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Read the latest news and blogs surrounding access control, time and attendance systems and integrated security solutions with Tensor plc.

Biometrics Fighting Identity Theft case study image

Biometrics Fighting Identity Theft

A new survey has revealed that UK consumers place most confidence in biometric technologies, such as fingerprint recognition, to help combat the rapidly growing identity theft industry, which is now estimated to be costing UK industry £1.7 billion per year. The independent survey asked 1,000 UK households to investigate the incidence of and attitudes towards financial fraud and solutions. The survey revealed that 2 in 3 consumers believe that banks should be turning to biometric technology in order to combat identity theft – a widespread problem which now affects 1 in 4 British adults according to Home Office statistics. Despite token security being presented as an online authentication standard by some industry bodies, 92% of respondents were unfamiliar with the term and unaware of its use as a security measure. Once explained, only 42% of consumers believed that banks should adopt token security to help combat identity theft. In comparison, the majority of respondents (73%) stated that biometric technology would assist banks in the fight against fraud and 48% placed confidence in smart cards. Considering some historical resistance towards biometric technology, the survey demonstrated that consumers offer a high level of support for biometrics, which appears to have cemented it’s position as the preferred security device in the war against identity theft. Tensor have been incorporating biometrics into our time and attendance and access control systems since 2002. The two-factor authentication not only provides the additional security needed to safeguard a system, but also the peace of mind associated with knowing that you are protected against security breaches.

UK Companies Turning To Physical Security case study image

UK Companies Turning To Physical Security

According to the results of a survey of IT Directors by Comunica, an IT service provider, the ‘Smart Office’ is becoming a reality. Comunica has found that out of 100 major companies, 64 percent have already adopted or plan to adopt physical security over IP networks in 2006. This will enable companies to monitor and control systems and buildings using card readers, biometrics and other access systems such as CCTV all from a web interface. The financial sector has taken the lead in implementing this technology with 31 percent having implemented it already and a further 38 percent planning to do so in 2006 which will take the total to 69 percent. Manufacturing has been sluggish in taking up this technology with just 9 percent so far, but the signs are very positive for the future, with 43 percent planning to implement physical security in the next twelve months. There are many advantages to controlling physical security over IP, including cost reduction resulting from being able to use one network for all the security systems and devices. Also, control will be improved and simplified by being able to manage all the security devices on a single platform. Tensor have been developing and installing IP-based physical security systems over the last decade, and have a plethora of knowledge and expertise in the industry. Whether it’s access control, digital cctv, or visitor monitoring you’re interested in, Tensor has a solution for you.

Biometric ID Cards Unlikely To Stop Forgery Or Fraud case study image

Biometric ID Cards Unlikely To Stop Forgery Or Fraud

From 2008, everyone applying for a new passport will also get an identity card, with their biometric details stored on a central register. A microchip would also hold biometric information – a person’s fingerprints or iris or facial scans, which are unique to the individual. The biometric details are designed to make the cards more difficult to forge. A national database will be created holding the personal information of all those issued with a card. The whole scheme will be overseen by a new independent watchdog. Following the UK government’s acceptance of the Lords’ opposition to plans to make ID cards compulsory, we are a step closer to ID cards incorporating biometrics. These are designed to prevent forgery. However, the main concern with ID cards is forgery. The government has chosen biometrics to prevent this, but this needs careful implementation. Biometrics alone will not prevent forgery, and with it, fraud. Despite strong encryption, the Dutch biometric passports have already been hacked. What if someone hacks the UK system and uses this to forge cards? Obviously this would make a mockery of the whole ID card system. The government needs to tread carefully with the implementation of these cards, or the seeds of disaster will be there from the making. There is a simple solution to this particular problem: a belt and braces approach. Storing the data as an algorithmic encryption will make it impossible for even the most sophisticated fraudster to read or substitute. A second major concern is – why on earth does individual information need to be stored on both card and central database? There is no reason to do this – unless the Government are planning to extend the usage of the cards in future, which is a major concern for the civil liberty groups. Other countries such as France and Italy have stipulated that biometric information is stored only on the cards themselves – thus still within the possession of the individual. The final concern of course is – will the project work, and that is anyone’s guess!

