Recycling Lives is a very special business. Ostensibly a recycling and waste management operation, they actually use this commercial element to support and sustain charity programs for offender rehabilitation, residential support and food redistribution. It’s a genuinely effective approach to social aid, and one that has earned four prestigious Queens Awards and numerous admirers, including Andy Moore, managing director of security and fire experts ADJ Fire & Security Limited. ADJ works with Recycling Lives to provide technology-based solutions to minimize risk at its sites.

Residential accommodation

The whole company’s called Recycling Lives, because that’s what it does,” Moore explains. “It gives people a second chance, people who have come out of prison or who are homeless, and they help them back into society. It’s providing help to people who really need it, by giving them jobs and if necessary rehoming them if they need somewhere to stay until they get their own place. They’re a special company, definitely. ADJ is extremely proud to be associated with a company like Recycling Lives.”

Recycling Lives has sites across the UK was founded, and is run, by second generation recyclers, time-served experts with a wealth of industry knowledge, insight and contacts.

Their charity and social enterprise teams provide residential accommodation for the homeless, help to reduce reoffending and redistribute food, directly supported by recycling, recruitment, compliance and waste management businesses. As a result, they create more than just environmental and financial value from their activities: they provide significant social value too.

Thermal imaging technology

Specialist cameras are designed to detect even minor changes in temperature using thermal imaging technology

At the Recycling Lives site in Preston, on Longridge Road, ADJ was asked to help devise a solution which could help the Recycling Lives staff prevent and detect fires on-site during and out of office hours, explains Moore.

These fires can happen within waste piles on site, and can end up burning inside without any notification,” he says. “They can seriously flare up when the pile is disturbed. There are batteries stored on site from depolluted cars and these can also be a serious fire hazard if ignited.”

ADJ Fire & Security is a Hikvision Gold VASP partner, and works closely with Hikvision to devise intelligent and efficient smart technology-driven solutions for its clients. In this case, ADJ, Hikvision and Recycling Lives collaborated on the development of the ideal system for Recycling Lives’ specific requirements. ADJ recommended the use of Hikvision’s Thermometric thermal bullet cameras, specifically the DS-2TD2136T-15 model. These specialist cameras are designed to detect even minor changes in temperature using thermal imaging technology.

Fire detection and alarm function

The camera uses cutting edge image processing technology, including Adaptive Automatic Gain Control, Digital Detail Enhancement, 3D Dynamic Noise Reduction, and a Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference of less than < 40mk.

The thermal imaging module provides 384 x 288 resolution, a high sensitivity sensor, and supports contrast adjustment

Its powerful behavior analysis algorithm enables automatic smart detection including Line Crossing, Intrusion, and Region Entrance & Exit, and it also provides a reliable temperature exception alarm function and advanced fire detection algorithm. Temperature measurement range is -20℃ to 550℃ with ±2℃ accuracy.

The thermal imaging module provides 384 x 288 resolution, a high sensitivity sensor, and supports contrast adjustment and shutter adjustment in various modes. There are 15 palettes of adjustable color available, and because this is a thermal imaging camera rather than a conventional CCTV device, there’s no need for additional lighting. Nineteen thermometric cameras were installed initially at the Preston site, with more set to be added in future.

Prevention and early detection of fire

Cameras are located in the high-risk areas where fires could break out such as the plant rooms and stockpiles, shredder, and depollution areas,” Moore says. “When the cameras detect an increase in temperature that signifies a potential fire risk, they automatically raise an alarm and alert the client to the issue. That allows them to take action much more quickly than relying on traditional video or other forms of fire detection – they can react immediately even to the risk of fire breaking out.”

Recycling Lives compliance manager Dave Gallagher says: “The prevention of fire, and early detection of any fire that may break out, is of critical importance to protecting our people, infrastructure and the local environment. While our risk controls have proved effective year after year, the opportunity to invest in new technology that enhances our ability to react fast in the event of an emerging fire hazard was one that was not to be missed.”

Commercial properties fire safety

The results have been tangible, Moore says, and have impressed some influential people. “Recycling Lives recently had a visit from the Environmental Agency as part of a routine inspection,” he says. “The EA were impressed with the standard of risk management and controls on the site, including the recent investment in fire detection technology. As a result, the EA Director of Regulated Industry was invited to site to view the systems in place.”

The success of the Preston solution has prompted Recycling Lives to engage ADJ to implement similar systems, over time, at all their other sites across the country.

