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Today’s organisations face numerous diverse threats to their people, places and property, sometimes simultaneously. Security leaders now know all too well how a pandemic can cripple a company’s ability to produce goods and services, or force production facilities to shut down, disrupting business continuity. For example, a category three hurricane barreling towards the Gulf of Mexico could disable the supplier’s facilities, disrupt the supply chain and put unexpected pressure on an unprepared local power grid. Delivering timely critical information Tracking such risk is hard enough, but managing it is even more difficult. A swift response depends on delivering the right information to the right people, at the right time. And, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Indeed, 61 percent of large enterprises say critical information came too late for them, in order to mitigate the impact of a crisis, according to Aberdeen Research (Aberdeen Strategy & Research). These challenges are accelerating the hype around Artificial Intelligence (AI) These challenges are accelerating the hype around Artificial Intelligence (AI). The technology promises to help us discover new insights, predict the future and take over tasks that are now handled by humans. Maybe even cure cancer. Accelerating the hype around AI But is AI really living up to all this hype? Can it really help security professionals mitigate risk? After all, there’s a serious need for technology to provide fast answers to even faster-moving issues, given the proliferation of data and the speed at which chaos can impact operations. Risk managers face three major obstacles to ensuring business continuity and minimising disruptions. These include: Data fatigue - Simply put, there’s too much data for human analysts to process in a timely manner. By 2025, the infosphere is expected to produce millions of words per day. At that pace, you’d need an army of analysts to monitor, summarise and correlate the information to your impacted locations, before you can communicate instructions. It’s a herculean task, made even more difficult, when we consider that 30 percent of this global datasphere is expected to be consumed in real time, according to IDC. Relevance and impact - Monitoring the flood of information is simply the first hurdle. Understanding its impact is the second. When a heat dome is predicted to cover the entire U.S. Pacific Northwest, risk managers must understand the specifics. Will it be more or less hot near their facilities? Do they know what steps local utilities are taking to protect the power grid? Such questions can’t be answered by a single system. Communication - Once you know which facilities are impacted and what actions to take, you need to let your employees know. If the event is urgent, an active shooter or an earthquake, do you have a fast, effective way to reach these employees? It’s not as simple as broadcasting a company-wide alert. The real question is, do you have the ability to pinpoint the location of your employees and not just those working on various floor in the office, but also those who are working from home? How AI and ML cut through the noise Although Artificial Intelligence can help us automate simple tasks, such as alert us to breaking news, it requires several Machine Learning systems to deliver actionable risk intelligence. Machine Learning is a branch of AI that uses algorithms to find hidden insights in data, without being programmed where to look or what to conclude. More than 90 percent of risk intelligence problems use supervised learning, a Machine Learning approach defined by its use of labelled datasets. The benefit of supervised learning is that it layers several pre-vetted datasets, in order to deliver context-driven AI The benefit of supervised learning is that it layers several pre-vetted datasets, in order to deliver context-driven AI. Reading the sources, it can determine the category, time and location, and cluster this information into a single event. As a result, it can correlate verified events to the location of the people and assets, and notify in real time. It’s faster, more customised and more accurate than simple Artificial Intelligence, based on a single source of data. Real-world actionable risk intelligence How does this work in the real world? One telecommunications company uses AI and ML to protect a mobile workforce, dispersed across several regions. An AI-powered risk intelligence solution provides their decision makers with real-time visibility into the security of facilities, logistics and personnel movements. Machine Learning filters out the noise of irrelevant critical event data, allowing their security teams to focus only on information specific to a defined area of interest. As a result, they’re able to make informed, proactive decisions and rapidly alert employees who are on the move. Four must-have AI capabilities To gain real actionable risk intelligence, an AI solution should support four key capabilities: A focus on sourcing quality over quantity. There are tens of thousands of sources that provide information about emerging threats - news coverage, weather services, social media, FBI intelligence and so much more. Select feeds that are trusted, relevant and pertinent to your operations. Swift delivery of relevant intelligence. To reduce the mean-time-to-recovery (MTTR), risk managers need an accurate understanding of what’s happening. Consider the different contextual meanings of the phrases ‘a flood of people in the park’ and ‘the park is at risk due to a flood’. Machine Learning continuously increases the speed of data analysis and improves interpretation. Ability to cross-reference external events with internal data. As it scans different data sources, an AI engine can help you fine-tune your understanding of what’s happening and where. It will pick up contextual clues and map them to your facilities automatically, so you know immediately what your response should be. Ready-to-go communications. Long before a threat emerges, you can create and store distribution, and message templates, as well as test your critical communications system. Handling these tasks well in advance means you can launch an alert at a moment’s notice. The ability to minimise disruptions and ensure business continuity depends on speed, relevance and usability. AI and ML aren’t simply hype. Instead, they’re vital tools that make it possible for security professionals to cut through the noise faster and protect their people, places and property.