Monthly Archives: February 2020

Christopher Place Shopping Centre places trust in combined security and cleaning service provider Axis Group

Christopher Place Shopping Centre in the heart of St Albans in Hertfordshire is taking a new approach to security and cleaning by integrating these services and awarding the total contract to Axis Group. The new approach aims to simplify the management of the two services and, by working with the right provider, add a more meaningful layer of support for the key people delivering the important services on site.

In her role as Christopher Place Shopping Centre manager, Catherine Morris is determined to derive the best output from her service partners. As such, it’s hugely important that her management team and the those working on the front line always feel supported.

“Previously, we had two providers,” explained Morris, “which kept cleaning and security separate. When both were under-performing, I took this as an opportunity to see what else was out there and how we could take advantage of having one partner.”

Axis Security and Axis Cleaning and Support Services have been awarded the combined contract to look after the security and cleaning services at the location which is managed by building consultancy and property management company Workman.

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Professionalism and knowledge

Axis already enjoyed an established reputation among other Workman centre managers:  Morris said: “I was listening to their feedback and included Axis on the invitation to tender. They have demonstrated their professionalism and knowledge from the very beginning, and I’ve been impressed with their attention to detail. I have a small team so the additional support that the security and cleaning staff receive from Axis is crucial. The Group takes my requests seriously and take the management of my staff seriously as well.”

Morris described the handover process and employee TUPE as having been a very straightforward process. “It went so smoothly you wouldn’t know it was happening. Axis’ operations teams gave the employees the utmost support during the transfer process. Not only did all the staff receive a pay increase, but they are also now benefiting from an attractive package of additional benefits from Axis.”

Jonathan Levine, Axis Group CEO, asserted that the Group has extensive experience of delivering combined services to the leisure sector and is ideally placed to support Christopher Place Shopping Centre. “Our management and operations teams understand this type of environment and the high standards that need to be delivered to support the management team and the important front line staff. We are delighted to be working with Catherine and her teams at Christopher Place, and look forward to delivering a high level of customer service in all areas.”

Support from additional staff

Axis is going to be supporting Christopher Place Shopping Centre with additional staff to help out during busy periods, and especially so in the lead-up to Christmas which brings with it a schedule of events. Going forward, Axis will also be able to provide the employees with additional training when required.

Christopher Place Shopping Centre is an open pedestrian mall offering shops and restaurants to St Albans’ residents and visitors. It operates on a significantly large site spanning 169,000 square foot. The cleaning and security teams are responsible for the entire site including the mall itself, the loading bays, service corridors, lift lobbies, the car park and shops located along the site’s periphery.

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Ten-plus NSI-approved companies shortlisted for 2020 OSPAs

The National Security Inspectorate (NSI), a sponsor of the 2020 UK Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs), has congratulated the 13 NSI-approved companies shortlisted by the Judging Panel for their achievements within the security industry. The OSPAs are part of a global awards scheme currently running in eight countries and designed to recognise and reward outstanding performance.

In total, the 13 NSI-approved companies have over 50 shortlisted nominations across multiple categories including Outstanding Contract Security Company, Outstanding Security Installer/Integrator and Outstanding Security Officer.

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The judging is a rigorous and transparent process designed to recognise exceptional company and individual performance in the private security sector.

This year, the NSI’s involvement has extended to the OSPAs Thought Leadership Summit. This takes place on the afternoon of the Awards Ceremony on Wednesday 26 February in central London. It’s a further opportunity to hear the thoughts of high-profile speakers and debate key challenges in the private security sector, such as supply chain integrity and ways in which to address the rate of improvement in false alarms.

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Richard Jenkins: CEO at the NSI

Richard Jenkins, CEO at the NSI, commented: “The UK OSPAs highlight Best Practice and recognise the achievements of companies and individuals alike within the private security industry. We’re delighted to see so many NSI-approved companies recognised for their outstanding performance and in so many categories. Our congratulations go to all of the finalists whose achievements have been recognised this year. We wish them every success tomorrow. The NSI’s sponsorship of events and awards reinforces our commitment to recognising outstanding performance and raising standards across the security business sector.”

