Tag Archives: Human Resources

Evolution invests in people development with appointment of Louise Gough as Human Resources manager

Evolution, the integrated fire and security solutions specialist, has appointed Louise Gough as its new Human Resources (HR) manager to lead the business’ recruitment strategy, implement new training and development opportunities, manage employee relations and provide support to the wider business.

Gough joins Evolution with a wealth of HR management experience, including eight years’s service with a market-leading integrated security business where she was also involved in project and bid work and facilities management. Prior to that, Gough worked for a number of large manufacturing and construction firms.

Louise

Louise Gough: the new HR manager at Evolution

Now, Gough is looking forward to helping drive even further business growth at Evolution. “It’s a very exciting time for the business,” explained Gough in conversation with Risk Xtra. “The workforce has expanded considerably already this year and further growth is expected as a result of the business being successful in winning some large projects n the UK, the Republic of Ireland and further afield in Europe.”

Further, Gough stated: “I hope to add real value to the business and will start by closely reviewing our recruitment and wider people strategies and use my knowledge and experience to implement new methods that enable us to work smarter, while also enhancing our strong position within the integrated security sector. I want to take the HR burden away from the senior managers and allow them to focus more closely on their own roles, which in turn will lead to more proactive and productive teams.”

Richard Lambert, managing director of Evolution, enthused: “We’re delighted that Louise is joining the team. She has proven experience and great sector knowledge which will be invaluable. There’s no doubt Louise will help to drive the business forward as we continue our plans to grow in the UK and Europe.”

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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.”

7084 Security & Fire Excellence Awards logo 2018

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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Paxton named ‘Company of the Year’ at Brighton and Hove Business Awards

Paxton, the global brand of electronic IP access control and door entry systems, is celebrating being named ‘Company of the Year’ at the Brighton and Hove Business Awards. The company was also highly commended in the International Business of the Year category.

The Brighton and Hove Business Awards are supported by the city’s leading organisations and are established as a benchmark for excellence in today’s competitive business environment. In selecting the ‘Company of the Year’, the experienced panel of judges were looking for “the company that has truly achieved all-round business excellence in terms of year-on-year financial performance, strategic direction, employee relations, Corporate Social Responsibility, innovation and a first-class service and/or product offering.”

The awards ceremony, which took place on Saturday 14 July, was attended by Nicola O’Donnell, Human Resources director at Paxton, and resourcing business partner Devin Yuille, along with representatives from other local businesses.

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Nicola O’Donnell collects Paxton’s award

Commenting on the win, Adam Stroud, Paxton’s CEO, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have scooped ‘Company of the Year’ at the Brighton and Hove Business Awards, and to have been commended for our international presence. It’s a massive honour to be recognised among the top businesses in Brighton, and to be the only security manufacturer to win an award.”

Stroud continued: “We aim to be world-class in all that we do, from our products and services to our working environment. We’ve worked hard to develop a positive company culture and to support our staff on each step of their career with us.”

In conclusion, Stroud added: “While hard work, focus, investment and a good strategy are essential to the success of the company, most important of all by a long way are the people that work for Paxton. I’d like to thank all of the Paxton team. They have been responsible for our success to date, and will continue to determine the extent of our future successes.”

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Securitas celebrates success in regional stages of BSIA’s Security Personnel Awards 2018

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has announced the regional winners of its Security Personnel Awards for 2018, and Securitas is delighted to have winners in three categories. The awards recognise the talent, dedication, skill and bravery exhibited by security personnel in their roles.

Security personnel are recognised in five categories: Service to the Customer, Outstanding Act, Best Use of Technology, Best Team and Best Newcomer.

Securitas officers Ramraj Sooknanan and Matt Bolger have been successful in the Service to the Customer category. Sooknanan has worked at his client site for 24 years, demonstrating true dedication to his role and responsibilities. Bolger started work on his client site in 2014, and his professionalism has seen him progress quickly and establish himself as a key part of the security team.

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Ramraj Sooknanan

Samantha Golding, service delivery manager, has received the Best Newcomer Award. Starting as a relief officer in 2017, Golding’s integrity and commitment has seen her promoted from officer to service delivery manager in a short space of time.

Alison Ridge and David Prosser have been recognised in the category of Outstanding Act. The pair administered life-saving CPR, including by using a defibrillator, to an individual who had collapsed on-site. Their timely actions proved vital as they waited for the Emergency Services to attend the scene.

James Kelly, CEO of the BSIA, said: “It’s important that we recognise the true value of security personnel. They are often the first responders in times of emergency and play a vital role in keeping the public safe. This year’s Security Personnel Awards regional winners are testament to the truly high calibre of personnel we have working within our industry.”

Grainne Kelly, Human Resources director and also Operations Centre director at Securitas, commented: “At Securitas, people are at the heart of our protective services. Our officers in particular are the backbone of the security we deliver. They face a more challenging security environment than ever before. It’s fantastic to see Ramraj, Matt, Samantha, Alison and David recognised by the BSIA for their vigilance and dedication.”

