Tag Archives: Government

Institute of Risk Management pledges commitment to Armed Forces community by signing Armed Forces Covenant

Senior members of the Institute of Risk Management (IRM) recently gathered at a co-signing ceremony for the Armed Force’s Covenant at Horseguards Parade in London. The signing was between the IRM and the Greater London Reserve Force’s and Cadet’s Association (GLRFCA).

Guests included IRM Board members. There were also representatives present from the Kent Army Cadet Force including Lieutenant Colonel Simon Dean OBE, Deputy Commandant Major Richard Phillips and Regimental Sergeant Major Pete Barnes. SO1 Lieutenant Colonel David Utting (head of engagement for the British Army) was also present and gave a brief message on partnering with defence.

The signing between the IRM and GLRFCA signifies an ongoing commitment to service leavers and personnel as laid out in the pledge.

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Socrates Coudounaris CFIRM (left), chairman of the IRM, and SO1 Lieutenant Colonel David Utting (head of engagement for the British Army)

Socrates Coudounaris CFIRM, chairman of the IRM, said: “It was a great privilege to be here today to co-sign the Armed Forces Covenant. It’s vitally important that the Armed Forces and businesses are mutually engaged. This signifies a wider pledge by the IRM to increase the risk management profession’s visibility to ex-military personnel. We provide accessible and relevant training and qualifications that will help ex-Armed Forces personnel in making the transition to the business world.”

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Lieutenant Colonel Simon Dean OBE and Captain Vicky Robinson (country PR for the Kent Army Cadet Force and head of marketing and communications at the IRM)

Coudounaris added: “Many of the skills learned by services personnel naturally cross over into the world of risk management and we’re keen to ensure these skills are recognised and that we can help support individuals’ lifelong learning and career transition where possible.”

Drew Jeacock, head of engagement for the GLRFCA, stated: “The Government is committed to supporting the Armed Forces community by working with a range of partners who’ve signed the Armed Forces Covenant. It’s a national responsibility involving Government, businesses, local authorities, charities and the public. Demonstrating commitment to the Armed Forces family is a significant gesture and I hope that the IRM will embrace the intent and values that we hold close to our core. We value the IRM’s support.”

*The IRM supports Captain Victoria Robinson, the organisation’s head of marketing and communications, who’s also the county PR officer for the Kent Army Cadet Force, with leave for annual camp and other cadet-related activities

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New wave of UK universities adopts SafeZone solution from CriticalArc

UK universities including the University of Greenwich, the University of South Wales, the University of East Anglia, the University of Manchester and the University of Central Lancashire are adopting CriticalArc’s SafeZone service for improved campus security.

With more than 25% of universities now using SafeZone across the UK, it has grown from being an innovative technology deployed by pioneering institutions to become a mainstream ‘must-have’ solution for the higher education sector.

SafeZone addresses key challenges for universities by enabling students and staff alike to quickly and easily reach their campus safety and security teams and by allowing first responders to respond to calls for assistance up to 50% faster.

It improves the safety, security and well-being of students and staff, both on campus and off, and raises security team preparedness for a full range of events they may face, including major incidents. SafeZone enhances student satisfaction as well as student well-being and is now helping universities to succeed globally as they work to attract and retain students with safer and more welcoming learning environments.

University Building

Through its advanced Command and Control software, SafeZone OmniGuard enhances team efficiency, with real-time situational awareness making it easier for command teams to see and co-ordinate resources to address incident ‘hotspots’. Safezone also supports heat mapping to enable patrol pattern optimisation and improves workplace Health and Safety, serving as a powerful lone worker solution.

Expanding the team

Announcing the latest wave of adoptions, CriticalArc confirms that it’s also expanding its team with the appointment of two new customer success managers. They will work closely with system users to spread Best Practice, provide support and help deliver maximum benefits from SafeZone.

Sean Edge takes on this important role for CriticalArc in the UK, while Karl Palma will be working with customers in Australia.

Darren Chalmers-Stevens, managing director for the EMEA and APAC regions at CriticalArc, stated: “With the number of SafeZone users now expanding rapidly, we’re investing not only in developing the technology and its capabilities, but also in delivering and sustaining high-level customer support for our growing network of users.”

In tandem with its success in the higher education sector, SafeZone is also being adopted increasingly in other key areas including implementations in the critical infrastructure, transport, utilities, Government and healthcare sectors, with rapidly developing markets in the US, Australia and, indeed, globally.

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Awards recognise outstanding achievements in secure ID documentation systems

Special awards have been made to those newly introduced personal ID document programmes that have demonstrated outstanding technical sophistication and the best in verification system infrastructure.

