Tag Archives: Critical National Infrastructure

70% of financial companies suffer cyber security incident in last 12 months

New research conducted by data security company Clearswift reveals that 70% of financial companies have experienced a cyber security incident in the past year, highlighting the serious threat that both data breaches and malicious attacks pose to the UK’s financial sector.

The research, which surveyed senior business decision-makers within enterprise financial organisations in the UK, found that almost half of the incidents reported over the past 12 months originated from employees failing to follow security protocol or data protection policies. This threat was biggest in mid-sized financial companies (with 3,000-4,999 employees) with 52% of respondents citing employee failure to follow corporate data protection policies as their biggest issue.

In addition to this, it was found that further causes of cyber security incidents within the financial sector included the introduction of malware and viruses via third party devices, including USBs and Bring Your Own Device (32%), file and image downloads (25%) and employees sharing data with unintended recipients (24%).

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“The financial sector is the lynchpin of the UK’s economy and a vital part of our nation’s Critical National Infrastructure, so it’s alarming to see such high numbers of security incidents within financial organisations,” said Dr Guy Bunker, CTO at Clearswift. “Unfortunately, in this day and age it’s a case of ‘when’ not ‘if’ a firm is breached so the financial sector needs to shift gears and speed up the innovation and deployment of effective data protection and threat mitigation strategies.”

The numbers associated with security incidents are in stark contrast with further findings from the survey which revealed less than a quarter (23%) of respondents had an adequate level of budget allocated to cyber security within the firm. Unsurprisingly, 73% of respondents would like to see some – if not a significant – increase in their organisation’s cyber security spending.

Bunker added: “Whether it’s an inadvertent mistake, a malicious insider or an external threat actor that causes a security incident, the ramifications of data loss are extremely serious for any organisation. For those organisations who hold citizen data and their financial information, there’s a need for extra vigilance to protect that data no matter where it’s stored, how it’s processed or what digital collaboration channels it flows through. Understanding the latest threats and the potential consequences from next generation attacks will help drive the business case for investment in new technology to mitigate the risks.”

He continued: “Cyber security needs to rapidly evolve and the budgeting process should take this into account. The threat which can bring down a company may not have existed three months ago. Financial organisations need to be able to respond immediately in order to protect their reputation. While many areas of securing a company’s data can be improved by educating employees and developing clear policies and processes, technology plays a key role in mitigating today’s biggest threats through automating and enforcing security protocols. This requires investment. Great information security is a positive business differentiator and a driver of growth.”

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Chubb Systems accredited to new ISO 45001 International Health and Safety Standard

Chubb Systems has achieved accreditation to ISO 45001, the new global standard for occupational Health and Safety designed to prevent work-related injuries and improve employee health and well-being in the working environment.

After an extensive audit conducted by Alcumus Isoquar, which itself is governed by UKAS, Chubb Systems duly received its official certification.

To qualify for the standard, Chubb Systems worked extensively to improve all areas of Health and Safety, including updating its management systems, culture and behaviours and focusing on the physical health and well-being of its people.

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Graeme Heanan, managing director at Chubb Systems, said: “Employee and customer safety is the business’ foremost priority: We have a world-class Health and Safety track record. Meeting ISO 45001 demonstrates our commitment to proactive risk prevention, innovation and continual improvement. This enables us to grow as a business.”

The new accreditation further recognises Chubb Systems’ ability – as a leading security systems integrator in the Critical National Infrastructure space – to safely deliver leading-edge technology solutions in high-risk environments.

Nichola Maher, EH&S manager at Chubb Systems, added: “Implementing ISO 45001 has been challenging, but extremely worthwhile. We must never become complacent about safety and the environment or lose sight of ensuring our customers’ safety.”

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Intergrated Security Manufacturing reports on successful Security and Policing event

Intergrated Security Manufacturing (ISM) has hailed the success of Security and Policing 2018, the official UK Government global security event, reporting positive interest in its latest Integrated Security Management System (ISMS): a technology that takes Physical Information Management (PSIM) technology to “another level”.

The three-day event hosted at the Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre was the perfect opportunity for ISM to showcase its Genesys ISMS, a fully-integrated security management system capable of integrating and controlling multiple technologies, devices and sites from a single platform.

Attendees at Security and Policing 2018 included representatives from various police services, Government departments and the Emergency Services, key providers of national infrastructure and organisations from across the UK and overseas.

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Geoff Pye of ISM

Genesys is the ideal ISMS platform for operators of Critical National Infrastructure sites. It’s already proven and operating in sites across the world. ISM recently received formal notification from the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) that Genesys has met its standard for CAPSS, which means that this solution is ‘Approved for UK Government Use’.

Geoff Pye, commercial director at ISM, enthused: “Security and Policing 2018 was the perfect platform to showcase Genesys, and particularly so following our recent CPNI approval for use of the system on UK Government sites. The event attracts the right audience and we received some very positive feedback.”