All regional winners now progress to the national finals stage of the British Security Awards, to be held in London on 11 July in conjunction with the BSIA’s Annual Luncheon.

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“UK businesses could spend £1.2 million recovering from a cyber security breach” states new research from NTT Com Security

Most business decision-makers in the UK admit that their organisation will suffer from a cyber security breach at some point. They also anticipate that recovering from a data breach would cost upwards of £1.2 million on average for their organisation. That’s according to the Risk:Value report issued by information security and risk management company NTT Com Security, which surveyed business decision-makers in the UK as well as the US, Germany, France, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland.

While nearly half (48%) of UK business decision-makers say that information security is ‘vital’ to their organisation, and just half agree it’s ‘good practice’, a fifth admit that poor information security is the ‘single greatest risk’ to the business ahead of ‘decreasing profits’ (12%) and ‘competitors taking market share’ (11%) and on a par with ‘lack of employee skills’ (21%).

Well over half (57%) agree that their organisation will suffer a data breach at some point, while a third disagree. One-in-ten state that they simply don’t know if this will be the case.

Respondents estimate that a breach would cost them an average of £1.2 million, even before ‘hidden costs’ like reputational damage and brand erosion are taken into consideration. Again, on average it would take around two months to recover from a breach. Respondents to the comprehensive survey also anticipate a 13% drop in revenue, on average, following a breach episode.

Starting to hit home

The survey shows that recent high-profile data breaches are starting to hit home. A similar report published by NTT Com Security in 2014 revealed that 10% of an organisation’s IT budget was spent on information security compared to 11% this year. However, in the latest report, around a quarter (23%) of UK businesses reveal that more is spent on Human Resources than information security.

In terms of remediation costs following a security breach, nearly a fifth (18%) of a company’s costs would be spent on legal fees, 18% on fines or compliance costs, 17% on compensation to customers and 11% set aside for third party remediation resources. Other anticipated costs include PR and communications (14%) and compensation paid to both suppliers (12%) and employees (11%).

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According to the report, the majority of respondents in the UK admit they would suffer both externally and internally if data was stolen, including loss of customer confidence (66%) and damage to reputation (57%) as well as suffering direct financial loss (41%). Over a third of decision-makers (34%) expect to resign (or expect another senior colleague to do so) as a result of a breach.

Stuart Reed, senior director for global product marketing at NTT Com Security, commented: “Attitudes towards the real impact of security breaches have really started to shift. That’s no surprise given the year we have just had. We’ve seen several major brands reeling from the effects of serious data breaches, and struggling to manage the potential damage, not only to their customers’ data, but also to their own reputation. While the majority of people we spoke to expect to suffer a cyber security breach at some point, most fully expect to pay for it as well, whether that’s in terms of third party and other remediation costs, customer confidence, lost business or even, possibly, their jobs.”

Who’s responsibility is it anyway?

*41% of UK organisations have a disaster recovery plan in place, with 40% having a formal security policy in place. In both cases, almost half are in the process of implementing or designing one

*When it comes to responsibility for managing the company’s recovery plan, 15% say the CEO now has responsibility, although this still largely falls to the Chief Risk Officer (CRO), the Chief Information Officer (CIO) or the Chief Security Officer (CSO)

*While 77% agree it’s ‘vital’ their business is insured for security breaches, only 26% have dedicated cyber security insurance. However, 38% of those questioned are in the process of obtaining a policy

*One-in-five respondents in the UK say they don’t know if their organisation has any type of insurance in place to cover for the financial impact of data loss or an information security breach

“It’s encouraging to see that almost all UK businesses now have a disaster recovery and formal information security policy in place, or are at least planning to implement one soon,” added Reed.

“Clear, concise internal processes and policies for employees and contractors have so often been overlooked, and this is what can lead to complacency and poor security hygiene. When we talk to clients, we make it absolutely clear that educating staff about security should be a top priority, supported all the while by clear and simple procedures and backed up by a solid incident response plan.” 

*The Risk:Value Executive Summary report can be downloaded here

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The Risk UK Interview: Kevin Waterhouse (executive vice-president at VCA)

Over recent years, VCA has achieved significant success promoting its analytics as an OEM edge-based solution which can be incorporated into other manufacturers’ IP cameras and devices. No less than 250,000 video channels worldwide are now using the company’s analytics.

VCA has now launched its own brand of IP network devices and software. Here, Kevin Waterhouse (executive vice-president for global sales at VCA) explains to Risk UK the thinking behind this bold step of introducing a new range in a marketplace that’s not short of manufacturers competing for the attention of installers, systems integrators and end users.

Risk UK: Until now, your business model has been based on offering the VCA analytics platform as an OEM solution. What has motivated you to change direction?

Kevin Waterhouse: We remain committed to offering our analytics technology as an OEM solution. Customers can be assured that our long-term strategy includes plans to work closely with an increasing number of manufacturers of surveillance cameras and other devices, as well as Video Management Software (VMS) providers, to ensure this important part of our business will continue to grow.

