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Hybrid working and the threat of desk data
Hybrid working and the threat of desk data

The transition to remote working has been a revelation for many traditional office staff, yet concerns over data security risks are rising. Mark Harper of HSM explains why businesses and their remote workers must remain vigilant when it comes to physical document security in homes. Pre-pandemic, home offices were often that neglected room in people’s homes. But now things are different. After the initial lockdown in 2020, 46.6% of UK workers did some work at home with 86% of those doing so because of the pandemic. Semi-permanent workspaces Since then, many have found that over time, those semi-permanent workspaces have become slightly more permanent – with official hybrid working coming into effect for an assortment of businesses and their teams. The adoption of hybrid working can in fact be seen as one of the few positives to come from the pandemic, with less travel, more freedom and higher productivity top of the benefits list for businesses and their employees. The handling of sensitive documents, is a growing concern for office managers But those welcomed benefits don’t tell the whole story. The transition to remote working has undoubtedly impacted workplace security, with various touch points at risk. The handling of sensitive documents for example, is a growing concern for office managers. In simpler times, sensitive data was more or less contained in an office space, but with millions of home setups to now think about, how can businesses and their office managers control the issue of desk data? Physical document security As of January 2021, it’s said that one in three UK workers are based exclusively at home. That’s millions of individuals from a variety of sectors, all of which must continue in their efforts to remain data secure. With that, reports of cyber security fears are consistently making the news but that shouldn’t be the sole focus. There is also the underlying, but growing, issue of physical document security. The move to remote working hasn’t removed these physical forms of data – think hard drives, USBs and paper based documentation. A recent surge in demand for home printers for example, only exemplifies the use of physical documents and the potential security issues home offices are facing. Adding to that, research conducted in 2020 found that two out of three employees who printed documents at home admitted to binning those documents both in and outside of their house without shredding them. Data security concern Without the right equipment, policies and guidance, businesses are sure to be at risk Those findings present a huge data security concern, one that must be fixed immediately. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has since released guidance for those working from their bedrooms and dining tables. Designed to help overcome these challenges, the ‘security checklists’ and ‘top tips’ should be the first port of call for many. Yet throughout, the ICO make reference to ‘following your organisation’s policies and guidance’ – highlighting that the onus isn’t solely on the individuals working from their makeshift offices. Office managers have a monumental task on their hands to ensure teams are well equipped within their home setups. Without the right equipment, policies and guidance, businesses are sure to be at risk. But it would be wrong to insinuate that unsecure desk data has only now become an issue for organisations. Modern office spaces Keeping clear desks has long been a battle for many office managers. In fact, clear desk policies are practised in most modern office spaces, with it recognised as a key preventative to personal information being wrongly accessed and so falling foul of GDPR legislation. Throwing sensitive documents in the bin was never an option pre-pandemic However, the unsupervised aspect of home working has led to a potentially more lax approach to these policies, or in some cases, they can’t be followed at all. For those taking a more laid back approach, organisation leaders must remind staff of their data security responsibilities and why clear desk policies have previously proven effective. Ultimately, throwing sensitive documents in the bin was never an option pre-pandemic and this must be carried through to home workspaces now. Securely destroy documents There are also concerns over the equipment people have access to at home. For example, without a reliable home shredding solution, data security suddenly becomes a tougher task. To add to that, several recommendations state that employees working from home should avoid throwing documents away by instead transporting them to the office for shredding once lockdown rules ease. While this is an option, it does pose further issues, with document security at risk of accidental loss or even theft throughout the transportation period, not to mention the time spent in storage. The best and most effective way to securely destroy documents is at the source, especially in environments where higher levels of personal data is regularly handled. Correct shredding equipment The recent findings on home office behaviour represent a true security risk Only when home workers implement their own clear desk policies alongside the correct shredding equipment (at the correct security level), can both home office spaces and regular offices become data secure. Realistically, these solutions should, like the common home printer, become a staple in home office spaces moving forward. The likelihood is that many UK workers will remain in their home offices for the foreseeable future, only to emerge as hybrid workers post-pandemic. And while the current working environment is more ideal for some than others, the recent findings on home office behaviour represent a true security risk to organisations. With this in mind, it’s now more key than ever for business leaders, their office managers and homeworkers to all step up and get a handle on home data security policies (as well as maintaining their standards back at the office) – starting with the implementation of clear desk policies. After all, a clear desk equals a clear mind.

