Terrorism has become part of everyday life. Over the past 12 months, Europe has experienced some the deadliest attacks in its history and the threat level remains high worldwide.

One of the main issues facing global security professionals today is the breakup of the so-called Islamic State’s caliphate. Following the liberation of Mosel and the assault on Raqqa, it is becoming increasingly likely that terrorists from more than 80 countries will begin to return to their home countries.

This represents a new challenge for security services across Europe. The return of highly trained and ideologically driven individuals will no doubt further increase the threat level across Europe.

Protecting critical assets and people

Those who retain a desire to commit acts of terrorism will continue to seek new ways to avoid detection, as we saw in December with the German Christmas market attack. It means the security industry must evolve and stay one step ahead by investing in new technologies and intelligence solutions that protect critical assets and people from today’s threats.

In May 2017, Security & Counter Terror Expo (SCTX)—the UK’s leading national security event for private and public sector security professionals—will return with a comprehensive programme designed to keep attendees one step ahead of those intent on committing terrorist acts.

Alongside an exhibition of more than 350 businesses, experts from across the globe, including representatives from NATO, Europol, MOD, Metropolitan Police and critical national infrastructure organisations, will explore the latest strategies to prevent, protect and prepare for future attacks.

Border control

Taking place at Olympia, London, from 3rd to 4th May 2017, SCTX remains the only event that unites security professionals from all four corners of the world. Working in partnership with the Department for International Trade (formerly UKTI), the event is expected to welcome a record number of delegations, building upon the 10,000-plus visitors who attended in 2016 from more than 100 countries—including France, Germany, Japan, Spain, Italy, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, UAE, Canada, and the US.

"The terrorist threat is changing almost daily; this creates countless issues for security professionals"

The two-day event, aligned with the Home Office’s seven security capabilities, will showcase the latest innovations from major suppliers, as well as niche technology providers. Visitors to SCTX 2017 will find a plethora of new solutions, equipment and services designed to assist critical national infrastructure protection, border control, cyber security, major events, offender management, policing and counter terrorism, and the emergency services.

David Thompson, Event Director, said: “The terrorist threat is changing almost daily; this creates countless issues for security professionals. SCTX is an essential platform, it provides a secure environment to source the latest solutions and define effective strategies to current threats.”

Drone and counter drone technology

“The 2017 show will showcase the most innovative technologies and provide those tasked with keeping nations, assets, and businesses safe with a platform to learn from industry leaders. Ultimately SCTX will help security professionals remain one step ahead of those intent on carrying out attacks.”

The exhibition has established itself as an international hub where the industry elite come together to identify the security sector’s most significant innovations and new product launches.

SCTX 2017 will showcase a wide range of product innovations from more than 350 exhibitors, including those supplying the latest in drone and counter drone technology, virtual reality, surveillance control systems, high security fencing and much more.

Pelco by Schneider Electric, Airborne Drones UK, e2v Technologies, Yuneec and GEOQUIP are among the major multinational companies booked and will join more than 120 new exhibitors offering cutting edge services and security solutions to the industry.

Radio Frequency Communications Jamming systems

First time exhibitor K9 Electronics will be showcasing its range of Radio Frequency Communications Jamming systems for both covert and overt operations. The UK-based company designs and manufactures jammers that can defeat drones at a range of five kilometres.

"Our primary focus is counter terrorism and countering the potential threats that drones carry"

Glenn Darien, Director of K9 Electronics, said: “Our primary focus is counter terrorism and countering the potential threats that drones carry. Our systems are currently being used in the Middle East, USA and South East Asia by various government organisations.”

“At the show, we will be exhibiting our new handheld tactical Drone Jammer Gun made for portable use and the covert, briefcase style Drone Jammer. Both have a one kilometre effective Jamming range and are very directional, ensuring that they will have minimal effect on surrounding communications when used correctly.”

VideoXpert video management platform

Following a successful show last year, Pelco by Schneider Electric is returning to SCTX 2017. The company that specialises in security cameras and surveillance systems will be demonstrating its leading VideoXpert video management platform. It will also demonstrate its latest camera technologies, including Opetra multi imager cameras and new low light static and PTZ ranges.

With 127 counter terrorism operations taking place in Europe last year, highlighting the sheer scale of the problem facing security professionals, it has never been more important to share expertise and best practice. Security professionals, law enforcement agencies, government officials and military will attend the annual World Counter Terror Congress to discuss future threats and define joint responses to national security.

With topics ranging from terrorist funding, counter radicalisation tactics, the emerging threats, privacy and technology, 20-plus high ranking officials and academics will lead the congress, providing invaluable trends and information to more than 400 attendees.

"The threat facing the UK and other nations is, and will remain, high for the years to come"

Securing critical national infrastructure

Richard Walton, the former head of the Met's Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) and now a special adviser to Security & Counter Terror Expo, said: “The threat facing the UK and other nations is, and will remain, high for the years to come. Security professionals must use the World Counter Terror Congress to develop their understanding of where the threats are coming from and identify ways that they can be prevented—a unilateral approach it is the only way we will stop attacks in the future from happening.”

