Daily Archives: 23/01/2017

Hikvision extends PoE capability for cameras in company’s IP model range

Hikvision is now offering up to 250 metres Power over Ethernet (PoE) for a number of cameras in its IP camera range.

The company has identified that many IP systems are designed where the cameras and NVRs are more than 100 metres apart, meaning that PoE can only be achieved through the use of additional switches and repeaters. This increases the overall cost of an installation.

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With the introduction of greater PoE distances, Hikvision can now provide an even more cost-effective solution for larger installations with the added benefit of simplifying the system design and installation process.

Pom Chen, technical manager for Hikvision in the UK and Ireland, said: “With over 4,000 R&D employees, Hikvision is constantly looking at innovative ways in which to improve our solutions for security installers, system integrators and end users. The introduction of 250 metre Power over Ethernet is just one of many steps we’ll be taking in 2017.”

*To find out more about Hikvision’s 250 metre Power over Ethernet and the full Hikvision range visit: http://www.hikvision.com

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Veracity set to join partners at BETT 2017 as education sector demands reliable and long-term storage of HD video

Veracity – a leading provider of innovative and intelligent solutions that solve real-world IP video challenges in transmission, storage and display – has just announced its inaugural attendance at the BETT Show.

The BETT Show takes place between 25-28 January at London’s ExCeL, and is the largest education technology event in Europe. By partnering with Kingsfield Computer Products Ltd on Stand G372 and Kent CCTV & Data Ltd on Stand E370, Veracity will show visitors from schools, colleges and the further education world that choosing to use higher definition cameras to record in much greater detail is now perfectly possible by dint of using the company’s award-winning surveillance storage product COLDSTORE.

Depending on the environment and the use of open platform cameras, it’s also possible to reduce the systems’ overall total cost of ownership by recording direct to COLDSTORE from the cameras, cutting out the additional hardware, VMS licence and energy costs of NVRs.

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Alastair McLeod: Group CEO of Veracity

“No longer need you worry about reducing the recorded resolution from your cameras to conserve hard disk space,” explained Alastair McLeod, Group CEO of Veracity, to risk and security managers operational in the education sector, “or recording in high definition for short periods only. Security teams looking after retail centres are already realising the benefits of being able to record continuously in high definition, enabling them to retrospectively interrogate CCTV footage in greater detail than previously possible.”

McLeod added: “COLDSTORE’s recording design, which uses only two hard disk drives at a time in a mirrored overlapping pair sequence, extends the life of those disks considerably and reduces system energy consumption by around 90% when compared to similar-sized RAID systems.”

Veracity’s transmission products will be available for visitors to view. These include the industry-benchmark HIGHWIRE family of products, enabling the latest IP cameras to be installed over legacy coax networks without re-cabling and associated business disruption.

Also of interest will be the POINTSOURCE Wireless solution, which enables security installers to locally view IP cameras on a smart phone during installation

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30% of NHS Trusts have experienced a ransomware attack” finds SentinelOne

30% of NHS Trusts in the UK have experienced a ransomware attack, potentially placing patient data and lives at risk. One Trust – the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust – admitted to being attacked 19 times in just 12 months. These are the findings of a Freedom of Information (FoI) request submitted by SentinelOne.

The Ransomware Research Data Summary explains that SentinelOne made FoI requests to 129 NHS Trusts, of which 94 responded. Three Trusts refused to answer, claiming their response could damage commercial interests. All but two Trusts – Surrey and Sussex and University College London Hospitals – have invested in anti-virus security software on their endpoint devices to protect them from malware.

Despite installing a McAfee solution, Leeds Teaching Hospital has apparently suffered five attacks in the past year.

No Trusts reported paying a ransom or informed law enforcement of the attacks: all preferred to deal with the attacks internally.

Ransomware which encrypts data and demands a ransom to decrypt it has been affecting US hospitals for a while now. The Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles notoriously paid cyber criminals £12,000 last February after being infected by Locky, one of the most prolific ransomware variants.

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With the infected computers or networks becoming unusable until a ransom has been paid* or the data has been recovered, it’s clear to see why these types of attack can be a concern for business continuity professionals, with the latest Horizon Scan Report published by the Business Continuity Institute highlighting cyber attacks as the prime concern. This is a very good reason why cyber resilience has been chosen as the theme for Business Continuity Awareness Week in 2017.

“These results are far from surprising,” said Tony Rowan, chief security consultant at SentinelOne. “Public sector organisations make a soft target for fraudsters because budget and resource shortages frequently leave hospitals short changed when it comes to security basics like regular software patching. The results highlight the fact that old school AV technology is powerless to halt virulent, mutating forms of malware like ransomware. A new and more dynamic approach to endpoint protection is needed.”

