Industry News

Genetec Cautions Public Sector to Harden Physical Security Systems Against Digital Threats in Light of Rising Cyberattacks

Following a pandemic-exacerbated rise in data breaches and ransomware attacks, Genetec is recommending public sector organizations beef up reduce cyber vulnerabilities of physical security systems that are often overlooked.

IP security cameras and other security devices were put in place to protect people, assets, and environments. But the same network connectivity that enables organizations to monitor operations and update software remotely presents a path into the network for cyber criminals. If they are not sufficiently modern or properly shielded, they can pose significant risk to cybersecurity. An attack that originates in a camera or door controller can find its way through the network to block access to critical applications, lock files for ransom, and steal personal data.

Justin Himelberger, Enterprise Systems business development manager for US Federal and DOD at Genetec Inc., said, “Because these systems – video surveillance, access control, alarms, communications, and more – are increasingly connected to networks and IT infrastructure, they can be quite vulnerable. With the number of cyberattacks increasing around the world, it is becoming clear that government organizations must be more stringent than ever about cybersecurity in their own organizations and throughout their supply chains.”

A step organizations can take immediately is making sure each device, as well as the servers used for storing data and hosting monitoring consoles, has the latest version of firmware and software recommended by the manufacturer. Changing default passwords and establishing a process to change them frequently is a critical practice. Improving network design to segment older devices can also help reduce the potential for crossover attack.

Assessing and Preventing Vulnerabilities                                                                                         

To determine the risk of physical security systems, Genetec recommends organizations conduct a posture assessment, creating and maintaining an inventory of all network-connected devices and their connectivity, firmware version and configuration. As part of the assessment, they must identify models and manufacturers of concern, such as those listed by the U.S. Government under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as presenting a high level of cyber risk. They should also document all users with knowledge of security devices and systems.

The review can pinpoint devices and systems that should be replaced. When developing a replacement program, prioritize strategies that support modernization. One effective approach is to unify physical and cybersecurity devices and software on a single, open architecture platform with centralized management tools and views.

Additionally, while physical security and IT have been approached as separate efforts historically, the risk of cyberattacks through physical security technology is driving change. The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency recommends joining IT and physical security into a single team, so they can develop a comprehensive security program based on a common understanding of risk, responsibilities, strategies, and practices. 

In the US, Federal funding may be available to help cover costs associated with replacement programs. The 2021 Investment and Jobs Act includes $1billion earmarked to help state and local governments modernize their cybersecurity. 

Industry News

Mask Mandate Extended in U. S.

The mask mandate for travelers aboard planes, trains and buses in the United States has been extended to May 3, 2022. This is an additional two weeks as the mandate was scheduled to expire on May 3. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) said it was keeping its mask recommendations in place and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced it was extending for an additional 15 days.

The joint statement from the CDC and TSA:

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and the U.S. Department of Transportation remind the traveling public that at this time if you travel, you are still required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. 

 CDC guidance is clear that fully vaccinated people are safe to travel and can resume travel.”

Industry News

30 U. S. Transportation Union Leaders Outline 2022 Legislative Agenda

Leaders from 30 transportation labor organizations gathered in Washington, D.C. yesterday to outline a robust legislative and regulatory agenda for the year. The unions are affiliates of the Transportation Trades Department (TTD) of the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest transportation labor coalition.

At the bi-annual legislative summit, transportation labor leaders formally called on Congress and the Biden Administration to continue enacting policies to improve the domestic supply chain, increase safety, and uplift working people.

Specifically, the coalition’s legislative agenda calls for:

  • Congress and the Biden Administration to implement a domestic maritime strategy for a more resilient supply chain.
  • the Department of Transportation (DOT), Department of Labor (DOL), and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to address abusive railroad attendance policies harming workers and the supply chain.
  • the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to change course on permitting remote aircraft dispatching.
  • Congress to pass the Safe Aircraft Maintenance Standards Act to impose safety standards at facilities in foreign countries where U.S. planes undergo maintenance, and the FAA to promulgate long overdue regulatory requirements.
  • Congress to swiftly enact legislation to make self-defense training mandatory for all flight crew members, and expand basic security training programs to all-cargo operations.
  • the DOT to pursue ambitious regulatory action and a comprehensive regulatory review.

