This year’s Emergency Services Show returns to Hall 5 at the NEC, Birmingham from 20 to 21 September with a strong focus on learning from past incidents and collaborating to protect the public and save lives. Attracting over 6,500 visitors and 400 exhibitors, The Emergency Services Show 2017 provides a unique opportunity to network and exchange ideas across the resilience, emergency planning and emergency services community, share best practice as well as to see and handle the latest technology and equipment.

As recent terrorist incidents in the UK have demonstrated, collaboration is key to co-ordinating effective response and recovery. “We continue to face challenging and difficult times and these events continue to highlight importance of collaboration, partnership working and using digital tools to be able to respond quickly, says Luana Avagliano, Head of Resilience Direct, UK Cabinet Office who will be presenting a seminar on the subject at The Emergency Services Show. Resilience Direct is a key partner of the show, along with JESIP and the National Operational Guidance Programme.

Visitors can also find out more on the citizenAID stand in The Collaboration Zone at the show

Seminars on responding to incidents and attacks

Terrorism is one of the key topics in the Lessons Learnt Theatre (sponsored by UCLan PROTECT), where emergency services and partner agencies will share their experiences of responding to real incidents. North West Ambulance Service for example will present a session on the Manchester Arena terrorist incident which it attended. Professor Sir Keith Porter, Professor of Clinical Traumatology, University of Birmingham will speak about the role of citizenAID in the light of recent terrorist attacks in London (Westminster, London Bridge and Finsbury Park Mosque). When there is a shooting, stabbing or bomb explosion the initial priority is public safety. This can delay the time before the emergency services are able to reach the injured. citizenAID enables the general public to be effective in these situations before the emergency services are available to provide professional medical support. It is designed to guide the public to react safely, to pass effective messages to the emergency services, to prioritise the injured and to give life-saving first aid. Visitors can also find out more on the citizenAID stand in The Collaboration Zone at the show.

Response teams and operations

CBRN experts will also be speaking in the Lessons Learnt seminar theatre. Mark Godsman, Fire and Rescue Service Team, National CBRN Centre will present a session on CBRN Initial Operational Response. In the early stages of a suspected CBRN incident, the first 15 minutes are vital for reducing harm to casualties. He will explain what this means for control rooms and frontline responders. Chief Inspector Richard Butterworth, Deputy Head, National CBRN Centre will then talk about the multi-agency response, examining how this looks to responders on the ground and what specialist resources can be expected.

"As we’ve seen from Manchester, London and the Grenfell Tower fire, members of the community play a vital part in the response"

Integrating community volunteers with official teams

Simon Lewis, Head of Crisis Response, British Red Cross will present a session on the charity’s role in emergency response to crises such as the Manchester and London terror attacks. He will explain more about the British Red Cross’ national community reserve volunteers project, which will help build stronger communities by recruiting a practical taskforce of thousands. “When large emergencies happen, there is an outpouring of support from local people. As we’ve seen from Manchester, London and the Grenfell Tower fire, members of the community play a vital part in the response. Harnessing these valuable voluntary acts and integrating them with the official response has long posed a challenge to the emergency planning and response sector. The project aims to enhance community resilience by providing local people with a focused and practical way to help others, particularly during long-running major incidents, says Mr Lewis.

All of the free seminars will be CPD-accredited.

College of Paramedics workshops

The College of Paramedics will once again deliver a programme of free 30-minute CPD workshops which cover trauma, airway management, basic and advanced life support as well as a reflective account on the past London bombings.

Demonstrations from blue lights services

In the networking hub of the show - The Collaboration Zone - over 80 voluntary groups, charities and NGOs will be sharing details of the support they offer, while members of other blue lights services will be available to discuss co-response, current trends and share ideas. The Special Response Unit of the British Transport Police (BTP) will be on hand at the show to demonstrate some of the equipment and techniques it uses to help BTP deal with potential threats to the rail network. The unit of highly skilled officers responds to reports of suspicious or unusual items on the railway, whilst keeping stations open and trains running to minimise disruption to passengers. They make crucial decisions under immense pressure every day and will be offering an insight into how they do this.