*Only limited places are now available for the Thought Leadership Summit which begins at 11.15 am. Places can be booked for only £45 +VAT including luncheon, entrance to the conference and exhibition and all refreshments. Visit https://uk.theospas.com/summit2020/

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“Cyber attack fears delaying business innovation” reveals HackerOne survey

A survey conducted by HackerOne has revealed that IT projects are being stifled due to security concerns. More than 80% of UK CISOs and CTOs who were interviewed revealed software IT projects have been hindered due to concerns over inevitable security issues. 90% also agreed that software vulnerabilities pose a significant risk to their organisation.

“Organisations need to find a balance between driving innovation and keeping data safe,” said Laurie Mercer, security engineer at HackerOne. “It’s not surprising that fear around cyber security is hindering this, but by moving beyond traditional cyber security strategies, businesses can start to feel empowered. When I started writing code, new releases of software would take six months to develop and test. Today, new software is released every hour. This new pace of innovation poses a problem for security teams but, by implementing a strategy that supports continuous security, businesses can ensure they’re on alert for any vulnerabilities that software might have. The key is to ensure that security is constantly evolving.”

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Manpower and budgets are also a key concern for security professionals, with 63% believing security team resources are not able to keep up with the pace of development. Lack of budget and other resources including skill sets were also cited as key barriers to creating a well-rounded cyber security strategy by over a third of respondents.

Despite the significant number of concerns around vulnerabilities and limited resources, the survey highlighted that 62% would rather accept the risk of software vulnerabilities than invite unknown hackers to find them, while 63% say they’re only comfortable accepting bug submissions from vetted hackers.

A HackerOne customer and CISO of an international health and beauty retailer said: “I understand first-hand the nature of remaining cautious. As we all know, though, traditional cyber security methods alone are not sufficient. CISOs find themselves in a tricky position, needing to embrace innovation, but while ultimately remaining responsible for cyber security. The security landscape is ever evolving so we need to approach defensive strategies in the same way. By working with ethical hackers, it gives organisations the freedom to work on new projects, spin-up new applications and try different ways of working, while at the same time there’s peace of mind that continuous and ongoing testing is taking place. With ethical hacking, these vulnerabilities can be fixed immediately.”

The research was conducted by Opinion Matters and included input from 200 UK CISOs and CTOs. The findings revealed what CISOs believe to be the biggest risks to businesses, which areas are hindering growth and what kind of technology respondents are likely to implement in order to overcome these challenges.

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Amthal fires up 20th Anniversary celebrations by launching specialist logo

Amthal Fire & Security is celebrating its 20th Anniversary with the launch of a new logo, dedicated to showcasing the company’s fast-growing and evolutionary journey towards becoming a fire and security specialist.

Launched in 2000 by close friends John Allam and Paul Rosenthal, Amthal Fire & Security now has over 60 members in the team and operates on a nationwide basis providing design, installation, maintenance and monitoring services across the commercial, public and residential sectors.

Amthal Fire & Security is dedicated to satisfying end user needs for security and safety by offering design, installation, service and remote monitoring of advanced electronic fire and security solutions, including intruder, fire, access and CCTV systems.

In 2008, Jamie Allam joined the management team to become commercial director and created the structure to drive an ambitious growth plan, incorporating all aspects of the business from operations through to sales and on to commercial targets.

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Since last year, a dedicated senior management team has been created to manage day-to-day operations, including team members from across the business, some of whom began their Amthal journey as apprentices.

Jamie Allam commented: “Since we opened our doors in 2000, the economy and the challenges our clients face have evolved dramatically and our business has always taken a proactive approach. We’ve continued on our dynamic journey, transforming the way in which we work to operate as a total solutions provider for clients in order to deliver full fire and security services.”

Allam continued: “We’re very excited to reach our 20th Anniversary and wanted a special way to celebrate our year, which reflected our mission, vision and values, both to our incredible team and our customers. The logo was created by providing keywords we associate with Amthal, such as ‘Strength’, ‘Diversity’, ‘Understanding’ and ‘Trustworthy’ alongside recognising our commitment to smart solutions and the latest technology.”

