AMAG  Symmetry Business Intelligence data analytics application
AMAG Symmetry Business Intelligence data analytics application

Symmetry Business Intelligence delivers critical information through data analysis to help identify the employees, contractors and other identities that may pose the highest risk to the organization. Each person’s access history and patterns are analyzed and a risk score is assigned and updated over time. Anomalous behavior is flagged, helping identify potential threats, better control access and prevent data theft. Identifying potentially risky behavior, allows earlier detection of potential threats, thereby mitigating risk and reducing the potential cost of an incident.    Dynamic - Dashboards provide a real-time visual representation of the movement and trends of people. See a summary of the identities with the highest risk scores as well as more detailed activity each hour of the week. Risk Score - Risk scores provide early insight into potential risks when a score rises. Scores are generated based on the reader location, time of day and a user’s access patterns. Operate Efficiently - Critical alarms are flagged saving time and prioritizing identities with anomalous behavior. Use Existing Data - The cloud-based system integrates with and collects data from Symmetry Access Control and Symmetry CONNECT Identity Management to evaluate the risk landscape. Policy-Driven - Define risky areas and times to determine the weight of each behavior towards the overall risk score. Make Informed Decisions - Evaluate an employee or contractor’s risk score and past activity to determine if access should be granted to sensitive areas.

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Access control software - Expert commentary

Protect physical assets from cyber-attacks
Protect physical assets from cyber-attacks