The Regional ID Document of the Year Awards form part of the industry’s High Security Printing EMEA Conference held recently in Malta and recognise the highest levels of achievement among Government passport and national identity card schemes.

Awards were made in three categories: Best New Passport, Best New National ID Card and Best New ID or Travel Document.  

The first award went to the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Home Affairs of Tanzania for the new Tanzanian ePassport. Tanzania recently moved from a machine-readable booklet to the phased implementation of a complete electronic immigration (or ‘eImmigration’) system. The passport is one component of a complete ‘end-to-end’ system solution to support citizen enrolment, adjudication, personalisation, issuance and authentication along with border control and eVisa systems.

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The new ePassport features a polycarbonate data page incorporating laser engraving technology, an optically variable feature and positive and negative embossing incorporating an MLI lens. The data page also carries an ICAO-compliant secure RFID microcontroller chip and operating system.

Other notable security printing features include end papers with duplex patterns and rainbow-split duct printing, as well as two colour intaglio printing incorporating a latent image and an optically variable print feature. Other features include the use of both visible and invisible inks, a Foredge registration feature and hidden page identifiers.

One of the benefits of the new ePassport solution is that the holder can have an emergency passport on their smart phone if their passport is stolen or lost in another country.

Best New National ID Card

In the Best New National ID Card category, the award went to the Police and Border Guard Board of Estonia, itself part of the Ministry of the Interior, for the new eID programme introduced in December last year.

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The new cards use Estonia’s own font and elements of its national brand and feature a colour photograph, a transparent window and an invisible secondary photograph that will only appear when viewed from an angle. One new detail is the inclusion of a QR code which will make it easier to check the validity of the ID card.

The new eID card integrates a chip that allows contactless use in the future once service providers start offering corresponding solutions (validating public transport trips, for example). The chip on the new card carries embedded files and uses 2048-bit public key encryption, allowing its use as definitive proof of ID in an electronic environment.

Best New ID or Travel Document

The final award, recognising the Best New ID and Travel Document, went to Germany’s Bundeskriminalamt, the Federal Criminal Police Office and Bundesdruckerei, the country’s state printer, for the new EU Visa sticker project.

As part of the EU Commission’s Action Plan to strengthen the EU response to travel document fraud, all European Union Member States will be introducing the new EU visa sticker. The project was a result of the collective work under the EU Article 6 Committee and associated sub-group on the development of an improved uniform format visa.

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The new EU sticker integrates improved chemical sensitisers, high level security background design, completely re-designed DOVID with improved features, improved intaglio inks and latent images, rip cuts and advanced UV elements.

Upgrade and secure personalisation

The sticker also has a ‘quiet zone’ reserved for a 2D barcode in order to upgrade and secure the personalisation of the sticker, which is seen as a good next step to incorporate digital security into the security document world.

The development project incorporates the distribution of a Best Practice Visa Kit and Technical Specification for 31 EU Member and Associate States. The Visa Kit and Technical Specification will also be used as Best Practice for the basis of the subsequent eResidence Permit Card Project.

*Further details of the High Security Printing EMEA Regional ID awards are available online here

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ASSA ABLOY issues response to MHCLG’s ‘Building a Safer Future: An Implementation Plan’

A new White Paper is available from ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions. The document has been issued in response to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (MHCLG) ‘Building a Safer Future: An Implementation Plan’ and highlights the critical points from the Implementation Plan. 

The results of the Dame Judith Hackitt-led Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety were published in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire. There was a call for the development of an “implementation plan that will provide a coherent approach to delivering the recommendations” outlined by the Hackitt Review. 

‘Building a Safer Future: An Implementation Plan’ is the response from the MHCLG. The plan sets out how Government and industry will achieve the systematic overhaul required to improve building and fire safety. 

Many of the key points and areas of action covered in the Implementation Plan were also highlighted in ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions’ initial response to the Hackitt Review, which is available to view here: https://bit.ly/2Usj2TX. 

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Speaking on the proposals put forward and the latest White Paper, Brian Sofley (managing director at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions for the Door Group) said: “We’re pleased that the latest plan is in line with many of the recommendations we supported on how the industry can tackle the important issue of fire safety. The plan sets a statement of intent from the Government for construction and manufacturing industries. Its comprehensive approach to fire safety products will ensure that, through third party certification, standards and safety requirements are integral, not just at the manufacturing stage, but also during installation, inspection and ongoing maintenance.”

