A local IT company has increased the online security of its customer base across the province amidst fears of a heightened risk of cyber-attacks from Russia following political events this week.
Outsource Solutions which is headquartered in Antrim this morning advised customers that internet traffic including website visits and emails would be blocked between Russia and its customer accounts in the UK – unless there were specific legitimate business reasons for the channels to remain open.
Terry Moore, founder and CEO of Outsource, said the risk of cyber-attacks from Russian based hackers could increase significantly as diplomatic relations between the UK and the Eastern giant deteriorate.
Outsource which provides a full Recovery, Security and Performance-enhancing IT service said it was also stepping up its own protection.
“Whilst no IT company can offer 100% certainty that a system will remain totally secure at all times our team of IT specialists who are amongst the best in the business guarantee that – even if the event of a successful cyber-attack – our customers can rest assured the will be able to fully recover their data.
“The decision to halt traffic between our customers and Russian-based IP addresses is purely precautionary but we feel it is sensible and pragmatic given the current unfolding situation. Of course, any customer who does not want this enhanced security protection can contact us directly to have this upgrade removed.”
“We will also be immediately increasing the levels of our own ethical hacking to ensure our infrastructure and systems are best place to deal with any heightened cyber aggression aimed at interrupting East/West email or web activity.”
Outsource was established 18 years ago and employs around 30 staff across offices in Antrim, Belfast, Cookstown, Dublin and Edinburgh. Its customers including leading names from the hospitality, engineering, legal, professional services, manufacturing, energy, financial services and food sectors.
Provincial and National qualifiers to culminate in Ryder Cup-style event at 5-star Lough Erne Resort from 14-18 May
Amateur golfers from across Ireland are being urged to get their entries in for a chance to represent Ireland in this year’s International Kings Cup which will culminate in a Ryder Cup style 54-hole Matchplay tournament against the best of the USA from 14-18 May.
The International Kings Cup Match Play Event, played in honour of golf’s greatest ambassador Mr Arnold Palmer, has now established itself as a leading tournament within the amateur calendar.
Four provincial qualifiers will be staged in March and April in a bid to identify the best Irish team to take on the USA in the five day 54 Hole Matchplay Tournament.
The event, structured like the Ryder Cup, was created in 2016 when the United States Golf Challenge, the largest pairs better-ball tournament in the US brought their leading eight pairs -16-man amateur team across to Northern Ireland to compete against Ireland in the first ever International Kings Cup.
The format of the event is unique as it has openings for every person who holds an official GUI handicap. There are two age brackets from which the two-man teams can qualify to secure a spot on the Irish team – Age 18+ and Senior 50+.
Qualification will take place over two stages with the first being held at leading courses in each province. Eight teams from each qualifier will then go forward to compete in a final qualifying stage to be played on the magnificent Faldo Course at the 5-star luxury Lough Erne Resort in County Fermanagh on Sunday 15 April.
Launching this year’s event, Lynn McCool, Director of Golf and Head Professional at Lough Erne Resort urged competitors to get their entries in early.
She said; “We at Lough Erne Resort are thrilled to be hosting this event for the third consecutive year and I’m delighted to take the event this year to key courses throughout Ireland. Each of the qualifying clubs have really got behind the event including Dunmurry Springs in Leinster, Westport Golf Club in Connacht, Ennis Golf Club in Munster and, of course Lough Erne Resort in Ulster. Given the high levels of interest we are encouraging golfers to get their registrations in quickly via the office of each hosting provincial club.
“We look forward to welcoming players from both sides of the Atlantic to the event, which will stir up Ryder Cup-style rivalry amongst the teams.”
Leading recruitment consultancy Brightwater hosted a seminar for local businesses at The Europa Hotel to help them prepare for the arrival of GDPR in 85 working days.
First phase of €10m Dublin school transformation complete
Tyrone-based Western Building Systems have completed the first phase of a major contract at Firhouse Educate Together National School, Dublin 24.