Recent cyber-attacks have disabled and even shut down physical assets. Robust foundational security and training staff, able to recognise an attack can help mitigate the threat, as ABB’s Rob Putman explains. Edge devices and data analytics As cyber security specialists, we must navigate an ever-changing threat landscape, one that is made even more complex by the increased interconnectivity between Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT), as companies look to leverage edge devices and data analytics, as well as remote connectivity, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the threat surface evolves, the industry must guard against attacks on key physical infrastructure, carried out by a range of malicious actors, including nation states and criminals intent on blackmail. The chemicals sector, a high-value target for cyber-criminals Cyber-criminals view the chemicals sector, as a high-value target, because of the potential cost In 2017, not long after a ransomware attack that targeted Maersk, the world’s largest shipping firm, made the news around the world. Another cyber-attack, this time targeting physical industrial assets, generated fewer headlines, and yet could have resulted in both real, as well as financial, damage. Cyber-criminals view the chemicals sector, as a high-value target, because of the potential cost, both financial and reputational, to the operator, should production be interrupted or stopped entirely. Cyber security vulnerabilities put physical assets at risk The attack in question, a ‘Triton’ custom malware attack on a petro-chemical facility in Saudi Arabia, targeted a safety system, taking over system controllers. Bugs in the code triggered an emergency shutdown, but could have led to the release of toxic and explosive gases. It was a vivid reminder of how cyber security vulnerabilities are increasingly putting companies’ key physical assets at risk. Two more-recent high-profile incidents illustrate my point. In February, a Florida water treatment plant was hacked. The malicious actor remotely accessed the system for three to five minutes, during which time they opened various functions on the screen, including one that controls the amount of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) in the water. The hacker changed the NaOH from about 100 parts per million to 11,100 parts per million, which could have resulted in a mass poisoning event. Colonial Pipeline cyber-attack incident Then, in May, the Colonial Pipeline system that originates in Houston, Texas and carries gasoline, and jet fuel, suffered a ransomware attack. Using a VPN, hackers targeted back-office IT systems, forcing Colonial to shut down IT hosts and network infrastructure, severing communication with those OT systems that are responsible for communicating ‘transactional data’ associated with fuel delivery. In this instance, a single compromised password disrupted Colonial’s ability to invoice its customers. This dependency on OT data stopped pipeline and business operations, and the company was elected to pay the hackers an initial ransom of US$ 4.4 million, in order to restore operations. The Colonial attack was multi-dimensional, in that it not only impacted Colonial’s business, but also the wider US economy and national security, since the pipeline transports nearly half of the east coast's fuel supplies. Outdated IT system elevates physical risk The increased interconnectivity between IT and OT can also create vulnerabilit Attacks such as these prove that, armed with little more than a laptop, an email account and access to the dark web, determined hackers can cause disproportionate damage to physical infrastructure. As mentioned at the outset, the increased interconnectivity between IT and OT can also create vulnerability. Producers often want to know: Is it risky to connect a production asset or their operational environment to the Cloud? My answer is, if you do so without having done any risk audits around people, processes and technology, or without enhancing and maintaining that environment, then yes, that is risky. For example, we often observe that the life cycle of a production asset far outlasts the IT systems that are used to run it. Take a cement kiln. Several generations of plant operators may have come and gone, but that asset may still run, using legacy software, such as Windows XP and why not? Need to replace aging distributed control systems Well, that’s fine, if you are not concerned about having that asset compromised, and all that entails. A ‘flat’ IT network, an aging distributed control system, and machines with legacy versions of Microsoft Windows, all these elements, which are still commonplace in many industries, make it much easier for attackers to find and infiltrate a company, without needing sophisticated tools. The age-old mantra of not interfering with a piece of equipment or software that appears to be working, often applies to the individual assets. For example that cement kiln that are still controlled by the same Windows XP-based control software. However, if we’re honest, things have changed quite a bit, not because something was broken, but because innovation came in. That same kiln control system is most likely connected to other systems, than when first commissioned and that opens it to exposure to threats that it was never designed for. The human element There is a misconception that IoT-connected devices can open companies to risk There is a misconception that IoT-connected devices can open companies to risk, but many recent, high-profile cyber-attacks have been conducted from a laptop, by hacking someone’s VPN, or are a simple phishing/malware attack. In all these cases, the human element is partly to blame. Take the Florida attack. The compromised computer at the water treatment facility was reportedly running an outdated Windows 7 operating system and staff all used the same password, in order to gain remote access via the Teamviewer app, which the hacker was then able to use. Physical and human assets, key to robust cyber security Discussion on the best way to mitigate the threat is often framed solely around specific technical solutions and ignores the fact that robust foundational cyber security is really driven by two very different, but equally important, types of capital: physical assets (e.g. production machinery), and human assets. The truth is that smart digital software and industry-renowned cyber security applications, while critical, are in many cases, only as good as the weakest human link in the chain. Industry would, therefore, do well to ask itself the following question: Do we have a security problem, or a complacency problem? At this juncture, it is important to point out that the majority of companies that ABB works with, are at least aware of the threat posed by cyber attackers, and the potential impact of an attack, on their revenues, reputation and bottom line. User error and human-generated exposures Making sure staff are aware of the threat and training them to respond properly, if they are targeted, is vital However, user error and human-generated exposures are where most of these attacks occur. Those human failures are mostly not due to malicious intent from employees, but to the lack of training of the employees on secure behavior. Making sure staff are aware of the threat and training them to respond properly, if they are targeted, is vital. However, there are also age demographics at play here. Much of the operations employee base is heading towards retirement and often, there is no plan or ability to backfill these people. Need to invest in new digital and automated technologies If you think you don't have enough people now, in order to stay on top of basic care and feeding of the OT environment, with regards to security, what is that going to be like in 20 years? For this reason, there must be a major industry reset, when it comes to its workforce. Companies must invest in new digital and automated technologies, not only to ensure that they stay ahead of the curve and mitigate risk, but also to attract the next generation of digitally literate talent. Robust cyber security is built on solid foundations When we talk about foundational cyber security, we mean fundamentals, such as patching, malware protection, high-fidelity system backups, an up-to-date anti-virus system, and other options, such as application allow-listing and asset inventory. These basic controls can help companies understand their system setup and the potential threats, identify vulnerabilities, and assess their risk exposure. The Pareto principle states that around 80% of consequences come from 20% of the causes. In the context of cyber security, that means 80% of exposure to risk comes from 20% of the lack of security. If companies do the foundational things right, they can manage out a significant amount of this risk. Importance of maintaining and upgrading security controls However, having basic security controls, such as anti-virus software in place, is just the first step on that journey. Equally important is having someone within the organisation, with the requisite skill set, or the extra labour bandwidth, to operate, maintain and update those security controls, as they evolve. Educating, training and recruiting existing employees, and the next generation of talent, along with forging partnerships with trusted technology providers, will ensure that industry can leverage the latest digital technologies, in order to drive business value, and secure physical assets against cyber-attacks.

