Tag Archives: Technology

“Lack of strategic focus on technology at Board level” finds ICSA poll

A poll conducted by ICSA: The Governance Institute and recruitment specialist The Core Partnership reveals that just 51% of Boards of Directors understand the challenges and opportunities that data and technology present to their organisations. Some 29% of the company secretaries who took part in the survey think that their Boards do not fully understand and a further 20% could only attest to ‘maybe’.

A lack of knowledge is viewed as the main barrier that prevents Boards from engaging properly with technology at a strategic level. Some 58% of respondents consider this to be the main obstacle, with 22% alluding to another reason, 16% citing language as an impediment and 4% blaming the on-boarding process.

Some of the main issues raised are as follows:

*The speed at which technological advances move means key aspects of the technology journey may not be provided in a timely manner

*It’s hard to find time in busy agendas to focus on the technology aspects

*Most Boards are made up of people who are of a generation that do not really understand the possibilities and threats offered by technology

*There has been a focus on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and cyber security, but that focuses on risks rather than opportunities

*Challenges arising from data management are more readily understood (eg the impact of poor data quality), but the real opportunities available to organisations through the effective use of data are less well considered (and especially through the ‘lens’ of commercial strategy)

Peter Swabey

Peter Swabey

Artificial Intelligence and automation

When asked if there were particular areas in which Boards needed to improve their understanding, a quarter of respondents chose Artificial Intelligence and automation. Other areas highlighted for potential improvement were using data effectively, the GDPR, cyber security and IT governance. Some 23% of respondents stated the belief that their Boards need to hone up on all of the areas mentioned.

Peter Swabey, policy and research director at ICSA, said: “The pace of change is such that new technology is emerging quicker now than at any time previously. This can be challenging for all Boards, but particularly so for those predominantly made up of people who are not ‘digital natives’. On top of this, changes in corporate governance, data privacy requirements and regulation mean that it can be difficult for non-executive directors to maintain an adequate level of knowledge across all areas. While it’s incumbent upon directors to proactively seek to expand their knowledge, there are time limits on what’s achievable given the part-time nature of the role.”

Swabey added: “It might be suitable for some organisations to have an IT specialist sit on the Board, but this wouldn’t be appropriate for all. Moreover, having one director with responsibility for technology might allow others to obviate their responsibilities, which is clearly not an option. As one respondent quite rightly said: ‘Technology is both an opportunity and a threat – Boards need to understand how it impacts the business both operationally and strategically’. This is a responsibility that all directors must share.”

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KPMG’s David Ferbrache wins Personality of the Year category at 2018 Cyber Security Awards

David Ferbrache, chief technology officer in KPMG’s cyber security practice, has won the Personality of the Year accolade at the Cyber Security Awards 2018. The ceremony was held in central London on Thursday 21 June.

Commenting on his achievement, Ferbrache informed Risk Xtra: “This award is a testimony to all of the great people that I’ve worked with, and particularly those at KPMG. Cyber security has been my passion for over 30 years now, and I have thoroughly enjoyed making a difference along the way.”

DavidFerbracheKPMG

David Ferbrache of KPMG

Congratulating Ferbrache, Bernard Brown (vice-chair at KPMG UK) said: “This is a fantastic accolade for David as the competition was tough this year. He’s a hardworking individual who most definitely deserves the award. David has a great reputation in the industry, having worked in cyber security and technology risk for over 30 years. This award is a testament to the great service that David has given to the industry.”

The Cyber Security Awards were established in 2014 to reward the best individuals, teams and companies within the cyber security industry. Excellence and innovation are core themes running throughout all categories.

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STANLEY Security adopts digital asset mapping for improved service and maintenance

STANLEY Security has adopted an innovative asset mapping technology to provide customers with more efficient system maintenance and servicing than ever before.

‘Connected Assets’ is an advanced digital asset mapping technology that enables STANLEY Security to quickly and easily map out an entire security system and all of its individual elements. It allows for detailed additional information to be included, such as images of equipment in situ.

Using ‘Connected Assets’, a visiting STANLEY engineer can now familiarise themselves with a customer’s security system before attending site and, while there, can quickly locate where specific items are that require servicing.

For customers, ‘Connected Assets’ means that an engineer can be on and off site quicker than ever before, making for a more efficient service with minimal disruption.

