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  • September 19, 2023 3:40 AM | Anonymous

    Reposted from BBC

    A Van Gogh painting stolen from a Dutch museum in March 2020 is back in safe hands after a three-and-a-half-year quest to recover it.

    Dutch art detective Arthur Brand said he had been handed the 139-year-old painting in a pillow and an Ikea bag by a man who came to his front door.

    "I did this in complete co-ordination with Dutch police and we knew this guy wasn't involved in the theft," he said.

    In 2021, a career criminal was jailed for eight years over the incident.

    But by then the painting, worth several million euros, had already changed hands.

    The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring was initially stolen from the Dutch town of Laren, to the south-east of Amsterdam. The thief smashed through two glass doors at the Singer museum with a sledgehammer, at the start of the coronavirus lockdown.

    It had been on loan from a museum in the north-eastern city of Groningen which has hailed the work's recovery as "wonderful news".

    The French-born thief, 59-year-old Nils M, who lived a short distance away from Laren, was convicted of stealing the work as well as a Frans Hals painting a few months later from a museum in Leerdam, near Utrecht. His DNA was found at both crime scenes.

    According to communications intercepted by police, the Van Gogh painting from 1884, also known as Spring Garden, had been acquired by a crime group intending to use it in exchange for shorter jail terms.

    Mr Brand, who has collaborated with Dutch police on the hunt for the work, told the BBC that they knew it would pass from one group to another in the criminal underworld, as nobody would want to touch it.

    He was sent "proof of life" pictures of the Van Gogh as early as June 2020.

    Eventually, he was approached by a man in Amsterdam who offered to return it in exchange for complete confidentiality, partly because it had become a headache to keep holding on to the painting.

    "I was at a birthday party and he was waiting under a tree and he explained to me why he wanted to do this," Mr Brand told the BBC.

    The painting was then handed over to him at his home on Monday afternoon, while the director of the Groninger museum was waiting on the street corner in a bar to authenticate the work.

    It was protected by a pillow which was covered with blood, he added, as the man had cut a finger while retrieving it.

    A spokesman for the Dutch police arts crime unit has confirmed that the recovered painting is authentic and Andreas Blühm, the head of the Groninger museum, has spoken of his delight at its safe return.

    "There are scratches... but it's painted on paper and glued on panel so it's stable. We can restore it and it should be fine," he told the BBC's Newshour programme.

    The Spring Garden is currently in the hands of the Van Gogh museum whose experts will help restore it, and it could take weeks or months before it goes back on display.

    The director said he would not lend it out any more as he was too traumatised.

    See Original Post

  • September 19, 2023 3:36 AM | Anonymous

    Reposted from The New York Times

    On Thursday evening, the doors abruptly closed at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Officials had learned that climate protesters were planning a visit during the hours when the cultural institution offers free admission.

    The activist group Extinction Rebellion had posted on social media earlier in the day, saying this would be its second attempt at visiting the museum. “This is a peaceful field trip without the risk of arrest,” the invitation said.

    In March, demonstrators had tried to stage a “guerrilla art installation” that would have involved inserting their own images into empty picture frames at the museum, an action intended to draw attention to the loss of biodiversity. But the event also would have fallen on the same day as the infamous art heist at the Gardner 33 years earlier, and executives were nervous about security risks and decided to close the museum. Protesters instead carried flags and red banners, staging a “die-in” near the museum’s entrance.

    On Thursday, the museum’s director, Peggy Fogelman, wrote a public note to explain the second sudden closure in six months. “These frames are not only important and fragile historic objects in their own right, but they memorialize the tragic 1990 theft that deprived our public of the opportunity to enjoy unique masterpieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer and others,” she wrote. “It is heartbreaking to associate the painful reminder of this loss with any scenario that would jeopardize the frames themselves or the experience of our staff and visitors.”

    For more than a year, climate protesters have targeted museums as a method of gaining attention for their cause. One of the latest attacks occurred at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, where a protester threw pink paint on Tom Thomson’s 1915 painting “Northern River.” The museum said the artwork was unharmed during the incident thanks to a protective glazed panel installed on the canvas.

    Some of the most serious charges against demonstrators stemmed from an episode in April, when two activists splattered paint on the case surrounding a 19th-century Degas sculpture at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. Because the museum is a federal institution, the protesters are now facing federal charges, including conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States.

    During an interview, Fogelman said the Gardner Museum needed to increase its spending on security because of the ongoing threat of protests; it also lost out on revenues generated by the 1,300 people who usually visit the museum on a Thursday evening, spending money in the gift shop and restaurant.

    “The most painful part of the decision was that we had to curtail our free hours,” Fogelman said. “It deprives our community of the chance to really immerse themselves in the experience of art at the Gardner Museum.”

    She questioned why protesters would target the museum, which dwells inside a building designed to have a low carbon footprint by drawing its energy from geothermal power. The museum also maintains a renowned garden and currently has an exhibition called “Presence of Plants in Contemporary Art,” reflecting the closeness of artists with the natural world.

    “The Gardner Museum simply serves as a conversation-starter,” said Jamie McGonagill, the media and messaging director for Extinction Rebellion’s Boston branch. She said the activists were planning to wear shirts with the images they had originally wanted to insert into the empty frames. “There was no civil disobedience planned. There was no disruption of guests planned.”

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  • September 19, 2023 3:34 AM | Anonymous

    Reposted from Artnet News

    Greece’s culture minister Lina Mendoni wrote a blistering commentary in response to the ongoing scandal at the British Museum, where it has come to light that more than 1,500 items from the collection were stolen by a staff member.

    “The thefts by the responsible curator, but also the proud silence of the leaders who neither take care of their collections nor implement the appropriate security measures, proves that the ‘hospitality’ provided to the Parthenon marbles at the British Museum has always been flawed, incomplete, and problematic,” she stated in opinion piece for Ta Nea.