Sofley added: “Our latest White Paper demonstrates the alignment between Government and the construction and manufacturing industries in the approach towards ensuring a safer built environment for all.”

*The new White Paper can be downloaded from https://bit.ly/2I8d4Bk 

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Leading ASSA ABLOY security brands form High Security and Safety Group

Leading security brands Chubb Locks Custodial Services (CLCS), Intelligent Locking Systems (ILS) and Pickersgill-Kaye have formed the High Security and Safety Group, a new division of ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK and Ireland. 

As strong heritage brands in the high-security and rail industries, CLCS, ILS and Pickersgill-Kaye each offer their own specialisms and sector expertise. By bringing these well-known brands together under one new group, ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK and Ireland will provide a stronger, more comprehensive offer to different sectors.

Each brand enjoys its own areas of expertise, with CLCS a prominent supplier of high-security locks to custodial, secure healthcare, Government and secure education environments. ILS is a leading manufacturer of high-security locks for safes and vaults, providing solutions to the banking, construction, leisure and jewellery sector. Pickersgill-Kaye is a specialist in the design and manufacture of highly robust, specialist door locks for the architectural and railway industries.

Simon Teagle

Simon Teagle

The CLCS, ILS and Pickersgill-Kaye divisions will continue as distinct brands within the High Security and Safety Group, which will sit alongside ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK and Ireland’s other specialist business units. These include the Door Group, the Door Hardware and Access Control Group and the Project Specification Group.

Simon Teagle, managing director of the High Security and Safety Group, said: “The creation of the new High Security and Safety Group will help signpost our specialist high-security, safety and rail brands to the market, giving security professionals one point of contact and access to a wider range of products, as well as a more tailored solution. Using the strength of the brands, the quality of the products and their experience in these areas, ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK and Ireland now has a dedicated Group covering the specific needs of high-security and safety customers.”

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Major life-threatening cyber attack on UK “in little doubt”

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has published its second Annual Review, in turn revealing that the organisation has prevented Britain from falling victim to nearly 1,200 attacks in the past two years. The NCSC has also warned of the likelihood of a major life-threatening cyber attack on the UK in the near future.

The NCSC states that the UK is hit by ten serious cyber attacks every week. 70% of these attacks are “undertaken by groups of computer hackers directed, sponsored or tolerated by the Governments of [hostile] countries”.

Commenting on these figures, Mishcon de Reya’s cyber security lead Joe Hancock informed Risk Xtra: “1200 attacks may seem like a large number, but the reality is that this is the tip of the iceberg. The majority of these attacks on business, Government and third sector organisations go unreported and often undetected. Behind these high profile attacks there are the millions of online crimes that affect individuals every day.”

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Focusing on that last point, Hancock continued: “We routinely deal with the often unreported issues. More needs to be done to back law enforcement in supporting both victims and responders to better detect and recover from cyber episodes. A focus on critical infrastructure is welcomed by everyone, but it doesn’t help the millions of victims of cyber fraud. The recent Facebook breach shows the potential downsides of large-scale data collection and reliance on single points, provided by social media to access a wide variety of services across the Internet which can act as a gateway for attackers to further data and services.”

Further, Hancock observed: “Cyber security practices are not consistent globally and an attack against a weaker link in the supply or data chain can have unanticipated consequences for companies and individuals. More is needed to help protect everyday victims of these crimes, and especially so in the international arena. It’s difficult to see how mass cyber crime can be tackled without an international consensus and consequences for nations that turn a blind eye.”

Also, Hancock outlined: “Many of the cyber incidents we deal with have a financial component, often involving the traditional banking system and not only cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Driving cyber criminals out of the financial system will have an impact on cyber crime levels.”

Actions and behaviours

There are specific actions and behaviours that should be adopted now to aid readiness for inevitable cyber attacks. Steve Mulhearn, director of enhanced technologies for the UK and Ireland and DACH at Fortinet, has listed them as prevention, the harnessing of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and adaptive technology and better visibility across the network.

Prevention

Prevention is easier when all employees in the business, not just the IT Department, take responsibility for the security of the business. For example, breaches like the Bupa or Waymo hacks have raised the appreciation of the number of breaches that occur because employees are targeted. The Fortinet Global Enterprise Security Survey 2017 found that 67% of businesses say they’re planning IT security and awareness training for employees in 2018.

Harness AI and adaptive technology

Harnessing the power of AI to learn from breaches, as well analyse data and automate reactions to shut down breaches when they occur, are vital actions. Threats evolve and adapt over time as applications, technologies, configurations, controls and behaviours change, making security an arms race wherein a static solution simply will not do.

