Tag Archives: Ministry of Defence

Servest receives prestigious Armed Forces Covenant ERS Bronze Award

Global facilities management service provider Servest has been given the Bronze Award from the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) in recognition of the company’s commitment to (and support of) defence sector personnel.

The ERS encourages employers to support the Ministry of Defence and inspire others to do the same. The scheme encompasses Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support for the Armed Forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant.

ServestArmedForcesCovenant

To be awarded the Bronze Award, Servest had to meet certain requirements including a pledge to support the Armed Forces, comprising of existing or prospective employees who are members of the community. Servest also had to demonstrate that the business is Armed Forces-friendly and open to employing reservists, Armed Forces veterans (including the wounded, injured and sick), cadet instructors and military spouses/partners.

Jason Etherington OBE, managing director of Servest’s security operation, said: “I’m delighted that Servest has received this award. When I joined the company, I was looking forward to enhancing and formalising the links Servest has already established with the military community and service leavers. I feel this award shows the progress that’s being made. I look forward to working towards the Silver Award next year.”

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Zaun accredits installers to roll out “unique” ArmaWeave security solution

High security perimeter systems manufacturer Zaun is bolstering the ranks of approved installers for its “unique” intruder-resistant fencing.

ArmaWeave fencing is produced on the world’s largest steel loom at the company’s West Midlands manufacturing base. Crime & Fire Defence Systems engineers were trained in the installation of the product and, over the last two years, have installed kilometres of the high-security woven fencing at utilities sites right across the country.

Now Zaun has formally accredited Crime & Fire Defence Systems as an approved installer of the product, along with Zaun Group subsidiary Binns Fencing.

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

ArmaWeave boasts some unique properties which give it distinct advantages, but require some fresh skills and techniques to install. For example, unlike welded mesh, the panels can rake up and down hills such that installers require new skills to square up or rake the panels.

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

ZaunArmaWeaveTraining

Zaun’s Chris Plimley (left) celebrates the accreditation with Crime & Fire Defence Systems team members (from left to right) Craig Watts, Pete Rushforth, Chris Singer and Stuart Fletcher

Training for installation teams

Zaun will be training installation teams on the properties and tolerances of ArmaWeave and how it’s manufactured. Instruction is aimed exclusively at ‘fencers’ with proven skills and experience in high-security fencing works and deals only with the specific new skills and techniques required to install ArmaWeave.

Trainers will share the secrets of installation methods Zaun has developed over time for ArmaWeave to make best use of the properties of the high-security fabric.

The training will be for experienced individuals sponsored by a company which can demonstrate its professionalism through membership of a relevant trade organisation and valid UKAS-accredited ISO 9001 certification. The certificate of training will only be valid while the individual is working for the host company. This will ensure that properly trained individuals working under proper quality management install the product.

The plan is to increase the adoption of ArmaWeave as the standard for secure sites of Critical National Infrastructure – such as utilities, Data Centres and nuclear sites – while ensuring consistent installation quality.

Zaun’s sales and marketing director Chris Plimley said: “We invested in the steel loom ahead of the sales in the belief we could produce an innovative product that installers, specifiers and high-security facility managers would want. That has proven to be so true that we need to expand the number of contractors trained in installing it correctly.”

Resistance to attacks

ArmaWeave’s properties add substantial resistance to cutting attacks perpetrated with hand, powered and non-contact tools. The tight mesh pattern provides no climbing aids, again limiting the potential for intrusion.

ArmaWeave CPNI enhanced is tested to the very highest standards and can be combined with other intruder systems, electronics and access control to create the optimum in integrated fencing solutions. The product has also been approved for use with a range of microphonic PID cable systems after testing for many months at a Ministry of Defence facility.

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Shard owners ramp up security in wake of Greenpeace protest

Specialist CCTV with intruder detection systems has installed at the tallest building in the European Union after Greenpeace protesters climbed to the summit.

Six activists, all of them women, scaled the iconic Shard in London and unfurled a flag with ‘Save the Arctic’ emblazoned upon it to protest against plans to drill in the Arctic by the oil company Shell.

The Prime Minister of Qatar, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, inaugurated the 95-storey building on 6 July 2012 in a ceremony attended by HRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York.

ZaunShard1

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, officially opened the View from the Shard viewing platform on 1 February 2013.

Following the Greenpeace stunt, the management company for the owner Sellar Property Group and the State of Qatar decided to enhance the on-site security system with the latest state-of-the-art CCTV.

