News

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

Close Up On RAL Colours case study image

Close Up On RAL Colours

The RAL colour collection was first developed in 1927 in Germany by order of the state and industry. RAL was introduced primarily to help development within the lacquer and pigment industries by standardising colour tone. The original 40 colours from 1927 were quickly noted as being insufficient for the diversity of the market, and new colour tones were added to the system – most recently, magenta red and three new shades of grey. Thirty of the forty tones from 1927 are still contained in the RAL colour charts, which are distributed today. Nowadays, there are 194 individual RAL colours each of which has a four-digit designation, in which the first digit specifies the classification of a colour region. Here are some examples of the classic RAL colours: RAL 1003 Signal Yellow RAL 2002 Vermilion RAL 3000 Tomato Red RAL 4010 Telemagenta RAL 5014 Pigeon Blue RAL 6011 Reseda Green RAL 7000 Squirrel Grey RAL 7037 Dusty Grey RAL 8017 Chocolate RAL 9018 Papyrus White Differences in video and printing rendering devices mean that only approximate samples of RAL colours can be reproduced through a computer monitor, therefore you should always refer to an original classic RAL colour card for precise colour reproduction. A number of the physical security products showcased on this website are available in any RAL classic colour as a special order to match your corporate identity. If you require this service, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a low cost quote.

Wary Of Unproven Biometrics case study image

Wary Of Unproven Biometrics

It seems that the unproven nature of biometrics is proving to be a stumbling block for private sector industry, and is the main reason for the slow uptake of biometric security. There have been no extensive trials conducted by companies not involved in the biometrics industry, and so no precedent has been set for the large-scale implementation of biometric technology. The most significant trials conducted with biometric technology have been infrequent and only publicised to select market sectors. This has meant that the UK business community as a whole have been unaware of any trials taking place, let alone being able to view the results. An example of this are the small frequent traveller trials conducted by airlines, but these trials have tended to involve educated, tech-savvy males, which is not a representative sample of the UK population. In addition to low-key device trials, logistical issues around the process of capturing biometrics have proved a stumbling block. Unresolved difficulties with, for example, people with dark eyes or worn fingerprints, are also slowing the progress of widespread implementation. Early adopters of the widespread implementation of biometric systems are expected to be banks and financial services companies, as they strive to protect their customers with the best security available on the market. Suprisingly, it seems that the private sector are leading the way in the utilisation of biometric devices. A growing trend has been experienced in the PC and laptop security sector as individuals strive to safeguard their data. With logon devices costing as little as £40, many people are deciding to bite the bullet and invest in the new technology. With so many different types of biometric device available on the market and no production standards set in stone, all biometric products run the risk of being tainted by the same "biometric technology" brush, something which can only be rectified through well-publicised trials of the technology.

Home CCTV Surveillance case study image

Home CCTV Surveillance

When you monitor your home or office with CCTV surveillance, it’s like you have an entire television network devoted to the safety of your home. CCTV broadcasts your security surveillance on a private network, but unlike broadcast television, all components within your network are connected through cables and wires. Already popular in large public places where security is heightened, such as at airports or casinos, CCTV systems are becoming more and more widely used in private home settings as well. Many independent studies in the UK have suggested that CCTV surveillance acts as a powerful deterrent, stopping crimes before they happen. Studies also show strong evidence that CCTV can be an extremely effective tool in detection and prosecution. The same CCTV video surveillance technology used in our public venues is available for your home. We offer systems that can monitor every room in your home through dedicated CCTV cameras, which produce clear, high visibility images. One surveillance system can cover up to 16 rooms in your home. By monitoring your family’s security on a CCTV network, you are able to record suspicious activities as they occur. Monitor your garden, front door, garage, even your mailbox. We strongly believe that CCTV security is a powerful addition to your home security system. Your home is your castle, and you have the right to protect it however, CCTV is subject to laws regarding a person’s right to privacy and you want to remain on the right side of the law. Therefore, when installing a CCTV system in your home, it is important that you are certain of the legality of your surveillance. CCTV is inexpensive and simple to use, and it will help increase security and put your mind at ease. For more information on CCTV systems for your home, office, or factory, contact us today.

Workers Not Taking Summer Break case study image

Workers Not Taking Summer Break

New research has shown that 23% of UK workers aren’t going to take a summer holiday this year, despite persistant claims that Britain is an overworked nation with a poor work-life balance. Those who are taking a break during the summer months are very likely to have booked their time off well in advance. A minority of 3% are intending to ask for time off, but might have left it too late for bosses to say yes. This situation may place businesses in a difficult situation. Staff failing to take their holiday entitlement is potentially placing their organisation at risk as overworking themselves into the ground could lead to much more serious health problems and, ironically, enforced time off. A similar survey conducted last winter showed that a third of UK workers fail to take their full entitlement and of these, 7% will lose their holiday altogether, not being able to claim either payment or rollover days into the following year. It was estimated that over £14.5 billion worth of holidays were going unclaimed. In order to ensure that your employees take their annual holiday entitlement, you should set out an annual leave policy following the guidelines below: Outline employees’ annual leave entitlement, which should be at least the statutory minimum of four weeks’ paid leave, as stipulated in the 2000 Working Time Directive; Outline the dates your organisation’s holiday year runs to and from; State that employees should take the leave they are entitled to, outlining the responsibility of managers in ensuring workload demands do not prevent leave from being taken. Cleary state your company’s policy on whether it will allow employees to carry holiday over to the next year or pay for leave not taken. Outline the process for requesting and approval of annual leave; Detail any circumstances in which annual leave may be withdrawn.