The project forms part of the Department of Education and Skills’ wider Design and Build Schools 2016-2017 framework. Western Building Systems was appointed to complete the build of 2 new schools at the Firhouse Campus. The project involved the detailed design, construction, removal of existing schools, landscaping and access route improvement for the site which accommodates two schools; Firhouse Educate Together National School and neighbouring Irish speaking school, Gaelscoil na Giuise.
With a total contract award figure of €10,299,000.00, the project represents considerable investment in the education needs of the surrounding South Dublin community at Firhouse.
Phase one saw the construction of Firhouse Educate Together National School. Spanning an impressive 3050 square meters the build included the construction of a state-of-the-art steel-framed building housing 16 classrooms, two special needs units, support teaching spaces as well as various other accommodation spaces.
The second school, Gaelsccoil na Giuise, will occupy a similar layout of 16 brand new classrooms, two special needs units, support teaching spaces and various other versatile spaces. In total the school will span 3165 square metres.
With the entire site spanning 1.9 hectares, external works will see a further two storage buildings, bin stores, a playing pitch, ball courts, project gardens, cycle storage, landscaping, boundary treatment as well as the construction of a new permanent vehicular access road.
Eamonn Boyle, Project Manager at Western Building Systems commented: “We are incredibly proud to hand over the first phase of Firhouse ETNs with such a high-quality finish on time and on budget. The next phase of the project, the transformation of the Irish speaking school, Gaelscoil na Giuise, looks set be another fantastic addition for the surrounding community to enjoy for years to come.”
Western Building Systems is a family-owned specialist construction business that celebrates its 35th anniversary in 2018. It has delivered a wide range of significant traditional, offsite and hybrid construction projects throughout the UK and Ireland within the health, education, industrial, commercial and residential sectors. Western’s ability to design and manufacture all of its buildings’ key components including windows, internal door sets, furniture and walls gives it a unique competitive edge and ensures both consistent quality as well a controlled programme delivery.
John and David Hunter of Hunters farm became the big winners in the inaugural LacPatrick Milk Quality awards held in Cookstown.
The Hunters farm in Newtownstewart picked up the Farm Development Award presented by rugby star Stephen Ferris at the awards ceremony attended by 200 LacPatrick suppliers.
The judges paid tribute to John and David, commending them for the rapid development of their farm from a beef/sheep unit to a grass-based dairy system in recent years.
The LacPatrick Milk Quality Awards saw dairy suppliers from across the LacPatrick milk pool being recognised for their top milk quality, quality assurance accreditation and farm development enterprises.
The awards consisted of seven categories ranging from milk hygiene through to farm development.
The in-depth judging process included detailed assessments against strict criteria as well as on-site farm inspections for the farm development award. Judges for the farm development award included Donal Patton (Teagasc), Martin Mulholland (CAFRE) and Robert McCullough (Danske Bank).
The judges confirmed the exceptionally high standard of the Development Award finalists stating that the judging process was extremely difficult for the Farm Development award due to the high calibre of finalists put forward.
Martin Mulholland commented: “Seeing first-hand the incredibly hard work undertaken each day by the suppliers and their families was a real eye-opener. All of the finalists demonstrated a remarkable drive to supply quality milk day after day and they should be very proud of the work they do.
“The decision was incredibly difficult but as a recent entrant to dairy farming David Hunter, with support from his father John, has already developed a very productive and progressive dairy farm making maximum use of the resources available to him”
The awards ceremony kicked off with a drinks reception followed by a three-course dinner and award presentations. The evening was rounded off with a guest appearance from renowned retired British and Irish Lion, Stephen Ferris who recounted standout moments from his remarkable career.
Andrew McConkey, LacPatrick Chairman commented: “The inaugural LacPatrick Co-op milk quality awards serve to acknowledge and encourage the excellence of milk quality of our suppliers across the region.
“A milk pool of the highest quality and standard is the cornerstone in which every other aspect of the business is built and relies.
“It is fitting that we hold these awards to celebrate the commitment and endeavour of our suppliers.
“Congratulations to John and David Hunter and indeed to all of the winners and finalists for the extremely high standards that they have attained.”