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Wetlands project involving Binns Fencing opens up East London ‘open-air lung’

An £8.7 million Visitor Centre designed to open up access to one of the East End’s ‘open-air lungs’ has been completed at a strategic 500-acre Thames Water site. The Walthamstow Wetlands project allows visitors to enjoy and learn about the Walthamstow Reservoirs’ distinctive built and natural heritage, which is unique in London.

As the area includes water treatment stations and other operational sites, it needed protection to separate public areas from Critical National Infrastructure zones, for which Thames Water ordered security fencing through Binns Fencing.

Binns has installed ArmaWeave, HiSec and Axiom steel mesh from parent company Zaun around strategic Thames Water assets, while Duo fencing, sliding gates and railings have been included at all main entrances. Oak Habitat gates and post-and-wire fencing provide a more natural boundary to non-secure areas.

The principal contractor on the project was London-based construction company Rooff, a family-run business with a track record stretching back 100 years.

The area’s distinctive nature stems from the site’s importance as a historic operational landscape that supplies drinking water to London, and its rich biodiversity, which is of international importance for water birds.

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The concept is to create a ‘green core’ of naturalised landscape at the heart of the reservoir complex with a generous pathway through the centre of the site and connecting to the strategic pedestrian and cycle route through the middle of the Lee Valley.

The project was designed by architect Witherford Watson Mann and landscape architect KLA, with engineer P3r and TALL, consultant Studio Dekka and collaborating organisation Counterculture also involved.

The reservoirs’ importance as a potential nature reserve was recognised as early as 1945 by Professor Patrick Abercrombie, who said: “A series of great reservoirs [is] acquiring a charm of [its] own as trees grow around them and on their little islands. They are becoming nature reserves for large numbers of birds and the resort of privileged fisherman. These areas are a great open-air lung to the crowded East End and their preservation is essential. Every piece of open land should be welded into a great regional reservation.”

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JB Corrie accreditation sees fourth company approved to install ArmaWeave

A fourth company has now been accredited to install ArmaWeave, the approved high-security perimeter fencing system manufactured by Zaun. Specialist fencing installer JB Corrie has committed to training its site operatives in the installation methods for ArmaWeave developed by Zaun over time to make best use of the solution’s high-security woven fabric.

Impressed with the versatility of the system, JB Corrie is now installing the Zaun mesh on several security sites.

The company joins expert installer Allen Fencing Limited, systems integrator Crime & Fire Defence Systems and premier prison fencing installer Binns Fencing, a Zaun subsidiary, as an approved installer.

Contracts director Norton Welch said: “We’re delighted to have received this accreditation and look forward to working closely with Zaun to install its security products in the future.”

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JB Corrie’s contracts director Norton Welch (centre) and senior sales and estimating manager Luke Ryan (left) receive their accreditation to install ArmaWeave from Zaun’s sales and marketing director Chris Plimley

The company – which has been in business for over 100 years and is now in the ownership of the fourth generation Corrie family – installs integrated perimeter protection systems for high security applications and boasts military bases, utilities, power stations and airports among its clients.

Zaun established the installer scheme after increasing requests from customers to recommend contractors with suitable installation, quality and safety standards.

Panels can be raked

ArmaWeave is produced on the world’s largest steel loom at Zaun’s West Midlands manufacturing base. It boasts properties that give it distinct advantages against more traditional welded mesh systems, such as panels that can be raked to accommodate slopes. Therefore, installers require the necessary skill sets to set this up.

The wire of the panels has a tensile strength typically more than double that of welded panels so special methods are needed for cutting the panels during installation.

Zaun trained JB Corrie’s installation teams on the properties and tolerances of ArmaWeave and how it’s manufactured. The training is for ‘fencers’ with proven experience in high-security fencing work who are sponsored by a company that can demonstrate its professionalism through membership of a relevant trade organisation and valid UKAS-accredited ISO 9001 certification.

The certificate of training is only valid while the individual is working for the host company. This ensures that trained individuals are working properly under quality management to install the product.

With its partners, Zaun hopes to increase the adoption of ArmaWeave as the standard for secure sites of Critical National Infrastructure – such as the utilities, Data Centres and nuclear sites – while ensuring consistent installation quality.

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Zaun develops SR3 fencing for Critical National Infrastructure applications

A high-security fence for rail and other Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) applications that resists sustained attack with specialist power tools for more than five minutes has been developed by steel mesh fencing manufacturer Zaun.

Zaun has received a revised Certificate of Product Approval from the Loss Prevention Certification Board to include its brand new CorruSec SR3 approved to Security Rating 3. The fencing system incorporates corrugated HiSec 3-5-10 mesh sandwiched between further panels of HiSec 3-5-10, a special welded steel wire fence panel similar to the type of mesh usually used for prison fencing, whose name is derived from its mesh size: 3″ × 0.5″ × 10 gauge.