The robotic transformation of the security industry
The robotic transformation of the security industry

The COVID-19 pandemic is only accelerating the expansion of Automation, Robotics, Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), and changing how people live their daily lives. This expansion leads the way with technologies that are developed to solve problems, improve operations, streamline processes and assist people, to focus on learning new skills, creativity, and imagination. Transformation of the physical security industry One of the latest industries to be permanently transformed is physical security. The era of utilising security cameras is slowly changing into more advanced and more efficient technological applications - security robotic solutions. SMP Robotics is a California-based company, which is a pioneer in developing robotic technologies, powered by AI, to assist, improve and deliver on new expectations in today’s world. One of their services is smart surveillance systems. This represents a proactive approach to security. The company, SMP Robotics’ Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Leo Ryzhenko, stated “Autonomous robotic technologies will become a driving force in future security solutions.” Robotics and AI in autonomous security solutions The robots can patrol 24/7, counteracting intrusion and communicating via voice message with guards The company uses robotics and AI technology to implement autonomous security solutions, which reduce liability and overhead, as well as improving the quality of services. Robotic guards are capable of patrolling all types of facilities, in both urban and rural contexts. The robots can patrol 24/7, counteracting intrusion and communicating via voice message with guards. The inspection robots, deployed by SMP Robotics, are easily integrated with many existing security technologies, armed with obstacle avoidance and anti-collision measures, automatically recharge, and can recognise faces up to 50 metres. As the world grows increasingly complex, technology like this is essential to ensure safety for all. AI-enabled autonomous video monitoring ground vehicles The advancements in technological breakthroughs of SMP Robotics position the company and its AI-powered, autonomous video monitoring ground vehicles, to be the most adaptable to any industry, cost-effective for clients’ business needs, in providing various types of services from public safety, crime prevention, to asset protection and physical security. The last few years were very productive for the company. The latest generation of the autonomous models, which outperform in efficiency, dozens of security cameras, were deployed or in a process to be delivered to a number of key clients, in various industries throughout the globe, from oil & gas, nuclear power plants to data centres, healthcare facilities, and amusement parks. Smart security robots Tal Turner, the Vice President (VP) of Business Development and Partnerships, SMP Robotics, said “We provide autonomous, artificial intelligence, all-weather, all-surface, smart security robots that are turnkey and operate independently on their own, using real-time obstacle avoidance, face recognition, and other cutting-edge technological advancements.” According to Coherent Market Insights, the Robots as a Service (RaaS) market direction will grow by 15.9% by 2028 and reach the threshold of 41.3 billion dollars. SMP Robotics stands at the forefront of the security robotic revolution, making an impactful change to make the world a safer place.

The EU called for a ban on police use of facial recognition but not commercial use. Why?
The EU called for a ban on police use of facial recognition but not commercial use. Why?

