Almost four in 10 clients (39 per cent) say that they don’t take any steps to protect smart installations in buildings from cyber threats, according to new survey findings from the Electrical Contractors' Association (ECA) and Scottish electrical trade body SELECT.
Half of respondents to the survey (49 per cent) said that the risk of hacking, and its impact on unsecured networks, was a potential barrier to installing connected technology, highlighting the inherent cyber threats to buildings in the modern era.
The findings raise major security and privacy implications for the UK’s business infrastructure, particularly given the likely increase in smart installations over the coming years, and growth of cyber attacks as an effective tool to disrupt business and politics.
Steve Martin, Head of Specialist Groups at the ECA commented:
“These figures are very concerning, particularly when you consider the inherent risks in the modern day of not securing your business from hackers. Clearly this is an area which clients urgently need to address, given the anticipated growth in smart installations over the coming years.”
The ‘Connected Technology Survey for Clients’ ran over a three-week period in November and December last year. Overall, there were 229 responses to the survey, including from consultants, engineers, end clients, local authorities and facilities managers.
‘Connected Technology’ refers to any technology that enables devices within a building to communicate with each other, be controlled remotely through a connection to the internet and undertake automated and reactive tasks. This covers installations such as lighting, audio visual, fire, security and HVAC.
At present, just 20 per cent 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.