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5 Minutes With… Hanwha Techwin’s Billy Hopkins

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In the latest instalment of our security industry executive interview series we spoke to Billy Hopkins (pictured, right), National Account Manager at Hanwha Techwin, about the company, the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 for the security sector, cyber security in video surveillance, the impact of AI and more…

Tell us about your company, products and services.

Hanwha Techwin are a global leader in the video surveillance industry, offering complete security solutions which encompass network and analogue cameras, recording solutions, video management software and compression technology. With a vision to deliver a safer world through our cooperate philosophy of trust and loyalty.

What have been the biggest challenges the Security industry has faced over the past 12 months?

COVID has undoubtedly been one of biggest challenges and with it, we have had to find new ways of working whilst maintaining a safe environment.

And what have been the biggest opportunities?

One of the biggest opportunities has been the ability to release free of charge applications for our products that help with public safety, such as occupancy monitoring applications and facemask detection applications.

What is the biggest priority for the Security industry in 2020?

The biggest priority should be around cyber security and ensuring new products released are meeting the highest standards such as Secure by default and UL Cap independent testing.

What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2022?

A key trend will be in the new product ranges where video will help to innovate, such as utilising AI for parking management systems and increasing the accuracy on analytics for retail focused applications.

What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this coming year?

AI technology is at the forefront of the current technological advancements, with cost effective edge based AI functions becoming a reality of today. The ability to be able to deploy advanced AI tech to any system size, not just enterprise solutions, will benefit many.

In 2025 we’ll all be talking about…?

Cloud solutions or SaaS will play are bigger role and I expect 2025 will see an increase in the variety of solutions on offer.

Which person in, or associated with, the Security industry would you most like to meet?

Fraser Sampson, the Surveillance Camera Commissioner – I believe Fraser has an important role in shaping the future of CCTV in the UK and beyond ensuring current and emerging technology is used responsibly.

You go to the bar at the Total Security Summit – what’s your tipple of choice?

I’m not much of a drinker but if pushed a good whisky!

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

I really enjoy the seeing the result of our technology making a difference. Following a request from system design through to seeing it in action makes it worthwhile.

And what’s the most challenging?

Making sure the solutions we put together solve the problem for those at the end of the chain.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Luck comes from hard work.

Succession or Stranger Things?

Stranger Things!

F24 and The BCI present the new Emergency Communications Report 2021

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The pandemic has driven organisations to adopt collaboration software in 2020 and this trend is expected to continue for 2021.

Previous reports have highlighted an overreliance on tools from the private environment for communication during emergency situations (e.g. WhatsApp). Organisations are moving away from tools from such as WhatsApp and using more collaborative tools such as Microsoft Teams, which is also being used in incident situations. Many organisations, who have been using collaborative tools/software for the first time in 2020, are now seeking to extend investment into specialist emergency communications technology solutions.

“2020 was a testing year for all organisations, but one which has transformed the way businesses communicate. This year’s report shows how organisations have been switching physical meetings to virtual settings, with most exploiting collaborative technology such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom more than ever before. The success in using such collaboration tools has driven many organisations to consider investing in more specialist tools for emergency communications for the first time: 49% of respondents who do not currently have tools are already actively trialling new tools or are considering it.”, summarizes Rachael Elliott, Head of Thought Leadership at the BCI.

As Europe’s leading provider for incident and crisis management, emergency notification, as well as business messaging, F24 is proud to exclusively present the BCI Emergency Communications Report and results of this year’s survey. This annual publication provides insight into how organisations communicate in an emergency, the key communication challenges organisations face, and how technology is helping to assist in communications processes.

Download your free copy directly from the F24 website.

