Tag Archives: Serco

Serco invests in cyber security technology for global network

Serco has invested in a new network security system from Chemring Technology Solutions. Perception will be rolled out across Serco’s operations in the UK, the USA, the Middle East and Australia.

 

Originally developed for the UK Government back in 2011, Perception is the world’s first bio-inspired network security solution, which will complement Serco’s existing computer network security systems by identifying the potential threats they cannot.

 

Mark Henshaw, head of information security for Serco Group, explained: “I’m extremely impressed with Perception as it very effectively fills the gap that has developed between traditional network security tools and the expanding threat landscape as we see increasingly sophisticated malware and blended advanced threats.”

 

Henshaw added: “Perception sold itself as it’s a powerful tool that identifies apparently benign events which could seriously impact Serco. It’s proving to be simple to implement and has demonstrated value in a very short time by identifying malware, policy violation, suspicious data movement, device configuration issues and pointers to areas where awareness training should be increased. Many of the issues identified were subtle in nature and not picked up by our current network security systems.”

PerceptionSensor

 

Unlike other cyber security solutions, Perception is behavioural with no rigid rules-based architecture. Perception adapts to the network’s changing profile, automatically identifying malicious activity and making it more difficult for malware to evade detection. It will also detect the slow, unauthorised exfiltration of business information even when obfuscation techniques are used to evade traditional rule-based security defences.

 

Perception runs at high data rates at the core of a network rather than at the perimeter. Targeted, complex logic performs in-depth analysis and classification, avoiding the high false alarm rates usually experienced with anomaly detection systems.

 

“Serco supported Chemring Technology Solutions during Beta tests of Perception,” concluded Henshaw, “and we were particularly impressed by how different it is from traditional network security systems that rely on pattern matching. Perception collects and analyses information in a different way by looking for the unusual and linking apparently non-threatening network activity to identify hidden malware.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News, Uncategorized

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service keeps public informed thanks to CrowdControlHQ’s social media platform

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is using a social media risk management and compliance platform from CrowdControlHQ to monitor and govern its corporate social media accounts including Twitter and Facebook. More than 30 users across the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service access corporate social media accounts via the platform’s central dashboard.

There has been an increase in engagement witnessed across all accounts in the last two years which has seen the number of Twitter followers double to over 17,000.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service uses social media for two-way communication with residents and county stakeholders, including other Fire and Rescue Services and local Government officials businesses as well as schools in the area.

CrowdControlHQ was selected for the central management of the Fire and Rescue Service’s social media activity following research and a presentation from the company.

Caroline Jones, digital and media services manager at Cheshire Fire and Rescue, explained: “We chose CrowdControlHQ for the level of control and analytics that the company’s solution provides. We wanted a platform where we could allow multiple people to post to corporate accounts. CrowdControlHQ does that safely and securely and it gives a history of all activity, for example who has posted to what and where. Information like that is important for audit purposes.”

Management from a single point

Using CrowdControlHQ makes it possible to manage corporate social media accounts from a single point. Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service chose to have just one account for each social media channel rather than each fire station or areas of the service posting to individual accounts. This means it’s easier for the public and other stakeholders to receive updates by finding, following and commenting on corporate accounts rather than multiple social media accounts for different fire stations across the region.

Jones continued: “Social media is a great way to communicate with the public. Where there are incidents throughout the day it’s really easy, thanks to the central control in CrowdControlHQ, to publish a Tweet or post a message on Facebook and to then plan Tweets for the weekend. Recently, in just 28 days we had 437,000 impressions and posted 168 Tweets. The management team takes social media very seriously and fully supports it as a communications channel.”

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service also promotes other Fire and Rescue Services’ campaigns and champions national safety initiatives such as the annual road safety campaign using Twitter and Facebook, with links to a web page. CrowdControlHQ is used to plan Tweets and posts in advance and then measure the success of campaigns using the analytics generated.

