Daily Archives: 10/10/2014

UK public fears advance of Internet-enabled devices amid security concerns

According to the latest KPMG survey, UK consumers fear that technology is overtaking their lives, with many increasingly concerned about the pace of change they face. The study results also highlight apparent discomfort with the greater surveillance of everyday life and a cynicism about the need for connected devices.

KPMG surveyed over 1,600 consumers across the UK to identify attitudes towards the ‘Internet of Things’/’Internet of Everything’ – the term used to describe devices which ‘speak’ to each other over the Internet. The company aimed to gauge consumers’ views around intrusiveness, security and the value of connected devices.

More than half (58%) of the respondents resent the idea that computers seem to run their lives “wherever they go” while 70% suggest that, with the marketplace flooded by inter-connected devices, it’s too easy for things to go wrong.

The survey goes on to reveal that UK consumers are hankering after a return to ‘simple’ technology. For example, many of those who took part in the study (54% of respondents, in fact) mainly want their phone only to make calls. The majority believe that more advanced Internet-based products such as smart fridges are not as necessary.

UK consumers fear that technology is overtaking their lives, with many increasingly concerned about the pace of change they face

UK consumers fear that technology is overtaking their lives, with many increasingly concerned about the pace of change they face

However, respondents were quick to recognise that inter-connected devices can bring benefits, with 48% of interviewees welcoming the idea that smart meters can save energy and money. Four-in-ten also suggest that health monitors which issue warnings about impending illness are a good idea, and 46% want to use security systems to remotely monitor their property while they’re away from home.

Rise of the machine

Wil Rockall, director in KPMG’s cyber security practice, commented: “It’s clear that consumers are struggling with a desire to use connected devices as a route towards an easier life and remain wary of the rise of the machine. They still support innovation, recognising that in the right environment having the latest technology is key. Nearly 60% acknowledge that technology makes us more effective at our job.”

Asked why they are cynical about the advance of the Internet of Things, respondents questioned how it’s possible to keep personal information private, with 56% of those polled concerned about a ‘Big Brother’ effect occurring as a result of these products and the pace at which they are being produced and implemented.

In a work environment, more than one-third (36%) of respondents suggested employers are monitoring their every action.

Mark Thompson, a senior manager in KPMG’s cyber security practice, added: “Security and privacy are high on the list of worries for the consumer, with 62% of respondents to our survey believing that there’s insufficient concern about it. The fact remains that, where once an Englishman’s home was considered to be his castle, the advent of the Internet of Things means that fortress walls can be breached more easily. There are also so many opportunities for the latest technologies to provide value and enhance our lives, but we’re failing to take advantage of them. We will continue in that vein until such time consumers can be convinced that always-connected devices are both safe and worthwhile.”

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BSIA hosts 25th Anniversary celebrations for CoESS General Assembly

More than 100 security experts from across Europe gathered in London this week to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the CoESS General Assembly. The prestigious event was hosted by the British Security Industry Association.

CoESS – the Confederation of European Security Services – is the Brussels-based European Trade Association designed to represent all national private security Trade Associations across the continent. The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) is a leading member of the Confederation.

Collectively, CoESS represents 19 EU Member States, 24 countries, 60,000 private security companies and 2.2 million employees and generates an annual turnover of £27 billion.

Founded in 1989, CoESS is recognised by the European Commission as a European sectoral social partner in accordance with the European treaties.

Over the last 25 years, private security has evolved into a global, multi-faceted sector in which providers of state-of-the-art technology and equipment combine their strengths with those of the providers of skilled security guarding services to offer solutions and services best suited to Governments and corporate end users.

The CoESS General Assembly celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2014

The CoESS General Assembly celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2014

Across Europe, those providers and end users are represented by a plethora of national and international organisations such as the BSIA and CoESS. Although each separate organisation is focused on achieving Best Practice and high standards in their respective jurisdictions, these Trade Associations do join forces in sharing their common ideals around the subjects of freedom, security and justice.

CoESS General Assembly: the main points

Each year, CoESS brings together all of its active members to take part in the General Assembly. At the Assembly, financial statements are approved and the organisation’s management is evaluated and validated.

To help celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the General Assembly, the BSIA hosted a large delegation of European industry representatives in London who were able to discuss and debate pan-European issues, regulatory provisions and Best Practice for the security sector. The focal point of the celebrations was an evening dinner cruise on the River Thames.