Rowan continued: “In the past, some NHS Trusts have been singled out by the Information Commissioner’s Office for their poor record on data breaches. With the growth of connected devices like kidney dialysis machines and heart monitors, there’s even a chance that poor security practices could put lives at risk.”

*Note that the data isn’t always recovered even after a ransom has been paid

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Axis Security’s Employee of the Year Awards recognise exemplary members of staff

Axis Security, one of the UK’s leading security service providers, recently celebrated the successful achievements and extraordinary efforts of its employees during the company’s Christmas Luncheon held at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel, London.

Four awards were bestowed at the event: Security Employee of the Year, Acuity Employee of the Year, National Team of the Year and London Team of the Year, in addition to new awards honouring both support staff and management.

The Security Employee of the Year Award was won by Emil Hawryluk, who has been with Axis Security since 2009 and contracted at The British Library since 2011. In his current role as security manager, Hawryluk leads a team of 17 and has been praised for ‘exceptionally high standards’ in what is an extremely busy and constantly changing environment. His recent duties have included helping to facilitate visits from the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Chinese Vice-President.

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Emil Hawryluk picks up the Employee of the Year Award from Axis Security account manager Nick Lowe

Acuity, the Axis Group’s Front of House division, presented its Employee of the Year Award to Ellie Self, who works at Earl Place, which is managed by BNP Paribas Real Estate. Self was commended for her assistance in improving the building’s sustainability credentials, the planning, organisation and execution of numerous successful events, training new employees in compliance and, above all, for her outstanding average monthly Service Level Agreement score of 108% (which is the highest average score attained at any Acuity site).

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Ellie Self: Acuity’s Employee of the Year

The security team at Wythenshawe Hospital scooped the National Team of the Year Award, while the London Team of the Year Award was bestowed upon the team at Ark Data Centre’s Cody Park site.

David Mundell, managing director at Axis Security, believes it’s important to recognise staff achievements that go above and beyond the Call of Duty.

“Our winners have all demonstrated a strong work ethic, clear customer service skills and a thorough commitment to all aspects of their job,” stated Mundell. “They represent Axis Security’s values and are a credit to themselves, our customers and our business.”

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Europe is the world’s top tourist destination… but are tourists safe?

Worldwide, tourist travel is on the rise. Indeed, international tourism actually dwarfs any other type of leisure business in terms of growth. One of the global regions benefiting the most from this trend is Europe: the world’s first tourism destination.

Central to the dynamism of European tourism is accommodation: hotels, B&Bs and online-rented space, but due to a loose legislative framework for safety, which is rapidly becoming obsolete as our habits as tourists evolve, hotels might also become European tourism’s Achilles’ heel.

Of all the dangers posed to a tourist’s safety in a European hotel, fire remains the biggest. Currently, the legal basis on the matter is a 1986 EU Council Recommendation on fire safety in hotels. Since EU Recommendations are, by their very nature, non-binding legal acts, this has resulted in mainly localised and incomplete measures. Fast forward 30 years later, and it’s clear that the Recommendation has had limited effect on hotel safety in Europe: a fact acknowledged by hotel federations and consumer associations alike.

The main issue is that local self-regulation resulting from the EU Recommendation hasn’t guaranteed an even level of safety across the EU. Enforcement varies considerably from country to country, and even from city to city, including in the same region, and largely depends on the size of the hotel. All-too-often, small hotels are less well scrutinised, and somewhat more ill-equipped than bigger ones to deal with fires. Local laws frequently link the number of rooms with compliance to the Recommendation.

Global trends

An analysis of global trends in tourism shows that, as our tourist habits evolve, the risk resulting from the current situation increases: more and more travellers choose to go ‘off the map’ opting for smaller hotels rather than big chains. This new type of tourist also tends to visit exactly those countries where safety in hotels is less controlled.

Add to this the relatively unregulated development of increasingly popular online ‘homestay’ networks, such as Airbnb, and you have a flammable cocktail. The situation seems to be calling for a fast reaction.

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The most recent attempt to initiate binding legislation on tourism accommodation safety arose in October 2015. A Resolution of the European Parliament called for a consistent European approach around risks related to fire. Reactions to the Resolution from various Brussels-based influencers highlighted a novel situation. All parties involved – ie consumer associations, hotel federations and Euralarm, the European Trade Association representing the electronic fire and security industry – now seem to agree that a legally binding EU Directive would be the right solution to address the issue.

Industry-led survey

Unfortunately, the initiative derailed due to a lack of reliable supporting data. The exact level of risk existing for the flows of tourists travelling to and inside Europe remains a question mark.

Outside of empirical observations, statistics on safety in tourism are notoriously hard to come by, with reputational issues hampering self-reporting. An EU Commission-initiated data collection programme launched in 2008 resulted in a blatant failure.

