Monthly Archives: December 2018

“Lack of strategic focus on technology at Board level” finds ICSA poll

A poll conducted by ICSA: The Governance Institute and recruitment specialist The Core Partnership reveals that just 51% of Boards of Directors understand the challenges and opportunities that data and technology present to their organisations. Some 29% of the company secretaries who took part in the survey think that their Boards do not fully understand and a further 20% could only attest to ‘maybe’.

A lack of knowledge is viewed as the main barrier that prevents Boards from engaging properly with technology at a strategic level. Some 58% of respondents consider this to be the main obstacle, with 22% alluding to another reason, 16% citing language as an impediment and 4% blaming the on-boarding process.

Some of the main issues raised are as follows:

*The speed at which technological advances move means key aspects of the technology journey may not be provided in a timely manner

*It’s hard to find time in busy agendas to focus on the technology aspects

*Most Boards are made up of people who are of a generation that do not really understand the possibilities and threats offered by technology

*There has been a focus on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and cyber security, but that focuses on risks rather than opportunities

*Challenges arising from data management are more readily understood (eg the impact of poor data quality), but the real opportunities available to organisations through the effective use of data are less well considered (and especially through the ‘lens’ of commercial strategy)

Peter Swabey

Peter Swabey

Artificial Intelligence and automation

When asked if there were particular areas in which Boards needed to improve their understanding, a quarter of respondents chose Artificial Intelligence and automation. Other areas highlighted for potential improvement were using data effectively, the GDPR, cyber security and IT governance. Some 23% of respondents stated the belief that their Boards need to hone up on all of the areas mentioned.

Peter Swabey, policy and research director at ICSA, said: “The pace of change is such that new technology is emerging quicker now than at any time previously. This can be challenging for all Boards, but particularly so for those predominantly made up of people who are not ‘digital natives’. On top of this, changes in corporate governance, data privacy requirements and regulation mean that it can be difficult for non-executive directors to maintain an adequate level of knowledge across all areas. While it’s incumbent upon directors to proactively seek to expand their knowledge, there are time limits on what’s achievable given the part-time nature of the role.”

Swabey added: “It might be suitable for some organisations to have an IT specialist sit on the Board, but this wouldn’t be appropriate for all. Moreover, having one director with responsibility for technology might allow others to obviate their responsibilities, which is clearly not an option. As one respondent quite rightly said: ‘Technology is both an opportunity and a threat – Boards need to understand how it impacts the business both operationally and strategically’. This is a responsibility that all directors must share.”

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Police set to use Artificial Intelligence to help predict spikes in hate crime

Following the news that the police service is setting up a new ‘Hate Lab’ using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help predict spikes in hate crime on the streets following Brexit, Andy Davies (consultant on police and intelligence services at SAS UK) has highlighted the importance of using data to mitigate preventable or predictable trends.

Davies has stressed the need for law enforcement to find new and innovative ways to make analytics and resulting insights accessible to officers. Ultimately, AI and data analytics has the power to help police do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.

“Law enforcement operates in an increasingly complex environment, with investigators facing unprecedented amounts of data,” said Davies. “Social media has further complicated this environment in the last ten years with data being published online at an unmanageable rate. Clearly, the police are overwhelmed and overworked. The new ‘Hate Lab’ is no silver bullet for eliminating hate crime, but it’s a clear step in the right direction to mitigate preventable or predictable trends.”

ArtificialIntelligenceandData

Davies continued: “Making sense of this data and understanding the underlying connections is critical in any investigation or intelligence-development activity. Data analytics is already reviewing huge volumes of intelligence data rapidly so that police officers can cut through the noise and focus on real and emerging threats. AI and data analytics can help the police to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively, so we need to find new and innovative ways to make analytics and resulting insights accessible to today’s officers.”

Davies referenced Gloucestershire Constabulary, which has employed analytics software to improve policing strategies, gain real-time insight into incidents and identify crime ‘hotspots’.

“Gloucestershire officers will now be able to draw together data from numerous systems and sources, including its electronic incident log, phone system, GPS-capable radios and demographic data from other sources. Using analytics, it will also be able to use the data available to identify crime ‘hotspots’, monitor trends, forecast future crime/incident levels offenders across the county and see a live breakdown of crime statistics.”

In conclusion, Davies told Risk Xtra: “It’s vital that the police service looks for every opportunity to operate more efficiently and use the latest data-driven tools in the fight against crime. By using data analytics, our police forces will be in an even better position to derive intelligence from multiple sources of potentially life-saving information.”

