ECA/SELECT Survey finds buildings at heightened risk from cyber attack

The use of cyber attacks is becoming more prevalent as an effective tool to disrupt both business and politics. As a result of this, within industry it’s vital that steps are taken to protect buildings and infrastructure against potential threats.

To find out the current state of play, the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) and Scottish Trade Association SELECT surveyed a range of clients in November and December last year on their approach to cyber security.

The feedback received from the ‘Connected Technology Survey for Clients’ emanated from a range of respondents, including consultants, engineers, end clients, local authorities and facilities managers.

ecacybersurvey

The results show that almost four-in-ten clients (39%) don’t take any steps to protect smart installations in buildings from cyber threats. A further 49% cited the risk of hacking as a barrier to installing connected technology.

Steve Martin, head of specialist groups at the ECA, commented: “Given that ‘connected technology’ covers any technology, such as lighting or HVAC installations, this enables devices to communicate with each other over the Internet and undertake tasks. The risks from hacking are substantial.”

Currently, only 20% of the UK’s commercial buildings are considered to be ‘smart’. However, over the next four years, the global ‘Internet of Things’ market is expected to be worth over £1 trillion annually. “If we’re to keep pace with developments,” concluded Martin, “the issue of cyber security needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.”

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