Data-at-rest encryption: at the centre of the security circle
Data-at-rest encryption: at the centre of the security circle

The past decade has seen unprecedented growth in data creation and management. The products and services that consumers use every day – and the systems businesses, large and small, rely on – all revolve around data. The increasing frequency of high-profile data breaches and hacks should be alarming to anyone, and there’s a danger data security could worsen in the coming years. According to DataAge 2025, a report by IDC and Seagate, by 2025, almost 90% of all data created in the global datasphere will require some level of security, but less than half of it will actually be secured. Nuanced approach to data security Security is a circle, not a line. Every actor involved in the handling and processing of data has responsibility for ensuring its securityThe rapid proliferation of embedded systems, IoT, real-time data and AI-powered cognitive systems – as well as new legislation like the European Union’s GDPR – means that data security has to be a priority for businesses like never before. With data used, stored and analysed at both the hardware and software level, we need a new and more nuanced approach to data security. Security is a circle, not a line. Every actor involved in the handling and processing of data has responsibility for ensuring its security. What this means in practice is renewed focus on areas of hardware and software protection that have previously not been top of mind or received large amounts of investment from businesses, with security at the drive level being a prime example. The importance of data-at-rest encryption In a world where data is everywhere, businesses need always-on protection. Data-at-rest encryption helps to ensure that data is secure right down to the storage medium in which it is held in a number of ways. Hardware-level encryption, firmware protection for the hard drive, and instant, secure erasing technology allow devices to be retired with minimal risk of data misuse. Data-at-rest encryption helps to ensure that data is secure right down to the storage medium in which it is held in a number of ways A recent report from Thales Data Threat found that data-at-rest security tools can be a great way to help protect your data. However, it’s important to note that this must be used in conjunction with other security measures to ensure that those that fraudulently gain access to your key management system can’t access your data. Ensuring drives to be Common Criteria compliant One straightforward test any business can do to ensure its storage is as secure as possible is to check whether the drives are Common Criteria compliantDespite the clear benefits, this kind of encryption lags behind other areas, such as network and endpoint security, in terms of the investment it currently receives. The same Thales Data Threat report found that data-at-rest security was receiving some of the lowest levels of spending increases in 2016 (44%), versus a 62% increase for network and a 56% increase for endpoint security. One straightforward test any business can do to ensure its storage is as secure as possible is to check whether the drives are Common Criteria compliant. Common Criteria is an international standard for computer security certification, and drives that meet this standard have a foundational level of protection which users can build on. Providing an additional layer of security The retail industry has seen a spate of security breaches recently, with several major US brands suffering attacks over the busy Easter weekend this year. As frequent handlers of consumer card information, retailers are particularly vulnerable to attack. Data-at-rest encryption could enhance security in these instances, providing an additional layer of security between customer records and the attacker The advanced threats retailers face can often evade security defences without detection. Such a breach could grant attackers unrestricted access to sensitive information for possibly months – some breaches are known to have been detected only after consumer payment details appeared on the dark web. These types of undetected attacks are highly dangerous for retailers, which are relatively helpless to protect consumer information once their defences have been compromised. Data-at-rest encryption could significantly enhance security in these instances, providing an additional layer of security between customer records and the attacker which has the potential to make the stolen data valueless to cyber criminals. Industries in need of data-at-rest encryption Healthcare organisations, which hold highly sensitive customer and patient information, have a strong use case for data-at-rest encryption. With the widespread adoption of electronic patient health records, that data is increasingly more vulnerable to attack. Recent research from the American Medical Association and Accenture revealed that 74% of physicians are concerned over future attacks that may compromise patient records. With the widespread adoption of electronic patient health records, that data is increasingly more vulnerable to attack The financial sector would also benefit from further investment in data-at-rest encryption, given 78% of financial services firms globally are planning on increasing their spending on critical data, according to Thales’ Data Threat Report. It’s helpful to view security as a circle in which every piece of hardware and software handling the data plays its part SMEs and enterprises are not immune to security threats either – with growing numbers of people traveling for work or working remotely, the risk of sensitive business data becoming exposed via device theft is heightened. Usernames and passwords have little use if thieves can simply remove unencrypted hard drives and copy data across. Securing every hardware and software Technology vendors often focus on aspects of hardware and application security that are within their control. This is understandable, but it risks proliferating a siloed approach to data security. There is no single line for data security -- rather, it’s helpful to view it as a circle in which every piece of hardware and software handling the data plays its part. There’s a clear need for more industry dialogue and collaboration to ensure data security is effectively deployed and connected throughout the security circle and across the value chain.

