A new cyber security project has been awarded a major research grant from the EU to help protect construction industry assets

3D Repo, a spinout from University College London, has been awarded a major research grant. The funding, which was given as part of a European Commission-supported project, will see 3D Repo join a consortium of 11 IT and communication organisations to develop cyber security measures. Leading this is Italy’s National Research Council (CNR).

Framework for cyber security

The project aims to create a framework for cyber security management that enables confidential information sharing, while allowing collaboration.

Cyber security is a growing issue as the world becomes increasingly digitised. In the construction sector this is also being felt as areas such as the internet of things and smart buildings continue to develop. It is estimated cyber crime costs the UK some £27bn a year, of which £21bn involves businesses. Reducing the risk of cyber attacks remains a key ambition for companies.

Digitisation of construction

3D Repo has worked on a number of pioneering technologies, providing solutions to major construction firms such as Arup, HOK, Balfour Beatty, Crossrail, Canary Wharf Group and Skanska. The organisation was chosen to take part in the project, due to its technical skills.

While areas such as building information modelling (BIM) and cloud solutions are revolutionising how the construction sector works these are not without risk. As sharing and collaborating digitally becomes increasingly more ingrained in the sector those risks mount, particularly in relation to detailed 3D models of buildings.

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3D Repo will examine and develop ways in which SMEs can share information about cyber attacks effectively over the internet. They will look at how to create an optimum Software as a Service (SaaS) environment that addresses security concerns.

Tim Scully, CTO of 3D Repo said: “Our clients in the construction industry are acutely aware of the threats posed by cyber crime, and security is paramount, not only where projects involve major infrastructure, public buildings and major city developments, but also private property.

“The industry also understands that, increasingly, the cloud and collaboration go hand in hand and, as the experts in this area, we took the initiative a few years ago to put ourselves at the forefront of innovation in cyber crime prevention.”

3D Repo has a history of working on cyber security projects. Over the past two years the firm worked on the Trusted Cloud High Impact Initiative, funded by the European Institute for Innovation and Technology. This was undertaken in collaboration with British Telecom, Digital Catapult, F-Secure and Telecom Italia among others

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