Monthly Archives: July 2017

Cougar Monitoring and BT Redcare to run joint Roadshow for fire and security installers in Midlands region

Led by Cougar Monitoring, the Roadshow will be hosted on Friday 6 October at one of BT’s key buildings in Birmingham city centre near to Birmingham New Street Station. In addition to presentations from representatives of Cougar and BT Redcare, there will also be representatives from the technical departments of both companies available for advice, guidance and training.

Eric Roberts, CEO of Cougar Monitoring, said: “BT Redcare has been in the alarm signalling market for over 30 years. The company is tried and tested and the majority of its products are third party certified. Having met with the new BT Redcare management team recently, it’s abundantly clear that they have a renewed focus and intention to work closer with both ourselves and installers. We’re delighted to join them to reinforce that message to our installers.”

CougarMonitoringLogo

BT Redcare sits at the heart of home and business security, bridging the gap between customers, installers and Alarm Receiving Centres (ARCs). Backed by BT’s trusted technology and the largest R&D budget in the UK, the business has been leading the way in reliable alarm signalling. Having recently undertaken a refresh of its brand and approach to the market, the company has now pledged to work closer with ARCs and installers to help grow their businesses.

Cougar Monitoring was established in 1996 and holds a number of nationally-recognised accreditations. The business is registered by the Security Industry Authority as an Approved Contractor for key holding, security guarding and Public Space (CCTV) Surveillance and has also received the National Security Inspectorate’s Gold standard EMS and Health and Safety accreditations.

Cougar Monitoring is part of the Prime Interaction Group that also includes Securenett and Kings Security, making it one of the largest independent security groups in the UK. The company invests heavily in cutting-edge technology to provide clients with an “innovative and inclusive” security service. Its high specification alarm receiving and monitoring set-up enables the company to keep response times enviably sharp and to provide reliable and professional assistance.

SecurenettLogo

Going forward, Securenett will be recommending BT Redcare alarm signalling products to its customers.

Commenting on the Cougar initiative, John Ware (general manager of BT Redcare) said: “I met personally with the senior leaders of Cougar Monitoring recently and it’s clear that they, like us, are looking to the future and wish to expand their operation. We’re perfectly placed to help them do this. The combination of our expertise in the market and Cougar’s reach to installers means attendees at the Roadshow will receive the best advice, value and support from both companies.”

*Details of the Roadshow will be issued soon. In the meantime, installers wishing to register an interest in attending can do so online at www.formwize.com/cougarroadshow

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

London Digital Security Centre introduces ‘Cyber Crisis Simulation’ event to help businesses prepare for cyber breaches

The London Digital Security Centre (LDSC) is inviting senior representatives from SMEs across London to attend its ‘Cyber Crisis Simulation’ Breakfast Briefing at the University of Greenwich. The event takes place on Thursday 3 August from 10.00 am to noon. The ‘Cyber Crisis Simulation’ itself will be run by Cyber Rescue, which is one of the LDSC’s carefully selected partners.

Reputations are ruined when businesses are unprepared for the consequences of a cyber breach. With that in mind, this new event will help businesses to prepare for the day that happens so that they can act accordingly in mitigating disaster.

The simulation will be based on learnings from over 100 major data breaches and cover the following topics: why shock and ambiguity are common responses in the Boardroom, where Command and Control systems are stressed after a major breach, who expects what among regulators, customers, partners and the police, how the exponential growth in cyber attacks puts jobs on the line and what companies can do today to protect themselves from the cyber attacks of tomorrow.

LondonDigitalSecurityCentreLogoWeb

There are an estimated one million SMEs operating in London and, each month, more than 1,000 of them report being the victim of a cyber crime or fraud to Action Fraud. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Report published in April this year found that just under half (46%) of all businesses have identified at least one breach or attack in the last year. Of those, 45% were micro or small businesses.

The new event is part of a series organised by the London Digital Security Centre to help protect businesses – and primarily micro to medium-sized concerns – to operate in a secure digital environment.

John Unsworth, CEO of the London Digital Security Centre, commented: “Small and medium-sized businesses shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that criminals don’t target them, or that they’re safe from online vulnerabilities. Any company that holds data is a viable target.”

For further details and to register for the event visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cyber-crisis-simulation-tickets-36271637444

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

ONVIF publishes Release Candidate for Profile T on Advanced Video Streaming

ONVIF – the global standardisation initiative for IP-based physical security products – has announced the Release Candidate for Profile T, a draft specification with advanced streaming capabilities that includes support for H.265 video compression and an expanded feature set that extends the capabilities of ONVIF video Profiles for system integrators and end users alike. 