The logo will now be appearing across all social media channels and marketing material, and marks the start of the celebrations through the year, culminating in a special event on Amthal’s actual birthday, which is 14 November 2020.

Amthal Fire & Security is accredited by the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board, the United Kingdom Accreditation Service and British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE).

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BSIA appoints Pauline Norstrom as Honorary Member of Trade Association

Pauline Norstrom has been appointed by the Board of the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) as an Honorary Member of the Trade Association. Norstrom’s involvement with the BSIA stretches back over 20 years, with the dedicated security professional having served as chair of the Association from 2014-2016 as well as serving for six years as chair of the Video Surveillance Systems Section.

During her tenure as chair of the Trade Association, Norstrom championed the BSIA’s strategy, part of which was to promote the value of member services over and above price in what is a highly competitive marketplace, duly resulting in the development of the White Paper entitled ‘The (Real) Price of Security Solutions’.

As chair of the Video Surveillance Systems Section, Norstrom ensured that the BSIA was represented on the National CCTV Strategy Board and speaking for the whole industry, in turn leading to the development of BS 8495 focused on the extraction of digital evidence, the BSIA’s Privacy Masking Guide, the Chip and PIN Guide and the Code of Practice for the Design, Installation and Maintenance of Video Surveillance Systems.

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Pauline Norstrom

Norstrom was also a key driver behind the development of the leading research project entitled ‘The Picture Is Not Clear: How Many CCTV Surveillance Cameras in the UK?’, the most extensive study of the number of CCTV cameras in the UK in the last 20 years. This particular project positioned the BSIA in the mainstream media in the UK and globally.

In 2016, Norstrom founded Anekanta Ltd, which from 2019 has provided expertise for converging new and legacy technology, examining ethical considerations and the potential impact of the use of Artificial Intelligence.

Prior to this, Norstrom headed up the global marketing function of Dedicated Micros, followed by senior Board and leadership roles in related UK and US technology businesses.

Norstrom is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors, a member of the IoT Security Foundation and the Security Industry Association’s Cyber Security Advisory Board and also a member of British Mensa.

Norstrom is a regular public speaker and writer providing thought leadership and ideas to the industry and its stakeholders.

Mike Reddington, CEO at the BSIA, said: “The BSIA is delighted to appoint Pauline Norstrom as an Honorary Member of the Association. Pauline’s contribution to the industry and our Association will play an essential role in clarifying the industry’s position on facial recognition, and will go some way towards helping to explain the benefits of this technology, recommending ethical uses and building the trust of the public. We can then move forward the next iteration of research on CCTV cameras.”

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IDIS ranked among top security equipment manufacturers for 2020 OSPAs

Confirming IDIS as one of the most trusted suppliers of surveillance tech in the UK, the company has been named as a finalist in the 2020 Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs). Indeed, IDIS is the only video manufacturer to have been selected as a finalist in this year’s awards scheme.

Now Korea’s largest in-country video surveillance equipment manufacturer, IDIS has established a committed customer base in the UK by offering end-to-end video solutions that combine plug-and-play simplicity with advanced functions. It’s an approach that has seen its sales grow consistently every year since its 2013 UK launch. In 2018, year-on-year sales were up by 78%, with 22% consolidated growth across Europe.

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UK OSPAs founder Professor Martin Gill CSyP FSyI informed Risk Xtra that IDIS and the other 2020 finalists had been identified by an independent panel of experts scoring against impartial and ethical judging criteria.

“All those who are finalists have reached a score threshold and those with low scores, or ranked lower than tenth equal, have been eliminated. This ensures our finalists represent the very best in the industry.”

From the early days of IP, IDIS took a different approach to its competitors. When many were talking about the advantages of open architecture IP surveillance and solutions on corporate networks, IDIS understood that there were drawbacks in that approach. Today, it’s almost universally accepted that, for many SME video surveillance applications, dedicated networks are better.

