SSAIB News

SSAIB Relay City of London Police's COVID-19 Scam Advice

SSAIB Relay City of London Police's COVID-19 Scam Advice

SSAIB has been asked to forward this correspondence onto our registered firms by the City of London Police, regarding the COVID-19 strand of the Coronavirus.

Beware scams relating to Covid-19 pandemic

Criminals will use any opportunity they can to take money from innocent people. This includes exploiting tragedies and global emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, to scam people in a variety of ways. The number of these scams are only likely to increase and we need individuals and businesses to be fully aware and prepared.

As more people stay indoors and work from computers and laptops at home, there is more opportunity for criminals to try and trick people into parting with their money at a time when they are anxious and uncertain about the future.

We have already received nearly 400 reports of fraud related to COVID-19, the majority of which are online shopping scams where people have ordered protective face masks, hand sanitiser, and other products, which have never arrived. We have also seen a large amount of phishing emails and texts circulating, that use COVID-19 as a hook, and try to get recipients to click on links or attachments which harvest information and lead to the individual revealing personal or financial details.

Is fraud rising?

While the number of reports of fraud in general is not increasing, we are warning people that the current social situation we find ourselves in could lead to any number of fraud types increasing as this immediate public health crisis unfolds. We are advising people to be particularly vigilant around:

• Computer Software Service Fraud – as more people work from home, fraudsters may capitalise on slow networks and IT problems, to commit computer software service fraud. Be wary of cold calls or unsolicited emails offering you help with your device or to fix a problem. Attached is a helpful graphic with protection advice.

• Mandate Fraud – with more people working at home, it may be easier for fraudsters to impersonate senior decision makers, with seemingly valid reasons why they cannot be contacted, and request a change in a direct debit, standing order or bank transfer mandate, by purporting to be an organisation you make regular payments to. The change they ask you to make will divert funds to their own bank account. Attached is a helpful graphic with protection advice.

Advice for businesses in regards to people working from home

Many organisations are either moving to working remotely for the first time or significantly increasing it, and this presents a number of cyber security challenges. Advice on how to respond to those challenges is set out in the NCSC’s working from home guidance.

There are a number of practical steps organisations can take to reduce the risk including:

• Supporting people to use stronger passwords and setting up two factor authentication.

• Ensuring staff know how to report problems, especially those related to security.

• Creating ‘How do I’ guides for new software and tools staff may be using.

• Using VPNs to allow users to securely access the organisation’s IT services.

• Ensuring devices encrypt data whilst at rest.

Some organisations may be allowing staff to use their own devices to work remotely. In this case, please refer to the NCSC's Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) guidance.

In addition to following the guidance set out above, it is worth being aware of phishing emails which trick users into clicking on a bad link. Once clicked, the user is sent to a website which could download malware onto your computer, or steal passwords. We know that cyber criminals are opportunistic and will look to take advantage of people’s fears, and there is evidence that the coronavirus outbreak is being exploited in this way.

Those who do fall victim shouldn’t feel bad – these scams can be extremely convincing – but what they should do as quickly as possible is report it to their IT department when the incident is work-related or Action Fraud when it is personal. They can also open their antivirus (AV) software if installed, and run a full scan, following any instructions given. If they’ve been tricked into providing password, they should change their passwords on all their other accounts. The NCSC’s guidance on suspicious emails provides more tips on this.

Our Cyber Griffin team have also created a series of short video guides on how to keep you and your family safe while online at home which contain practical hints and tips and cover a range of topics, including passwords, phishing, vishing and multi-factor authentication.

To report a fraud, please follow this link: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

Phishing emails can be forwarded to NFIBPhishing@cityoflondon.police.uk or via https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report-phishing.

Posted: 03/04/2020 more >

SSAIB Pride at Registered Firm Assisting with NHS Nightingale Hospital Transformation

SSAIB Pride at Registered Firm Assisting with NHS Nightingale Hospital Transformation

SSAIB were overcome with pride upon discovering that registered firm PLP Fire Protection have been providing invaluable assistance in the building of the Government’s first emergency field hospital at the ExCel in London.

The temporary NHS Nightingale hospital has been set up to treat up to 4,000 coronavirus patients, with Dorset-based PLP Fire Protection helping to transform the ExCel exhibition space – which was due to host IFSEC International and Firex International next month, before the COVID-19 pandemic forced a reschedule – into a hospital in just nine days.