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated our digital dependency, on a global scale. Data centres have become even more critical to modern society. The processing and storage of information underpin the economy, characterised by a consistent increase in the volume of data and applications, and reliance upon the internet and IT services. Data centres classed as CNI As such, they are now classed as Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) and sit under the protection of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI). As land continues to surge in value, data centre operators are often limited for choice, on where they place their sites and are increasingly forced to consider developed areas, close to other infrastructures, such as housing or industrial sites. Complex security needs One misconception when it comes to data centres is that physical security is straightforward One misconception when it comes to data centres is that physical security is straightforward. However, in practice, things are far more complex. On top of protecting the external perimeter, thought must also be given to factors, such as access control, hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM), protecting power infrastructure, as well as standby generators and localising security devices to operate independently of the main data centre. Face value How a site looks is more important than you may think. Specify security that appears too hostile risks blatantly advertising that you’re protecting a valuable target, ironically making it more interesting to opportunistic intruders. The heightened security that we recommend to clients for these types of sites, include 4 m high-security fences, coils of razor wire, CCTV, and floodlighting. When used together in an integrated approach, it’s easy to see how they make the site appear hostile against its surroundings. However, it must appear secure enough to give the client peace of mind that the site is adequately protected. Getting the balance right is crucial. So, how do you balance security, acoustics and aesthetics harmoniously? Security comes first These are essential facilities and as a result, they require appropriate security investment. Cutting corners leads to a greater long-term expense and increases the likelihood of highly disruptive attacks. Checkpoints Fortunately, guidance is available through independent accreditations and certifications, such as the Loss Prevention Certification Board’s (LPCB) LPS 1175 ratings, the PAS 68 HVM rating, CPNI approval, and the police initiative - Secured by Design (SBD). Thorough technical evaluation and quality audit These bodies employ thorough technical evaluation work and rigorous quality audit processes to ensure products deliver proven levels of protection. With untested security measures, you will not know whether a product works until an attack occurs. Specifying products accredited by established bodies removes this concern. High maintenance Simply installing security measures and hoping for the best will not guarantee 24/7 protection. Just as you would keep computer software and hardware updated, to provide the best level of protection for the data, physical security also needs to be well-maintained, in order to ensure it is providing optimum performance. Importance of testing physical security parameters Inspecting the fence line may seem obvious and straightforward, but it needs to be done regularly. From our experience, this is something that is frequently overlooked. The research we conducted revealed that 63% of companies never test their physical security. They should check the perimeter on both sides and look for any attempted breaches. Foliage, weather conditions or topography changes can also affect security integrity. Companies should also check all fixtures and fittings, looking for damage and corrosion, and clear any litter and debris away. Accessibility When considering access control, speed gates offer an excellent solution for data centres. How quickly a gate can open and close is essential, especially when access to the site is restricted. The consequences of access control equipment failing can be extremely serious, far over a minor irritation or inconvenience. Vehicle and pedestrian barriers, especially if automated, require special attention to maintain effective security and efficiency. Volume control Data centres don’t generally make the best neighbours. The noise created from their 24-hour operation can be considerable. HVAC systems, event-triggered security and fire alarms, HV substations, and vehicle traffic can quickly become unbearable for residents. Secure and soundproof perimeter As well as having excellent noise-reducing properties, timber is also a robust material for security fencing So, how do you create a secure and soundproof perimeter? Fortunately, through LPS 1175 certification and CPNI approval, it is possible to combine high-security performance and up to 28dB of noise reduction capabilities. As well as having excellent noise-reducing properties, timber is also a robust material for security fencing. Seamlessly locking thick timber boards create a flat face, making climbing difficult and the solid boards prevent lines of sight