Tag Archives: Cranfield University

Evidence Talks launches SPEKTOR Rapid Imager for forensic imaging “at unparalleled speeds”

A global collaboration between digital forensics specialist Evidence Talks and Australia-based Schatz Forensic will afford investigators in law enforcement, Government agencies and Corporate Security Departments the ability to create forensic images significantly faster than when using traditional techniques.

The breakthrough in forensic imaging speed in a triage tool comes as a result of integration between Evidence Talks’ SPEKTOR solution and Schatz Forensic’s next generation forensic imaging technology, named Evimetry. Evimetry is based on the peer-reviewed AFF4 forensic image file format, advanced compression and intelligent sequencing of disk access.

Dr Bradley Schatz, director of Schatz Forensic and an inventor of the AFF4 forensic image format, has a PhD in Digital Forensics, a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, 23 years experience in IT and 13 years in digital forensics. Schatz is a globally recognised leader in forensic research, with appointments across the leading publication venues of the field.

Andrew Sheldon MSc, Chief Technical Officer of Evidence Talks and originator of the SPEKTOR forensic platform, has 37 years of experience in IT, 23 of which have focused on forensic computing. He holds a Masters degree in the discipline from the Centre for Forensic Computing at the Royal Military College of Science, Cranfield University and is a regular speaker at industry events.

rapidimager

Sheldon commented: “During our research into methods of reducing forensic imaging times, I discovered Dr Schatz and his work on the peer reviewed and forensically sound AFF4 imaging format. Further development of this work by Schatz Forensic was so close to our desired objectives that we approached him to work collaboratively and combine the technology into the SPEKTOR product range. This has accelerated our ability to deliver outstanding performance to a market that’s demanding faster image creation in order to cope with massive increases in target media capacities.”

Exclusive licensing agreement

Now, with an exclusive licensing agreement in the triage space, Evidence Talks is embedding the necessary code across its SPEKTOR product suite. In a recent test, the SPEKTOR Rapid Imager produced a full linear image on a MacBook Air with 120 GB storage in under four minutes. That can be set against the previous timeframe using industry standard tools of some 45 minutes.

SPEKTOR Rapid Imager isn’t just fast when imaging SSD media. It’s optimised for slower systems employing rotational media with tests indicating significant reductions in imaging times.

The new system was launched at the 2016 F3 annual workshop in Gloucester on Tuesday 8 November. Evidence Talks is a founder member of F3, which is a non-profit organisation helping to provide low-cost training for digital forensic practitioners.

Commenting on the product release, Dr Bradley Schatz said: “We recognised very early in discussions with Andrew Sheldon that Evidence Talks had the vision and will to lead the forensic triage market to preserve more evidence in less time. This vision aligns perfectly with that of Schatz Forensic. The seamless integration of SPEKTOR and the Evimetry imager engine provides a dramatic increase in digital forensic triage performance which will have immediate and measurable benefits for end users.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News, Uncategorized

GCHQ certifies Masters degrees in cyber security

The certification of six Masters degrees in cyber security has been announced by Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office. This announcement marks another significant step in the development of the UK’s knowledge, skills and capability in all fields of cyber security as part of the National Cyber Security Programme.

The National Cyber Security Strategy recognises education as being absolutely vital to the development of cyber security skills and, earlier in the year, UK universities were invited to submit their cyber security Masters degrees for certification against GCHQ’s stringent criteria for a broad foundation in cyber security.

Partnerships have been key throughout the process with the assessment of applicants based on the expert views of industry, academia, professional bodies, GCHQ and other Government departments.

The six successful Masters degrees were judged to provide well-defined and appropriate content, with all of them delivered to the highest standard.

Francis Maude MP: Minister for the Cabinet Office

Francis Maude MP: Minister for the Cabinet Office

Development of GCHQ-certified Masters degrees will help the successful universities to promote the quality of their courses and assist prospective students in making better informed choices when looking for a highly valued qualification. It also assists employers to differentiate between candidates when employing cyber security staff.

A further call for Masters certification will take place in late 2014 and extend to those degrees focused on critical areas of cyber security such as digital forensics.

