and is likely to be a genuine request for help.

Guardian24’s Alarm Receiving Centre has been awarded BS 8484 certification

Guardian24’s Alarm Receiving Centre has been awarded BS 8484 certification

BS 8484 is also intended to minimise the number of false alarms received by the response services. On a Guardian24 lone worker solution, once a panic alert is raised, a live line of audio recording is opened which allows the ARC operators to listen in live and hear what’s happening during the panic alert situation. This enables the ARC to establish the severity of the lone worker’s situation and verify if it’s a genuine request for help or otherwise.

This is essential to gain police support by reducing false alarms and unnecessary demands on their response resources. An additional benefit of the live audio is that if a genuine alert is raised, the recording of the audio can be used as evidence in court.

Lisé Fisher, operations manager at CSG, commented: “We’re delighted to be awarded National Security Inspectorate accreditation for BS 8484. This is a welcome addition to our monitoring portfolio and strengthens our position as a Gold Standard Category II ARC. The standard states that the ARC must be satisfied the alarms originate from personal safety devices certified to BS 8484 and that the suppliers of the devices are also BS 8484 certified. This is why CSG partners with Guardian24.”

Being awarded the BS 8484 accreditation shows that CSG is a reputable and certified ARC. The standard can be used by prospective clients as a benchmark against which lone worker security and safety services may be measured.

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

Peace of mind technology now free for all Apollo fire detection systems

Apollo Fire Detectors has upgraded its Loop Calculator software, in turn allowing end users access to free calculation software that permits them to assess the viability of a proposed fire detection system design.

Establishing the viability of a fire detection system is often carried out using difficult calculations and estimations which can lead to system faults and failures, usually when panels and cables are overloaded as a result of calculation errors.

The new Loop Calculator V2.21 assesses the design feasibility of an XP95 or Discovery fire detection system, completing calculations quickly and accurately, and is ideal for use by design engineers and panel partners.

By producing a pass/fail result, the Loop Calculator alerts the designer to potential issues within a system. The results can be used in CIE battery calculations.

Apollo's Loop Calculator in action

Apollo’s Loop Calculator in action

Andy Haynes, senior validation and support engineer at Apollo Fire Detectors, said: “We’re delighted to provide Loop Calculator software free to all of our customers via our website. The Loop Calculator is a useful tool, providing peace of mind that a system is viable. By preventing accidental overloading, and therefore producing a more reliable fire detection system, we hope to give fire engineers and customers even more confidence in the capabilities of all Apollo products.”

The Loop Calculator software for Apollo-based systems is available for use on all Windows-based computers and laptops. The upgraded version contains all of the information required and eliminates the need for extra download ‘patches’.

For further information visit: http://www.apollo-fire.co.uk/loopcalc

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

Record-breaking Bestival serves as fitting finale to busy summer for Showsec

Showsec rounded off another hectic summer programme of providing first class security solutions at outdoor festivals with a traditional finale on the Isle of Wight, home of the popular Bestival event.

Once again, the crowd management and event security specialist played a key role in the continuing success story of Bestival, which can now claim to have featured the world’s largest disco ball as one of many highlights realised during this year’s event.

The latest edition of Bestival saw Leicester-based Showsec increase its service delivery on site. In addition to a strong and experienced management team heading up a workforce of 850 staff, Showsec also assumed responsibility for overseeing an army of 1,500 Oxfam volunteers who provided equally vital stewarding services.

The rapid growth of Bestival over the years presents a huge challenge in itself, mainly owing to the fact that the arena and numerous camp sites now cover vast areas of the picturesque Robin Hill Country Park on the Isle of Wight.

