Category Archives: Security Matters

SASIG warns cyber security profession to meet growing social media threat

The Security Awareness Special Interest Group (SASIG) is calling on cyber security professionals to strengthen procedures surrounding the use of social media. The warning about the growing threat posed by social media to the integrity of data and network security emerged during this week’s conference entitled ‘Cyber Security: The Implications of Social Media’ that was organised by SASIG in conjunction with The University of Surrey.

The audience of cyber security specialists explored the implications of the far-reaching change brought about by social media and how people interact on different platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, WeChat and others, highlighting the consequences of casual Internet surfing and posting.

Martin Smith MBE, founder and chairman of SASIG, informed upwards of 200 delegates that social media networks have become one of the biggest gateways for cyber criminals targeting individuals and businesses to gain access to sensitive information and data networks.

Smith stated: “Social media activity has boomed during the last decade and is now an integral part of communications for commercial and personal users. It creates many challenges for both business and personal use and can expose users to unintended risks.”

He continued: “Social media and Internet users often give up a considerable amount of personal data. However, if such information falls into cyber criminals’ hands, they can easily build a profile that gives them the capability to access sensitive personal and financial information.”

Further, Smith observed: “The new Online Safety Bill could prove to be a vital tool in the challenge to tackle the criminal gangs who target unsuspecting individuals and businesses. We strongly recommend that all organisations should take steps to strengthen their cyber security systems against attacks via social channels. Using a combination of education about threats and introducing stringent protocols can protect against misuse.”

Cyber Security Skills Festival

Career opportunities, skills and resources that protect commerce, industry and public services from cyber attacks will feature at the third annual Cyber Security Skills Festival being organised by SASIG in partnership with the UK Cyber Security Council. The event runs on Tuesday 22 February. 

Established back in 2004, SASIG is a peer networking forum for cyber security professionals who represent hundreds of organisations of all sizes here in the UK and emanate from both the public and private sectors.

SASIG boasts more than 6,000 members including Chief Information Security Officers and other decision-makers and influencers with responsibility for information security, as well as academics and Government agencies.

Annually, SASIG curates more than 150 information webinars and in-person events covering topical cyber security issues impacting business, commerce, Government agencies and other public sector organisations.

*Further information is available online at www.thesasig.com 

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Heras announces drive towards simplified perimeter protection product range

A move towards a simplified range of permanent perimeter protection and entrance control solutions will be the platform from which Heras can achieve strong growth in 2022.

The company – which was founded in 1952 and has grown to become one of Europe’s leading end-to-end suppliers of permanent and mobile perimeter protection solutions – has been undertaking a wide-ranging review of its product portfolios to identify its most popular and adaptable lines and meet the changing needs of its customer base.

Heras has always prided itself on having an extensive range of solutions for nearly every eventuality of a site’s requirements and recognises the benefits of having a smaller selection of solutions as part of a plan to further improve its speed and agility to fulfil orders, deliver projects and maintain the highest standards of customer service.

The Group Product Strategy Review was initiated by Heras Group in the Netherlands and included all 25 European territories where the brand operates.

The process has been a challenging one. In the UK alone, the company serves sectors including transport and logistics, critical infrastructure and the utilities, manufacturing and industry, the Government sector, public places and recreation and retail and trade. The review has covered both the demarcation (fencing/railing) and entrance control (gates/barriers/bollards/blockers) product portfolios.

Strong message

Ian Crosby, chief marketing technology officer at Heras, has stated that, in days gone by, offering a comprehensive range of products sent out a very strong message to the market that Heras is a one-stop-shop provider of permanent perimeter protection and entrance control solutions, but the company recognises that too much choice could present its own challenges for customers.

“The Group Product Strategy Review has been a great opportunity for Heras to look at the changing needs of our customers and evaluate the process by which we present them with solutions,” explained Crosby. “Having a more targeted portfolio of products will be at the heart of a drive to improve the speed and efficiency of specifying the requirements of a site – and then the timescale for installation – as part of a fundamental requirement to improve the Heras experience.”

With its UK head office in Doncaster, Heras is also planning to use 2022 to embed two “ground-breaking” innovations that it launched last year.

In 2021, Heras introduced the next generation of perimeter intrusion detection systems (PIDSs) to provide even greater levels of perimeter protection. Solutions were developed for high-security sites (such as infrastructure of national or strategic importance), but are also used for sites such as transport and logistics hubs (and notably so where there’s high-value stockholding).