IDIS identified this reality correctly from the outset because the business wasn’t led by what new technology could do, but rather by what customers actually needed.

As a result, IDIS DirectIP was the first genuine, one-click plug-and-play solution which, at a stroke, removed a major burden on professional installers. IDIS believed there should be no need for engineers to learn how to handle networks and routers, or to manage passwords for each individual device. Supporting installers who don’t have an in-depth knowledge of networking, IDIS’ ‘For Every Network’ peer-to-peer technology allows engineers to deploy secure, multi-site surveillance solutions on a rapid basis.

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IDIS has also led the way with other important innovations, including reducing the video storage and transmission burden for end users with its Intelligent Codec, a powerful compression technology that cuts bandwidth requirements by up to 90% when combined with motion adaptive transmission.

To make the migration to H.265 easier and more affordable for end users, IDIS developed a dual codec solution allowing simultaneous H.264 live viewing and H.265 high resolution recording. Another example of technical innovation being fitted to customer realities, not the other way around.

IDIS has also focused on improving value for end users, with its totally cost- and license- free IDIS Center VMS being powerful yet easy enough for non-specialist staff to use.

“IDIS innovations have a proven track record of providing targeted and original answers to specific problems faced by end users and installers,” explained James Min, managing director for IDIS Europe. “We’re delighted that our approach has been recognised in the 2020 OSPAs and look forward to the awards ceremony on 26 February.”

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3xLOGIC strengthens European operation with appointment of UK business development manager

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Alex Buckle

3xLOGIC, the provider of integrated and intelligent security solutions, has announced the appointment of Alex Buckle as UK business development manager. Following the business’ highly successful launch into the European market last year, this is a significant appointment for 3xLOGIC and Buckle will be responsible for continuing to build the profile of the company in the UK.

After graduating from Sheffield Hallam University, Buckle entered the security industry in 2015 as sales executive for Dedicated Micros. He subsequently took up positions with NetVu and Arkessa before joining Vista in 2017 as its business development manager, where he remained until joining 3xLOGIC.

“So far my career has given me tremendous insight into the supply chain and the specific needs of end users, consultants and system integrators,” commented Buckle. “It’s this experience that has allowed me to develop an excellent level of commercial awareness and understanding, and I intend using these attributes to create new opportunities in line with 3xLOGIC’s strategic growth plan.”

Buckle added: “I was attracted to this position due to 3xLOGIC’s integration of CCTV and access control coupled with its business intelligence platform, allowing customers to take enormous amounts of data and turn it into actionable information. This role gives me a massive opportunity to help organisations across the UK drive operational improvement from data in new and exciting ways.”

A leading innovator in server, Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things as well as cloud-based technology for over 15 years, US-based 3xLOGIC boasts a wealth of expertise in the development and integration of access control, video surveillance and video management systems. Buckle is tasked with promoting the numerous benefits of 3xLOGIC’s solutions, which provide comprehensive, cost-effective and multi-dimensional security infrastructures that are easy to manage, simple to install and can scale in line with changing needs.

Gary Rowden, 3xLOGIC’s vice-president of commercial sales, concluded: “I’m delighted that Alex has joined us. His extensive skills, knowledge and experience will help us rapidly expand our presence in the UK. We have an enviable track record in redefining what’s possible with security technology and our success in the highly competitive US market is testament to our ability to stay one step ahead of the competition.”

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dormakaba outlines changes to expanding sales division 

Andy Chapman, product sales division manager, is leaving specialist access control business dormakaba after 30 years of service. Fiona Adams will be stepping into the role. In addition, two new territory sales representatives have been brought into the business to support its continued growth. 

Joining the business back in 1990 as a territory sales representative, Chapman will now be taking a well-deserved retirement. David Stacey, regional sales director at dormakaba, explained to Risk Xtra: “Andy has consistently delivered superb, experienced-based knowledge for the benefit of his customers and his teams. For many years, he has also shared this expertise and supported the GAI education programme through lecturing, helping to write materials and invigilating at the examinations, committing a considerable amount of personal time to the industry.’’

