Daily Archives: 14/02/2017

Army veteran secures role with Visual Verification following traumatic IED episode in Afghanistan

Army veteran Lamin Manneh was left fighting for his life after stepping on an improvised explosive device (IED) while deployed in Afghanistan. After surviving his injury and defeating all the odds, Manneh – who’s now a triple amputee – has landed a new role with Visual Verification, one of the UK’s leading remote security monitoring specialists.

Manneh’s new position as a security monitor marks his first employment since being discharged from the Army.

“Life can throw challenges at you and it certainly did with me,” said Manneh. “However, I believe everything brings its own opportunities, and I was determined to make the most of the new future I faced.”

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This fighting spirit helped Manneh to win a Bronze Medal at the Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida earlier this year. Organised by Prince Harry, the Games feature wounded and medically discharged servicemen and women from around the world competing in the sports arena.

Manneh was also part of Nick Knowles’ DIY SoS team, helping to transform an abandoned street in North Manchester into a veterans’ village, which is now known as Veterans’ Street. This event was supported by both Prince Harry and the Duke of Cambridge.

“My whole life has been about aiming to be the best I can, and having a job is no different,” Manneh continued. “Many people have supported me when times have been tough, so I owe it to them and my family to achieve all that I can.”

Mark Rooke, general manager at Visual Verification, stated: “In the short time he’s been with us, Lamin has impressed with his abilities and really positive attitude. He’s a great team player and we’re delighted to have him working at Visual Verification.”

Visual Verification is part of Security Monitoring Centres Ltd and UTC Climate, Controls and Security, itself a business unit within the United Technologies Corporation.

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LOCKEN set to launch innovative applications and contactless technology at Security and Policing 2017

LOCKEN, a leading provider of cable-free access control solutions, will be announcing the launch of a new range of highly innovative security systems at the forthcoming Home Office-organised Security and Policing 2017 event, which runs at the Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre from 7-9 March.

Alongside the company’s prominent Electronic range, LOCKEN will be showcasing a new Mechatronic range of access control systems. Combining the advantages of an electronic access control system and mechanical solutions, the new Mechatronic range is based on contactless induction technology, providing maximum reliability and robustness while guaranteeing instant opening.

Thanks to a Bluetooth module combined with Locken’s MyLocken applications, the mechatronic key opens up an infinite range of services for the end user. The mechatronic cylinders are installed without cabling and resistant to all climatic conditions.

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“As a leader in the provision of security solutions and innovative access control systems across large single-sites companies and multi-site businesses, it’s important that we broaden our offer and continue to innovate in order to meet all end user demands,” explained Nick Dooley, managing director of LOCKEN UK.

Visitors at Stand E9 will also be able to witness LOCKEN showcasing the latest technical innovations behind its award-winning and highly successful Electronic CyberLock range.

Security and Policing is the official UK Government global security event and provides a platform for professionals from the UK and across the world to engage with the very highest level of security expertise and the latest technology. In addition, it engenders the level of industry engagement needed to enable UK Government to procure and deliver its national security priorities.

The Home Office is committed to working with partners in industry and academia to develop and collaborate on the products and services needed to cut crime, prevent terrorism, detect illegal immigration and promote growth. Being able to share needs while gaining a better understanding of the capabilities available is a critical part of this initiative.

*Opening times for the show are: Tuesday 7 March and Wednesday 8 March 9.00 am-4.30 pm and Thursday 9 March9.00 am-3.00 pm

**For further details access the event website

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84% of small businesses call for intelligent video surveillance as existing systems “fail to protect premises”

A survey1 of small businesses in the UK has discovered that 84% of retail, office and hospitality owners are looking for video surveillance with high resolution images and intelligent features such as remote monitoring to provide superior security for their premises.

85% of respondents also stated that high quality and reliability would be important purchasing considerations when looking to invest in video surveillance.

The survey demonstrates a wide consensus among small business owners that current surveillance solutions in place are not viable to provide the necessary proof of crime at a time when the cost of shop theft is at an all-time high2. It also reveals that new technology is sought to provide the required security level within a given business.

Axis Communications carried out the survey in order to establish small business owners’ key challenges regarding video surveillance and how they believe it could be improved. In addition to stating that high quality images and the ability to access footage remotely on a smart phone or other device is desirable, 70% also suggested that ease-of-use is also high on the agenda.

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In light of accessible intelligent technology, 82% of small business owners are considering new video surveillance technology for their premises in order to provide a more up-to-date solution.

The survey results also demonstrate the challenges currently faced by small business owners in regards to their existing video surveillance solutions. A number of factors were revealed as unsatisfactory within their present set-up, including poor quality of images and difficulty of use.

These small business owners reported facing issues with their current video surveillance including “bad quality of system”, “lack of ability to monitor outside of premises” and providing “limited proof of crime”. This feedback further confirms the desire for more intelligent surveillance solutions to help protect businesses and make staff feel safe.

Atul Rajput, regional director for Northern Europe at Axis Communications, observed: “Pioneering technology and the benefits that come with it shouldn’t be limited to corporate entities. With the help of dedicated IT and security installers, the network camera is becoming more accessible and affordable for the small business than ever before. Many small business owners have an awareness that high quality, intelligent solutions are available and are looking for guidance as to how they can make the most of this to protect their premises and, ultimately, their bottom line. A rise in theft and the continued improvements in technology such as remote monitoring and high-quality images are only set to exacerbate this situation.”