STANLEY Security can now make more efficient use of its resources. For example, with a complex site, rather than wait for an engineer who’s familiar with that site and its system(s), any available engineer can now be sent fully-loaded with the information they need to conduct that service visit.

STANLEYSecurityConnectedAssets

For Stephen Hodgkinson-Soto, STANLEY Security’s service director, ‘Connected Assets’ marks a significant leap forward. “Most security companies use an asset register spreadsheet to detail an installed security system, but this is basic and limited in terms of what information you can include. In a digital world, this approach is out of date. Moving to ‘Connected Assets’ enables us to add considerably more valuable information and our field engineers are using it to good effect. It’s working well for our customers, both big and small.”

STANLEY Security’s maintenance and servicing options include service plans with differing levels of support to suit customers’ needs. The business boasts a network of expert technicians UK wide who can repair or maintain security equipment to ensure that it’s fully functional.

While STANLEY Security is currently using ‘Connected Assets’ to map static assets for its own service and maintenance contracts, Derek McLean (head of technology solutions at STANLEY Security) sees an even wider use for it.

“Using ‘Connected Assets’ for mapping customers’ security systems is the first step. We are looking at ways in which to further develop and use this innovative technology. For example, we’re already combining it with asset utilisation. Using technology such as Low Energy Bluetooth, GPS and RTLS location tracking, temperature monitoring and GSM we’re able to provide real-time information on assets, however large or small, both inside and outside a building.”

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Barry Dawson joins Wilson James to head up expanded Southern Region

Security solutions provider Wilson James has amalgamated its City of London and Southern business regions to create a £65 million operational ‘powerhouse’ spearheading a targeted expansion of its specialist security services.

The move signals the company’s increasing focus on offering clients a high level range of technology, cyber and intelligence-led security solutions to complement its industry-leading security guarding offer.

BarryDawsonVSGWeb

Barry Dawson

The new Southern Region will be led by Barry Dawson, who joins the business with 30 years’ experience in the security industry encompassing Board level roles at VSG and Advance Security. Dawson is joined by risk management expert Gavin Wilson, tech expert Don McCann and Marc Bannister, working with Crawford Boyce to create and deliver ‘strategic journeys’ for each client in the region.

“The strategic journey is a tailored approach that allows us to offer clients a range of services including not just excellent security guarding, but also Front of House, counter-terrorism, intelligence reporting, global travel risk and social media monitoring,” commented Dawson.

Reporting directly to Dawson are Allison Fraser, Mark Jones and Shai Zach who become strategic account directors, all of them pivotal within the region to ensure Wilson James continues to lead the security sector and deliver service excellence.

Managing director Gemma Quirke observed: “This hugely experienced team means we can offer even better bespoke services to all our clients in this region. It’s an approach that will power the expansion of our security services across all of our operations.”

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Evidence Talks moves to new headquarters in Buckinghamshire

Evidence Talks, the digital forensic specialist business which now provides its services to law enforcement, Government, security operations and corporates all over the world, has moved across Milton Keynes to new premises overlooking Willen Lake.

Recently, the company’s CEO Elizabeth Sheldon and CTO Andrew Sheldon hosted an official opening where a mix of clients, suppliers and staff enjoyed a highly successful networking event.

In a warmly-received welcoming address, Elizabeth Sheldon briefly reviewed the company’s 14-year history, with a record sales year in 2016 the undoubted highlight. Sheldon also commented on the substantial Government contracts won by Evidence Talks in both the UK and the US, with the consequent expansion of the business including five new members of staff and the move to the new headquarters.

evidencetalksnewhq

Paying tribute to all the business communities represented at the gathering, Sheldon said: “I would like to thank our customers and suppliers for their support and our members of staff for their professionalism and enthusiasm. We have some of the best digital forensic technology in the world at the moment, and it seems that both the UK and the US Governments agree that we have the ideas, innovation and ability to create the forensic technologies of the future.”

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Mitie retains integrated facilities management contract with RWE npower

Mitie, the FTSE 250-listed facilities management company, has extended its relationship with leading energy concern RWE npower.

The renewed multi-million pound contract – which has been signed for a three-year term with a further potential two-year extension period – will see Mitie continue to provide integrated facilities management (FM) services across RWE npower’s UK estate comprising office buildings and power stations.