into the facility. For extra protection, steel mesh can either be added to one side of the fence or sandwiched between the timber boards, making it extremely difficult to break through. A fair façade A high-security timber fence can be both, aesthetically pleasing and disguise its security credentials. Its pleasant natural façade provides a foil to the stern steel bars and mesh, often seen with other high-security solutions. Of course, it’s still important that fencing serves its primary purposes, so make sure you refer to certifications, to establish a product’s security and acoustic performance. Better protected The value of data cannot be overstated. A breach can have severe consequences for public safety and the economy, leading to serious national security implications. Countering varied security threats Data centres are faced with an incredibly diverse range of threats, including activism, sabotage, trespass, and terrorism on a daily basis. It’s no wonder the government has taken an active role in assisting with their protection through the medium of the CPNI and NCSC. By working with government bodies such as the CPNI and certification boards like the LPCB, specifiers can access a vault of useful knowledge and advice. This will guide them to effective and quality products that are appropriate for their specific site in question, ensuring it’s kept safe and secure.
Enclosures containing electronics, communications or cabling infrastructure offer a simple attack point for cyber breaches and an opportunity for a physical attack on the hardware. Yet, many of these assets are housed within enclosures that provide minimal security features to offer a deterrent to any would-be attacker. This has always just been a pet hate. Walking down the high street of a town anywhere in the United Kingdom, you can often see open street communication cabinets. You can actually look directly inside at the equipment. And if I was a bad guy, I could quite easily just put my foot into their enclosure and quite quickly take out their infrastructure. Charged service for enclosures This seems crazy when a US$ 2 magnetic contact on a door can quickly tell you whether your enclosure is open or shut, and can be vital in keeping your network alive. Moreover, the operators of these systems, whether it is telecoms or internet providers, are providing a charged service to their customers, so they should really be protecting their enclosures. Why has that security level not been so readily taken into the outside world, into the unprotected environment? More sobering, if you contrast this security approach to the approach taken in the data centre world, an environment that already has multiple stringent security protocols in place, you get a very different picture. For instance, security devices can capture snapshots of anyone who opens a cabinet door in a data room, so it is recorded who has opened that door. While that is just one simple example, it begs the question. Why has that security level not been so readily taken into the outside world, into the unprotected environment? In my mind, a lot of it boils down simply to education. Network connection, easy point of cyber attacks Our preconceived idea about cyber security is some big corporation being knocked out or held to ransom by, again in our mind, someone sitting at a laptop, probably with their hood up over their head, typing away in the darkness, attacking us through the internet. But how the would-be criminal is going to come at us is just like in sport. They attack at the weakest point. Networks can be deployed in the outside world in many ways, such as cameras monitoring the highways. That means those locations will have a network connection. And that can be a point of attack in a non-secure outside world. Enclosures can be broken into by attackers Many people think, ‘That is okay because I’m going to take that ethernet device that my cameras are connected to and I’m going to put it inside an enclosure.’ However, what people do not realize is that the only thing that the enclosure is doing is protecting the ethernet device from Mother Nature. Because, without proper security, those enclosures can be broken into pretty easily. Many of them are just a single key that is not in any way coded to the device. Twofold cyber security People need to realise that cyber security is twofold. It can be carried out by hacking the network or physically breaking Therein lays the problem. People need to realise that cyber security is twofold. It can be carried out by hacking the network or physically breaking into the weakest physical point. And so, a simple boot through the open door of an enclosure can vandalise the devices inside and take down a small or large part of a network. And by definition, this meets the criteria for a cyber-attack. So, how do we go about tackling this problem? Well, security is a reaction marketplace. And for enclosures, there’s not, at present, a plethora of solutions out there for to counter these types of attacks. It can be challenging to find what you’re looking for through a quick Google search compared to searching for more traditional security protection measures. Deploying smart sensors and detectors But, under Vanderbilt and ComNet, we are currently taking our knowledge and experience from system installation and compiling it together. We’re bringing different products from different parts of our business to make a true solution. For instance, we have sensors for enclosures that detect anything from gas or smoke to open doors, detectors that will tell you if someone is trying to smash open your enclosure with a sledgehammer, or that someone is trying to lift your enclosure off of its mount. More importantly, as is not really a one-size-fits-all solution, we have developed a menu structure available that allows customers to pick and choose the ones that will best fit their own requirements.
