Tag Archives: Artificial Intelligence

FCA review finds weaknesses in challenger banks’ financial crime controls

A recent review conducted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has found that some challenger banks have significant weaknesses within their financial crime controls and need to improve how they assess financial crime risk.

The review, which was conducted during 2021, has revealed that, in some instances, challenger banks did not have financial crime risk assessments in place for their customers. It also identifies a rise in the number of Suspicious Activity Reports reported by challenger banks, in turn raising concerns about the adequacy of these banks’ checks when taking on new customers.

The review focused on challenger banks that were relatively new to the market and offered a quick and easy application process. This included six challenger retail banks, which primarily consist of digital banks, and covered over eight million customers.

The review did find some evidence of good practice, for example when it comes to the innovative use of technology to identify and verify customers at speed.

Cyber crime on the rise

Sridhar Iyengar, managing director at Zoho Europe, commented: “Today, cyber crime and fraudulent activity is rapidly on the rise with more sophisticated episodes taking place all over the world. It’s no surprise that challenger banks are being impacted, but being able to verify customers at speed is no use if suspicious activity is being missed. As it stands, money launderers are still able to evade detection by capitalising on the shortfalls within a banks’ technological infrastructure.”

Iyengar continued: “There are many new features that can help make systems more secure or raise red flags early. Companies including banks can now benefit from the likes of Artificial Intelligence-based systems to help identify potential fraudulent activities. Immediate action can be taken and customers will remain sheltered from risk.”

Further, Iyengar stated: “In highly competitive markets such as banking, having modern IT systems in place can make a real difference in terms of providing business value and positively impact customer trust and the customer experience as a whole. For market challengers, this is even more important.”

The growing cyber risk, coupled with the growth of hybrid working, which can potentially add further security risks, makes it imperative for all businesses to assess their current IT systems.

Iyengar concluded: “Keeping operations secure, efficient and compliant with regulations is a different endeavour to what it was just a few years ago, and demands that all organisations modernise their IT systems such that the latter are fit for purpose in the post-COVID business landscape.”

Three-year strategy

Sarah Pritchard, executive director for markets at the FCA, said: “Our three-year strategy highlights our commitment to reducing and preventing financial crime. This is important in terms of creating confidence for consumers and market participants in financial services and in demonstrating that the UK is a safe place in which to do business.”

Pritchard concluded: “Challenger banks are an important part of the UK’s retail banking offer. However, there cannot be a trade-off between quick and easy account opening and robust financial crime controls. Challenger banks should consider the findings of this review and continue to enhance their own financial crime systems in order to prevent harm being done by criminals.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Security Matters

Reliance High-Tech signposts Technology Day at Mercedes-Benz World

Reliance High-Tech, the independent security technology integrator, has announced details of its next Technology Day, which takes place on Thursday 24 March at Mercedes-Benz World in Weybridge.

Delivering a series of presentations alongside a specially chosen group of technology partners, Reliance High-Tech representatives will look at how the cloud is impacting and influencing the development of next generation security and access control solutions and also evaluating how such developments should align tightly with IT security strategies.

This ‘ticket only’ Technology Day will offer end users, consultants, IT and facilities managers alike an opportunity to hear from a diverse array of leading security industry experts about the latest technology developments and how these are influencing the future of electronic security.

Senior personnel from industry-leading technology giants Brivo, Eagle Eye, Milestone, Commend and Mobotix will present on a range of topics in a number of executive briefings, duly covering a variety of issues such as the future of Access Control-as-a-Service, how hybrid solutions are enhancing integration, the evolution of surveillance camera technology, how analytics can perform efficiently in the cloud and the growth of Video Surveillance-as-a-Service.

There will also be day-long exhibition on site where delegates can be hands-on with technology from additional partner companies such as BCD Video, Tiger Bridge Technologies and Thinking Software, all of whom will show how their solutions can work in tandem to present the ideal security solution.

Design and implementation

“We are living in an exciting time due to the way in which the cloud, the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence are affecting security technology design and implementation,” commented Jas Murva, head of business development at Reliance High-Tech. “As more of this intelligence is used at the edge and on devices such as surveillance cameras, there remains a degree of confusion about how it can allow resources to be pulled to a central point, reduce energy consumption, facilitate connected thinking between devices and increase the potential power of analytics. This, and many other subjects, will be covered during our Technology Day, which will demystify the evolution of next generation cloud-based security solutions.”