Mitie provides a number of services for RWE npower including security, cleaning, waste management, reprographics, space planning, mechanical and electrical maintenance, pest control, Post Room management and drink and snack vending.

The FM provider has been working with RWE npower since 1998 and currently employs 300 people on the contract.

Phil Holland, managing director of Mitie’s Integrated FM business, commented: “We’re delighted to be extending our relationship with RWE npower and are passionate about delivering a first-class FM service for the client. Our role is to be RWE npower’s long-term strategic workplace partner, adding value beyond day-to-day operations and introducing technology that makes our service more efficient and effective.”

Julian Pugh, head of real estate and workplace at RWE npower, added: “We’re excited about the continued partnership with Mitie. The new agreement offers us a number of innovative tools to help manage the contract and, importantly, identifies many new opportunities allowing us to deliver a more effective and efficient FM service for our business across what is a complex estate.”

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TDSi reports 25% increase in export market visitors to its stand at IFSEC International 2015

Reporting a 25% increase in export market visitors to its stand at IFSEC International 2015, integrated security solutions developer TDSi believes this reflects the continued and rapid expansion of the global security market. Interest at the show also indicated a continued customer demand for fully-integrated solutions rather than just security components.

Post-event, TDSi’s managing director John Davies told Risk: “IFSEC International is a great barometer of the state of the security sector. It was obvious from this year’s event that the market has become truly globalised, with a sizeable increase in visitors travelling from other regions to see the latest and best solutions that the security sector has to offer.”

Davies continued: “I’m also pleased to say that the feedback we had from visitors is that our own approach to fully-integrated security systems is essential in the post-recession market. Rather than just purchasing security products, the evolving security consumer wants intelligent, flexible and comprehensively integrated systems. These are exactly what TDSi offers and continues to research and develop.”

The international nature of the event also confirmed assumptions on the geographical markets’ strengths and weaknesses. “In comparison to China, South East Asia and the Middle East,” urged Davies, “the European market has somewhat plateaued, partially due to a degree of uncertainty still looming over the Euro Zone. In the UK, TDSi is benefiting from a healthy upturn in the market and we anticipate a very healthy growth figure of 10+% this year. This may be partially due to having a new majority UK Government and thus a stable business environment for the next five years, in contrast to the situation that’s pertaining in Europe.”

TDSi's stand at IFSEC International 2015

TDSi’s stand at IFSEC International 2015

Security, IT and building control systems

Davies also explained to Risk UK that the demand for security systems designed to work with IT and buildings control systems is rapidly becoming truly global in nature.

“Security operators and consumers have become very well versed in what’s possible,” he said, “largely because of the rise in trends such as the Internet of Things. They now demand this flexibility from all of their technology purchases. These are exciting times with real optimism and increased funding. For their part, providers need to stay on top of demand and offer the very best solutions in what continues to be a highly competitive and ‘savvy’ buyers market.”

There was also a noticeable increase in the volume of new visitors at IFSEC International, as TDSi’s product and marketing manager Sarah Phillips observed during the show (which ran from 16-18 June at London’s ExCeL).

“IFSEC International has always been an excellent opportunity for security solutions providers, installers, integrators, consultants and end users to make contact,” stated Phillips. “That was very apparent this year. IFSEC remains an ideal platform to reacquaint with both existing partners and customers.”

Phillips added: “Many end users approached our team for advice. Naturally, we’re very keen to preserve the channel structure of our business so we do actively refer customers to our partners, but equally this gives us a greater insight into the needs of security operators. This kind of detail is invaluable for our business and product development streams.”

One of the main themes on TDSi’s stand at IFSEC International 2015 was a demonstration of the considerable benefits of using the company’s solutions in conjunction with those produced by other specialist manufacturers, among them Texecom, Milestone Systems, ASSA Abloy and SimonsVoss.

Sarah Phillips (centre) with Team TDSi at London's ExCeL

Sarah Phillips (centre) with Team TDSi at London’s ExCeL

This year, visitors took particular interest in TDSi’s new range of readers (including MIFARE Plus, DESFire and NFC technologies for added security and flexibility) as well as the enhanced web access portal for EXgarde.

In conclusion, Phillips explained: “Visitors are always excited to see brand new products and the readers are one of the staple lines in our product portfolio. IFSEC International is one of the highlights of our year and, with our continued success at the show, that situation will remain so for many years to come.”

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