Tag Archives: SMEs

Cyber security firm Foregenix scoops Queen’s Award for Enterprise

A cyber security firm has picked up the Queen’s Award for Enterprise. Foregenix, which celebrates its 10th Anniversary this month, received the award for its work in international trade and is believed to be the first cyber security consultancy with a determined focus on protecting the payment and finance industries to pick up the accolade.

Headquartered in the UK, Foregenix has generated around 60% of its revenue from international sales over the past four years, helped by new offices in Boston servicing North America, Frankfurt, Europe, Sydney, Australasia and São Paulo, Brazil and a new base in Singapore in 2019.

Foregenix offers a range of services including managed detection and response, digital forensics, compliance and risk. It’s one of the leading certification companies for payment systems on PCI point-to-point encryption and an authority on ATM ‘cash-out’ attacks.

The Queen’s Award for Enterprise follows on from recognition by The Sunday Times as one of the Top 100 SME exporters in 2017 and 2018.

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Left to Right: Paul Humpage, Andrew Henwood and Benjamin Hosack of Foregenix

The Queen’s Awards have recognised the achievements of British businesses since 1965. Around 200 businesses receive the accolade each year.

Co-founder and CTO Andrew Bontoft commented: “It’s testimony to the brilliant work and dedication of our global team that we’ve received this prestigious award. We’re very proud of what the team has achieved and grateful for the recognition this award signifies. We would also like to thank our clients and suppliers for helping us to achieve this honour.”

CEO Andrew Henwood added: “Foregenix aims to protect businesses and organisations from criminals who attempt to endanger people’s livelihoods and futures for their own enrichment. It’s a cause that resonates with our customers. We offer them practical advice and solutions for baked-in security and real risk reduction.”

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ASSA ABLOY Security Solutions names initial partner businesses for CLIQ Go

A number of security providers have signed up to be dedicated partners for the new CLIQ Go from ASSA ABLOY Security Solutions, a UK division of ASSA ABLOY (the door opening solutions specialist).

The named security businesses include High Security Locking near Aylesbury, William Channon in London and John Planck Ltd in Chatham. By agreeing to be a CLIQ Go partner, these security providers have access to exclusive training and support from ASSA ABLOY Security Solutions to help them market and sell the platform.

Enabling SMEs to control security across their premises from a smart phone app, CLIQ Go combines mechanical and electronic security capabilities in order to meet the needs of today’s busy working environments.

The user-friendly CLIQ Go smart phone app allows business owners and authorised individuals to manage a site’s security from the cloud via a mobile phone, tablet or PC. Individual access rights can be instantly revoked or updated from these devices, subsequently enhancing security while also delivering the flexibility needed to amend these access rights ‘on the go’.

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With CLIQ Go, organisations can schedule access rights to a room or area for contractors or other workers that may only be visiting a site for a specified amount of time. Furthermore, as an end user business grows, the CLIQ Go system can be easily expanded with minimal disruption.

Simon Wilson, national sales manager for ASSA CLIQ Remote at ASSA ABLOY Security Solutions, said: “Issues such as lost keys can be a serious security risk. Traditional mechanical locking solutions no longer offer a robust enough solution for many modern businesses. CLIQ Go offers an easy-to-manage access control system.”

Wilson continued: “CLIQ Go is quickly becoming a very popular option for many organisations, with installers and resellers keen to stock the solution. Indeed, with just one mechanical key profile, resellers can easily keep the solution in stock for fast delivery and, with no doors to wire, installation is a straightforward process.”

In conclusion, Wilson informed Risk Xtra: “We’re delighted to welcome our new CLIQ Go partners. We’ll be providing ongoing training and support to help them maximise opportunities for promoting this innovative system to their customers.”

*For more information on CLIQ Go and how to become a partner contact Simon Wilson at simon.wilson@assaabloy.com or visit www.assaabloy.co.uk

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Paxton identified in London Stock Exchange Group’s ‘1,000 Companies to Inspire Europe’ Report

Paxton, the electronic IP access control and video door entry solutions specialist, has been identified as one of the London Stock Exchange Group’s ‘1,000 Companies to Inspire Europe’. The report is a celebration of high-growth and the most dynamic small and medium-sized businesses across Europe.

To be included in the list, companies need to show consistent revenue growth over a minimum of three years, significantly outperforming their country peers. This report demonstrates the critical importance of high-growth, private, small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) to future European economic growth, innovation and job creation.