However, what we have embarked on is a twin-track approach whereby VCA will also directly support systems integrators to help them generate new revenue streams by supplying them with ‘out-of-the-box’ analytics built into the VCA brand of IP network devices.

Kevin Waterhouse of VCA

Kevin Waterhouse of VCA

Risk UK: What are these new revenue streams to which you refer? 

Kevin Waterhouse: The new revenue streams relate to the opportunity to provide end users with intelligent video surveillance solutions that can do so much more than just deter or detect criminal activity. The analytics incorporated into the new VCA range enhances our ability in the video monitoring sector to reduce false alarms and improve detection.

It also opens up the opportunity to gather reliable and verifiable data to help a diverse range of businesses and organisations such as banks, casinos, hospitals, educational establishments, retailers and hospitality venues achieve a greater understanding of the behaviour of people who work at or visit their premises.

The technology is capable of capturing metadata that can be graphically displayed in customisable reports to provide marketing, Health and Safety, Human Resources and other operational departments with the information they need to achieve their business objectives.

By dealing directly with systems integrators, we’ll be able to ensure that they benefit from the extensive knowledge and expertise of our pre- and post-sales support teams such that they’re equipped with the necessary tools and have the confidence to be able to offer the full benefits of VCA to their clients.

Risk UK: Can you give us some examples of how this will help your new customers generate new revenue streams? 

Kevin Waterhouse: The analytics built into the VCA devices will enable them to offer their clients added value from their investment in video surveillance systems and, if they wish, offer the cameras as part of a ‘Security as a Service business model. We intend to work closely with a hand-picked network of customers to help them profit from this model and, in the process, offer tangible benefits to their clients. 

In the retail sector, for example, with training and support from VCA, systems integrators can offer their clients the opportunity to increase productivity with less staff, improve customer satisfaction by minimising delays at check-outs or identify the best times and locations for product promotions.

These are just a few goals that can be achieved with very little effort with the help of devices featuring VCA analytics. It also provides security personnel with a powerful tool to detect and combat theft and other criminal activity. 

Risk UK: There are now a large number of other analytics solutions available for customers. How does VCA stand out from the crowd? 

Kevin Waterhouse: ‘User friendly’ may be an overused phrase, but it is in fact an accurate description of VCA analytics. The significance of this should not be underrated, as there’s a perception in the marketplace that analytics can be difficult to implement and use.

We will be adding to the user friendliness of our analytics over the coming months with a new dashboard graphical user interface which will make it even easier for any business to view both real-time and historical business intelligence.

VCA analytics has also established a reputation for being highly accurate and, when employed for intruder detection purposes, has a very low rate of false alarms. This is particularly important in outdoor environments. Here, false alarms continue to be a major issue for organisations who need an effective perimeter protection solution to detect intruders.

It’s now taken for granted that HD cameras from any reputable manufacturer should be able to capture evidence grade images. However, our on-board video analytics significantly upgrade the capability of VCA cameras which, for this type of application, should perhaps be better described as ‘Intelligent Video Detectors’.

In this respect, they provide a great opportunity for VCA installers, remote monitoring centres and end users to work in harmony when it comes to reducing the time-consuming and costly impact of false alarms. It’s just another excellent example of how VCA can support the supply chain by generating new revenue streams while at the same time providing end users with a robust and reliable solution.

Risk UK: You’ve spoken about the new devices carrying the VCA brand, but you also mentioned VMS providers. Can you expand on this part of your strategy?

Kevin Waterhouse: Sure. In addition to our edge-based devices, we’ve developed a server-based software tool that will make the integration of our VCA software very quick and with little CPU overhead. The software can be added to either Linux or Windows-based software.

We already have a number of VMS clients embedding VCA and expect many more to follow along with PSIM, access and intelligent building software providers. In addition, we will shortly be launching a new device which will allow VCA to be added to any IP camera providing an RTSP stream.

Risk UK: So is VCA not developing its own VMS?

Kevin Waterhouse: Absolutely not. We have a very good relationship with the leading VMS providers and have worked closely with them to develop our VCA software tool. However, we have now released some application-specific software to support our edge devices. Ucountit, for example, is our cloud-based Business Intelligence service and Utrack is a unique auto tracking software tool. Both have been introduced because we believe it’s important to provide application solutions that fully exploit our analytics technology.

Risk UK: So you have new products and new services, but will you have sufficient resources to directly supply and support these systems integrators? 

Kevin Waterhouse: We will not hesitate to continue investing in HR to ensure that our pre- and post-sales services more than match any increase in sales. It’s already the case that we have a strong technical support team in place and have recently recruited three seasoned security professionals to ensure that we can support customers worldwide.

Gary Mercer has joined VCA as UK sales manager while Ami Paz is our new business development manager for Israel and Çağlan Dilber has been appointed business development manager for the MENA region.

Ian Young has also joined the EMEA team to drive the software and applications developments and business.

All four have extensive global experience in the design and implementation of analytics applications across many different market sectors. Recently, we’ve extended our US team. There’ll be more news on this in the near future.

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