The inspirational PLP Fire Protection, who have been registered with SSAIB for BAFE SP203-1 since May 2019, have worked with 160+ other contractors – as well as 200 army engineers – to complete the transformation and company director Rob Beeching revealed just how hard the work was for him and his team, who he had nothing but praise for in what has been a tough week for them all.


Replying to an email from FIA (Fire Industry Association) CEO Ian Moore, Rob stated: “This week, quite honestly has been hell. We were literally brought back to site on Monday morning and had the most unrealistic time to get the initial 500 beds section installed and signed off.

“The effort from my guys and the subbys [sub-contractors] I have got in has been incredible. I am so proud of them all.

“We have even had tears from some of our guys, but proud tears. Working conditions have been very tough both physically and mentally.

“I have been getting home at midnight most days this week, I get home and just feel like breaking down. It's been an emotional rollercoaster for sure.”

With the initial 500 beds in place, the hospital will care for patients with the virus in intensive care who have been transferred from other London hospitals. The building work continues in order to get the space sorted for the other 3,500 beds planned, but Rob insisted that he would not force his heroic team to continue to work if they were worried about being in close proximity to the virus.

Rob continued: “We were told - by a representative from the WHO – that once patients start arriving, although they will be sectioned off by a wall, we would still be working in adjacent halls. They said we would be completely safe.

“I was no way going to force any of my guys if they didn't feel comfortable but, when I asked for a show of hands who wanted to continue, 80% raised their hands. They are all in this until the end and feel they can’t just leave site until its completed.

“Even our suppliers have been personally delivering our equipment etc that we need to site. We are so grateful. The help being offered from so many people has been breath-taking.”

Posted: 03/04/2020 more >

CEO: SSAIB to Continue Offering Certification Services During COVID-19 Pandemic

CEO: SSAIB to Continue Offering Certification Services During COVID-19 Pandemic

We are pleased to announce that, due to the pragmatic and positive approach to the pandemic adopted by the NPCC, BAFE, SIA and UKAS - as they apply to our certification schemes - we are able to continue offering certification services to most new clients and maintain the certification of our existing clients.

Due to the restrictions imposed by Government - relating to travel and social distancing - audits for certification, surveillance and re-certification will need to be conducted remotely. Therefore, we have amended our ICT infrastructure as required to support our remote operations.

Certification auditing arrangements for each scheme differ and details of these arrangements will be provided to applicants as part of the application process.

Arrangements for surveillance and re-certification audits also differ for each scheme and registered organisations will be made aware of these in advance of surveillance or re-certification audits becoming due.

The SSAIB’s head office functions - including phone lines - remain operational but we have taken measures, such as home working, to safeguard the health of our staff.

By continuing our operations, we are primarily seeking to support our existing clients while - at the same time - providing an opportunity to gain certification, for organisations seeking certification for the first time.

These arrangements will remain in place for as long as financial constraints allow.  It may be necessary to amend our services, particularly if the lockdown remains in place for a long time.

In the event of it becoming necessary to reduce the services we can offer, we will do so in a phased and managed manner to minimise the impact on the services we provide.

However, should circumstances change, we will inform our registered firms of any new developments.

Alex Carmichael
SSAIB
Chief Executive

Posted: 03/04/2020 more >

SSAIB Decide to Make The Standard 2020 Accessible to All During Coronavirus Pandemic

SSAIB Decide to Make The Standard 2020 Accessible to All During Coronavirus Pandemic

As a gesture of goodwill to our registered firms and the wider security and fire industries during the current COVID-19 pandemic, SSAIB has taken the decision to release a free online version of The Standard magazine for 2020.

This edition is the first of our annual magazine to be accessible digitally, allowing anyone with access to the Internet the opportunity to read about our SSAIB 25 celebrations, the latest developments at the leading UKAS-accredited certification body for the fire and security industries and the current issues facing both of those sectors as we welcome in the new decade.

Although physical copies are being posted out with the latest issues of Fire Safety Matters and Security Matters magazines, this free-to-access SSAIB publication will be housed on magazine publishers Western Business Media Ltd’s website indefinitely – allowing readers to view The Standard wherever and whenever they like.

PR and communications executive Glen Maxwell commented: “An online version of The Standard is something that we have discussed previously, but – for one reason and another – we’ve never taken that step into the digital realm before. With the current uncertainty that a lot of us are all facing during this time, however, we thought it was the right time to roll out the latest issue of The Standard to anyone who wishes to read it.