    Mendoni is not alone in weaving the scandal that erupted mid-August into a renewed call for the repatriation of her country’s cultural heritage; Nigeria, China, and Wales have followed suit. Critical to her claim, is Mendoni’s focus not on one suspected lone ranger’s greedy opportunism, but on the systemic failures that allowed him to get away with it in the first place. Many of the missing items were not logged in the British Museum’s collection database.

    That perhaps half of the British Museum’s mammoth collection of some 8 million objects was never fully catalogued has become a matter of keen public interest. Incomplete or out-of-date records is an issue that affects many major museums worldwide. To take just one other example, Germany’s Ethnological Museum in Berlin, housed at the Humboldt Forum, admits that “only a small number” of the 75,000 items in the collection stemming from Africa “is well documented.” Jeopardizing not only the safety of their collections but also the public’s right to access its cultural heritage and the ability of other countries to make repatriation claims.

    “The ‘guarding’ of the sculptures in the British Museum has proven to be disastrous and dangerous. The urgent need for their reunion, in Athens, is now an act of justice,” continued the Greek minister.

    Last week, the British Museum’s former director Hartwig Fischer resigned with immediate effect and deputy director Jonathan Williams “stepped back.” An interim deputy director and director have since been named and an independent security review has been launched by the museum.

    While the investigation into the theft is still ongoing, what is known already about it points to major flaws in the ways that museums are running their collections—namely, a lack of information about collections and accountability from collections is a problem that has been on many experts’ radars for years. “It’s very important that we get away from a cozy world of museum curators choosing to share information with each other, and it being available for anyone who has an interest in the matter,” noted Barnaby Phillips, the author of Loot: Britain and the Benin Bronzes.

    Who’s Counting?

    Though the British Museum’s collection, it now seems, had been freely plundered for years, most of the objects taken had not been properly documented. “It’s chaos down here,” was the infamous admission from the museum’s Greek antiquities curator Peter Higgs, speaking to The Times in 2002. Earlier this year, Higgs was fired over the thefts, though he has denied any wrongdoing.

    The British Museum missed its chance to appropriately crack down on the thefts in early 2021, when dealer Ittai Gradel alerted the museum about suspicious artifacts that were appearing on eBay. Though his suspicions were first aroused by Higgs’ eBay account in 2016, it would take Gradel years to amass enough evidence to approach the museum. Why? Of the 70 items that he personally bought and many more that he observed over the years, only three were listed on the British Museum’s website and could therefore be proven to have been stolen.

    Inadequate funding and the funnelling of energy and expertise into blockbuster exhibitions at the expense of drearier custodial duties have been cited by experts like Dan Hicks as the primary reasons for the failure to properly record objects in the collection. On the social media platform X, the art theft expert and author Anthony Amore estimated that, practically speaking, even bountiful resources and the best of intentions may not be enough when it comes to diligent cataloguing.

    “If it takes just one hour to identify, handle, photograph, and digitize a collection piece for cataloguing, and you have 8 million pieces, it would take a team of four 685 years to complete the catalogue if they work non-stop, eight hours a days, seven days per week,” he wrote.

    Of course, the length of time needed to catalogue varies according to the method and object in question, and some experts noted that one hour per item may be a conservative estimate.

    “I’m not excusing the British Museum, but my goal is to give context when people sit aghast that the collection wasn’t photographed,” Amore told Artnet News. “Every museum struggles with accomplishing what is considered cataloguing in 2023.”

    Even in an ideal world, where a team of cataloguers are recruited by the British Museum, Amore’s calculation reveals the scale of the challenge for a collection of its size. A real solution may be more radical. “That concentration of resources in a single place is not only totally impractical, it’s totally unethical,” said Marlowe. “A new director could start a semi-permanent long-term loan initiative where the collections are distributed more evenly across the country and, ideally, across the world. To redistribute wealth, and also to distribute the burden of cataloguing.”

    A Crisis of Unknowing

    The theft at the British Museum also highlights issues around the digitization of collections. Many of the pieces of gold jewellery, gems, and antiquities that have gone missing were bequeathed by the antiquities collector Charles Townley in 1814. Even if they had been immediately recorded in a ledger, this would have needed to be converted onto card catalogues and, eventually, a computer database.

    The problem is not uncommon. At the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, which has a collection of nearly 500,000 items from a wide range of cultures that date from antiquity to today, provenance and archiving is a laborious and pain-staking process. “We are working with the legacy of our forebears. Even if objects have all been registered in the past, the process of making them available digitally today is not simple,” MFA Boston’s curator for provenance Victoria Reed told Artnet News.

    Objects might need to be re-photographed or documented for the first time, fact-checking needs to be done on all the information provided about it as small details, from the dimensions to the medium, could be wrong; after that, one must undertake provenance and exhibition history research, in addition to building a bibliography. “Essentially, cataloguing work is never done and is never going to be perfect,” she said.

    For its part, the British Museum has made attempts to modernize its storage and security systems, including a new £64 million ($81 million) facility that was first announced in 2019 and is still under construction. But does it simply own more inventory than it can manage? “The fact remains that those items would still have to be catalogued by somebody somewhere,” said Amore. “You could donate the pieces to a university, but where are they going to get the resources?”

    According to Amore, catalogued items generally remain in storage, which is only accessible with an ID card and surveyed by CCTV. It is only feasible to audit a small slice of the collection at any one time, so each item can easily become a needle in a haystack. Is it all that shocking that this state of affairs is sometimes exploited? “It goes unreported, of course,” said Amore. “I know art thieves who have stolen from museum storage and you’ll never find the story in the press.”