James Kelly: CEO at the BSIA

James Kelly: CEO at the BSIA

Speaking about the event, BSIA CEO James Kelly commented: “It’s a pleasure to welcome CoESS and the wider European private security community to London to celebrate this important anniversary of the CoESS General Assembly. The BSIA has enjoyed a long and productive relationship with CoESS. We’ve worked together on pan-European issues to achieve Best Practice across the industry. We look forward to the next 25 years of effective partnership.”

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“Ticking boxes will not prevent the next Rana Plaza” states the Institute of Risk Management

According to a new report published by the Institute of Risk Management, businesses responding to supply chain scandals with additional rules and regulations leave workers even more vulnerable.

The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) report entitled ‘Extended Enterprise: Managing Risk in Complex 21st Century Organisations’ argues that the ‘modern commercial obsession’ with systems and processes obscures the real problem – failure to understand and predict human behaviour and build trust.

The report urges companies to prioritise behavioural risk over ‘tick box compliance’ in order to tackle the ethical uncertainties present in today’s complex delivery networks.

Peter Neville Lewis – one of the report’s authors and an IRM member – explained: “Ticking boxes is easy – and dangerous. Boxes were ticked at Rana Plaza, in Rotherham and at BP. Developing a sophisticated understanding of ‘personal risk management’ may be a somewhat harder task but, as companies as diverse as John Lewis and Tata Industries have shown, it does help to create the ethical behaviour that controls risk across an organisation however big or complex the operation may be.”

Back in August, a Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply survey of UK businesses revealed that nearly 75% of supply chain professionals admitted to having ‘zero visibility’ of the first stages of their supply chain. Shockingly, 11% acknowledged it was ‘likely’ that slave labour was used at some point in the process.

Human cost of wilful blindness

The IRM’s technical director Carolyn Williams – who authored the new report – pointed out: “This is the human cost of wilful blindness in extended enterprise risk. It’s time businesses stopped expressing remorse and started tackling the behavioural uncertainties at every stage of their operations.”

Shareholders have a direct interest in whether a company takes a tick box or behavioural approach to organisation-wide risk management. A 2013 report published by the World Economic Forum highlighted the fact that significant supply chain disruption cuts the share price of affected companies by an average of 7%.

The IRM report entitled 'Extended Enterprise: Managing Risk in the Complex 21st Century Organisations' finds that businesses which respond to supply chain scandals with additional rules and regulations leave workers even more vulnerable

The IRM report entitled ‘Extended Enterprise: Managing Risk in the Complex 21st Century Organisations’ finds that businesses which respond to supply chain scandals with additional rules and regulations leave workers even more vulnerable

‘Extended Enterprise: Managing Risk in Complex 21st Century Organisations’ marks the transition from risk management of a single organisation to a coherent programme which meets the global and interdependent challenges of today’s joint endeavours.

Made up of IRM practitioners together with academic experts, the report’s project group has skilfully developed models, tools and techniques to help risk practitioners understand and manage risk across extended enterprises.

“Today’s extended enterprise environments achieve amazing outcomes but also display many of the characteristics of complex systems, with all of the potential for volatility and uncertainty that implies,” continued Williams. “By modelling the extended enterprise in practice, we provide risk practitioners with the tools such that they can begin to understand organisational exposure to extended enterprise risks – wherever in the chain they may be.”

Williams went on to comment: “By their very nature, complex systems cannot be managed or controlled. However, they can be influenced so, in terms of the future risk manager, this will demand new skills around leadership and when it comes to the understanding of culture, ethics and behaviour.”

Methodologies and tactics for addressing risk

The report offers recent multi-agency examples to demonstrate why there should be concern around extended enterprises. These include the scandal in the UK when horsemeat appeared in some beef supply chains, the management by some banks of their outsourced IT providers, failures in care homes and child protection in the UK and the tangle of responsibilities that became evident following the Macondo well disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

As well as supporting organisational performance, the IRM report claims that a better understanding of risk across the extended enterprise is also vital in tackling wider problems such as slavery, abuse, environmental damage and dangerous working conditions. The report argues that wilful blindness by organisations to these issues within their broader networks is unacceptable.

Put simply, companies must now ask themselves whether any claims that they make about their values hold true across their extended enterprise.