“Of course, our registered firms will be receiving their own copies as part of the annual arrangement we have with Western Business Media. However, the magazines are usually one of the first things that are picked up by visitors to our stands at the many exhibitions that we do, so we knew that it wasn’t just our registered firms that would be wanting to read the latest issue.

“On behalf of SSAIB, I’d like to thank Mark Sennett and the rest of Western Business Media for their assistance in getting The Standard into the digital realm for the first time, on top of the rest of the hard work they put into producing the latest magazine. I hope everyone enjoys reading this year’s edition and that this can become a standard feature for future issues of The Standard.”

The third issue of SSAIB’s annual publication The Standard can be viewed online at http://archives.westernbusinesspublishing.co.uk/fsm/digital-archive/issues/2020/ssaibthestandardissue3/page_1.html

Posted: 02/04/2020 more >

Third Issue of SSAIB’s The Standard Set for Release with FSM and Security Matters Magazines

Third Issue of SSAIB’s The Standard Set for Release with FSM and Security Matters Magazines

The latest issue of SSAIB’s The Standard is being released with the April edition of Fire Safety Matters and the brand new Security Matters magazine, thanks to our continued partnership with FSM publishers Western Business Media Limited.

Due to the link-up - which is now in its third year, following the re-launch of the leading certification body for the fire and security industries’ annual news publication – all of our registered firms will receive both magazines to their registered address free of charge, to give some much-needed reading material in these times of social distancing and self-isolation.

As expected, last year’s SSAIB 25 celebrations feature heavily in this edition. There is an insight into the many occasions that ourselves and the industry celebrated SSAIB’s quarter-century of success, a centre-fold photo gallery showing just some of the highlights and a very special cover image featuring all of the SSAIB staff, auditors and board members – after all three aspects of the organisation met up for the very first time to commemorate SSAIB 25 last May.

It’s not all made up of retrospective content though, with Security Systems scheme manager Frank Smith discussing his first year in his new role and his thoughts on the security industry as we enter the 2020s. Training manager Trevor Jenks also reveals how employers can counter-act the effects of the increasing skills gap across the industry by taking on apprentices and upskilling their staff.

Chief executive Alex Carmichael also returns with his A View from the Top column, while field operations manager David Roscoe doubles down with both the latest standards updates for both the UK and Republic of Ireland – in addition to questioning why very few Alarm Receiving Centres have moved to the latest European Standard.

Staffordshire-based ADB Alarms are the latest SSAIB registered firm to go Under the Spotlight, with sisters Samantha Bennett and Sarah Savigar discussing all aspects of their business, the industry and their attendance at the SSAIB 25/Women in Security Awards joint celebration back in September 2019.

SSAIB lead auditor Stephen Grieve summarises his involvement with the London Borough of Islington and their various surveillance camera systems – as well as describing the SSAIB’s certification process for the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s Code of Practice.

BAFE chief executive Stephen Adams contemplates a new era of competency, following a decade that has seen it become a key area of focus with the fire industry, while the FIA also explain how they can help SSAIB’s security firms to become more competent on the fire side and achieve third-party certification.

As the official Installer Partner for IFSEC and FIREX, SSAIB also welcome IFSEC Global editor James Moore to consider the many reasons for attending industry exhibitions and how they can be hugely beneficial to your business.

The traditional scheme updates from relevant scheme managers are also included, alongside the latest SSAIB news and a focus on some of the exhibitions and events that SSAIB will be attending this year.

PR and communications executive - and editor of The Standard - Glen Maxwell commented: “SSAIB 25 features heavily in the coverage of this year’s magazine and rightly so. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg really and we’ve been able to put together a great mix of contributors for this latest issue.

“After producing a bumper edition of The Standard last year, we were delighted with how it turned out and – having been impressed by the size and overall look of the “bumper” edition – we decided to embrace the “bigger is better” philosophy and make that size the standard for The Standard going forward.

“That has allowed us to fit a lot more content into the magazine for 2020 and, following the fantastic feedback that both of the previous editions of The Standard we’ve had, I hope that this year’s effort is as well-received as its predecessors.”

The Standard will also be available to pick up at SSAIB’s regional meetings and all of the exhibitions that the UKAS-accredited certification body will be attending in the next 12 months. For a full list of all of SSAIB’s planned events for 2020, please visit https://ssaib.org/calendar/.

Posted: 31/03/2020 more >