SSAIB News

SSAIB Chief Executive Alex Carmichael Features in Inaugural Security Matters Podcast

SSAIB Chief Executive Alex Carmichael Features in Inaugural Security Matters Podcast

SSAIB chief executive Alex Carmichael has been unveiled as the first guest on Security Matters magazine’s brand-new industry podcast.

Talking with Security Matters editor Brian Sims, the SSAIB CEO discusses how the SSAIB is managing its ongoing business projects while operating under the Government-imposed COVID-19 lockdown scenario.

Alex also highlights the importance of third party certification and touches on the hugely important drive for 'key worker' status for security personnel orchestrated by SSAIB and other sector bodies.

Anyone wanting to listen to the Security Matters Podcast online can do so at https://securitymatters.podbean.com.

Posted: 22/04/2020 more >

SSAIB Saddened by Passing of Crosby Intruder Alarms' Roy Williams

SSAIB Saddened by Passing of Crosby Intruder Alarms' Roy Williams

SSAIB are saddened to hear of the untimely passing of SSAIB-registered Crosby Intruder Alarms owner Roy Williams – after he sadly lost his fight against COVID-19 on Friday April 17.

Roy had been instrumental in the setting up of Crosby Intruder Alarms in 1984, with the project initially running alongside his full-time employment until he decided to grow the business up alongside wife Ann. The pair continued to develop the company – which has enjoyed nearly three decades of third-party certification – until 2009, when son Gareth was brought in tell help them get to where they are today.

A real asset to the security industry, the 63-year-old also taught at North West Training Council for over 20 years – in addition to passing on his knowledge at both Skills for Security and Tavcom Training as well.

SSAIB chief executive Alex Carmichael said: “Everyone at SSAIB is saddened to hear that Roy Williams has passed away, unfortunately taken by the vile coronavirus.

“Roy was a strong advocate of standards and quality within the alarms industry and worked tirelessly with other likeminded SMEs, to ensure that the security alarm standards provided a common playing field for all.

“Roy was passionate about training and the upskilling of the security alarms industry and, through this passion, he trained many engineers over his lifetime. Many of these engineers now hold senior positions within the industry, which is a fantastic legacy for Roy to leave behind.”

SSAIB chairman Geoff Tate added: “Roy was one of the original firms from Merseyside to become approved by AISC and - subsequently - SSAIB, when the two bodies merged. Roy strongly believed in third-party certification for all security alarm firms, to set a level for any firm who wished to work in the security sector.

“Roy believed the security industry and its clients would be best served if installers were certificated, by UKAS-accredited certification bodies, and systems installed to British/European standards by trained and qualified engineers.

“Everyone at SSAIB will miss Roy and his drive to improve the security alarms industry we all work in.”

With Crosby Intruder Alarms being based in Liverpool, both field operations manager David Roscoe and security systems scheme manager Frank Smith audited the company during their stints as North West auditor for SSAIB and the pair – who have audited 11 of the last 12 audits that Crosby have had between them – couldn’t hide how much of a pleasure it was to deal with Roy and his family.

Dave revealed: “I commenced my time in the security industry in 1984, which I believe is the same year that Roy started Crosby Intruder Alarms.

“I joined the SSAIB back in 2008 and one of the first audits I undertook was at Crosby. It’s fair to say that not all companies welcome our audit, but Roy and his family always have and I can honestly say it was a pleasure to go to work whenever I visited Crosby Intruder Alarms.”

Security Systems scheme manager Frank Smith added: “I was so shocked and saddened to hear that Roy had sadly passed away.

“During my time at SSAIB, I have conducted several audits at the company and always looked forward to meeting Roy, who was a well-known and respected figure in the industry. This was especially the case in Liverpool and the surrounding areas, where you’d frequently meet someone who had been one of his students.”

Everyone at SSAIB would like to send our thoughts and condolences to all of Roy's family, friends and his colleagues at Crosby Intruder Alarms.

Posted: 21/04/2020 more >

SSAIB Shares FIA's Key Worker Response from Government for Registered Firms' Benefit

SSAIB Shares FIA's Key Worker Response from Government for Registered Firms' Benefit

SSAIB have been informed by the Fire Industry Association (FIA) of a response they have had from Government regarding key worker status for the fire and security industries.

In a letter addressed to Chair of the FIA - Derek Gotts - the Minister for State for Security, the Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, notes his support for the fire safety industry during this challenging COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and states that “The Government is grateful for the sector’s continuing efforts at this time.”

The letter also includes important information for those that are currently providing vital and essential support to the fire and security industries and those that are helping to relieve the pressure on the emergency services, which is why we implore all SSAIB registered firms to click here to download the letter from the FIA’s website and have a read through it – as the basis of this information is providing essential safety to people as they go about their daily lives.