Five top technology trends set to impact the security sector in 2020

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As existing technologies reach maturity and innovations make the leap from consumer applications to business (and vice versa), it’s imperative that we constantly seek to find those that have the potential to add value to our own business and those of our customers. As we look ahead to 2020, Johan Paulsson, CTO, Axis Communications has identified five trends that will have an impact on the physical security industry…

  1. The world on the edge
    We are seeing a growing momentum towards computing at the ‘edge’ of the network[1]. More of the devices that are connected to the network require or would benefit from the ability to analyse received data, make a decision and take appropriate action. Autonomous vehicles are an obvious example. Whether in relation to communications with the external environment or through sensors detecting risks, decisions must be processed in a split second. It is the same with video surveillance. If we are to move towards the proactive rather than reactive, more processing of data and analysis needs to take place within the camera itself.
  2. Processing power in dedicated devices
    Dedicated and optimised hardware and software, designed for the specific application, is essential with the move towards greater levels of edge computing. Connected devices will need increased computing power, and be designed for purpose from the ground up with a security first mindset. The concept of embedded AI in the form of machine and deep learning computation will also be more prevalent moving forwards.
  3. Towards the trusted edge
    Issues around personal privacy will continue to be debated around the world. While technologies such as dynamic anonymization and masking[2] can be used on the edge to protect privacy, attitudes and regulation are inconsistent across regions and countries. The need to navigate the international legal framework will be ongoing for companies in the surveillance sector. Many organizations are still failing to undertake even the most basic firmware upgrades, yet with more processing and analysis of data taking place in the device itself, cybersecurity will become ever more critical.
  4. Regulation: use cases vs technology
    Attitudes towards appropriate use technology cases and the regulations around them differ around the world. Facial recognition might be seen as harmless and even desirable. However, when used for monitoring citizens and social credit systems it is regarded as much more sinister and unwanted. The technology is exactly the same but the case is vastly different. Regulations are struggling to keep pace with advances in technology. It’s a dynamic landscape that the industry will need to navigate, and where business ethics[3]will continue to come under intense scrutiny. 
  5. Network diversity
    As a direct result of some of the regulatory complexities, privacy and cybersecurityconcerns, we’re seeing a move away from the open internet of the past two decades. While public cloud services will remain part of how we transfer, analyse and store data, hybrid and private clouds are growing in use. Openness and data sharing was regarded as being essential for AI and machine learning, yet pre-trained network models can now be tailored for specific applications with a relatively small amount of data. For instance, we’ve been involved in a recent project where a traffic monitoring model trained with only 1,000 photo examples reduced false alarms in accident detection by 95%.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edge_computing

[2] https://www.axis.com/blog/secure-insights/privacy-security-industry/

[3] https://www.axis.com/en-gb/newsroom/article/ethics-trust-security-value-chain

Gallagher

Industry Spotlight: Gallagher releases latest mobile security technology to international market

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Gallagher has released its latest state-of-the-art mobile security solution: Gallagher Mobile Connect.

Mobile Connect transforms a mobile phone in to an access device, using FIDO certified authentication to deliver exceptionally safe and secure credentials – empowering businesses to use mobile technology in place of traditional access cards.

Delivering more than just peace-of-mind, Gallagher’s new mobile solution significantly reduces costs and simplifies administration through a range of exclusive features.

In addition to eliminating the costs of supplying and replacing access cards, Mobile Connect customers will enjoy a unique subscription model, which allows for credentials to be transferred between users and reissued to devices.

security.gallagher.com/products/mobile-connect-app

Apple

Apple delays app transport security deadline

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Apple has backtracked on its plan to enforce a year-end deadline for 2016 that would have required developers to move apps to an HTTPS-only model in an effort to thwart eavesdropping on insecure, plaintext HTTP connections.

In a short statement at the end of last month, Apple said that a requirement for developers to adopt App Transport Security would be extended. It did not set a new deadline.

The statement on Apple’s website read: “App Transport Security (ATS), introduced in iOS 9 and OS X v10.11, improves user security and privacy by requiring apps to use secure network connections over HTTPS. At WWDC 2016 we announced that apps submitted to the App Store will be required to support ATS at the end of the year.

To give you additional time to prepare, this deadline has been extended and we will provide another update when a new deadline is confirmed. Learn more about ATS.”

Gallagher launches new mobile security app to international market…

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Gallagher has announced the release of its Mobile Connect app which promises to transform a mobile phone into an access device – empowering businesses to use mobile technology in place of traditional access cards.