The exhibition will let delegates get hands-on with some of the most innovative products in the CCTV industry A number of companies involved in the design, installation and operation of CCTV systems will be exhibiting as part of a sell-out seminar in London next week. Organised by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), the event will take place at London’s Emmanuel Centre on Marsham Street – close to the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey – on Thursday 12th November. The seminar will cover a variety of interesting topics including the latest changes in surveillance legislation and technology, whilst also exploring recent developments in the CCTV sector. Running alongside the seminar, the exhibition will give delegates the opportunity to get hands-on with some of the most innovative products in the industry. Exhibitors that will be showcasing their products on the day include: ATEC Security ATEC Security is a specialist security systems integrator and winner of multiple Security Excellence Awards. The ATEC Difference is about creating value not only through security innovation, but also by ensuring security projects deliver financial, operational, staff and business intelligence benefits. ATEC take time to understand your issues, your operating environment and your business, and deliver reliable integrated solutions and support built around your operational requirements. They achieve unparalleled quality through meticulous design, comprehensive documentation and rigorous project management, with processes built around Home Office best practice. The portfolio includes some of the most advanced technologies available from carefully selected manufacturers. Find out why customers such as London City Airport, The City of Westminster and First Capital Connect, choose to work with ATEC by visiting their stand. Dedicated Micros The seminar will cover a variety of interesting topics including the latest changes in surveillance legislation and technology, whilst also exploring recent developments in the CCTV sector Dedicated Micros will be showcasing their latest cost-effective high definition IP and analogue product ranges. Based on a unique architecture, these solutions provide greater reliability, connectivity, interaction and performance across a seamless operating system. Visit Dedicated Micros’ stand at the CCTV seminar to find out how their latest products can help to secure business. Bosch Security Systems Bosch Security Systems supply quality and innovative security solutions. They will be showcasing some of their latest in-camera technologies. Starlight technology offers a new quality standard in round-the-clock video surveillance. Regardless of lighting conditions, time of day or object movement, cameras deliver incredible levels of detail even in extreme low light situations. Intelligent Video Analysis (IVA) assists by alerting you when pre-defined alarms are triggered and by smartly combining up to 8 IVA rules, complex tasks are made easy and false alarms are reduced. Their Content Based Imaging Technology (CBIT) offers 3 main features: Intelligent Dynamic Noise Reduction, Intelligent Auto Exposure and Intelligent Tracking: IDNR technology intelligently distinguishes between noise and relevant information, such as movement, this reduces bitrate by up to 50%. National Security Inspectorate NSI is the first choice certification body for the UK’s leading providers of security and fire safety services. Over 1800 organisations commit to rigorous and regular checks by NSI’s national network of qualified auditors who carry out in the region of 4000 audits per year, verifying compliance with relevant Standards and industry Codes of Practice. Buyers who choose to contract NSI approved companies can be assured of security and fire safety services delivered to the highest standards by businesses committed to excellence. NSI will be delighted to talk to visitors at the CCTV Exhibition and Conference about the benefits of contracting NSI approved companies. Observant Innovations Observant’s PATROL Camera System is a vehicle mounted 360-degree panoramic video camera. PATROL enables visual documentation of everything occurring in the vicinity of a patrol or tasking, ensuring that nothing is missed. The system captures everything, in all directions, all of the time and has been built to withstand tough environmental and usage conditions. Featuring 360-degree panoramic imagery, hi-res 14 MP video and stills imagery and a rugged IP67 form factor, the PATROL Camera System provides a number of benefits including public reassurance, greater impartiality and improved dispute resolution. Also exhibiting will be Dallmeier Electronic UK Ltd and Thorn Security Limited.
