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BSIA places ‘UK Security Exporting’ at the forefront of its 2015 ‘Manifesto’

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) is pushing ahead with its promise to promote the exporting of UK private security sector solutions into the New Year. The Trade Association’s members provide over 70% of UK security products and services and adhere to strict quality standards.

British security is playing an increasingly important role on the world stage as the global market continues to create new opportunities for ‘Best of British’ products and services designed and developed by UK suppliers.

For many BSIA member companies, exporting was something of a lifeline during the recession as the process helped to keep businesses afloat. International markets such as the Middle East have thrived during the economic downturn, in turn enabling the Trade Association’s members to grow and prosper through the exporting of goods and services.

In a recent survey of the BSIA’s Export Council members, more than 80% of respondents agreed that exporting became more important to their businesses during the recession. Indeed, many reported an increase in overseas business between 2012 and 2013.

The BSIA’s Export Council serves as a forum for developing business relationships between companies in the UK’s security industry and overseas buyers. It also acts as an invaluable port of call for overseas-based contacts interested in developing a working relationship with a UK company (or companies) either as a partner, customer or distributor. Exporting remains pivotal for UK security companies and the BSIA’s networking initiatives and events continue to establish and reinforce such links.

British security is playing an increasingly important role on the world stage as the global market continues to create new opportunities for ‘Best of British’ products and services from UK suppliers

British security is playing an increasingly important role on the world stage as the global market continues to create new opportunities for ‘Best of British’ products and services from UK suppliers

Government pledge on UK security exports

According to UKTI’s security export strategy, the worth of the global security market is forecast to reach £571 billion in 2016 through a projected growth of 9%. The Government has pledged to double overall UK exports to £1 trillion by 2020 which can only help push projected growth in the global security marketplace past that 9% target. This positive outlook is reinforced by the experiences of BSIA members who export, with more than 90% expecting their overseas business to increase during 2014-2015.

UKTI figures also estimate that UK security exporters now enjoy a 4.2% share of the global market for security products and services, a share which is also forecast to increase in line with projected growth for the global security market.

The Middle East boasts a fast-growing economy and a strong reputation for procuring British goods and services, thus giving BSIA members a head start when it comes to exporting. BSIA Export Council chairman Ian Moore stated: “Over the last few years, the Middle East has probably been the most attractive overseas security market for UK providers. It’s a natural target area for quality British companies.”

Emphasising the value of the Middle East to the Trade Association’s members, BSIA CEO James Kelly will soon be meeting with the First Secretary of the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in London to discuss how those members can make the most of this emerging market while also promoting the BSIA at a higher level within the UAE.

James Kelly: CEO at the BSIA

James Kelly: CEO at the BSIA

“I look forward to meeting with the First Secretary to promote bilateral trade between BSIA members in the UK and businesses, customers and distributors in the UAE,” explained Kelly. “The Middle East is continuing to grow as a leading export market for our members, and it’s important that fact is recognised at the appropriate levels of Government, both here at home and abroad.”

For those members of the BSIA who are new to exporting, or for whom the process isn’t yet a major part of their business, the BSIA assists with TAP (Trade Show Access Programme) funding. Such funding provides grants for eligible businesses to attend overseas trade shows. Although not a huge amount of money, this financing helps members gain crucial market knowledge, build experience of trade shows and glean invaluable advice and support from trade experts. Two thirds of BSIA members who exhibited abroad in 2013 took advantage of TAP funding.

It was recently discovered that UKTI’s ‘Passport to Export’ service has suffered from a reduction in funding. The BSIA is pressing the case with key Parliamentarians to ensure that TAP funding continues for SMEs as so many of the BSIA’s members have derived direct benefits from this.

Importance of TAP funding

At a recent meeting with Karen Bradley MP (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office with responsibility for security exports), James Kelly pressed the importance of TAP funding for BSIA members and, indeed, the wider UK economy.

“This Government has committed itself to doubling UK exports to £1 trillion by 2020 and has stated that exporting is a way out of these austere times,” asserted Kelly. “It goes completely against the Government’s strategy to be cutting this funding at such a crucial time for our businesses. We will continue to push this message to all levels of Government.”

According to UKTI’s security export strategy, the global security market is forecast to rise to £571 billion in 2016 through projected growth of 9%

According to UKTI’s security export strategy, the global security market is forecast to rise to £571 billion in 2016 through projected growth of 9%

Tobias Ellwood MP (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with ministerial responsibility for the Middle East) recently represented the UK at the 12th Annual UK-UAE Task Force. First established back in July 2010 following Prime Minister David Cameron visiting the UAE and meeting with Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nayhan (the UAE’s Foreign Minister), the Task Force aims to further strengthen ties between the two countries. As such, the BSIA is looking to meet with Ellwood at the MP’s earliest convenience to discuss the value of the Middle East to the UK private security industry.

At the recent Task Force meeting, Ellwood stated: “The UK and the UAE enjoy a close partnership based on deep historical links and shared interests. I’m pleased that we are able to agree to strengthen our partnerships across the sphere of investment.”

*For more information on the BSIA’s Export Council visit: http://www.bsia.co.uk/export-council/about-bsia-export-council

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Government minister urges crackdown on ‘free movement of serious criminals’

Karen Bradley – the Minister for Modern Slavery and Organised Crime – has urged that more information on serious criminals must be shared across Europe in order to protect members of the public.

Bradley has also called for action to stop those responsible for crimes including murder, rape and child abuse from being able to cross national borders either to escape justice or prey on new victims.