Transportation labor leaders discussed these and other priorities, including equity and good jobs initiatives, with AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler, White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE).

“Throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, our heroic transportation and transit workers have kept our economy moving,” said President Shuler. “The legislative priorities laid out during yesterday’s conference represent the most fundamental needs that must be addressed in order to ensure the health and safety of our members and improve our supply chain. During the course of this conference, we outlined our priorities, and we will continue to advocate for these critical reforms at the federal level.”

“The President has made the commitment to be one of the most pro-union administrations in the history of our nation. To that end, we plan to keep a close eye on supporting and creating prevailing wages, apprenticeships, high labor standards, and good union jobs,” said Landrieu. “We’re going to put millions of people to work while increasing gender and racial diversity in these jobs so that no one gets left behind. That’s how we can win economic competition in the 21st century.”

The coalition also honored Senator Brown with the inaugural Larry Willis Leadership Award, in recognition of his demonstrated commitment to improving the safety, working conditions, and livelihoods of transportation workers.

“America’s transportation workers power this country. And we know our businesses and our transportation networks do best when the workers who make them successful have a voice through the labor movement,” said Senator Brown. “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will mean more good, union jobs and more opportunity for workers across the country. And as we work to speed up supply chains and make more in America, the talent and ingenuity of American workers will be one of our greatest assets.”

Industry News

Smuggler Shoves Migrants out of Moving Vehicle

Three Points Station Border Patrol agents rendered first aid to three migrants pushed out of a vehicle by a smuggler Sunday afternoon near Sells, Arizona.

Agents attempted to stop a black Dodge truck traveling northbound on Federal Route 19 for an immigration inspection. The driver failed to yield, however, and raced north at speeds exceeding 80 miles per hour. As the truck suddenly slowed, agents witnessed three people appear to be forced out of it.

Agents immediately stopped pursuit of the truck to assist the individuals: The three Guatemalans, ages 16, 25 and 28, were transported to a local hospital by Sells Emergency Medical Services with serious injuries.

The Tucson Sector Border Patrol requested assistance from the Tohono O’odham Police Department with the fleeing vehicle. It was found abandoned near the village of Ali-Chuckson on State Route 86 with a loaded 9 mm pistol, fentanyl pills and personal use amounts of cocaine and marijuana found inside. The driver was not located despite an extensive search.

Tucson Sector continues to see smugglers treat migrants cruelly by robbing them, forcing them to walk through inhospitable areas of the desert and abandoning them without regard for their safety. Smugglers do not care about a person’s life, only about monetary gain.

Industry News

Philippines Upset by Chinese Ship’s ‘Close Distance Maneuvering’ in South China Sea

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported an incident of “close distance maneuvering” by a Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) vessel in the disputed South China Sea. The CCG said the ship “constrained” the movement of a Philippine ship sailing nearby.

The incident occurred during a Philippine maritime patrol operation around the are known as Bajo de Masinloc, the PCG said in a news release. It was yet unclear whether the Philippines had lodged a diplomatic protest for the incident. The PCG said it had to wait for the approval from the country’s National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea before making the incident public — it happened March 2, 2022.

The PCG said the incident was “a clear violation of the 1972 International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS).” The Phillipines said this was the fourth such incident in less than a year.

Industry News

Free2move Acquires Opel Rent

Free2move has just announced the acquisition of Opel Rent, previously owned by Techno Einkauf and Verband deutscher Opelhändler (VDOH) Wirtschaftsdienst GmbH. The company says this move accelerates the Free2move growth while expanding the fleet and the range of services offered in Germany and Austria.

Adding Opel Rent to its network is a way for Free2move to expand service access and offer smart mobility solutions to its customers in more than 1000 agencies across Germany and Austria. Free2move is bringing Mobility Hubs across Europe and the U.S.A., with fleets of vehicles available by the minute, by the week or by the month. Free2move vehicles are accessed through the Free2move app and with each individual customer account – no additional paperwork is required. The ease of use and flexible vehicle access options have made Free2move Mobility Hubs strategic solutions for urban cities all over the world. 

