Tag Archives: Business Continuity

Axis Security picks up record five nominations for 2018 Security and Fire Excellence Awards

Axis Security, a leading provider of bespoke security services, has been shortlisted in five categories at the 2018 Security and Fire Excellence Awards, including the prestigious Security Guarding Company of the Year, an award that the business has been nominated for across seven consecutive years and has won on three occasions.

Five nominations in the Security and Fire Excellence Awards, which are organised and hosted by UBM, marks a record achievement for the company, with the remaining nominations being for Contribution to Standards in the Security Sector, Security Training Initiative of the Year (with ‘Security Masterclass’), the Inspiration in HR Award and the ACS Champion of the Year (an award the company won last year).

Jonathan Levine, Axis Group’s CEO, stated: “The company’s employees are its most important asset, while its key focus is in customer service. By prioritising training and employee welfare initiatives, our officers in turn prioritise excellent service for our customers’ customers. These nominations are testament to this focus.”

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Axis Security’s nomination for the Contribution to Standards in the Security Sector Award recognises the company’s proactive use of training and site audits, internal employee awards and its development of a contract management and performance measurement software platform. Specifically this year, the nomination is a result of Axis’ critical role in one of its customers achieving the ISO 22301 business continuity standard for its flagship building. The award was achieved one month ahead of schedule and is the client’s first property to achieve the accreditation.

The Inspiration in HR Award acknowledges those companies demonstrating that HR is a fundamental part of their business and invest in their people. It’s bestowed by SSR Personnel and adjudicated by a prestigious panel of industry experts.

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“To have picked up this number of nominations is evidence of the hard work of all employees from HR, training and operational personnel through to our security officers,” explained Levine. “I’m extremely proud and grateful for all the hard work that has been integral to our successes this year.”

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Qognify to make Security Essen debut by showcasing PSIM, VMS and video analytics solutions alongside new packaged services

Qognify makes its debut at Security Essen next month by showcasing the company’s award-winning portfolio of technology solutions designed to mitigate risks, maintain business continuity and optimise operations for organisations and infrastructures throughout Europe and around the world.

In Hall 7 on Stand 7E33, Qognify will present its Situator PSIM solution alongside the Operational Intelligence Center module and the new Situator mobile app, the award-winning VisionHub VMS and the real-time video analytics solution designated SuspectSearch.

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The company will also highlight its new packaged solutions – namely Qognify ISM and Qognify ACI – as well as the Security & Fire Excellence Awards 2017 Communications Product of the Year: the Qognify Extend mobile application suite.

Security Essen takes place at MESSE Frankfurt in Germany from 2528 September.  Qognify will highlight why the company’s technology is trusted, relied upon and proven throughout Europe by large rail operators including AeroExpress (in Russia), Network Rail (here in the UK) and ProRail (Netherlands) and major international airports – among them Avinor Airport in Norway and Gatwick Airport in the UK.

Financial institutions including Millennium Bank (Portugal), as well as seaports including Naftoport in Poland, also make extensive use of Qognify’s solutions.

*For more information about Security Essen 2018 visit www.security-essen.de

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ANT Telecom concludes research project on companies’ communications, lone worker and critical alert procedures

Automated communication specialist ANT Telecom has recently completed research designed to unearth a better understanding of how businesses communicate and respond to incidents in the workplace.

Within its research, ANT Telecom looked at the range of devices employees were using to communicate with colleagues, including lone workers, as well as incident reporting and response timings and the resulting impact these factors have on business continuity in the workplace.

From the variety of communications business have available to adopt, a GSM mobile solution was the most prevalent, with 76.92% confirming it as their preferred device to keep upon their person. However, the research also showed that an overwhelming percentage (71.43%, in fact) used their devices for voice only, leaving just 28.57% with the means necessary to receive real-time plant processing updates and critical alerts directly to their device.

This approach is likely to affect machine downtime and product wastages as employees cannot benefit from instant alerts if an incident occurs, which is greatly beneficial to keeping production lines and machinery running smoothly.

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However, real-time information is of no value whatsoever if it’s not used effectively. It’s therefore essential to assess how machine alerts could and should be used to facilitate the quickest response possible.

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Machine maintenance is also a large part of a company’s communication and its impact on production was also a subject raised in the research. The majority (32%) of those who answered confirmed that it would take between zero and two minutes for an engineer to be notified if a problem occurred with a piece of machinery on the manufacturing or production site, but over 38% stated that this would take more than ten minutes, with 6% confirming it would take over 30 minutes for their business.

Those surveyed were also asked if their alert system automatically distributed machine or processing faults directly to a qualified engineer, who would then attend to the fault, and 73% answered ‘No’. Of course, manufacturing plants have been collecting alert information from machines for years. Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems for remote monitoring and control are a standard component of any operating environment, providing a single view of equipment performance on a large screen in a Control Room.