Respecting Employee Privacy Rights case study image

Respecting Employee Privacy Rights

The loss of employee privacy rights in the workplace is a growing concern among employees, lawyers, and civil libertarian groups. Although employers in banks, telecommunications, securities exchange, in hi-tech industries, and in other workplaces justify using video surveillance in the workplace to monitor employee behavior to chiefly promote safety, improve productivity, and stop theft, protecting employee privacy must be a top concern. If the courts find that the employer’s surveillance methods are less than fair, that firm may find itself knee-deep in lawsuits that could have been prevented. Employers install hidden surveillance cameras for many good reasons such as preventing theft, promoting productivity or protecting employees. However in some cases, the very systems installed to protect will intrude upon employee privacy. Legal observers and human resource specialists who study workplace privacy believe that employee privacy intrusions are more common than previously observed, and that they will increase every year. According to a 2005 survey, more than half of the companies surveyed use video monitoring to prevent theft, violence and sabotage (51% in 2005 vs. 33% in 2001). In addition, the number of companies that use video surveillance to track employees’ performance has also increased, with 10% now videotaping selected job functions and 6% videotaping all employees. Among firms that use video surveillance, 85% notify employees. As more and more employee groups become aware of how they are being watched, the more likely they will take their employers to court. These are the four main types of court-upheld privacy violations that could occur in shops, factories and offices and the first type is directly related to video surveillance. Intrusion upon seclusion which includes invading worker privacy in bathrooms and changing rooms; Publication of private employee matters; Disclosure of medical records; Appropriation of an employee’s likeness for commercial purposes. In addition, video surveillance must be limited to visual images and cannot include audio in order to comply with regional and national statutes. Employers need to be proactive and aware of these four privacy violations so that their employees’ individual rights are respected and protected. How to achieve balance between monitoring and intruding upon employees First, the employers need to clarify what privacy rights employees are guaranteed and what constitutes an invasion of privacy. Then, employees must be notified in writing that video surveillance will be conducted and they should also sign a waiver verifying that they know they may be monitored. Management must define what is acceptable supervision versus "snoopervision" and that includes not videotaping showers, toilets, changing rooms, smoking areas, and employee lounges. These are places specifically for employees’ personal comfort, health or for safeguarding their possessions. However, employers must also be sensitive against using video surveillance in other areas where employees might takes breaks. Employers must be fully aware of the privacy risks associated with videotaping employees so that the likelihood of litigation is reduced. Companies should also nurture a workplace environment where employees can voice privacy or security concerns in confidence with management without feeling that their conversations are being monitored. In short, if employers choose to use video surveillance in the workplace, they must adhere to written privacy guidelines that will keep employees secure and that will also respect their privacy.

Getting Back To Business With Biometrics case study image

Getting Back To Business With Biometrics

People and passwords – in the long run, they just don’t work very effectively together. Recently, a network password cracker was run as part of an enterprise security audit to see if employees were adhering to advanced password policies, and guess what… it found that they weren’t. Within 30 seconds, 80 percent of people’s passwords were identified. Immediately, those same employees were asked to create strong passwords that adhered to the security requirements. A few days later, the password cracker was run again: This time, 70 percent were cracked. The difficulty seems to be that employees are unable to maintain strong passwords, and those that did forgot them, so they would have to be reset. The use of biometrics – the mathematical analysis of characteristics such as fingerprints, veins in irises and retinas, and voice patterns – as a way to authenticate users’ identities has been a topic of discussion for years. Early commercial success stories have largely come from applying biometrics to projects with provable returns on investment: time and attendance, password reduction and reset, and physical access control. Tensor have developed a low-cost biometric logon device which provides a competent alternative to reliance on a username and password system. Biometric fingerprint recognition devices can be connected to any PC or laptop, and provide the effective two-factor authentication process that virtually eliminates the possibility of an intruder hacking into your system. The most mature applications of biometric technology are in systems that control physical access to facilities and keep records of time and attendance. Over the last few years Tensor has rolled out fingerprint-based network and systems across the UK. Incorporated into time and attendance, access control and visitor monitoring systems, the combination of biometrics with smart cards has taken the private sector by storm. Even the public sector are getting on the bandwagon – Tensor’s biometric prison visitor monitoring system has received unprecedented demand, and is now approaching 20 installations in prisons across the UK. Fingerprint biometrics are largely used as part of an authentication process for providing personnel and associates with smart cards for physical and network access. With the Enterprise range of products suitable for implementation across multiple sites, Tensor provide a proprietary biometrics system that works over multiple bases. If you are interested in finding out more about Tensor’s biometric product range, don’t hesitate to contact a member of our sales team who will be happy to provide information and advice.