Richard Hibbert – CEO of cloud-based Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) solutions provider SureCloud (who sponsored the report) – stated: “This is a thought-provoking study which highlights the risks posed by relationships across extensive networks of suppliers, partners and associates. It also offers methodologies and tactics for addressing risks and harnessing the benefits.”

*The new report was officially launched at a conference held at Cass Business School in London on Thursday 9 October

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Pilgrims re-awarded Government of Iraq operating licence

Pilgrims Security Services Limited (Iraq) has been re-awarded its Government of Iraq operating licence, which is a necessary requirement for all armed security companies (domestic as well as international) stationed and operational in the country.

The decision follows on from a lengthy re-evaluation process and inspection of the company’s premises, including weapon storage arrangements. A significant number of security companies have yet to be granted renewals.

Iraq is currently subject to a vicious and, to date, surprisingly successful Islamic State insurgency in the country’s Northern provinces. Although in a state of flux following the resignation of the authoritarian Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who had been in power for eight years, the Government’s functions and capabilities are regenerating following a period of atrophy during the coalition occupation.

Matthew Cawthorne: country director for Pilgrims Group's operations in Iraq

Matthew Cawthorne: country director for Pilgrims Group’s operations in Iraq

Against this backdrop, the re-award of Pilgrims’ operating licence can be viewed as a ringing endorsement of the company’s compliance.

Managing Director William Freear commented: “Successfully supporting our clients’ needs in Iraq has been foremost in our delivery of service excellence in Iraq for the past decade. Our country team, ably led by Matthew Cawthorne who’s our country director, has been meticulous and consistent in maintaining our compliance in Iraq and keeping clients protected whatever the circumstances.”

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Consec 2014 highlights overriding need for true analysis of business risks

Held on Thursday 2 October, Consec 2014 – the Association of Security Consultants’ Annual Conference – ran under the banner ‘Securing Business, Protecting the Future’ and highlighted the overriding need for a true analysis of risks and necessary solutions rather than business professionals relying on simplistic reports and common assumptions. There was also consideration around developing effective strategies for tackling today’s myriad cyber threats and the importance of being able to rely on quality products and services in the ongoing fight against criminality.

Over 150 delegates representing security suppliers and end user organisations attended the event, which was held at the London Heathrow Marriott Hotel. It was the Association of Security Consultants’ (ASC) 20th Annual Conference and Exhibition, with the conference proceedings expertly chaired by Security Industry Authority chairman Elizabeth France CBE.

In his opening keynote address, Professor Michael Clarke (director general at the Royal United Services Institute) outlined key factors influencing current global threats. These include demographic trends, climatic events resulting in population movement, regional tensions, the growth of virtual communications, a significant level of financial assets being out of reach of state jurisdiction, economic hardship and resulting migration and the takeover of liberal revolution by fundamentalist elements.

Consec 2014 was attended by over 150 delegates representing security solutions suppliers and end user organisations

Consec 2014 was attended by over 150 delegates representing security solutions suppliers and end user organisations

Paul Easter – managing director at Harquebus and 2014 Imbert Prize winner – sought to dispel some common misconceptions around terrorist capabilities. Easter stressed that these capabilities are typically conventional from a technology point of view, and that terrorists have generally not succeeded in using the Internet as a cyber weapon while they also remain a long way off from being able to pose a nuclear threat.

According to Easter, terrorists’ abilities to use more advanced methods of attack are dependent on state assistance. This is very often non-existent or otherwise limited.

Tackling the cyber threat

Sue Seaby – director at SAS Security Risk Service – explained why tackling the cyber threat should be an exercise carried out as part of an integrated plan for dealing with all threats and involve each risk discipline rather than cyber being treated as something special.

Seaby added that Boards of Directors need to be educated against being swayed on risk policy dependent on media coverage at any given time, and feels there should be greater recognition of the scale of the insider threat to information security. Apparently, 80%-85% of all data breaches are committed by members of staff, either inadvertently or deliberately.

Both Seaby and Jane Attwood (representing the John Taylor International Partnership) focused on the importance of organisations ensuring that their suppliers – as well as their employees – follow appropriate procedures specifically designed to minimise risk.

Sue Seaby of SAS Security Risk Service speaking at Consec 2014

Sue Seaby of SAS Security Risk Service speaking at Consec 2014

Attwood, who is also a member of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Defence and Security Committee, outlined the findings of recent LCCI research on cyber security. 54% of London businesses have been the victim of cyber crime in the last 12 months. The main barriers to improved protection are the perceived high cost (the response received from 34% of those questioned as part of the research) and a lack of threat awareness (30%).

