Monthly Archives: July 2016

Serco invests in cyber security technology for global network

Serco has invested in a new network security system from Chemring Technology Solutions. Perception will be rolled out across Serco’s operations in the UK, the USA, the Middle East and Australia.

 

Originally developed for the UK Government back in 2011, Perception is the world’s first bio-inspired network security solution, which will complement Serco’s existing computer network security systems by identifying the potential threats they cannot.

 

Mark Henshaw, head of information security for Serco Group, explained: “I’m extremely impressed with Perception as it very effectively fills the gap that has developed between traditional network security tools and the expanding threat landscape as we see increasingly sophisticated malware and blended advanced threats.”

 

Henshaw added: “Perception sold itself as it’s a powerful tool that identifies apparently benign events which could seriously impact Serco. It’s proving to be simple to implement and has demonstrated value in a very short time by identifying malware, policy violation, suspicious data movement, device configuration issues and pointers to areas where awareness training should be increased. Many of the issues identified were subtle in nature and not picked up by our current network security systems.”

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Unlike other cyber security solutions, Perception is behavioural with no rigid rules-based architecture. Perception adapts to the network’s changing profile, automatically identifying malicious activity and making it more difficult for malware to evade detection. It will also detect the slow, unauthorised exfiltration of business information even when obfuscation techniques are used to evade traditional rule-based security defences.

 

Perception runs at high data rates at the core of a network rather than at the perimeter. Targeted, complex logic performs in-depth analysis and classification, avoiding the high false alarm rates usually experienced with anomaly detection systems.

 

“Serco supported Chemring Technology Solutions during Beta tests of Perception,” concluded Henshaw, “and we were particularly impressed by how different it is from traditional network security systems that rely on pattern matching. Perception collects and analyses information in a different way by looking for the unusual and linking apparently non-threatening network activity to identify hidden malware.”

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Zaun and Harper Chalice secure success from Olympic springboard

Two Midlands security businesses are preparing to celebrate their greatest day in history, exactly four years on from the opening of the London 2012 Olympics.

On 27 July 2012, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the 2012 Olympic Games after apparently surviving a death-defying skydive with James Bond actor Daniel Craig as part of Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle’s Isles of Wonder Opening Ceremony.

Wolverhampton’s Zaun and Coventry-based Harper Chalice cite their largest-ever contracts as the springboard to the growth and success they now enjoy. They helped make the 30th Olympiad the biggest security operation post-war Britain had ever mounted at a cost of £553 million and involving 10,000 police officers, 13,500 Armed Forces personnel – more than Britain had deployed in Afghanistan at that time – and no less than 70,000 Games Maker volunteers.

London 2012 was widely regarded as a triumph. It was the first Olympics where every participating country included female athletes. It enjoyed packed stadiums and smooth organisation, and the focus on sporting legacy and post-games venue sustainability was seen as a blueprint for future Olympics (including Rio 2016 that opens in nine days’ time).

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‘Legacy’ and ongoing community benefit was probably the key factor on which London secured the Games back in 2005 in the face of fierce competition from Paris. London 2012 delivered that in spades, along with a boost to the economy and a genuine nationwide ‘feelgood factor’ that arguably helped turn a faltering post-credit crunch recovery into sustained economic growth.

The regeneration of east London has been spectacular, though many argue about whether the 2012 Games sparked a long-term sustained greater participation in sports and improved fitness levels to combat the obesity epidemic.

Ongoing contracts for manufacturers

The world-class sporting facilities are also part of the legacy, but perhaps less obvious are the ongoing contracts for British manufacturers and service providers, as enjoyed by Harper Chalice and Zaun (among others).

Harper Chalice’s general manager and director Chris Hackett said: “As part of the pre-award process we had to install our systems alongside our competitors for trial and testing by the Government Security Services. The prize for winning was huge – 26 kilometres of PIDs and electric fencing at over 400 zones around the Olympic Park that has formed the basis of the TriSecure complete perimeter protection system that we now provide today alongside Zaun for high-security utilities sites and others.”

Certainly, Zaun’s Games legacy as the principal 2012 ‘Olympics fencer’ keeps running and running. The business has returned to the Olympic Stadium on several occasions, first decommissioning after the 2012 Paralympics, then reconfiguring and removing security fencing for last autumn’s Rugby World Cup and most recently to prepare it as the new home of West Ham United FC and a national competition centre for UK Athletics.

