Tag Archives: Technology

Ground Truth Intelligence promises “new model for investigations and due diligence”

Ground Truth Intelligence, a new global intelligence and investigations marketplace platform, has now been formally launched. With the business headquartered in London, the platform itself was born in response to market feedback, chiefly received from investigations and intelligence managers in corporations, banks, law firms and consultancies commenting on how investigations, due diligence and other corporate intelligence requirements have been serviced.

According to Ground Truth Intelligence, the prevailing industry business model has changed little in 50 years. The business duly offers an alternative to the old approach through its proprietary technology platform which provides access to “the best investigators and intelligence sources” across 200-plus jurisdictions and underpinned by 1,000-plus independent resources (ie ‘Network Partners’).

The Ground Truth Intelligence solution connects clients rapidly and directly to “the best-placed resources” for executing requirements involving anything from document retrieval through to sensitive Human Resources enquiries. The business also flows all information securely, with detailed finished reporting to specific raw information. Document retrieval/site visits are part of the overall mix.

This new, technology-enabled approach is said to afford clients “maximum control” over the “frequently opaque” process of information gathering and significantly reduces the delays, costs, risks and poor results that can often be associated with sourcing investigative support across multiple jurisdictions and requirements.

Ultimately, Ground Truth Intelligence’s end goal is to enable clients to access ethically sourced intelligence and investigative resources seamlessly in any relevant jurisdiction in the world.

GTI

Rapid change

As is the case with many sectors, rapid change is being experienced across the global intelligence and investigations market. For its part, Ground Truth Intelligence wants to position itself at the core of change in the industry as the latter moves from a high-cost and opaque model to a lean, transparent and technology-enabled outcome.

Stewart Kelly, founder and CEO of Ground Truth Intelligence, informed Security Matters: “The intelligence and investigations industry is a very late bloomer when it comes to technology adoption. We are the first marketplace platform for intelligence and investigations resources and offer a distinct alternative to the existing model for sourcing investigative support around the world.”

Kelly added: “We reduce cost by removing middlemen. We improve quality by dint of clear sourcing and direct engagement with the person doing the work. We also reduce risk as all necessary information is generated by vetted providers and passes through the platform, enabling maximum data security and compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation.”

*Further information can be found online at https://www.gtintel.io/

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Euralarm opens its doors to Associate Members

Prior to organising its Extraordinary General Assembly and following a decision taken by the membership, Euralarm is now opening its doors to Associate Members. Founded back in 1970, Euralarm represents over 5,000 companies within the fire safety and security industry. Collectively, these organisations are valued at 67 billion Euros.

At present, Europe finds itself in a time of change. New technologies, digitisation, new standards and regulations are pointing towards a new era, but life safety and security for European citizens whether at home, at work or travelling throughout Europe are going to remain key considerations.

The fire safety and security industry has a vitally important role to play in keeping Europe a safe place. In relation to this, the work of Euralarm is supported by a broad representation of stakeholders caring for a safe and secure society. That support ensures that Euralarm can contribute towards a safe and secure environment.

Euralarm provides leadership for the fire safety and security industry, offering their expertise to policy-makers and standardisation bodies alike. The organisation proactively supports a European Single Market strategy for the sector. As part of that strategy, and as the only Trade Association in the sector, Euralarm has a local team operational in Brussels.

Until now, the membership of Euralarm was open to national associations and companies who want to tap into the political expertise of the organisation and understand how European Union and local policy is impacting the fire safety and security industry and its markets.

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Seeking new members

Euralarm is now calling upon stakeholders who want to contribute to the move to the next era to join the organisation. Those stakeholders include research organisations, certification bodies, associations, insurance companies and consumer organisations.

Associate membership allows companies to make personal connections with technical and political experts, share expertise on standardisation and be heard and influence standardisation and legislative processes. Stakeholders who become associate members will be kept in touch with the latest trends in regulation and technology and benefit from direct access to a repository of Euralarm documentation produced by members and the professional team resident at the Trade Association.

Associate members are also welcome to network with industry experts during the annual Euralarm Symposium in addition to other focused events.

Associate membership brings with it observer status. There are no voting rights attached or rights to chair a Euralarm Section or Euralarm Committee. Associate members have the right to participate in the activities of the Trade Association and its sections and have access to relevant section and cross-sectional information.

*Organisations interested in joining Euralarm as associate members can send their application in writing to the General Management or visit the Euralarm website at www.euralarm.org for more information

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GCHQ accelerator launches with The Landing to support start-ups in improving digital safety

In partnership with GCHQ, The Landing and global tech accelerator UP Ventures have been selected to deliver a ground-breaking accelerator: the Safe Citizen Digital Innovation Lab. Applications to join this GCHQ accelerator, which will start in early 2020, are being sought from companies who have customer-facing technology solutions aimed at improving citizen digital safety across the North West. 

This follows on from the GM Future of Health Challenge accelerator which received unprecedented application numbers and is now underway with a cohort of 15 companies, led by UP Ventures at The Landing, in the heart of Salford’s MediaCityUK.