The security division of the Gallagher Group partnered with the FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance and Nok Nok Labs to create the app, which uses two-step remote provisioning to deliver secure enrolment by sending an email invitation with SMS code to verify the user and the mobile device. 

Steve Bell, chief technology officer at Gallagher said: “Mobile Connect really brings the best of both worlds to the market. It makes access simpler and easier for users while operating on highly-secure, cutting-edge FIDO protocols that give businesses supreme confidence in their security.”

In addition, Mobile Connect claims to significantly reduce costs and simplifies administration through a range of exclusive features. Users can also enjoy a unique subscription model, allowing credentials to be transferred between users and reissued to devices.

Bell adds: “We’re thrilled with this latest release in our mobile technology development programme and the simplicity it brings to our customers. Our goal is always to develop simple solutions underpinned by the strongest security, and that’s what we’ve achieved here.” 

Optional two-factor authentication, either PIN or biometric, is also available to provide added security and flexibility for sites using Mobile Connect.

Find out more information here  

Industry Spotlight: Global ‘megatrends’ pose security and defense challenges, warns PwC…

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A new PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report has determined the five global ‘megatrends’ set to have a profound and disruptive effect on defense and security environments.

The shift in global economic power, accelerating urbanisation, demographic shifts, the rise of technology, and climate change and resource scarcity are the five key megatrends widely believed to be shaping the future, with the impact posing a need for more accountability and agility from governments; in addition to greater collaboration to combat risk. 

Entitled ‘Five Megatrends and their implications for Global Defense and Security’, analysts found:

The shift in global economic power – will create more powerful national economies in different regions with greater resources to protect, and greater resources available to invest in defence and security. The shift could also decrease the dependence of some nations on the traditional power projectors, such as the US for protection, as well as increase burden-sharing to ensure economic trade routes and free navigation are protected from hostile actors. Extensive and complex supply chains will become increasingly vulnerable to disruption from cyber criminals engaged in industrial espionage, theft, or terror-based disruptive activities.

Accelerating urbanisation – could mean that the combined power of growing ‘megacities’ will rival that of national governments due to the sheer size of their constituencies. The explosion in urbanisation will present tremendous challenges for law enforcement, intelligence and internal security agencies, in addition to traditional defense organisations. Providing adequate police and security for these areas will prove costly and will require a higher level of interagency information-sharing and collaboration.

Demographic changes – indicates that demand for social services and healthcare in the West will place severe pressure on budget priorities that could compete with, or even crowd out, defense and security expenditures. In contrast, the growth in the youth populations among emerging markets could potentially create increased radicalisation and civil unrest, and a greater likelihood for disruptive transnational movements to take hold in these societies. 

The rise of technology – offers exciting advances that promotes even greater analytics, communications and automation. However, it also creates new vulnerabilities that will challenge law enforcement, security, and defense organisations like never before. The combination of mobile devices, data analytics, the internet, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing will provide defense and security organisations step-function increases in capabilities to address and respond to threats that will be using the same, commercially available tools to do harm. The challenge for will be to adapt and adapt these tools at the speed of business—not the traditional speed of government. 

Climate change and resource scarcity – will increase tensions between nations over access to natural resources. As the global population continues to grow, these disputes will become more acute and critical to national survival, particularly when it comes to very basic resources such as food, water, and energy sources. PwC predicts this will lead to regional and potentially global confrontations over water, oil, wind, fishing, hunting, and other mineral rights.

Tom Modly, global government sectors leader at PwC, said: “The depth and complexity of the security challenges posed by the global megatrends will demand ‘whole of society’ solutions. And these solutions must leverage the technological, collaborative and commercial benefits that the megatrends themselves will enable.

“But we must not fear the megatrends or their resultant defense and security challenges. Rather, we should anticipate these changes, take them seriously, and apply creativity and resources to stay ahead of the critical issues they will present.” 

