Monthly Archives: April 2020

WatchGuard and Deutsche Telekom partner to deliver enterprise-grade security solution for SMBs

Watchguard Technologies, the specialist in network security and intelligence, secure Wi-Fi and multi-factor authentication, has launched Business Network Protect Complete, an enterprise-grade security solution for SMBs built in partnership with Deutsche Telekom.

With fast Internet from Deutsche Telekom and security services delivered by WatchGuard, this all-in-one offering is designed to simplify the delivery of critical security for organisations lacking the resources to defend against cyber attacks on their own. The Business Network Protect Complete solution combines a DSL modem and Wi-Fi router with enterprise-level security protections, all within WatchGuard’s own Firebox T35-DW solution.

“There are significant differences between a modern firewall appliance and a commercially available router with NAT functionality. Individual mission-critical network areas such as production systems, management servers, VoIP components and printers must be deliberately divided, individually secured, and automatically monitored,” said Michael Haas, area sales director, Central Europe at WatchGuard. “This can only be done via firewalls such as Business Network Protect Complete with our Firebox T35-DW table-top appliance. The solution’s easy-to-implement segmentation makes it simple to identify potential weak points, initiate countermeasures and prevent attacks from spreading freely across networks.”

BNP Complete offers leading security services such as APT Blocker, Gateway Anti-Virus, Spam Prevention, URL Filtering, Application Control, Intrusion Prevention, SSL Inspection and more. In addition, this all-in-one security solution automatically transmits and processes data from more than 180 Deutsche Telekom honeypot sensors that power its security speedometer to recognise and block malicious IPs.

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Gate to digitisation

“With the new offering, we’re able to address the needs of SMBs, including tax consultants, law firms, management consultants, insurance agents and larger medical practices, as well as customers in retail and logistics and other markets,” explained Christian Cronjäger, security product and portfolio manager at Deutsche Telekom. “The gate to digitisation with a fast Internet connection is not only wide open, but the WatchGuard firewall and its numerous security controls serve as a moat to protect sensitive data.”

This solution is suitable for all connections up to 200 Mbps max, while anything up to 20 employees can be covered. The basic protection license includes all hardware components, the EWS from Deutsche Telekom and the ‘Help Desk Service Plus’ managed security services package, which offers guaranteed interference suppression in 24 hours.

The all-in-one protection license also includes the APT Blocker module for protection against highly complex and largely unknown threats. This can be augmented with additional security services depending on customer requirements.

Since 24-7 operation is guaranteed via managed services, customers benefit from secure and reliable connections without having to invest the time and resources into overseeing security themselves. Additionally, Business Network Protect Complete eliminates high up-front costs by offering clients simplified and convenient monthly billing.

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Smart R Distribution provides vital link for CCTV expansion at New Cross Hospital

As a direct consequence of COVID-19, many hospitals have needed to quickly erect new portable buildings to expand the capacity of certain sensitive areas. In turn, this has created a requirement to immediately expand the scope of existing CCTV systems to ensure Control Room operators are able to monitor and react appropriately to any suspicious activity in the vicinity of the new buildings.

New Cross Hospital, which is run by the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust, is just one of many throughout the UK faced with the challenge of ensuring all areas of its campus can be monitored on a 24/7 basis. Providing 700 beds and employing circa 9,500 members of staff, it’s the largest teaching hospital in the Black Country, having been originally built in 1900 as a workhouse.

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The need to install a new 4K camera in a location over 300 metres from the hospital’s Control Room initially seemed daunting in terms of the cost of laying the network cabling normally needed to transmit the ultra-HD images captured by IP cameras.

“Apart from the cost of the engineering work and the disruption caused by installing the new cabling, it would also have taken several days to achieve,” said Dan Mather, director of Derby-based JKE Security who’ve enjoyed a long-term working relationship with the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust.

“We clearly needed to find a much simpler and cost-effective solution which would enable our clients to take full advantage of the superb quality images captured by 4K cameras and, if necessary, pass evidence of any wrongdoing to the police.”

NewCrossHospital2Finding the solution

Mather sought advice from Smart R Distribution, the Haverhill-based specialist electronic security products distributor. The business was able to offer Mather an assurance that its own brand 602POE-2P single port PoE Ethernet Extender would be able to reliably support a new 4K Wisenet PNP-9200RH dome camera by facilitating the transmission of the IP images over the hospital’s existing coaxial cabling.