Speaking to delegates at a conference in The Hague, the UK MP explained: “We must all face up to the fact that, while free movement is seen by many in Europe as having only positive impacts, there are some very clear negatives – not least of which is the ability for criminals to exploit this freedom of movement and further their own illegal activities across borders.”

Bradley continued: “If we’re to tackle this problem properly then the free movement of information needed to combat criminality must work as effectively – and, ideally, more effectively – than the free movement of criminals.”

Serious Offending by Mobile European Criminals Project

The minister told the final meeting of the UK-led Serious Offending by Mobile European Criminals (SOMEC) Project that great improvements had already been made on the sharing of information, but that more needs to be done.

Bradley stressed the importance of the UK remaining part of a number of crime and policing measures that Parliament will vote on and which have greatly improved our ability to find out about foreign offenders who move to the UK.

Karen Bradley MP

Karen Bradley MP

“Public protection must not be lost in a wider debate about the UK’s place in Europe,” stated Bradley. “More must be done to prevent offenders like paedophiles, rapists and murderers from exploiting free movement rights to slip unnoticed into another nation where they can then prey on unsuspecting new victims. It’s vital we know when these predators arrive on our shores. We need more powers to tackle them, not fewer. That’s why it’s in the public interest – and is absolutely essential – that the UK remains a part of key European measures.”

In conclusion, the MP commented: “Failure to do so would send us back to the Dark Ages of being unable to find out anything about foreign criminals who’ve moved to our country, in turn making it impossible to act against them. There’s no doubt that this would carry a serious public protection risk and could even cost lives.”

Management and exchange of data

The SOMEC Project was established to examine the management and exchange of data on mobile serious sexual and violent offenders across Europe. Final recommendations on how improvements can be made are expected to be published in early 2015.

Parliament will vote today (Monday 10 November) on a small number of EU crime and justice measures the Government intends to remain part of in the public interest after opting out of a much larger number.

Parliament will vote on Monday 10 November on a small number of EU crime and justice measures the UK Government intends to remain part of in the public interest after opting out of a much larger number

Parliament will vote on Monday 10 November on a small number of EU crime and justice measures the UK Government intends to remain part of in the public interest after opting out of a much larger number

The measures the UK intends to remain part of include the Swedish Initiative, the Second Generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) and the European Criminal Record Information System (ECRIS). These have all been identified by the SOMEC Project as being important existing tools that should be used more effectively across Europe so as to track mobile serious criminals.

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Cyber Streetwise survey reveals 75% of Britons place online safety at risk

A new survey conducted by Cyber Streetwise has revealed that most people are not taking the necessary steps to protect their identity online, with 75% of those who took part in the study admitting they don’t follow Best Practice to create complex passwords.

The figures have been released during Cyber Security Awareness Month to mark the launch of the latest phase of the UK Government’s Cyber Streetwise campaign. In partnership with the police service and industry experts, Cyber Streetwise aims to raise awareness of wise and unwise behaviour in the online space.

Despite 95% of Britons saying it’s their own responsibility to protect themselves online, two thirds are risking their safety by not using symbols in passwords. Nearly half (47%) exhibit other unsafe password habits such as using pet names or significant dates as their password.

Modern Slavery and Organised Crime Minister Karen Bradley MP explained: “When passwords are compromised, financial and banking details can be stolen and cause problems for the person affected, for businesses and for the economy. There’s an emotional impact caused by the loss of irreplaceable photos, videos and personal e-mails, but even worse these can be seized to extort money.”

Bradley added: “We can and must play a role in reducing our risk of falling victim to cyber crime. Most attacks can be prevented by taking some basic security steps, and I encourage everyone to do so.”

Vulnerability to ID theft, fraud and extortion

This latest research shows that 82% of people manage more online accounts that require a password than they did last year, with the average Briton dealing with 19. Over a third (35%) of those questioned admit that they do not create strong passwords because they struggle to recall them. However, poor passwords leave people vulnerable to identity theft, fraud and extortion.

Cyber crime presents a serious threat to the UK and the Government is taking action to increase public awareness of the risk, dedicating £860 million to this issue over the next five years through the National Cyber Security Programme. In essence, the Government is working hard to transform the UK’s response to cyber security.

The latest survey conducted by Cyber Streetwise has revealed that the majority of people are not taking necessary steps to protect their identity online

The latest survey conducted by Cyber Streetwise has revealed that the majority of people are not taking necessary steps to protect their identity online

Jamie Saunders – director of the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) National Cyber Crime Unit – commented: “The NCA is working closely with law enforcement colleagues all over the world to target and disrupt cyber criminals. We should be clear that the criminals will target weaknesses. On that basis, having weak passwords will leave people vulnerable.”

Saunders continued: “Nobody wants their personal financial details, business information or photographs to be stolen or held to ransom, so simple things like using three or more words, a mixture of numbers, letters and symbols and upper and lower case letters will make it much more difficult for hackers to access personal information.”

Creating strong and memorable passwords

Advice on creating strong and memorable passwords can be found at http://www.cyberstreetwise.com along with other easy tips for staying safe online. Tips for creating and remembering passwords include the following:

Loci method
Imagine a familiar scene and place each item that needs to be remembered in a particular location (ie a red rose on the table, a book on the chair, a poster on the wall). Imagine yourself looking around the room in a specific sequence. Re-imagine the scene and the location of each item when you need to remember

Acronyms
Use a phrase or a sentence and take the first letter from that sentence

Narrative methods
Remember a sequence of key words by creating a story and littering it with memorable details (for example, ‘The little girl wore a bright yellow hat as she walked down the narrow street…’)

Further information on Cyber Security Awareness Month is available at: http://www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam/

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