Industry News

Evolv Technology Works To Set Standards for Sensitive Information in the Physical Security Industry

Evolv Technology recently surveyed security professionals at Evolv’s customers’ organizations on the topic of transparency and sensitive security information and reports that 96% of the two dozen respondents believe that such information should not be made available to the general public.

The need to provide transparency without helping potential attackers is a fundamental paradox of the security industry. While aviation security has clear specifications classified by the Transportation Security Administration in the US and European Civil Aviation Conference in the EU, other venues for which advanced security screening is being used have not yet formalized set standards around transparency.

Evolv is working to set that standard. The company discloses sensitive information only to trusted security partners to prevent the exposure of potential vulnerabilities and compromising customers’ security plans. The Company recently underwent NCS⁴’s operational exercise with its Express® system and earned an overall composite score of 2.84 out of 3 and chose not to make the full report public as part of the Evolv transparency statement. It is a position agreed to by leading security experts as methods of advanced screening continue to be used in more venues around the world.

“The less that is shared with the general public the better chance we all have at someone not finding a weak point in any security posture,” said one of the survey respondents.

“People who say that absolute transparency is best simply don’t understand the security business,” said John Pistole, former administrator of the United States TSA and a former deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “They apparently don’t have an informed perspective or insight into just how determined bad actors are in their efforts to harm individuals, countries, and companies.”

“Security professionals do not want anyone to release information that helps attackers defeat their systems,” said Randy Smith, western region director, Security Detection. “Fans, students, concertgoers, and healthcare workers have a right to their safety. To release sensitive security information is irresponsible and potentially life threatening.”

“Similar to cybersecurity and counterterrorism, protecting the methods and means, and sharing them only with trusted security partners is critical to preventing the exposure of potential vulnerabilities. All systems have weaknesses. In aviation, it’s illegal for the people who know all the details to share them publicly,” said Mike Ellenbogen, cofounder and chief innovation officer at Evolv. “Established security experts understand the basic requirement to keep detailed sensitive information away from anybody who might use the information to exploit or attempt to penetrate a physical security system, and that includes the general public. Those who are saying otherwise truly do not understand the industry and are putting the public at risk. Evolv’s mission is to make everywhere safer. Public disclosure of sensitive security information objectively makes people less safe.”

Evolv is committed to working with customers, partners, and other trusted security professionals to develop best practices on sharing sensitive security information to the general public. Keeping the public safe requires an important balance of sharing sensitive information with trusted security partners while also keeping it out of the hands of adversaries in an ever-changing threat landscape.

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

CCTV Instrumental in Identifying Shooter

A gunman is seen firing at another car during a dramatic chase in Manchester. Greater Manchester Police (GMP) were able to use CCTV footage to identify the man, Sean Cowie, after reports of a drive-by shooting in the north of the city in January 2021.

Cowie, 32, of Hardman Lane in Failsworth, admitted conspiracy with intent to cause fear or violence and was jailed at Manchester Crown Court for five years and seven months.

The two other men also convicted similarly were Dean Urey, 39, of Ten Acres Lane in Newton Heath, was sentenced to five years and four months and Paul Ryan, 43, of Ashton Road East in Failsworth, additionally admitted possessing a handgun and was handed a total of six-and-a-half years.

Cowie is seen, gun in hand, with his torso out of the rear passenger window of a dark grey BMW X5.

The shooting was reported to police by a driver after his car was hit by a stray bullet.

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.”