They appointed installer Unique Security, and together evaluated leading products on the market. Zaun’s EyeLynx SharpView was selected on the basis of performance, quality and its focus on reliability.

Its rapid deployment system, Pharos, was installed together with wireless PIRs from Luminite to further secure the perimeter and the main escalators to London Bridge Station.

EyeLynx provided a back-up SharpView NVR for critical cameras in time for a Royal visit from Her Majesty the Queen and HRH Prince Phillip.

ZaunShard2

This unit worked seamlessly with the installed Pharos cameras using SharpView VMS and demonstrated to the management team how the security could be drastically improved by recording in High Definition quality and retaining video for at least 30 days for all the building’s CCTV cameras.

The complete CCTV system was subsequently changed over to SharpView in January 2014, with over 200 cameras recording to ten SharpView Corporate NVRs incorporating over 200 Tb of storage, while four SharpView Manager Workstations allow the security team to manage and control the entire security system on desktop monitors and a 16 ft video wall in the Control Room.

Security for gas distribution network

One of the UK’s largest gas distributors has specified prison-style double skin steel mesh and special fence toppings to secure its gas distribution network across the north of England.

The business has turned to the Zaun Group and, specifically, its HiSec DualSkin and Flexible Steel Topping (FST) products.

The distributor delivers gas to 2.7 million homes and businesses and around 6.7 million individuals in the North East, northern Cumbria and much of Yorkshire through a vast network of 37,000 km of gas pipes – enough to stretch from Leeds to Sydney, Australia and back again, in fact.

ZaunGasNetwork

During periods of peak demand, the network transports four times as much energy as the electricity networks to large cities such as Newcastle, Sunderland, Leeds, York, Hull and Bradford and beautiful rural areas including North Yorkshire and Cumbria.

Zaun’s HiSec DualSkin has been specifically designed for sites that need a more secure solution and features two layers of the traditional HiSec 358 welded mesh with 76.2 mm x 12.7 mm open mesh sections.

These double-skin 358 panels are welded together with the secondary panel turned 90 degrees to make a very tight 12.7 mm x 12.7 mm mesh configuration which is difficult to cut and almost impossible to climb.

The tiny apertures eliminate foot and finger holds for people trying to climb the fence or gain access to the site, prevent objects being passed through and are highly resistant against the use of hand or power cutting tools.

HiSec DualSkin conforms to BS 1722 Part 14 Category 4 and has been extensively used in prisons and by the Ministry of Defence to protect high security assets.

The FST topping system that tops the fence is fully-tested for use in UK high security prisons. At the heart of FST is a steel mesh arch, curved back over the top of a steel fence and fixed to a flexible steel bracket that’s designed to move when people try to climb it.

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Securing sports courts for Armed Forces bases: Zaun has the answer

The Ministry of Defence has turned to ETC Sports Surfaces, Pitch and Track and long-term sports fencing partner Zaun to help keep the Armed Forces in shape.

The trio are supplying ball courts, tennis courts and Multi-Use Games Areas (MUGA) at three military bases around the country.

ETC is installing ball courts at MoD bases in Plymouth and Portsmouth, while RAF Alconbury near Huntingdon (pictured below) is benefiting from a MUGA and tennis courts.

The tennis courts for the RAF will be some of the first in the country to employ Zaun’s enhanced tennis mesh.

Indeed, Zaun is the only UK manufacturer of bespoke tennis mesh and has recently upgraded its machining capability to drastically reduce manufacturing timescales and lead times.

Zaun’s Advantage Tennis mesh eliminates many of the downsides of traditional tennis chain link fencing, which deforms over time and is easy to cut, disfigure and vandalise.

By contrast, Zaun’s mesh can withstand heavy use while allowing easy viewing of the on-court action. The solution employs a 200 mm x 40 mm twin wire mesh that’s small enough to prevent tennis balls passing through.

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Chubb Fire & Security wins Silver Award from MoD for its commitment to supporting Armed Forces personnel

Chubb Fire & Security has been recognised for its commitment to supporting the Armed Forces, winning a Silver Award bestowed by the Ministry of Defence’s Supporting Britain’s Reservists and Employers campaign. Squadron Sergeant Major Steve Jolliffe – who has spent 33 years in the Army reserve throughout his 24-year career at Chubb – nominated the company for the Silver Award.

