Tag Archives: SMEs

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.


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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Tyco Security Products answers small business surveillance needs with affordable IP video solutions

Tyco Security Products has unveiled a new range of IP cameras and NVRs that meets the budget of SMEs while at the same time satisfying their need for high quality video surveillance.

lllustra Essentials – which which features 1 and 2 Megapixel resolution variants (including bullet cameras and mini-domes with IR LEDs and an indoor mini-dome option) – is the latest addition to Tyco’s extensive Illustra camera portfolio.

All Essentials versions offer H.264 and MJPEG dual-stream, a 3.6 mm fixed lens, 30 images per second at 1080p or 720p for crisp, clear images and IR illumination up to 20 metres.

The Essentials outdoor mini-dome and bullet cameras are equipped with IR illuminators, true day/night filter and Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) to capture quality video in a variety of indoor and outdoor settings. The WDR capabilities of the Essentials indoor mini-dome also assist in capturing video in challenging lighting conditions, rendering the domes ideal for a range of indoor applications.

The Essentials IR Mini-Dome

The Essentials IR Mini-Dome

The second part of the low-cost IP surveillance equation is Tyco Security Products’ new Holis range of four and eight-channel NVRs featuring 1080p resolution, video search and export functions.

With PoE support on all ports, a start-up wizard that includes automatic camera discovery and simple installation, Holis NVRs greatly reduce the total cost of ownership and minimise labour costs/time on site.

Models in the Holis range have been specifically designed to support small camera count installations in an economical and efficient manner for independent retailers, small offices and restaurants, subsequently providing the dependable recording solution upon which such end users rely.

“There’s a growing segment within the commercial community, ranging from corner shops to doctors’ surgeries, that want to embrace security for their premises, but they need products that are inherently trustworthy, easy to operate and budget friendly,” said Julian Inman, product marketing manager for video across the EMEA region at Tyco Security Products.

“With the affordable addition to the Illustra IP camera portfolio and the new Holis NVRs, we’ve struck the right balance between high quality features and a truly affordable price point.”

*For more information visit: www.illustracameras.com

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“Businesses facing high costs of supply chain disruption” states BCI’s research

Business Continuity Institute (BCI) research has exposed the high costs that businesses are facing as a result of supply chain disruptions in this increasingly interconnected world. Nearly a quarter of businesses surveyed have suffered from disruptions within the past year that cost in excess of €1 million, with 40% of them not having sufficient insurance to cover those losses. 20% were only insured against half of these losses.

Organisations simply cannot bury their heads in the sand and pretend an incident will never happen to them. The BCI survey shows that 76% of respondents had experienced at least one supply chain disruption during the previous twelve months, yet a quarter of respondents (28%) still had no business continuity arrangements in place to deal with such an event.

Supported by global insurer Zurich Insurance Group, the BCI report concludes that supply chain disruptions are costly and may cause significant damage to an organisation’s reputation.

While the survey results indicate a growing awareness of business continuity and its role in ensuring supply chain resilience, many organisations have yet to improve on their reporting and business continuity arrangements. Budgets for business continuity and ensuring supply chain resilience are often slashed in favour of other priorities, but this latest study demonstrates why such a move is often found to be an unwise course of action.

With the growing cost of disruption worldwide and the potential reputational damage caused as a result of failing to have appropriate transparency in the supply chain, investments in this area are essential and can make the difference when disaster strikes.

Business Continuity Institute research has exposed the high costs that businesses are facing as a result of supply chain disruptions in this increasingly interconnected world

Business Continuity Institute research has exposed the high costs that businesses are facing as a result of supply chain disruptions in this increasingly interconnected world

Further findings from the research are as follows:
• 78.6% of respondents don’t have full visibility of their supply chains
• Only 26.5% of organisations co-ordinate and report supply chain disruption on an enterprise-wide basis
• 44.4% of disruptions originate below the Tier 1 supplier
• 13% of organisations don’t analyse their supply chains to identify the source of the disruption
• The primary sources of disruption to supply chains in the last 12 months were unplanned IT and telecommunications outages (52.9%), adverse weather conditions (51.6%) and outsourced service failure (35.8%)
• Loss of productivity (58.5%) remains the top consequence of supply chain disruptions for the sixth year running
• Increased cost of working (47.5%) and loss of revenue (44.7%) are also more commonly reported this year and round out the Top Three
• Respondents reporting low top management commitment to this issue have risen from 21.1% to 28.6%. This is a worrying finding as low commitment is likely to coincide with limited investment in what is a key performance area
• The percentage of firms having business continuity arrangements in place against supply chain disruption has risen from 57.7% to 72.0%. However, segmenting the data reveals that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are less likely to have such arrangements in place than large businesses (with scores of 63.9% and 76.2% respectively)

Commitment to business continuity

Lyndon Bird FBCI, technical director at the BCI, commented: “Should we be alarmed by some of the figures revealed in this survey? Perhaps so. Should we be surprised by them? Probably not. As long as organisations are failing to put business continuity mechanisms in place, and as long as top management is failing to give this issue the level of commitment it requires, supply chain disruptions will continue to occur and they will continue to cost organisations dearly. In our globally connected world, these supply chains are becoming ever more complex and more action is needed to make sure that an incident in one organisation doesn’t become a crisis for another.”