Delegates can choose to attend either a morning or afternoon session, both of which will include the same speakers and content. Luncheon, coffee and other refreshments will be provided and attendees will also have the opportunity to network with the guest experts and peers. 

Reliance High-Tech has also arranged for full delegate access to Mercedes-Benz World and a session that will push delegates’ virtual racing skills to the limit on ultra-realistic racing simulators that capture the excitement, speed and driving demands of real Formula One racing.

Importance of the cloud

Alistair Enser, CEO at Reliance High-Tech, observed: “I’m delighted that we have been able to work with our esteemed technology partners on our first Technology Day focused around the subject of cloud ‘security’. We aim to enlighten people about the importance of the cloud, demystify some of the myths, explain the facts about it, look at why it’s important to embrace its benefits and also outline the roadmap ahead.”

Enser continued: “As an award-winning integrator, we invest almost £1 million internally every year on specialist IT technology and skills and have direct experience of designing and installing the latest products and services available on the market. I would urge any end users, consultants or facilities managers who want to better understand the future of security technology to attend this event. I look forward to welcoming our guests attending Mercedes-Benz World on Thursday 24 March.”

*Delegate numbers for this event will be strictly limited and entrance will be by pre-registered ticket only. For details of the full agenda and the speaker list, and to register your interest, send an e-mail to info@reliancehightech.co.uk

Leave a comment

Filed under Security Matters

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Security Matters

Corsight AI cuts gender and racial bias in facial recognition technology

Corsight AI, the facial recognition technology solutions provider, has announced a reduction in both gender and racial bias within its autonomous Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered solution designated Fortify.

The results, which have been published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), highlight the organisation’s deeply-rooted commitment to eradicating biases within AI algorithms and follow hot on the heels of various new capabilities having been added to Corsight’s flagship product.

The NIST Facial Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT) is widely recognised for setting standards within the industry, comparing facial recognition algorithms from over 650 submissions. The bias analysis presented in the report shows the difference in the False Positive Rate (FPR) of gender and race compared to the FPR for white males.

Corsight’s newly published algorithm demonstrates excess FPR as low as 10% between white and black males, standing out in comparison to the average excess of 130% for the top 30 leading VISA-Border submissions. Corsight’s algorithm also received top marks in the WILD, VISA-Border and VISA-Kiosk tracks, which aim to simulate common use cases for facial recognition applications.

Reducing demographic bias

Ran Vardimon PhD, vice-president of research at Corsight, explained: “One of the main targets of Corsight’s R&D team is to reduce demographic bias, which in turn will enable improved identification that can be applied worldwide with the same accuracy. The FRVT report goes beyond measuring overall recognition accuracy by providing separate results for different demographics.”

Vardimon continued: “While most models suffer from a significant bias imbalance, analysis of Corsight’s recent submission demonstrates that both gender and racial bias have been reduced, in turn leading to more reliable and accurate results. This illustrates the commitment that all of us here at Corsight have to enabling fair and ethical facial recognition.”

As part of its drive to eliminate bias and develop accurate solutions, Corsight recently launched the latest version of Fortify. This update uses advanced analytics to calculate relevant statistics based on facial attributes, without impacting privacy, while at the same time increasing speed and scaling capabilities.

Improving accuracy across age and gender has been front and centre of the enhancements process, enabling refined searches and better supporting streamlined and secure identity verification. This can improve a variety of use cases, including more accurate ‘Know Your Customer’ in financial services.


“Our mission here at Corsight is to be the most ethical, accurate, fast performing and privacy-focused facial recognition solutions provider on the market.” Stated Rob Watts, CEO at Corsight AI. “Already, our core product allows the recognition of faces in extreme angles, moving crowds or low quality images. Fortify can also detect faces with masks on and it has high accuracy rates in nearly complete darkness, at 2 lumens.”

Watts concluded: “We’re proud to have been recognised by NIST as having made significant improvements where it matters the most. We will continue to ensure this technology is used ethically and as a force for good within society.”