The two systems, GeoMic and GeoPoint – which both have Pro versions – are designed to complement and greatly increase the overall effectiveness of both existing and specified perimeter protection fencing and gate lines.

PIDS are usually perimeter fence mounted (but they can also be wall or ceiling mounted) and installed on the fence fabric to detect any potential intruders attempting to enter a given site by climbing over, cutting through or even going under the fence.

Cloud-based portal

The other innovation that Heras launched last year, and which is currently rolling out, is Connect: a cloud-based portal that offers real-time insights into the status of an entrance control system, including swing, sliding and bi-fold gates, with remote monitoring of user access and automatic alerts and notifications via smart phone, tablet or PC.

The Connect solution enables end users to open access systems via mobile phone, as well as enabling Heras to provide remote and proactive monitoring of the systems. 

Crosby concluded: “2022 is going to be a very important year for Heras, not least because it marks our 70th Anniversary. The Group Product Strategy Review has been central to driving greater clarity from which we can deliver more effective solutions that support our ability to speed up the whole process of giving customers an exceptional experience.”

*Further information is available online at www.heras.co.uk

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Texecom appoints Brendan Hindle as operations director

Electronic security products developer Texecom has appointed Brendan Hindle in the role of operations director. Hindle joins the company from Bladon Micro Turbine where, as chief operating officer, he was responsible for running a state-of-the-art factory manufacturing advanced micro-turbine engines.

Having forged an earlier career in the British Army, Hindle now brings Texecom a wealth of experience from numerous senior manufacturing roles held with some of the most respected businesses in the world. They include Toyota, the Ford Motor Company, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Eberspaecher and Jaguar Land Rover.

The holder of an MBA in Logistics, Materials and Supply Chain Management, Hindle is one of very few Europeans accredited by The Shingo Institute to assess organisations that challenge for the Shingo Prize (an internationally recognised award for lean business operations and organisational excellence).

Commenting on Hindle’s appointment, Jim Ludwig (managing director at Texecom) noted: “I’m excited that Brendan is joining us as our new operations director. As we look to invest in and positively transform our capabilities, capacity and quality, Brendan will have a critical leadership role to play. He’ll be joining the company’s Board of Directors and helping to guide Texecom into and through its next stage of growth.”

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FM solutions provider Mitie recognised as top employer

The 2022 Top Employers have just been announced and Mitie has been recognised as one of the UK’s Top Employers for the fourth year running. Being certified as a Top Employer showcases Mitie’s “dedication to a better world of work” through excellent Human Resources (HR) policies and people practices. This includes the company’s recent (and significant) investment in its HR technology and processes.

A key highlight of Mitie’s entry was its ‘Count Me In’ learning programme aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace, which was selected by the Top Employers Institute for use in its Best Practice Report 2022. The report showcases exemplary diversity and inclusion practises.

The Top Employers Institute programme certifies organisations based on the participation and results of its HR Best Practices Survey. The survey covers six HR domains consisting of 20 topics including People Strategy, Work Environment, Talent Acquisition, Learning, Well-Being and Diversity and Inclusion (and more).

Jasmine Hudson, Group HR director at Mitie, said: “Our people are what make our business exceptional, so we’re incredibly proud to see Mitie named as one of the UK’s Top Employers for the fourth year in succession. We’re committed to ensuring that Mitie is a great place to work and will continue to invest in how we hire, develop, reward and engage our people so that we’re a leading UK business.”

David Plink, CEO at the Top Employers Institute, commented: “Reflecting on the demanding year that has, like the year before it, impacted organisations across the world, Mitie has continued to show that it prioritises maintaining excellent people practices in the workplace. The business continues to meet the challenges of the changing world of work, while working tirelessly to make a positive impact on the lives of its workforce. We’re pleased to celebrate and applaud the organisations that have been certified as Top Employers in their respective countries this year.”

Global authority

The Top Employers Institute is the global authority on recognising excellence in people practices. The organisation helps to accelerate these practices to “enrich the world of work”. Through the Top Employers Institute Certification Programme, participating companies can be validated, certified and recognised as an employer of choice.

Established over 30 years ago, the Top Employers Institute has certified over 1,857 organisations in 123 countries/regions. These certified Top Employers positively impact the lives of over eight million employees globally.

Founded back in 1987, Mitie’s job is to look after those places where Britain works. The Group offer a range of services to central Government and defence sector customers, communities (healthcare, education and local authorities), technical services (engineering services, energy, water and real sstate services) and business services (security, cleaning and office services) to private sector clients in financial services, manufacturing, transport, retail and telecoms and, increasingly, to the public sector. 

