Tag Archives: ProActiv Publications

Acuity partners with Growing Talent social mobility employment programme

Acuity, Axis Group’s specialist Front of House division, has partnered with Growing Talent – an initiative run by the Jane James Consultancy (JJC) and focused on furthering social mobility through employment – as part of a programme to offer full-time job opportunities to those people who are struggling to find work.

Acuity is offering regular three-month initiatives, with JJC presenting suitable Front of House candidates. A ‘speed dating’-style meeting is then arranged that Acuity uses to create a shortlist, followed by one-to-one meetings with decision-makers at the participating Acuity site. The applicant is then mentored throughout the training process and, if they successfully complete the programme, the permanent role becomes theirs.

The process includes two off-site weeks where soft skills such as personal finance, fitness, nutrition, art, mental health and well-being are addressed in detail.

Chiara Di Renzo, director of Acuity, said: “The Growing Talent initiative provides a unique opportunity for job seekers and employers. There’s a guaranteed permanent job offer at the end of the process that’s based on an assessment of the candidate’s personality and suitability for the role, rather than their CV and experience. In combination with the training process, this lends itself to both parties feeling confident in the employment offer.”

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Mohammed Ismail

The first employee to have gone through the process is Mohammed Ismail, who had been working in multiple jobs to make up the hours and wages he needed, but didn’t feel he had a future in any of these roles.

Originally employed in Acuity’s SELECT team providing high-quality holiday and sickness cover to Acuity’s suite of high-profile clients, Ismail now has a permanent role as the Acuity corporate receptionist at one of the business’ for whom he provided cover.

Di Renzo commented: “Even without specific Front of House experience, Mohammed had a very well-established understanding of customer service and what a five-star welcome is.” For his part, Ismail stated: “It was the best decision I have ever made for my career progression.”

Jane James, managing director of JJC, concluded: “Without insightful employers like Acuity being willing to recruit in a different way, the untapped talent in our unemployed communities would always remain hidden.”

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NATO selects BlackBerry’s encrypted voice technology for secure calls

The NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency has awarded a contract for BlackBerry’s SecuSUITE for Government to encrypt the conversations of its technology and cyber leaders wherever they communicate – in the workplace, at home or when travelling abroad.

The NCI Agency helps NATO’s 29 Member Nations communicate securely and work together in smarter ways. It acquires, deploys and defends communication systems for NATO’s political decision-makers and Command Centres, working on the front lines against cyber attacks. Due to the classified nature of the information the NCI Agency handles, it’s critical that all communications remain secure, combating any opportunity for a cyber criminal to electronically eavesdrop on conversations.

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“As cyber criminals and state-sponsored actors become increasingly more sophisticated, we needed a highly secure way for our cyber leaders to have phone conversations with people inside and outside of our organisation regardless of where they are in the world,” said Kevin Scheid, general manager of the NCI Agency. “BlackBerry’s voice encryption technology helps solve this challenge and strengthens our elite cyber defence strategy.”

Dr Christoph Erdmann, senior vice-president of BlackBerry SecuSMART at BlackBerry, responded: “Eavesdropping on calls is one of the easiest ways to gain access to private information. We’re extremely proud that the NCI Agency, a world leader in the development and use of technology that keeps NATO nations secure, has put its trust in BlackBerry’s software to secure voice communication. No matter the operating system or ‘thing’ used to communicate, BlackBerry’s arsenal of cyber security technology ensures that our customers’ data remains private.”

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BlackBerry’s SecuSUITE for Government supports Android and iOS smart phones and tablets, and can be can be installed on-premise, in a Data Centre or in the cloud.

Use cases for the solution include: 

*Secure conferencing: Encrypts conversations between a secure conference bridge and a SecuSUITE for Government-enabled devices

*Secure landing: Encrypts mobile devices to a landline within a network

*Break-in: Protects any communication between a mobile or landline on the user’s home network to a SecuSUITE for Government-enabled mobile device

*Break-out: Secures mobile devices to the employee’s home network and from there to external mobile or landlines through PSTN extension

BlackBerryNATO

SecuSUITE for Government has been evaluated and certified to be compliant with the Common Criteria protection profile for VoIP applications and SIP servers. It has also earned a NIAP certification and has been placed on the NSA Commercial Solutions for Classified Program component list of products certified for use on classified systems.

*For more information on BlackBerry’s SecuSUITE for Government visit blackberry.com/government

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95% of UK businesses “still struggling” with mobile working as security of data continues to cause concern

Apricorn – the manufacturer of software-free, 256-bit AES XTS hardware-encrypted USB drives – has unveiled new research results highlighting that 95% of organisations surveyed in the UK recognise problems with mobile and remote working. Worryingly, nearly one-in-five (18%) suggest that their mobile workers don’t care about security.

All (ie 100%) of those IT decision-makers surveyed noted that they had employees who work remotely at least some of the time, with an average of over one third (37%) of staff members who do so. With an increase in the numbers of people working remotely, this means more data moving beyond the confines of the corporate network. Organisations need to ensure that any data – be it at rest or on the move – remains secure.

