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Companies warned over cyber security risk

A fast-growing Edinburgh-based fintech company aims to uncover key concerns around the evolving cyber threat landscape in Scotland at an event on the sector being held in Glasgow this week. The Future of Cyber Security Scotland Conference is taking place on Thursday and issues lined up for discussion include reducing risk and ensuring compliance, data breaches on the so-called dark web and encouraging a better gender balance in the industry. Among speakers and panellists are Don Randall, former head of security and chief information security officer of the Bank of England, and Alisdair Matheson, partner at law firm Brodies. Also on the list is Stephen Budd, product manager specialising in data solutions at cyber security specialist ZoneFox, a spin-out from Edinburgh Napier University. The firm s founder and chief executive Jamie Graves told Scotland on Sunday: As a Scottish company, I am delighted that we are able to partner with the conference to share knowledge across the cyber community in Scotland and educate on the best strategies and technologies to identify threats and reduce risk. Failure to protect sensitive information in the current business climate has serious consequences from reputational damage to huge financial loss, to the fallout for individuals that comes with the leak of their personal information. The firm will discuss whether Scotland is ready for general data protection regulation (GDPR), which comes into force in 2018 and will impose strict new rules on the way organisations collect, store and use personal data.

A recent study found that nearly half of UK firms were not ready for it coming into effect. Graves added that with the forthcoming GDPR, pressure has never been so high on organisations to safeguard their data and monitor its movement. As well as the increasing amount of state attacks and large organisations being breached, there have never been more attacks on businesses by cyber-criminals than we are seeing today, but, worryingly, knowledge and awareness about how to prevent such attacks is still very low. ZoneFox will present to delegates on the likes of how user behaviour analytics and machine learning can highlight threats to an organisation before they turn into incidents . Police Scotland, one of the conference s backers, said this month that there have been 34 ransomware attacks in Scotland in the past year, including 13 on NHS health boards on 13 May.

The conference s organiser is OSP Security Professionals, which last year took the Global Security & Cyber summit to Aberdeen, where it was predicted that oil and gas and the NHS were perfect targets for cyber hacks .

Crown Court upholds our decision to refuse ACS status to Extreme Security Solutions Ltd

Crown Court Upholds Our Decision To Refuse ACS Status To Extreme Security Solutions Ltd

On Friday 9 June 2017 at Chester Crown Court, we successfully defended an appeal by Extreme Security Solutions Limited against a decision to refuse the company’s application for Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) status.

The company appealed to the Crown Court after their initial appeal was dismissed by South Cheshire Magistrates Court on 21 February 2017. The company, based in Macclesfield, applied for the ACS in November 2015 after a similarly-named ACS company, Extreme Security Limited, went into liquidation with significant debts and owing tens of thousands of pounds to HM Revenue & Customs. Mark Longden, of Chapel-en-le-Frith, was a director of both companies. There was another compliance issue as one of the previous directors of Extreme Security Solutions Ltd, Mark Longden s wife Amie Longden, had been unlicensed for several months prior to obtaining an SIA licence in March 2016.

After an investigation,we also discovered that the company had been supplying an unlicensed security guard to a local college over an extended period. The guard, when interviewed by ourinvestigators, admitted that he had been unlicensed since 2009 and had problems with alcoholism and debt. The company’s application for ACS was refused in September 2016. Their initial appeal against the decision was dismissed by South Cheshire Magistrates Court in February this year. New evidence produced at the Crown Court appeal also showed that the company, on its website, was incorrectly claiming to already hold ACS status.

Dismissing the company s further appeal at Chester Crown Court, Recorder Harry Narayan stated that the deployment of an unlicensed guard to a college was a serious lapse by the company, given that the licensable status of the guard was easily checkable . He also noted that the failings took place over a lengthy time and at a place where persons were entitled to be protected and where those in authority should be properly checked . The fact that the company s website claimed that it already held ACS status demonstrated that the company is not being run as it should be . Extreme Security Solutions Limited were ordered to pay our legal costs of 2976, in addition to the 4067 costs ordered previously by South Cheshire Magistrates Court.