The transformation has included installing the largest roof if its kind in the world, a community track, innovative retractable seating, spectator and hospitality facilities and external landscaping.

The London legacy is about much more than just sporting venues. Zaun has also provided fencing around the ArcelorMittal Orbit, the transformation of the 275 metre-long Olympic media complex into iCITY and innovative ‘green’ acoustic fencing panels for the Chobham Academy on the former Athletes’ Village site.

Zaun’s head of sales, Chris Plimley, concluded: “London’s legacy has touched education, commerce, industry, culture, media, tourism, sport and a whole lot more. We owe a large part of our commercial success to the 2012 Games. London showed how the Olympics can benefit an entire nation.”

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TDSi’s md John Davies recognised by BSIA for Contribution to Exporting

John Davies, the managing director of integrated security manufacturer TDSi, has been awarded the 2016 BSIA Chairman’s Award for Contribution to Exporting during the BSIA’s Annual Luncheon, which was held at the London Hilton on Park Lane. The award recognises Davies’ significant contribution to promoting UK export initiatives within the security sector as chairman of the BSIA’s Export Council.

Commenting on the award, Davies told Risk UK: “I’m highly honoured to receive this special award from the BSIA. As the head of the Trade Association’s Export Council, my key task is to ensure that the British security industry understands the benefits and opportunities involved when it comes to engaging with markets around the world. Given the current political situation in the UK surrounding Brexit, it has never been more important for businesses here to understand and work with markets internationally.”

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John Davies (left) receives the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Contribution to Exporting

Daren Wood, membership and export services manager for the BSIA, stated: “John Davies has been a driving force and a keen supporter of the BSIA’s Export Council, serving twice as its chairman. First elected vice-chairman of the Export Council back in 2008, John has worked very closely with the Association to provide advice and guidance to other security companies who were less experienced exporters.”

Wood continued: “John then took over as chairman of the Export Council in 2010, becoming a strong figurehead for the industry. Around the same time, he served on the UKTI DSO’s Security Sector Advisory Group, assisting the Government in identifying security export opportunities. John started his second tenure as chairman of the Export Council last year and continues to be a strong voice for exporting in the industry. He now serves concurrently on the Home Office’s Security Resilience and Growth Partnership as an authoritative voice on exporting in the security sector.”

Vital role to play

Davies believes the UK security industry has a vital role to play in markets as far afield as North America and Asia. “What has struck me, having worked with the BSIA [and TDSi on a commercial level], is how well respected UK providers and products are around the world. For instance, TDSi produces all of its products in the UK, but we have a very healthy sales pipeline into China, which fully recognises the quality and insight that features so heavily in our offer. Although China has a huge manufacturing base of its own, customers there are extremely shrewd and like to buy the best solutions on the market. They harbour a huge respect for UK suppliers.”

TDSi has a strong presence in many security markets around the world. For example, Davies has lead the company to considerable commercial success in the People’s Republic of China, including a deal signed last year for a five-year strategic co-operation agreement with China Rail Chen Bang Technology Ltd. This will see TDSi’s technology used on rail and metro projects throughout China, and will eventually include 20,000 stations on the China Railway network.

TDSi’s sales in China and Asia increased by 33% last year, and the company has a strong presence in markets such as Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. The business also has ongoing growth in West Africa, particularly in Nigeria, and is keenly looking to expand into other African territories.

The company’s French office, which is based near Paris, also provides access to the considerable French-speaking regions of North Africa and the Middle East, as well as being a hub within Europe. The business is also looking to expand its technical and commercial expertise further into the North American market in the very near future.

Huge scope for progress

Davies added: “The British and European markets are steadily expanding, but there’s huge scope in many other markets around the world. In my role at the BSIA, I’m very keen to ensure British security businesses fully understand the opportunities on offer and don’t let perceived language and cultural barriers get in the way of the exciting sales opportunities on offer.”

In conclusion, Davies informed Risk UK: “The UK has some of the best scientific and technological minds in the world, with a great reputation for quality and innovation. It’s a privilege to chair the BSIA’s Export Council. I’m passionate about its aims.”

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Norbain welcomes Panasonic to customer solutions portfolio

Norbain has added Panasonic’s CCTV cameras, recorders, access control and video intercom products to its portfolio, in turn further enhancing the security solutions offering available to its customers.

