National Cyber Security Centre
Cyber experts set out blueprint to secure smart cities of the future
The NCSC has published a set of principles outlining how to securely design, manage and build smart cities.
- National Cyber Security Centre – a part of GCHQ – publishes set of principles for local authorities and partners to establish secure smart cities
- Advice will help councils embrace opportunities smart cities bring while protecting critical public services from threat of cyber attacks
- New principles outline how to securely design, manage and build smart cities
Local and national authorities are being offered expert guidance to protect their citizens by making their connected places – often known as ‘smart cities’ – resilient to cyber attacks.
A new set of security principles has been published by the National Cyber Security Centre – a part of GCHQ – to help all UK authorities secure smart cities and their underlying infrastructure.
Connected places – which include smart cities and connected rural environments – use networked technology like Internet of Things (IoT) devices and sensors to improve the efficiency of services and therefore the quality of citizens’ lives.
Examples of smart city technology include the use of sensors to monitor pollution levels to reduce emissions, parking sensors to offer real-time information on space availability and traffic lights configured to cut congestion. This technology can help councils work towards net zero carbon, deliver a more sustainable environment and improve service efficiency.
While smart cities offer significant benefits to citizens, they are also potential targets for cyber attacks due to the critical functions they provide and sensitive data they process, often in large volumes. The compromise of a single system in a smart city could potentially have a negative impact across the network, if badly designed.
The publication of ‘Connected Places Cyber Security Principles’ is intended to mitigate these risks by helping CISOs, cyber security architects and other relevant personnel consider the high level security requirements and principles that should govern smart cities in the UK.
The launch of the principles comes ahead of NCSC’s CYBERUK 2021 virtual conference (May 11 – 12) which will feature a session discussing the risks and opportunities of smart cities.
Subscribe to the CYBERUK YouTube channel for all of the latest event content as we go fully virtual for the first time with CYBERUK21.
Dr Ian Levy, Technical Director, NCSC recently said:
Local authorities are using sensors and intelligent systems to improve our lives and make our cities more efficient and environmentally friendly.
While these benefits should be embraced, it’s important to take steps now to reduce the risk of cyber attacks and their potentially serious impact on these interconnected networks. I urge every individual and organisation establishing a connected place in the UK to consult our newly published cyber security principles.
It’s our collective responsibility to ensure that our cities of the future are safe and resilient.
Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman recently said:
New digital technology is going to improve our lives and help protect the environment, but it is essential we take steps now to make connected places more resilient to cyber attacks.
Local leaders and innovators should follow the National Cyber Security Centre's expert guidance so our cities, towns and rural areas can unlock the benefits of smart, internet-connected infrastructure in a safe and secure way.
The principles advise local authorities to understand their connected places by considering required cyber security governance and skills, the role of suppliers, risks and more.
They also explain how connected places can be designed to protect data, be resilient and scalable, less exposed to risk and supported by sufficient network monitoring.
When it comes to running a connected place, the principles outline how privileges, supply chains and incidents should be managed.
Latest News from
National Cyber Security Centre
Wanted: Cyber security innovators to help secure UK networks14/06/2021 11:15:00
Call open for pioneering companies to apply for new NCSC for Startups initiative.
Alert: Further ransomware attacks on the UK education sector by cyber criminals04/06/2021 16:10:00
The NCSC is responding to further ransomware attacks on the education sector by cyber criminals.
NCSC launches online game to give children a head start with staying cyber secure25/05/2021 14:15:00
CyberSprinters, an educational cyber security game, has been launched by the NCSC.
Neurodiversity and disability to be captured in second survey on diversity of UK cyber sector14/05/2021 16:15:00
NCSC and KPMG UK launch second survey to help improve diversity in the cyber security industry.
New tool launched to support organisations achieve Cyber Essentials certification12/05/2021 16:05:00
Cyber Essentials Readiness Tool asks organisations questions related to the main Cyber Essentials criteria to help prepare them for certification.
British tech startups offered help to keep innovations secure12/05/2021 15:05:00
New guidance from the NCSC and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) to help fledgling technical companies consider key questions around security.
Large UK organisations offered ten steps to stay ahead of cyber threat12/05/2021 10:15:00
Refreshed 10 Steps to Cyber Security guidance released for cyber security professionals in large and medium sized organisations.
Fifteen times more online scams stamped out as cyber experts moved to protect UK during pandemic10/05/2021 16:15:00
The fourth annual report on the NCSC’s Active Cyber Defence (ACD) programme is released.