GCHQ is a world-leading intelligence, cyber and security agency with a mission to keep the UK safe. In parallel with celebrating its centenary year, GCHQ is opening a new strategic hub in the heart of Manchester.

GCHQ is excited to engage with the thriving tech ecosystem in Greater Manchester and the North West and will be imparting exclusive tailored technical expertise into the programme. The GCHQ accelerator seeks start-ups that have harnessed cutting-edge technology in a creative way to make a difference to day-to-day life. This could be anything from informing and, in turn, empowering citizens by providing new insights from connected devices and services through to the creative use of data to deliver social impact in the region.

GCHQ’s deputy director for Manchester stated: “The Greater Manchester community has been fantastically welcoming to GCHQ and we’re just as pleased to be here. This accelerator programme is an early chance for us to begin working with the buzzing tech community in the North West. The ‘Safe Citizens’ theme for the accelerator combines our passion for exploring innovative cutting-edge technology with our desire to make a real contribution to the region. We look forward to building relationships with a diverse range of technologists, creatives and entrepreneurs.”

GCHQ at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Pioneering “a new kind of security”

In order to pioneer a new kind of security as it expands into Greater Manchester, GCHQ is seeking to engage with external partners in the region, sharing unique technical expertise and collaborating with a diverse range of entrepreneurs, industry and academia to make a difference in the community.

Danny Meaney, CEO of UP Ventures, commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity for emerging tech businesses to gain unique access to GCHQ’s world-class engineering and technology teams, as well as leading digital thinkers and our strong investor network.  We’re excited to help bring another initiative to the market that has the potential to make a meaningful impact on people’s lives through applied technology here in Greater Manchester and the North West. We’re also pleased to build on our long-standing and successful partnership with The Landing.”

The 16-week accelerator programme will leverage unique technical infrastructure and facilities, including the Vodafone 5G Innovation Lab which provides real world urban environments for demonstration of products and services of MediaCityUK. GCHQ is keen to contribute to the fabric of Greater Manchester. Therefore, the programme welcomes submissions that provide “life impact” solutions for vulnerable groups across the region, empowering and connecting citizens through the ingenious use of technology.

Dan Sodergren, head of business services at The Landing, observed: “Thanks to our unparalleled facilities and a commitment to innovation from all partners, this is a significant opportunity for companies to explore how a ‘Smart City’ can work for its customers. Using technology for good is something we’re incredibly passionate about and we’re excited to receive applications from those who can really make a positive difference to all of our lives in the 21st Century.”

*Apply to the Safe Citizen Innovation Lab 1: http://thegchqaccelerator.mystrikingly.com

**Deadline for entries is 8 November. Successful applicants will be announced by 13 December and the programme begins on 13 January 2020

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IDIS Europe’s partnership strategy pays off with reported 78% sales growth

IDIS Europe has reported record sales growth for 2018, with a 78% rise attributed to successful projects with long-term partners and continued investment in technology and support services.

Contributing to this success the company, which is Korea’s largest in-country video surveillance manufacturer, was the supplier for major contract wins in the retail, healthcare and education sectors.

Since opening its European headquarters in Brentford in 2013, IDIS has established a strong technical support team and wide sales networks and the company has worked hard to develop profitable partnerships with security installers, system integrators and distributors.

“Our core strategy as a company is to pursue sustainable growth alongside our partners as a one-stop supplier for video solutions,” urged James Min, managing director of IDIS Europe. “This means working together to ensure customer satisfaction, delivering better value and better technology.”

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James Min

For security installers and system integrators, IDIS is now focusing on reducing Total Cost to Serve, giving them complete, easy-to-source video solutions that offer more profitable implementations and predictable revenue streams. Going forward this is a priority,  stated Min, and it will be achieved by continuing to invest in video technology that eliminates complexity and earns the loyalty of end users.

“The most encouraging thing is that, whenever customers switch to IDIS technology, they find that it gives them higher performance and a lower total cost of ownership. They also know that we’re working on new forward and backwards compatible technology to meet their future requirements.”

Once on board, customers tend to upgrade, but not switch away from IDIS, which is good news for installers. “We saw that with our new 12 MP Super Fisheye camera, launched last year as a step up from of our original 5 MP model. This has proven attractive for lots of our established customers as well as new users. It’s already our best-selling unit.”

IDIS_Total_Solution

For the integrator, IDIS’ model of simple-to-install technology from a ‘one solution, one company’ supplier means more realistic and attractive maintenance and service agreements. True plug-and-play performance was developed to reduce complexity for engineers installing and maintaining systems and, in turn, reduce cost and disruption for end users. The IDIS Ultimate Warranty also offers greater long-term protection for both parties.

“Anything that helps us to earn customer loyalty results in more sustainable long-term business,” added Min. “We also recognise that our installation partners make a commitment to IDIS when they invest their time on engineer training and product knowledge, so it’s important that we repay that commitment by supporting them to open up new opportunities.”

Looking ahead, IDIS predicts that strong sales performance will continue in 2019, with more major projects in the pipeline and new technology launches making it an attractive proposition to expand existing systems as well as install new ones.

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“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.”

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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.

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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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