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Keri Feeney joins UK sales team at access control solutions developer Inner Range

Inner Range has hired Keri Feeney to join its UK sales team. Feeney takes on the role of regional sales manager for the South and will focus on generating new business for the Berkshire-based company as well as managing existing client relationships. 

Previously, Feeney worked as the regional manager for ievo, the manufacturer of biometric fingerprint readers. She has also worked as a fire and security consultant for Firstline Security Solutions.

Keri Feeney

Keri Feeney

Speaking about her new appointment, Feeney told Risk Xtra: “Inner Range has a fantastic reputation for designing and manufacturing high quality products for the full spectrum of security needs. I’m looking forward to meeting new and existing customers and helping them to devise the right access and security solution for their needs.”

Tim Northwood, general manager at Inner Range, added: “We’re delighted to welcome Keri to our team. She already has a good insight into the access control sector and direct experience of working with biometrics. This, together with her energy and enthusiasm, will stand her in great stead to win new business and keep our current clients happy.”

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Hochiki Europe systems partner Tees Fire Systems secures £1.5 million contract to protect University Hospital of North Tees

Specialist fire and security engineer Tees Fire Systems (TFS) Limited has just won a seven-figure contract to install a new hybrid system at the busy University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton.

TFS Limited is one of 20 companies nationwide that are part of life safety systems manufacturer Hochiki Europe’s exclusive Systems Partner Network. The accolade recognises TFS Limited as a company with extensive expertise in the life safety and security industry and affords the business use of the latest products and technologies available from Hochiki Europe.

The University Hospital of North Tees provides services to people living in East Durham, Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees and the surrounding areas. The hospital was founded back in 1968 and has current capacity for 563 beds across eight floors. The estate is managed by North Tees and Hartlepool Solution LLP.

As part of the contract, TFS Limited made the decision to specify products from Hochiki Europe for the project. Kevin Hynes, managing director at TFS Limited, said: “When our tender for the University Hospital contract was successful, we were praised for our technical knowledge. This is a testament to the hard work of our sales team and our status as an Hochiki Europe Systems Partner.”

UniversityHospitalNorthTees

During the course of the contract, TFS Limited is providing ongoing technical support for the end user around the installed solutions. The company also holds monthly progress meetings with hospital facilities managers to keep disruption to staff and patients to a minimum.

Mark Smith, UK sales manager at Hochiki Europe, added: “Installing life safety systems in healthcare environments can be challenging due to the complex layout of the buildings and the vulnerability of some occupants. As well as keeping disruption to a minimum, it’s also important that the new installation doesn’t compromise the functionality of existing systems. Over the next two years, we’ll work closely with TFS Limited to ensure that the new fire alarm system provides the highest levels of safety from the very moment it’s installed and best protects staff, patients and the premises.”

Steven Taylor, assistant director of estates and capital for the North Tees and Hartlepool Solution LLP, which is the organisation responsible for managing the healthcare estate, concluded: “We were very impressed by the technical knowledge and significant experience demonstrated by TFS Limited when it comes to working within a busy hospital environment. TFS Limited’s approach and insight is refreshing and provides the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust with full confidence that the project will be well managed and progressed in a collaborative manner.”

Work to install the new system began in June this year and is expected to be completed by Summer 2020.

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Milestone Systems releases support for ONVIF-based camera line from MOBOTIX

Milestone Systems released its Device Pack 10.0a in October and now supports the MOBOTIX MOVE camera series. MOBOTIX MOVE is an independent product line providing customers with everything from a single source. MOVE stands for the use of mechanically moving parts in the cameras, meaning that MOBOTIX has parted with its previous product policy of only offering decentralised video systems. The MOBOTIX MOVE product line is the first motorised devices and ONVIF-based camera line to be produced by MOBOTIX.

“We’re glad to be supporting the first ONVIF-compliant products introduced by MOBOTIX as we believe this will enable us to realise a faster release to market going forward,” said Jesper Just Jensen, vice-president of products at Milestone Systems.

MOBOTIXMilestoneONVIF
With the Device Pack 10.0a, Milestone Systems also supports new firmware for MOBOTIX’s Mx6 cameras. Mx6 cameras use a powerful CPU that delivers up to 34 fps in Full-HD. This allows for even better capture of quick movements. The camera line has more capacity for software applications (such as 3D motion analysis and license plate capture) in the camera.