The original concept was the idea of Zaun co-founder and director Alastair Henman and has been developed by R&D manager Adam Christie. Christie explained: “Alastair conceived the design by looking at the construction of cardboard, in particular the corrugated kind and how the corrugated element created a much stronger three-dimensional material. We started experimenting with a corrugated mesh centre section to give fencing greater rigidity and increase its thickness without adding much to the material content and weight in order to counter the kind of tools attackers might use.”

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CorruSec SR3 has been subjected to sustained attack by testers from the Building Research Establishment wielding a range of hand and power tools, yet they couldn’t breach the CorruSec SR3 in less than five minutes.

The fencing system is manufactured to BS 1722 Part 14 and is approved at heights from 2.4 metres to 6 metres above the ground, in ground or base-plated options.

Each individual panel features a 76.2 mm x 12.7 mm mesh configuration with 3 mm horizontal and vertical wires. The corrugated section is pressed to approximately 100 mm in depth. All three layers are bolted together using bolts fixed into place in a grid pattern throughout the combined fence panel.

CorruSec SR3 provides good through visibility for use with CCTV cameras, while security toppings can be added to suit.

Alastair Henman explained: “The current specification for CrossRail stations is a ‘5-minute fence’, so we set about seeing if we could create a viable product. Across our customer base, operators of CNI are upgrading their most sensitive sites given  the heightened fear of terrorist threats and advances in technology.”

As well as rail applications, SR3 fencing is ideal for protecting assets at water utilities, oil and gas compounds, Data Centres and other CNI sites.

 

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ISM introduces Enterprise version of proven integrated security management system

Intergrated Security Manufacturing (ISM), a leader in the design, development and manufacture of ISMS technology, has just launched an Enterprise version of the company’s proven Genesys integrated security management system (ISMS).

Already deployed within the Critical National Infrastructure sector, the new ISMS offers end users “unparalleled scale, redundancy and ease of use”.

As an enhancement of the existing Genesys2, the Enterprise version has been developed with the largest organisations in mind. Genesys is fully-scalable to manage and control multiple sites from a single Control Room (or even a single workstation) across a country, or even across continents. It features the most advanced levels of encryption to ensure network security, and is accredited to the highest standards of Government national infrastructure security.

Stephen Smith, managing director of ISM, believes that the extension of the Genesys range gives customers greater choice. “There have been a number of articles in the security press talking about PSIM companies starting to develop systems that go beyond the current solutions and moving to a federated architecture. With Genesys, we’re already there. Genesys Enterprise resolves those issues associated with the increasing geographical scope of clients, corporations, Governments and institutions, while also adhering to a multi-tiered hierarchy or ‘federated’ system here total control is centralised, but allows individual sites to maintain local control.”

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Smith added: “This new addition is ideally suited to those large organisations with multiple sites across multiple regions who might also want to ‘flex’ to accommodate further sites and geographies as their needs evolve. As this comes from the Genesys stable, existing users only have to upgrade from their existing version to Enterprise without the expense of a complete technology refresh.”

Multiple systems, multiple manufacturers

Crucially, the new development allows the integration of multiple systems from multiple manufacturers – all from one holistic integrated security system. Every electronic security or fire safety device from CCTV and intruder alarms through to electronic locking and Public Address can be monitored and controlled from a single platform, regardless of who made them.

Most importantly, this solution includes the existing Migrating 3+ technology, a patented automatic fail-over technology that adds higher levels of automatic configurable redundancy and power. Control is effectively distributed across multiple workstations.

“We take power to your PC and multiple it by the number of PCs on your network,” added Smith. “What this means is that, if one PC fails, control is migrated to another PC on a seamless basis with no interruption or downtime. Our system isn’t restricted in its performance by the size or capability of a server, and nor does it require the expense of moving to server farms or using clustering software. It means we deliver the most extreme redundancy characteristics for the threats you’ve thought of, not to mention those that you haven’t.”

Continuing this theme, Smith observed: “The Enterprise development within the existing Genesys isn’t a development waiting for a trial site, but rather it has already been installed within a high-security Critical National Infrastructure project. It is tested and proven at the highest level and under the most demanding of conditions and has been very successful.”

‘True’ ISMS

Genesys is a ‘true’ ISMS built around intuitive software that combines a range of industry-leading features and benefits including an enhanced graphical user experience, 3D modelling and a comprehensive event management database. Events and alarms are presented to the operator clearly as and when they happen.

“Operators can be quickly trained to gain maximum advantage,” highlighted Smith. “The system also enables end users to make better use of their staff and resources since they don’t have to have all of their Control Rooms working on a 24-hour basis. Genesys is a truly unique solution offering advanced system architecture, unparalleled ease of use for the operators and the very low lifecycle costs.”

The ISMS software operates as a standalone platform over LAN or WAN networks for remote and local sites with workstations that can be transferred to any operating Security Control Room on the network. This offers the end user flexibility when closing down sites or buildings for off-peak or out of normal working hours or in the unlikely event of any system failures.

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