Recently, the European Parliament called for a ban on police use of facial recognition. In the US, too, some cities have restricted police use of facial recognition. The first question that comes to mind is - why ban police from using technology that is allowed to private companies? Point of difference The key difference between the way police use facial recognition and the way commercial facial recognition products work is that: The police get a picture of a suspect from a crime scene and want to find out: "Who is the person in the picture?" That requires as wide a database as possible. Optimally - photos and identities of all the people in the world. Commercial facial recognition products such as those used by supermarkets, football stadiums, or casinos answer different questions: "Is the person in the picture on the employees' list? Is the person in the picture on a watch-list of known shoplifters?" To answer these questions doesn't require a broad database but rather a defined list of employees or a watch-list of specific people against whom there is an arrest warrant or a restraining order. Use of facial recognition AnyVision helps organisations leverage facial recognition ethically to identify known persons of interest "Facial Recognition Apps Should Be Provided to the Police with an Empty Database". This is exactly the subject of the open letter sent by AnyVision, to the British Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner, Prof. Fraser Sampson, titled: "Facial Recognition Apps Should Be Provided to the Police with an Empty Database". AnyVision recently raised $235M from Softbank and another leading VCs is a visual AI platform company that helps organisations across the globe leverage facial recognition ethically to identify known persons of interest, including shoplifters, felons, and security threats. Ethical use of facial recognition AnyVision CEO Avi Golan wrote, "The ethical use of facial recognition is a thorny one and requires a nuanced discussion. Part of that discussion has to explain how facial recognition works, but, just as important, the discussion must also involve how the technology is used by police departments and what checks and balances are built into their processes.” “We recommend building their watchlists from the ground up based on known felons, persons of interest, and missing persons. Some facial recognition solution providers have scrapped billions of photos and identities of people from social networks, usually without their consent." "Unfortunately, this method of facial recognition has justifiably angered privacy groups and data protection agencies around the globe and damaged the public trust in accuracy and reliability of facial recognition systems.” Preventing invasion of citizen’s privacy We believe an unjustified invasion of citizens' privacy can be prevented, false arrests can be reduced" “We believe that lists of suspects should be limited and justified. In this way, unjustified invasion of citizens' privacy can be prevented, false arrests can be reduced and public confidence in technology can be increased.” Golan added: "AnyVision is willing to share its industry insights and best practices from our vast research experience with leading global players, including name-brand retailers, global hospitality and entertainment companies, and law enforcement agencies from around the world.” Balancing public order and crime prevention “If the regulations set forth by Surveillance Camera Code of Practice are committed to the principles outlined above, then law enforcement agencies can strike the right balance between the need to maintain public order and prevent crime with the rights of every person to privacy and non-discrimination before the law." Recently Clearview AI CEO told Wired; the company has scraped 10 billion photos from the web - 3 times more than was previously known.

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Secure Logiq partners with 360 Vision, AMG, Cortech, Harper Chalice and Suprema to host the CNI security technologies webinar
Secure Logiq partners with 360 Vision, AMG, Cortech, Harper Chalice and Suprema to host the CNI security technologies webinar

Secure Logiq is joining forces with 360 Vision Technology, AMG Systems, Cortech Developments, Harper Chalice and Suprema, to present a free webinar dedicated to Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) security technologies. CNI security technologies webinar The 1-hour session will take place on Wednesday 28th July at 10am BST (05.00 EDT, 09.00 UTC, 11.00 CEST, 13.00 GST 17.00 SGT) and has been created to offer practical support for those responsible for safety and/or security in the utilities, power, prisons and nuclear CNI sectors, including consultants and installers. The security of Critical National Infrastructure has never been more important or more under threat" “The security of Critical National Infrastructure has never been more important or more under threat,” said Secure Logiq’s Robin Hughes, adding “By partnering with these like-minded manufacturers who offer complementing solutions in the CNI space we will use this webinar to deliver a complete system overview. Our hope is to provide an informative and entertaining discussion around the subject with expert insights from across the solutions space.” Covering asset protection and risk management Named CNI Security Technologies - Optimising Risk Management and Asset Protection in the CNI sector, the webinar will cover how effective risk management and mitigation, asset protection, regulatory compliance and cost reduction can be achieved, via the use of innovative technologies. Thanks to the combined expertise of the manufacturers involved, a state-of-the-art, end-to-end solution, which is specifically designed for CNI security applications, will be presented to attendees. Cyber secure optical, thermal and radar camera systems Topics being covered will include cyber secure optical, thermal and radar camera systems, effective and innovative perimeter detection (PIDS), secure network backbone design for large infrastructures, flexible biometric access control with multi-factor and differentiating authentication, and optimised server and storage solutions that can provide a modular and scalable core platform for unrivalled interoperability of third-party security systems, via a centralised single platform hub. “Our aim is for this webinar to be an educational experience for professionals in the CNI sector,” concludes Robin Hughes, adding “We want to create an open discussion around cutting edge technology for Critical National Infrastructure rather than just a dry presentation, and with the additional Q&A session, we want to make this as interactive as possible.”

