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MHCLG plans IoT cyber security guidance for councils

05/03/19

Mark Say Managing Editor

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is working on a project to help local authorities develop cyber resilience around smart city plans.

Lock with computer grid pattern

It is aiming to provide guidance on how they can prioritise security in the procurement of internet of things (IoT) technology.

The ministry has published an open early engagement notice to assess interest from suppliers that could potentially support the initiative. It says it wants to identify the key cyber resilience and security challenges for local government in deploying IoT infrastructure and systems, and to provide guidance on what the sector needs.

The initiative has a medium term focus on applications that are already in the market rather than looking towards the future possibilities.

Confidence factor

MHCLG says that one of the barriers to councils making use of IoT technologies is a lack of confidence around their availability and resilience, and that it needs more education and training for officials making the decisions on procurement. It is therefore aiming to provide guidance, standards, training and support tools and an IoT capability model for local government.

The notice says: “Enabling a more mature understanding of available technology and its associated risks would empower a generation of local government procurement decision makers to deliver cost-saving, efficient local infrastructure and services at a time when the risk to such systems is increasing.”

The ministry is providing a lead for local authorities on other cyber resilience issues, with initiatives such as the Pathfinder Programme to develop plans for multi-agency responses to cyber incidents, and a programme to work with local resilience forums on building up their capabilities.

Image from iStock

 

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