The many faces of today's facial recognition technology
The many faces of today's facial recognition technology

The use of facial recognition has become a highly debated topic recently, and has increasingly and misleadingly been criticised by some for being an unethical tool used to spy on the public. The reason for such criticism is however largely due to lack of information and regulation around the technology. Used proportionately and responsibly, facial recognition can and should be a force for good. It has the ability to do a lot more to increase security in the future – from street crime to airport security, all the way through to helping those battling addiction, the technology can take security and operations to new heights. The rise in knife crime Knife crime has dominated the headlines in the UK throughout the year. Recent statistics show the number of people being admitted to emergency care due to attacks by a sharp object to be up by nearly 40 per cent from two years ago, whilst the number of children under the age of 18 being admitted to hospitals with stab wounds is up by 86 per cent in only four years. This recent surge in knife crime has put police forces under immense pressure, and the intelligent use of facial recognition has a role to play in enabling more informed stop & search interventions. Currently UK police can stop and search an individual they suspect to be carrying drugs or weapons or both, or they can stop and search a person in a location where there have been or are considered likely to be “incidents involving serious violence.” In both cases they must do so with access to limited information, leaving themselves open to accusations of bias or discrimination. Knife crime dominated the headlines in the UK throughout 2018 Police systems benefiting crime investigations This is where facial recognition can offer up additional intelligence. These systems can memorise the faces of persons of interest, networks of gang members, wanted criminals and those suspected of involvement in serious violent crimes. Furthermore, these systems don’t need prior personal engagement to recognise an individual and see only data, not gender, age or race.  The technology doesn’t take the decision away from the human police officer. However, it does bring greater transparency and context to the decision-making process of whether a stop and search intervention is justified.  Similarly, the advanced technology can recognise and match an individual seen on a CCTV camera at a crime scene to someone the police encounters on the streets some time later, justifying a stop and search on that individual. Its ability to check in real time if a person is on a criminal watchlist adds an extra layer to the decision-making process prior to conducting a stop and search, lowering the likelihood of discrimination. Facial recognition thus helps eliminate both weapons and criminals off the streets and potentially prevent crimes before they have a chance to take place. Gambling addiction and how facial recognition can help There are an estimated 593,000 people in the UK currently battling a gambling problem, making it a serious public health issue in the country. Having understood the gravity of the issue, the UK gambling commission have set limits and advice in place to help those suffering this addiction; yet as with all addictions, gambling is a tough habit to beat. In order to put effective limitations in place and make a real difference, the gambling commission needs the right technology to protect those most vulnerable in the industry.   Facial recognition technology is able to keep track of customers and thus help gambling companies in protecting their customers   Facial recognition technology is able to keep track of customers and thus help gambling companies in protecting their customers to a higher degree. Monitoring those entering and moving around gambling areas is an extremely difficult task for human staff to do alone, especially in large crowded areas such as casinos. Facial recognition technology installed around the premises would be able to help the company and the staff to identify people who have registered as gambling addicts, and keep record of their day’s play in order to inform staff if and when it was time for them to stop. It would also be able to ensure effective self-exclusion procedures, by identifying a self-excluded individual via CCTV as soon as they entered the venue to then allow security staff to respectfully escort them out. Utilising facial recognition at airport security Facial recognition has by now become a normal sight at many airports around the world. Several people today hold a so-called biometric passport, which allows them to skip the normally longer queues and instead walk through an automated ePassport control to proceed to the gate faster without having to deal with control officers. Facial recognition used in this way has managed to significantly cut waiting times at the passport control, but it also has the ability to enhance security in and around airports. Facial recognition uses algorithms to match physical characteristics against photos and videos of people's faces Earlier this year, facial recognition technology managed to catch an imposter trying to enter the US at the Washington Dulles Airport. The false passport may have been uncaught by the human eye, yet due to the accuracy of the facial recognition technology it managed to help officers catch the imposter and bring him to justice. Facial recognition thus allows officers to identify an individual faster and more accurately than the human eye. Facial recognition uses algorithms to match physical characteristics against photos and videos of people's faces, which have been collected from visas, passports and other sources.   Facial recognition allows officers to identify an individual faster and more accurately than the human eye Whilst some critics may worry about issues of privacy related to the technology, at airports the use of facial recognition has proved to both enhance security as well as speed up processes such as check-in and, in the future, even boarding proceedings. At airports the use of facial recognition has proved to both enhance security as well as speed up processes such as check-in If used correctly and proportionately, facial recognition can help safeguard the public and improve national security on several fronts. Whilst the many benefits of facial recognition are evident, the lack of regulation and understanding of the technology has led to misconception around how it works and what it is used for. Facial recognition technology can match faces in crowded public places against criminal watch lists, and register faces that match with those on criminal watch lists – whilst ignoring everyone else.