ONVIF Profile T for advanced streaming employs a new media service that enables the support of High Efficiency Video Coding based on the international H.265 video compression standard that specifies how to decode data into displayable video.

Profile T-conformant clients support both H.264 and H.265 video compression, while Profile T-conformant devices support at least one of these formats.

The new Profile also encompasses Transport Layer Security (TLS)-enabled communications and new functionalities such as bi-directional audio streaming, standardisation of events, imaging configuration and on screen display configuration.

OnvifLogo

“Profile T broadens the scope of the ONVIF video profile to include both the H.264 video compression standard that’s widely used in video surveillance solutions today and H.265 video compression, which is set to become the de facto video compression standard in the very near future,” said Fredrik Svensson, chairman of ONVIF’s Profile T Working Group. “In addition to support for multiple video compression types, Profile T establishes conformance regarding motion detection, metadata streaming, analytics and other important features that ultimately offer an expanded and standardised feature set to system integrators and end users, in addition to interoperability between manufacturers’ solutions.”

Profile T for advanced streaming supports transport over Websockets, which allows end users to stream video to a browser instead of a VMS client. Profile T also features bi-directional audio that’s often used in city surveillance, transportation and parking security as well as for other security applications that require two-way audio communication. Support for the TLS protocol adds another level of security to communications between Profile T-conformant clients and devices.

Standardisation of events such as motion detection and tampering is included in Profile T. Digital input and relay output events are covered, as is their configuration through the device I/O service which can expedite installation.

Profile T allows motion region detector configuration through the analytics service, which means that a specific area of an image can be selected for analysis. Streaming of metadata – such as events and analytics data – is also covered by Profile T.

ONVIF circulates a new Profile first as a Release Candidate for at least six months, allowing members and stakeholders a final implementation review. When that process is complete, the final Profile is published and technology providers will be able to test their products for conformance to the final version of Profile T. This process is intended to allow members to more quickly introduce conformant products when the final version of Profile T is released in 2018.

*Further information about the Release Candidate of ONVIF Profile T and ONVIF conformant products, including the vendors and the conformant models, is available on the ONVIF website: www.onvif.org

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

TDSi names ABCA Systems as ‘UK Partner of the Year – North’

Integrated security solutions developer TDSi has announced that ABCA Systems is the company’s ‘UK Partner of the Year – North’. The accolade was recently presented to ABCA’s managing director Philip Miller by TDSi channel partner manager Neil Hughes after IFSEC International 2017.

Speaking after the award was presented, Miller commented: “I’m delighted and proud to accept this award on behalf of the entire team at ABCA. We work very closely with TDSi to ensure our customers receive the best security solutions. We specify TDSi products because they offer outstanding quality of service and value for money, which helps us to provide our clients with very attractive levels of RoI in a highly competitive market. We very much look forward to continuing and growing our highly successful partnership.”

Neil Hughes of TDSi presents the award to ABCA_s Managing Director, Philip Miller

Commenting on the presentation of the award, Neil Hughes added: “ABCA has continuously proven and demonstrated the highest levels of technical expertise, market awareness and professionalism which makes the business an ideal TDSi partner.”

Hughes continued: “Backed by a highly keen interest in the market, ABCA has grown its business with TDSi significantly throughout the last 12 months. A stand-out project has been the access control solution realised in seven schools in South Yorkshire. This award is richly deserved and we’re proud to be forging a continued partnership of success.”

Established back in 1986, ABCA Systems is a UK-wide specialist electrical systems provider with an enviable reputation for experience, expertise and excellence. The company provides myriad products, systems and services to large public sector organisations and private residential homeowners alike.

ABCA specialises in providing and installing multi-disciplined, fully-integrated systems. The company’s proud of its ‘One Call, We Do It All’ tradition, whereby ABCA will survey, design, quote, install and maintain a given security system, in turn eliminating the need for multiple contractors to handle multiple systems.

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

Apprentice Installer Awards winners set the bar high in 2017

The British Security Industry Association’s (BSIA) Annual Luncheon on Wednesday 12 July played host to the prestigious Apprentice Installer Awards, where one overall winner and two joint runners-up received awards for their achievements.

The Apprentice Installer Awards recognise the academic and practical successes of Level Two and Level Three apprentices involved in the installation of alarms, CCTV, access control or a combination of these systems.