While many are taking steps to ensure their data is protected, for instance by implementing security policies for mobile working and Bring Your Own Device, just under half of respondents (44%) still agree that their organisation expects their mobile workers to expose them to the risk of a breach. Roughly one third (32%) say that their organisation has already experienced a data loss or breach as a direct result of mobile working, while 30% of respondents from organisations where the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies are concerned that mobile working is an area that will most likely cause them to be non-compliant.

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53% cited that one of their Top Three biggest problems with remote working is due to the complexity and management of the technology that employees need and use. Over half (54%) say that, while their organisation’s mobile workers are willing to comply with requests relating to security measures, employees lack the necessary skills or technologies required to keep data safe. Nearly one third (29%) take the radical approach of physically blocking all removable media, while a further 22% ask employees not to use removable media (although they have no technology means by which to enforce this).

“The number of organisations blocking removable media has increased compared with responses to the same question in 2017, when 18% said they were physically blocking all removable devices,” said Jon Fielding, managing director for the EMEA at Apricorn. “A unilateral ban isn’t the solution and ignores the problem altogether, while also presenting a barrier to effective working. Instead, businesses should identify corporately approved, hardware-encrypted devices that are only provided to staff with a justified business case for having such. The approved devices should then be white-listed on the IT infrastructure, blocking access to all non-approved media.”

Risk of data breaches

Despite strict security policies, mobile working can still leave organisations wide open to the risk of a data breach. Half (50%) of respondents admitted one of the three biggest problems with mobile working is that they cannot be certain their data is adequately secured. Only around half enforce and are completely confident in their encrypted data in transit (52%), in the cloud (52%) and at rest (51%).

“While the new GDPR legislation requires the ‘Pseudonymisation’ and encryption of personal data, encryption isn’t a new concept, and keeping data secure has always been imperative to any organisation handling sensitive information,” added Fielding.

In conclusion, Fielding stated: “Organisations are simply not following security Best Practice. They need to implement and enforce policies and provide employee training to ensure compliance with the GDPR. Failing to put processes in place is putting confidential data at risk. Organisations now face the prospect of being fined even before a breach has occurred.”

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Euralarm publishes Annual Report 2017-2018

Euralarm has issued its Annual Report for 2017-2018. Publication of the report coincides with the end of the current Euralarm Board’s three-year mandate. That being so, beyond the usual account of the past year’s activities, the document also offers a review of the work achieved during that three-year period, and particularly so in terms of “invigorating the Euralarm community”.

One of the highlights of the past year was the opening of the new Extinguishing Section of Euralarm and the de facto expansion of the representation of Euralarm to the whole field of active fire protection. Organised as an umbrella association, Euralarm already comprises an electronic Fire Alarm Section, as well as a Section for Electronic Security and another for services related to both Fire Safety and Security.

The report follows the structure of Euralarm, with every Section and Technical Committee of the association summarising their activities over the previous year and, where appropriate, providing forecasts and plans for the future.

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A running theme of the report is Euralarm’s work on building strategic alliances. There are short interviews with stakeholders, industry leaders and other prominent partners in the fire safety and security business sector throughout the Annual Report. A major development in that area is a new co-operation agreement with CEN, the European standardisation platform.

Over the 2017-2018 period covered by the report, running between the General Assemblies of the association usually taking place in May or June, Euralarm can also testify to an ongoing growth in membership with Teletek as a new Member in the Fire Section hailing from Bulgaria and the dynamic German association BHE extending its membership from the Services Section to the Fire and Security Section. This continuous growth, in line with the trend of previous years, is said to be “a sign of trust” in Euralarm, its organisation, vision and strategy.

In a concluding section of the document, Euralarm’s outgoing President Enzo Peduzzi looks back on the three years of his mandate and how the association has been set on course for successful future development.

*Download the Annual Report by visiting the Euralarm website

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Hikvision awarded Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation by National Cyber Security Centre

Hikvision has been awarded Cyber Essentials Plus status – the highest accreditation in the programme. Operated by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the Cyber Essentials scheme is an independently assessed accreditation supported by the Government. The scheme is designed to carry out rigorous testing of Internet-enabled products connected to a given company’s infrastructure – in this case that of Hikvision – in order to ensure that, when connected to a network, those products are safe, secure and don’t provide a risk to devices on the rest of the network.

In partnership with five independent test houses, the Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation process covers a number of different areas to ensure users of Internet-enabled devices are assured of the highest level of protection against potential cyber threats and attacks. These independent test houses assess products through internal testing and vulnerability scanning. Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation is only awarded when testers are fully satisfied that the tested products don’t pose a risk to the wider network.

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“Cyber security is really hot topic in the security industry so naturally we’re delighted to have been awarded Cyber Essentials Plus status,” explained Gary Harmer, sales director for Hikvision UK and Ireland. “As the only manufacturer in our industry to have received this level of accreditation, it’s confirmation of the confidence we at Hikvision have in our own operations.”

Hikvision will continue to work with the NCSC and other authorised bodies to maintain, develop and enhance the security of its products, operating environments and processes.