    Theft aside, when works languish in crates for centuries they may drop off the radar of both the public and the museum. It becomes impossible to monitor their conservation status. “You can’t repatriate what you don’t know you have,” said Elizabeth Marlowe, director of Museum Studies at Colgate University, in Hamilton, New York. “I don’t think it requires too much of a conspiracy-minded way of thinking to wonder if it isn’t an accident that the British Museum has catalogued less than half of their holdings.”

    Many are quick to applaud high profile restitution cases when they make headlines, but it is less exciting to think about the mechanics that make these kinds of claims feasible. One publicized effort to address the issue is the project Digital Benin, the first comprehensive online catalogue of the Benin bronzes.

    Phillips, the author, said the site has helped Nigeria establish and deal with restitution claims. “It should be said in fairness that the British Museum has been a dedicated and cooperative partner,” Phillips noted. Although curators from Nigeria had already been visiting the British Museum’s stores for years, the online record also provides “wider public accountability,” he added.

    Despite showing willingness to participate, “on the question of restitution, the British Museum has been increasingly isolated in recent years,” said Phillips, referring to the return of many bronzes from museums in Germany and the U.S. “The British Museum has been out of step with those changes and will struggle now to justify why, when its own reputation has been damaged.”

    Though this scandal may pile more pressure on the museum, there is no quick fix to the ongoing negotiations around repatriation. For one, the British Museum is currently barred by a 1963 law from deaccessioning its holdings, and for another, “Nigerian museums have problems, and those won’t be solved by how good or bad the British Museum is.”

    William Carruthers, a lecturer in Heritage Studies at the University of Essex, fears a missed opportunity in the crisis where museums focus on security alone, instead of repatriation. “Security is important, but museums need to do the work to understand the multiple histories of these objects, where they came from, how they hold meaning for the people from whom they were often taken, and who should decide what now happens to them,” he said. “Whether the very limited resources available are sent in that direction is another matter.”

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  • September 18, 2023 6:55 AM | Anonymous

    Reposted from Security Management Magazine 

    The phrase “Mission first, people always” is a common mantra in the military, and it is often borrowed in leadership studies. It’s a vision of success that invests in the success of those around you, a sense of shared mission (the why), no matter your specialty or job. Security teams can’t exist in silos, and security leaders need specific skills to help them reach across aisles and departments. Fostering connections between people and functions may well be one of the most significant markers of success, and without the support of others, you may well fail in your mission.

    Often, I’m asked what I look for in a corporate security professional. Sometimes the question comes from someone trying to get into the business or advance their career; other times, it’s someone looking to hire.

    My answer can be more complex because many of the characteristics of an effective corporate security professional differ from those listed on a résumé. 

    Though helpful, candidates don’t have to be former military or law enforcement. They also don’t need an MBA—though, again, that credential can be useful. Ultimately, it’s hard to understand threats to an organization, especially if you’re early in your career and don’t understand how it operates.  

    The most effective corporate security professionals share a common set of related skills. If I were to boil them down into one element, it would be this: They can listen well and connect with people. 

    Traditionally, the security industry tends to focus on the three G’s: guns, guards, and gates. But building strong soft skills is crucial for effective leadership in the security field. While technical expertise and knowledge of operational strategies are undoubtedly significant, the ability to effectively communicate, collaborate, and empathize with others sets exceptional security leaders apart from the mediocre.

    Here are a few examples of how the best security leaders I’ve worked with have used soft skills successfully: 

    They Balance Humility with Confidence

    How many have seen someone who compensated for a lack of confidence with arrogance and bluster? It’s not just an interpersonal shortcoming; it’s dangerous within security roles.

    A great security professional speaks confidently but comprehends potential voids. In the security world, knowledge gaps could mean missed threats. Effective practitioners can also identify how to mitigate these knowledge gaps with integrated solutions—whether people, processes, or technology. 

    They Speak Truth to Power

    Picture this: a newly minted executive is planning a security program. He or she is given a budget and a mandate to keep the company and its assets safe. Influential security professionals can articulate to leadership what they can safeguard and, more importantly, what they cannot if resources are inadequate. Whether designing a security program’s budget or managing a crisis, the best security practitioners can explain a situation professionally and succinctly, proving the value of their team and work.

    They Leverage Curiosity to Adapt to a Changing World

    There’s a stereotype of the corporate security professional. They are the quiet person in the back of the room with the earpiece, suit, and crew cut. When the glass is broken, their job is to react to crises. And unless there’s a crisis, they stay out of the way. Yes, there’s still room for the “quiet professional” in this world. However, practitioners are more frequently called on to anticipate risk and provide strategic counsel to leadership teams rather than just reacting.

    Enabling business decisions requires a more expansive view of the threat landscape. For some, it means getting comfortable being uncomfortable with emerging tools and technologies that may not be second nature to them. The professionals I know are intelligent, inquisitive, and dynamic; they use their curiosity to develop creative problem-solving strategies. 

    They Assemble Teams with a Broad Range of Skills and Competencies

    The rapidly changing threat landscape means we face more hazards than ever and an intense demand for tools and people with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

    The question facing security leaders: How do I assemble a team to manage a demanding, rapidly changing environment? The future of security includes groups of people from traditional (i.e., three-letter government agency) backgrounds and non-traditional (i.e., data analysts) backgrounds with diverse experience and thought to provide holistic solutions to real-world risk.

    They Connect Across Generations and Functions

    A professional is only as good as their internal network in nearly any field. They need cross-functional support to push through crucial initiatives. Internal networking is particularly critical for security teams, which rely on cooperation and information from organizational allies to do their jobs. The ideal security professional connects people within the organization, from new hires to tenured executives, across human resources, finance, and IT. By breaking down silos, they communicate their mission and help others understand how security teams play a critical role in the business. 

    Building hard and soft skills enables security leaders to navigate complex organizational dynamics, influence stakeholders, and foster a culture of security awareness. These skills ultimately help them do their jobs better. By developing excellent communication skills, they can effectively articulate the importance of security measures to both technical and non-technical stakeholders. They can convey complex ideas clearly and concisely, ensuring everyone understands the potential risks and the need for proactive security measures.