The Smart R 602POE-2P is proven to be able to robustly transmit data over any two-wire cable and, with the ability to handle bandwidth of up to 200 Mbps, is more than capable of coping with the transmission demands of the Wisenet 4K camera.

“Although we didn’t source the camera directly from Smart R, it could not have been easier to connect it to the Ethernet Extender,” said Mather. “It was truly a case of plug-and-play, with both devices installed, configured and working within half a day.”

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Commenting on the successful installation of the new camera, Paul Smith (head of security and car parking for the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust) said: “During this challenging time, it’s essential that we’re able to continue to provide a secure and safe working environment for all our heroic colleagues who are so compassionately caring for people suffering from the Coronavirus. I’ve been impressed with how quickly various companies within the electronic security supply chain have been able to join forces and use their combined expertise to provide us with an efficient and cost-effective solution.”

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Reliance High-Tech names Blue Lamp Foundation as chosen charity for 2020-2021

Reliance High-Tech, the independent security technology integrator and provider of lone worker protection services, has announced that its chosen charity for 2020-2021 is the Blue Lamp Foundation

The Blue Lamp Foundation was founded in 2010 by PC David Rathband after he suffered life-changing injuries having been shot at close range by Raoul Moat. The charity helps those from the Emergency Services who’ve been injured, physically or emotionally, in the line of duty by providing funding and support towards treatment, rehabilitation and out-of-pocket expenses.

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Throughout the year, Reliance High-Tech’s employees will engage in a range of activities to generate funds and put them towards the vital work that this charity transacts. Last year, those activities raised a magnificent £2,090 for SSAFA, the dedicated Armed Forces charity.

David Walton, finance director at Reliance High-Tech, told Security Matters: “SSAFA was our first ever charity of the year and I’m really proud of how the Reliance High-Tech team undertook a variety of fundraising activities, from the ‘Big Brew’ through to climbing the equivalent of Everest at our head office in Bracknell. This year, we invited nominations from the team as to which charity we should support and the Blue Lamp Foundation was chosen. Given Reliance High-Tech’s close working relationships with a number of police forces and, indeed, the NHS, this is a perfect fit for us to give something back to such a worthwhile cause and ably assist the brave men and women of the Emergency Services who sacrifice so much for us.”

Peter Sweeney, chairman of the Blue Lamp Foundation, responded: “We would like to thank everyone at Reliance High-Tech for choosing to support the Foundation over the next year. In the current climate, we know that Emergency Services personnel, along with many more key workers, are really stepping up to the plate to meet new levels of demand. At some point, their coping mechanisms will slow down and, on top of the physical assaults many are experiencing, they will reach a point whereby they can no longer effectively function with front line duties and will need support. Sponsorship from Reliance High-Tech will help us deliver that support.”

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“Adopt Date of Withdrawal as effective implementation date of standards” urges Euralarm

Euralarm is pushing for the updating of national Codes of Practice at the point when new standards become available. The development of new or otherwise revised standards follows a certain process that’s finalised with the ratification of the standard by the standardisation body (eg CEN, CENELEC, etc). Following the ratification there are dates that the new or revised standard is available, announced and published followed by a date that the former standard or the former version is withdrawn. 

When a new or revised standard is published, Euralarm asserts that the national authorities must clearly define when the new (edition of a) standard will be implemented into the local building, fire or other codes. Given that products have to be compliant and therefore must be tested, certified and approved by recognised test laboratories, certification bodies and approval agencies, this means that some time is required following the date of availability of the standard.

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In certain countries, though, local authorities require to demonstrate compliance to the latest edition of the standards (ie “as soon as published”). For example, this is very much the case with the Civil Defence Fire Code operated by the United Arab Emirates that’s widely used in the Middle East.

Obviously, it’s impossible to comply with this requirement. Due to general industry readiness, a delay is necessary to allow manufacturers time to develop fully-compliant products and – when required – to have their products tested, certified and approved.

On that basis, Euralarm is recommending that regulatory authorities adopt the Date of Withdrawal as stated in every EN standard as the effective date of implementation of new standards into Codes of Practice. The Date of Withdrawal marks the date that former versions of a given standard become obsolete.

Information referencing the Date of Withdrawal of standards can be found on the respective websites such as those operated by CEN or CENELEC.

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Security challenges in telecoms sector met head-on by access control systems

As Catherine Laug explains, the telecoms industry has grown at such a remarkable rate that it’s now a key part of our everyday lives. At present, the COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented requirement for almost all industries to operate a ‘working from home’ policy and to provide the general public with an increased access to online services, in turn making the telecoms industry even more vital.