Rajput continued: “As legacy video surveillance solutions become obsolete, we’re witnessing a shift in the ways small businesses adopt new solutions. Once regarded as a standalone investment, many now consider IP cameras as a vital upgrade that forms a part of their larger IT infrastructure. Along with this, end users are also looking to remotely access live and pre-recorded video footage anytime and anywhere. The ultimate benefit of this is a solution that delivers information rapidly and cost-effectively and that can benefit from the latest applications as and when they become available.”

References 

1Research was conducted by OnePoll independent market researchers on behalf of Axis Communications between 22 July and 10 August 2016 via an online survey. 500 UK business owners of companies with 1-20 employees that would be involved in the decision to purchase video surveillance equipment for their company premises were surveyed

2http://brc.org.uk/news/2016/cost-of-theft-for-retailers-at-highest-level-since-records-began

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EUSAS-Euralarm Fire Safety Conference focuses on R&D and standardisation

The results of cutting-edge research on fire safety were presented during a joint conference of EUSAS and Euralarm, the European research and Trade Associations in the sector. R&D’s potential impact on current and future standardisation work was a further point of focus for the event.

The joint EUSAS-Euralarm Conference took place on February 7-8 at the Berlin offices of Bosch Security Systems and determined to discover how cutting-edge innovation in the fire safety sector will drive the development of future standards and make buildings and people safer than they have ever been.

The event brought together 60 top specialists in the field of fire safety research, engineering and standardisation representing various European countries. Introducing the event were EUSAS chairman Professor Dr Andreas Czylwik, Euralarm president Enzo Peduzzi and, on behalf of the event’s host, Christoph Hampe.

The programme was divided into four sessions: false alarms, performance and quality testing, evacuation systems and fire safety in smart buildings.

As yet unpublished research on false alarms data gathered in Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland and Sweden was presented by Dr Sebastian Festag from ZVEI, the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association, and Lance Rütimann from SES, the Swiss Association of Security Product Manufacturers. Both are Euralarm delegates in the Task Group on False Alarms and have derived a common approach to an empirical analysis of false alarm data.

Wolfgang Krüll from the University of Duisburg-Essen presented reproducible testing procedures for false alarms and three new testing devices which have been developed for those procedures. In parallel, statistics from Iceland were presented by Gudmundur Gunnarsson of the MVS Iceland Construction Authority.

The problem of testing a safety device’s performance over its whole lifetime was first presented by Thomas Litterst of Hekatron, including detail of a specific testing process he has developed. As demonstrated by Thorsten Schultze from the University of Duisburg-Essen, products currently on the market are largely compliant with current standard’s requirements on age limits and could potentially function correctly well beyond.

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Raman Chagger from the Building Research Establishment in England also showed that optical smoke detectors developed in the 1980s function perfectly in modern environments.

Another matter is the mechanism of drift compensation, making up for the aging of a device and the build-up of dirt on sensors, which has the potential to delay the detection of slowly developing fires. That’s according to Florence Daniault from the Wagner Group.

Evacuation systems was the third topic. It was discussed by Dr Karl Fridolf from WSP, an engineering services group, who exposed the theoretical framework of human behaviour in situations of fire, and how behavioural aspects could be better considered in safety design.

Video fire detection and its influence on evacuation was presented by Dr Tjark Windisch from Bosch Security Systems. On the day, Dr Windisch called for greater efforts when it comes to standardising video fire detection.

The final topic, smart buildings, was first discussed by Raman Chagger from the perspective of visual alarm devices. He demonstrated how the product standard together with suitable guidelines in a code of practice needs to be based on more solid research.

Dr Peter Harris from United Technologies Corporation showed how favouring interoperability and data sharing in smart buildings could bring about ‘context-aware smoke detection’.

In a final presentation, Marc Chenevoy from Euralarm highlighted the difficulties inherent with standardising interoperable systems in smart buildings, but reported on positive progress being made within European standardisation bodies.

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“Watering hole-style cyber attacks on the rise” warns High-Tech Bridge

On Sunday 12 February, security firm Symantec released an analysis of a new wave of attacks that has been underway since at least October 2016 and came to light when a bank in Poland discovered previously unknown malware running on a number of its computers.

The bank then shared indicators of compromise with other institutions and a number of those other organisations confirmed that they too had been compromised.

These ‘watering hole’ attacks attempted to infect more than 100 organisations in 31 different countries.

Symantec has blocked attempts to infect customers in Poland, Mexico and Uruguay by the same exploit kit that infected the Polish banks. Since October, 14 attacks against computers in Mexico have been blocked, 11 against computers in Uruguay and two against computers in Poland.

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Preliminary investigations suggested that the starting point for the Polish infection could have been located on the web server of Poland’s financial sector regulatory body, namely the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (www.knf.gov.pl).

Commenting on this news, Ilia Kolochenko (CEO of High-Tech Bridge) said: “We should expect that cyber criminals will find more creative and reliable ways to compromise their victims. Trustworthy websites, such as governmental ones, represent great value for cyber criminals, even if they don’t host any sensitive or confidential data.”

Kolochenko continued: “In the past, hackers used one-off or garbage websites to host malware, but as corporate users become more educated and vigilant, attackers need to find more reliable avenues to deliver malware and enter corporate networks. That’s why Gartner, as well as other independent research companies, continuously say that the risk posed to corporate web applications is very high and seriously underestimated. Spear phishing and watering hole attacks against high-profile websites will grow significantly in the near future.”

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