    Soft skill-savvy security leaders also excel in collaboration and teamwork. They are skilled at building relationships, fostering trust, and effectively working with cross-functional teams. They understand that security and risk mitigation are shared responsibilities and recognize the importance of involving stakeholders from various departments, such as IT, HR, legal, and senior management, to help them do their jobs and mitigate risk to their organization.


    Chuck Randolph is a highly regarded security professional with extensive expertise in global operations and risk intelligence serving as Ontic's Chief Security Officer and leading The Ontic Center for Connected Intelligence. At Microsoft, he successfully led global operations and intelligence teams throughout his career, leveraging his expertise to safeguard executives, assets, and report on threat intelligence and risk trends. His extensive experience in executive protection, event risk management, and intelligence made a significant impact and transformed these services into strategic enablers. In addition to his remarkable tenure in the private sector, Randolph has a notable 30-year military career, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel.

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  • September 18, 2023 6:49 AM | Anonymous

    Reposted from Security Management Magazine

    Are you aiming to move up the career ladder and take a new management role? The shift from frontline contributor to first-time manager can be a tricky one to navigate, and a number of ASIS International mentoring program leaders stepped forward to share some of their lessons learned and tips for new managers to help them overcome hidden hurdles.

    Ceres Silva, APP, Sales Director for Eagle Eye Networks, Member of the ASIS Women in Security Steering Committee

    “Lead by example, and empower people to take the initiative. People will learn from mistakes… and they will be proud of their successes. Rewarding someone with compliments empowers the individual. It’s more than a financial reward—it’s a psychological reward that pays off for the organization. Someone in this position will be less likely to move away from the organization.”

    “When you are moving up the ladder, it is important to respect diversity. And when I say diversity, it’s diversity in a sense of age difference, multicultural backgrounds, gender—I will explain. We live in a multicultural society—I’m talking about the security piece, the IT world that I live in—and we have to respect people’s opinions even when they differ from our own because those opinions are preconceptions based on the way they were raised, their gender, their backgrounds. So, what I learned moving up the ladder is not to take everything personally, take one step back, look at the situation from a holistic perspective, try to understand all the angles from which a person is giving you that opinion, and really try to address and respond accordingly.”

    Alan Greggo, CPP, Regional Operations Manager, Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations; Member of the ASIS Professional Development Steering Committee

    “First time managers may lack confidence in leading a team, not feel they have the technical knowledge that others on their team have, or are not quite sure how to manage a team. One source that mentors can recommend is LinkedIn Learning. Corporations may already have LinkedIn Learning available for employees where they don’t have to pay for it. Premium levels on LinkedIn include the learning for the price of the level. LinkedIn Learning has thousands of topics available with quality speakers and instruction on basic team leadership, planning, budgeting, leadership—you name it, they probably have a course on it. As a mentor, I have introduced mentees to LinkedIn Learning and recommended books that could help with leadership direction.

    Mentors can listen to their mentee with new manager questions and help guide them through to arriving at some options to try to apply to their management situation.”

    Jennifer Holcomb, CPP, PSP, Vice President and Security Solution Lead for Anser Advisory

    “Managing employees is one of the hardest things to learn. New managers will make mistakes, but helping them learn from each experience is vital to their success. For inexperienced managers, simulating challenging discussions they may have with employees better prepares to address employee responses. Sharing my experiences (from both sides) can also provide insight and help guide them through those situations.”

    Miguel Merino, Former Head of Security for SEAT, S.A.

    “I still have very fresh memories of one of my first performance evaluation interviews as first-time manager that I conducted many years ago with a frontline employee, an excellent worker in the department. …At that time, my experience supervising work teams was limited. To be honest, also at that moment I behaved like a demanding boss, not like the leader I should be. Among other mistakes, I did not start the interview by reinforcing her excellent performance and wrongly I only focused on highlighting the improvements I expected from her for the future. It was a rookie mistake that I haven’t forgotten ever since. My collaborator, who was the best on the team, left the interview unmotivated.

    “In those moments, I would have liked to have a mentor who could have guided me to prepare the performance evaluation interviews and to have acquired the soft skills that I was missing.

    “I never forgot my mistake, and I got somebody who guided me about how to conduct effective performance appraisal interview. More important, with the first support from my mentor, I started a long learning process to acquire knowledge and abilities as mentor because it meant practicing the core skills needed to be a successful manager or team leader and prepared me for senior leadership. I do not forget these lessons learned.”

    Melissa Mack, CPP, Managing Director, Pinkerton

    “First-time managers often face talent management challenges. I encourage them to employ a 90-day strategy to focus on three things: start/stop exercises, building rapport, and capturing small wins.”

    See Original Post

  • September 18, 2023 6:43 AM | Anonymous

    Reposted from Artnet News

    As throngs of summer tourists descend on Greece, the country has decided to limit the number of visitors to its most popular archaeological site, the Acropolis, to 20,000 guests per day.

    This year, with tourism spiking, the fifth century B.C.E. UNESCO World Heritage site, located atop a rocky hill in the heart of Athens, has been attracting as many as 23,000 people each day. In 2022, annual visitorship reached three million.

    “That’s a huge number,” Greek culture minister Lina Mendoni told the radio station Real FM. “Obviously tourism is desirable for the country, for all of us. But we have to find a way of preventing over tourism from harming the monument.”

    The influx of visitors—up 80 percent from June and early July of 2019 and the same period this year—has led to concerns about the long-term preservation of the ancient citadel, most famous as the home of the Parthenon temple, dedicated to the goddess Athena.

    Overcrowding also create bottlenecks among tourists exploring the site.

