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BSI publishes smart cities security specification



New document complements earlier guidance in providing framework for security measures

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has launched a new specification for safeguarding data and information security in smart cities.

Titled PAS 185 Smart Cities – Specification for establishing and implementing a security-minded approach, it was commissioned by the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) and outlines potential security threats with the appropriate responses.

BSI said it can be used to take appropriate and proportionate security measures to deter and/or disrupt hostile, malicious, fraudulent and criminal activities; and that the measures will not prevent delivery of the city’s aims.

The specification covers aspects related to the environment of the smart city, including scale, organisational complexity, complex service delivery and ownership of smart city infrastructure.

Dan Palmer, head of market development for manufacturing at BSI, said: “Greater availability of data and information can transform the way our cities are run – helping public and private sector decision-makers to provide a better environment for citizens. But it is critically important that this data and information is handled responsibly, and doesn’t open up the city to cyber or other attacks.

“PAS 185 was created to provide a framework for the development of an overall security strategy for the handling, management and sharing of data. It will help decision-makers in smart cities, as well as smart city data officers, understand and guard against the risks involved as they move into the digital age.

“It will also be of benefit to those interested in utilising data and information to effectively deliver smart city objectives.”

Earlier frameworks

BSI has previously published other documents relevant to the development of smart cities: PAS 183 for a decision-making framework for sharing data and information services; and PAS 184 for developing project proposals.

The new document differs in providing a prescriptive approach, being closely linked to the PAS 1192-5 standard on security, whereas the earlier ones are more like frameworks for decision-making. It could also be used to assess local authorities in the future.

BSI is also in a collaboration with the Future Cities Catapult, named the Cites Standards Institute, to create a standards based community of good practice.

Image from iStock

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