*For more information about Corsight AI’s solutioons visit www.corsight.ai

Leave a comment

Filed under Security Matters

Johnson Controls introduces next generation Tyco Illustra Pro Gen4 PTZ cameras

Johnson Controls, architect of the Open Blue digital platforms, has introduced its next generation of high performance Tyco Illustra Pro PTZ cameras featuring Artificial Intelligence-enabled edge analytics which detect and classify objects such as people, bicycles, buses, cars and motorbikes, as well as Intelligent Guard auto-tracking functionality based on face or people detection.

The four new Illustra Pro Gen4 Series PTZ models are true day/night cameras and provide hardware support for image stabilisation that ensures “excellent image quality” even at maximum zoom.

The outdoor models have an IR distance of up to 200 metres, with the 2 MP version offering up to 42x optical zoom and the 4K version providing up to 22x optical zoom. Both are equipped with Shake-Dry lens clearing and have a -50C to +60C operating range, enabling them to capture “superb quality images” even in challenging weather conditions.

The 2 MP and 4K indoor models offer up to 30x and 22x optical zoom respectively and have an integrated microphone to provide support for a suite of audio-based Artificial Intelligence analytics. They’re supplied with an integrated recess mounting, with the optional addition of a pendant cap to allow for an alternate installation configuration. They’re also available with the choice of clear or smoked dome coverings.

Highly accurate PTZ functionality

The cameras come with direct drive motors which deliver a quiet, fast, smooth and accurate performance and, together with ultra-low latency performance, provide security personnel with the ability to accurately track subjects in mission-critical applications.

The cameras use zoom-adjusted program technology to automatically control the pan and tilt speed in proportion to the amount of zoom used, delivering precise pan and tilt control. Using programmed pre-sets and tours, the cameras are able to move into position at up to 700° per second, in turn delivering the camera to its required position in under half a second.

All four of the new PTZ cameras feature Smart Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) technology which greatly improves the quality of images captured in varying lighting environments. By continuously analysing the scene, and without operator intervention, Smart WDR automatically adjusts tone mapping intensity and optimises the quality of the captured images by enhancing darkened areas without oversaturating brighter areas.

As users of Illustra Pro Gen cameras have come to expect, the new cameras also feature a suite of analytics which include object detection, object abandoned/removed, crowd formation, dwell and perimeter protection. This allows them to set up real-time, user-customisable event alarms to enable them to respond quickly to any incidents and make best use of available staff.

Cyber security

The Illustra Pro Gen 4 Series PTZ cameras offer end-to-end video encryption, which includes camera to VMS and SD card video encryption. Consultants, system designers and systems integrators can also be assured that the cameras have been designed and built in line with the rigorous standards of the Johnson Controls Cyber Solutions Product Security Programme.

“These new cameras are an excellent example of how Johnson Controls is delivering on its promise to develop video surveillance solutions which capitalise on the latest advances in technology,” explained Johnson Controls’ Sanjeev Singh, senior director of product management for security products.

Singh continued: “We are absolutely confident that system end users will be impressed with how the new cameras will help them to maintain a safe and secure environment for their colleagues, contractors and customers, as well as protect their assets and property. As such, they present an excellent opportunity for system integrators to generate new business, while also assisting their end user clients to achieve maximum benefit from their video surveillance solutions.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Security Matters

Qognify joins NVIDIA Metropolis Partner Programme

Qognify, the technology solutions provider for enterprise operations and safety, has joined NVIDIA Metropolis, a programme designed to nurture and bring to market a new generation of applications and solutions that make the world’s most important spaces and operations safer and more efficient with advancements in Artificial Intelligence vision.

As a business, Qognify offers various video management Internet of Things solutions that help customers safeguard people and assets. The rise of IP camera deployments and the increasing number of video streams per installation has made it more essential than ever to add an automated perception layer to the image stream through video analytics in order to better understand how an enterprise’s space is being used. This is where NVIDIA with its Metropolis platform comes into play as the system helps Qognify reliably detect and classify important objects in the video stream.

NVIDIA Metropolis makes it easier and more cost-effective for enterprises, Governments and integration partners to leverage world-class Artificial Intelligence-enabled solutions in order to improve critical operational efficiency and safety problems.

The NVIDIA Metropolis ecosystem contains a large and growing breadth of partners who are investing in the most advanced Artificial Intelligence techniques and the most efficient deployment platforms and also use an enterprise-class approach to their solutions. Partners have the opportunity to gain early access to NVIDIA platform updates and further enhance and accelerate their Artificial Intelligence application development efforts. Further, the programme offers the opportunity for partners to collaborate with industry-leading experts and other Artificial Intelligence-driven organisations.