This new follows on from Paxton’s inclusion in last years’ Financial Times Europe’s ‘1,000 Fastest-Growing Companies’ Report recognising 1,000 companies in Europe that have achieved the highest percentage growth in revenues between 2012 and 2015.

The ranking in both reports highlights the company’s growth in the local and global security market. Paxton also celebrated ranking 49th in the 2018 Sunday Times ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’, the annual survey run by the ‘Best Companies’ organisation. In the survey, 96% of employees said they believe they can make a valuable contribution to the success of the company.

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Investment in training and education

Founded back in 1985, Paxton now employs over 300 people and operates mainly from its head office in Brighton, East Sussex, with several international sales offices. All products are manufactured locally at the Paxton factory in Eastbourne and exported to over 60 countries worldwide.

Paxton invests significantly in the training and education of its customers and is proud to offer free training to all installers globally to ensure its products are sold and installed with confidence. So far, 5,692 installers have been trained globally this year. Products are adapted to cater for the regional differences called for in the global market and have Paxton’s ethos of simplicity designed-in to ensure they’re easy to install, use and maintain. All purchases are backed by the company’s localised industry-leading technical support, a five-year guarantee and hassle-free returns policy.

Commenting on the news, Adam Stroud (Paxton’s CEO), told Risk Xtra: “We’re thrilled to once again be part of this prestigious list. It’s another milestone on our journey to become world-class in all that we do. Paxton aspires to provide innovative products, industry-leading customer support and high-quality and efficient manufacturing along with being one of the country’s best companies to work for. We’re taking full advantage of the opportunities provided by new technology to fulfil customer‘s requirements for secure, convenient and energy efficient buildings.”

Favourable business environment

Jyrki Katainen, the European Commission’s vice-president for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness, added: “Thanks to dynamic and innovative, high-growth SMEs, employment has reached new record levels with almost 240 million people in work. We need to continue on that path and create a favourable business environment enabling cutting-edge innovators and solid manufacturing SMEs to grow and reach their full potential. Stock exchanges, such as the London Stock Exchange Group, are an essential part of the Capital Markets Union, helping those with ideas to meet their financers.”

Nikhil Rathi, CEO of the London Stock Exchange plc, observed: “The economic potential of Europe’s fastest-growing companies is clear in ‘1,000 Companies to Inspire Europe’. The report shows that high-growth SMEs are the innovators, job creators and drivers of economic growth. They have the potential to transform the European economy and give the next generation of young people the future they deserve. It’s vital that we give these companies, and companies like them, access to suitable growth finance. The London Stock Exchange Group is committed to supporting the job creators of tomorrow, increasing their access to long-term patient capital to fund their continued success.”

Being included in the London Stock Exchange report also marks one year since the Paxton Technology Centre opened. The 29,000 square foot building houses Paxton’s R&D operation along with an installer training suite.

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Zaun hosts ‘Made in Britain’ event to promote value of British manufacturing

A 1,000-strong manufacturers’ organisation that actively promotes the value of British manufacturing as a genuine differentiator visited Wolverhampton last week for its first Sales and Marketing Workshop of the new Autumn season.

Pioneering steel fencing systems manufacturer Zaun hosted and presented at the ‘Made in Britain’ Workshop on Wednesday 19 September with a keen focus on marketing, sales, exports and PR. Delegates heard about digital marketing for manufacturers and received a marketing ‘Masterclass’ from Young’s Seafood’s marketing team. They also learned from Zaun about the company’s sales, marketing and export journey and enjoyed a tour around Zaun’s factory.

The ‘Made in Britain’ initiative highlights the community spirit of the British manufacturing industry. Four events in the Spring brought together members to share stories, ideas and advice. Previous events have been hosted by pioneering recycler Axion in Manchester, iconic British car maker Vauxhall, Knowsley cable manufacturer Tratos and global coffee machine manufacturer Fracino in Birmingham.

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John Pearce: CEO of ‘Made in Britain’

‘Made in Britain’ CEO John Pearce observed: “All the greatest British manufacturers have a story to tell, and the Workshops offer them a chance to sell those stories to each other.  British SME manufacturers need each other more than ever to increase the strength of the British-made supply chain. Typically, at each Workshop two or three new trading relationships are born. We’re all united in the use of the official collective mark to point to the quality, innovation and excellence of British manufacturing.”

Zaun’s marketing manager Steve Roberts responded: “As a company, we’re very proactive at trading on our ‘Britishness’ throughout our business. We’ve seen major success through this route, especially so in the Middle East and following on from our bespoke project work for the London 2012 Olympic Games.”