LCCI recommendations include making it simpler for businesses to know where to go for advice and the availability of the Innovation Voucher for cyber security on a continuous basis to help SMEs bring in outside expertise.

UK Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research

Dr Tristram Riley-Smith – external champion to the UK Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research at Cambridge University – explained that, despite a perception that information security is all about technology, probably the most important element in cyber research focuses on human behaviour. A high proportion of risks may be minimised if Best Practice techniques are followed.

The UK Partnership is a national research programme aimed at improving our understanding of current and future security challenges. To date, over 1,200 projects have been energised.

Dr Riley-Smith’s prime mission is “to see value extracted from the university world and delivered to the people who can do something with it”. He cited a number of examples, including making the link between ‘lucky imaging’ techniques from astronomy and improving the resolution quality of surveillance systems installed for operational crime prevention and detection.

It’s estimated that the global security market will rise in value from £410 billion in 2012 to £571 billion by 2016. Dr Riley-Smith said that the goal was for the UK’s share of security exports to rise from 4% to 8% by 2020.

Dr Tristram Riley-Smith spoke about the UK Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research

Dr Tristram Riley-Smith spoke about the UK Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research

Following this theme, Stephen Phipson CBE – director of security industry engagement with Her Majesty’s Government – then outlined his own work designed to support various activities across Government. Led by the UKTI and heavily promoting security exports, this work has already built on the UK’s delivery of a safe and secure London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Phipson’s key role involves co-ordinating the interaction between Government and the UK’s security sector and, during his presentation, he duly stressed the importance of being able to rely on high standards from the organisations the Government’s export initiatives are designed to support.

Chartered Security Professional certification scheme

Di Thomas, membership engagement manager at The Security Institute, continued the theme of standards with her summary of the Chartered Security Professional certification scheme.

The 75th practitioner to gain the prestigious status of Chartered Security Professional is Bob Martin, an ASC Board member. Bob’s achievement was marked with an official certificate presentation ceremony at Consec 2014.

Summing up the day, Allan Hildage – the ASC’s chairman – said: “This year’s Consec proved to be yet another informative and worthwhile conference where our delegates were fortunate to hear some outstanding presentations delivered by security and risk expert leaders from across Government, academia and industry.”

*Further information on research projects being enabled via the UK Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research and RISC is available online at: http://www.riscuk.org/academia/academic-marketplace/

**The LCCI report ‘Cyber Secure: Making London Business Safe Against Online Crime’ is available online at: http://www.londonchamber.co.uk

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Chris Pinder joins Tavcom Training to spearhead marketing and business development drives

Tavcom Training has announced the appointment of Chris Pinder who joins from the National Security Inspectorate in order to spearhead the company’s marketing and development functions.

Pinder is well known throughout the security sector having carried out important roles for the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) – where he served as southern region general manager and export services manager from November 1997 through until August 2010 – and most recently at the National Security Inspectorate (NSI), where Chris was external affairs director for nigh on three years from November 2011.

Speaking about his latest move, Pinder commented: “I’ve known Tavcom for as long as I have been in the industry. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute towards the future growth of such a professional organisation as Tavcom which, as the country’s leading security systems training provider, has established an outstanding reputation for delivering quality courses conducted by highly knowledgeable tutors.”

Chris Pinder: joining the team at Tavcom Training

Chris Pinder: joining the team at Tavcom Training

Known for its accredited vocational, classroom and ‘e-learning’ online training, Tavcom has grown significantly since the company was founded in 1994. Today, the organisation offers over 70 courses supporting the growth and development of security systems engineers and managers alike.  

In addition to the domestic market, Tavcom is a prime example of international success. Upholding the UK’s first-rate reputation for exporting market-leading security products and services on the global stage, Tavcom enjoys a strong and growing presence in the Middle East, Australia, Africa and the USA.

“Every member of the Tavcom team shares a passion for supporting security professionals in the development of their skills and career enhancing qualifications,” explained Paul Tennent, Tavcom’s managing director. “It’s clear that Chris shares this ethos and we welcome the addition of his knowledge and experience. Bringing Chris on board will greatly assist us with our future ambitions. Globally, we’ve already trained in excess of 65,000 delegates and we’re fully confident that it will not be too long before we reach that magic 100,000 milestone.”

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