    Starting on September 4, the government-imposed quota will include hourly entry limits based on the time of day. Currently, roughly half of visitors arrive before noon in large groups from cruise ships and other organized tours, spending about 45 minutes at the Acropolis.

    “In the past, these cruise ships had the capacity to carry a few thousand, the population of a large village,” Lysandros Tsilidis, the president of the Federation of Hellenic Associations of Tourist and Travel Agencies, told the Greek Reporter. “Now the vessels are so big you’ve got the size of a small state on board and at least 30 percent of all of those passengers will have pre-purchased tickets to visit the Acropolis.”

    With the new measures, 3,000 visitors will be admitted when the monument opens at 8 a.m., with an additional 2,000 slots at 9 a.m. and varied allotments throughout the day. The Acropolis closes at 9 p.m.

    The plan is to introduce the limits next month on a trial basis. If all goes well, the restrictions will become permanent in April, when they will also roll out to other archaeological sites across the country.

    “The measure will address the need to protect the monument, which is the main thing for us, as well as [improving] visitors’ experience of the site,” Mendoni said, as reported by the Associated Press.

    The culture minister, who is a classical archaeologist, controversially installed concrete pathways between some of the Acropolis temples in the fall of 2021. Her plan to widen the site’s Propylaia gateway to improve access to the site has also been met with criticism.

    That work is expected to be completed in about 10 months, Manolis Korres, the architect who heads the Committee for the Conservation of the Acropolis Monuments, told the Guardian.

    The Acropolis faces other challenges in tourism in the form of soaring summer temperatures and more frequent heat waves due to climate change. Last month, as the heat reached 118 degrees, the government closed the site, along with other popular tourist attractions, for several hours during the hottest part of the day. It has also installed awnings to provide shade to protect visitors from the sun.

    See Original Post
  • September 18, 2023 6:36 AM | Anonymous

    Reposted from Securitas Technology

    The global AI security market is expected to reach $14.18 billion by 2026, up from $5.08 billion in 2020. This significant increase in market interest is possible thanks to tremendous innovations in the security industry over the past decade. AI has enhanced health and safety measures through advanced monitoring and driven competitive advantage by providing actionable insights for operational improvement.
    The business world is catching on. Next year, we anticipate security leaders will adopt AI-enabled technologies at a rate that rivals the research and development for such capabilities.
    That’s because edge technologies like advanced video and audio analytics – formerly a “nice to have” – have become mission critical. A wave of renewed security concerns has driven this development, alongside shifting expectations toward workplace security and efficiency. Security leaders increasingly seek technologies that (1) empower human technicians to work at the top of their abilities and (2) integrate with existing systems.
    Let’s discuss which technologies will receive the most attention and highest adoption rates in the coming year and beyond.

    AI and the security industry as it stands today

    We already see attitudes around AI changing as the concept becomes ubiquitous in the business world. Globally, 34% of enterprises have deployed AI-based solutions, and an additional 42% of organizations are exploring doing so, according to the IBM Global AI Adoption Index
    Business leaders are even more keen to explore and implement AI to support their security measures. In fact, 66% of surveyed leaders reported that they would consider using AI, machine learning (ML) and advanced analytics to protect their people; 66% would consider these technologies to safeguard their assets; and 54% would consider leveraging them to harden their security network.
    And as the internet of things (IoT) expands rapidly alongside continued device adoption, we anticipate these numbers will increase. Why? Interconnected neural networks and IoT expansion will usher in an era of unprecedented data. At this point, AI and ML will become paramount to understanding business operations.
    Today, security leaders use AI technologies to parse complex data streams, often through AI-enabled video surveillance that traces anomalous movements and uses collected information to pre-process threats. For example, AI-enabled video surveillance systems can identify loitering or otherwise unusual behavior that suggests danger. The system flags such events to human technicians, who can expediently and proactively address the threat. Without AI, these concerning events might go unnoticed or take days to isolate among various video streams.
    This technology is also used to mitigate false alarm occurrences. When a system identifies a possible threat, it can call upon pre-programmed stimuli or ML to assess the likelihood of actual danger. Say the system identifies a loitering person, but the individual in question is in a public thoroughfare that frequently sees slow-moving traffic. The system can vet the threat and determine it’s likely a non-issue. We see this capability adopted often as a tool to reduce time-to-response in the case of actual threats and to help eliminate unnecessary emergency mobilization.
    Other AI use cases parallel larger trends in the security industry. As access control solutions evolve to become more mobile, many security leaders have adopted AI to verify tripped alarms. In other cases, AI has intelligently monitored the movement and status of top-priority assets, including vaccines. The implications of these technologies go beyond immediate cost savings.

    Cutting-edge technology use cases in security

    Many security leaders remain unaware that their existing technologies hide a wealth of deep security- and operations-related insights. However, over the past year, we’ve seen several organizations adopt bleeding-edge AI technologies that harness the power of latent insights to drive operational efficiency.
    Technologies that monitor and analyze a comprehensive security ecosystem can learn a lot about their operating environment. AI tech learns about standard facility exit and entry times via access control; employee and consumer behavior through video surveillance; and asset movement through real-time location systems (RTLS). Using this information, AI tech can understand what works for a facility and what may need improvement.
    For instance, in a retail environment, AI technologies can assess optimal hours of operation based on when a store experiences the most entry. Or, it can even identify which departments require more or less staffing based on consumer movement. In a corporate environment, these same observations can be used to assess when energy-intensive systems, including lights and temperature, need to be adjusted. Business leaders can use information about optimal operating conditions to curb costs and more efficiently distribute limited labor resources.
    Of course, data-based security insights are also imperative for strengthening health and safety protections. One promising example of this involves another technology with emerging security use cases: drones. Several factors influence whether drone activity should be considered suspicious, such as the drone’s make, model and weight limit. Other environmental factors of interest include the drone’s location and how long the drone has remained in the area. While collecting this information, AI technologies can synthesize a risk factor and present human technicians with a threat probability. 
    The cohesive collection and presentation of data are critical here. Although AI security tech can make incredibly informed decisions about possible dangers, it’s also capable of presenting complex data about threats simply, allowing human technicians to double-verify or make their own calls as needed. These data dashboards are a compelling selling point for leaders who thrive on data and may explain why AI security tech has taken off in recent years.