Opel Rent has a network established in Germany and is known for its diverse fleets which include electric vehicles. Transforming from a rental service to a mobility group is at the heart of its current strategy. Opel Rent team is looking forward to transitioning to a complete vehicle access service provider under the umbrella of Free2move, in line with the “move with your time” brand signature.

“We are looking forward to serving the customers in these markets, with flexible vehicle options that cater to its individual needs. Opel Rent’s team with its expertise and skills will help us achieve both of those objectives” Alexander Momm head of Germany & Austria operations.

Free2move says acquiring Opel Rent is an important move to help establish a greater presence in Germany and Austria, as well as an increase in electric vehicles as part of their fleets, supporting the contribution of Free2move in Stellantis Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan.

Industry News

Caribbean AMO Agents Seize Aircraft Tied to Smuggling Activities

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents seized an aircraft on Tuesday suspected of having been used for smuggling events.   

During an arrest conducted in the fall of 2021, AMO agents working with Drug Enforcement Administration agents and U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigation agents detected items in connection with past aviation smuggling events. 

Through investigation of the arrested subject, agents learned an aircraft operated by the suspect had been flown by individuals without valid pilots’ licenses, violating federal aviation laws. 

“This seizure highlights the dedication and diligence of our agents,” said director Air and Marine Operation, Caribbean Air and Marine Branch, Augusto Reyes. “This case has taken months of work, but that effort is resulting in the prevention of potentially dangerous aircraft operation and end to the use of this smuggling vehicle.” 

AMO agents located the aircraft at Cyril King Airport and seized it in accordance with federal law. 

An investigation connected to the aircraft and suspect is ongoing.

Industry News

UK Home Secretary Orders Wide-Ranging Review of Border Force

The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has ordered a wide-ranging, independent review of Border Force to assess its structure, powers, funding and priorities to ensure it can keep pace with rapidly evolving threats and continue to protect the border, maintain security and prevent illegal migration.

The review will be carried out by Alexander Downer as an Independent Reviewer. Mr. Downer has a wealth of relevant experience to bring to this review, having previously served as Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs. He is currently Executive Chair at the International School for Government, King’s College London.

The first of its kind since Border Force was set up, the wide-ranging review is expected to take several months to complete. It will ensure the UK government is prepared for future challenges at the border, by identifying change and improvements needed across Border Force’s work on illegal migration, customs and national security to help keep the UK safe, secure and prosperous.

“Border Force officers work tirelessly to protect our borders at 140 sea and air ports right across the UK,” Home Secretary, Priti Patel said. “Since Border Force was set up in 2011, its remit has grown to meet the changing border threats we face, and in recent years has supported delivery of the government’s Brexit commitments and COVID-19 measures. The public rightly expects this work to be carried out to the highest possible standard, which is why I have ordered this review of Border Force to identify ways in which it can keep improving its operations. I have appointed Alexander Downer to do this vital work and look forward to his findings and recommendations.”

Any further details on the review will be set out by the Independent Reviewer in due course.

“I am delighted that the Home Secretary has asked me to lead an independent review of Border Force, to ensure the UK’s border is protected from the changing threats of today, and prepared for future challenges,” said Independent Reviewer of Border Force, Alexander Downer. “As an Independent Reviewer, I plan to lead a review that is robust, evidence-based and outcome-orientated. I look forward to assessing Border Force’s structure, powers, funding and priorities, and hearing from a wide range of voices from across the organization and beyond.”

Industry News

Russian Bombers Fly Over Belarus Amid Tensions

On Saturday February 5, Russia sent a two long-range nuclear-type bombers on a flight over Belarus as tensions over Ukraine mount.

The Russian Defense Ministry confired two Tu-22M3 bombers conducted a practice session with the Belarusian air force during a reported four-hour mission. The flight came after similar patrols over Belarus, one of the border countries of Ukraine.