Chen Porat, vice-president of R&D at Qognify, stated: “The NVIDIA solution does all the heavy lifting for video analytics in combination with our own video analytics platform. We’re planning to roll-out to all of our VMS products in the future. It moves resource-intensive calculations to the GPU and therefore gives back bandwidth to the CPU to manage other tasks needed by our physical security solutions.”

Risk mitigation solutions

Qognify helps to safeguard today’s organisations, focusing on the outcomes of customers who place a premium on physical operations. Providing solutions to mitigate risks and optimise operations, Qognify serves thousands of customers all over the world as a trusted advisor.

The comprehensive portfolio of Qognify solutions encompasses physical security and incident management solutions, which add value for businesses in many sectors including manufacturing companies, transportation authorities, retail chains, banks and other financial institutions, ports and seaports, logistics service providers, schools and universities, correctional facilities, critical infrastructures and cities.

Headquartered in New York, Qognify operates major development hubs in Germany and Israel as well as sales and support offices around the globe.

*Additional information is available online at www.qognify.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Security Matters

Milestone Systems promotes Dr Barry Norton to vice-president of research

Milestone Systems has promoted Dr Barry Norton to the role of vice-president of research. Norton joined the company back in May 2018 as director of research. In his new role, and in addition to continuing his leadership of Milestone’s growing research department, Norton will also be responsible for an increased collaboration with universities to move forward the state-of-the-art in machine learning, notably in relation to applications for computer vision.

This latter element of the role, in fact, is going to be instrumental in helping to create the next generation of video software technology that will not only be innovative, but also assist the greater societal good.

“Milestone Systems has high ambitions for the future,” explained Bjørn Skou Eilertsen, CTO for the business. “We need to understand and predict future technologies and megatrends to help accelerate Milestone Systems’ ambitious growth journey. Increasing our focus on research will gear this journey.”

Eilertsen added: “Barry is always more than one step ahead when it comes to applying future technologies because of his profound knowledge and ingenuity. I’m confident that he will play a key role in taking Milestone’s video software technology to the next level.”

Dr Barry Norton responded: “Milestone’s ‘Make the World See’ mission is a clarion call to bring together the latest achievements in Artificial Intelligence from the lab to deliver true situational understanding in the real world. The commitment to deliver such technology in a responsible manner makes Milestone the ideal environment for me to work on this vision.”

Over the years, Milestone Systems has gradually increased investment in research capability and expertise. With the newly-created role of vice-president, Milestone Systems will further develop its business and core strategic initiatives to accelerate the company’s ambitious growth journey with more cutting-edge, high-quality product features. 

In his new role, Norton will report directly to Eilertsen.

Leave a comment

Filed under Security Matters

QED and EmpiricAl partnership brings Computer Vision AI to wider market

EmpiricAI has secured a major new distribution agreement with electronic security distributor QED, its first UK partner, that will see its Computer Vision AI (Artificial Intelligence) solution offered across the UK and Europe.

The announcement comes against a growing realisation that the security industry plays a crucial role not only in the protection of people and places, but also in terms of providing peace of mind for employers and employees alike in a wide variety of workplaces.

QED now becomes one of the first to market with an advanced Computer Vision AI solution. It was developed by EmpiricAI specifically for improving Health and Safety and productivity in business and industry.

Headquartered in Preston, QED is expecting strong demand for its new offer from a range of sectors including construction, manufacturing, corporate offices, retail and other customer-facing branches.

QED was initially attracted by EmpiricAI’s WorkSafe Analytics (WSA) platform because of its functionality and ease of use. WSA uses AI-powered Computer Vision technology to help businesses gain an accurate view of potential risks in the workplace. The software ensures compliance with Health and Safety guidelines.

Integrated into on-site CCTV implementations, WSA is able to carry out real-time monitoring and detection of any non-compliance of social distancing, correct PPE/mask usage and occupancy guidelines. Comprehensive analytics and reporting on compliance at room, building and site-wide levels and their trends over time enables organisations to monitor and improve the effectiveness of their Health and Safety initiatives.

Restoring employee confidence

EmpiricAI’s Computer Vision technology has been shown to restore employee confidence around safety. This is set against a backdrop of research showing that more than 60% of workers report inadequate safety in their workplace when considering all factors, not just the pandemic, which can significantly affect their productivity.