A major impact of this fundamental change is the presence of a growing number of telecoms facilities, which are proving to be the cornerstone of service delivery. Equipment is often located in isolated areas, so strict access control systems are needed to keep any vulnerability to an absolute minimum.

Telecoms companies cover vast expanses of land to keep the service up-and-running for their customers. This involves several tens of thousands of plants and facilities, from mobile phone towers through to street cabinets for the wired network. This underlines the value of a standardised access control strategy to simplify access to all sites.

Now, maintenance technicians no longer need to worry about accessing the numerous facilities during their daily inspection rounds. Once configured, single electronic key solutions guarantee access to the right place at the right time, allowing technicians to focus their attention on the task at hand.

Specific access processes

For their part, operators are assured that their field teams, often comprised of sub-contractors, can carry out all maintenance work during specified times in line with their specific access processes.

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Most of the facilities requiring protection are outdoor sites particularly exposed to wind, sun, snow and sea spray. That being so, access control systems must be able to withstand corrosion caused by bad weather. End users can now specify a certified and conceptual solution to this challenge with cylinders that meet the requirements of the EN 1670 corrosion resistance standard with a, IP66-67-68-69 rating designed to guarantee maximum protection.

In point of fact, the latest generation electronic keys also use inductive technology for contactless information exchange between the key and cylinder. With this technology, the electronic key can transmit access rights to the cylinder even if the humidity at the site has corroded the surface of the lock. In other words, bad connections no longer prevent information from being transmitted between the key and lock.

At some telecommunications towers, access is restricted to those authorised to work at height. Software is now available that liaises with the operator’s information system, collecting select information from the various user profiles to limit access to authorised individuals. This allows operators to use the software to assign access rights for specific areas based on the technician’s profile and authorisation.

To improve on-site control activities, electronic keys work with specific apps and new technology (ie RFID and beacons, etc) to send technicians verification messages about their access rights or required safety instructions (such as wearing a helmet and abiding by the buddy system, etc).

Similarly, users can interact with the central system and submit on-site attendance reports and flag up anomalies errors, etc. These bespoke features are designed to meet ever-stricter security requirements in companies and, importantly, accommodate the latest Government guidelines.

Sub-contracting and shared access sites

Sub-contractors are an increasingly common fixture in both maintenance activities and emergency call-outs. Several officers may well require daily access to a number of scattered, remote facilities.

The access control system is further complicated by the fact that sites may be shared by different businesses. Water towers, for instance, are often used to support radio masts.

It’s now possible to deliver an effective response to multi-activity sites with just one electronic key being needed for countless locks. Officers no longer need to carry large bunches of keys between sites. Instead, they can access the right place at the right time with maximum security.

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Communication infrastructures may be the prime target for large-scale attacks wherein those parties involved are looking to compromise the country’s economic potential. They may also attract various types of vandal, tempted by the challenge of scaling facilities or the apparent vulnerability of street cabinets.

Today’s access control solutions are invaluable when it comes to protecting facilities from harm. Electronic cylinders and padlocks have CEN 1303 certification with the highest level of resistance to drilling and, therefore, vandalism.

What’s more, a lost or stolen electronic key can be disabled on a swift footing to prevent any unwanted intrusions. In certain solutions, the built-in reporting feature in the system software aims to report any attempts to gain access outside specified time ranges or in out-of-bounds areas, thereby detecting any anomalies.

Catherine Laug is Group Head of Marketing at LOCKEN

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CIP partners with ISARA in bid to offer crypto-agile technology

Cybersec Innovation Partners Limited (CIP) and the ISARA Corporation, the provider of crypto-agile and quantum-safe security, have announced the detail underpinning a strategic partnership which will allow CIP to offer bespoke solutions and services to enable a seamless migration of digital trust infrastructures to post-quantum security.

The onset of large-scale quantum computing will challenge the security of current public key cryptography and create widespread vulnerabilities. The rigidity of today’s infrastructure makes cryptographic migrations complex and costly. Establishing crypto agility in existing systems is the first step towards seamless migrations.

The partnership allows CIP to offer quantum-safe, crypto-agile and hybrid certificate offerings from ISARA. This ground-breaking technology enables systems to be quantum-safe without disruption of operations, while also maintaining the availability and integrity of existing security systems.

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The new agile certificates will be recognisable by CIP’s Whitethorn Platform: a digital certificate, key discovery and lifecycle management solution that allows for discovery, management and automation.