Security Industry Association announces the 2021 agenda and speaker lineup for AcceleRISE event
Security Industry Association announces the 2021 agenda and speaker lineup for AcceleRISE event

The Security Industry Association (SIA) has announced the 2021 agenda and speaker lineup for AcceleRISE: The Challenge, an essential experience hosted by SIA’s RISE community for young professionals in the security industry. The 2021 AcceleRISE event – taking place virtually August 23-25 – will challenge tomorrow’s security leaders to test their limits, escape their comfort zones and grow their industry expertise. “AcceleRISE is a unique learning experience for up-and-coming security professionals to learn and network together,” said Dr. Elli Voorhees, Director of learning and development at SIA. Key security technologies “The conference program covers key security technologies and business topics along with essential soft skills that support professional growth for high performers looking to stay at the forefront of the security industry and advance their careers.” AcceleRISE was created for rising stars in the security industry and is different from a standard conference AcceleRISE was created for rising stars in the security industry and is different from a standard conference. The 2021 event will put young professionals’ preconceptions, boundaries and industry know-how to the test and teach them how to maximize their leadership potential. Session topics for AcceleRISE 2021 will include: Are We Living in the Future? A Conversation Around IoT. A Year Later, a Pandemic and Much, Much More – An Update to ‘I Owe It to Her: How My Partner Helped (and Continues to Help) Me Achieve My Career Success’. Generational Work Styles: Building Trust & Effective Communication. Privacy Regulations: What Does the Rising Security Professional Need to Know? Securing Values: Choosing Your Path to Profession & Partnerships. Smooth Operator: How End Users Feel About Typical Sales Tactics and How to Innovate Your Sales Approach. The Art of Hiring & Firing. The Value of Coopetition Within an Ecosystem. Making valuable connections Attendees will have the chance to make valuable connections with other young industry professionals and enjoy fun virtual happy hours, trivia and more. As part of 2021’s ‘The Challenge’ theme, attendees will also be able to compete for points and prizes and track their progress on the AcceleRISE leaderboard throughout the experience. AcceleRISE will give each participant the opportunity to interact with one another" “AcceleRISE is all about building a community of industry young professionals and allowing relationships to be created in an exciting platform,” said Katie Greatti, SIA staff liaison for SIA RISE and Conference Manager for AcceleRISE. “Utilizing the virtual environment, AcceleRISE will give each participant the opportunity to interact with one another while adding gamification and competition to the mix. It is an experience you and your team will not want to miss.” Virtual event speakers Speakers for the virtual event include: Diana Brucha, Enterprise Account Executive, Allied Universal. Kelsey Carnell, Regional Sales Manager, Axis Communications. Danny Chung, Global Director of consulting and design, Northland Controls. Colin DePree, Sales Strategy, Salto Systems. Kami Dukes, Director of business development, North America, AMAG Technology. Scott Dunn, Senior Director, business development solutions and services, Axis Communications. Marc Facca, Distribution Sales Consultant, Allegion. Robert Gaulden, Director of multifamily strategy, Allegion. Adam Groom, Vice President of sales, Northland Controls. Kim Hooper, Regional Loss Prevention Manager, Amazon. Antoinette King, Founder, Credo Cyber Consulting LLC. Brendan McFall, Technical Engineering Manager, Northland Controls. Zack Morris, Director, commercial career programs, ADT Commercial. Jennifer Odess, Vice President, global partner enablement, ServiceNow. Lee Odess, Founder and CEO, Group337. AcceleRISE 2021 is supported by Premier Sponsor Group337; Full Conference Sponsors ADT, Allegion, Axis Communications, BCD International, Northland Controls and Salto; and Event Sponsors AMAG Technology, Brivo, Cam-Dex Security Corporation, ISC Security Events and WeSuite. Virtual networking events SIA RISE is a community that fosters the careers of young professionals in the security industry. In addition to hosting AcceleRISE, the SIA RISE community offers fun in-person and virtual networking events, mentorship opportunities through the Talent Inclusion Mentorship Education (TIME) program, career growth webinars and e-learning, scholarships for use toward education and professional development and career tracks at top trade shows. RISE membership is available to all employees at SIA member companies who are young professionals under 40 or have been in the security industry for less than two years. Pricing for AcceleRISE 2021 starts at just $199 for SIA members and only $49 for student members. Group packages are also available, which allow companies to purchase three tickets for their employees to use and get a fourth free.