“Chubb has always been supportive of my duties as a reservist, allowing me time off to attend annual training and the two-week camp every year,” said Jolliffe. “I was promoted twice within the business upon my return to work, following my missions in Iraq in 2004 and in Afghanistan in 2008.”

Jolliffe continued: “This support gave me confidence and a solid professional base to continue in the reserves. Ultimately, the skills and coaching qualifications I’ve gained have been of great use to the business, and particularly so in my capacity as a safety advisor for the Chubb mechanical fire equipment business.”

Chubb's Steve Jolliffe receives the much-coveted Sabre Award

Chubb’s Steve Jolliffe receives the much-coveted Silver Award

Chubb has signed a voluntary Corporate Covenant pledging to continue supporting the Armed Forces community, ensuring that reservists like Jolliffe can undertake important obligations with full support from their employer.

Alastair Reynolds, managing director at Chubb Fire & Security, explained to Risk UK that the company remains fully committed to employing reservists and ex-servicemen and women.

“Chubb values the contributions of Armed Forces personnel,” stated Reynolds. “For his part, Steve has proven to be a strong contributor who upholds his service requirements knowing that he has our full support.”

*For further information visit: www.chubb.co.uk

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G4S pledges to become leading provider of Armed Forces Reservists

G4S has given its commitment to provide at least 600 staff as members of the military reserve from 2017, making the company one of the UK’s leading employers of Armed Forces Reservists.

At a ceremony held at the Ministry of Defence offices and hosted by the Secretary of State for Defence, the Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP, the Group CEO of G4S, Ashley Almanza, and General Sir Peter Wall, Chief of the General Staff, signed the G4S Armed Services Covenant.

Under the terms of the Covenant, G4S has also pledged to implement flexible working conditions for members of staff which will allow them to continue their training and be deployed on exercise when needed by the Ministry of Defence.

Ashley Almanza stated: “We’re very proud to play our part in supporting Her Majesty’s Armed Forces and fully committed to being the leading employer of Armed Forces Reservists in the country in support of the Government’s new strategy for introducing additional reserve forces. We already employ large numbers of former service personnel and our commitment through the Armed Forces Covenant reinforces the very close relationship that G4S has with the UK Armed Forces.”

Ashley Almanza: Group CEO at G4S

Ashley Almanza: Group CEO at G4S

The Covenant also confirms G4S’ commitment to support the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), a UK-based resettlement service which aims to provide civilian employment for ex-forces personnel. As part of this pledge, G4S will guarantee interviews to ex-forces personnel for appropriate vacancies.

Working together to achieve the numbers

Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Peter Wall, said: “The pledge made by G4S to recruit a further 600 reservists is an immensely supportive step towards the Armed Forces and employers working together to achieve the numbers we need. This commitment illustrates recognition of the valuable experience and skills that reservists bring to an employer, particularly one as large as G4S. We look forward to working closely with G4S in achieving this target and learning from them how to optimise the relationships between reserve soldiers, G4S as their employer and the Army.”

General Sir Peter Wall continued: “It’s incredibly encouraging that employers like G4S are seeing reserve service as an asset in their employees and that their employment is mutually beneficial to both defence and the company. We recognise that we cannot grow our Reserve Forces alone. We need to work in partnership with big businesses such as G4S and support them so that they in turn can support our reserves.”

Michael Fallon, the Secretary of State, commented: “It’s right that everyone, including businesses, recognises the tremendous contribution and sacrifice that our Armed Forces and their families make for our country. Many firms already back our Armed Forces, and I want to help them improve what they offer and to encourage others to provide similar support.”

Michael Fallon MP: Secretary of State for Defence

Michael Fallon MP: Secretary of State for Defence

He concluded: “I’m pleased to see G4S taking the opportunity to formally support our Armed Forces community and to make a real difference to their lives by signing the Corporate Covenant.”

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National Strategy for Maritime Security launched by Ministry of Defence

The strategy outlines, for the first time, the UK’s approach to delivering maritime security at home and internationally, setting out how the UK organises and uses its extensive national capabilities to identify, assess and address maritime security challenges.

The strategy highlights the importance of the maritime domain to UK prosperity and security. It sets out how, through effective collaboration across Government, with industry and international partners – and through the integration of assets and personnel wherever possible – the UK will deliver maritime security.

Maritime security is a cross-Government activity which brings together 16 Government departments and agencies. At the forefront of these are the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Home Office and the Department for Transport.