Andy Jenkinson, Group CEO at CIP, said: “Quantum computing is the next major development within the global technology area. The biggest challenge to cyber security is the lack of understanding of cryptography and PKI in today’s classical computing, let alone in a post-quantum world. The partnership with ISARA will enable all of our clients to realise full discovery, management and automation of their crypto-agile PKI.”

Scott Totzke, CEO and co-founder of ISARA, added: “We’re excited to partner with CIP to ensure its clients’ migration to quantum-safe cryptography starts with integrating crypto-agility, an essential first step towards cryptographic resilience and long-term security. This is welcome news in these turbulent times.”

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IDIS and Galeco Communications NHS project shortlisted for 2020 Safety and Health Excellence Awards

A cutting-edge project undertaken by video surveillance specialist IDIS and Galeco Communications designed to improve protection for vulnerable adolescents and children with mental health conditions has been shortlisted for the 2020 Safety and Health Excellence (SHE) Awards.

The project involved a 150-plus camera system being installed in stages across nine weeks to create what is one of the UK’s safest secure treatment centres for young people with complex care needs, thereby reducing the risk of physical harm to staff, patients and visitors alike.

The Bluebird House project has been selected out of more than 200 entries for this year’s SHE Awards, and is now confirmed as a finalist in the Best Health and Safety Project category. The winners will be announced in September.

Galeco engineers installed 110 IDIS 12 MP IR Super Fisheye cameras as well as upwards of 50 separate 5 MP IR bullet and 31x zoom IR PTZ cameras connected to 32-channel NVRs. All benefit from true plug-and-play set-up, minimising disturbance to patients.

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Deployed across three secure wards and two high-level care units, the Super Fisheye models provide comprehensive coverage that’s much more affordably for the end user than the alternative of using three or more fixed lens cameras. Advanced video capture delivers HD scene coverage and allows staff to de-warp in live view as well as playback.

The 5 MP bullet cameras were deployed by Galeco engineers around the building exteriors. At the perimeter, 31x zoom IR PTZ cameras provide clear night-time image capture at distances of up to 200 metres. Each camera is set to perform virtual guard tours periodically during the day and also at night.

Featuring automatic object detection capability, these cameras recognise and automatically track objects, people or cars, alerting CCTV operators to suspicious activity and ensuring that potentially important evidence is always recorded.

DC-Y3C14WRX-12MP FisheyePatient privacy requirements

To meet patient privacy requirements, access to live and recorded footage – and the use of specific video tools – is limited to staff according to their location and role. Individuals can only view and review footage from their own area of responsibility at one of the four designated monitoring stations.

The end result of the project has been improved safety standards and care provision, with clinicians and senior administrators now able to use the new video review tools for training, case review and incident investigations.

“At a time when our fantastic NHS staff are in everyone’s thoughts, we’re grateful that we’ve been able to make a contribution towards keeping doctors, care workers, patients and everyone who works with them safe,” enthused Ali Copland, managing director of Galeco Communications.

The project further demonstrates the value of team working and the application of smart technology to improve outcomes.

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James Min, managing director at IDIS Europe, concluded: “Together, Galeco Communications and IDIS have shown what can be achieved at such a complex site in sensitive circumstances by adopting a genuine partnership approach.”

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SSAIB praises registered firm PLP Fire Protection for playing vital role at NHS Nightingale Hospital

The Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) has been full of praise for one of its registered firms, namely PLP Fire Protection, which has been providing invaluable assistance in the building of the Government’s first emergency field hospital at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre in London’s Docklands.

The temporary NHS Nightingale Hospital has been established to treat up to 4,000 Coronavirus patients, with Dorset-based PLP Fire Protection helping to transform ExCeL (which was due to host IFSEC International and FIREX International next month before the COVID-19 pandemic forced a reschedule) into a working hospital in just nine days.

BAFE SP203-registered PLP Fire Protection has worked diligently with 160-plus other contractors – as well as 200 British Army engineers – to complete the astonishing transformation.

Company director Rob Beeching has revealed just how hard the work has been for him and the various members of his team, whom he has nothing but praise for in what had been a tough week for them all. Replying to an email from Fire Industry Association CEO Ian Moore, Beeching stated: “Quite honestly, this week has been hell. We were literally brought back to site on Monday morning and had the most unrealistic time to make sure the initial 500-bed section was installed and signed off. The effort from my team and the sub-contractors has been incredible. I’m so proud of them all.”

Beeching added: “We have even had tears from some of our guys, but proud tears. Working conditions have been very tough, both physically and mentally. I have been arriving back home at midnight most days this week. Then I just feel like breaking down. It has been an emotional rollercoaster for sure.”