Nick Wildgoose, global supply chain product leader at Zurich Insurance Group, commented: “Top level management support is fundamental to driving improvements in supply chain resilience. I’ve witnessed the significant disruption cost reductions can have in this area. This should be regarded as a business change programme in the context of driving value through supplier relationship management and becoming the customer of choice for your strategic suppliers to improve your business performance.”

Now in its sixth year, the BCI’s annual Supply Chain Resilience Survey has established itself as an important vehicle for highlighting and informing organisations of the importance of supply chain resilience and the key role it plays in achieving overall organisational resilience in today’s volatile global economic climate.

The outcomes of previous surveys have provided organisations with critical insights and valuable information to support the development of appropriate strategic responses and approaches to mitigate the impact and consequences of disruptions within their supply chains.

In terms of this year’s online survey, 525 respondents emanated from 71 countries working in 14 SIC industry sectors. The majority of respondents were from outside the UK.

A major survey from State of Flux – entitled: ‘2014 Global Supplier Relationship Management Research Report’ – was published on 6 November and reinforces the importance of this area as part of overall business performance.

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UK Government announces £4 million funding package to tackle cyber crime

New UK Government funding will help smaller businesses in the UK cyber sector to grow, collaborate and develop innovative solutions aimed at tackling today’s cyber threats.

Speaking at the first ever UK-US Global Cyber Security Innovation Summit in London, business secretary Vince Cable has unveiled details behind a £4 million competition for UK cyber businesses designed to help them develop ideas for tackling myriad cyber security threats.

The minister also announced the appointment of a cyber security ‘small business champion’ in addition to funding for specialist projects that will help drive growth and innovation in the sector. The competition will be run by the Technology Strategy Board (the Government’s innovation agency) in 2015 and subsequently award funding to those firms delivering the best ideas.

The Technology Strategy Board’s goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help construct the future economy.

Vince Cable: Secretary of State for Business

Vince Cable: Secretary of State for Business

“The growth of the cyber security sector in the UK is a great success story,” urged Cable. “Indeed, that sector is now worth over £6 billion and employs around 40,000 people. Building a strong and resilient cyber space for the UK is central to ensuring that our companies can make the most of online business opportunities while also avoiding potentially costly threats to the information they hold and the services they provide.”

Cable added: “Maintaining innovation and growth requires continued investment. Committing a further £4 million will help businesses of all sizes turn their ideas for countering cyber threats into reality. Partnering with industry experts will also increase the opportunities for the UK’s smaller cyber companies such that they might work together and grow their businesses.”

Mapping cyber security businesses

Andy Williams (an industry expert from techUK, the UK’s largest technology Trade Association) has been appointed cyber security small business champion. In this role, Williams will be responsible for mapping cyber security small businesses and establishing a UK-wide growth project designed to encourage them to work closer together.

Williams’ role will also involve working to showcase the capability of small and medium-sized cyber businesses at UK and international events, delivering business advice and establishing an online portal for sharing information about national initiatives with the cyber business community.

“Given the rapidly evolving global cyber threat landscape, the emergence of highly innovative and agile new companies with specialist cyber capabilities will be vital to ensuring the future safety and prosperity of the UK,” explained Williams. “The extra funding that BIS is providing to support cyber start-ups and small businesses will be absolutely key to ensuring the UK’s position as a global leader in cyber security.”

In parallel, Dr Emma Philpott (managing director of cyber and technology catalyst Key IQ) will lead a project to actively work with local volunteers on establishing regional clusters of small companies operational in the cyber security space. This network of clusters will link the small and medium-sized businesses to national opportunities and events while also affording them a collective voice.

Philpott brings considerable expertise to this role as the founder and manager of both the Malvern cyber security cluster and the UK Cyber Security Forum. The latter links cyber security-focused small and medium-sized enterprises across the UK.

“Smaller companies working in cyber security are active right across the UK,” stated Philpott. “The clusters we’re helping to establish will meet on a monthly basis, be free to join and afford their members an opportunity to network and partner with each other. There’s enormous enthusiasm for this move. Groups are already planned for five new regions.”

Both projects will be delivered through the Cyber Growth Partnership which is a forum of Government representatives, academia, cyber security companies and trade bodies working to boost the UK’s global market position in terms of cyber security products and services. techUK co-ordinates business and academic involvement in the Partnership while the high-level Board is co-chaired by Ed Vaizey (Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy) and Gavin Patterson, CEO of the BT Group.

