Tag Archives: UKTI

BSIA places ‘UK Security Exporting’ at the forefront of its 2015 ‘Manifesto’

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) is pushing ahead with its promise to promote the exporting of UK private security sector solutions into the New Year. The Trade Association’s members provide over 70% of UK security products and services and adhere to strict quality standards.

British security is playing an increasingly important role on the world stage as the global market continues to create new opportunities for ‘Best of British’ products and services designed and developed by UK suppliers.

For many BSIA member companies, exporting was something of a lifeline during the recession as the process helped to keep businesses afloat. International markets such as the Middle East have thrived during the economic downturn, in turn enabling the Trade Association’s members to grow and prosper through the exporting of goods and services.

In a recent survey of the BSIA’s Export Council members, more than 80% of respondents agreed that exporting became more important to their businesses during the recession. Indeed, many reported an increase in overseas business between 2012 and 2013.

The BSIA’s Export Council serves as a forum for developing business relationships between companies in the UK’s security industry and overseas buyers. It also acts as an invaluable port of call for overseas-based contacts interested in developing a working relationship with a UK company (or companies) either as a partner, customer or distributor. Exporting remains pivotal for UK security companies and the BSIA’s networking initiatives and events continue to establish and reinforce such links.

British security is playing an increasingly important role on the world stage as the global market continues to create new opportunities for ‘Best of British’ products and services from UK suppliers

British security is playing an increasingly important role on the world stage as the global market continues to create new opportunities for ‘Best of British’ products and services from UK suppliers

Government pledge on UK security exports

According to UKTI’s security export strategy, the worth of the global security market is forecast to reach £571 billion in 2016 through a projected growth of 9%. The Government has pledged to double overall UK exports to £1 trillion by 2020 which can only help push projected growth in the global security marketplace past that 9% target. This positive outlook is reinforced by the experiences of BSIA members who export, with more than 90% expecting their overseas business to increase during 2014-2015.

UKTI figures also estimate that UK security exporters now enjoy a 4.2% share of the global market for security products and services, a share which is also forecast to increase in line with projected growth for the global security market.

The Middle East boasts a fast-growing economy and a strong reputation for procuring British goods and services, thus giving BSIA members a head start when it comes to exporting. BSIA Export Council chairman Ian Moore stated: “Over the last few years, the Middle East has probably been the most attractive overseas security market for UK providers. It’s a natural target area for quality British companies.”

Emphasising the value of the Middle East to the Trade Association’s members, BSIA CEO James Kelly will soon be meeting with the First Secretary of the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in London to discuss how those members can make the most of this emerging market while also promoting the BSIA at a higher level within the UAE.

James Kelly: CEO at the BSIA

James Kelly: CEO at the BSIA

“I look forward to meeting with the First Secretary to promote bilateral trade between BSIA members in the UK and businesses, customers and distributors in the UAE,” explained Kelly. “The Middle East is continuing to grow as a leading export market for our members, and it’s important that fact is recognised at the appropriate levels of Government, both here at home and abroad.”

For those members of the BSIA who are new to exporting, or for whom the process isn’t yet a major part of their business, the BSIA assists with TAP (Trade Show Access Programme) funding. Such funding provides grants for eligible businesses to attend overseas trade shows. Although not a huge amount of money, this financing helps members gain crucial market knowledge, build experience of trade shows and glean invaluable advice and support from trade experts. Two thirds of BSIA members who exhibited abroad in 2013 took advantage of TAP funding.

It was recently discovered that UKTI’s ‘Passport to Export’ service has suffered from a reduction in funding. The BSIA is pressing the case with key Parliamentarians to ensure that TAP funding continues for SMEs as so many of the BSIA’s members have derived direct benefits from this.

Importance of TAP funding

At a recent meeting with Karen Bradley MP (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office with responsibility for security exports), James Kelly pressed the importance of TAP funding for BSIA members and, indeed, the wider UK economy.