    The future of AI and security tech

    Security insights no longer live in silos. As enterprises digitally transform their processes, they invite a cohesive technological ecosystem that latently learns and presents information in an incredibly powerful way. And as IoT 2.0 approaches, those insights will become necessary to keep up with magnified data needs. 
    Both trends explain why AI security technologies will accelerate in adoption in the years to come. For security leaders across all industries, the question is: When will “cutting-edge” technologies become necessary functions? And what providers will I trust to transform operation-wide processes to become more secure and intelligent?

    See Original Post

  • September 18, 2023 6:24 AM | Anonymous

    Reposted from National Cybersecurity Alliance

    While the idea of getting held up for cryptocurrency in the digital wild west is scary, there are some steps you can take to significantly reduce the likelihood of an attack. We’ll also explain what to do if your data is currently being held for ransom.  

    Essentially, ransomware is malicious software that encrypts a victim’s data, and the criminals who infected the victim’s device demand a ransom for the data’s release. Typically, ransomware (like other forms of malware) infiltrate systems through deceptive emails (i.e., phishing attacks) or software vulnerabilities, causing devastating consequences for individuals and businesses. Individuals can face emotional distress and data loss, while businesses suffer operational disruptions, financial damages, and reputational harm.  

    Ransomware attacks are, unfortunately, common news headlines. Huge corporations, large school districts, and governments have dealt with sickingly effective ransomware operations. The WannaCry ransomware attack in 2017 infected an estimated 200,000 computers around the world and ended up costing a total of $4 billion, according to recent analysis. According to Verizon’s 2023 Data Breach Investigations Report, ransomware is now the second-most common cybersecurity incident and is now being present in almost 16% of all incidents (Verizon found that most common is a Denial of Service attack). 

    We’ll explain how you can mitigate your risk by adopting some simple-to-learn cybersecurity behaviors. Early detection through antivirus and intrusion systems is vital, and you can backup your data effectively to facilitate recovery without paying any ransom. Following these guidelines strengthens defenses and safeguards against the dire consequences of ransomware. 

    How to prevent ransomware attacks 

    As you might suspect, preventing a ransomware attack is easier than dealing with the frustrating fallout after it has happened. By practicing some good cyber hygiene behaviors, you exponentially increase your chances of staying off the ransomware radar.  

    • Lock down your login with strong passwords, a password manager, and multi-factor authentication 
    • Back up your data regularly to the cloud or an external drive (or both!)  
    • Antivirus software is worth it 
    • Update your software regularly (turning on automatic updates is easiest!)  
    • Avoid the phishing bait 
      • Most ransomware attacks start as a phishing message, which is when a cybercriminal sends you an email, message, social media post, or text that includes a malicious download or link. Here are some common signs of a phishing message:  
        • Does it contain an offer that’s too good to be true?    
        • Does it include language that’s urgent, alarming, or threatening?    
        • Is it poorly crafted writing riddled with misspellings and bad grammar?   
        • Is the greeting ambiguous or very generic?    
        • Does it include requests to send personal information?   
        • Does it stress an urgency to click on unfamiliar hyperlinks or attachments?   
        • Is it a strange or abrupt business request?   
        • Does the sender’s e-mail address match the company it’s coming from? Look for little misspellings like or  

    How to detect ransomware 

    Generally, the people behind a ransomware attack want to get your attention, but ransomware might not be so obvious at first. Look out for: 

    • A ransom note or message on your screen demanding payment to unlock your data or device 
    • An inability to access your files, folders, software, or apps 
    • A change in the file extensions or names of your encrypted files 
    • A noticeable slowdown or malfunction of your device or network 
    • An increase in network traffic or CPU usage 

    How to recover from a ransomware attack 

    If you suspect a device is infected with ransomware, you want to act fast but remain collected. Don’t start talking to the digital hostage-takers, but reach out for help from cybersecurity experts, law enforcement, and others, like your employer’s security team. Here are some techniques to take on ransomware and get your data back.    

    1. Stay calm and focused. Hackers want to send you into a state of panic – don’t let them! By maintaining your cool, you can make more informed decisions. Even if the situation is dire, a calm approach will ensure you are taking stock of all your options.   
    2. Take a photo of the ransomware message for evidence. 
    3. Quarantine your device by disconnecting from Wi-Fi and unplugging any ethernet cables.Remove any external hard drives or thumb drives ASAP because many ransomware programs will try to corrupt your backups.   
    4. Check your antivirus software to see if it has decryption tools to remove the ransomware. Depending on the malware, your antivirus software might be able to decrypt your data without requiring you to pay a ransom to anyone. Even if you can’t undo the encryption, the software might be able to identify the strain of ransomware which will help with the investigation.   
    5. Wipe your hard drive and reinstall your operating system. Ideally, you will have backed up your files on the cloud or an external hard drive. Wiping your hard drive will eliminate everything you saved on your computer, but it might also eliminate the ransomware program, too.   
    6. Report the ransomware attack to your local police department, the FBI, CISA, and the U.S. Secret Service.
    7. Should you pay the ransom?We recommend never paying out during a ransomware attack because it only fuels more cybercrime. If you have exhausted every option and you believe the files being held hostage are worth the ransom, consider that there is no guarantee that the cybercriminals will decrypt your files even if you pay. Consult with law enforcement, cybersecurity professionals, and legal advisors to assess the situation and make an informed decision.  
    8. Once you have control of your device again, change all your passwords because the hackers could’ve looked through passwords saved on your web browser or elsewhere. 

