Blueprint established to secure smart cities

The National Cyber Security Centre is offering local and national authorities expert guidance to protect their citizens by making their connected places – often known as ‘smart cities’ – resilient to cyber attacks.

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.

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.

A new set of security principles has been published by the NCSC to help all UK authorities secure smart cities and their underlying infrastructure. The publication 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.

Dr Ian Levy, Technical Director, NCSC, 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.”