iPSL, a Unisys and bank joint venture that processes more than 70 percent of all cheques in the UK, appointed Chubb Security to bolster the existing controls in the cheque clearing operation at four of its sites nationwide. Chubb Security is part of UTC Fire & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).
The organisation can monitor the entire cheque processing operation, record incidents, and review them at a later date, with the help of a bespoke CCTV system built around Guardall's ENDVR ('Endeavour') digital video recording and management platform.
Such technology is essential to demonstrate to iPSL's customers, notably the high street banks, and to the payment processing regulators (APACS*) that sensitive data is not being abused and that neither the employees nor the process is being compromised.
"We process more than 5 million cheques with a value of c£5 billion every day, so we have a duty of care to protect our employees should an incident be reported," says Cheryl Bates, senior loss prevention manager. "We are also obliged to have CCTV coverage in sensitive areas and to store data for a prescribed period of time (90 days)."
Some 40 Endeavour units manage images from more than 500 cameras that are primarily installed in high-risk areas, at the point that the cheques enter the site before they are processed. The cameras are mostly high-specification, low-voltage mini-static domes, chosen for their performance, ease of installation and low energy consumption.
Chubb's appointment followed a formal tender. iPSL wanted a credible partner organisation with national support and maintenance capability. It needed to replace various analogue or ageing digital systems that had previously been installed, but were no longer fit for the purpose, according to Paul Watts iPSL's head of IT Security and Continuity. "We needed consistency throughout the estate," he says, "but we also wanted to be able to manage, control and consume images and data from each site from one central point."
Chubb reused existing cameras wherever possible and replaced 24-volt with 12-volt power supplies to reduce energy consumption. Watts said he was also impressed with the way that Chubb overcame a potential obstacle with the recording. “There was an issue over resilience, something that is essential within the banking industry. Chubb worked with us and the manufacturer to build in additional redundancy: in essence, if one of the drives goes down, we do not lose all of the data on that drive."
Another significant advantage of Endeavour is its fault-reporting function. "iPSL is integrating Endeavour with its own systems-monitoring platform using its own national WAN, so any fault that occurs will automatically generate a report, and management will know instantly that there is a problem," Paul adds. "The national operations centre is alerted, and they can in turn call Chubb. This gives us total visibility of the performance of our technology across every site."
In addition to installing the internal recording and surveillance system, Chubb also provided the external CCTV that serves more of a 'traditional' security function, protecting the building and its assets. Images from all external cameras are also on Endeavour, so on-site security officers from Chubb Security's sister business, Chubb Security Personnel, can see and respond when necessary.
Cheryl Bates believes that the installation has been successful. iPSL is subject to regular inspections and audits from the banks and regulators and now actively promotes the technology and what it can achieve. “Our customers are pleased with the outcome and this reflects well on the quality of the technology installed and the solution provided by Chubb," she concludes.