As well as rewarding the accomplishments of bright young apprentices, the awards also highlight the commitment of security companies and training providers alike in providing young talent with the opportunity to succeed in the security industry.

Overall winner in 2017

This year’s overall winner is Corrie Stewart, a 21 year-old student from New College Lanarkshire who’s presently in the third year of her apprenticeship with Connelly Security Systems.

Stewart has been impressing her peers and tutors at every level of her apprenticeship, being nominated for the award for her attention to detail and overall skill set.

BSIAAIAwards2017CorrieStewart

In his nomination, David Scott (curriculum and quality leader for the built environment and electronic fire and security at New College Lanarkshire), explained that Corrie “is performing well beyond her years in terms of understanding systems and system circuitry.”

Stewart has been excelling in both the theory and practical elements of her apprenticeship, completing 12 units of her qualification with a 90% pass mark or more. Although a third year apprentice, Stewart is already out on her own running her own fire and security jobs, which include installation and maintenance visits to British and European Standards. Her fantastic interpersonal skills means she never leaves a customer until they’re comfortable with and compliant in using the systems.

Talking about her award, Stewart enthused: “I’m incredibly proud to have won this award. I’ve absolutely loved my apprenticeship with New College Lanarkshire and Connelly Security Systems. It has been hard work, but my determination has paid off and I cannot wait to see where it takes me next.”

Stewart went on to add: “The apprenticeship has given me the opportunity to enhance my skills, gain valuable experience and work with those who have vast experience in the industry. The programme offers a varied career that requires skills and problem-solving and you face different challenges every day. I’m really proud of my success in such a male-dominated industry, but I can already see the industry changing and I’m delighted to hear that there’s another female apprentice in first year now.”

Runners-up in 2017

The joint runners-up in the year’s Apprentice Installer Awards are Callum Walker and Craig McAdorey (both third year apprentices with Kings Security). They were joint runners-up as their nominations were scored so closely by the judges that it was impossible to decide between the two.

BSIAAIAwards2017CallumWalker

21 year-old Walker was referred to the apprenticeship scheme at Kings Security by a friend, and has been excelling as a technical support apprentice ever since. Joining a team of over a dozen technical support engineers, all of them with a great amount of experience gained within the security industry, Walker has had the confidence and aptitude to speak out in group conversations and express his ideas, quickly gaining him the respect of the rest of the Kings Security team.

Lee Kerry, head of services at Kings Security, nominated Walker for the award and praised him in particular for the fact that he’s also always looking to broaden his technical knowledge, identifying new online courses and even completing some in his own personal time.

“I’d like to thank Kings Security for giving me the opportunity of learning a trade and developing myself as a person, but also for the belief the company has shown in me becoming a security systems engineer,” observed Walker. “The support has been tremendous from the company with its in-house training. I feel this has been the key to my progression, allowing me to work with a variety of systems.”

Walker added: “This achievement has given me the confidence and belief that all of the training and the hard work I’ve put in has been worthwhile. My plan for the future is to continue striving to succeed both personally and professionally on behalf of the next generation of security systems engineers.”

BSIAAIAwards2017CraigMcAdorey

Craig McAdorey has quickly become an asset to his team at Kings, completing a number of in-house signalling training courses including those involving WebWayOne, CSL, Digital Communicators and Emizon.

The diverse skill set gained means that McAdorey is very confident in the installation process, being capable of delivering the end product on time and to a high standard.

Gavin Salter, area engineering manager for Kings Security who nominated McAdorey for the award, also highlighted the apprentice’s excellent customer interface skills.

“Craig is always prepared to go the extra mile in order to deliver on and, indeed, exceed the requirements of the customer. He always maintains a highly professional manner and answers any questions that customers may have.”

Talking about his achievement, McAdorey said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank my employer as, without the company, none of this would have been possible. I enjoy my job as a security systems installer. I love working on all disciplines and find all aspects of my role both challenging and enjoyable. Being successful in this competition is a great achievement for me personally and for Kings as a company. I take great pride in my work and will endeavour to progress further in the future in order to fulfil my personal goals of becoming a fully-qualified security systems installer.”

This year’s Apprentice Installer Awards were sponsored by Syntinex. “As a business, Syntinex recognises the importance of development and training future engineers,” commented Jacques Lombard, the company’s managing director. “We’re very proud to sponsor the Apprentice Installer Awards.”

The BSIA would like to take this opportunity to thank Syntinex for sponsoring these awards and wish all the very best of success for the winners in their future careers.