Philip Hammond MP: Secretary of State for Defence

Philip Hammond MP: Secretary of State for Defence

Five key priorities outlined

The National Strategy for Maritime Security outlines five main priorities. These are to:

• promote a secure international maritime area where international maritime laws are upheld
• help other nations develop their own maritime security
• protect the UK and the Overseas Territories, their citizens and economies by supporting the safety and security of ports and offshore installations as well as passenger and cargo vessels
• assure the security of vital maritime trade and energy transportation routes
• protect the resources and population of the UK and the Overseas Territories from illegal and dangerous activity

The strategy also introduces a robust Government approach to maritime security decision-making and confirms a commitment to both preserving the flow of maritime trade and upholding international maritime law.

Read the National Strategy for Maritime Security in full

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ISS first to sign up to MoD Corporate Covenant

ISS has become the first FM business to sign the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Corporate Covenant which pledges support to the British Armed Forces.

The agreement ensures that no member of the Armed Forces community will face disadvantage in the provision of services provided by ISS, in turn demonstrating the company’s rock solid support for the Army, Navy and Royal Air Force.

Richard Sykes, CEO for ISS in the UK and Ireland, signed the Covenant along with the Rt Hon Mark Francois MP, Minister of State for Defence, Personnel Welfare and Veterans.

Richard Sykes (left, CEO of ISS in the UK and Ireland) and the Rt Hon Mark Francois MP, Minister of State for Defence, Personnel Welfare and Veterans

Richard Sykes (left, CEO of ISS in the UK and Ireland) and the Rt Hon Mark Francois MP, Minister of State for Defence, Personnel Welfare and Veterans

At the signing, Sykes commented: “I’m extremely proud that ISS was in the lead in the defence FM sector in committing to engage with the defence community, and I particularly look forward to supporting an increased number of reservists, apprentices and those wounded in action within ISS.”

Sykes went on to state: “Our increasing presence in the defence sector has meant our people have had greater exposure to the selfless men and women who defend our country and, consequently, deserve our respect and support.”

In return, Mark Francois thanked ISS and the other signatories for the initiative they had shown.

“Our Armed Forces and their families give everything to our country,” said Francois, “so I’m delighted that BAE Systems, ISS UK, the BMT Group and General Dynamics are signing a Corporate Covenant.”

Francois added: “I would encourage other organisations and charities from across the country to get behind the Corporate Covenant and do their bit to support the Armed Forces in any way they can.”

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Britain will build “dedicated capability to counter-attack” in cyber space

The Defence Secretary has announced that Britain will build a dedicated capability to counter-attack in cyberspace and, if necessary, to strike in cyberspace.

As part of the MoD’s full-spectrum military capability, Philip Hammond MP has announced that the department is set to recruit hundreds of computer experts as cyber reservists in order to help defend the UK’s national security, working at the cutting-edge of the nation’s cyber defences.

Hammond confirmed the creation of a new Joint Cyber Reserve which will see reservists working alongside regular forces to protect critical computer networks and safeguard vital data.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond MP

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond MP

“In response to the growing cyber threat,” said Hammond, “we are developing a full-spectrum military cyber capability, including a strike capability, to enhance the UK’s range of military capabilities. Increasingly, our defence budget is being invested in high-end capabilities such as cyber and intelligence and surveillance assets to ensure we can keep the country safe.”

He added: “The Cyber Reserves will be an essential part of ensuring we defend our national security in cyberspace. This is an exciting opportunity for Internet experts in industry to put their skills to good use for the nation, protecting our vital computer systems and capabilities.”

Creating the Cyber Reserve

Creation of the Joint Cyber Reserve will represent a significant increase in the number of reservists employed in cyber and information assurance.

Members of the Joint Cyber Reserve will provide support to the Joint Cyber Unit (Corsham), the Joint Cyber Unit (Cheltenham) and other information assurance units across defence.

Recruiting for the Joint Cyber Reserve will begin next month and target three sectors: regular personnel leaving the Armed Forces, current and former reservists with the necessary skills, and individuals with no previous military experience but with the technical knowledge, skills, experience and aptitude to work in this highly-specialised area.

All personnel applying to join will be subject to a security clearance process.

Response from the security sector

Speaking about this Government move, Peter Armstrong (director of cyber security at Thales UK) commented: “By re-skilling its existing force in cyber security, the Ministry of Defence has addressed the blurring of the lines between physical and virtual defence which has become prevalent over the past decade. With the advent of cyber espionage and attacks which threaten CNI, the need for an holistic approach to national security is long overdue. It’s great to see the Ministry of Defence taking its share of responsibility for this alongside its traditional physical defence remit.”