There will also be a chance to meet the four-legged crime fighters that also help to keep the railway safe and secure

BTP will be providing information about other initiatives it uses to detect, deter and disrupt a wide range of crime on the railway, including terrorism, and how the force encourages members of the public to report suspicious behaviour or activity on the network. There will also be a chance to meet the four-legged crime fighters that also help to keep the railway safe and secure.

Mitigating CBRN Risk

On the CBRN Centre stand visitors can be updated on the UK’s multi-agency approach to CBRN threat. Deputy Head of the National CBRN Centre, Chief Inspector Richard Butterworth, explains: “Our tri-service team, with partner agencies, continually reviews the CBRN threat and mitigates identified vulnerabilities. It also equips UK emergency responders with the knowledge and capability to respond in a proportionate, agile and effective manner to a CBRN incident. The CBRN threat has not changed, but we must be cognisant of our increasingly connected world, where information and expertise that has historically been hard to access is now instantly available at the click of a button. This, combined with the fast flow of people and goods, is a challenge for us in mitigating the CBRN risk. It is essential that the emergency services and its partners continue to prepare through training and exercising a multi-agency response. However, we must also be mindful of the opportunities developing for improving our capability. Considering and planning how the future emergency response will look is vital. To this end, we are actively searching for innovative technologies and approaches that will further protect and save lives.

Mark Williams, CEO of the Police Firearms Officer Association (PFOA) agrees that technology and training are key: “It is important that we keep up to date with the latest technology to ensure we are at the cutting edge to give officers and forces the best tools to fight crime and the threat of terrorism, and at the same time ensuring that the training is appropriate and the best it can be to prepare officers to be able to best protect themselves and the public.

Visitors to the PFOA stand can find out more about its Welfare Support Programme which includes a 24/7 support line

Welfare Support Programme

Visitors to the PFOA stand can find out more about its Welfare Support Programme which includes a 24/7 support line. The PFOA also delivers Post Incident Management training to UK police forces and agencies, as well as government and organisations that may be involved in such processes. “After the recent terrorist attacks the PFOA has been busier than ever assisting officers involved, both armed and unarmed, says Mr Williams.

Protect the Protectors campaign

A new seminar theatre dedicated to the health and wellbeing of emergency services personnel will cover issues such as mental health and health and safety. Visitors will hear about strategies for supporting crews’ post-incident and learn more about the blue light wellbeing framework for all emergency services being developed by the College of Policing in conjunction with Public Health England. Personal stories will be shared by a serving police officer who suffered a nervous breakdown and a paramedic diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) who has set up the charity Our Blue Light. Simon Durance and Gary Hayes, co-founders of the charity PTSD999, will present a session on living with PTSD.

The Police Federation of England and Wales will be sharing details of its Protect the Protectors campaign. The Federation is pressing for better training and access to equipment, a wider roll-out of protection measures such as Taser, Body Worn Video and spit guards, more accurate data on police assaults and improved welfare support.

"With the increase of terrorist incidents in the UK the inescapable fact is there needs to be an increased awareness of trauma first aid by the general public"

Service providers showcase

With over 400 exhibiting companies and organisations (including over 50 new names), the impressive indoor and outdoor exhibition is a one-stop shop for sourcing all the latest services and equipment. Exhibiting companies include leading names in first response, communications, IT, protective clothing and uniforms, body-worn video, medical supplies, vehicles and fleet, vehicle equipment, drones, outsourcing, training, community safety and station facilities.

Excelerate for example will be demonstrating a range of surveillance and communications equipment on its stand including the Sherpa portable camera that can climb lamp-posts, the Proclux long range camera which can be used in harsh and challenging environments and a Command Pod deployable resilient data network to facilitate live camera and data streams within the incident ground.