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

Euralarm outlines content of upcoming new study on false fire alarms in Europe

Fire and Rescue Services collect facts and figures during responses to alarms from fire detection and alarm systems. Now, Euralarm has reviewed the different approaches for data collection and analysis in England, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Austria.

A key observation is the differences noted between the examined countries. These differences hamper comparisons, although a view of the European norms would suggest the opposite. Euralarm is therefore calling for more co-operation between the stakeholders involved which would enable new insights into fire alarms in general.

Buildings are safer today because of the fire detection and alarm systems installed within. Indeed, without these systems, fires would go undetected and spread. Exit routes would be impassable due to smoke and fire, resulting in injuries and even fatalities, aside from damage caused to the building(s).

EuralarmFireAlarmReport

As is the case with any system, though, there are conditions that can lead to false alarms binding public and private resources as well as hurting the reputation of fire alarm and detection systems. False alarms can be reduced, for example, through the use of modern multi-sensor fire detectors as well as the regular application of correct maintenance requirements, making the systems reliable and dependable for building occupants.

In spite of such existing solutions, the market is lacking sufficient data that would outline the potential to reduce false alarms even more. An initial study by Euralarm in 2012 showed that data sources were missing and existing sources not comparable. Reliable details (eg data pools) on the range of false alarm difficulties and their causes are needed. At the moment, lack of such detail is hindering the development of a suitable basis upon which to define and deploy effective countermeasures.

The new study focuses on investigating data collection and analysis processes in order to achieve a better understanding of what needs to be done and, hopefully, will provide momentum for changes to be made.

Key observations

The review of the data collection process of transmitted alarms from fire detection and Alarm systems has been carried out by the Euralarm Task Group for False Alarms.

The project’s objective has been to analyse the specific methodologies by taking an empirical approach, with the aim of deriving a common understanding of the facts and figures collected during Fire and Rescue Services’ responses to fire alarms.

From the existing data pools, members of the Task Group then attempted to calculate the false alarm ratios based on four different models. In doing so, they then took the step of attempting a comparison between the investigated countries.

One of the observations of the review is that comparison of fire alarm figures in the respective countries is hampered by “missing alignment” in terms of common terminology and processes. A view towards the European norms would suggest the opposite, but the fact is that the application guidelines are national and these are the basis for any data collection. The analysed material recorded and collected by experts during responses to fire alarms is handled quite differently from country to country.

Lack of proper information leads to narrow or wrong measures being implemented, which is clearly detrimental to society and must be changed.

A fundamental understanding of fire alarms – and specifically false alarms – is a requirement for any attempts towards betterment. Since a common approach would (in principle) be possible, Euralarm proposes that the fire safety industry, Fire and Rescue Services and building owners work far more closely together on this matter.

*The full report will be published in Q4 2017

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

BSIA presents inaugural Security Business Awards to “outstanding” selection of UK companies

Six member companies of the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) have been recognised at the Association’s inaugural Security Business Awards for their commitment to promoting the worldwide reputation of the industry.

The brand new awards were presented at the BSIA’s Annual Luncheon 2017, held at the the Grand Connaught Rooms in central London on Wednesday 12 July. Presented in three main categories – The International Partnership Award, The Environmental Award and The Innovative Security Project of the Year Award – the Security Business Awards invited contributions from all sections of BSIA membership, with one special commendation and one overall winner being announced in each category.

“Following the success of our Security Personnel of the Year Awards, the Apprentice Installer Awards and the CVIT Special Awards for Outstanding Service, which focus solely on individuals or teams, we felt it was important to broaden the scope and ensure that the success of entire companies is also rewarded,” commented James Kelly, CEO of the BSIA. “This has also enabled us to encourage companies from outside of the guarding sector to engage with our awards programme. The nominations we received this year are a testament to the fantastic reputation of our member companies and we look forward to the ongoing success of these new awards.”

The International Partnership Award

The International Partnership Award aims to showcase the capability of the UK’s security industry in embodying the BSIA’s Export brand values of world class security innovation and experience.

BSIAAwards2017ConceptSmokeScreenThe 2017 winner in this category is Concept Smoke Screen Ltd for its partnership with established Brazilian security firm Allarmi in helping to prevent explosive attacks against ATMs in Latin America.

After one of the largest privately-owned banks in Latin America was being mercilessly targeted on an average of 40 times per month, Concept Smoke Screen Ltd worked with Allarmi to install closely-monitored security fogging systems at 1,600 branches. The impact of the systems was so dramatic that the bank has now installed them across 4,300 branches, with this solution successfully decreasing the number of attacks to a minimal amount.