The focus now is on a survey led by the industry, rather than the EU. Among others, Euralarm has asserted its readiness to help with new data collection efforts. The organisation has also offered to provide support and expertise to the EU Institutions and the CEN-CENELEC European standardisation platform for the development of the relevant legislation and necessary standards needed to improve fire safety in hotels.

Progress in European legislation and standardisation is often slow unless the issue makes it to the news headlines. In 2004, after a number of tunnel fires with resulting casualties, the EU Commission was forced to publish a Directive on tunnel fire safety. Should we wait any further before adopting a Directive on tourism accommodation safety?

Time to act

Any failure to act quickly could lead to another cost for Europe. As tourism is now more globalised than ever, competition becomes fiercer, and parts of the world with more stringent and well-established regulations for safety in tourism accommodation might hold a key advantage.

In the United States for example, a Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act has been in place since 1990. Potential future incidents resulting from poor regulation could hit Europe’s tourism industry particularly hard. Its reputation as a safe destination has already taken a blow due to recent terrorist attacks.

Tourism is one of the engines of the European economy and an important source of jobs. Eurostat reports that one-in-ten non-financial enterprises in Europe belong to the tourism industries, and that these 2.2 million enterprises employ an estimated 12 million people. That’s more than one-in-five of individuals employed across the services sector.

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Milestone Systems and Community Partners deliver high profile retail surveillance solution across Middle East and North Africa

Milestone Systems, the developer of open platform IP VMS, has delivered a flexible and scalable surveillance solution for Majid Al Futtaim’s multi-site operations across the Middle East and North Africa. The solution integrates Best-in-Class technologies from Community Partners.

As a fast-growing business, Majid Al Futtaim realised that managing large camera networks and risks across multiple sites and countries posed several challenges. First, the outdated analogue surveillance infrastructure was in need of being modernised. Second, the sheer size of the operation, with multiple sites across several countries and more than a thousand cameras at some sites, had to be addressed.

Following a comprehensive vetting process, Majid Al Futtaim chose a state-of-the-art security and video surveillance solution in order for the business to remain at the forefront of operating safe and secure retail and leisure environments.

The Milestone XProtect Corporate VMS permits Majid Al Futtaim to operate the entire surveillance solution from a single management interface in the UAE. Being able to access all the sites from one location enables the operations team to co-ordinate surveillance and management efforts across those sites. Other relevant parties can also leverage the information directly from mobile clients, in turn enabling more efficient safety operations.

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Top-of-the-range Axis Communications cameras and Pivot3 hyper-converged server infrastructure guarantee the host business lives up to Government regulations. iCetana’s dynamic live monitoring system helps offset the challenges of actively monitoring the large camera networks and enables a real-time assessment and response capability.

Operational costs related to the hardware, servers and cameras have been reduced from 23% to 7%. Real-time response capability helps make overall security operations more effective by immediately identifying risks. Today, there are approximately 10-12 incidents actioned per 300 cameras.

“We are honoured Majid Al Futtaim has chosen Milestone as its primary VMS and we look forward to continuing to support them now and into the future,” enthused Peter Biltsted, director for the Middle East and Africa at Milestone Systems.

“iCetana is proud to provide ongoing support to Majid Al Futtaim throughout the MENA region, and also to be part of Milestone’s Partner Community as key components of Majid Al Futtaim’s video surveillance infrastructure,” added Stephen Bose, head of business development at iCetana.

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James Morris MP visits Advent IM to discuss EU’s GDPR and ‘The Future of Cyber Security in the Boardroom’

On Friday 20 January, Advent IM – the holistic security consultancy – played host to a visit from James Morris MP at its Birmingham headquarters.

2018 will see the adoption of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the UK. Given the GDPR’s increased accountability and level of financial penalty for failure, the implications for UK businesses are clear.

Advent IM has long felt that good data protection and security hygiene starts at the top of an organisation and needs to be handled strategically.

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Advent IM’s Mike Gillespie

James Morris MP visited Advent IM’s offices and Training Centre in Halesowen to discuss the GDPR and Advent IM’s new training course for senior Board members and business leaders. The training is designed specifically for director-level individuals with little or no cyber security background. The course is to be delivered by director and cyber security expert, Mike Gillespie.

Having an insight into the convoluted world of cyber security, in addition to a firm grasp of the challenges it presents to senior Board members, Gillespie plans to bring the strategic skills of business leaders to bear on high quality cyber security planning and data protection practices in order to “raise the UK’s game” from the top down.

“James Morris has always taken a keen interest in cyber security and digital development in business and recognises the need for the UK to ensure its security posture is robust,” asserted Gillespie. “With the interconnected nature of business and the digital life of commerce, small and local businesses can be holding extremely valuable information assets. They need adequate protection through their lifecycle.”

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