Stacey added: “As a business, we will miss Andy in his well deserved retirement, but for me personally, I will be saying adieu to a trusted confident and a friend.”

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Andy Chapman

Currently sales manager at dormakaba, Fiona Adams worked in the construction industry for over a decade and has quickly developed a strong passion for dormakaba’s products and customer focus.

Stacey continued: “It’s a pleasure to welcome Fiona Adams to the role as a successor to Andy. Having joined dormakaba in October last year and moving from South Africa to do so, Fiona brings with her expertise in the supply of performance-critical products through specialist distribution channels, coupled with an approach that will continue to maintain our client focus and add value to the business. I look forward to seeing the Product Sales Division continue to evolve with Fiona at the helm.”

Commitment to growth

dormakaba has also recruited two new territory sales representatives to support its commitment to expansion and growth. Abi Ogunkeye is the new territory sales representative for mechanical key systems and access control products, while Nick Burns takes on the role of territory sales representative for door hardware in the southern and central UK areas.

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Fiona Adams

Burns previously worked as a key account manager for Thyssenkrupp, while Ogunkeye joins dormakaba from Hilti UK Ltd.

“It’s exciting to join dormakaba in this period of growth and a privilege to have the opportunity to work for a company with a first-class reputation for product and services,” enthused Burns.

Both Burns and Ogunkeye’s roles will rely on prior excellent customer service experience to maintain current customer relationships, while also growing and developing new business.

In conclusion, David Stacey observed: “It’s an exciting time at dormakaba as we continue to develop following the merger of DORMA and Kaba. We’re dedicated to delivering unparalleled service and innovative solutions, and I have no doubt that our new team will enhance this ethos significantly.”

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Fire Technology Ireland unveiled as Nittan’s Elite Partner of the Year

Nittan Europe, the UK manufacturer of conventional and addressable fire detection products, has announced that Dublin-based Fire Technology Ireland (FTI) is the company’s Elite Partner of the Year. At the same time, the business has expanded its Nittan Elite Distributor Programme with the appointment of Eurotech Fire Systems.

Nittan’s Elite Programmes have been developed to acknowledge and reward a select group of installation partners and product distributors that have shown commitment to promoting the Nittan brand and undertaken product training to a high level in order to ensure the highest standards of customer service.

A well-established, highly respected company serving Southern Ireland, FTI’s projects range from complex multi-loop, multi-panel analogue addressable systems down to simple conventional systems. The company prides itself on providing exceptional value for money coupled with some of the best products on the market.

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“This is the third consecutive time that FTI has been awarded the Nittan Elite Partner of the Year accolade,” commented Lee James, general manager for product marketing at Nittan Europe. “It’s a remarkable achievement, and particularly so bearing in mind the stiff competition, as well as testament to the company’s strong sales performance and clear commitment to staff training and close co-operation.”

Specialist distribution

All Nittan’s products are sold through specialist distributors, with only those businesses that can clearly demonstrate in-depth product knowledge and excellent customer service being eligible for the Nittan Elite Distributor Programme. 

Eurotech Fire Systems – a privately-owned company based in Waterlooville, Hampshire – has now been awarded that privileged status.

Established ten years ago, the very first fire detection system to which Eurotech put its name was Nittan and, throughout the time since, Eurotech has shown outstanding commitment to the Nittan brand and products. 

Eurotech’s managing director Michelle Agius stated: “To be recognised for our sales and support is very much appreciated by the Eurotech team.”

Underpinned by quality support

Lee James went on to inform Risk Xtra: “Nittan has built an enviable reputation for first-class fire detection products, but it’s essential to back that up with quality support. Our Elite Programme identifies those installers and distributors that demonstrate loyalty to Nittan and have taken the time to invest in the brand by undertaking rigorous training on the full product range.”

He concluded: “As a manufacturer, our end user contact is minimal. These customer-facing companies are often the first experience people will have of Nittan so their product knowledge and commitment to Nittan is exceptionally important and deserves to be recognised. The key benefit for Elite Programme members is that we can direct new customer enquiries to them as we know they’re a safe pair of hands.”

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