Better visibility across the network

A vital tool in this struggle is visibility. You cannot secure what you cannot see. This means control across the distributed network, including endpoints, the Internet of Things and the cloud. According to the Fortinet 2017 Survey, only a small cohort of respondents feel confident that they have full visibility and control of employee access.

*The National Cyber Security Centre’s Annual Review can be accessed online at https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/news/annual-review-2018

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Fly-tipping costing UK’s security industry “thousands of pounds” in clean-up and insurance claims

According to the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), the illegal dumping of waste by criminal gangs is costing the UK’s security industry thousands of pounds in clean-up costs and insurance claims.

The costs, which might be borne by the landlords of fly-tipping ‘hotspots’ if they’re not covered by insurance, can routinely reach hundreds of thousands of pounds. Indeed, claims have been known to regularly exceed this figure.

Companies who fail to adequately protect their assets, or have been victims of fly-tipping in the past, could find their insurance cost rising. Some of these costs are met by taxpayers. According to the Local Government Association, the cost to taxpayers of clearing up fly-tipping rose to £57 million in the past year. That’s up 13% on the previous 12 months.

Restrictions on the tipping of waste and the inevitable dumping to avoid paying for waste processing are key factors underpinning this unlawful behaviour. In recent times, a far larger and more costly crime is occurring on an almost daily basis. This involves the unlawful occupation of land followed by large-scale collection and disposal of waste. There have also been many cases of industrial units rented on short leases which have then been filled with illegal waste and left for the landlord to clear up.

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The recent surge in fly-tipping is put down to an influx of organised gangs offering cheap disposal services to businesses and then simply fly-tipping the waste to avoid the payment of landfill tax which is currently set at £88.95 per tonne*. More sophisticated fly-tippers have also been setting up dummy companies advertising cheap skip rentals. They take out short term leases on warehouses then fill them from floor to ceiling with waste before moving on ahead of the landlord realising that rent hasn’t been paid.

Focus on serious crime and terrorism

Tony Cockcroft, chair of the Security Guarding Section at the BSIA, said: “This activity is being conducted on an enormous scale and involves the tipping of hundreds of tonnes of waste. The waste is collected from building sites and garden and house clearances. It’s a criminal activity netting large amounts of money for those involved in the process.”

Cockroft continued: “In most cases of land tipping, the perpetrators are evicted from the site only to move on to another close by and repeat the same activity again and again. The police and other agencies seldom make arrests, prosecute individuals or confiscate vehicles largely due to their already overstretched resources having to be focused on serious crime and terrorist threats.”

Gideon Reichental, chair of the Vacant Property Protection Section at the BSIA, told Risk Xtra: “Fly-tipping isn’t just an unnecessarily expensive eyesore. It can also be dangerous. Tipped rubbish has been known to include specialist and clinical waste which may be hazardous. Mixed waste can spontaneously combust. This harms the environment through airborne pollution and contaminated fire-water run-off, which is why it has never been more important to tackle the problem head on.”

Reichental added: “The BSIA’s Vacant Property Protection Section has had a keen interest in this problem as it affects many of our clients in the public and private sectors on a day-to-day basis. They’re working closely with the Association’s lobbying team to see what additional Government support or legislation might be provided in order to help address this issue.”

Protecting large areas of land

Protecting large areas of land can prove difficult, but there are a number of fairly simple and inexpensive measures that should be considered as it’s far better, and ultimately cheaper, to deter a person from entering land rather than having to subsequently evict them and restore the site.

As a minimum, the BSIA recommends the installation of strong metal gates with toughened steel padlocks and anti-lift hinges. If the site is vacant, block all vulnerable access points with concrete barriers. Secure the perimeter with strong fencing, posts, earth mounds or trenches and frequently check the site and the perimeter.

The BSIA also advises landlords of industrial units to put in place robust procedures to identify if the persons looking to rent a property are fit and proper to do so.

It’s also worth contacting the police on 101 if there’s a suspicion that land is being illegally occupied, though police officers harbour only restricted powers to deal with people who breach civil law by trespassing. In certain circumstances, a direction to leave may be made and, in the event of non-compliance, arrests may follow.

However, the powers to remove trespassers are discretionary and will not be used by the police unless considered absolutely necessary. If trespassers don’t leave a site when requested to do so then landowners should go through the normal channels of civil recovery as quickly as possible to mitigate the potential damage and resulting costs.

*All figures quoted in this release have been provided by Dougie Barnett, head of mid-market and customer risk management at AXA Insurance

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