Technologies helping security tackle infectious diseases: can technology help people get back to work?
Chair: Martin Gill
Mark Schreiber CPP CPD – President, Principal Consultant at Safeguards Consulting (US)
Dan Rothrock – President of Security & Safety, Americas at Zenitel (US)
Tommy Hansen – Security Advisor, Board Member at ASIS Norway
Leonard Ong – Group CISO at Fullerton Health (Singapore)
Mark Schreiber makes the point that as the virus is impacting on all parts of the business so it is true that the potential value of technology is there to be highlighted, and there are many different types of security technologies that can help. That said, it has to be properly used otherwise, as he says, it can end up turning on its owner. He references the case of security analytics which were over promised but when used properly can be very effective. There are some interesting discussions about track and trace systems which are perceived differently around the world. This is in part due to them being unknown entities and hence he highlights the importance of transparency, oversight and privacy guidelines in winning people over.
Tommy Hansen sets a context, a low infection rate in Norway, a highly digitalised society, with a low level of security maturity. Covid-19 has provided security with an opportunity as an added value service beyond risk mitigation. In the petroleum industry there has been close collaboration with business continuity personnel and this has been a benefit in the crisis. He notes an important distinction though, that Covid-19 has been treated as a safety issue, rather than a security one and the challenge for security has been to adapt and adjust its technologies to meet the needs of safety. Privacy issues remain pertinent, and employees need to trust technologies and work on this is on-going. Tommy references a recent report warning about the use of track and trace technologies and raising concerns that they have been unsuccessful. Moreover, the data protection authority has chastised their use in the wake of inadequate risk assessments.
Leonard Ong speaks in terms of a ‘circuit breaker’ rather than a ‘lockdown’. He notes that Covid-19 has presented challenges to business models and all aspects of them; companies were not prepared for this. In responding to an audience question about the value of Infrared Thermography he highlights the limits of a single technology and the necessity to combine three, specifically focussing on: temperature screening from hand held devices which are contactless and so provide a reading without human contact; trace together mobile applications, so that if someone is confirmed as having Covid they are contacted and asked to screen; and safe entry where bar codes are scanned by mobile phones allowing authorities to place individuals in certain places at certain times. These of course raise privacy issues and you will hear Leonard discuss them. He calls for an adjustment of priorities to what is now needed to beat the virus and revitalise economic life. He finishes by reminding organisations that face budget cuts not to reduce technologies as they have the potential to transform.
Dan Rothrock also emphasises that Covid-19 has touched every aspect of a business and also people’s personal lives. Learning has been on the job as there was little advanced knowledge. Importantly, he invites organisations not to rush to change their technologies, and not before checking whether what they have works and benefits organisations in the new contexts they find themselves. It is possible to adapt technologies and modify their purposes. As he states, there has been a radical rethinking in some approaches; temperature checking was a safety issue pre crisis. He also reminds the audience that even in this sensor driven world the focus should still be on people, not just to work technologies but in terms of recognising the mental health strains people are facing in this crisis. You will hear him discuss privacy issues with regards to technology noting the importance of users being aware of what they are signed and have signed up to. Trust is crucial and communicating effectively is a key component of building it.
While this webinar underscores the value of technologies it also points to some of the key learning points about their use. The value of people, building trust, protecting privacy feature prominently and so they should of course. In our push for better solutions we must never forget this focus.