Medical supplies showcase

Suppliers of medical products include Water-Jel International which will be exhibiting its burn-treatment dressings and Celox which will showcase Celox Rapid its fastest haemostatic gauze that stops life-threatening bleeding with only 60 seconds compression. Fenton Pharmaceuticals will be showcasing a range of pre-hospital trauma products including tourniquets. Business Development Manager, Andrew Saunders says: “With the increase of terrorist incidents in the UK the inescapable fact is there needs to be an increased awareness of trauma first aid by the general public. Pre-hospital trauma equipment is continually evolving and we are at the forefront of that evolution but we must not forget the solid basics of immediate first aid in the event of a terrorist attack: Stop the bleed, keep them breathing.

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In case you missed it

Adapting servers for IP video surveillance systems: Why manufacturers struggle
Adapting servers for IP video surveillance systems: Why manufacturers struggle

Security integrators are often tasked with a multitude of responsibilities which could include a variety of installation, integration or design tasks made up of sprinkler systems, fire alarms, access control, HVAC, video surveillance systems and networks; and then pile on maintenance, training and analytics. Traditionally, most security integrators have installation backgrounds but are now expected to be IT savvy, too. Even the most proficient IT professionals may not fully grasp the complexity of adapting computer servers for use with video systems. It’s not the area of expertise of security integrators as the complexities between IT data and video data are significant. Therefore, security integrators depend on system builders to provide solutions to meet the needs of video systems expertly and with few hassles. It’s a simple enough ask, but not so easy to deliver. Tom Larson, Chief Technology Officer, BCDVideo, lists some of the challenges: The gap between reality and customer expectations End users should expect a security integrator to provide services and a wide product line to ensure the right equipment for any size job Sometimes there is a gap between what a security integrator expects from a video surveillance solution (in terms of validation testing, dependability, technical support) and the performance of available choices, especially in the case of low-cost or generic equipment. Extra service and support are needed to bridge the gap. Unfortunately, some manufacturers entering the market have failed to deliver, and integrators (and their end user customers) have paid a price. The network is often overlooked Security integrators should pay special attention to engineering the network and calculating the bandwidth and storage needed for video projects, especially given how technology evolves so quickly. Security is an appliance-driven business, and integrators who just want to add another server to expand storage or functionality without configuring the network run the risk of i/o bottlenecks and other system failures. End users should expect a security integrator to provide services and a wide product line to ensure the right equipment for any size job. Unfortunately, traditional IT resellers are often married to a singular solution limiting their knowledge of a good fit for the job. Buying a video server based on a low price aggravates the problem, as “Frankensteined” or generic servers tend to generate additional costs over time Servers are mistakenly considered a one-time expense One mistake purchasing agents make and security integrators have a hard time quantifying is viewing video storage as a capital expense (as one more component of a security system) rather than considering ongoing operating expenses. Buying a video server based on a low price aggravates the problem. “Frankensteined” or generic servers tend to generate additional costs over time, such as firmware or supply chain issues, and some systems builders have failed to provide support to offset those costs. In fact, the high costs over time of supporting inexpensive servers have been unsustainable for some system builders, who have left integrators and end users holding the bag, and in some cases, the liability. Adapting to sustainable strategies “Systems builders to the video surveillance market must adapt and invest to meet the demands of security integrators’ expectations, and they need a business model that enables them to provide a substantial level of support and commitment,” says Larson. “Working with high-quality manufacturers and providing tried-and-tested, certified equipment upfront ensures manageable costs over the life of the system. Products that are fully tested and contain no firmware bugs ensure smoother installations. By providing adequate technical support to the security integrator and managing IT variables over the life of the system, the systems builder makes it possible for a security integrator to specify and install a video server as easily as any other system component.” Keeping IT professionals on staff to deal with server issues is cost-prohibitive for security integrators Taking a longer-term view and considering total cost of ownership is a more sustainable strategy for integrators, says Larson. Investing upfront in a higher-quality server is rewarded by dependability and lower service costs over the life of the system. And the lower costs of supporting a higher-quality server create a more sustainable business model for the integrator, thus ensuring the integrator and end user will have ongoing support. Adapting server technology to video applications Security integrators deliver a different skill set than IT integrators, who tend to be more hands-on in terms of updating firmware and providing maintenance. Keeping IT professionals on staff to deal with server issues is cost-prohibitive for security integrators, who therefore depend on systems builders to provide that expertise. They develop a long-term relationship with a systems builder they can depend on to meet their needs for each job. Larson says the best scenario for a security integrator is a combination of a high-quality server systems builder that understands the specific needs of the security integrator market. Adapting server technology to video applications requires knowledge of both disciplines. Dependable technology adapted to the needs of the video channel ensures successful installations and happy, long-term customers.