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Intensive care scenario

With the initial 500 beds in place, the NHS Nightingale Hospital will care for patients with the virus in intensive care who have been transferred from other London hospitals. The building work continues in order to make sure the space is sorted for the other 3,500 beds planned, but Beeching insisted that he would not force his committed team to continue to work if they were worried about being in close proximity to the virus.

On that note, Beeching observed: “We were told by a representative from the World Health Organisation that, once patients start arriving, although they will be sectioned off by a wall, we would still be working in adjacent halls. They said we would be completely safe. I wasn’t going to force any of my guys to carry on working if they didn’t feel comfortable with the arrangements but, when I asked for a show of hands in terms of who wanted to continue, 80% raised their hands. They’re all in this until the end and feel they cannot leave the site until the job is completed.”

In conclusion, Beeching said: “Even our suppliers have been personally delivering the equipment that we need to site. We are so grateful. The help being offered from so many people has been amazing.”

SSAIB CEO Alex Carmichael informed Fire Safety Matters and Security Matters: “It’s great to see SSAIB-registered firm PLP Fire Protection assisting with the construction of the NHS Nightingale Hospital and I have to commend the company for its dedicated effort during this difficult time.”

Carmichael continued: “On behalf of everyone here at the SSAIB, I want to thank Rob and the rest of his team for their heroic commitment to helping the NHS in this way and as they continue to assist with the creation of more beds at the facility. I hope they all remain safe while completing this vital work.”

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Wisenet Retail Insight launched in Europe by Hanwha Techwin

Hanwha Techwin has introduced a business intelligence application which enables retailers to gain a greater understanding of customer behaviour and buying patterns. Wisenet Retail Insight uses people counting, heat mapping and queue management applications running on board selected Wisenet Q and Wisenet X fixed lens and fish-eye cameras to display statistical analytics on a centralised dashboard.

Accessed from anywhere on the network, Retail Insight is a web-based application which consolidates the data captured by the three analytics applications running on up to 500 Wisenet Q or X Series cameras and presents it on a customisable dashboard.

Retailers are able to take advantage of the captured data to measure the impact of advertising, online promotions and other marketing activities on the number of people who enter their stores, as well as making best use of Human Resources in order to manage the peaks and troughs of customer flow at checkouts.

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“With revenues and profitability under threat at present due to the Coronavirus pandemic, retailers are understandably looking at ways in which to improve productivity going forward,” said Uri Guterman, head of product and marketing for Hanwha Techwin Europe.

He continued: “In terms of the business intelligence which could be made available to operations, marketing, merchandising and store management, the metadata traditionally extracted from Electronic Point-of-Sale systems is unlikely to be sufficient for retailers to identify opportunities to increase productivity or improve the customer experience.”

Retail Insight generates reports in a variety of formats including PDF, Excel, CSV or HTML. With the help of five customisable tabbed screens, end users are able to view real-time updates on a wide range of activity, including the number of store visitors for any particular time of day or cumulatively over a specified period of time.

Security professionals can also access valuable data on queue congestion times as well as heat mapping information showing the busiest areas of a given store.

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360 Vision Technology “leads the way” in high security, CAPSS-approved cyber security

360 Vision Technology has announced that its ruggedised PTZ surveillance cameras are now the only camera product in the sector to be Cyber Assurance of Physical Security Systems (CAPSS) approved by way of the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI), as well as being ISO 27001 compliant.

In addition to advanced built-in cyber security capable of protection against the very real threats faced by surveillance system operators, 360 Vision Technology boasts an enviable track record in delivering specialist camera solutions designed to meet with specific customer and application-driven requirements.

This product engineering flexibility, coupled with high security protection, has paid real dividends, with significant sales and specification of the firm’s cameras for high-profile Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) projects.

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“360 Vision has worked very hard to be ahead of the game in the vital area of system security,” said Mark Rees, managing director at 360 Vision Technology. “We recognised some time ago that robust cyber security would become a determining factor in the selection of camera technology for CNI and other high-security applications, so our team of software developers was briefed to ensure that these threats can be averted.”

Rees added: “As a UK-based surveillance camera manufacturer, we’re extremely adept at responding to customer requirements, which has resulted in some very exciting product deployments. Today, 360 Vision finds itself in an enviable position in the security camera market, whereby system designers and end users looking to fulfil product performance flexibility and high security applications are choosing the company as their ‘go to’ camera technology partner.”

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