Steve Constantine, QED’s product development director, explained: “This partnership with EmpiricAI has been driven by the need to add more flexibility to our product range to support our partners working in environments where it’s important to monitor compliance with safety procedures. In addition, it also allows us to provide a timely and relevant solution to help address the Health and Safety challenges businesses are facing at the present time.”

Salman Chaudhary, CEO at EmpiricAI, responded: “Our WorkSafe Analytics will complement QED’s customer-driven solutions. We see the partnership with QED bringing the benefits of Computer Vision to a much wider market and especially for those professionals required to adhere to strict Health and Safety procedures. The combination of our advanced technology, backed up with QED’s security offer and proven customer service will make the benefits of Computer Vision much more accessible to customers.”

Technical support

QED provides a next day delivery service and 24/7 online ordering underpinned by “exceptional” customer service and technical support. The business offers advice before and following a sale, with its ethos being to earn the lifetime loyalty of customers.

A dedicated account manager from QED is assigned to all customers, supported by an experienced and knowledgeable technical team of professionals. A bespoke online customer portal is available where customers can place orders, view their order histories, download invoices, request reports and manage company account users.

*For more information on EmpiricAI’s Computer Vision AI WorkSafe Analytics visit www.qedgroup.co.uk

Leave a comment

Filed under Security Matters

Digital Security by Design programme set to prototype “step change” in computer security

UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Digital Security by Design programme is working with businesses and researchers to prototype a step change that will “enhance the central hardware and software of a computer” to block the issues responsible for up to 70% of today’s security vulnerabilities. 

The growing number of data breaches and cyber attacks are exposing the widespread nature of digital vulnerabilities and it’s clear no sector of business, infrastructure or society is safe. Whether it’s delivering critical infrastructure, the processing of valuable data or the digitisation of industry, business will grow or die depending on the cyber security and resilience of computerised systems.

The Digital Security by Design programme, which is being delivered through UKRI’s Industrial Strategies Challenge Fund, is supporting a second round Demonstrator competition that will provide two or three projects with a share of up to £6 million. 

The competition is open to UK businesses to collaborate with suppliers and academics to investigate and evaluate the impact the new technologies may have on the future of digital security.

This is not just another Best Practice recommendation or a new Artificial Intelligence tool to monitor the network and endpoints. This is a change which will enhance the central hardware and software of a computer and allow future products and services to protect data and keep control of operations.

An ideal consortium will be able to represent an industry sector that requires secure system operation with safety and resilience or those that manage high-value data assets in which compromise may cause serious economic or personal harm.

Through this competition, businesses have a unique opportunity to be part of a transformational change in securing functions, products and services stretching across supply chain providers.

*Competition details can be viewed online at: https://apply-for-innovation-funding.service.gov.uk/competition/865/overview

Leave a comment

Filed under Security Matters

Bidvest Noonan outlines bold plans for touchless and frictionless security

Bidvest Noonan has unveiled plans to introduce “disruptive new technologies” designed to bring about the company’s vision for “truly touchless and frictionless” security.

The business has just recruited industry heavy-hitter Stephen Webb (pictured below) as its director of technology solutions. Webb boasts over 20 years’ experience in leading the development of security technology businesses here in the UK and also in North America.

Bidvest Noonan has accelerated its innovation and technology programmes in response to the pandemic. The business saw working practices change and clients grappling with a host of new problems during what has been a challenging period. The company’s security solutions team sought technology-enhanced systems to help clients keep their people safe, ensure business continuity and find new ways of achieving their longer-term objectives.

The company set its sights on leveraging Artificial Intelligence-enhanced, cloud-based and biometric-focused security systems with a view towards transforming and unifying areas such as access control, alarm monitoring, video surveillance and visitor management.

Stephen Webb’s appointment to what is a newly-created senior leadership role signals the business’ commitment to advancing its security technology plans.

Commenting on this development, Eddie Ingram (managing director of Security Solutions at Bidvest Noonan) informed Security Matters: “I’m thrilled to welcome Stephen to our team. He has a proven track record for leveraging technology to deliver performance improvements and added value to clients. He will play an important role in the development of our ambitious security technology plans and I know he will be very successful at Bidvest Noonan.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Security Matters