New Year’s Resolutions to counter web and mobile application security breaches in 2019
New Year’s Resolutions to counter web and mobile application security breaches in 2019

With the coming of a New Year, we know these things to be certain: death, taxes, and… security breaches. No doubt, some of you are making personal resolutions to improve your physical and financial health. But what about your organisation’s web and mobile application security? Any set of New Year’s resolutions is incomplete without plans for protecting some of the most important customer touch points you have — web and mobile apps. Every year, data breaches grow in scope and impact. Security professionals have largely accepted the inevitability of a breach and are shifting their defense-in-depth strategy by including a goal to reduce their time-to-detect and time-to-respond to an attack. Despite these efforts, we haven’t seen the end of headline-grabbing data breaches like recent ones affecting brands such as Marriott, Air Canada, British Airways and Ticketmaster. App-level threats The apps that control or drive these new innovations have become today’s endpoint The truth of the matter is that the complexity of an organisation’s IT environment is dynamic and growing. As new technologies and products go from production into the real world, there will invariably be some areas that are less protected than others. The apps that control or drive these new innovations have become today’s endpoint — they are the first customer touch point for many organisations. Bad actors have realised that apps contain a treasure trove of information, and because they are often left unprotected, offer attackers easier access to data directly from the app or via attacks directed at back office systems. That’s why it’s imperative that security organisations protect their apps and ensure they are capable of detecting and responding to app-level threats as quickly as they arise. It’s imperative that security organisations protect their apps and ensure they are capable of detecting and responding to app-level threats as quickly as they arise In-progress attack detection Unfortunately, the capability to detect in-progress attacks at the app level is an area that IT and security teams have yet to address. This became painfully obvious in light of the recent Magecart attacks leveraged against British Airways and Ticketmaster, among others. Thanks to research by RiskIQ and Volexity, we know that the Magecart attacks target the web app client-side. During a Magecart attack, the transaction processes are otherwise undisturbed Attackers gained write access to app code, either by compromising or using stolen credentials, and then inserted a digital card skimmer into the web app. When customers visited the infected web sites and completed a payment form, the digital card skimmer was activated where it intercepted payment card data and transmitted it to the attacker(s). Data exfiltration detection During a Magecart attack, the transaction processes are otherwise undisturbed. The target companies receive payment, and customers receive the services or goods they purchased. As a result, no one is wise to a breach — until some 380,000 customers are impacted, as in the case of the attack against British Airways. The target companies’ web application firewalls and data loss prevention systems didn’t detect the data exfiltration because those controls don’t monitor or protect front-end code. Instead, they watch traffic going to and from servers. In the case of the Magecart attacks, the organisation was compromised and data was stolen before it even got to the network or servers. Today’s proven obfuscation techniques can help prevent application reverse engineering, deter tampering, and