Posted: 17/04/2020 more >

SSAIB Shares FIA's Key Worker Response from Government for Registered Firms' Benefit

SSAIB Shares FIA's Key Worker Response from Government for Registered Firms' Benefit

SSAIB have been informed by the Fire Industry Association (FIA) of a response they have had from Government regarding key worker status for the fire and security industries.

In a letter addressed to Chair of the FIA - Derek Gotts - the Minister for State for Security, the Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, notes his support for the fire safety industry during this challenging COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and states that “The Government is grateful for the sector’s continuing efforts at this time.”

The letter also includes important information for those that are currently providing vital and essential support to the fire and security industries and those that are helping to relieve the pressure on the emergency services, which is why we implore all SSAIB registered firms to click here to download the letter from the FIA’s website and have a read through it – as the basis of this information is providing essential safety to people as they go about their daily lives.

Posted: 17/04/2020 more >

Alex Carmichael: SSAIB Still Providing Certification Despite Coronavirus Crisis

Alex Carmichael: SSAIB Still Providing Certification Despite Coronavirus Crisis

Chief executive Alex Carmichael is keen to reiterate that SSAIB is fully operational and continues to provide certification for over 1,800 registered firms and new firms looking to join during the current COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Due to the restrictions imposed by Government - relating to travel and social distancing – the leading UKAS-accredited certification body for the fire and security industries has embraced new technology to provide remote audits for certification, surveillance and re-certification, due to the pragmatic and positive approach to the pandemic adopted by the NPCC, BAFE, and the SIA - as they apply to SSAIB’s certification schemes.

An amendment to the ICT infrastructure, as required to support the new remote functions, has also allowed the SSAIB’s head office functions - including phone lines – to remain operational, but measures such as home working have been introduced to safeguard the health of all SSAIB staff.

The SSAIB CEO has overseen a widespread transformation to the organisation’s working practices in the last month or so, but is confident that these changes will allow SSAIB-registered firms and any potential new firms to enjoy the benefits of third-party certification during these unprecedented times.

Alex stated: “As soon as it was first mentioned that this crisis could end up with a nationwide lockdown, we made sure to put procedures in place that would allow us to continue to support our registered firms, and the wider security and fire industries, at a time when we knew they’d need our support more than ever.

“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.

“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 feedback we’ve had so far from those firms that have had remote audits has been excellent and has more than justified our decision to introduce them.”

While it seems to have been a seamless transition for SSAIB to introduce home working for staff and fully remote audits, Alex conceded that he couldn’t rule out further changes but revealed that any change in circumstances would be managed in a “phased and managed manner.”

Alex continued: “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.”

Should anyone have any questions on SSAIB’s new remote auditing procedures for either new or existing SSAIB-registered companies, please give SSAIB a call on 0191 296 3242.

Posted: 17/04/2020 more >

Alex Carmichael: SSAIB Still Providing Certification Despite Coronavirus Crisis

Alex Carmichael: SSAIB Still Providing Certification Despite Coronavirus Crisis

Chief executive Alex Carmichael is keen to reiterate that SSAIB is fully operational and continues to provide certification for over 1,800 registered firms and new firms looking to join during the current COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Due to the restrictions imposed by Government - relating to travel and social distancing – the leading UKAS-accredited certification body for the fire and security industries has embraced new technology to provide remote audits for certification, surveillance and re-certification, due to the pragmatic and positive approach to the pandemic adopted by the NPCC, BAFE and the SIA - as they apply to SSAIB’s certification schemes.

An amendment to the ICT infrastructure, as required to support the new remote functions, has also allowed the SSAIB’s head office functions - including phone lines – to remain operational, but measures such as home working have been introduced to safeguard the health of all SSAIB staff.

The SSAIB CEO has overseen a widespread transformation to the organisation’s working practices in the last month or so, but is confident that these changes will allow SSAIB-registered firms and any potential new firms to enjoy the benefits of third-party certification during these unprecedented times.

Alex stated: “As soon as it was first mentioned that this crisis could end up with a nationwide lockdown, we made sure to put procedures in place that would allow us to continue to support our registered firms, and the wider security and fire industries, at a time when we knew they’d need our support more than ever.

“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.

“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 feedback we’ve had so far from those firms that have had remote audits has been excellent and has more than justified our decision to introduce them.”

While it seems to have been a seamless transition for SSAIB to introduce home working for staff and fully remote audits, Alex conceded that he couldn’t rule out further changes but revealed that any change in circumstances would be managed in a “phased and managed manner.” 

Alex continued: “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.”