Latest BCDVideo news

BCDVideo partners with Wasabi to provide on-premises storage options and cloud storage solutions to their users
BCDVideo partners with Wasabi to provide on-premises storage options and cloud storage solutions to their users

BCDVideo, the pioneer in video data infrastructure, announces that it has partnered with Wasabi, the hot cloud storage company for video surveillance storage in the cloud. In an industry moving rapidly toward a hybrid-cloud model, this partnership expands the ability for both manufacturers to offer their customers a complete package: BCDVideo’s purpose-built, on-premises storage options and Wasabi’s competitive hot cloud storage solutions. Together, these two companies deliver a hybrid cloud solution that takes advantage of existing infrastructure, as well as next-generation cloud storage technology, to secure high volumes of video efficiently and affordably. Surveillance security market “We are thrilled about the opportunities this partnership will open up,” said Jeff Burgess, CEO at BCD International. “Wasabi’s cloud technology is already optimised for the video surveillance cloud storage space, which makes it a perfect extension for our purpose-built on-premises devices — working together is a no-brainer.” Building on more than two decades of experience manufacturing video appliances in the surveillance security market, BCD is committed to offering customers the best user experience and value. Marrying Wasabi hot cloud storage with BCDVideo’s Harmonize Bridge enables BCD and Video Storage Solutions (VSS) appliances to interact with Wasabi cloud storage and allows BCD to deliver on that commitment. With a cloud storage option that is one-fifth the price and faster than the competition, with no additional egress fees or API request charges, Wasabi is a game-changing, cloud technology provider. Together, these companies are moving the industry forward. Video surveillance storage Wasabi has a goal to make cloud storage a simple commodity and utility" “We see video surveillance storage requirements growing quickly and outpacing the capacities of on-premises storage alone. By adding affordable, high-performance cloud storage to the equation with BCD’s on-premises storage, you get the best of both worlds,” said David Friend, CEO of Wasabi. “Wasabi has a goal to make cloud storage a simple commodity and utility, just like electricity, so together with BCD, we make video surveillance storage simple and affordable in high volumes.” Because Wasabi’s cloud offering integrates with video surveillance vendors, customers can operate surveillance systems using anywhere from one to 1,000 cameras with varying storage needs, all with plenty of room to scale. Wasabi offers existing BCD customers flexibility as well, allowing users to use as much or as little cloud storage as works best for their system. Surveillance storage systems Using cloud storage as part of surveillance solutions allows customers to take advantage of bottomless storage while reducing the close and build-time required for hardware overhauls. Not to mention, with 11x9s of data durability (99.999999999% reliability), Wasabi hot cloud storage is a powerful addition to the BCD suite of appliances. As video is mission-critical, it is crucial to build surveillance storage systems that can archive older data at a lower cost, free up on-premises storage, and reduce the need for new CapEx spending in the meantime. Bringing BCDVideo and Wasabi together achieves that goal and paves an important path forward.