Details of certified status for six universities

The six successful universities whose cyber security Masters degrees have been awarded GCHQ-certified status are as follows:

Full certified status
Edinburgh Napier University: Degree – MSc in Advanced Security and Digital Forensics
Lancaster University: Degree – MSc in Cyber Security
University of Oxford: Degree – MSc in Software and Systems Security
Royal Holloway, University of London: Degree – MSc in Information Security

Provisional certified status
Cranfield University: Degree – MSc in Cyber Defence and Information Assurance
University of Surrey: Degree – MSc in Information Security

“Every time I visit GCHQ I see at first-hand the tremendous work being conducted in relation to cyber security,” explained Francis Maude MP. “Cyber security is a crucial part of this Government’s long term plan for the British economy. We want to make the UK one of the safest places in the world to do business online. Through the excellent work of GCHQ in partnership with other Government departments, the private sector and academia we’re able to counter threats and ensure that, together, we’re stronger and more aware.”

Nigel Smart, Professor of Cryptology at the University of Bristol, stated: “I’m delighted to have been appointed as independent chairman of the panel that assessed applications, and am excited that GCHQ has introduced this rigorous standard for judging general cyber security Masters degrees. For the first time, UK universities which become certified will have a means to promote the quality of the cyber security issues they teach.”

Smart also commented: “Over the next few years, as GCHQ certification is applied to more specialised areas of cyber security, I expect the number of UK universities achieving certification of their Masters degrees to increase, thereby helping to raise the overall standard of teaching in cyber security at Masters level.”

Mark Hughes, the President of BT Security, commented: “At BT, we’re acutely aware of the impact of the UK cyber skills gap. Recruiting the right people with the right knowledge and skills is a big deal for us. As a leading Internet service provider we want to employ the very best. That’s why we welcome GCHQ’s certification of Masters degrees in cyber security. The fact that GCHQ recognises these courses as high calibre gives us, at BT, the confidence that those graduating with a Masters from one of these universities will have the sound knowledge base in cyber security we would be looking for. This is a great step forward in developing the cyber specialist of tomorrow.”

Chris Ensor, deputy director for the National Technical Authority for Information Assurance at GCHQ, added: “As the National Technical Authority for Information Assurance, GCHQ recognises the critical role academia plays in developing the UK’s skills and knowledge base. I’d like to congratulate the universities which have been recognised as offering a Masters degree which covers the broad range of subjects that underpin a good understanding of cyber security. I’d also encourage those that didn’t quite make it this time around to reapply in the near future, particularly as we begin to focus on more specialised degrees. Recognition of these degrees is an important first step towards delineating academic Centres of Excellence in cyber security education.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

2014 Imbert Prize winners announced by the Association of Security Consultants

The Association of Security Consultants held its Annual Luncheon on Thursday 26 June. The winners of the 2014 Imbert Prizes were announced at the event, which was held in central London at the Royal Air Force Club, Piccadilly.

To its great credit, the Board of the Association of Security Consultants (ASC) continually seeks to encourage the development of ideas for the advancement of risk and security management in the UK.

One of the ways in which this excellent ethos manifests itself is by way of an annual prize – the hugely prestigious Imbert Prize.

Named after one of the Association’s Patrons – Lord Peter Imbert CVO QPM JP, former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service and Lord Lieutenant of Greater London – the Imbert Prize always consists of three separate awards. These are the University Dissertation Award, the Security Associations Award and the ASC Award.

The University Dissertation Award

Each year, an award of £1,000 is bestowed for a selected dissertation submitted by an academic institution. Cranfield, Leicester, Loughborough and Portsmouth Universities are each invited to submit a dissertation produced by one of their students – a dissertation relevant to the discipline of consultancy in the security profession.

The Judging Panel (which, in 2014, included Mike Bluestone CSyP, immediate past-chairman of The Security Institute among its cohort) is appointed by the ASC’s chairman and Board.

All Judging Panel members are independent of any of the institutions submitting dissertations.

2014 Winner

The winner in 2014 is Lt Col Paul Easter (Cranfield University) for his dissertation entitled: ‘Jihadist Use of Technology: 1998-2013’.

Runners-Up

In 2014, the runners-up are Andrew Bates (University of Leicester): ‘Whistleblowing in the Private Security Industry – Factors That Influence The Reporting of Wrongdoing’, Stuart Senior (Loughborough University): ‘Mine Action Industry: Is There A Case for a New Approach to Security When Working In Current or Post-Conflict Zones’ and Stephen Green (University of Portsmouth): ‘An Investigation of Current Security Technology Procurement Paradigms and Subsequent Effects on Perceived Efficacy’.

The Security Associations Award

This element of the Imbert Prize is awarded to the person deemed to have made the most notable contribution to the security sector in the preceding 12 months.