Should anyone have any questions on SSAIB’s new remote auditing procedures for either new or existing SSAIB-registered companies, please give SSAIB a call on 0191 296 3242.

Posted: 17/04/2020 more >

ECHO Suspends Launch of Automated Alarm Signalling Service until July 2020

ECHO Suspends Launch of Automated Alarm Signalling Service until July 2020

As a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the launch of ECHO’s new Automated Alarms Signalling Service has been delayed until July 2020.

Following full consultation with the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), a statement made on behalf of the ECHO (Electronic Call Handling Operations) directors revealed their “regrettable, but wholly appropriate step” to suspend the introduction of their new industry-backed initiative until such time that the coronavirus has at least stabilised.

For more information on ECHO, please visit www.echo.uk.net.

Posted: 15/04/2020 more >

ECHO Suspends Launch of Automated Alarm Signalling Service until July 2020

ECHO Suspends Launch of Automated Alarm Signalling Service until July 2020

As a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the launch of ECHO’s new Automated Alarms Signalling Service has been delayed until July 2020.

Following full consultation with the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), a statement made on behalf of the ECHO (Electronic Call Handling Operations) directors revealed their “regrettable, but wholly appropriate step” to suspend the introduction of their new industry-backed initiative until such time that the coronavirus has at least stabilised.

For more information on ECHO, please visit www.echo.uk.net.

Posted: 17/04/2020 more >

SSAIB Urge Registered Firms to Read COVID-19 Cyber Security Advisory Document

SSAIB Urge Registered Firms to Read COVID-19 Cyber Security Advisory Document

SSAIB would like to draw attention to a joint advisory report from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the US Department of Homeland Security, which published on April 8, 2020.

It provides information on the increasing exploitation of COVID-19 by malicious cyber actors, which includes scam emails appearing as if they came from the World Health Organisation, scanning for vulnerabilities in software and remote working tools – as they look to take advantage of the fact that more people working from home.

The advisory document can be viewed here. Following an email of this nature targeting SSAIB firms being reported to us earlier this week, we would highly recommend all of our registered firms have a read of it – especially those organisations who are currently working from home.

Posted: 09/04/2020 more >

SSAIB Urge Registered Firms to Read COVID-19 Cyber Security Advisory Document

SSAIB Urge Registered Firms to Read COVID-19 Cyber Security Advisory Document

SSAIB would like to draw attention to a joint advisory report from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the US Department of Homeland Security, which published on April 8, 2020.

It provides information on the increasing exploitation of COVID-19 by malicious cyber actors, which includes scam emails appearing as if they came from the World Health Organisation, scanning for vulnerabilities in software and remote working tools – as they look to take advantage of the fact that more people working from home.

The advisory document can be viewed here. Following an email of this nature targeting SSAIB firms being reported to us earlier this week, we would highly recommend all of our registered firms have a read of it – especially those organisations who are currently working from home.

Posted: 09/04/2020 more >

SSAIB Receive Fantastic Remote Audit Feedback from Certification Firm

SSAIB Receive Fantastic Remote Audit Feedback from Certification Firm

SSAIB were thrilled to receive a very complimentary feedback letter from Camrok Electrical and Security owner Clive Kennett – after the sole-trader underwent a remote certification audit this week, due to the on-going Coronavirus pandemic.

The Essex-based intruder alarms installer applied for SSAIB certification back in February 2020, but – as a result of the COVID-19 crisis – was unable to get an initial audit completed before the Government introduced their lockdown restrictions to help stop the spread of the virus on March 23.

However, due to SSAIB introducing remote auditing and liaising with the NPCC to introduce a new temporary process that will allow new applicants to be certificated – Hornchurch sole trader Clive was still able to proceed with his audit as planned, albeit in different circumstances to those that both himself and auditor Peter Cowell are used to.

Clive - who has worked for SSAIB-registered firms before - stated: “I had a remote audit with Peter on Tuesday of this week. Documentation was asked for beforehand and we had a video call on the day.

“I was able to do everything I usually do on an audit, such as providing proof of SDPs [system design proposals], maintenance sheets and emailing my liability insurance through. Seeing Peter on the other side of the screen, was pretty much like he was there in the office (other than making him a cup of tea!)

“You can still swing round to show them what they need to see in the office or any documents via the video aspect of it, so it's just a more technically-savvy way of doing it.

“The world is going to change because of all this. Millions of virtual meetings are currently taking place every day, so I think there'll be less flying around done for meetings and people will come to rely on video conferencing a lot more in time. Therefore, it’s great to see SSAIB getting in ahead of the game by implementing this technology when it’s really needed.”