BCD International debuts Harmonize iDRAC plug-in with Milestone Systems XProtect Video Management Software
BCD International debuts Harmonize iDRAC plug-in with Milestone Systems XProtect Video Management Software

BCD International, the global video data infrastructure manufacturer comprised of BCDVideo, Video Storage Solutions (VSS), and BCDOEM, announced its Harmonize iDRAC plug-in integration with Milestone Systems XProtect® video management software (VMS). iDRAC, which stands for Integrated Dell Remote Access Controller, is a health monitoring agent for secure remote and local server management, powered by Dell Technologies, that resides on BCD servers and appliances. BCD has taken the iDRAC service and tightly integrated it with XProtect® so that hardware events, notifications and alarms are now presented within the VMS. Now, end-users and system integrators can monitor iDRAC features, such as hard disk status, temperatures, fan speed and power supplies, through XProtect®. BCDVideo and VSS appliances will be available with the Harmonize iDRAC plug-in with XProtect® beginning May 2021. BCD Harmonize iDRAC API Continuing to expand its technological prowess from its foundation in 1999 as a provider of high-availability IT servers to Fortune 500 companies to the pioneering provider of purpose-built video appliances in the surveillance security market, BCD remains committed to delivering the best user experience and value to its customer base. BCD achieves this by adding integrations that are available only through BCD’s purpose-built appliances, as standard features on all of its related appliances. The Harmonize iDRAC plug-in for XProtect® is just one of the notable offerings under BCD’s Harmonize portfolio of software solutions. How the integration works is BCD’s Harmonize software suite ingests the iDRAC API and listens for specific events, such as drive failure, and shares this critical system information in real-time to operators. The integration ultimately empowers end-users and system integrators to be ahead of failures and proactively manage any server crashes that may happen. It also gives them insight as to how well or poor the server resources are being utilised by being able to monitor central processing unit (CPU) and random access memory (RAM) consumption. Milestone’s XProtect This has been the missing link for the complete visibility of the health of the Milestone solution" “The BCD Harmonize iDRAC plug-in with Milestone’s XProtect® software is a game changer,” said Andrew Hubble, Managing Director, APAC at BCD International. “BCD’s unique innovation completes the integrated relationship of the BCD appliance and the XProtect® software to provide the ability to receive alarms from both BCD’s appliance and Milestone’s software via the XProtect® graphic user interface.” “This has been the missing link for the complete visibility of the health of the Milestone solution. Additionally, the Harmonize iDRAC plug-in now gives users basic configuration of the BCD appliance along with Milestone’s software, providing better return on investment, competitiveness, and user experience for customers and their supporting system integrators.” As video is mission critical, there has been strong demand for remote server management and health monitoring technologies from a single application across the industry. Any issue that arises from the video surveillance platform should be handled with the same importance as a camera tamper event, a door forced the issue in an access control system, or complex analytics setting. Those events are immediately pushed to an operator. With the Harmonize iDRAC plug-in, operators using XProtect® will now be able to immediately see and respond to storage issues before failure or other catastrophic events occur via the same screen as they are live viewing the site.

