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The ninth CSL DualCom annual insurers’ forum at Vodafone HQ provided updates on industry statistics and trends affecting risk assessment in the fire and security sector.
Ray Kay, Head of Vodafone M2M UK began the discussion by outlining Vodafone’s Investment into their wholly owned Global M2M Platform to support their 22.9 million M2M connections. He also discussed plans to focus on 2G devices with an estimate of 15 billion connected devices by 2020.
CSL DualCom’s Simon Banks discussed trends on the high street and the resulting change in risk to grade two and three alarm systems. He highlighted that CSL do not filter any alarm signals, noting that this was a practice used by some signalling providers to lessen nuisance calls to end-customers, stating that ARCs (alarm receiving centres) should decide between false and genuine alarms due to their critical nature. David Mair of the Metropolitan Police reiterated the importance of ensuring all signals are received by the ARC and police, using the Hatton Garden heist as an example. In that specific case the human error involved would have been mitigated had the incident been electronically processed and verified.
Automation was also a theme shared by James Gribben of SMC and Jason Denton of VPS. James discussed how it helps streamline processes and remove wastage for the ARC. Jason described how clients are beginning to move away from expensive manned guarding in favour of battery-operated CCTV or electronic locking for vacant sites.
Cyber risk was the topic for Andy Barrett, Managing Director of the US IT risk firm Coalfire, updating on the company’s work with CSL to penetration test all products and platforms. He also explained that many common criminals have added cyber attack to their armoury as the technology is widely available and affordable. He emphasised that the UK needs to move towards mandatory disclosure (of cyber breaches) similar to the USA to get the licensing we need to regulate this area.
Paul Phillips of the trade body the BSIA clarified the state of play on the temporary Industry Agreement – IA1501, issuing a warning over the ambiguous insurance position caused by the re-introduction of remote setting.
Graham Hazlewood, Business Development Director at the NSI explored the major growth area of fire prevention, and NSI’s plans with BAFE. Fire was also the topic of the day for both Neil Boustred of CFOA and Douglas Barnett of insurer AXA. Neil updated on how the trial of a Progressive Interaction Service produced a 15pc to 20pc reduction in unwanted fire signals, while Douglas closed the forum by summarising a Scottish project which found outdated and poorly installed fire systems to be a major cause of false alarms.