Tag Archives: IT

‘Technology at the Edge’: Axis Communications unveils Top Five Trends to shape 2018

Surveillance specialist Axis Communications’ CTO Johan Paulsson has outlined the Top Five Trends that the company feels will shape the New Year. 

Paulsson stated: “As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus said: ‘The only one constant in life is change’. There’s perhaps no better example of this than the technology industry, where innovation is so rapid that even the most fantastic of imagined futures seem like they could become a reality in the not too distant future.”

Axis Communications has put together five top technology trends that the Lund-based business feels will have a great impact on the security and surveillance industry now and in the years to come, helping to facilitate a smarter and, of course, safer world.

JohanPaulssonCTOAxisCommunicationsWeb

Johan Paulsson: CTO at Axis Communications

(1) A move towards the edge

“Two of the greatest trends that have propelled our industry forward in recent years,” observed Paulsson, “are cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT), both of which are delivering undeniable benefits to businesses and consumers alike. That said, they also come with implications, namely the rise in the amount of data being transferred, processed and stored. Going forward, we anticipate that ‘edge’ computing will become ever popular, alleviating this issue by performing data processing at the ‘edge’ of the network, closer to the source of the data. Doing so significantly reduces the bandwidth needed between sensors, devices and the Data Centre.”

(2) Cloud-to-Cloud

Paulsson observed: “Despite the move towards edge computing, the cloud will continue to play a significant role in IT infrastructures. As an increasing number of companies offer cloud-based services, the cloud ecosystem is increasingly becoming the preferred point of integration, rather than the traditional on-premise system. One benefit of integration between clouds is the significant potential reduction of in-house IT services required, in turn creating great cost benefits.”

(3) Deep and machine learning

According to Paulsson: “We’ve now reached a stage where the full benefits of deep learning architectures and machine learning can begin to be realised. The explosion of data available to analyse is helping businesses become increasingly intelligent. As applications develop, there are significant opportunities for predictive analytics which could facilitate incident prevention: from terrorist incidents to slip and fall accidents; from traffic issues to shoplifting and even the tragedy of rail suicides.”

(4) Cyber security

“Once again,” outlined Paulsson, “cyber security must appear on the list of trends for the next 12 months and beyond. The constant enhancement of cyber security will be a never-ending task. This is because well-resourced cyber criminals will never stop looking to exploit vulnerabilities in any new technology. As the number of connected devices grows, so too do the potential flaws that, if left unaddressed, could provide the opportunity for networks to be breached.”

Embellishing this theme, Paulsson said: “Legislation is being created to address these concerns. In the European Union, the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation – the deadline for compliance for this being 25 May – will unify the protection of data for individuals within the EU, wherever that data is held or used.”

(5) Platforms to realise the full benefits of the IoT

In conclusion, Paulsson informed Risk UK: “The IoT has reached a point where it’s crucial to use scalable architecture to successfully collect and analyse data and manage the network of connected devices. Such an IoT platform allows equipment from different node vendors to co-exist and easily exchange information to form smart systems using existing network infrastructure. There are numerous companies, both well-established providers of technology and new market entrants, that are enabling platforms to support IoT devices. The next 12 months will see further maturation of this process.”

*Read more: https://www.axis.com/blog/secure-insights/technology-trends/

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Electronic Fire and Security Industry Symposium 2018 topics announced by Euralarm

The newest edition of the Euralarm Symposium will take place in Bucharest on 4 June next year. In five years, the conference has established itself as one of the most important when it comes to significant market developments in innovation, legislation, regulation and standardisation as they affect the electronic security and fire safety sector.

Never shying away from controversial topics impacting the industry and with a view to providing business relevance, the annual event is aimed at Euralarm members, namely companies within the industry and national associations across Europe. It’s set to attract a large crowd. Notably, European stakeholders – both from institutions and advocacy groups – are expected to join the conference.

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Topics for the 2018 Euralarm Symposium have been chosen for their broad appeal. The common thread will be the continually changing business environment and how this can be addressed to offset the challenges that globalisation and technological developments have set for the industry.

Qualifying to compete In today’s market, companies must qualify to compete. The EN 16763 Services Standard – one of the first to focus on the tertiary sector – was only a stepping stone. National players must now set out to outline how skills, experience and knowledge are verified and establish qualifications that are valid ‘across Europe’.

Keeping Security secure In the context of the EU General Data Protection Regulation and ever-evolving cyber security risks, the fire safety and security industry must define and implement measures to protect its products and solutions. Measures for IT infrastructures essential to the industry must be implemented while at the same time keeping European citizens secure.