Nominations are received each year from The Security Institute, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), the International Professional Security Association (IPSA) and ASIS International’s UK Chapter.

2014 Winner

The winner for 2014 is Peter Finch CSyP CPP FSyI FCMI FInstLM, former head of security at the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust and now security manager at the Coventry Building Society.

ASIS Nominee: Adrian Leppard (Commissioner, City of London Police)
BSIA Nominee: Andrew Rennison (former UK Surveillance Camera Commissioner)
IPSA Nominee: Geoff Tate (CEO, Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board)

The ASC Award

This award is bestowed upon the ASC member who has made the most significant contribution to independent security consultancy in the preceding year. The nominee is put forward by the ASC, as adjudged by the ASC Award Panel.

2014 Winner

The winner in 2014 is Joe Connell (director, Praemunitus Intelligence and Risk Consultants Ltd)

*Long-standing ASC member and founding director Nigel Flower was also named an Honorary Life President of the ASC

**The Keynote Address was given by Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach KCB CBE ADC BA MPhil DTech DLitt FRAes RAF, Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

The Shield Group awarded ten-year security contract at Bournemouth University

The Shield Group will now provide security services to both campuses during and beyond Bournemouth University’s ongoing structural transformation process.

The £3.6 million contract spans a ten-year period and comes at a significant time for Bournemouth University, which is in the midst of a £138 million transformation designed to further enhance its status in the academic world as a leading international institution.

Indeed, Bournemouth University is renowned for having one of the highest graduate employment rates in the UK. The figure currently stands at over 90%.

The Shield Group won the contract following the recent launch of a dedicated division for security guarding. The company will provide 13 skilled security officers to patrol the university’s two campuses, where they will manage student residences and lecture halls.

Key responsibilities for the officers will include static security guarding, reception services, entrance protection and car park management.

John Roddy: CEO of The Shield Group

John Roddy: CEO of The Shield Group

Security at the widely-anticipated £10.5 million Student Centre – to be know as the Students’ Union at Bournemouth University (SUBU) – will also be provided by The Shield Group once construction is complete.

Growing portfolio of educational partners

The Shield Group’s contract with Bournemouth University – which began on 1 April 2014 – represents the eighth university in The Shield Group’s growing portfolio of educational partners. Indeed, it’s an area of security provision that the Group hopes to develop even further in the future.

With the addition of the University of Bournemouth, the fiscal size of Shield’s higher education portfolio now amounts to more than £3.2 million per year.

Other prominent universities for which The Shield Group currently provides its services include Cranfield University, New York University (London), The University of Portsmouth and The University of West London.

Heading the new project at Bournemouth University will be Stuart Macleod, regional director at The Shield Group. Macleod began his career as a microbiologist and subsequently served in accountancy before embarking on his career at The Shield Group, where he has now worked for over 16 years in senior management roles.

Macleod currently oversees a team of contract managers working on assignments from Portsmouth across to Wales and up to Scotland.

‘Customer First’ approach to security services

Speaking of the contract win, Stuart Macleod commented: “Following a highly competitive tender exercise, we’re delighted to partner with Bournemouth University and provide our comprehensive ‘Customer First’ approach to security services. We will be integrating our manpower and latest technological systems to create a safe and healthy environment across both campuses which is firmly centred on the well-being of students, staff and visitors.”

Macleod added: “We’re looking forward to working closely with the university over the next ten years. From my own perspective, I’m particularly proud to be leading the project. I hope to see this close partnership go from strength to strength as it progresses.”

John Roddy – CEO of The Shield Group – added: “In recent years, our understanding of the very particular requirements of the education sector, combined with our Total Security Solutions approach, has enabled us to develop genuine partnerships with a growing number of academic institutions. This is an area of special importance to us as we are fully aware of the complex security needs of educational establishments.”

Roddy went on to state: “We are able to achieve the many challenging targets set by this sector and fully anticipate that we’ll expand our presence in this field even further in the years ahead.”

With projected sales of over £80 million for the fiscal year 2014-2015, The Shield Group has been undergoing a major transformation of it sown since it was taken over in 2012 by Topsgrup (India’s leading and largest security company).

Since then, The Shield Group has launched four strategic verticals combining traditional manpower and innovative technology in order to deliver intelligent, risk-based Total Security Solutions to its customer base.

Leave a comment

Filed under IFSECGlobal.com News