The overall winners included:
Lowest somatic cell count (SCC) – Billy Dawson, Monaghan
Lowest total bacteria count (TBC) – John and Samuel McCaughan, Co Londonderry
Milk solids improvement ROI – Neville Reid, Monaghan
Milk solids improvement NI – David Armstrong, Co Tyrone
Quality assurance award ROI- David McCoy, Monaghan
Quality assurance award NI – Sean McNaughton, Co Antrim
Farm development award – John and David Hunter, Co Tyrone
With a roster of more than 1050 farmers and employing 300 people, LacPatrick delivers 600 million litres of milk annually. Combining rich heritage and innovative production facilities, LacPatrick products are exported and enjoyed across the world.
Major event planned for Titanic Hotel on 21 November
The infrastructural challenges facing Belfast over the next two decades are to be explored at a major think-tank event being organised at the city’s new Titanic Hotel on 21 November.
Entitled Belfast 2035 the event will be facilitated by leading local law firm, Cleaver Fulton Rankin which has advised on many aspects of development within the burgeoning Titanic Quarter.
The evening will take the form of a panel discussion involving leading figures from civic society and will be attended by representatives from the local property, development, strategic planning and infrastructure sectors.
Panellists for the evening will be Suzanne Wylie – Chief Executive of Belfast City, John McGrillen, CEO of Tourism Ireland, Chris Conway, Group Chief Executive of NI Transport Holdings Company and Translink and Shane Quinn, Development Officer with the Belfast Buildings Trust. The discussion will be chaired by Cleaver Fulton Rankin’s Head of Commercial Property, Joe Marley.
Joe Marley says: “We will be exploring what Belfast will or should be like in 2035. We chose 2035 as it ties in nicely with the Council’s proposed Local Development Plan 2020-2035 but as you might imagine we will also be discussing the more immediate challenges and opportunities for the City.
“Belfast has a lot to be proud of in recent years, having achieved so much in areas such as tourism, inward investment and regeneration and the momentum this has created should form the foundation for tackling the challenges that lie ahead. I firmly believe that our cities have a role to play in driving the wider economy and mitigating the worst effects of challenges such as Brexit. I’m looking forward to exploring this further during the discussion.
“Whilst some of the discussion will examine the implications for the commercial property market between now and 2035 we will also be examining a much wider range of topics, including tourism, transport, economic development, regeneration, preservation, social inclusion and of course, Brexit.
“As a city Belfast has many challenges to overcome in the next few decades, not least in the form of Brexit. There is just no hiding from the fact this is the prominent challenge of the day. Aside from that, we know a city’s prosperity does not necessarily benefit all, and Belfast is no different than any other City in this regard, with inequalities and deprivation in some neighbouring and surrounding areas of Belfast. It will be interesting to hear the panellists’ views on how best to tackle that.”
Joe Marley believes Belfast can draw infrastructure inspiration from other UK cities such as Manchester.
“Manchester is an obvious example but Belfast is an example in itself of what can be achieved. The question is how to build on the successes to date. Hopefully we will be able to unpack this complex topic between our panellists and guests on 21 November.”
Belfast 2035 takes place in the impressive new Titanic Hotel Belfast in one of the historic Drawing Rooms on Tuesday 21st November. The event will commence with a reception at 6pm, with the panel discussion taking place from 6.30-7pm, followed by a drinks reception and canapés.
Numbers are limited bit there are a few tickets remaining.
To reserve your place please contact email@example.com
Lawyers from across Europe have gathered in Belfast for the International Lawyers Network (ILN) 2017 European Regional Conference which this year was hosted by Cleaver Fulton Rankin.
The ILN is an association of full-service law firms with over 5,000 lawyers worldwide, providing clients with easily accessible legal services in 67 countries on six continents. Cleaver Fulton Rankin is the only law firm in Northern Ireland to be a member of the ILN.
The conference gave attendees the opportunity to build their knowledge through a series of meetings including two plenary sessions whilst also showcasing the very best that Northern Ireland has to offer through various organised tours.
