Tag Archives: SMEs

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’.

SendForHelpGroupLogo

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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London Digital Security Centre and Oxford University pool resources to develop White Paper on Digital Security for SMEs

Oxford University, in association with the London Digital Security Centre (LDSC), will be looking at the challenges faced by SMEs and their importance to the economy as a supply chain link to larger companies and Government in order to produce an academic White Paper entitled ‘Developing Security Education and Awareness Programmes for SMEs’ for publication this coming November.

The White Paper will provide an overall review of the LDSC’s approach and effectiveness on security education for SMEs. This work will provide recommendations for assessing the effectiveness of such programmes in future and the LDSC’s specifically.

Providing education and training for this sector is crucial in order to ensure that cyber security capacity measures (such as ‘10 Steps to Cyber Security – Cyber Essentials’) are actually implemented. This White paper will explore current offerings on cyber security education and training for SMEs and identify the existing gaps.

DataBreach

Drafted by Dr Maria Bada and Dr Jason Nurse, the authors have already published similar work on the effectiveness of cyber security awareness raising. This new White Paper will build on previous knowledge and expertise using interviews and focus groups to collect information.

Dr Bada commented: “Our aim is to review the London Digital Security Centre’s approach to security education for SMEs and the motivation for this initiative. We will critically reflect on the effectiveness of the LDSC’s approach thus far. Our methodology is based on qualitative and quantitative data.”

The LDSC has already recognised the challenges that SMEs face when it comes to cyber security and is helping businesses to embrace digital innovations and operate in a secure online environment such that they protect themselves against cyber criminals.

John Unsworth, CEO at the LDSC, concluded: “Our role is to help improve the security posture of SMEs operating in London. It’s vital we understand their motivation and the issues they face to ensure the training and advice we give is implemented. This is particularly important given that over 1,000 SMEs in London report a digital crime to Action Fraud every month.”

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Companies showcased for London’s Cyber MarketPlace to innovate safely online

Academia, private industry and local business leaders joined forces on Thursday 1 June for the pre-launch presentation of the London Digital Security Centre’s MarketPlace at Mitre Passage in North Greenwich, followed by an ‘Evening with an Identity Thief’ with entertainer James Freedman.

Jointly hosted by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), the launch of the Cyber MarketPlace marks a key milestone in the Centre’s work to help small and medium-sized businesses in London operate in a secure digital environment.

The 19 companies chosen by the Centre for the launch of the MarketPlace at www.LondonDSC.co.uk are CensorNet, Clearswift, Cybereason, Cyber Rescue, IASME, ISMS.online, Newable, Panaseer, PAV, Rapid7, Securonix, Sims Recycling, Sophos, Symantec, Symphonic, Titania, TrapX Security, Yoti and ZoneFox.

LondonDigitalSecurityCentre

The MarketPlace presents solutions chosen by the Centre to help London’s businesses stay secure from digital crime. It provides SMEs with access to business resilience products and services supplied by private sector organisations who work in partnership with the Centre to enhance their ability to operate in a secure digital environment.

Matthew Jaffa, senior development manager for the FSB, stated: “What the London Digital Security Centre is offering to SMEs is totally unique. Its offering not only free membership, but a service backed by the Mayor of London, the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police Service. Finding the right solution to improve a business’ online security can be a challenging task. What the Centre has done is take the hard work away and made it easier for businesses to enhance their security.”

Jaffa added: “The MarketPlace is a very useful resource for SMEs. Business owners should visit the Centre’s website to identify and obtain market-leading services that will help them to stay secure as they grow online.”

The Centre’s ‘Evening With’, sponsored by one of the Centre’s MarketPlace partners (namely Yoti) is just one of the events aimed at members to inform and educate on the world of cyber crime and to help prevent future cyber attacks.

James Freedman is widely considered to be one of the world’s greatest pickpockets. An entertainer and an expert on the subject of stealth crime, Freedman’s the only person to have picked the pockets of the Mayor of London, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Governor of the Bank of England!

John Unsworth, CEO of the London Digital Security Centre, commented: “Given recent events, our work could not be more timely or necessary. We’re starting to make a real difference to the digital security of businesses and helping to demonstrate that not only is London open for digital enterprise, but also that London’s businesses are at the forefront of ensuring they’re operating securely in the digital age.”

Unsworth concluded: “With the support of our founders, the Mayor of London, the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police Service, we’ve identified digital security services that businesses need and put them together in one place.”

*For further information on the London Digital Security Centre visit www.londondsc.co.uk or contact John Unsworth via e-mail at: john.unsworth@londondsc.co.uk

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Axis Communications unveils Guard Suite for enhanced video surveillance efficiencies

Network surveillance specialist Axis Communications has developed Guard Suite, a series of robust video analytics applications that quickly turn the company’s network cameras into smart security systems, thereby allowing a more pro-active approach to video surveillance.

This particular solutions offering targets small and medium-sized installations with an easy-to-install and affordable system for efficient surveillance that’s well suited to commercial, industrial and public buildings and indoor areas.

Available for various monitoring requirements, the applications complement Axis’ range of network camera solutions and are easily integrated with Camera Station, the proven video management system (VMS) specifically optimised for Axis Communications’ network video products.

“With Guard Suite you can enhance the video surveillance capabilities of network cameras and turn them into even more powerful devices,” said Peter Friberg, ‎director of solutions management at Axis Communications. “Small and medium-sized businesses can benefit from efficient detection capabilities, resulting in fewer false alarms and missed incidents along with more effective investigative features. Guard Suite is an ideal, cost-efficient and reliable add-on that will enable our customers to ensure safer and better protected premises and assets.”