More recently, these systems have gone mobile, offering operators and maintenance engineers alike the chance to view the red, amber and green alerts on a tablet while on, or away from, the factory floor. That’s great, but the way in which organisations respond to these alerts is still, in the main, archaic.

A red alert could prompt a generic page message to which any number of individuals may or may not respond. Alternatively, an operator viewing the red alert on the SCADA screen has to call the engineering team leader who will access a control panel to understand the true nature of the problem and only then identify and contact a team member to resolve the issue.

Impact on productivity

An overwhelming 88% of respondents felt that machine faults impacted productivity in some way, while 44.44% of those questioned thought that the time taken to detect a fault through to a qualified engineer resolving the issue could be reduced. There are numerous ways in which businesses can address this issue in a proactive manner.

Direct integration between a communication system and a control panel, for example, provides immediate information about the nature of the fault. By designing and configuring a smart workflow, it then ensures the communication system automatically contacts the most relevant team, such as electrical engineering specialists, thereby eliminating a number of time-consuming manual steps. Once the designated team member has received the notification, they can confirm their attendance and, critically, provide updates on the repair resolution.

The results of this research highlight some prominent issues for businesses that must be addressed and acted upon accordingly. In an era where increasing regulatory scrutiny is matched by rapid advances in disruptive innovation, there can be no excuse for companies who fail to take advantage of the best available technology. To optimise such technology, it makes sense to partner with a trusted expert, evaluate your exposure and plan for a safer and more connected future.

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BCI European Awards 2017: Shortlist of finalists announced

The Business Continuity Institute (BCI) is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2017 BCI European Awards. Some of the most outstanding business continuity and resilience professionals and organisations have made it to the final stage.

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Continuity and Resilience Consultant 2017

Alberto Mattia (Panta Ray)
Petra Morrison (Daisy Group)
Werner Verlinden (Musena Consulting)

Most Effective Recovery 2017

BPER Banca
IBM
West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

Continuity and Resilience Innovation 2017

Barclays Group Resilience
Crises Control
Everbridge

Continuity and Resilience Newcomer 2017

Elodie Huet (Arup)
Linda McAllorum (MUFG Investor Services)
Patrick Teves (Nestle Deutschland AG)
Timothy Dalby-Walsh (Needhams 1834)
Tinne Dewolf (Goffin Consulting)

Continuity and Resilience Professional (Private Sector) 2017

Joseph McClean (Ulster Bank)
Ken Clark (ARM)
Rob van den Eijnden (Philips)
Sarah Armstrong-Smith (Fujitsu)

Continuity and Resilience Professional (Public Sector) 2017

Carl Mayfield (Milton Keynes Council)
Rina Singh (NHS Professionals)
Russ Parramore (South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue)

Continuity and Resilience Provider (Service/Product) 2017

Alert Cascade
Business Continuity Training
ClearView Continuity
Send Word Now
Sungard Availability Services

Continuity and Resilience Team 2017

Aon
BT
Chief Fire Officers Association
Marks & Spencer

Sponsored by Sungard Availability Services, the BCI’s European Awards Gala Dinner and Ceremony takes place at The Principal Hotel in Edinburgh on Thursday 11 May. The awards will be presented by David Thorp, the BCI’s executive director.

Tickets to the event include reception drinks, a three-course meal with fine wines and the awards ceremony. Individual tickets costs £75.00 +VAT. Tables of ten are priced at £675 +VAT.

*To book your tickets for this event click here

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30% of NHS Trusts have experienced a ransomware attack” finds SentinelOne

30% of NHS Trusts in the UK have experienced a ransomware attack, potentially placing patient data and lives at risk. One Trust – the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust – admitted to being attacked 19 times in just 12 months. These are the findings of a Freedom of Information (FoI) request submitted by SentinelOne.

The Ransomware Research Data Summary explains that SentinelOne made FoI requests to 129 NHS Trusts, of which 94 responded. Three Trusts refused to answer, claiming their response could damage commercial interests. All but two Trusts – Surrey and Sussex and University College London Hospitals – have invested in anti-virus security software on their endpoint devices to protect them from malware.

Despite installing a McAfee solution, Leeds Teaching Hospital has apparently suffered five attacks in the past year.

No Trusts reported paying a ransom or informed law enforcement of the attacks: all preferred to deal with the attacks internally.

Ransomware which encrypts data and demands a ransom to decrypt it has been affecting US hospitals for a while now. The Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles notoriously paid cyber criminals £12,000 last February after being infected by Locky, one of the most prolific ransomware variants.

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With the infected computers or networks becoming unusable until a ransom has been paid* or the data has been recovered, it’s clear to see why these types of attack can be a concern for business continuity professionals, with the latest Horizon Scan Report published by the Business Continuity Institute highlighting cyber attacks as the prime concern. This is a very good reason why cyber resilience has been chosen as the theme for Business Continuity Awareness Week in 2017.

