NCSC Guidance for Connected Places

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As the world continues to become more dependent on technology, many individuals, organisations and even places may now exist in a state of being consistently connected with each other. As such, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has released new cyber-security guidance for connected places.
Connected places—often referred to as smart cities—may offer a variety of different conveniences related to technology.
The primary goal of a connected place is to improve and enhance daily quality of life for its associated citizens. Technology may be able to optimise the following operations in a connected place:

  • Traffic light management
  • Closed-circuit television services
  • Street light management
  • Parking management
  • Transport services
  • Waste management

However, it’s important to understand that with technology becoming more involved in everyday life, there may also be additional cyber-exposures.

The NCSC guidance is of particular relevance for risk owners, chief information security officers, cyber-security architects, engineers and other personnel who may be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the infrastructure in connected places.

While having consistent connections between all corners of a smart city may offer convenience and expedite certain tasks, this also means that some systems will be tempting targets for cyber-criminals. In the event that a connected place’s systems are compromised, it could affect not only public infrastructure, but also the private and sensitive data of employers or ordinary citizens.

In particular, local authorities could be at risk of having information stolen and experiencing reputational damage.

The NCSC has set its focus on educating local authorities about how the systems and technology of a connected place must be managed. Three of the NCSC’s highest priorities are:

  • Using thorough analysis and management of any potential threats or vulnerabilities to assure citizens in connected places that their data will be kept safe
  • Protecting the services of connected places by enhancing cyber-resilience
  • Securing connected places by working with the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure and other partners to support national, local and regional authorities. 

For more details on the NCSC’s connected places guidance, contact us today.