Concept Smoke Screen Ltd and Allarmi have a shared value of protecting people and livelihoods, in turn leading to a successful collaboration, so much so that Allarmi now holds regular training sessions regarding the systems and has significantly expanded its network of installers.

The businesses have also founded Concept Smoke Screen Brazil Ltd in order to produce the same quality products at an affordable price and help the local market, creating new jobs in the process.

Talking about this achievement, Matt Gilmartin (managing director of Concept Smoke Screen Ltd) said: “Concept Smoke Screen Ltd is delighted to be recognised by the BSIA for its partnership work in Brazil. Although Brazil is facing significant economic challenges, the people there are determined to improve safety and security for the entire population. Concept Smoke Screen Ltd and its partner Allarmi are exceptionally proud to be part of that. Our shared beliefs have successfully produced significant loss reductions for some of the country’s and world’s largest financial institutions.”

The Special Commendation in this category was awarded to GJD Manufacturing for its work with a South East Asian international airport. GJD’s D-TECT Laser detector range helped to secure a gap above a glass wall in the arrivals area, which could have allowed objects to be thrown over before passing through security. The D-TECT Lasers have performed so well, in fact, that more have now been fitted more lasers in other areas of the airport.

The Environmental Award

The Environmental Award recognises the commitment of a security company or its employees to improve sustainability within the organisation or to improve the wider environment in its local community.

BSIAAwards2017PrintWasteThis year’s overall winner is Printwaste Recycling & Shredding who received the accolade for the installation of 384 solar panels on the roof of the company’s headquarters in order to move away from fossil fuels towards cleaner energy sources. As well as installing the solar panels, the business also fitted light sensors in corridors, in toilets and to external lighting in order to reduce the amount of electricity being used.

The company continued to show its commitment to energy conservation by closely monitoring usage against material processed in order to assess ways in which it could reduce electricity consumption still further while increasing output.

By transforming the unused roof space into an environmental asset, the business’ electricity bill has been reduced by 51%, while annual CO2 emissions have also decreased dramatically. The commitment to the environment has also resulted in employees being more energy conscious, as well as customers being happy in the knowledge that their materials are being shredded as a result of power supplied through eco-friendly solar energy.

Don Robins, managing director of Printwaste Recycling & Shredding, enthused: “Winning this award is fantastic recognition for the business and the staff at our security shredding facility in Cheltenham. We all know that, in this day and age, it’s increasingly important for data and media products to be securely destroyed. Our operation bolsters our green credentials and gives even greater re-assurances to our clients who know that the electricity used in shredding their data and confidential papers is generated by solar panels on the Printwaste building roof.”

The Special Commendation in this category was awarded to Magenta Security Services. The business is on track to reduce its energy usage by 75% through a number of environmentally friendly initiatives. Such initiatives include changing all electronic equipment to low energy, as well as investing in environmentally friendly lighting systems throughout its offices and the installation of recycled flooring tiles.

The Innovative Security Project of the Year Award

The final award (for The Innovative Security Project of the Year) recognises projects that represent a first for the industry, a first for a particular market or a new application of an existing security solution.

BSIAAwards2017CSLCSL is the overall winner in this category, receiving the award for its CSL Connected project. Working in partnership with the industry’s leading panel manufacturers, CSL Connected combines CSL’s Critical Connectivity with the customer’s chosen alarm panel and the added option of an end user app.

Using its partnership with over 60 UK Alarm Receiving Centres (ARCs), CSL Connected ensures that professional installations are not overlooked in exchange for cheaper, self-monitored solutions, combining the expertise and innovation of CSL and its manufacturer partners with end user preferences for a smart phone App and the added insurance requirement of ARC monitoring.

“Installers already have access to signalling products that provide end user Apps,” explained Rob Evans, sales director at CSL. “CSL Connected is the only product to offer smart phone Apps with reliable ARC connectivity. With end user convenience and a guaranteed response to an alarm, CSL Connected also discourages self-monitored systems that bypass ARCs.”

Evans added: “We’re delighted to win this award alongside our CSL Connected Partners. It’s testament to the hard work of each of our companies in delivering this project to the industry.”

The Special Commendation in this category was presented to Nocturna Ltd for its Sentinel range of night vision solutions, which provide crystal clear low light imagery up to 100 metres away, increasing search capabilities at night and the successful early detection of those individuals either lost or injured in low visibility scenarios. Solutions in the range provide essential support to security, military and ‘blue light’ personnel in addition to civilians worldwide.

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News