Armstrong also explained: “In addition, and just as importantly, this move will help enormously in positioning public sector cyber security as an attractive career prospect for the next generation.”

Graeme Stewart, director of UK public sector strategy at McAfee, said: “This latest development shows that Government is taking the necessary steps to protect the UK against a very real cyber treat that’s now on par with physical threats. With greater connectivity comes a far greater risk of cyber attacks on the very foundations of the UK’s infrastructure. In the case of the country’s energy supply, for example – and the UK’s apparent intention to rely on a single, centralised smart grid – a single attack could affect the entire country and, as a worse case scenario, leave the UK without power.”

Stewart continued: “Our priority should be to ensure that the networks and devices securing our critical infrastructure are totally secure, which not only requires physical security but also a complete shift in the mindset of UK organisations. The top level attention to cyber security has to be adopted throughout organisations and individuals as a joint responsibility. Government and citizens need to work together to move from a ‘digital-by-default’ to ‘security-by-default’ scenario, ensuring that the basic knowledge needed to protect against the ever-growing threat is ingrained in our national consciousness.”

Neil Thacker, the information security and strategy officer (EMEA) at Websense commented: “In light of the House of Ccommons Defence Select Committee highlighting weaknesses in the MoD’s cyber incident response strategy, as well as the news in July that the UK is losing the fight against cybercrime, this is welcome and timely news to offer additional resources to aid cyber defence.”

Thacker went on to state: “Highly sophisticated, targeted attacks are occurring every day and are focused on both small and large organisations, with UK businesses being named by cyber crime organisations as their Number One target. Like the Government, UK businesses cannot take their eyes off the ball and need to put in place the right defences to protect their employees and the organisation’s critical data.”

Continuing the theme, Hacker explained: “It’s more crucial than ever that UK businesses place data security higher up the agenda and spend IT security budgets on the right and relevant technology. Proactive defences against targeted attacks and new variants of malware are key. Adding the ability to detect, contain and mitigate against the attacks is a responsibility of the IT and security teams by applying real-time malware analysis while simultaneously protecting against internal and external breaches and data theft. Detection only is not sufficient to counter this threat.”

Finding enough experts to build an effective force

Ruby Khaira (regional manager for the UK, Northern Europe and India at FireMon) said: “The new cyber defence force being announced by the MoD and Philip Hammond is an important step forward in protecting the UK’s computer networks from cyber attacks. The UK already has good protection in place, but cybercrime is a continuously growing threat and to build on existing defences is both necessary and logical.”

Khaira continued: “As I see it, the real issue here is being able to find enough computer experts to build an effective force. With a distinct shortage of security personnel within the private sector, this could be a very real problem. Therefore, the MoD will likely need to have a robust training plan in place to instruct those they hire for the cyber defence force, and will then need to offer a good enough package to keep those security professionals from moving to the private sector.”

Khaira also stressed: “Along with finding and retaining talent, it’s important that the new cyber defence force can effectively monitor and proactively identify areas of risk, which requires implementing security technologies that can automatically identify security gaps and prioritise remediation according to the level of risk to critical assets.”

David Emm, the senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, has also offered his views on the Government’s latest move.

“The British Government has for some time been indicating that it is keen to ramp up the overall defence posture of British companies in order to reduce the risk of attacks thereon,” said Emm. “This is something which Eugene Kaspersky has long been calling on all Governments to do, but it now seems that the Government is saying it considers ‘offence to be the best form of defence’.”

Emm then stated: “While it’s understandable that Governments might want to adopt such a position, doing so introduces a very real possibility of a cyber arms race and, accordingly, increased risks to Internet-based systems everywhere. After all, if one Government decides to openly engage in cyber offence, others will be sure to follow suit. Any cyber offence escalation would increase the risk of the technologies involved ending up in the wrong hands, possibly to be manipulated for malevolent ends. Unlike traditional weapons, tools used in cyber warfare are very easy to clone and reprogram by adversaries or other threat actors such that they can be used in sustained strikes.”

On that basis, Emm said: “It’s imperative for countries to understand the possible consequences – the specific dangers and potential damage – of cyber war before developing offensive cyber weapons. The only effective way to counter this trend is for Governments to work together towards the establishment of a cyber arms limitation agreement that prevents the continued escalation of cyberattacks.”

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