Dave Gallagher says: “We’ve been impressed with how ADJ Fire & Security Ltd and Hikvision have worked collaboratively with us to identify how the technology can best be employed to reduce risk and look forward to the enhanced protection the system provides. ADJ Fire and Security Ltd are adaptable, commercially aware and completely comprehend the commercial realities of the scrap metal industry. They are reputable, reliable and respected by local authorities and institutions and moreover, they are a pleasure to work with.”

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Water Plant Attack Emphasizes Cyber’s Impact On Physical Security
Water Plant Attack Emphasizes Cyber’s Impact On Physical Security

At an Oldsmar, Fla., water treatment facility on Feb. 5, an operator watched a computer screen as someone remotely accessed the system monitoring the water supply and increased the amount of sodium hydroxide from 100 parts per million to 11,100 parts per million. The chemical, also known as lye, is used in small concentrations to control acidity in the water. In larger concentrations, the compound is poisonous – the same corrosive chemical used to eat away at clogged drains. The impact of cybersecurity attacks The incident is the latest example of how cybersecurity attacks can translate into real-world, physical security consequences – even deadly ones.Cybersecurity attacks on small municipal water systems have been a concern among security professionals for years. The computer system was set up to allow remote access only to authorized users. The source of the unauthorized access is unknown. 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Marco Rubio tweeted that the attempt to poison the water supply should be treated as a “matter of national security.” “The incident at the Oldsmar water treatment plant is a reminder that our nation’s critical infrastructure is continually at risk; not only from nation-state attackers, but also from malicious actors with unknown motives and goals,” comments Mieng Lim, VP of Product Management at Digital Defense Inc., a provider of vulnerability management and threat assessment solutions.The attack on Oldsmar’s water treatment system shows how critical national infrastructure is increasingly becoming a target for hackers as organizations bring systems online “Our dependency on critical infrastructure – power grids, utilities, water supplies, communications, financial services, emergency services, etc. – on a daily basis emphasizes the need to ensure the systems are defended against any adversary,” Mieng Lim adds. “Proactive security measures are crucial to safeguard critical infrastructure systems when perimeter defenses have been compromised or circumvented. We have to get back to the basics – re-evaluate and rebuild security protections from the ground up.” "This event reinforces the increasing need to authenticate not only users, but the devices and machine identities that are authorized to connect to an organization's network,” adds Chris Hickman, Chief Security Officer at digital identity security vendor Keyfactor. “If your only line of protection is user authentication, it will be compromised. It's not necessarily about who connects to the system, but what that user can access once they're inside. "If the network could have authenticated the validity of the device connecting to the network, the connection would have failed because hackers rarely have possession of authorized devices. This and other cases of hijacked user credentials can be limited or mitigated if devices are issued strong, crypto-derived, unique credentials like a digital certificate. In this case, it looks like the network had trust in the user credential but not in the validity of the device itself. Unfortunately, this kind of scenario is what can happen when zero trust is your end state, not your beginning point." “The attack on Oldsmar’s water treatment system shows how critical national infrastructure is increasingly becoming a target for hackers as organizations bring systems online for the first time as part of digital transformation projects,” says Gareth Williams, Vice President - Secure Communications & Information Systems, Thales UK. “While the move towards greater automation and connected switches and control systems brings unprecedented opportunities, it is not without risk, as anything that is brought online immediately becomes a target to be hacked.” Operational technology to mitigate attacks Williams advises organizations to approach Operational Technology as its own entity and put in place procedures that mitigate against the impact of an attack that could ultimately cost lives. This means understanding what is connected, who has access to it and what else might be at risk should that system be compromised, he says. “Once that is established, they can secure access through protocols like access management and fail-safe systems.”  “The cyberattack against the water supply in Oldsmar should come as a wakeup call,” says Saryu Nayyar, CEO, Gurucul.  “Cybersecurity professionals have been talking about infrastructure vulnerabilities for years, detailing the potential for attacks like this, and this is a near perfect example of what we have been warning about,” she says.  Although this attack was not successful, there is little doubt a skilled attacker could execute a similar infrastructure attack with more destructive results, says Nayyar. Organizations tasked with operating and protecting critical public infrastructure must assume the worst and take more serious measures to protect their environments, she advises. Fortunately, there were backup systems in place in Oldsmar. What could have been a tragedy instead became a cautionary tale. Both physical security and cybersecurity professionals should pay attention.

Expert Roundup: Healthy Buildings, Blockchain, AI, Skilled Workers, And More
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Our Expert Panel Roundtable is an opinionated group. However, for a variety of reasons, we are sometimes guilty of not publishing their musings in a timely manner. At the end of 2020, we came across several interesting comments among those that were previously unpublished. Following is a catch-all collection of those responses, addressing some of the most current and important issues in the security marketplace in 2021.