New UK Government funding will help small businesses in the UK cyber sector to grow, collaborate and develop new solutions to tackle cyber threats

New UK Government funding will help small businesses in the UK cyber sector to grow, collaborate and develop new solutions to tackle cyber threats

The Cyber Growth Partnership’s excellent work has realised the development of a Cyber Security Suppliers’ Scheme. Businesses in the scheme can show that they supply cyber security products and services to the UK Government and use the Government logo in their marketing material.

The Security Information Network (SINET) Global Cyber Security Innovation Summit

The business secretary made these announcements in front of 250 senior members of Government and industry who attended the two-day Global Cyber Security Innovation Summit at the British Museum. The Summit was supported by the UK and US Governments and brought together representatives of both the British and American Governments as well as business leaders to encourage the creation of new partnerships and projects centred on tackling threats in cyber space.

In essence, the Security Information Network (SINET) Global Cyber Security Innovation Summit focuses on building international public-private partnerships that will improve the protection of the UK and America’s critical infrastructures, national security and economic interests.

The key objective is to orchestrate and maintain international communities of interest and trust that foster vital information sharing, broad awareness and application of the most innovative technologies of both nations to enable a safer and more secure homeland for the United States, the United Kingdom and their trusted allies.

The US Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate supports this event along with Her Majesty’s Government as the UK representative.

Representatives attending the 2014 Summit included Sir Iain Lobban (director of GCHQ), Douglas Maughan (Cyber Security Division director at the US Department of Homeland Security) and senior members of leading cyber companies from both the UK and the US.

Cyber security: key facts and figures for the UK

*One in six businesses are not confident they’ll have sufficient security skills to manage their risks in the next year
*81% of large organisations have suffered from an information security breach in the past year
*60% of small businesses experienced an information security breach in the last 12 months
*Anywhere from £600,000 to £1.15 million is the average cost to a large organisation of its worst security breach of the year (up from £450,000 to £850,000 a year ago)
*£65,000 to £115,000 is the average cost to a small business of its worst security breach of the year (up from £35,000 to £65,000 a year ago)

BBC News: Business secretary Vince Cable warns of cyber vulnerabilities for Britain’s essential services

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McAfee study highlights mobile threat for SMEs

New research conducted by McAfee has found that mobile malware tripled in scope last year, compromising 82% of Android apps.

McAfee has discovered that 82% of Android apps are compromised with increasingly malicious and invasive malware, in particular placing at risk those smaller businesses without a mobile device management strategy in place.

The study found a steep rise in malware downloaded through seemingly harmless apps, such as tools, to give cyber criminals remote control over devices or use exploits to get installed on vulnerable systems. It also revealed that over a third of apps (36%) know users’ account information, while more than a quarter (26%) read how individuals use the apps on their chosen device.

Mobile technology: crucial for SME business success

For small businesses this proliferation of threats comes at a critical time. According to an Oxford Economics study, mobile technology is crucial for SMEs to succeed in business. For most SMEs, mobile is instrumental for delivering customer service benefits and improving product development.

The steep rise in attacks against mobile devices not only puts small businesses at risk but also opens up access to the much larger organisations with which many SMEs do business. Protecting SMEs and securing the supply chain is incredibly important to ensure any potential data breaches are not exacerbated and cause widespread damage.

Tim Stone: SME director for the EMEA region at security specialist McAfee

Tim Stone: SME director for the EMEA region at security specialist McAfee

Information gathered through malware can give cyber criminals the exact geographic location of infected devices as well as the ability to contact the victim via SMS to launch attacks such as highly personalised phishing scams.

The vulnerabilities also allow hackers to find defences such as antivirus software and instruct malware to manoeuvre around or interfere with it.

Protecting against mobile malware

SME business leaders should take this proliferation of threats as a stark warning and ensure their business is protected against mobile malware by following the below advice:

(1) Educate employees
Mobile and remote users often struggle with technology and see security systems as an obstacle to productivity. They will click past a software update alert or defer a suggested scan in the interest of speed. Small business owners should educate remote employees and provide security tools that work well and as unobtrusively as possible to minimise any potential threats, user error or naivety.

(2) Inventory devices
SMEs should identify and secure all devices employees use, including USB sticks, smartphones, tablets and laptops. This will enable them to identify devices that shouldn’t be accessing the network.

(3) Protect the network
With employees logging on at various times and places, networks are under threat. Protect network access with virtual private networks (VPNs) and firewalls.

(4) Remove access to the network once employment is terminated
It may sound obvious, but it’s not always top of the list when an employee leaves. Blocking access immediately will prevent past employees from having access to valuable and confidential company data.

Tim Stone, SME director for the EMEA region at security specialist McAfee, urges small business owners to take action now.

“Small businesses have become a prime target for cyber criminals,” said Stone. “The research findings show that mobile malware is the weapon of choice. One incident is enough to potentially obliterate businesses and reverberate through the supply chain, causing further damage. It’s critical that SMEs do not gamble their reputation and their customers’ details and put into place basic steps that will deter attackers and boost defences.”

To find out more about the mobile threat download the McAfee Mobile Security report

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