James Leavesley, CEO at CrowdControlHQ, commented: “We have seen a variety of social media strategies emerging across Emergency Services providers tasked to drive communications objectives. For some, the emphasis is on single channel or multi-responders while others may adopt a multi-channel or in some cases a partnership-style approach.  However, what consistently underpins all the strategies we see is the need for more brand representatives to become involved in delivering messages to the public, raising the reputation risks associated with delivering complex public engagement. Using a risk and compliance platform gives organisations the confidence that they can manage and respond to social media communications effectively, consistently and in a timely manner.”

About Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

The Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is led by the Chief Fire Officer and the Service Management Team.  It has 25 fire stations, four community safety centres, three community fire protection offices and a headquarters based in Winsford.

The Fire and Rescue Service responds to emergency incidents – known as Emergency Response (ER)  – across the four unitary council areas of Halton, Warrington, Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester.

*For more information visit: www.cheshirefire.gov.uk

About CrowdControlHQ

CrowdControlHQ is one of the UK’s leading social media risk management and compliance platforms built for enterprise. It’s web-based software used by public and commercial organisations to support employees wishing to optimise their social media engagement delivery.

CrowdControlHQ provides tiered access and specialist control features to help manage the reputation risk associated with the delivery of social media in complex, multi-user, multi-campaign and generally busy customer service environments.

It’s a venture capital-backed British business servicing over 125 clients with over 10,000 users. Clients include Experian, Serco, Welsh Water, the Greater Manchester Police and Arriva.

*Additional information is available at: www.crowdcontrolhq.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

NAO publishes Memorandum for Parliament on electronic monitoring contracts

The National Audit Office has published a Memorandum for Parliament setting out the events surrounding the Ministry of Justice’s process in 2013 to retender its electronic monitoring contracts, currently with private contractors G4S and Serco, and its subsequent decision to commission a forensic audit of the contracts by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Today’s report also covers the main findings of that audit.

Following completion of the PwC forensic audit, the Department is in dispute with G4S and Serco over the amount of money by which the Department may have been overcharged for electronic monitoring services under the current contracts.

Both contractors are also now subject to a criminal investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.

The National Audit Office has published a memorandum for Parliament setting out the events surrounding the Ministry of Justice’s process in 2013 to retender its electronic monitoring contracts

The National Audit Office has published a Memorandum for Parliament setting out the events surrounding the Ministry of Justice’s process in 2013 to retender its electronic monitoring contracts

The Department believes that both providers charged for work that had not taken place in a way that was outside what was set out in the contracts for the electronic monitoring of offenders.

PwC’s estimate is that the potential overcharge by both providers in total may amount to tens of millions of pounds.

Examples of disputed billing practices

The NAO’s report includes examples of disputed billing practices which show that, in some instances, both contractors were charging the Department for monitoring fees for months or years after electronic monitoring activity had ceased, over similar timescales where electronic monitoring never occurred and multiple times for the same individual if that person was subject to more than one electronic monitoring order concurrently.

Both contractors have said that, in their view, such charging was in line with the terms of the contract.

G4S has since stated, however, that it now views that interpretation as inappropriate. The company has said that it intends to offer the Ministry £23.3 million in credit notes in respect of issues it has identified to date.

Serco has stated that it will refund any amounts that it agrees represents overcharging.

The Department has not currently agreed to any refund offers made by the providers.

The NAO does not draw any conclusions on contractual interpretation.

Read the full report issued by the National Audit Office

About the National Audit Office

The National Audit Office scrutinises public spending for Parliament and is independent of Government.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG), Amyas Morse, is an Officer of the House of Commons and leads the NAO, which employs some 860 staff.

The C&AG certifies the accounts of all Government departments and many other public sector bodies. He has statutory authority to examine and report to Parliament on whether departments and the bodies they fund have used their resources efficiently, effectively and with economy.

Its studies evaluate the value for money of public spending, nationally and locally. The NAO’s recommendations and reports on good practice help Government improve public services, while its work led to audited savings of almost £1.2 billion in 2012.

Leave a comment

Filed under IFSECGlobal.com News