    You have the power to prevent & beat ransomware 

    While ransomware can seem like one of the scariest things that can happen to you online, you can work to prevent it with some simple cybersecurity habits. Now that you know what to do, you can work fast to mitigate any attack if ransomware turns its ugly eye your way. Most importantly, remember that you are not alone when dealing with an attack – reach out to experts and law enforcement.   

    See Original Post

  • September 04, 2023 4:35 PM | Anonymous

    Reposted from Artnet News

    Climate activists have once again targeted a famous work of art, with a member of the group On2Ottawa throwing pink paint on Tom Thomson’s Northern River (1915) at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and affixing himself to the museum floor on Tuesday.

    “Fortunately, the artwork was not harmed during the incident,” the institution said in a statement. “The work was displayed in a protective glazed panel and has been taken out from display for further evaluation. We expect it will be rehung shortly.”

    The protestor, who has been identified as, Kaleb Suedfeld, aged 28, smeared the paint across the glass with his palm before applying glue to his hand, sitting down, and reading a prepared speech.

    “Fossil fuel industries are destroying the work of art that is our planet and our government is firmly in their grip, doing nothing to stop their crimes,” Suedfeld said. “We are shocked that the governments around the world, including our own, are allowing our beautiful planet, this work of art, to be gutted and burned to fuel the pockets of fossil fuel plutocrats.”

    The museum called Ottawa Police Service to the scene, and they arrested Suedfeld.

    On2Ottawa describes itself as “a non-violent civil disobedience campaign” aimed at prompting government officials “to take urgent and meaningful action on the climate crisis.” In response to Canada’s record-setting wildfires, which since March have affected all 13 provinces and territories, it has staged numerous protests in recent weeks blocking traffic in Ottawa.

    Targeting works of art is a tactic denounced by many art-world authorities, including the Association of Art Museum Directors, which in November insisted that “attacks on works of art cannot be justified, whether the motivations are political, religious, or cultural… Such protests are misdirected, and the ends do not justify the means.”

    But some activists maintain that such disruptive activities are as necessary due to their ability to attract widespread media attention, as opposed to petitions or direct outreach to public officials.

    “That does not get the coverage that we absolutely need to succeed as a project,” On2Ottawa spokesperson Laura Sullivan told ARTnews, noting that the pink paint tossed at the Thomson painting was washable. To date, 12 members of the activist group have been arrested at protests, which are set to continue over the next week and a half.

    The National Gallery called the incident “unfortunate,” but declined to comment further due to the ongoing police investigation.

    The first art museum climate protest was at the Louvre in Paris in May 2022, where a man smeared cake on the glass protecting Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. A campaign launched by Just Stop Oil roughly a month later saw activists target high-profile paintings including works by Vincent van Gogh and J.M.W. Turner at a quartet of U.K. museums.

    From there, the floodgates opened, triggering copycat actions at institutions across Europe and beyond that continue to this day, despite concerns about potential damage to the works and widespread criticism of the trend.

    See Original Post

  • September 04, 2023 4:26 PM | Anonymous

    Reposted from ASIS

    A good mentor can be invaluable. Mentors serve as sounding boards for new ideas, guides for future career moves, and emotional support during times of turmoil and indecision. But not every mentor is a good fit for every mentee, and mentors themselves can always improve their approach and outreach.

    Find the Right Fit

    “If the relationship is a good fit, mentees can gain a lot—guidance, insight, perspective, options, lessons learned, confidence, and sometimes even a lifelong friend,” says Jennifer Holcomb, CPP, PSP, vice president and security solution lead for Anser Advisory. “The pairing should support not only what the mentee is seeking immediately, but also their long-term career path.”

    While the best kind of mentor is an available mentor, notes Miguel Merino, former head of security for SEAT, S.A., and a member of the ASIS Mentoring Program, “it’s important that a mentee’s values align with your own. Otherwise, this will cause friction between the two of us.”

    This mismatch in values or expectations could undermine the value that a mentee receives from the relationship, and it can diminish the advice that the mentor provides.

    “The mentorship relationship is so valuable because both people learn from the experience,” Merino says. “Mentees receive mainly encouragement, motivation, guidance, and professional advice for improvement of new skills, deeper industry knowledge, and a wealth of contacts the mentee needs.”

    In addition, the mentor has the opportunity to glean unexpected knowledge from the relationship, provided they are willing to listen. “Someone who is not willing to learn can never lead or teach,” he notes. “Usually, a mentee is a person with less experience or skills in his or her professional activities than the mentor, but nonetheless—and quite often—mentees have knowledge and skills that mentors don’t.”

    “The great thing about being a mentor is gaining friends and meeting interesting people,” says Alan Greggo, CPP, regional operations manager for Pinkerton Consulting and Investigations and a member of the ASIS Professional Development Steering Committee. “As a mentor, I have learned patience and empathy for what other professionals faced within their professional lives. Sometimes that spills over into their personal lives; it’s inevitable that personal topics will come up in a relationship like this. Mentors must be keenly aware that it is not always evident what their mentee has going on in their lives. Be patient and be a good listener when you don’t have the answer.”

    Tailor Your Guidance

    Common objectives among ASIS Mentoring Program participants include professional development (70 percent), pursuing certification (60 percent), networking (60 percent), career path development (50 percent), management and leadership (40 percent), and career transitioning (10 percent), Greggo says. Those varying priorities make a one-size-fits-all mentoring approach impractical and less valuable.

    Greggo suggests applying situational leadership principles to mentorship, leveraging awareness of the mentee’s abilities and strengths to determine if the mentor needs to apply a hands-on, micromanaging approach or more of a consulting or informal role. This can be tailored based on the mentee’s personality as well as their current or perspective roles.