Smart Offices: How Is Mobile ID Changing The Way We Access The Office?
Smart Offices: How Is Mobile ID Changing The Way We Access The Office?

If you’re a security or facilities manager, you may already be aware of the quiet revolution that’s taking place across businesses and organizations up and down the country. By the end of 2020, 20% of all ID and access control systems featured mobile capability, and this is set to increase by a further 34% over the next three years. There’s no doubt that using a smartphone or mobile device in place of traditional credential and access control is a growing trend that’s only been sped up by the pandemic. It’s true that many businesses are still very much focused on remote working, although many are now starting to implement new-and-improved strategies that are better suited to protect the workforce moving forward. Mobile ID systems As the next normal becomes clearer, businesses will be reviewing procedures such as access control, occupancy monitoring, reducing touch points, and tracking visitors. Mobile ID systems are ideally suited to this task. But what are the key reasons for considering such a setup in 2021? But why is this new technology so well-suited to future-proof your physical access system, and why is it becoming so popular? Eradicating outdated legacy credentials Have you seen just how vulnerable outdated Proximity card technology can be? Low-frequency 125kHz cards can be cloned in a matter of seconds with the use of cheap, readily available tools. Despite their weaknesses, they are still used by a huge majority of businesses – big and small. All smartphones include two industry-standard features that make them perfect for operating a secure, contactless credential Replacing such a system with a mobile-enabled system is one of the best ways to increase security ten-fold. Thanks to a cloud-based infrastructure, mobile ID offers best-in-class security and cryptography. All smartphones include two industry-standard features that make them perfect for operating a secure, contactless credential. Bluetooth Smart and NFC (Near Field Communication) make them the best product to operate such a credential via a secure app. If you’re looking for best-in-class security in 2021, mobile access is most definitely the way forward. Removing touch points across the business Reducing touch points and the adoption of touchless facilities has become a key priority for businesses in the wake of COVID-19. Even as businesses start to return to the office and operate a home/office split, it will be imperative that unnecessary contact is kept to an absolute minimum between staff. The traditional issuance of identification and access control credentials can pose problems in this regard. Facility and security managers who are responsible for onboarding and processing ID have done the process face to face. Mobile access makes it possible to carry this process out without people coming into direct content. First, the security manager has access to a secure portal, allowing them to create, manage and edit credentials anywhere. They can upload and remotely transfer mobile ID and access control credentials directly to users’ smartphones over the air. Via the secure app, users can view and see their credentials and immediately begin using it for ID and access control by simply placing their smartphone over card readers. Enabling a more flexible way of working The way in which we work has changed for good. Even as people more people return to the office in 2021, a majority of businesses will be operating a home/office split indefinitely. This once again reinforces the need for a smarter, more adaptable onboarding system. Implementing mobile ID is the perfect way of doing this: over-the-air delivery of credentials and security data is now a given, helping businesses create the perfect balance between the home and the office. No longer do people have to come into the office for the onboarding process. Increasing convenience and user experience More often businesses are realising the value mobile ID can have for enhancing the work experience as well as security Ok, so mobile ID is the perfect way of increasing security and adapting workplaces to a post-COVID way of working. And we’ve not even touched on the most obvious advantage yet: Convenience. How many times have you forgotten your ID card? We’re sure it’s more times than you forget your smartphone. These powerful processors have become intertwined with the way we carry out tasks on a daily basis. They’re so vital that people will soon notice if they’ve forgotten it. From an employee’s perspective, mobile ID and access control is simple, convenient, and extremely user-friendly. More and more businesses are realizing the value mobile ID can have for enhancing the work experience as well as security. From the employer’s perspective, mobile ID means it’s easier for administrators to manage access and credentials. Future-proofing access control now will ensure that in the longer term, mobile ID is well worth the investment. The annual expenditure of printing ID cards and purchasing credentials can be vast, while reissuance costs can also quickly add up for larger organizations. These issues are a thing of the past for businesses using mobile ID. Mobile ID perfect tool for 2021 and beyond Until mobile ID, new and improved credentials’ main focus was on increasing security. Mobile ID not only delivers that, but it also provides a more convenient way of accessing the office in a way that’s perfectly suited to returning to the office in 2021. If there was ever a time to upgrade, now is the time. Summing up, mobile access is changing the way we access the office by: Eliminating weak links in security systems such as outdated legacy card technologies Eradicating the need for touch points across multiple areas of the workplace Enabling a smarter, more flexible approach to onboarding Increasing convenience – for both employers and employees.