Regulating construction products Euralarm’s Construction Products Regulation (CPR) Task Force is studying the influence of the CPR on the harmonised standards for fire safety. The objective is to develop a common understanding of how the CPR impacts the market today and how best to deal with the problems that Technical Committees such as CEN/TC 72 and CEN/TC 191 are facing. The Symposium will be the occasion for presenting and discussing the resulting publication and reaching out to EU stakeholders.

Lance Rütimann, Euralarm’s Advocacy Committee chairman, said: “The challenges for our industry are more complex with noticeable increases in both technical and regulatory developments and the resulting demand on new skills. We will embrace this exciting time with confidence to find the answers that can drive the growth and successful evolution of the market.”

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Arc Monitoring moves to double Control Room capacity

Arc Monitoring has completed a major upgrade of its Control Room facilities. The revamp of one of the UK’s fastest-growing independent Remote Video Response Centres (RVRCs) reflects the confidence Arc Monitoring has in the continuing growth in demand for the services provided by operators within its National Security Inspectorate (NSI) Gold Category II Control Room.

“The boom within the construction industry, as well as a large number of solar energy farms springing up all over the UK, are just two examples of where opportunities have been created for RVRCs such as that run by Arc Monitoring to offer a cost-effective alternative to having security officers on site on a 24/7 basis,” said Jonathan Sturley, managing director of Bristol-based Arc Monitoring. “This is in addition to the demand for our services from a diverse range of other vertical markets. The significant investment we’ve made in upgrading our facilities will ensure that we’re able to continue to recruit additional high calibre operators in line with demand.”

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In addition to doubling the number of workstations within its Control Room, Arc Monitoring has upgraded its IT infrastructure in order to take advantage of the latest data processing and network recording and storage technology. The business has also improved its demonstration and training facilities.

Established in 1999, Arc Monitoring partners with professional Installers across the UK. For over 18 years, the business has provided an alarm response service and remotely monitored thousands of sites across the UK.

Customers are offered free 24/7 technical advice on industry leading products such as those produced by CSL, Emizon, WebWay and Digital Communicators by Arc Monitoring’s in-house technical experts and field-based pre-sales team.

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Hanwha Techwin Europe awarded Government’s prestigious Cyber Essentials certification

Hanwha Techwin Europe has been certified as being compliant with the UK Government-backed Cyber Essentials scheme. Administered by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the industry-supported scheme is designed to help organisations protect themselves against common cyber attacks.

The certificate awarded to Hanwha Techwin Europe verifies that the business has procedures in place specifically designed to minimise the threat of an attack on the IT infrastructure at the company’s headquarters in Chertsey, Surrey and extends to cover laptops used by field-based employees.

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“We’re constantly evaluating and updating our IT security in order to negate the risk of any disruption to our business or our business partners,” said Bob Hwang, managing director of Hanwha Techwin Europe. “Our cyber security programme is a key element of our ‘We Move With Trust’ philosophy and reflects the proactive stance we’re taking to protect confidential data.”

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Hwang continued: “Beyond the scope of the Cyber Essentials scheme, we remain vigilant to ensure that our Wisenet cameras, recording devices and software entrusted to protect property, people and assets are equipped to minimise the threat from cyber attacks. We have a sustained testing and monitoring programme in place designed to identify evolving new threats to the integrity of our solutions. We’re determined to be open and honest with our customers when new cyber security threats are identified and will move quickly to develop further advanced versions of our firmware to combat them.”

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Hikvision set to highlight “innovation for the future” at IFSEC International 2017

Hikvision, the supplier of video surveillance products and solutions, will be exhibiting the latest in surveillance technology at IFSEC International 2017 on 20-22 June at ExCeL in London. In 2017, the company’s theme will be ‘Pioneering AI Technology for Video Surveillance’.

This will be a showcase of Hikvision’s latest products and technologies, including the new Turbo 4.0 Series, the H.265+ codec and thermal cameras.

The event also presents an opportunity for attendees to see cutting-edge advances in surveillance technology, including a brand new product and an innovative new set of technologies that come out of the ‘Deep Learning’ concept that’s sweeping through the IT industry at the present time.

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As part of the IFSEC seminar programme, Andy Coles (Hikvision’s key account manager for the UK and Ireland) will join other industry figures for a panel discussion about the future of video surveillance. This will include elements of AI ‘Deep Learning’ and its use in vertical markets and the importance of the security ecosystem.