Industry News

Carbyne Announces New Leadership to Expand Growth

Carbyne recently announced the hires of new leadership executives. Rahul Sheth joins as the new CFO, Kelly Ercolino is assuming the role of VP of Marketing, Melissa Cooper is coming in as VP of Strategy and Corporate Development, and Alex Gruber will be VP of Product.

Carbyne is a global leader in mission critical contact center solutions. The company expanded its capabilities globally within the public safety industry and continues to provide enterprises and government agencies with life saving technologies. Carbyne believes “Every Person Counts; “the company is not only using technology to save lives, but is also empowering emergency contact center agents with real-time, interactive data which enables them to have a stronger impact and better outcomes.

Carbyne is the largest rich-data provider globally, delivering over 155 million data points per year. After two consecutive years with 300% growth, Carbyne is poised to strengthen its role as a global industry leader in emergency services by expanding into new markets worldwide. In 2021, the company obtained new customers every week. This success was due to Carbyne’s esteemed reputation in delivering end-to-end advanced SaaS-based solutions at scale while reducing costs and saving lives. Carbyne is credited for sustaining a 100% retention rate with its first and existing customer base. “We are proud of our growth internally,” said Amir Elichai, founder, chairman & CEO of Carbyne. “We concluded 2021 with 170 employees, doubling where we were last year and have invested in bringing on new executives to continue our success.”

Joining the team is Rahul Sheth, a finance executive who has spent the last fifteen years developing high-growth technology companies, specializing in financial planning, strategies and operations, as well as capital market (debt and equity raises), IPO readiness and IPO registration. Sheth worked in various finance roles over the last 15 years. Most notably, he has led growth for Socure (now a Unicorn), DigitalOcean (IPO exit), and Emerge (metaverse). He is a CPA and Chartered Accountant (Finance – India) with an international profile. “I am thrilled to join Carbyne as the CFO to help the company continue executing its strategic plan, accelerate growth and deliver value for its shareholders. I look forward to partnering with the exceptionally talented Carbyne team on its next phase of global scale and product innovation, and on a mission to build a safer world,” commented Sheth.

Kelly Ercolino joins Carbyne as the vice president of marketing and is recognized as an inspirational industry leader with an exemplary record of developing successful marketing strategies, breakthrough traditional and digital marketing programs to achieve aggressive revenue goals and notably positioning accredited brands in their marketspace. Her experience includes professional services firms such as Cushman & Wakefield, Tectonic Engineering and ADP, Inc, specifically focused on Technology Products and Services Companies such as Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and NICE. Kelly explains “My goal is to increase Carbyne’s brand identity and penetrate new global markets transforming how emergency responders are equipped with advanced real-time communication and information. I am honored to help impact today’s technology revolution in emergency management with Carbyne’s life-saving solutions.”

Melissa Cooper comes to Carbyne as VP of corporate strategy and development with a successful record as a strategic growth leader who has over a decade of experience in driving global acquisitions, growth strategy, strategic operations, and corporate development. She has helped several companies enter new markets and geographies, taking organizations to their next level of maturity. “My experience in building longer term strategies, and collaborating with executives, boards, investors, and external partners will drive Carbyne’s growth across the globe. I am thrilled to join Carbyne and help us continue to build on our strategic foundation and further accelerate our growth into new markets. I strongly believe in our mission and am privileged to be part of such a talented leadership team,” said Cooper.

Alex Gruber has more than 15 successful years developing complex strategies across the communication and healthcare Industries. Alex was responsible for the lifecycle of product lines from design, sales, integration, and support with expertise across B2C, B2B and B2B2C at enterprise scale. Today, Alex oversees the development and strategy of Carbyne’s Emergency Management product suite of APEX and Universe for both the public and private sectors. “Carbyne’s products are at the intersection of technology and critical life events. I’m excited to contribute to and shape the future of mission critical collaboration, create innovative technologies to deliver more information and by extension improving the outcomes for people around the world,” added Gruber.

“Each one of these executives have an impressive background and we are excited to see the future ahead for Carbyne. I am confident with these additions to our Executive Leadership team, we will continue to expand our emergency management advanced technologies in public safety and bring new growth for mission critical solutions into other markets across the globe,” commented Elichai.