“This Government has committed itself to doubling UK exports to £1 trillion by 2020 and has stated that exporting is a way out of these austere times,” asserted Kelly. “It goes completely against the Government’s strategy to be cutting this funding at such a crucial time for our businesses. We will continue to push this message to all levels of Government.”

According to UKTI’s security export strategy, the global security market is forecast to rise to £571 billion in 2016 through projected growth of 9%

According to UKTI’s security export strategy, the global security market is forecast to rise to £571 billion in 2016 through projected growth of 9%

Tobias Ellwood MP (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with ministerial responsibility for the Middle East) recently represented the UK at the 12th Annual UK-UAE Task Force. First established back in July 2010 following Prime Minister David Cameron visiting the UAE and meeting with Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nayhan (the UAE’s Foreign Minister), the Task Force aims to further strengthen ties between the two countries. As such, the BSIA is looking to meet with Ellwood at the MP’s earliest convenience to discuss the value of the Middle East to the UK private security industry.

At the recent Task Force meeting, Ellwood stated: “The UK and the UAE enjoy a close partnership based on deep historical links and shared interests. I’m pleased that we are able to agree to strengthen our partnerships across the sphere of investment.”

*For more information on the BSIA’s Export Council visit: http://www.bsia.co.uk/export-council/about-bsia-export-council

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

Consec 2014 highlights overriding need for true analysis of business risks

Held on Thursday 2 October, Consec 2014 – the Association of Security Consultants’ Annual Conference – ran under the banner ‘Securing Business, Protecting the Future’ and highlighted the overriding need for a true analysis of risks and necessary solutions rather than business professionals relying on simplistic reports and common assumptions. There was also consideration around developing effective strategies for tackling today’s myriad cyber threats and the importance of being able to rely on quality products and services in the ongoing fight against criminality.

Over 150 delegates representing security suppliers and end user organisations attended the event, which was held at the London Heathrow Marriott Hotel. It was the Association of Security Consultants’ (ASC) 20th Annual Conference and Exhibition, with the conference proceedings expertly chaired by Security Industry Authority chairman Elizabeth France CBE.

In his opening keynote address, Professor Michael Clarke (director general at the Royal United Services Institute) outlined key factors influencing current global threats. These include demographic trends, climatic events resulting in population movement, regional tensions, the growth of virtual communications, a significant level of financial assets being out of reach of state jurisdiction, economic hardship and resulting migration and the takeover of liberal revolution by fundamentalist elements.

Consec 2014 was attended by over 150 delegates representing security solutions suppliers and end user organisations

Consec 2014 was attended by over 150 delegates representing security solutions suppliers and end user organisations

Paul Easter – managing director at Harquebus and 2014 Imbert Prize winner – sought to dispel some common misconceptions around terrorist capabilities. Easter stressed that these capabilities are typically conventional from a technology point of view, and that terrorists have generally not succeeded in using the Internet as a cyber weapon while they also remain a long way off from being able to pose a nuclear threat.

According to Easter, terrorists’ abilities to use more advanced methods of attack are dependent on state assistance. This is very often non-existent or otherwise limited.

Tackling the cyber threat

Sue Seaby – director at SAS Security Risk Service – explained why tackling the cyber threat should be an exercise carried out as part of an integrated plan for dealing with all threats and involve each risk discipline rather than cyber being treated as something special.

Seaby added that Boards of Directors need to be educated against being swayed on risk policy dependent on media coverage at any given time, and feels there should be greater recognition of the scale of the insider threat to information security. Apparently, 80%-85% of all data breaches are committed by members of staff, either inadvertently or deliberately.

Both Seaby and Jane Attwood (representing the John Taylor International Partnership) focused on the importance of organisations ensuring that their suppliers – as well as their employees – follow appropriate procedures specifically designed to minimise risk.

Sue Seaby of SAS Security Risk Service speaking at Consec 2014

Sue Seaby of SAS Security Risk Service speaking at Consec 2014

Attwood, who is also a member of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Defence and Security Committee, outlined the findings of recent LCCI research on cyber security. 54% of London businesses have been the victim of cyber crime in the last 12 months. The main barriers to improved protection are the perceived high cost (the response received from 34% of those questioned as part of the research) and a lack of threat awareness (30%).

