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Security and cyber risks

by Andy Clutton

Accepting that our physical systems have become very attractive to hackers and criminal gangs is the first step to doing something about it. PSI caught up with Mike Gillespie of Advent IM to discuss the cyber risks for networked security systems

The growth of networked and web enabled equipment we use is only ever going to increase and as buildings get smarter and the need to manage them smartly, more pronounced, the potential for attack increases. Understanding the threat is where we need to start and this has to be through good quality education, training and knowledge sharing.

Installing equipment securely has to be a baseline requirement, and explaining best practice to end users may help them build the management of those systems into their own configuration and change management regimes. More and more facility managers are finding themselves dealing with IT professionals and IT security professionals, owing to the nature of the equipment they are expected to manage now.

Whilst everyone’s role includes the need to protect assets and people, the language we use can sometimes be a big stumbling block. It may be worth talking to communications teams to find glossaries or other content that will help in daily interactions and help to mitigate the risk from poor communication and the cracks in security it creates.

It seems you cannot open a security publication these days without being reminded of the growing threat from cyberspace. So, our systems, both information and physical, are under attack and how we rise to meet the growing challenge is a constant source of both headline and speculation.

The changing nature of the threat and the sneaky and malicious nature of cyber criminals means that not only do we need to be certain of our own next steps, but that we are in step with our fellow professionals. Collaboration across disciplines to ensure we are contributing to a culture of genuine resilience. How this works in practice is up to individual businesses and organisations, but the stakes have never been higher.

  • In 2013, the Haifa Tunnel – the main arterial road into Tel Aviv was shut down after its camera surveillance system was attacked. The shutdown lasted over eight hours and caused chaos that lasted for days. It had been noted that in June of the same year, areas of Israeli critical national infrastructure had also been attacked. The attacks included water, banks, trains and electricity. These attacks were caught by efficient monitoring and thwarted before harm could be done.

Read the full article in the June 2017 edition of PSI magazine

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