A total of 55 international delegates attended the event which was hosted by 17 senior staff members from Cleaver Fulton Rankin with expertise spanning from commercial law to public and administrative law. Catherine Brunsden and Jeremy Fitch from Invest Northern Ireland facilitated the event alongside Steven McCarty from UHY Advisors.
The conference, which took place at The Europa Hotel also gave attendees the opportunity to build relationships and network. Two separate plenary sessions focused on topical issues in the industry, namely: “Technology Driving the Business of Law” and “EU General Data Protection Regulation Compliance”.
Guests were given the opportunity to relax and enjoy Belfast’s rich culture through various organised activities including excursions to the Titanic Exhibition and Castle Ward visit as well as Black Cab tours and a Game of Thrones’ tour.
As part of the conference guests were also invited to Cleaver Fulton Rankin’s offices in Belfast for cocktails before setting off on a Dine Around tour, taking sampling several of Belfast’s top restaurants in one evening.
To find out more about ILN membership future international conferences visit: www.ilnconferences.com
To find out more about the services Cleaver Fulton Rankin provide visit: www.cfrlaw.co.uk
A spokesman for the Lough Erne Resort said a fire had broken out adjacent to the hotel’s main reception area late this afternoon.
However, he stressed no one was at risk at any stage.
“In line with our normal emergency planning all guests were evacuated to a separate area within the hotel. The Fire Service was contacted immediately and arrived quickly to deal with the incident.”
The spokesman added that a full enquiry would get underway to establish the cause of the incident.
Guests are advised to check with the hotel prior to arrival tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday.
Belfast law firm, Cleaver Fulton Rankin is to help host a unique programme aimed at helping both reluctant and seasoned communicators to speak with impact throughout 2017 and 2018.
Bespoke Communications is to deliver the programme in three formats – Speakeasy Club Foundations, Speakeasy Club for Business Storytelling and Speakeasy Club for Media Interviews. The Speakeasy Club takes place at locations all over Northern Ireland, and Cleaver Fulton Rankin is to host the Belfast Clubs at its office in Bedford St in central Belfast.
“In a world of information overload, it’s become more important than ever to invest in personal communication skills”, explained Sarah Travers, director of Bespoke Communications.
“Attention spans have contracted, and it can be hard to differentiate yourself in a crowded marketplace. We’re delighted that Cleaver Fulton Rankin is hosting the Speakeasy Club, so that people from all walks of professional life in Belfast can come together to build up their skills.”
Jonathan Forrester, Managing Director at Cleaver Fulton Rankin said: “We believe strongly in collaboration, so we’re pleased to host the Speakeasy Club with the team at Bespoke Communications. Workshops like the Speakeasy Club offer not only the chance to develop skills, but are an important networking opportunity as well. This aligns with our ethos of innovation and relationship building.”
Leading Belfast law firm Cleaver Fulton Rankin has been awarded the ISO 27001:2013 Information Security Management System (ISMS) certification from IMS International. The certification was accredited by the UK’s national accreditation body, UKAS.
Cleaver Fulton Rankin was also the first law firm in Northern Ireland to obtain the UK Cyber Essentials, IASME and ISO27001 certifications.
An ISMS is a framework consisting of policies and procedures, encapsulating legal, physical and technical controls which are involved in an organisation’s information risk management processes.
The scope of supply includes the management of Information Security in the Provision of Legal Services Including Corporate; Banking and Finance; Property; Planning and Environmental; Litigation; Business Restructuring/Insolvency; Employment and Equality; Private Client and Public Law and Education.
The standard ensures that information security is managed under critical and established controls, having a formal specification in place concerning management systems and auditing.
Finance and IT Director, Patrick Fleming said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the ISO 27001:2013 certification which has recognised the sophisticated systems we have in place and has also raised awareness internally, regarding potential threats to information and how to protect it. The standard has helped us ensure that the processes we have in place, including our risk assessment method, information security control system, management practice, information security policy and ability to meet legal and stakeholder data protection requirements are both effective and secure.”