“Large events like IFSEC are important to us because they give us the chance to connect with our partners and customers”, said Coles. “It’s also great to see what the industry as a whole is doing and to be part of its development into the future.”

*Hikvision will be exhibiting on Stand E800

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“It’s time to bury hardware-based security solutions” argues VoipSec’s CEO

Paul German, CEO at VoipSec, believes now is the time for organisations to “bury” dedicated hardware-based security solutions.

“Recent years have seen a fundamental transformation in IT strategy, with networks being more agile and swiftly deployed and applications now deliverable quickly, in any location and scaled to meet an organisation’s requirements,” said German. “From virtualised hardware to network function virtualisation and software defined networking, the hardware and network infrastructure has become decoupled from the application and the application itself is increasingly located anywhere across the cloud.”

According to German, this decoupled approach itself demands a different approach to security. It can no longer be defined by network controls because those networks are virtual, disparate and remote. “When organisations access applications via an Internet address,” commented German, “the physical location is increasingly unknown. Security, therefore, needs to be elastic and flexible.”

German explained that the hardware-based, dedicated Session Border Controller (SBC) doesn’t fit into this model. As an approach to securing the VoIP network, German feels it’s “fundamentally flawed” on many levels.

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Paul German

“It constrains an organisation’s virtualisation strategy. How can a company quickly spin up new cloud-based voice applications, for example? As organisations look to gain the cost, agility and scalability offered by hardware and network virtualisation, the hardware SBC is clearly a problem.”

German added: “Perhaps the most concerning issue is that this approach is flawed from a pure security perspective. Hardware SBCs are considered both one off investments and one off deployments. As every security Best Practice model will attest, with a constantly changing threat landscape any failure to undertake routine updates will leave the organisation vulnerable.”

To be effective, as far as German’s concerned, security solutions must reflect the emerging risk and the current deployment trend.

“A software only model that’s continually updated to mitigate the evolving threat landscape is essential. Software-based SBCs, either on premise or in the cloud, also explore community-led intelligence about threats and risk experiences to rapidly disseminate new threat information and Best Practice. This combination of routine product updates with shared intelligence ensures an attack on a single organisation can be quickly transformed into a patch or update that protects every business from the new risk.”

Despite the widespread adoption of VoIP, the majority of SBC vendors are simply failing to respond and still advise an implement once model. “They fail to update customers on the evolving threat landscape and they cannot support the agile, decoupled infrastructures now required. It begs the question: ‘Just what is the value of the hardware-based SBC?'”

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Social engineering “a top cause of cyber incidents” finds Cyber Resilience Report

Research commissioned by Crises Control from the Business Continuity Institute for its annual Cyber Resilience Report 2016 confirms much of what we already suspected about the changing nature of the cyber threat and the way that cyber criminals have found new ways to defeat corporate perimeter security.

66% of respondents to the survey reported that their companies had been affected by at least one cyber security incident over the last 12 months. 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.

The increased difficulty of breaching perimeter security and the increased human resources available to cyber criminals has combined to produce a new point of attack. This is focused on the weakest link in the corporate security chain, which is now human beings rather than technology.

The term ‘social engineering’ describes this attack vector, which relies heavily on human interaction and often involves tricking people into breaking normal security procedures. The BCI research shows clearly that phishing (ie obtaining sensitive data through false representation) and social engineering is now the single top cause of cyber disruption, with over 60% of companies reporting being hit by such an incident over the past 12 months.

A further 37% were hit by spear phishing (ie phishing through identity fraud).

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The research has also confirmed that, to effectively counter this threat, companies now need behavioural threat detection provided by a cyber security network monitoring solution. These plug-in devices monitor your network for signs of suspicious insider activity and failed attempts to hack into the system.

They can also provide invaluable intelligence to be acted upon proactively to nip a successful hack or insider threat in the bud.

Traditional anti-virus monitoring software is no longer enough. The BCI research shows that 72% of companies have this software in place, but only 26% of real cyber security incidents were actually discovered through this route. Much worse, 18% of incidents came to attention through an external source such as a customer, a supplier or the impact on a public website.

Network monitoring solutions are much more effective than anti-virus software in terms of alerting companies to a cyber breach, with 63% of businesses having network monitoring software in place and 42% of cyber incidents being brought to attention through the work of the IT Department to whom such systems report.

The scale of the cyber threat can feel overwhelming at times, but educating your own employees about the nature of the threat and then putting in place the right solutions can go a long way towards mitigating the social engineering threat and significantly enhancing your corporate cyber resilience.

The message is simple… Act now before it’s too late.

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