HID Global enables organisations to bring remote workers and students back on-site with their chromebooks
HID Global enables organisations to bring remote workers and students back on-site with their chromebooks

Organisations around the world sent an unprecedented number of people home during 2020 to work and attend school remotely, many of them with Chromebook laptops whose shipments more than doubled year over year. HID Global, identity solutions company, is helping organisations bring these people and their Chromebooks back to a hybrid work and classroom environment using its HID HydrantID Account Certificate Manager (ACM) digital certificate management offering.  Seamless connections According to the market research firm Canalys, “Chromebooks set record shipment volumes, reaching 11.2 million units in Q4 2020, a remarkable 287% increase over Q4 2019, bringing the full-year 2020 total to 30.6 million units.”   HID HydrantID ACM and its new Chromebook Certificate Enrollment Extension (CEE) feature enable organisations to issue and manage the digital certificates for bringing these devices back to physical work and study settings, ensuring they can connect to networks seamlessly and securely without passwords.  Easy, cloud-based approach “The traditional walled-fortress IT security posture isn’t feasible as we transition to hybrid remote and in-person work and study environments using a growing variety of computing devices and operating systems,” said By Mrugesh Chandarana, Senior Product Manager, Commercial CA and PKI Services with HID Global, Identity and Access Management. “The huge influx of Chromebooks is here to stay and HID HydrantID ACM with its CEE feature is the first solution to provide an easy, cloud-based approach to digital certificate management that enables these devices to authenticate to enterprise networks in a passwordless, Zero Trust network access environment.”   Digital certificate lifecycle management The solution offers automated digital certificate lifecycle management with tracking, installation, and renewal HID HydrantID ACM with the CEE feature offers automated digital certificate lifecycle management with tracking, installation, and renewal. It enables users of any Chromebook to make or model to be securely up and running on the network by simply plugging in their devices and seamlessly deploying certificates for passwordless authentication without any user intervention. Early adopters of the HID HydrantID CEE solution for Chromebooks include a large financial institution with a sizable remote workforce, as well as high schools and colleges where Chromebook usage grew substantially during the 2020/2021 academic year.   Passwordless authentication The CEE feature is especially valuable for users as it allows them to have passwordless authentication while seamlessly navigating between remote connectivity and direct connection to the in-office network.  For organisations that do not have an internal Microsoft Active Directory Certificate Services (ADCS) infrastructure, the CEE allows them to implement a seamless experience for their users while freeing up Help and\or Service Desk resources. By implementing the CEE using HID HydrantID Managed PKI-as-a-Service, organisations eliminate operational complexity and dramatically reduce costs related to operating and deploying an organisational private PKI.  

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