protect personal identifiable information and API communications Best practice resolutions The Magecart attacks highlight the need to apply the same vigilance and best practices to web and mobile application source code that organisations apply to their networks—which brings us to this year’s New Year’s resolutions for protecting your app source code in 2019: Alert The key to success is quickly understanding when and how an app is being attacked First, organisations must obtain real-time visibility into their application threat landscape given they are operating in a zero-trust environment. Similar to how your organisation monitors the network and the systems connected to it, you must be able to monitor your apps. This will allow you to see what users are doing with your code so that you can customise protection to counter attacks your app faces. Throughout the app’s lifecycle, you can respond to malicious behavior early, quarantine suspicious accounts, and make continuous code modifications to stay a step ahead of new attacks. Protect Next, informed by threat analytics, adapt your application source code protection. Deter attackers from analysing or reverse engineering application code through obfuscation. Today’s proven obfuscation techniques can help prevent application reverse engineering, deter tampering, and protect personal identifiable information and API communications. If an attacker tries to understand app operation though the use of a debugger or in the unlikely event an attacker manages to get past obfuscation, threat analytics will alert you to the malicious activity while your app begins to self-repair attacked source code or disable portions of the affected web app. The key to success is quickly understanding when and how an app is being attacked and taking rapid action to limit the risk of data theft and exfiltration. Protecting encryption keys is often overlooked but should be considered a best practice as you forge into the new year with a renewed commitment to app security to ensure your organisation’s health and well-being in 2019 Encrypt Finally, access to local digital content and data, as well as communications with back office systems, should be protected by encryption as a second line of defense, after implementing app protection to guard against piracy and theft. However, the single point of failure remains the instance at which the decryption key is used. Effective encryption requires a sophisticated implementation of White-Box Cryptography This point is easily identifiable through signature patterns and cryptographic routines. Once found, an attacker can easily navigate to where the keys are constructed in memory and exploit them. Effective encryption requires a sophisticated implementation of White-Box Cryptography. One that combines a mathematical algorithm with data and code obfuscation techniques transforming cryptographic keys and related operations into indecipherable text strings. Protecting encryption keys is often overlooked but should be considered a best practice as you forge into the new year with a renewed commitment to app security to ensure your organisation’s health and well-being in 2019. Protecting applications against data breach According to the most recent Cost of a Data Breach Study by the Ponemon Institute, a single breach costs an average of $3.86 million, not to mention the disruption to productivity across the organisation. In 2019, we can count on seeing more breaches and ever-escalating costs. It seems that setting—and fulfilling—New Year’s resolutions to protect your applications has the potential to impact more than just your risk of a data breach. It can protect your company’s financial and corporate health as well. So, what are you waiting for?