Axis Communications' Guard Suite in operation

Axis Communications’ Guard Suite in operation

Guard Suite offers a reliable solution for use in low-traffic areas such as after-hours monitoring of retail outlets and offices, parking zones and other unattended areas where reliable motion detection is needed.

In addition, other video motion detection features are available through Axis’ application development partners. These provide a broad range of video analytics that work with Axis’ network video products.

Guard Suite provides robust detection as video analysis is performed directly on the camera’s uncompressed video stream and supported by dedicated False Alarm Filtering technology for high reliability.

In total, Guard Suite offers three applications:

*Motion Guard: For general motion detection, typically on premises that are supposed to be empty after hours (eg parking areas and construction sites, etc)

*Fence Guard: For the protection of a fenced-off area by detecting attempts to climb or sabotage the fence

*Loitering Guard: For detecting suspicious behaviour in semi-public areas where loitering may pose a security issue

Guard Suite is designed to be installer-friendly. The applications are downloadable from the Axis Camera Application Platform gallery and easy to install and configure, with an intuitive user interface, contextual help and smart configuration options. A quick, five-step set-up wizard guides the installer through calibration, area, filters and custom profile settings (eg for night-time and windy days, etc)

*Further information and a demonstration video may be accessed at: http://www.axis.com/products/axis-guard-suite

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“Tightening of borders could destabilise European growth” warns finance specialist AES International

Tensions over the economic refugee crisis threaten a tightening of borders which could severely disrupt European trade.

Ashley Owen, head of investment strategies at AES International, said: “The tightening of border controls in parts of Eastern Europe as a consequence of the refugee crisis could be the start of a worrying trend which may damage European GDP.”

Owen continued: “The Schengen agreement allows free movement of people and goods through the majority of the European Union. Its economic impact is hard to accurately measure. However, it’s fair to assume that intercontinental trade is significantly boosted by the close country ties the agreement has enabled and that any threat to this arrangement would have consequences.”

The AES International professional went on to state: “The political friction could further threaten imports and exports between European countries and place trade ties under pressure. This would unduly hit SMEs which do business within Europe. All of this is very disappointing as the influx of such high numbers of people at working age should provide a real economic boost over the coming decades if the process is handled correctly.”

Founded in 2004, AES International is a financial services organisation serving the international, cross-border and multi-jurisdictional marketplace.

Headquartered in the UK, the organisation is regulated to provide advice in 36 countries across Europe and the Middle East and employs 150 financial professionals.

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Vanderbilt’s bright blue access control solution wins prestigious Benchmark Innovation Award

Security systems developer Vanderbilt is celebrating after its bright blue access control system was recognised at the Benchmark Innovation Awards 2015. The bright blue solution received this prestigious accolade for its ability to provide an innovative, flexible and highly effective solution for delivering enhanced protection, security and business benefits.

Hosted by Risk UK’s sister publication Benchmark – a leading UK monthly journal dedicated to driving technology advancements in the security sector – the Benchmark Innovation Awards 2015 were judged by the magazine’s in-house testing team alongside a number of industry experts.

Entries were assessed on their ability to solve problems faced when designing and implementing a security solution and boost operational efficiency. Due to the level of technology development across the industry, competition was fierce and only those solutions that could offer the highest levels of innovation were successful.

bright blue is a powerful, cost-effective and easy-to-use intelligent access control system which has been specifically designed for most SME applications. Perfect for a diverse range of vertical sectors, any computer running a standard Internet browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Apple Safari can be used to access, monitor and manage the system.

Vanderbilt's bright blue security solution has won a Benchmark Innovation Award

Vanderbilt’s bright blue security solution has won a Benchmark Innovation Award

In use, bright blue enables the management of up to 32 doors and 5,000 card holders without the need for a significant investment in special software. The controller is built on a Linux operating system, in turn ensuring that the system is stable and secure from external threats.

With “unrivalled” levels of user-friendliness, bright blue’s intuitive software means that no special training is required and the system can be up-and-running in a matter of minutes. It’s easy to add card holders, set up new doors and even assign personnel access to different doors based on their time schedules, security levels and job requirements.

Video may also be integrated and activated at every card swipe, allowing investigations to be performed with accuracy.

The system can be accessed at any time and anywhere and standardised reports generated. Back-up functionality ensures that data losses do not occur.

In the event of an emergency, an end user can initiate a full site lockdown via a credential or external push-button. bright blue also offers advanced features such as door monitoring and anti-passback. If an event does occur, an e-mail notification can be sent to an authorised user.

bright blue is already proving to be a popular solution within Vanderbilt’s portfolio. It has also been complemented by last year’s introduction of lite blue, an entry-level, 2-8 door access control system that uses the same Internet browser-based configuration as bright blue, offering SMEsa defined access control migration path.

“We’re delighted to have received this Benchmark Innovation Award and incredibly proud that our dedication to pushing the boundaries of technology has been recognised in this way,” commented Joe Grillo, managing director of Vanderbilt. “Since acquiring Security Products from Siemens in April this year, Vanderbilt has reinforced its position as a global leader in state-of-the-art security systems. We reinvest at least 10% of our annual revenue into new R&D programmes each year in order to further our growth and provide Best in Class solutions that offer tangible benefits to our customers and end users.”

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