PIN Number Security Is Users’ Responsibility case study image

PIN Number Security Is Users’ Responsibility

With only days left until the Chip and PIN deadline on 14 February 2006, when retailers rather than banks will be held liable for any fraudulent transactions, it is still down to card users to ensure their PIN numbers are as secure as possible. Human error and complacency can often be factors in card fraud. It only takes someone to see your PIN number when you enter it, then if your cards are stolen and one number fits all, they will have access to all your accounts. Whilst taking measures such as frequently changing PIN numbers and memorising them can be difficult, they should be changed at least once a year. If this is not done they should at least be changed every time a new card is issued. To ensure PIN number security , credit card users should follow the following advice: A PIN number is not required for telephone, online or mail order purchases, so never give out your PIN when making these types of transactions. When choosing a PIN number be sure not to use an obvious or popular sequence of numbers – avoid numbers like 1111 or 1234 or your date of birth. Never share your PIN number with anyone. If you suspect that someone knows your PIN number, change it immediately or request a new one from your bank. If you have a joint account, each cardholder should have an individual PIN number. Avoid writing your PIN number down, but if you have to, never keep it with your card. If you have more than one card, have separate PIN numbers for each one. Don’t be afraid to shield the Chip and PIN terminal when you are entering your PIN number. Check your account details regularly for any suspicious transactions. If you see anything untoward, report it to your bank immediately. Remember, your bank will never ask you for your PIN number. Change your PIN number(s) at least once a year and every time you are issued with a new card. A total of 127 million Chip and PIN cards have been issued since the system was launched in 2003. The Chip is a smart card and cannot be skimmed like its predecessor, the magnetic strip card , and combines two-factor authentication which is a lot harder for a fraudster to compromise. Fraud reduction was the driving force behind the implementation of Chip and PIN and it is now proving very successful. According to The Chip and PIN Programme, there has been a reduction of £36 million in counterfeit, lost or stolen fraud on plastic cards in the six months from January to June 2005 compared with the same period in 2004. Tensor smart cards are based on the same technology as Chip and PIN cards, and provide unparallelled security for your access control system. Powered by RF technology, they provide a consistent read range, and can be combined with other technologies, such as cashless catering.

Five Million Unpaid Britains case study image

Five Million Unpaid Britains

The UK’s reputation for long working hours has been bolstered by a new study claiming 5 million Britons work on average an extra day a week in unpaid overtime. Millions of workers are still putting in up to an extra day a week for free, but there are now some welcome signs that some employers are beginning to realise that endless hours of unpaid overtime are often a sign of an inefficient workplace and not something to celebrate. The Confederation of British Industry is less convinced there is a problem and points to the increasing number of workplaces offering flexible hours. The study has reveled that despite full-time employees in the UK working the longest hours in the EU (excluding the new member states), Britain came only 12th out of 15 countries in terms of productivity per hour, with productivity per worker just 92 per cent of the average. The report comes as the UK faces new pressure from trade unions and other EU member states to relinquish its opt-out from the European Working Time Directive, which aims to limit the working week to 48 hours. The government, despite criticism from its union allies, claims the opt out is vital to protect the UK’s economic competitiveness. British unions however believe the government will eventually be forced to give way. The European Court of Justice delivered another blow to its position last month when it decided that working time of junior doctors should also include time spent "on call".

Keep Thieves From Your Door case study image

Keep Thieves From Your Door

Homes and businesses left empty at Christmas make easy pickings for burglars. Securing your property not only gives you peace of mind, but can also cut your insurance premiums. So how can you protect your premises, even when you aren’t there? Security on the Cheap Have a noisy property. A front drive or roadway with deep gravel creates a loud crunching noise to deter trespassers. For those who live or work in the country and have a bit of land, geese make for excellent security and a gaggle can be bought for less than £100. They make an ear-splitting racket when disturbed at night, are cheap to feed and can live to at least 20. Thorny shrubs beside windows and property boundaries are great for ripping tell-tale bits of clothing and impaling uninvited guests. But beware growing a hedge that provides cover. Potential muggers and burglars may also use the undergrowth to spy on your property and launch an unexpected attack. Electronic Deterrents A recent survey of convicted burglars showed that of the 35 interviewed, two-thirds rated alarms highly for deterring a break-in, 63% said that they would probably or definitely not burgle a property which had CCTV and 86% believed security lighting could be an effective deterrent. Tensor are experts in providing CCTV systems for industrial, commercial and domestic premises. All of our systems provide the evidence quality footage needed for the pictures to be used by the Police for investigative purposes. Whether you require covert or just a regular CCTV solution, give Tensor a call.

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