After the Zaun event, the final two ‘Made in Britain’ Workshops of the year will be at ethical luxury brand The Soap Co in London on 10 October followed by the ESSE foundry in Barnoldswick, Lancashire on 14 November.

‘Made in Britain’ events are for members across all of its 50 product sectors.

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Spiceworks survey shows one-in-four organisations “not confident” over security of cloud-stored data

Spiceworks has published the results of a new survey examining the adoption and perceptions of cloud storage and file sharing services in businesses across Europe and North America. The results show that Microsoft OneDrive is the most commonly used service, followed by Google Drive and Dropbox (among others). The findings indicate that, although the adoption of cloud storage services has grown rapidly, a quarter of business technology buyers are still concerned about hosting company data in the cloud and are therefore prioritising security when evaluating solution providers.

According to a similar Spiceworks report issued back in March 2016, 53% of organisations were using cloud storage and file sharing services. Among those organisations, 33% were using Dropbox, 31% were using Microsoft OneDrive and 27% were using Google Drive. However, the 2016 report revealed that OneDrive had the highest planned adoption rates.

Today, 80% of organisations are using cloud storage services, while an additional 16% plan to deploy a solution within the next two years. Currently, 51% of organisations are using Microsoft OneDrive, 34% are using Google Drive and 34% are using Dropbox. Additionally, 13% of businesses are currently using Apple iCloud, 6% are using Box, 6% are using Citrix ShareFile and 3% are using Amazon Drive.

When examining adoption rates by company size, the results show that OneDrive has the highest usage in enterprises – defined as businesses with more than 1,000 employees – with an adoption rate of 59%, compared to Google Drive at 29% and Dropbox at 25%.

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Although OneDrive also claims the top spot in SMEs, the gap in adoption rates among the top players is much smaller. For example, among mid-size businesses with 100 to 999 employees, 54% are using OneDrive, 35% are using Dropbox and 33% are using Google Drive. In small businesses with one to 99 employees, 47% are using OneDrive compared to 39% using Google Drive and 34% using Dropbox.

Security: the most important factor for service selection

Among business technology buyers involved in the purchase decisions for cloud storage services at their organisation, security was considered the most important factor when evaluating providers. In fact, 97% said that security is an important to extremely important factor followed by reliability (96%), cost (93%), ease of use (93%) and vendor reputation (89%). Conversely, technology buyers believe factors such as document collaboration (67%) and app/tool integrations (59%) still matter, but are less important.

When asked to select up to five attributes that they most associate with the top providers, 39% of business technology buyers primarily associate OneDrive with being secure, compared to Google Drive at 28% and Dropbox at 19%. Google Drive ranks the highest in terms of reliability and cost-effectiveness, while Dropbox ranks the highest when it comes to ease of use. Additionally, Microsoft OneDrive was recognised as a trusted vendor and for being integrated with existing apps/tools.

Security of data stored in the cloud

Despite the pervasiveness of cloud storage and file sharing services, some organisations are not confident in the security of their data stored within those services. In fact, 25%of technology buyers believe their data in the cloud is ‘not at all’ to ‘somewhat’ secure. This is perhaps because 16% of organisations have experienced one or more security incidents – such as unauthorised access, stolen credentials or data theft – via their cloud storage service in the last 12 months.

Therefore, organisations are taking extra steps to enhance their data security when using cloud storage and file sharing services. 57% of organisations only allow employees to use cloud storage providers approved by their IT Department, 55% enforce user access controls and 48% train employees on how to use cloud storage services properly.

However, other security measures are less common, such as enforcing multi-factor authentication when using these services (28%), putting a cloud storage/file-sharing security policy in place (28%) and encrypting data in transit (26%) and at rest (22%) via their cloud storage service.

“It’s evident organisations are putting more trust into cloud storage services, but some are still hesitant despite the recent growth in adoption,” explained Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks. “Although cloud storage services often include features that help in securing sensitive corporate information, there will always be risks involved when entrusting data to a third party.”

The Spiceworks survey was conducted in April and included the views of 544 respondents. Respondents are among the millions of business technology professionals in Spiceworks and represent a variety of company sizes, including SMEs and enterprises. Respondents come from a variety of industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, non-profits, education, Government and finance.

*For more information and a complete list of survey results visit https://community.spiceworks.com/blog/3058-cloud-storage-services-who-claims-the-top-spot-among-microsoft-google-dropbox

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Send For Help listed in London Stock Exchange Group’s ‘1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ report

Send For Help has been listed in the London Stock Exchange Group’s ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ report, which showcases the country’s most dynamic and inspiring businesses. Now in its fifth year, the report – which is supported by Prime Minister Theresa May – is a celebration of some of the fastest-growing SMEs in the UK.