Mitie’s Specialist Services (care and custody, landscapes and waste management) division serves both the public and private sector in these niche businesses. 

Mitie acquired Interserve’s FM business in December 2020 and now employs 75,000 members of staff. The business is a champion of the ‘Front Line Heroes’ who have kept Britain working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

*Further information is available online at www.mitie.com

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Secure Logiq and Seagate join forces on video surveillance storage

Secure Logiq and Seagate are bringing together their combined strengths to create “the ultimate storage solution” for the video surveillance industry. This partnership will draw on Seagate’s expertise in very high-density storage applications and Secure Logiq’s own cutting-edge understanding of the surveillance industry.

This new partnership provides the perfect solution for security professionals operating in the Middle East, where retention times for CCTV footage are comparably longer than in other territories and exacting standards mean that second best will never do.

The collaboration will see Secure Logiq’s management servers, processing servers and client machines all designed and optimised for the application and combined with Seagate’s SAN storage units which offer large storage, resilience, expandability and vertical integration.

The combination creates a ‘best of both worlds’ scenario for the companies’ mutual clients as it has realises an end-to-end solution which is designed, supplied, tested and supported by experts in HD surveillance and data storage.

“This is a powerful combination that will deliver real advantages for surveillance system users right across the whole of the Middle East,” explained Secure Logiq’s Robin Hughes. “The benefits are there for everyone to see. Seagate has excellent products for storing large volumes of data and we have the understanding of the market to add real intelligence to a surveillance system. Together, can deliver a complete solution that will revolutionise how HD surveillance video is stored in the region.”

Secure Logiq and Seagate highlighted their new partnership at Intersec 2022.

*For further information visit www.securelogiq.com

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OPTEX and FiberSensys showcase advanced perimeter security solutions at Intersec

From 16-18 January, OPTEX and FiberSensys – both OPTEX Group companies – are showcasing their latest innovations in advanced perimeter protection and intruder detection at Intersec 2022.

OPTEX is demonstrating the latest evolution of its multi-award winning LiDAR sensor series, which featuring its longest range yet. The REDSCAN Pro Series consists of two models, the RLS-3060V and the RLS-50100V, offering 30 metres by 60 metres and 50 metres by 100 metres detection range respectively. It provides highly accurate detection outdoors and indoors, without any ‘gaps’ or the detection reliability ‘fading’ with range. 

The rectangular detection patterns provide “excellent” coverage for virtual wall applications, and for virtual planes to cover open areas, ceilings and roofs. Its innovative panoramic camera module means that detection can be visually verified through pre- and post-event images, as well as video stream footage.

Featuring advanced analytics, a high level of network communication security and ONVIF Profile S compliance, the REDSCAN Pro is the ideal solution to protect the highest security sites.

Terrain Defender 100 

FiberSensys will also be showcasing the Terrain Defender 100, the next generation of its buried sensor solution featuring point location. The Terrain Defender 100 provides one-metre target detection and adds another layer of precision and accuracy for perimeter protection for the most demanding sites such as military and nuclear bases, as well as VIP residences.

With the Terrain Defender 100, a detection field consisting of radio frequency energy is formed between two parallel buried leaky coaxial cables. Processors on both ends of this cable pair transmit and receive radio frequency energy forming a bi-directional static field using end-to-end correlation.

End-to-end correlation is a technology developed and patented by FiberSensys that dramatically increases the performance and reliability of buried radio frequency sensors, making the Terrain Defender 100 the best performing buried sensor available.

“We’re delighted to be able to meet with our customers and technology partners in person again and gather industry feedback,” enthused Masaya Kida, managing director of OPTEX EMEA. “Intersec provides the ideal opportunity for us to deliver an engaging and interactive on-stand experience to demonstrate our latest technologies and solutions for enhanced security.”

*Visit OPTEX and FiberSensys at Intersec 2022 on Stand S1-K33  

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Amy Wilkinson appointed social value lead at Corps Security

Amy Wilkinson is the new social value lead at security solutions provider Corps Security. Passionate about Corporate Social Responsibility, Wilkinson played a lead role in Corps Security obtaining Social Enterprise status, from investigating how to apply, what credentials needed to be met and then working closely with the senior management team to achieve that status.

