John Fleming has more than thirty years’ experience in the security industry.  Beginning his career in the electrical trade, John has experience in sales, marketing and management and has been representing members of Australia’s security industry association since 2012.

His experience includes physical security, (cctv, access control, security systems, perimeter systems) in prisons and defence forces.

“Advances and changes in technology and electronic security have been quite dramatic over the years, with the introduction of a digital system which brought together what were often disparate systems that can now be networked together and talk to each other, share data and be more effective.”

“Enhanced technology has improved data flow, identification mapping and intelligence with facial recognition now standard at airports and many other areas where large groups of people congregate.  The quality of the video images is constantly improving as is the size and capability of the databases.  Artificial Intelligence is being employed to map and monitor the movement of individuals and their activities and habits.  In some countries it is being used to deter or secure dissidents and in other places it is or could be used to ensure you have your favourite coffee ready at the counter when you walk in to your regular coffee shop.”

“People realise now that wherever they go or whatever they do, pieces of them – their name, address, date of birth, eye colour, information about friends and family and even their likes and dislikes – are being collected and captured multiple times so we can piece together who you are.  In good hands there isn’t much cause for concern, but the potential for data to fall into the wrong hands and be used to defraud, control, oppress or damage an individual is growing every day.”

John says Cyber-crime and hacking are global industries and the malware or software that is available to enable data and identify theft is very sophisticated, cheap and easy to access and becoming more so every day.

The best advice John can give the average member of the public is: “be very careful who you give your data to, use secure passwords and make sure your software is up to date, particularly on your PC as these are even more vulnerable than your smart phone.”

Emails are particularly vulnerable and most cyber-attacks, up to 92 per cent, are made via emails.  False representations apparently made by banks and other trusted institutions encourage people to open the email.  Just the act of clicking on the email to open it is enough to open and send private and personal data to another address from where it can be stolen, used for identity theft or access accounts.

Many people are caught-out when using the free Wi-Fi in a public place such as a café or shopping centre, as hackers wait at these locations and by using simple, cheap software, they can intercept users and redirect them to another false Wi-Fi from where they can access and steal all their data.

“Our aim is to improve and increase the professionalism of the security industry and member organisations as well as raise awareness of the dangers and risks of cyber-crime generally across commerce and industry.”

ASIAL was recently involved in the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, managing the security workforce and employment agreement for the 4000 security staff required for the three-week period covering the event.

The public often don’t know of the many layers of security that operate behind the scenes and believe that security consists of the only the front line, the smiling security guard at the entrance to a venue.  It is through these many layers and levels of a highly-professional security operation that not only were the Commonwealth Games incident free, but also safety across the country was enhanced.

John is passionate about the need to continue to improve standards and professionalism within the security industry through the ongoing review of standards, licensing requirements and ensuring consistency, high-quality training and professional development and monitoring international developments and advances in technology.

With an interest in travel to offbeat locations such as Israel and Laos, John has, in the past, been caught in areas undergoing conflict – including being trapped in Tel Aviv for three months – and now prefers to holiday in Noosa on the Sunshine Coast.

A proud “MAMIL” (middle-aged man in lycra), John regularly participates in long-distance road events – up to 160 km – in both Australia and New Zealand.  John took up cycling twenty years ago and is now a member of two cycling groups, riding before work mid-week and on Saturday mornings.  He has also played golf and competed in triathlons and apart from the health benefits he enjoys the social aspect, camaraderie and guilt free coffee and breakfast at the end of a long ride.

“Cycling is growing in popularity, particularly among professionals in the corporate sector, who are desk-bound for 60 hours a week or more and are looking for a challenge, an outlet for their competitive nature and a way to keep fit that is easier on the body than running.  Even with the investment in road bikes and gear, which can be expensive, our wives are happy that we’re fit, and we get out of the house!”