BCDVideo launches A&E security specifiers program to provide expert support and extended guidance
BCDVideo launches A&E security specifiers program to provide expert support and extended guidance

Global video data infrastructure pioneer, BCDVideo debuted their new A&E security specifiers program, which is open for online registration through the BCDVideo website. This tailored program will allow specifiers to leverage BCD’s two decades of experience and partnerships through an easy-to-use online portal, offering plentiful technical resources, ongoing education, and expert support. With the help of the skilful A&E taskforce that BCD has assembled for this program, consultants will have direct access to BCD technology specialists that can provide the most up-to-date product specifications and extended guidance. The program is available to security specifiers internationally. Video storage trends Through BCDVideo’s A&E program, consultants can access an abundance of tools for designing custom engineered solutions, leveraging BCD’s trusted video surveillance solutions to create an optimal security system and client satisfaction. The online portal gives 24/7 access to technical documentation and resources, including, CSI MasterFormat 2020 specifications, system designs, product images, and data sheets, calculators, and MSRP pricing, ensuring that consultants can find answers to many product specifications without waiting for a response. Program registration kicks off with a one-hour, virtual Lunch & Learn Additionally, ongoing education in virtualisation, accelerated computing for AI, network infrastructure, and current video storage trends will become available to keep specifiers on the cutting edge of how emerging technologies impact growth and convergence. Program registration kicks off with a one-hour, virtual Lunch & Learn to introduce BCD’s products, technologies, and professional services and how the A&E program resources will support system design and provide guaranteed, custom engineered project solutions. Resilient security systems BCD’s renowned support services are extended through the A&E program as well, with designated task force experts ready to offer project consulting, design assistance, and verification that remove risk and liability from specifiers and help position integrators to win the bid. A major differentiator from other A&E programs is that BCDVideo guarantees that the proposed design will fit and perform as intended, or they will fix the shortfall at their own cost, giving partners the ultimate project assurance. “We are excited and proud to launch the BCDVideo A&E program,” said Maureen Carlo, Director of Strategic Alliances in North America. “Consultants need resources they can trust so they can accurately design reliable and resilient security systems and recommend solutions that meet their clients’ needs and budget. BCD has the resources to provide that guidance – and if we don’t have a specific answer, we are partners with some of the largest tech and software manufacturers in the world – an alliance that is supportive of our program.” Creating useful resource BCD has done an excellent job creating a useful resource for the A&E community" Positive feedback is already being generated from initial members of BCDVideo’s A&E Program. “I am very pleased to see BCD taking these next steps with their A&E program to build stronger individual relationships and to provide important tools and information for the consulting community,” said Ray Coulombe, Managing Director at SecuritySpecifiers. “These actions should provide great value to security system specifiers.” “BCD has done an excellent job creating a useful resource for the A&E community,” said Frank Pisciotta, CSC, President, and CEO of Business Protection Specialists, Inc. “Even in its infancy, I have found the BCDVideo A&E Program to be an excellent resource. You have set the bar high for interfacing with the security specifying consultant community.” Video data infrastructure As video data infrastructure continues to change rapidly, it’s crucial that consultants have evolving resources and knowledgeable support available that will enable them to provide clients with top-quality, pinpointed solutions. BCDVideo’s new A&E program presents a dynamic and value-laden platform, especially in combination with their long-standing expertise, strategic partnerships, and unparalleled video data infrastructure offerings. Security consultants around the globe will be able to bring together powerful industry knowledge, support, and products through the BCDVideo A&E program to design winning solutions for diverse clients.

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