Bestival 2014 proved to be a great event for organiser Loudsound Productions and security specialist Showsec

Bestival 2014 proved to be a great event for organiser Loudsound Productions and security specialist Showsec

“To cover such a large area requires meticulous planning and attention to detail in executing the whole security operation,” explained Steve Reynolds, Showsec’s regional manager (South) who served as the festival’s security manager. “In many respects, though, we’ve grown up with Bestival. Our eleven-year association with the main event and its sister, Camp Bestival, plus our familiarity with the venue absolutely helps. Indeed, many of our members of staff look forward to working at the event. In turn, the organiser sees the benefit of having so many friendly security faces on site, particularly when they’re looking for a high level of customer service from us.”

Reynolds added: “This year, it was apparent there was a much younger audience in attendance so it was a new experience for many. On that basis, it was important for our staff members to be aware of this when it came to helping to create a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone.”

Working in tandem with the local police service

As was the case for so many other festivals this summer, Showsec placed great emphasis on its work with the local police service when focusing on crime reduction measures.

“We enjoy a good working relationship with Hampshire Police which undoubtedly had a positive impact upon the level of crime,” commented Reynolds. “We took on the role of drugs searching from the police, just as we have done at other festivals.”

Bestival’s organiser Loudsound Productions asserts that Showsec’s strong management team affords the company peace of mind when delivering such a momentous event.

As head of security for the festival, Showsec director Mark Logan oversaw the whole operation at Robin Hill Country Park. One of his responsibilities was the co-ordination of the Oxfam operation. Logan was supported by Richard Church, Showsec’s regional manager for the Midlands.

Showsec placed great emphasis on working with Hampshire Police to orchestrate crime reduction measures on site

Showsec placed great emphasis on working with Hampshire Police to orchestrate crime reduction measures on site

“Showsec’s presence offers reassurances that we can deliver a safe and secure event where everyone can enjoy themselves,” said Dave Grindle, festival manager at Loudsound Productions. “We have a long-standing working relationship with Showsec. It’s very important to us to have the support of such a strong team of managers and supervisors. It’s also good to see the same faces back each year. That continuity certainly helps us as we strive to offer an even better festival experience for our customers. Pleasingly, that’s something we feel we’ve accomplished once again this time around.”

Bestival 2014 ended in spectacular fashion as the record-breaking, 10.3-metre wide disco ball was hoisted by crane above Magic Meadow before disco kings Chic (featuring celebrated songwriter and guitarist Nile Rodgers) closed four days of the very best musical entertainment with a brilliant set featuring all of their 70s and 80s classics.

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

UK Government announces £4 million funding package to tackle cyber crime

New UK Government funding will help smaller businesses in the UK cyber sector to grow, collaborate and develop innovative solutions aimed at tackling today’s cyber threats.

Speaking at the first ever UK-US Global Cyber Security Innovation Summit in London, business secretary Vince Cable has unveiled details behind a £4 million competition for UK cyber businesses designed to help them develop ideas for tackling myriad cyber security threats.

The minister also announced the appointment of a cyber security ‘small business champion’ in addition to funding for specialist projects that will help drive growth and innovation in the sector. The competition will be run by the Technology Strategy Board (the Government’s innovation agency) in 2015 and subsequently award funding to those firms delivering the best ideas.

The Technology Strategy Board’s goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help construct the future economy.

Vince Cable: Secretary of State for Business

Vince Cable: Secretary of State for Business

“The growth of the cyber security sector in the UK is a great success story,” urged Cable. “Indeed, that sector is now worth over £6 billion and employs around 40,000 people. Building a strong and resilient cyber space for the UK is central to ensuring that our companies can make the most of online business opportunities while also avoiding potentially costly threats to the information they hold and the services they provide.”

Cable added: “Maintaining innovation and growth requires continued investment. Committing a further £4 million will help businesses of all sizes turn their ideas for countering cyber threats into reality. Partnering with industry experts will also increase the opportunities for the UK’s smaller cyber companies such that they might work together and grow their businesses.”

Mapping cyber security businesses

Andy Williams (an industry expert from techUK, the UK’s largest technology Trade Association) has been appointed cyber security small business champion. In this role, Williams will be responsible for mapping cyber security small businesses and establishing a UK-wide growth project designed to encourage them to work closer together.