Norbain aims to work with both new and existing suppliers and manufacturers to ensure it brings the most promising innovations to its customer base. The ability of Panasonic to combine multiple security products makes the company a great choice for clients looking towards a Total Security Solution.

In addition, Panasonic proprietary technology such as Rain Wash Coating, Smart Coding, VIQS (Variable Image Quality on Specified Area) and People Masking renders Panasonic CCTV systems “among the most advanced and cost-effective” on the market.

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Mark Field, supplier relations director at Norbain, commented: “We undergo constant product research and evaluation in order to guarantee that our product range remains the most comprehensive and advanced in the industry. Panasonic significantly enhances our market offer.”

Yojiro Matsubara, managing director of Panasonic System Communications Company Europe, explained: “I’m delighted that our products have been added to Norbain’s extensive portfolio. We strongly believe that Panasonic’s CCTV systems provide the best long-term value for money in the industry. We look forward to helping Norbain take this message to the market.”

Norbain will now be supplying a wide range of Panasonic security products, including the recently-launched bullet camera range, the True 4K dome and box camera range as well as the award-winning VL-SWD501EX/UEX wireless video intercom system, which recently won an Innovation Award at the 19th DECT World Awards.

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Merseyside Police uses SelectaDNA spray in crackdown on scrambler bike use

As part of Operation Brookdale, Merseyside Police is using SelectaDNA spray from Selectamark Security Systems to track down offenders involved in the illegal and nuisance use of off-road bikes.

The handheld devices (https://www.selectadna.co.uk/dna-defence-spray) can used by officers to spray suspected illegal and anti-social scrambler bikes, marking the bikes, clothing and skin of any riders and passengers with a uniquely coded, but invisible dye. If suspects are subsequently arrested or bikes recovered, the DNA code will link offenders to bikes and any associated criminal offences.

The spray is similar to door-mounted DNA sprays used by shopkeepers across Merseyside, which have led to reductions in business robberies under Operation Aquila.

A demonstration of the new technology took place at Mather Avenue Training Centre and involved members of the force’s Roads Policing Unit and the Dogs and Mounted Police Section. Roads Policing Unit officers on bikes circled mounted officers, who sprayed the riders as they rode past. As a result, the bikes and riders’ clothing was marked with DNA, invisible to the naked eye, but easily detected with torches and ultraviolet light in police custody suites.

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In February this year, four Liverpool men were arrested and a quad bike recovered following an incident in Mill Lane, Dingle, where the bike was ridden dangerously towards mounted officers.

Finding and prosecuting offenders

Inspector Tony Byrne of the Dogs and Mounted Police Section said: “Acts of anti-social behaviour, dangerous driving and intimidation against members of our communities and our officers will not be tolerated. This spray is another great tool in finding and prosecuting offenders. Our police horses are trained to be comfortable around vehicles, including off-road bikes, but we have a duty to protect the community, our officers and our horses from all forms of reckless driving.”

Inspector Byrne continued: “The spray means that, if you attempt to drive dangerously near to our officers, you’re not untouchable. Even a drop of DNA spray will mark riders and their bikes for a long time. This tactic will undoubtedly lead to more seizures and prosecutions throughout the summer. One spray will put you away.”

Superintendent Jenny Sims, who leads Operation Brookdale, stated: “During this year’s operation, we’ve already recovered in excess of 90 bikes from our streets and made more than 40 arrests using a variety of tactics. We’ll continue to act when communities provide information. As we’ve shown with Operation Aquila, DNA spray is another way to deter and catch those who continue to cause problems in our communities. Tell us who’s storing these bikes and where, and we can keep getting results.”

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy explained: “This is another great example of Merseyside Police using modern technology to prevent crime, catch the perpetrators and keep our communities safe. These sprays have helped to reduce business robberies, and I’m sure they can now be beneficial in targeting the anti-social and criminal use of scrambler bikes. We’re continually looking for more effective and efficient ways to crack down on the crimes that cause most harm to people who live and work on Merseyside or are visitors to the region.”

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Evolution Security celebrates two decades of business operations

Evolution, the nationwide fire and security company, celebrated its 20th year in business with a party for members of staff which was held on board a New Orleans Paddle Steamer during this month’s Henley Music Festival.

The company, which took on its first employee in October 1996, was one of the early adopters of digital CCTV technology. Its first major project was upgrading the CCTV Control Room at Canary Wharf.