It’s dangerous to compromise on safety features in search of a low-cost security solution, as it can put employees at serious risk Driving quality in the private security industry is vital to the ongoing effectiveness of the products and services that the industry provides. Figures show that, post-recession, buyers are increasingly aware of the importance of quality when it comes to choosing security providers, with 20% citing quality over price as a crucial factor in their decision. Pauline Norstrom, chief operating officer for Dedicated Micros, a CCTV manufacturer, is a strong advocate of choosing quality over price when selecting a security provider. Norstrom, who is also chairman of the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), recently delivered a speech on the subject at IFSEC, the largest event for the security industry in London. Here, Norstrom shares her views with SourceSecurity.com about the potential hidden costs of low-price solutions. The issue of quality over price is a fundamental issue for businesses, operators, buyers and security providers to consider. When we talk about quality in the security sector, we are talking about the safety of employees, the public, assets and commercial outputs. I recently watched a television show featuring a car manufacturer. Its message was about choosing quality rather than a low-cost option – the analogy it draws is someone buying a cheap parachute. The person who buys the more expensive parachute is the person who drives the car that works. Would anyone buy a cheap parachute? I certainly would not. Directors have a statutory responsibility for the safety of their employees, as compromising this is not only a threat to a company's profitability, but could put them out of business This comparison emphasises the gravity of choosing between quality and price. Choosing a security solution based solely on the latter can put the safety of your employees at serious risk. Directors have a statutory responsibility for the safety of their employees, as compromising this is not only a threat to a company's profitability, but could put them out of business. Risk assessments and mitigating recommendations Before selecting a security product or service, a formal risk assessment must be carried out in order to reveal a business's vulnerabilities. This is a necessity, as ultimately the cost of loss has a direct effect on a company's bottom line. I speak on behalf of the BSIA in urging business owners or their delegated authorities to engage with reputable security specifiers to help them develop an operation requirement specification containing key risks and mitigating recommendations. As a result, the chosen security provider must respond with the best solution to minimise risk and satisfy needs. Typically, cheap systems do not minimise risk as they use non-compliant products and have non-compliant designs, and therefore miss important events. So, while procurement teams may have achieved their purchase price target, they have put their business at risk and not fully met its needs. Low cost offerings’ safety compromises Buying cheap can also result in a high cost of replacement and increased insurance claims. When you take these risks into account, are the savings really worth it? Given that the highest quality products are available in the market, why are compromises made in the private security industry? What are the reasons? Chief factors include a lack of bank lending and Government support for British companies, the global economic crisis (which created opportunities for low cost offerings to creep into the marketplace) and a lack of working capital – in some cases, it might be about cash as opposed to price. But we do know that buying cheap must result in compromises, because cheap is usually associated with taking something out. So how exactly do you define quality in the private security industry? And why does quality often cost more? As an illustrative example, let's say you have two offerings, both of which meet the basic requirements set out in the operational requirements specification. The cheap offering may scrape through on terminology as many requirements specifications are distilled down to the lowest common denominator. But, as opposed to higher quality offerings, the added functionality and benefits are all extra and companies face having to pay more further down the line. It may also be that training and operating procedures are not provided. Security tailored to specific needs A cheap product will merely provide a “one size fits all” service that is not tailored to the specific needs of a business. A quality offering is one that not only ticks all boxes but provides additional value benefits and offers measurable return on investment (ROI). Manufacturers should not provide CCTV solutions that simply meet elementary criteria. Products must provide maximum innovation over and above the basic requirements of a security solution. An end user or installer would pay more for quality solutions than for cheap offerings because they achieve fast response to preventable loss, reduce network vulnerability and offer extensive support and expertise