“These results are far from surprising,” said Tony Rowan, chief security consultant at SentinelOne. “Public sector organisations make a soft target for fraudsters because budget and resource shortages frequently leave hospitals short changed when it comes to security basics like regular software patching. The results highlight the fact that old school AV technology is powerless to halt virulent, mutating forms of malware like ransomware. A new and more dynamic approach to endpoint protection is needed.”

Rowan continued: “In the past, some NHS Trusts have been singled out by the Information Commissioner’s Office for their poor record on data breaches. With the growth of connected devices like kidney dialysis machines and heart monitors, there’s even a chance that poor security practices could put lives at risk.”

*Note that the data isn’t always recovered even after a ransom has been paid

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“Faster response times needed to combat cyber threat” finds BCI survey

Two thirds of respondents to a global survey carried out by the Business Continuity Institute report that they had experienced at least one cyber incident during the previous twelve months, while 15% stated they had experienced at least ten incidents during the same period.

The frequency of these cyber incidents demonstrates exactly why it’s so important for organisations to have plans in place to mitigate them or otherwise lessen their impact.

The Cyber Resilience Report, conducted by the BCI and sponsored by Crises Control, found that there was a wide range of response times for cyber incidents. Almost a third of organisations (31%) stated that they responded within one hour. However, one fifth (19%) take a worrying four hours or more in responding to a cyber event, while almost half (44%) take more than two hours to respond. This has clear implications for the time taken to return to business as usual, and the ultimate cost of the incident to the host organisation.

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Even if businesses wish to respond immediately to a cyber attack, the nature of the attack may render them unable to do so. The research finds that phishing and social engineering are the top causes of cyber disruption, with over 60% of companies reporting being hit by such an incident over the past 12 months and 37% attacked by way of spear phishing.

The BCI has discovered that 45% of companies were hit by a malware attack and 24% by a Distributed Denial of Service episode. All these forms of attack will, in different ways, render an organisation’s own network either contaminated or inoperable. Their website may have been taken down and they may well have to switch off their Internet connection until they can secure themselves from further attack.

A detailed study of 369 business continuity and resilience professionals from across the world, the research also reveals that the costs of these incidents varied greatly, with 73% reporting total costs over the year of less than €50,000, but 6% reporting annual costs of more than €500,000.

David James-Brown FBCI, chairman of the BCI, commented: “This piece of research is one of the most timely, insightful and relevant the BCI has ever produced. Cyber attacks tend to target the weakest links of an organisation. That calls for a greater awareness of cyber crime. As the cyber threat evolves, it’s crucial to stay on top of it, building long-term initiatives and regularly updating recovery plans.”

Rickie Sehgal, chairman of Crises Control, added: “Rapid communication with employees, customers and suppliers is vital for any company in terms of responding effectively to a major business disruption event such as a cyber attack. When your business is at risk, even a one-hour delay in responding to an incident can be too long. Taking more than two hours to respond, as almost half of companies appear to do, is simply unacceptable.”

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Buckinghamshire New University security graduate named Student of the Year at CIR Business Continuity Awards

A Buckinghamshire New University graduate in security and business continuity has been named Student of the Year at the CIR Business Continuity Awards.

Roger Payne studied for an MSc in Business Continuity, Security and Emergency Management, and was duly recognised at the London Marriott Hotel ceremony – where the awards were hosted – for the high quality of his dissertation.

The dissertation was an investigation into the human factors such as ‘Groupthink’, Abilene Paradox, stress, gut feel, cognitive strain and other symptoms that impact how effectively incident management teams respond during crisis periods.

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Roger Payne

Motivating factor

A senior business continuity manager at RBC Capital Markets, Payne told Risk UK: “I was really surprised and overjoyed to be recognised by my peers in the industry. More important for me, however, was the fact that I decided to finally study for my MSc shortly after my father passed away. His passing acted as both a motivation and a catalyst in my life, and my MSc degree is one of the important markers of my progress.”

Speaking about his qualification at Buckinghamshire New University, Payne added: “I believe my understanding of my chosen field of expertise has grown exponentially. Despite being in the arena of business continuity management since 2004, I believe there are always ways in which to improve one’s knowledge. The MSc degree course has enabled me to begin to align previously ‘siloed’ departments and have a more risk-based approach towards organisational resilience in all of its guises.”

On his dissertation, Payne explained: “The study clearly shows that these issues are not exclusive to incident management teams, but are issues confronted by almost all teams across almost all organisations when faced with stressful situations that don’t fit into the normal understanding of business as usual.”

Fantastic achievement

Head of School and course leader Phil Wood stated: “This is a fantastic achievement by a committed and extremely capable student. Roger is a prime example of the type of people who thrive on our Organisational Resilience and postgraduate programmes. Before joining us, he was already highly proficient in his industry and his success on the MSc is both vindication of that proficiency and of the value of education in helping students towards further career goals and success.”

Wood concluded: “Roger is the latest in a series of academic award winners for dissertations in our Master’s degree. The whole team here at Buckinghamshire New University is proud of Roger and of this recognition by a demanding industry sector.”

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