Electrical Contracting News (ECN) July 2017 - Page 46

SPECIAL FEATURE HOME AUTOMATION & INTELLIGENT BUILDINGS BE SMART, STAY SECURE Steve Martin, head of technical at the Electrical Contractors’ Association, explains why cyber security is rising up the agenda in electrical contracting. C yber security is now a real and serious threat to businesses in the UK, with it estimated to cost firms around £34bn each year. This is a huge figure, and one made more significant by a further revelation in the survey from Internet service provider Beaming that managing malware and data theft incidents both had a greater financial impact on a business than burglary. Of course, the damage done by cyber criminals is not just financial. Firms who are victims of a cyber attack can suffer reputational damage, see staff morale slide, and lose both current and prospective clients as their ability to prevent future attacks gets called into question. With this in mind, it was concerning to learn that 39 per cent of respondents to a recent ECA and SELECT client survey said they didn’t take any steps to protect smart installations in their buildings from cyber threats. More worryingly, just under half (49 per cent) of those who responded to the survey said the risk of hacking and its impact on unsecured networks was a potential barrier to installing connected technology. 46 | July 2017 These challenges need to be overcome if we’re to prevent commercial clients from missing out on the benefits of working in, managing or owning a smart building, and to make sure they are not letting their connected devices become their building’s weak point. What can we as an industry do to help them overcome these concerns? Well, within commercial buildings security installers need to collaborate with their clients’ own network managers, which typically oversee network protection against cyber threats. This will demonstrate they can help put the necessary processes in place to secure any new security installations or help isolate the network so the security systems can’t be compromised. Given a connected building can potentially provide numerous gateways for cyber criminals, conversations with the people who lead on cyber security can be useful in helping them understand which elements of the network need to be protected, and where installers can provide additional support if required. Becoming connected without becoming vulnerable In contrast, the domestic market may require a more hands-on approach. A number of technologically advanced smart home \H\[]\[]Y\˜X\X\]KXܙX]\[ܝ[]B܈X\]H[[\Y\HZ\ۙ\›ۈXYHۛXY]]XZ[[\XHX\ܚ[Z[[ˈ[ܝ[]H[^\܈[[\ٙ\Y[\XZ[[[H\ܝ[Y\BY[]\Hو]8&\Z[[XY[][Y\HXH]\[\ܘY\\H[X\Y \\^\]BHY\XX\] \[Y\X[Y[[[HX\]Hۙ[œ\ܝ[YXHX]H]\\]\š[\\XK[X^HH[[^ܙBHX[]Y\و[ۙ[XZ[[[B۝XX[]]H\˂][[\ٙ\[\YXHYYH[H]\HوX\X\]H\Y\˜[H[X[][ۜˈX\X\]B\ܝY[\HX[Y[Y[\\\HYHX\HHܚ\[\H\[Z[X\] ]Z[B[YH[\[][H[YXX[[H]\KHPH\ܚ[][HYX[و[[[[\XZHB[وHܝ[]Y\[\X\] ˜\[Y[HܚH[XYH[\ZB[\[\\ܚ[[\X\Y\X\وHX\]H[\K