The World Counter Terror Congress will feature six sessions, covering policy and strategy responses to the changing terror threat; radicalisation, de-radicalisation and preventing radicalisation; geopolitical security briefings; encryption, communications and security; security for critical national infrastructure; and emerging terror networks and tactics.

Among those confirmed to speak are Lord Carlile of Berriew CBE, QC; Rob Wainwright, Director at Europol; Dr Jamie Shea, Deputy ASG, Emerging Security Challenges Division, NATO; Raffaello Pantucci, Director of International Security Studies, Royal United Services Institute (RUSI); and Thomas Wuchte, Head on Anti-Terrorism Issues, Action Against Terrorism Unit, Organisation for Security & Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Cyber security

Cyber security was once again thrust into the spotlight recently, with Russia’s alleged involvement in the US Election. The overall number of incidents the US experienced the previous year, totalled at 77,000, a 1300% increase over the last decade.

The importance of increased cyber security at a national level is now recognised globally, with the UK government creating the National Cyber Security Centre, part of GCHQ, in October 2016.

The free-to-attend Cyber Threat Intelligence Conference at SCTX will host the industry’s leading figures who will explore the latest cyber security strategies and share real life case-studies.

Addressing most important security issues

Running across two days in partnership with techUK, the representative body for the UK’s technology industry, the programme will feature the NCSC Chief Executive, Ciaran Martin, who will provide a keynote address on the current and future threat in cyber space and how prepared the UK is.

Other speakers confirmed for the conference include Peter Wood, CEO, First Base Technologies; Nader Heinen, Regional Director, Advanced Security Assurance Advisory, BlackBerry; Ron Gregory, Estates & Facilities Compliance Manager, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust; and Jenny Radcliffe aka 'The People Hacker'.

"The cyber terrorism threat grows immeasurably year-on-year"

Talal Rajab, techUK’s Head of Programme, Cyber and National Security, said: “The cyber terrorism threat grows immeasurably year-on-year and we as an industry, must grow, adapt and react in equal measure. The Cyber Threat Intelligence Conference at Security & Counter Terror Expo provides the opportunity to learn from and meet with some of the key figures in the sector addressing the most important issues we face today.”

Safeguarding critical national infrastructure

In addition to securing the ever-expanding cyber space, protecting national infrastructure and businesses is critical for the effective running of nations. Terrorist groups want to propagate the notion that no one is safe from attack in the western world and everyday life could be disrupted at any time. Security professionals therefore must look at the best way of protecting communications networks, the emergency services, energy plants, financial institutions, governments, health services, transport links and natural resources.

The Critical National Infrastructure & Business Resilience conference will aim to aid public and private entities to identify, assess, prioritise, and protect critical infrastructure and key resources. Allowing them to mitigate deliberate efforts to incapacitate or exploit a nation’s CNI.

The conference will feature a series of presentations from experts on how to protect CNI and business, citing real life examples and case studies and instructing how to create effective strategies utilising cyber, physical security and staff.

Securing borders and transport hubs

Running alongside the Critical National Infrastructure & Business Reliance and Cyber Threat Intelligence conference, the Border & Transport Security Conference will focus on the most critical issues facing borders and transport hubs.

Devastating attacks on transport hubs such as Atatürk international Airport in Turkey and attacks on Brussels Airport and Metro Station, as well as the mass movement of people throughout the world, poses serious problems for security professionals—with borders being exploited by those seeking to do us harm.

"The addition of the Counter IED Zone at SCTX serves to highlight the changing nature of terrorism"

The free-to-attend Border & Transport Security Conference will allow fellow practitioners to share best practice and explore the latest capabilities for secure border and transport management. Visitors will be able to hear from the likes of Bart van Hofwegen, Chief Security National Tactical Command, Ministry of Defence of the Netherlands; Jirí Celikovský, Head of Unit for Coordination of Schengen Cooperation and Border Control, Department for Asylum and Migration Policy, Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic; Peter O'Broin, Director, Airport Operator’s Association; and many more.

Explosive detection

Public and private sector buyers, influencers and government delegations from across the globe will attend SCTX to enhance their current and future security capabilities.

At Advanced Technologies Live, visitors will be able to see and hear more about innovative solutions through a series of live demonstrations. Attendees can view the latest products from the likes of Aerialtronics, dataminr and Aaronia.

New to the event for 2017, Security & Counter Terror Expo will be partnering with DSEI—the world leading defence and security event—to launch the Counter IED Zone. As well as showcasing best practice in reducing the threat of IEDs, live demonstrations will enable EOD, CIED, CBRNe, Defence, Law Enforcement, CT and Security professionals identify new strategies to disarm and detect devices. Exhibitors featuring in the Counter IED Zone include Bomb-Jammer, MIB-Electronic, ISSEE and Med-Eng.

Duncan Reid, Event Director of the DSEI, said: "The addition of the Counter IED Zone at SCTX serves to highlight the changing nature of terrorism. The threat is multifaceted and the security industry must seek out innovations that will help them detect and prevent attacks. This element of the show will help mitigate future threats and help personnel respond more effectively.”

Security & Counter Terror Expo 2017 will be co-located with Ambition—the EPRR Expo—and Forensics Europe Expo.

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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.