It was due to SSAIB “embracing communication technology” that Clive felt the need to get in touch, because he’d realised the effort that the leading UKAS-accredited certification body for the fire and security industries had gone to adapt and update their working practices to try to minimise the disruption that COVID-19 had on their working practices and knew he had “made the correct decision” when choosing SSAIB.

Clive continued: “When someone does a good job, I believe it's only right that they are told that - as we're quick to leave negative feedback as a society.

“Our work as installers relies on certification relies on Police response and there was an uncertainty as to where all this would leave us really.

“We don't know how long this will go on, so it's great that SSAIB have developed a system that has allowed them to continue to offer certification and carry on auditing their firms.”

While some might wonder why an unregistered firm would push on with trying to achieve third-party certification during such an unpredictable time as this, Clive was quick to reveal his gratitude for the fact he is still getting plenty of work despite the difficult circumstances that the country finds itself in.

Clive added: “I’m really really busy at the moment - despite everything going on - so I don't know if I'm the odd one or not. I'm currently on a farm in Harlow putting CCTV up on a barn, so I've gone from fitting shop alarms to spending time around quite a lot of animals.

“I'm actually very fortunate that the work is still coming in and I'm grateful that it is. You've got to make hay while the sun shines, as they say.”

SSAIB chief executive Alex Carmichael commented: “I would very much like to thank Clive, on behalf of SSAIB, for his brilliant feedback and also for taking the time to get in touch with us. It is very much appreciated by all of the SSAIB staff and myself.

“We are doing everything in our power to ensure that we keep providing a first-class third-party certification service to all our registered firms. 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 such as Camrok who are seeking certification for the first time.

“Remote auditing is allowing us to stand by our registered firms and continue to support them in their time of need. Only by working together can we get through this bad situation, so I hope to hear many more positive comments regarding our remote audits during the time in which they are needed.” 

Posted: 09/04/2020 more >

SSAIB to continue its operations and now offer Remote Audits

SSAIB to continue its operations and now offer Remote Audits

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. We have amended our ICT infrastructure as required to support our remote operations.

Posted: 09/04/2020 more >

SSAIB Firms Targets of Coronavirus Scam Email

SSAIB Firms Targets of Coronavirus Scam Email

SSAIB want to make all of our registered firms aware of a COVID-19 scam email that has been reported to us, to ensure the online safety and security of all SSAIB-registered firms is not compromised at this time.

Within the email – entitled Coronavirus Financial Support for Members - firms are encouraged to view information/documents PDFs that have supposedly been sent via a Dropbox folder. However, this email has not been sent by ourselves – the email address is listed as dwb.exec.arch@btinternet.com - so we want to make it clear that firms should report this email as a scam and, under no circumstances, should it be opened or have any links clicked on within it.


Scammers are using the coronavirus pandemic as a way to prey on people’s worries and insecurities during these uncertain times, so SSAIB implore you all to be vigilant online and report any suspect emails as spam to your email provider. Should any more emails claiming to be from SSAIB end up in your inbox and you’re unsure as to whether it is genuine or not, please contact us at 0191 296 3242 to check its authenticity.

Posted: 08/04/2020 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 and the SIA - 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: 08/04/2020 more >

SSAIB Firms Targets of Coronavirus Scam Email

SSAIB Firms Targets of Coronavirus Scam Email

SSAIB want to make all of our registered firms aware of a COVID-19 scam email that has been reported to us, to ensure the online safety and security of all SSAIB-registered firms is not compromised at this time.

Within the email – entitled Coronavirus Financial Support for Members - firms are encouraged to view information/documents PDFs that have supposedly been sent via a Dropbox folder. However, this email has not been sent by ourselves – the email address is listed as dwb.exec.arch@btinternet.com - so we want to make it clear that firms should report this email as a scam and, under no circumstances, should it be opened or have any links clicked on within it.


Scammers are using the coronavirus pandemic as a way to prey on people’s worries and insecurities during these uncertain times, so SSAIB implore you all to be vigilant online and report any suspect emails as spam to your email provider. Should any more emails claiming to be from SSAIB end up in your inbox and you’re unsure as to whether it is genuine or not, please contact us at 0191 296 3242 to check its authenticity.

Posted: 08/04/2020 more >

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 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 Dartford-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.”

SSAIB chief executive Alex Carmichael added: “It’s great to see SSAIB-registered firm PLP Fire Protection assisting with the construction of the NHS Nightingale field hospital and I have to commend them for their dedicated effort during this time.

“On behalf of everyone at SSAIB, I want to thank Rob and the rest of his team for their heroic commitment to helping the NHS in this way, as they continue to help with the creation of more beds at the facility. I also hope they all stay safe while completing this vital work needed to help with the treatment of the many patients currently being admitted with coronavirus.”

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 and the SIA - 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 >