Since those days the company has expanded to comprise a team of almost 90 staff operating out of offices in London, Birmingham, Dublin and Edinburgh, where it recently opened larger premises.

“Several of the employees at the party have been with the business almost from the beginning, while some of our senior staff originally started at Evolution as trainees,” said Richard Lambert, the company’s co-founder and managing director.

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Similarly, many of its original clients – including Statoil and The Daily Telegraph – are still active accounts, vouching for the genuine long-term relationships that the business has built. Evolution now works for major multinationals across Europe and Internationally.

Lambert believes that the biggest change over the last 20 years has been the migration towards IP: “All of our technicians are now IP trained and clients today are increasingly looking to move away from server-based installations towards cloud and web-browser-based solutions,” he added.

Among the more unusual projects Evolution has been involved with over the last two decades was designing a wireless perimeter security detection system for nine CPNI water treatment plants and reservoirs. This solution was to provide early detection of intrusion in the lead up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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Criminals target UK’s youth as cases of identity fraud increase

Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, has released new figures showing a 52% rise in young identity fraud victims in the UK. In 2015, just under 24,000 (23,959) people aged 30 and under were victims of identity fraud. This is up from 15,766 in 2014, and more than double the 11,000 victims in this age bracket in 2010.

The figures have been published on the same day as a new short film, entitled ‘Data to Go’, is launched online to raise awareness of this type of fraud. Shot in a London coffee shop in March this year, the film uses hidden cameras to capture baffled reactions from people caught in a stunt where their personal data, all found on public websites, is revealed to them live on a coffee cup.

Identity fraud happens when a fraudster pretends to be an innocent individual to buy a product or take out a loan in their name. Often, victims don’t even realise that they’ve been targeted until a bill arrives for something they didn’t buy or they experience problems with their credit rating.

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To carry out this kind of fraud successfully, fraudsters usually have access to their victim’s personal information such as name, date of birth, address, their bank details and information on who they hold accounts with. Fraudsters gain such detail in a variety of ways, including through hacking and data loss, as well as using social media to put the pieces of someone’s identity together. 86% of all identity frauds in 2015 were perpetrated online.

People of all ages can be at risk of identity fraud, but with growing numbers of young people falling victim, Cifas is calling for better education around fraud and financial crime.

Fraudsters are opportunists

Simon Dukes, CEO of Cifas, said: “Fraudsters are opportunists. As banks and lenders have become more adept at detecting false identities, so the fraudsters have instead focused on stealing and using genuine people’s details. Society, Government and industry all have a role to play in preventing fraud. However, our concern is that the lack of awareness about identity fraud is making it even easier for fraudsters to obtain the information they need.”

Dukes continued: “The likes of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other online platforms are much more than just social media sites – they’re now a hunting ground for identity thieves. We’re urging people to check their privacy settings today and think twice about what information they share. Social media is fantastic, and the way we live our lives online gives us huge opportunities. Taking a few simple steps will help us to enjoy the benefits while reducing the risks. To a fraudster, the information we put online is a goldmine.”

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Commander Chris Greany, the City of London Police’s national co-ordinator for economic crime, added: “We’ve known for some time that identity fraud has become the engine that drives much of today’s criminality, and so it’s vitally important that people keep their personal information safe and secure. In the fight against fraud, education is key and it’s great that Cifas and its members are taking identity fraud seriously and working together to raise awareness of how the issue is now increasingly affecting young people through the launch of this film.”

As part of the campaign, Cifas commissioned a survey with Britain Thinks to find out more about 18-24 year olds’ attitudes towards personal data and identity fraud. The survey found that young people are alarmingly unaware that they’re at risk:

  • Only 34% of 18-24 year olds say they learned about online security when they were at school
  • 50% of the 18-24 year olds surveyed believe they would never fall for an online scam (compared to the national average of 37%)
  • Only 57% of 18-24 year olds report thinking about how secure their personal details are online (compared to 73% for the population as a whole)

They’re also less likely to install anti-virus software on their mobile phone than the national average (27% compared to 37%).

Organisations such as the City of London Police, Action Fraud, Get Safe Online, Her Majesty’s Government’s Cyber Streetwise campaign, Financial Fraud Action UK and Cifas members including Coventry Building Society, BT and Secure Trust Bank are all supporting the campaign and sharing the new film across their social media networks.

Cifas is also appealing to youth organisations, schools and universities to share the film so it reaches as many young people as possible.

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