*An earlier version of the Press Release suggested that the Cyber Essentials Plus status relates to products and has caused some confusion. To clarify, Hikvision has been awarded Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation, which relates directly to the security and robustness of its own infrastructure within the company’s UK operation. It was never Hikvision’s intention to mislead the reader with any inference that the accreditation related in any way to the company’s own products. Hikvision sincerely apologises for the unclear statement about the award

*To find out more about Hikvision’s plans for enhanced cyber security, visit Stand D300 at IFSEC International between 19-21 June. IFSEC International runs at London’s ExCeL

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Videofied to offer webeyeCMS as global cloud-based alarm service

Webeye has announced that Honeywell brand Videofied will offer the webeyeCMS cloud alarm service as part of its global portfolio. The award-winning webeyeCMS platform, which is integrated with the Videofied alarm system, provides both commercial and residential properties with protection and includes a CMS browser and mobile app for either iPhone or Android platforms.

In the initial stages, Videofied will offer a commercial solution incorporating both Videofied hardware and the cloud service to niche sectors like the guarding market.

Videofied will promote the entire solution globally, concentrating particularly on regions outside of those already serviced by Webeye, and has agreed to assist Webeye to penetrate markets where the business already has a presence. Later plans include a residential offering and multi-language support.

webeyeCMS

Patrice Colas, sales director at Honeywell Homes, said: “The Webeye alarm service has eight years of proven reliability and this, combined with our own Videofied alarm systems, offers a powerful and unique proposition to many markets.”

Clive Mason, managing director of Webeye, responded: “We’re honoured to have Honeywell Homes as one of our key partners and look forward to a close working relationship that offers our clients a world-beating solution.”

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Q&A: Professor Harald Haas discusses the security potential of Li-Fi

Following on from pureLiFi’s success demonstrating the new light-based data transfer system, Li-Fi, at the Smart Lighting Conference in Barcelona in May 2014, Professor Harald Haas (Chief Scientific Officer of pureLiFi) answers questions about the security potential of this new system for all sectors across Government, business and commerce.

What was the feedback from delegates at the Smart Lighting Conference in Barcelona?

“The lighting industry is moving to a much more services-based approach. The focus is on moving to a ‘Light as a Service’ business model. In this context, Li-Fi offers unprecedented capabilities that can be used as a differentiation within a very competitive industry. The general interest in the demonstration was very positive from a number of the participants and speakers, including the Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer from Phillips, the VP of Research and Innovation with Osram, the Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice-President of Business Development with ARM, the CTO of GE Lighting as well as the President of Lutron Electronics.”

What commercial interest have you had in the system?

“The Li-1st system has been shipped to a number of organisations with interested parties including top companies in defence, aircraft manufacturing, underwater communications, hazardous environments, telecoms and many more. In fact, due to the high demand, pureLiFi has recently undergone a second production run of the Li-1st system.”

Professor Harald Haas

Professor Harald Haas

What are the challenges that you need to overcome to break into the market?

“There are numerous challenges to such a new technology, including the size of the device for desktop/consumer use, higher data rates and lower power consumption, inertia and maturity within the existing RF industry, addressing the retrofit market, introducing more publicly available implementations of the technology, identifying specific ROI for diverse markets and relevant entities and identifying appropriate price points for various markets, etc. However, none of these aspects is insurmountable. All of these challenges can be solved. The wireless industry was faced with similar obstacles in the early days. Today, wireless connectivity is everywhere.”

How do you aim to overcome these challenges?

“Li-Fi, as with many other technologies, must mature before it is readily available such that the price point, form factor, infrastructure and other aspects are well established. Our product roadmap is designed to match the evolving needs of our customers and track market demand. Active Li-Fi demonstrators are in development and due for completion later in 2014. We are targeting markets and applications where Li-Fi is not competing with traditional RF systems. Indeed, no new communications technology has completely replaced the existing one. Much like 4G complemented 3G, which complemented 2G and Wi-Fi complements mobile connectivity, in the longer-term Li-Fi will complement and augment established RF infrastructure.”

In which markets do you hope and expect to gain success at first?

“Li-Fi is likely to be applied initially in niche areas where existing wireless solutions are not practical. These include underwater communications, electromagnetic sensitive environments such as hospitals and petrochemical plants, businesses requiring highly data-secure environments and many more.”

Will you be working with other partners to bring it to market?

“Yes. The opportunities for technological advancement that Li-Fi offers are unprecedented. In addition, Li-Fi will create fundamental changes to many of the existing business models within a number of different sectors, including the lighting industry and telecoms. pureLiFi is creating an ecosystem of partners from diverse markets to facilitate the development, deployment and distribution of Li-Fi systems which in turn will foster the market growth of this emerging technology.”

Li-1st technology

Li-1st technology

What are pureLiFi’s next steps in further developing this technology?

“Technical development will focus on higher data rates, reduced power consumption and miniaturisation. The fully mobile and networked solution (Li-Flame) will be launched in the second half of this year. It should achieve even better data rates and greater versatility. The company is also establishing a number of technology demonstration projects across the UK with a wide range of partners.”

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