From his home in London between 1757 and 1775, Benjamin Franklin helped to guide and manage relations between the American colonies and Britain. During this time, Franklin initiated many relationships that ultimately led to America’s birth and prosperity and the emergence of our national identity as a bold, innovative country.
Last month, the Benjamin Franklin House served as the platform for launching a renewed relationship between the leading trade associations representing the security industry in the United Kingdom and in the United States. At that time, SIA Director of Government Relations Jake Parker and I had the honor of participating in a conference and awards program celebrating the Golden Anniversary of the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), representing the U.K. security industry.
The hallmark of the week’s activities was the signing of a memorandum of understanding between SIA and BSIA in Franklin’s study. This cooperative agreement between our two associations will provide new members benefits in three key areas.
U.S.-U.K. Trade Agreement
In response to the Brexit vote and the U.K. decision to leave the European Union, President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Theresa May expressed strong support for the swift adoption of a U.S.-U.K. trade agreement after Britain officially leaves the European Union in 2019. While government trade officials continue preliminary discussions about the broad parameters of a potential agreement, BSIA and SIA agreed to develop joint recommendations to influence the trade negotiations, predicated on the principles of open markets and fair treatment of security products. In addition to exerting influence over the trade agreement, BSIA and SIA will provide education to members about the barriers, opportunities and requirements of operating and competing in our respective security markets.
Data protection is a top concern facing both BSIA and SIA members—and both organizations have already acted to address this common challenge. To help members understand statutory data protection requirements, BSIA has conducted thoughtful analysis of the impact of the Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the SIA Board of Directors established the Data Privacy Advisory Board. The SIA Data Privacy Advisory Board, established in partnership with ASIS International, provides information and best practices to help security suppliers and practitioners handle sensitive data in a safe and secure manner while protecting personally identifiable information of their employees, partners and customers from potential breaches. BSIA and SIA will contribute expertise to each other’s future fact sheets, webinars and best practice guides intended to help members understand the impact of government data protection regulations.
SIA’s Cybersecurity Advisory Board has produced two important cyberhygiene resources: “The Beginners Guide to Product and Systems Hardening” and “Recommendations for Implementing an Enterprise Cybersecurity Solution.” BSIA has aligned its cybersecurity strategy with the work of the U.K. Cameras Commissioner and established a Cybersecurity Product Assurance Group (CySPAG) to foster collaboration around cyberguidance for IP-enabled security products. This is a clear area for increased information-sharing between the standards and technical teams of our two organizations.
The meetings concluded with productive discussions with executives actively involved in the BSIA representing SIA member companies Dedicated Micros, Securitas and Hand Media. Born from this impressive BSIA conference are new relationships and fresh ideas that will contribute to future industry growth driven by SIA and BSIA.