Mark Rogers, executive director at Corps Security, explained: “Social Enterprise status brings many benefits. For our business, it guarantees that our social mission remains at the very heart of all that we do and serves to ensure we continue to operate in an ethical, transparent and accountable way. I’m excited to have Amy lead on this. It’s my hope that, working together, we can achieve great things for our people and our planet, while supporting our core purpose. Amy will make sure that, as a business, we do exactly that.”

Wilkinson began her career in the security industry in 2008. Over the intervening 13-year period, she has held various roles across both sales and marketing functions. In this time, Wilkinson has also helped to support sales strategy as a bid manager, working with colleagues to secure a number of large contracts with blue chip customers.

In particular, Wilkinson is passionate about partnerships and working collaboratively with client organisations who share the same values and ingrained sense of social responsibility as the team members at Corps Security.

Social value

Through time, Wilkinson developed an interest in corporate responsibility and social value, having observed the genuine and positive impact security colleagues can exert both on client organisations and, indeed, the wider communities.

Joining Corps Security in 2019, Wilkinson was excited to be working for an employer whose very purpose has its foundations in social value and community support. Corps Security was created back in 1859 with a very specific and special social mission – to provide gainful employment to ex-service personnel returning from the Crimean War.

Moving forward, Wilkinson will work in collaboration with Corps Security’s charity partner Combat Stress, as well as other much deserving causes, in order to define how the business can improve social impact.

All about the people 

Commenting on the news of her appointment as social value lead, Wilkinson stated: “One of the things I found when I joined Corps Security was that it’s not all about the bottom line. While making a profit is, of course, important for Corps Security as a business, it’s all about the people. I couldn’t be happier to take the lead on Social Enterprise. It’s important for me that Corps Security receives the recognition it deserves for the work it does with ex-military personnel. Corps Security was founded on a social mission and still lives by that social mission today. It’s now my duty to make sure we keep that mission alive, alongside achieving our environmental and governance goals.”

As social value lead, Wilkinson is working with the senior leadership team to ensure the company’s future activities continue to support its initial social mission, staying true to the organisation’s unique roots and working closely within the military communities.

Thanks to Corps Security’s clients, Combat Stress has funded 109 days for the Helpline. That equates to 4,500 calls of which 2,070 were new callers seeking help for the first time. They have given 131 veterans individual sessions with a psychiatrist, funded 575 one-to-one, trauma-focused sessions and 862 video therapy sessions. In addition, 2,632 participants can attend one-to-one peer support group meetings across the UK.

As well as meeting Social Enterprise criteria earlier this year and joining the growing number of companies able to offer a ‘diverse spend ’option, Corps Security has also been awarded the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award by the Ministry of Defence. This is in recognition of outstanding support for the Armed Forces community.

Further, Corps Security has been a Living Wage Foundation Recognised Service Provider since 2020 and is also a carbon neutral company, funding projects across the world and offsetting 477 tons of carbon each year.

*Further information is available online at www.corpssecurity.co.uk

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Facial recognition “to open new avenues for smart cities” in 2022

In 2022 and beyond, facial recognition technology will play a key role in the future of global urban development and assist in improving the experience of smart citizens. From personal convenience through to enhanced public safety, the range of applications is wide-ranging. That’s the firm belief of facial recognition technology solutions provider Corsight AI.

Using their face as their credit card, members of the public will no longer have to leverage cash for payments or worry about a stolen/lost wallet. A secure biometric system – such as that being pioneered by Amazon Go stores – makes paying for goods or services effortless.  

In terms of security and access, workplaces are beginning to understand the value of the technology as it can enable the seamless flow of people and facilitate the protection of sensitive locations by restricting access to approved visitors only. Spaces such as building sites, maternity wards and Critical National Infrastructure locations can all benefit from this software.

Facial recognition can also be used in smart cities to help identify those at risk. In the case of searching for a missing child or an Alzheimer’s patient, facial recognition technology can significantly speed up the process.

There’s a particular concern right now about the safety of public streets, especially so for women. Facial recognition technology can prove useful for recognising unusual behaviour and identifying and tracking known offenders throughout the city environment. 

Higher standards in 2022

As is the case with any technology, there are potential risks to using facial recognition, such as threats to privacy, violations of rights and potential data theft. These concerns are of significant importance and have even forced the hand of some public and private organisations to limit the use of the technology. This calls for thoughtful Government regulation moving forward and heightened responsibility for facial recognition technology vendors and operators to comply with the rules.

Currently, documents such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are in place to set industry standards and provide ways for individuals to protect their personal data – and, by extension, their privacy and other Human Rights – which we’re seeing enforced. 