How organisations can secure user credentials from data breaches and password hacks
How organisations can secure user credentials from data breaches and password hacks

In the age of massive data breaches, phishing attacks and password hacks, user credentials are increasingly unsafe. So how can organisations secure accounts without making life more difficult for users? Marc Vanmaele, CEO of TrustBuilder, explains. User credentials give us a sense of security. Users select their password, it's personal and memorable to them, and it's likely that it includes special characters and numbers for added security. Sadly, this sense is most likely false. If it's anything like the 5.4 billion user IDs on haveibeenpwned.com, their login has already been compromised. If it's not listed, it could be soon. Recent estimates state that 8 million more credentials are compromised every day. Ensuring safe access Data breaches, ransomware and phishing campaigns are increasingly easy to pull off. Cyber criminals can easily find the tools they need on Google with little to no technical knowledge. Breached passwords are readily available to cyber criminals on the internet. Those that haven’t been breached can also be guessed, phished or cracked using one of the many “brute-force” tools available on the internet. It's becoming clear that login credentials are no longer enough to secure your users' accounts. Meanwhile, organisations have a responsibility and an ever-stricter legal obligation to protect their users’ sensitive data. This makes ensuring safe access to the services they need challenging, particularly when trying to provide a user experience that won’t cause frustration – or worse, lose your customers’ interest. After GDPR was implemented across the European Union, organisations could face a fine of up to €20 million, or 4% annual global turnover Importance of data protection So how can businesses ensure their users can safely and simply access the services they need while keeping intruders out, and why is it so important to strike that balance? After GDPR was implemented across the European Union, organisations could face a fine of up to €20 million, or 4% annual global turnover – whichever is higher, should they seriously fail to comply with their data protection obligations. This alone was enough to prompt many organisations to get serious about their user’s security. Still, not every business followed suit. Cloud security risks Breaches were most commonly identified in organisations using cloud computing or where staff use personal devices According to a recent survey conducted at Infosecurity Europe, more than a quarter of organisations did not feel ready to comply with GDPR in August 2018 – three months after the compliance deadline. Meanwhile, according to the UK Government’s 2018 Cyber Security Breaches survey, 45% of businesses reported breaches or attacks in the last 12 months. According to the report, logins are less secure when accessing services in the cloud where they aren't protected by enterprise firewalls and security systems. Moreover, breaches were most commonly identified in organisations using cloud computing or where staff use personal devices (known as BYOD). According to the survey, 61% of UK organisations use cloud-based services. The figure is higher in banking and finance (74%), IT and communications (81%) and education (75%). Additionally, 45% of businesses have BYOD. This indicates a precarious situation. The majority of businesses hold personal data on users electronically and may be placing users at risk if their IT environments are not adequately protected. Hackers have developed a wide range of tools to crack passwords, and these are readily available within a couple of clicks on a search engine Hacking methodology In a recent exposé on LifeHacker, Internet standards expert John Pozadzides revealed multiple methods hackers use to bypass even the most secure passwords. According to John’s revelations, 20% of passwords are simple enough to guess using easily accessible information. But that doesn’t leave the remaining 80% safe. Hackers have developed a wide range of tools to crack passwords, and these are readily available within a couple of clicks on a search engine. Brute force attacks are one of the easiest methods, but criminals also use increasingly sophisticated phishing campaigns to fool users into handing over their passwords. Users expect organisations to protect their passwords and keep intruders out of their accounts Once a threat actor has access to one password, they can easily gain access to multiple accounts. This is because, according to Mashable, 87% of users aged 18-30 and 81% of users aged 31+ reuse the same passwords across multiple accounts. It’s becoming clear that passwords are no longer enough to keep online accounts secure. Securing data with simplicity Users expect organisations to protect their passwords and keep intruders out of their accounts. As a result of a data breach, companies will of course suffer financial losses through fines and remediation costs. Beyond the immediate financial repercussions, however, the reputational damage can be seriously costly. A recent Gemalto study showed that 44% of consumers would leave their bank in the event of a security breach, and 38% would switch to a competitor offering a better service. Simplicity is equally important, however. For example, if it’s not delivered in ecommerce, one in three customers will abandon their purchase – as a recent report by Magnetic North revealed. If a login process is confusing, staff may be tempted to help themselves access the information they need by slipping out of secure habits. They may write their passwords down, share them with other members of staff, and may be more susceptible to social engineering attacks. So how do organisations strike the right balance? For many, Identity and Access Management solutions help to deliver secure access across the entire estate. It’s important though that these enable simplicity for the organisation, as well as users. Organisations need an IAM solution that will adapt to both of these factors, providing them with the ability to apply tough access policies when and where they are needed and prioritising swift access where it’s safe to do so Flexible IAM While IAM is highly recommended, organisations should seek solutions that offer the flexibility to define their own balance between a seamless end-user journey and the need for a high level of identity assurance. Organisations’ identity management requirements will change over time. So too will their IT environments. Organisations need an IAM solution that will adapt to both of these factors, providing them with the ability to apply tough access policies when and where they are needed and prioritising swift access where it’s safe to do so. Importantly, the best solutions will be those that enable this flexibility without spending significant time and resource each time adaptations need to be made. Those that do will provide the best return on investment for organisations looking to keep intruders at bay, while enabling users to log in safely and simply.