    “When mentoring people at different levels of their career, it’s important to understand what skills they have already and what they are seeking to learn,” Holcomb says. “Then you base your approach given their starting point. For example, if a mentee has successfully managed a project, you could tailor your mentorship to guide them on how to run a program. But if the mentee is still learning how to manage their day-to-day, I would guide them on managing tasks and time.

    “It is important to note the difference in how each mentee learns and understands feedback,” she continues. “I can improve my impact on a mentee and their ultimate success if I adapt my approach to connect with the mentee and build on their experience.”

    For instance, she says, managers are often challenged with determining how to motivate individual employees and how to incorporate those strategies into a cohesive and authentic management style. Mentees across the board often struggle with technical writing skills, Holcomb notes. In response, she provides context, feedback, guidance, and continued opportunities to write and improve.

    “To me, the mentoring approach to a frontline employee is much different than it is to a long-term security professional,” Greggo says. “But to understand what part of the situational leadership spectrum is needed, every mentoring engagement needs to start with a meeting to determine the goals and objectives the mentee wants to achieve from that engagement. Use the mentee’s resume to understand their experience and engagement level. This is a good tool to use to form questions for those first few meetings. If the two participants don’t take time for understanding and agreement on [those objectives], the engagement won’t be successful. It’s likely to be an unorganized, sporadic, and messy experience.”

    Melissa Mack, CPP, agrees that setting clear priorities is essential for an effective mentorship. “I encourage employees to identify where they want to be in three, five, and 10 years,” says Mack, who is managing director at Pinkerton and a mentor within the ASIS Mentoring Program. “Conduct a personal skill sets, traits, and qualifications gap analysis and put strategies in place to close those gaps in order to reach their professional development goals. The most effective development approach is to identify and be able to articulate what your professional value proposition is.”

    In addition, be wary of being too prescriptive in your mentorship. Successful mentors don’t push directives but offer perspectives instead, says Herbert Clay, CPP, director of corporate security at Sony Electronics. This suggestion-based approach can foster more creative thinking and develop the mentee’s reflexive and adaptive management style.

    “Through that dialogue, through that sounding board, it really helped me develop the reflexive nature of being able to think through a problem based on the catalog of information I developed from my mentors and then with my own experience,” Clay says.

    And after those thought-provoking conversations, don’t forget to follow up to see what conclusions the mentee reached, what the results were, and how to improve for next time, he adds.

    Rethink Etiquette

    After the COVID-19 pandemic began and organizations shifted broadly to remote or hybrid work, longstanding workplace norms and etiquette fell by the wayside. Many companies relaxed rules around work wardrobes, retiring neckties and embracing blue jeans and more casual wear. Work hours have remained flexible for many people, enabling them to get work done around family obligations. However, as many organizations push for more in-person work and office attendance, some of those workplace etiquette norms are making a resurgence… and they are meeting some resistance, both from new workers and longtime employees who wholeheartedly embraced the different ways of working.

    “Setting the example of what’s appropriate is the best way to get that point across,” Greggo says. “Leaders don’t ask employees to complete tasks that they would not do themselves. In a like manner, leaders don’t lecture employees on appropriate behavior in the workplace without themselves being appropriate every day. If there is a problem, I work one-on-one with the individual in a respectful and empathetic manner to first understand where the employee is coming from, what’s causing the inappropriate behavior, and then explain what is expected. There has to be an agreement as to what appropriate looks like, and the discussion must lead to change.”

    “As a general rule, an employee must be congratulated in public and reprimanded in private,” Merino says. “Take into consideration that our intention is to obtain an improvement or a change with a positive reaction from the employee about what’s appropriate in the workplace. We must treat the subject objectively and gather factual information in advance, before having an individual interview.”

    Private interviews to correct behavior from an employee or a mentee should follow a four-step model, Merino says:

    1. Reinforce the employee’s/mentee’s strengths.
    2. Describe the facts with firm arguments.
    3. Describe the consequences or issues with the person’s action.
    4. Agree with the employee/mentee about his or her adherence to what’s appropriate in the workplace.

    Also, especially because workplace norms keep shifting, mentors and managers should emphasize empathy when course-correcting on behavior.

    “The pandemic crippled the opportunity for collaboration that advances the team as a whole,” Mack says. “It did, however, add an opportunity for workers to get to know each other personally in the sense that now we were looking into someone’s life—home, family, pets, etc.”

    When a change is necessary, though, mentors and managers should adapt their approach toward more of a coaching perspective, she says. “It’s more about providing guidance for the employee to buy into improvement of their personal behavior because they personally internalize the what and why versus the mentorship approach sharing their own experiences which the employee may feel doesn’t apply or resonate.”

    Reach Out First

    “I learned at a very early stage in my career that if I wanted my employees to be successful and advance, it was important to have a strong and effective training program,” Greggo says. “Untrained employees lose interest quickly and lose motivation because of the stress of not knowing how to do the job. Dedicating a job-specific trainer for the employees was helpful, but a formal, documented training program with progress reports and testing was necessary.”

    Untrained employees lose interest quickly and lose motivation because of the stress of not knowing how to do the job.

    If managers take the first step to push employees toward mentorships (internal or external to the organization), education, or training, it demonstrates a level of personal investment in the employee’s potential.

    “New and young employees starting out in their careers are not always thinking in terms of professional development,” Greggo notes. “Some organizations argue that employees are responsible for their own professional development and don’t really have a lot to offer for employees to pick from in terms of development. The employees’ manager should be working to introduce them to professional development options if their company has them.”

    Merino agrees: “mentoring new hires so they have someone to talk to other than their manager or creating an individualized career growth plan, including soft skills, can be a good starting point. In my opinion, employees are very grateful that their manager maintains good communication lines with them; offers them effective support and mentoring; promotes their training and participates; encourages them to assume new responsibilities; and above all, that the manager is an example for them.”

     See Original Post

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