Guest Blog, Pascal Geenens: The rise in students hacking school databases…

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You might be surprised at who is behind the most recent cases of cyber-attacks on schools. Would you guess that in many instances, it’s the students themselves? There are many reasons why students would want to launch an attack against their own school, and it’s actually becoming a larger problem across the globe with cases reported in the US, Japan, Australia and India.

Here are some of the top reasons why students have been launching attacks on schools:

It’s fun

Who wouldn’t be intrigued by the idea of trying to hack into their school, with all its records at their disposal? With many schools now electing to have students submit assignments digitally and take exams online, some would find it fun to shut down the system so they and their classmates won’t have to submit their work or take a test. Others may just want to play a joke by defacing the school website.

Revenge

In some cases, the reason for hacking is as simple as wanting to get back at the school for bestowing punishment upon the student. Disrupting normal operations, thinking they won’t get caught, holds an allure.

Changing grades

For those who are struggling with coursework or may have flunked an important exam or submitted a hastily put together dissertation, the temptation to hack lies in the ability to change their grades to more favourable ones. Not wanting to bring home a poor report is a key motivation in younger students. Students of all ages will see a hack as a way to avoid this.

To change attendance

For the truants out there, hacking provides a way for them to change their attendance records and erase the fact they did not attend school.

As a dare

We all like having bragging rights. For students, responding to a dare is often the way to do it. If they don’t, they face bullying and teasing from classmates over not succeeding.

So how do they do it? Most educational facilities have migrated to digital platforms, and these online portals are prime targets for attacks.

Technology is great and streamlines workflow, but presents a larger issue if knocked offline. If these portals go down, they prevent students from being able to perform many actions, like submitting their work. This is a huge issue with schools going digital. Schools are quick to incorporate the newest technology but often do not consider the risks.

One of the biggest security risks that school network face is from their students and the devices they bring with them. Students bring a considerably large amount of devices, ranging from personal computers and tablets to mobile phones and gaming consoles.

These devices often connect to the school’s network and open a huge range of vulnerabilities. The activities that some students engage in, such as online gaming, can also bring a risk of malware or even denial of service attacks.

Part of the issue is the ease in which students can now access the Darknet, and the increasingly low costs to hire someone to hack the system for them. Digital marketplace vendors on the Darknet offer cyber services such as grade changes and distributed denial of service (DDos) attacks for very little money.

This makes it increasingly easy for non-hackers to carry out an attack or cause damage to a school’s resources. In addition to these services, a potential attacker can rent other attacks such as botnets or stresser services for Bitcoin.

It’s scary stuff, but there are steps that schools can take to protect themselves. They key is a hybrid security solution that combines on-premise detection and mitigation with cloud-based protection, so attack traffic can be identified and blocked before it causes downtime. A trusted security specialist will be able to advise further on the best way to ensure service availability.

It may seem extreme, but students have come a long way from slingshots and peashooters, with many choosing cyber attacks as their weapon of choice. It’s up to schools to make sure they are just as innovative with their defences.

 

As a security evangelist for Radware, Pascal helps execute the company’s thought leadership on today’s security threat landscape. Pascal brings over two decades of experience in many aspects of information technology and holds a degree in Civil Engineering from the Free University of Brussels.

Milestone Systems and Nedap form ‘strategic partnership’…

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Enforced by the security market’s general requirement for a seamless integration between systems, the leader in IP video management software, Milestone Systems and security technology company, Nedap have announced the commencement of a ‘strategic partnership’.

By means of this partnership, both sides are committing to a ‘deep integration’ between the Milestone XProtect VMS and AEOS Access Control from Nedap.

As the demand for smarter buildings continues to increase, the need for integration between security systems also has also shown a strong growth, and both parties agree that it is important for facilities and cities with integrated IT-systems for monitoring and control. Thus, both claim that the use of open platform technology has been fundamental in integrating Nedap access control with the Milestone XProtect VMS.

Managing director, security management at Nedap, Sieger Volkers, said: “The best of video management and access control will be combined into a solid, seamlessly integrated security solution. We’re committed to developing a deep integration between our Access Control platform AEOS and XProtect reducing delivery risks and complexity for our mutual partners.”