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May 20, 2024 by Alistair Enser

Reliance High-Tech works with partners to ensure the cyber security of physical security systems

Cyber-attacks represent a key threat to the UK’s critical national infrastructure (CNI), which comprises its energy, water and telecommunications sectors, as well as key parts of local and national government.

Indeed, the UK’s parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy recently warned that the country is at high risk of a “catastrophic ransomware attack” on its CNI, which could “bring the country to a standstill.”

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) plays a crucial role in maintaining the operational systems of the UK. In its 2023 report, the NCSC highlighted cyber-attacks that have targeted a number of high-profile organisations, underscoring the real and immediate threat of cyber-attacks.

To mitigate against attacks, the NCSC works alongside the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure to maintain the so-called Cyber Assurance of Physical Security Systems programme, or CAPSS. This important initiative is designed to assist security managers and help them keep their electronic security systems protected from cyber-attacks.

Under the CAPSS programme, security solutions undergo independent assessment against a set of security characteristics that represent a range of potential cyber threats. Tests are conducted across six areas: physical security, secure configuration, network security, authentication management (privileges), monitoring and cloud services. Each of these main areas will have specific mitigations specified under three main topics: development, verification and deployment.

Products that meet the CAPSS criteria, and can evidence the manufacturer’s commitment to cyber defence, are awarded the National Protective Security Authority (NPSA) CAPSS Trademark and listed in the NPSA Catalogue of Security Equipment (CSE).

Of course, as with any critical security initiative CAPSS is only as good as the Integrator installing the technology. At Reliance, as a specialist security integrator who works across CNI and government, investing heavily in our own cyber security skills, training, and certifications such as ISO 27001 and Cyber Essentials Plus, we are  the only UK integrator to achieve the highest accreditation level ‘Above Expectations’ from NHS digital for the second year in a row. You can be sure you are in safe hands. We work with all the  leading manufacturers who have obtained CAPSS approval on their products and ensure that these systems are delivered professionally and efficiently,  while adhering to the highest standards of security.

The latest manufacturer to achieve accreditation is long-term Reliance High-Tech partner, Genetec, which has announced that it is the first open architecture manufacturer in the UK to achieve the National Protective Security Authority (NPSA) Cyber Assurance for Physical Security Systems (CAPSS) 2023 standard across unified enterprise video and access control.

Increasingly, CAPSS approval is a prerequisite to working in the UK’s critical national infrastructure, and Reliance High-Tech not only congratulates Genetec on its achievement but looks forward to working with them, and other partners such as Nedap, Gallagher and ISM, as well as other manufacturers with this important accreditation, protecting our customers, our national infrastructure and our country.

To find out how Reliance High-Tech can keep your CNI secure, contact info@reliancehightech.co.uk.