Williams’ role will also involve working to showcase the capability of small and medium-sized cyber businesses at UK and international events, delivering business advice and establishing an online portal for sharing information about national initiatives with the cyber business community.

“Given the rapidly evolving global cyber threat landscape, the emergence of highly innovative and agile new companies with specialist cyber capabilities will be vital to ensuring the future safety and prosperity of the UK,” explained Williams. “The extra funding that BIS is providing to support cyber start-ups and small businesses will be absolutely key to ensuring the UK’s position as a global leader in cyber security.”

In parallel, Dr Emma Philpott (managing director of cyber and technology catalyst Key IQ) will lead a project to actively work with local volunteers on establishing regional clusters of small companies operational in the cyber security space. This network of clusters will link the small and medium-sized businesses to national opportunities and events while also affording them a collective voice.

Philpott brings considerable expertise to this role as the founder and manager of both the Malvern cyber security cluster and the UK Cyber Security Forum. The latter links cyber security-focused small and medium-sized enterprises across the UK.

“Smaller companies working in cyber security are active right across the UK,” stated Philpott. “The clusters we’re helping to establish will meet on a monthly basis, be free to join and afford their members an opportunity to network and partner with each other. There’s enormous enthusiasm for this move. Groups are already planned for five new regions.”

Both projects will be delivered through the Cyber Growth Partnership which is a forum of Government representatives, academia, cyber security companies and trade bodies working to boost the UK’s global market position in terms of cyber security products and services. techUK co-ordinates business and academic involvement in the Partnership while the high-level Board is co-chaired by Ed Vaizey (Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy) and Gavin Patterson, CEO of the BT Group.

New UK Government funding will help small businesses in the UK cyber sector to grow, collaborate and develop new solutions to tackle cyber threats

New UK Government funding will help small businesses in the UK cyber sector to grow, collaborate and develop new solutions to tackle cyber threats

The Cyber Growth Partnership’s excellent work has realised the development of a Cyber Security Suppliers’ Scheme. Businesses in the scheme can show that they supply cyber security products and services to the UK Government and use the Government logo in their marketing material.

The Security Information Network (SINET) Global Cyber Security Innovation Summit

The business secretary made these announcements in front of 250 senior members of Government and industry who attended the two-day Global Cyber Security Innovation Summit at the British Museum. The Summit was supported by the UK and US Governments and brought together representatives of both the British and American Governments as well as business leaders to encourage the creation of new partnerships and projects centred on tackling threats in cyber space.

In essence, the Security Information Network (SINET) Global Cyber Security Innovation Summit focuses on building international public-private partnerships that will improve the protection of the UK and America’s critical infrastructures, national security and economic interests.

The key objective is to orchestrate and maintain international communities of interest and trust that foster vital information sharing, broad awareness and application of the most innovative technologies of both nations to enable a safer and more secure homeland for the United States, the United Kingdom and their trusted allies.

The US Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate supports this event along with Her Majesty’s Government as the UK representative.

Representatives attending the 2014 Summit included Sir Iain Lobban (director of GCHQ), Douglas Maughan (Cyber Security Division director at the US Department of Homeland Security) and senior members of leading cyber companies from both the UK and the US.

Cyber security: key facts and figures for the UK

*One in six businesses are not confident they’ll have sufficient security skills to manage their risks in the next year
*81% of large organisations have suffered from an information security breach in the past year
*60% of small businesses experienced an information security breach in the last 12 months
*Anywhere from £600,000 to £1.15 million is the average cost to a large organisation of its worst security breach of the year (up from £450,000 to £850,000 a year ago)
*£65,000 to £115,000 is the average cost to a small business of its worst security breach of the year (up from £35,000 to £65,000 a year ago)

BBC News: Business secretary Vince Cable warns of cyber vulnerabilities for Britain’s essential services

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News