Although the industry continues to demand greater certainty from lawmakers, it’s evident that Best Practice is emerging from the application of the GDPR and its core principles. The use of Privacy Management Programmes and Data Protection Impact Assessments demonstrates the willingness to protect the data rights of citizens and maintain trust and confidence across our communities. A combination of these policies and their application will continue to ensure facial recognition technology can be used as a force for good. 

Cyber security

As data processing becomes more central to operations in 2022, organisations will need to be more responsive to the evolving cyber threat landscape. For facial recognition technology end users, in particular, securing biometric data will remain a top priority this year.

Cyber criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods, and will now typically seek the most sensitive data to hold at ransom. Vendors must therefore implement the most stringent security measures to protect sensitive data and ensure end users are working hard to stay on top of the threat.

Customers will also demand more transparency from organisations about how they’re using their biometric data and how it’s being stored and protected. To garner trust, users of facial recognition technology must be more explicit in its use and set clear measures on individual privacy and data protection.

In 2022 and beyond, Corsight AI expects to see further commitment from policymakers and industry to develop even higher standards that attain levels not seen before. The move towards ‘Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence’, greater regulation and a genuine commitment to Human Rights will support the development of this software such that it can be used as a force for good.

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Andy Topp appointed sales director at Corps Security 

Corps Security has appointed Andy Topp as its new sales director. Topp will work with executive director Mark Rogers and the rest of the senior leadership team to broaden the company’s approach and develop new market sectors, and particularly those interested in a more ethical approach towards procurement now that Corps Security is a social enterprise.

Topp has more than 20 years’ experience in the security and facilities management industry, having held senior roles with Reliance Security Services, Securitas Security Services and ISS Facility Services where he most recently served as national sales director. 

Commenting on his appointment, Andy Topp enthused: “I’m thrilled to be joining Corps Security. As the only major social enterprise in the security sector, the company is completely unique. I now look forward to helping to grow the organisation and increase its positive impact on the local communities in which it works.”

Mike Bullock, CEO of Corps Security, responded: “I’m delighted that Andy is joining us and bringing with him a wealth of senior experience in our sector. His ability to work at both a strategic and tactical level to deliver results will be a significant boost to the team.”

Corps Security is a Living Wage Recognised Service Provider, while Mike Bullock is a member of the Living Wage Foundation’s Recognised Service Provider Leadership Group. The organisation is also carbon neutral. 

Corps Security supports military charities in particular Combat Stress, the UK’s charity for veterans’ mental health, and also the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA), the UK’s oldest national tri-service military charity.

Last year, Corps was awarded Gold status in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme for outstanding support towards the Armed Forces community.

*Further information is available online at www.corpssecurity.co.uk

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Traka visualises significant efficiency savings for distribution centres

Traka has produced an animated video designed to highlight the solutions available for busy distribution centres such that their management teams can ensure they run like clockwork, in turn delivering goods on time and in full.

Pinpointing the key issues faced by distribution centres, and notably so when it comes to the management of hand-held devices, the two-minute clip outlines ways in which to save time, resources and money, while simultaneously allowing full visibility and traceability of assets at all times.

Lee Payne, market development manager for Traka UK, informed Security Matters: “Within any distribution centre it’s true to say that time is money, and particularly in the current environment. Teams are expected to meet strict deadlines throughout the day and night so that products can be processed correctly and efficiently and deliveries sent out.”

He added: “What this video demonstrates is how to ensure a distribution centre can always meet tight schedules. It doesn’t take a significant investment to make a difference. Simple technology updates such as the implementation of asset management lockers enable a smooth transition for team members who can immediately start their shifts with the equipment they need to operate.”

Efficiency tools

Included in the video is detail around how distribution centres can embrace the ideals of efficiency tools such as asset management to instantly optimise performance, control and monitor all physical processes and reduce the likelihood of human error.  

There’s also a dedicated step-by-step process illustrating how easy Traka’s modular systems are to use for team workers and management alike. These systems are developed with dedicated fault-reporting, charging facilities, first-in, first-out device rotation and access control integration capability alongside a full suite of management tools.

Payne concluded: “With the addition of our asset management solutions, distribution centres could save an impressive 72,000 labour hours per year simply by resolving issues such as teams waiting to receive and return fully operational hand-held devices. This is a significant efficiency saving that allows distribution hub managers to focus their attentions on an opportunity to support the economy thanks to the swift delivery of product.”

*The video is now live on Traka’s YouTube channel. To view the video visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkC7eSfKBKI

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