NHS Fails To Secure Data On Mobile Devices case study image

NHS Fails To Secure Data On Mobile Devices

A survey into ‘Mobile device usage in the healthcare sector’ carried out by the British Journal of Healthcare Computing & Information Management has revealed that one fifth of the devices used to store data have no security on them at all and a further two fifths have only password-controlled access, which does not guarantee security from hackers. Using basic hacker software downloaded from the Internet it would take a few seconds to bypass a basic password. Just a quarter of respondents used passwords with another form of security, including biometrics, encryption, smart card and two-factor authentication. Respondents included information managers, IT managers, medical professionals and a range of other job titles. Two thirds of the 117 who responded to the survey were in the NHS and a quarter were suppliers to the sector. USB memory sticks/memory cards (76%) were the most popular mobile device to be used to download data in the healthcare sector followed by laptop/tablet PC (69%), PDA/Blackberry (51%), smartphone (9%) and mobile phone (2%). Advances in technology have resulted in the ability to store gigabytes of information not just in these devices but also MP3 music players, cameras, voice recorders etc. The easy availability of tiny, high capacity storage devices such as USB memory sticks and memory cards makes it very easy for a person to carry unnoticed large amounts of data such as patient records or sensitive corporate data. Overall, 42% of respondents owned at least one of the devices they used, but half of the NHS respondents were using their own devices to aid them in their everyday work. The most common type of data stored was personal contact details (80%), while three quarters stored work contact details. Nearly two thirds stored corporate data and an amazing fifth of the healthcare workers who were interviewed held security details – which could include passwords, PIN numbers and bank account details. About half of the medical professionals carried patient records on a mobile device. The majority of medical professionals used a password alone for security. One Doctor commented that his security was okay because he used "the initials of one of his patients as his password". Two-fifths used higher levels of security, but a small number had no security at all. Comments from respondents included a claim that there was minimal chance of loss or theft and a minimal chance of misuse. Another wrote "my patients couldn’t afford to pay for blackmail and they probably wouldn’t care if others knew" [about their medical records]. A couple thought that the risk to security was no worse than having information on paper. Over half expressed anxiety that patient details are being held on mobile devices. The biggest concerns were that if a device is lost or stolen it would breach patient confidentiality (57%) and that the information "could get into the wrong hands and be abused" (50%). This still leaves, however, a large number who didn’t show any concern and thought that security was adequate. The number of devices that have been lost is surprisingly high. A quarter of respondents had lost a device themselves, and a similar number knew of a colleague who had lost one. However, about half found their devices again and none said there were any consequences from the loss. A small number of colleagues, however, were subject to disciplinary action and one, who had lost a PDA belonging to a local authority chief executive had even lost their job. The survey shows that a large number of people are using their own devices for carrying data such as work contacts, corporate data and even medical records, which is a basic failure of security policy. Two thirds of the devices have no or inadequate security and there appears to be a lack of appreciation of the security risks among a large number of users. About 80% said that there was a security policy in their organisation, but the results of the survey show clearly that there is widespread and serious failure in the way that security policies deal with the risks of mobile devices and are enforced. If you are looking to increase the security of your PC or laptop, Tensor supply biometric fingerprint logon devices used in conjunction with a password to safeguard your data.

Stand Firm On Working Time Directive case study image

Stand Firm On Working Time Directive

The UK Government is right to stand firm over the UK opt-out from the Working Time Directive, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). The CIPD commented as reports from Brussels suggested that a deal between the UK and EU on retaining the opt-out was close. CIPD research has shown that the vast majority of long-hours workers choose to do so, and would resent any moves to remove their right to continue doing so. The UK also leads Europe on flexible working, and as a result average working hours in the UK are not high by EU standards. Mike Emmott, CIPD Employee Relations Adviser, said: "Working excessively long hours is not to be encouraged, and can bring problems for employers and employees. But existing protection under the Working Time Directive has removed the vast majority of the element of compulsion in long-hours working. Most people who work long hours genuinely choose to do so." "There is an argument for better enforcement and more awareness raising of existing regulations to tackle the minority of cases where employers are abusing the opt out provisions. The bigger job is educating managers and employees to focus more on work outputs than hours worked, and of the risks to health and business performance of excessively long-hours." There is a myth across parts of Europe that the Anglo-Saxon labour market model leaves workers enslaved, whereas the European social model sets them free. But analysis of the facts shows that there are many areas – flexible working for example – where UK employees get a better deal from our emerging Anglo Social Model. There is much room for improvement in people management in UK firms to boost productivity, for example by reducing absenteeism and increasing effectiveness at work. The CIPD report ‘Calling Time on Working Time?’, surveyed 750 long hours workers who work more than 48 hours. It addresses many of the issues raised by those in Europe who wish to see the UK opt out removed. The survey found: More than three-quarters of long hours workers say that they do so as a result of their own choice. Fewer than a third of employees sign an opt-out clause at the same time as signing their employment contracts. 10% of employees report that long hours working causes damaging physical effects, while 17% cite mental health problems.

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