LCCI recommendations include making it simpler for businesses to know where to go for advice and the availability of the Innovation Voucher for cyber security on a continuous basis to help SMEs bring in outside expertise.

UK Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research

Dr Tristram Riley-Smith – external champion to the UK Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research at Cambridge University – explained that, despite a perception that information security is all about technology, probably the most important element in cyber research focuses on human behaviour. A high proportion of risks may be minimised if Best Practice techniques are followed.

The UK Partnership is a national research programme aimed at improving our understanding of current and future security challenges. To date, over 1,200 projects have been energised.

Dr Riley-Smith’s prime mission is “to see value extracted from the university world and delivered to the people who can do something with it”. He cited a number of examples, including making the link between ‘lucky imaging’ techniques from astronomy and improving the resolution quality of surveillance systems installed for operational crime prevention and detection.

It’s estimated that the global security market will rise in value from £410 billion in 2012 to £571 billion by 2016. Dr Riley-Smith said that the goal was for the UK’s share of security exports to rise from 4% to 8% by 2020.

Dr Tristram Riley-Smith spoke about the UK Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research

Dr Tristram Riley-Smith spoke about the UK Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research

Following this theme, Stephen Phipson CBE – director of security industry engagement with Her Majesty’s Government – then outlined his own work designed to support various activities across Government. Led by the UKTI and heavily promoting security exports, this work has already built on the UK’s delivery of a safe and secure London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Phipson’s key role involves co-ordinating the interaction between Government and the UK’s security sector and, during his presentation, he duly stressed the importance of being able to rely on high standards from the organisations the Government’s export initiatives are designed to support.

Chartered Security Professional certification scheme

Di Thomas, membership engagement manager at The Security Institute, continued the theme of standards with her summary of the Chartered Security Professional certification scheme.

The 75th practitioner to gain the prestigious status of Chartered Security Professional is Bob Martin, an ASC Board member. Bob’s achievement was marked with an official certificate presentation ceremony at Consec 2014.

Summing up the day, Allan Hildage – the ASC’s chairman – said: “This year’s Consec proved to be yet another informative and worthwhile conference where our delegates were fortunate to hear some outstanding presentations delivered by security and risk expert leaders from across Government, academia and industry.”

*Further information on research projects being enabled via the UK Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research and RISC is available online at: http://www.riscuk.org/academia/academic-marketplace/

**The LCCI report ‘Cyber Secure: Making London Business Safe Against Online Crime’ is available online at: http://www.londonchamber.co.uk

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

UKTI calls for Cyber Security Secondees

The Cyber Growth Partnership (CGP) has agreed a £2 billion cyber security export target by 2016 and UKTI is now seeking skilled secondees to resource Government-side export activities in this area.

The following broad skill-sets are required: overseas business development, the ability to develop cyber security strategy and policy for the UK and overseas Governments from a non-industry perspective and to develop and manage showcasing capabilities.

The secondments would be at no cost to UK Government but it believes that they would offer a number of benefits to secondees. These are as follows:

• A unique insight in respect of the cyber security situation and needs in a range of countries (this can be shared with the secondee’s company upon their return)
• Comprehensive understanding of the main cyber security stakeholders in such countries
• Experience in planning and communicating engagements around export opportunities
• Insight into the ‘Best of British’ approach to exports (Note: Secondees will not be able to favour their own company or (of course) pass any commercial or confidential information back to their company)

While full-time secondments of one-to-two years are preferred, UKTI would be prepared to negotiate these terms.

However, it could not negotiate on the confidentiality aspects, nor a prohibition on promoting the secondee’s company over any other qualified UK company.

Interested parties are invited to send any queries or expressions of interest to: mark.phillips@adsgroup.org.uk

Leave a comment

Filed under IFSECGlobal.com News