Philipp Helmes, MOBOTIX’s product manager for integration solutions, observed: “Milestone Systems is one of the largest technology partners for MOBOTIX AG. Due to the growing global demand for our cyber-secure premium cameras, we’re very pleased to announce the release of the Device Pack 10.0a, which now enables the integration of the entire MOBOTIX camera world into the Milestone VMS, our Mx6 Internet of Things series as well as the latest MOVE cameras.”

Milestone Systems now supports more than 7,000 devices. 40% of its drivers are integrated through ONVIF, an open industry forum that provides and promotes standardised interfaces for the effective interoperability of IP-based physical security products and solutions.

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ASSA ABLOY acquires door sealing systems specialist Lorient Group

ASSA ABLOY has acquired Lorient, the designer and manufacturer of high performance door sealing systems based in Newton Abbott, Devon.

ASSA ABLOY is an international group with around 47,000 employees and sales close to £6.4 billion. In the UK, ASSA ABLOY is best known for the Yale and UNION brands and has its head office and main manufacturing centre in Willenhall.

Given the strong commercial synergies between Lorient and ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK, and specifically the Door Hardware Group, the acquisition will create opportunities to drive innovation and add value for end user customers by offering a broader product portfolio.

Business handshake, the deal Is finalized.

Lorient will continue to operate as an autonomous entity as part of the Door Hardware Group, retaining the existing strong commercial and operational team that has made the business the success it is today. Existing customer contact points remain unchanged.

“Lorient is an exciting addition to our UK business and I’m delighted to welcome its teams into ASSA ABLOY,” said Harry Warrender, market region manager for ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK. “It offers an extensive high quality range of sealing systems for doors and boasts a strong track record of innovation. Its portfolio will extend the ASSA ABLOY offer into the commercial market here in the UK and overseas.”

Lorient was established in 1979. The business employs approximately 135 employees globally, with 2018 sales expected to reach around £18.6 million.

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BT to deliver latest SD-WAN and cyber security services for chemicals manufacturer IXOM

BT has signed a contract to deploy a new generation of network technology for IXOM, a market leader in the sphere of chemicals manufacturing and distribution in Australia and New Zealand. The arrangement will see IXOM benefit from BT’s latest SD-WAN and cyber security managed services as it shifts applications and data to the cloud in a bid to drive agility, efficiency and innovation.

IXOM’s new network will connect over 1,000 employees at 55 sites across 14 countries. That network will support the company’s digital transformation by delivering over seven times more bandwidth than the company’s existing infrastructure and offer a step change in resilience with dual connectivity to 35 major sites.

The network will be built around BT Agile Connect, a BT managed service based on an SD-WAN 2.0 solution by Nuage Networks from Nokia. This offers enhanced control and understanding of network infrastructure and traffic flows, a much faster, simpler and more secure way of setting up new sites, reduced complexity and lower costs.

BT will also deliver a 24×7 global cyber threat detection, investigation and response service. Managed from BT’s Australian Cyber Security Operations Centre and interfacing directly with IXOM’s in-house team, it will be based on a SIEM platform combined with specialist cyber analyst services. This will help to protect IXOM from today’s rapidly evolving threats.

BTCyberSecurity

Rowan Start, head of IT for IXOM, said: “We’re creating a resilient and agile technology environment to support our cloud applications and services. It will come with the ability to detect and respond to cyber threats in near real-time. We chose BT because of the company’s deep expertise in networking, its understanding of our unique operational environment and its ability to seamlessly integrate security services with our own team to create a true partnership model.”

Bernadette Wightman, managing director for resources, manufacturing and logistics at BT, responded: “Managing risk is a key consideration of any digital transformation programme. That’s why companies such as IXOM look to trusted partners like ourselves who can help them securely introduce the latest cloud-optimised network technologies. IXOM will benefit not only from the improved agility and control that our SD-WAN managed services offer, but also the reassurance that they’re working with one of the world’s leading cyber security practices. It’s a superb example of how our Dynamic Network Services Programme is helping customers deliver their digital transformation.”

BT’s Dynamic Network Services Programme is designed to give customers more choice, security, resilience, service and agility in the roll-out of future networks that support digital transformation. It helps customers to remove barriers to the adoption of SD-WAN and NFV by answering questions about which technologies to use as well as when and how to implement, configure and integrate them with existing networks in order to create a hybrid infrastructure fit for the digital age.

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