The Epsom-based tech firm was selected after outperforming peers in its sector, demonstrating sustained revenue growth of 254% between 2013 and 2016, with its annual turnover reaching a hugely impressive figure of £8 million.

Founded in 2010 by brothers James and Will Murray, Send For Help is the world’s largest lone worker protection provider. Operating through its subsidiary brands Skyguard, Peoplesafe and Guardian24, Send For Help supplies key fob-sized GPS personal safety alarms and mobile phone apps offering 24/7 protection to over 150,000 lone workers and people deemed to be ‘at risk’.

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Its client roster spans both the public and private sectors, with over 160 NHS Trusts, major High Street retailers, City banks, estate agents, the police service and more than 150 local authorities all using the company’s services.

Outstanding 12 months

Inclusion in the report marks yet another incredible achievement for Send For Help in what has been an outstanding 12 months for the company, during which it has ranked in The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 for the second year running and recently featured in The Financial Times FT1,000 list as one of Europe’s fastest-growing businesses.

CEO James Murray commented: “We’re honoured to be recognised as one of the UK’s most inspirational companies and to feature alongside some of the UK’s brightest and best SMEs. The past year has been truly remarkable for Send For Help as the group goes from strength to strength and continues its rapid growth. It’s a fantastic time for the business, with a number of exciting developments to come as we look to build on our successes over the next 12 months.”

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Ransomware attacks cause one fifth of infected SMEs to cease business operations immediately

More than one third of businesses have experienced a ransomware attack in the last year, while over one-in-five (22%) of these impacted companies had to cease operations immediately. That’s according to a study conducted by Malwarebytes.

The Annual State of Ransomware Report finds that the impact of ransomware on SMEs can be devastating. For roughly one-in-six of impacted organisations, a ransomware infection caused 25 or more hours of downtime, with some companies reporting that it caused systems to be down for more than 100 hours.

Further, among SMEs that experienced a ransomware attack, one-in-five (22%) reported that they had to cease business operations immediately, while 15% lost revenue.

“Businesses of all sizes are increasingly at risk of ransomware attacks,” said Marcin Kleczynski, CEO at Malwarebytes. “However, the stakes of a single attack for a small business are far different than those for a large enterpriseThe findings demonstrate that some SMEs are suffering in the wake of attacks to the point where they must cease business operations. To make matters worse, most of them lack the confidence in their ability to stop an attack, despite significant investments in defensive technologies. To be effective, the security community must thoroughly understand the battles that these companies are facing such that we can better protect them.”

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Most organisations make addressing ransomware a high priority, but still lack confidence in their ability to deal with it. 75% of those organisations surveyed place a high or very high priority on addressing the ransomware problem. Despite these investments, nearly 50% of the companies questioned expressed little to only moderate confidence in their ability to stop a ransomware attack.

For many, the source of ransomware is unknown and infections spread quickly. For 27% of organisations that suffered a ransomware infection, decision-makers couldn’t identify how the endpoint(s) became infected. Further, more than one third of ransomware infections spread to other devices. For 2% of the organisations surveyed, the ransomware infection impacted every device on the network.

SMEs in the US are being hit harder by malicious e-mails containing ransomware than SMEs in Europe. The most common source of ransomware infections in US-based organisations is related to e-mail use. 37% of attacks on SMEs in the US were reported as coming from a malicious e-mail attachment and 27% from a malicious link in an e-mail. However, in Europe, only 22% of attacks were reported as originating from a malicious e-mail attachment. An equal number were reported as having emanated from a malicious link in an e-mail.

Most SMEs don’t believe in paying ransomware demands. 72% of respondents believe that ransomware demands should never be paid. Most of the remaining organisations believe that demands should only be paid if the encrypted data is of value to the organisation. Among organisations that chose not to pay cyber criminals’ ransom demands, about one third of them lost files as a result.

Current investments in technology might not be enough. Over a third of SMEs claim to have been running anti-ransomware technologies, while about one third of businesses surveyed still experienced a ransomware attack.

“It’s clear from these findings that there’s widespread awareness of the threat of ransomware among businesses, but many organisations are not yet confident in their ability to deal with it,” said Adam Kujawa, director of malware intelligence at Malwarebytes. “Companies of all sizes need to remain vigilant and continue to place a higher priority on protecting themselves against ransomware.”

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