throughout the life cycle of the product. This support can prove invaluable to a business in the long run. A principal reason you pay more for a quality product is that there is more investment into that product's development, which incurs cost in time and resource. Support and care during the life of the product and contract cost money, as does the training and development of staff. In return for this investment, you are able to grasp what the product can do for you and get exactly the solution you need. Buying cheap can also result in a high cost of replacement and increased insurance claims. When you take these risks into account, are the savings really worth it? To establish whether your provider has a high quality product or service, you need to ask several questions. Do they respond to customer's needs? Do they provide continual assessment and improvement programmes? Are they members of an industry association, such as the BSIA? The answers to these questions should give you an idea of whether or not your business has invested in a cheap or high quality option. When you are using a cheap security solution, loss is not always obvious as the costs are hidden. It might be that in-house staff are covering the deficiencies, or keyholders are called out unnecessarily, resulting in increased overtime costs. The costs may not measure truly what is the impact of a service on a business, so there needs to be a holistic view taken. Those who have this view are often directors or senior managers – otherwise the cost of ownership is little understood by buyers. Market knowledge and vulnerability awareness If you are involved in procurement of services, you need to have security market knowledge. Procurement teams must understand what makes a security provider different and better and who is responsible for business loss if something goes wrong. Business leaders must ensure their procurement teams are properly apprised and make sound recommendations based on industry knowledge. In the United Kingdom, this knowledge can be found within the BSIA, as it contains 18 discreet sections covering all areas of the security market, from access control to police to public services. These sections are designed to meet very specific requirements. So to conclude, it is my view that quality is far more important than price and compromises should not be made when it comes to security and safety. These are board room responsibilities and directors must be apprised to the risks and vulnerabilities. The way that procurement teams and owners and operators can protect themselves is by choosing a company which opts into quality, best practice and standards – a company that is different and ultimately better than the others. Low quality providers get away with offering cheap solutions if business owners take no interest, but this will ultimately come back to haunt the business as they will end up footing the bill.
The event enables CCTV manufacturers and installers to showcase their latest technological developments A popular CCTV seminar and exhibition is set to arrive in London this November, and will provide an opportunity for CCTV companies to reach out to delegates from a range of organisations including local businesses, civic authorities and the Police. Organised by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), the event will take place at London’s Emmanuel Centre on Marsham Street – close to the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey – on Thursday 12th November, and is expected to follow on from the success of a series of CCTV seminars held by the Association over the past couple of years, which have served to highlight the appetite for information regarding CCTV best practice among end-users and security buyers. A limited number of exhibition spaces are available at the event, enabling CCTV manufacturers and installers to showcase their latest technological developments, while an informative seminar will explore the latest changes in surveillance legislation and technology, while exploring recent developments in the CCTV sector. Confirmed speakers at the event include: Tony Porter LLB QPM, Surveillance Camera Commissioner Detective Chief Inspector Mick Neville, Central Forensic Image Team, Metropolitan Police Pauline Norstrom, Chief Operating Officer at AD Group / Dedicated Micros and Chairman of the BSIA Simon Adcock, Managing Director of ATEC Security and Chairman of the BSIA’s CCTV section James Barrett of Safer London The event is kindly sponsored by the British Standards Institute (BSI). The BSIA expects the event to attract around 150 delegates from a number of organisations across the South East, for whom admission will be free of charge. Meanwhile, exhibitors will benefit from the following: 1 table with electrical connection Refreshments / lunch (for 2) Company logo on the programme for the day Inclusion in pre and post event promotion, including press releases, email marketing and social media activity A copy of all delegates’ contact details, sent post-event The opportunity to promote attendance at the event via the BSIA’s YouTube Channel
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