Lisa Targowska, our Legal Deputy Director, said:

“We are grateful the Court agreed with us that this company is simply not fit and proper to be awarded ACS status. We will continue do our utmost to protect the integrity of the ACS and keep unsuitable businesses out of the scheme.”

Further information:

  • The Approved Contractor Scheme is voluntary and exists to raise performance standards. To be an Approved Contractor a business needs to meet a sector-specific approval based on a relevant set of qualifying criteria that is independently assessed.
  • The Security Industry Authority is the organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry in the United Kingdom, reporting to the Home Secretary under the terms of the Private Security Industry Act 2001.

    The SIA’s main duties are: the compulsory licensing of individuals undertaking designated activities; and managing the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme.

  • For further information about the Security Industry Authority or to sign up for email updates visit www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk.

    The SIA is also on FacebookCrown Court Upholds Our Decision To Refuse ACS Status To Extreme Security Solutions Ltd (Security Industry Authority) and TwitterCrown Court Upholds Our Decision To Refuse ACS Status To Extreme Security Solutions Ltd (SIAuk).

Tight security and tears as Manchester benefit concert kicks off

By Mark Hanrahan1 | MANCHESTER, England

MANCHESTER, England U.S . pop singer Ariana Grande headlined a star-studded benefit concert in Manchester on Sunday that was both joyful and mournful, in aid of victims of the bombing that rocked the city last month, as security fears ran high after attackers in London killed seven people.

Around 50,000 fans crammed into Old Trafford cricket ground under the watchful eye of hundreds of police, including a significant number of armed officers, a sight that would be unusual under normal circumstances.

The show saw performances from big pop acts from both sides of the Atlantic, including local heroes Take That and Liam Gallagher, along with Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Little Mix, Coldplay, the Black Eyed Peas, and Grande.

The show was a mix of gaiety and somber reflection – fans could at times be seen jumping for joy, while others, holding banners saying “for our angels”, could be seen wiping away tears . The event began with a moment of silence for the victims of the bombing less than two weeks ago.

“I don t want to feel or hear or see any fear in this building,” U.S . singer Pharrell Williams told the crowd as he led them in a rendition of his hit single “Happy”. “The only thing we ll feel here tonight is love, and positivity.”

Fellow singer Miley Cyrus joined the rendition and said: “I d like to wrap my arms around each and every one of you and thank you .. . The most important responsibility we have in this time is to take care of one another.”

During her set, “Part of Me”, singer Katy Perry told the crowd: “love conquers fear and love conquers hate, and this love you choose will give you strength and it s our greatest power,” before asking the crowd to turn and hug the person next to them.

The somber cause that the concert was being held to benefit was never far from the crowd’s mind . Grande told the audience that her song selection was influenced by the mother of 15-year-old Olivia Campbell, who died in last month’s bombing.

“Sorry” singer Justin Bieber also paid tribute, saying: “I just want to take this moment to honor the people that were lost . We love you so much .

To the families, we love you so much.”

Up to 14,000 of those who attended Grande’s May 22 concert, at which a suicide bomber killed 22 children and adults, were given free tickets to attend Sunday’s show, with some persuaded to attend by their affection for the pop star, and despite their very real concerns about security.

“I m real excited, but real scared,” Shannon Beetham, 14, who was injured in last month’s bombing, told Reuters. “We were there in Manchester (arena) as well, I was hit.”

There were also plenty of upbeat moments, such as when a uniformed police officer was seen holding hands and dancing hand-in-hand with young fans, or when former Oasis front man Liam Gallagher belted out a swaggering version of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star”.

Grande closed the show by inviting all the other performers on stage to help her sing her 2014 hit “One Last Time”, before she closed with a moving solo version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.

Fans seemed to have forgotten any lingering fears about security towards the end of the evening, with a lively crowd of middle-aged fans singing “Tonight, I’m a rock and roll star” as they made their way out of the stadium.

(Editing by Tom Heneghan and James Dalgleish)


References

  1. ^ Mark Hanrahan (uk.reuters.com)