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Over a quarter of all UK construction projects are within the public sector. From the development of major infrastructure to the building of public housing, the output of such projects is extensive and wide-ranging.

Their successful management depends on a seamless blend of communication, collaboration, transparency, and resource management at every level. There’s an obvious need to maintain the security and integrity of data in the public sector.

The importance of a commitment to data security is echoed by the government, too, which has published a new cyber security strategy that includes a range of measures for increased resilience against malicious cyber attacks.

To put this in perspective, 40% of the 777 incidents managed by the National Cyber Security Centre from September 2020 to August 2021 targeted the public sector.

In this blog, we’ll consider the challenges of maintaining such cyber resilience, before looking at the protective capabilities of Property Inspect.

The Challenges in Public Sector Cyber Security

The UK government recognises the potential for benefits such as improved efficiency and financial savings as a result of technological integration across the public sector. However, there is growing awareness of the risks, with cybercriminals using methods that would previously have been the preserve of nation states.

Aiming to build the required levels of cyber-resilience, the UK government has proposed two sets of positive outcomes to be achieved by 2025 and 2030 respectively. There will be an investment of £2.6 bn in cyber and legacy IT, with a variety of KPIs used to measure performance.

However, the success of the Cyber Security Strategy will depend on overcoming challenges such as legacy systems and data issues. This is caused in part by the insufficient cataloging and risk assessment of IT assets, with varying data quality and greater connection between supplier systems only exacerbating the threat.

Additionally, there is a focus on the difficulty in the escalation and mitigation of cyber security threats across separate departments and in the alignment of disconnected and remote bodies for appropriate and timely action.

public sector aws cloud security

How Property Inspect protects your data

Taking data and security seriously, we have taken the precaution of hosting of the Property Inspect platform and data on Amazon Web Services (AWS), the industry leader in secure cloud hosting. By partnering with the industry leader in secure hosting we are able to assure public sector property professionals maximum reliability and security.

Based on a highly reliable infrastructure, AWS works across a variety of availability zones and data centres, enabling Property Inspect to maintain 99.99% uptime over a 365-day period. With Amazon’s secure cloud hosting, the Property Inspect app will continue to run even if there is a failure in one availability zone. AWS is also integrated with a range of features for encryption, network security, and identity and access management.

Property Inspect is Cyber Essentials Plus certified

Continuing our commitment to security, Property Inspect has also gained Cyber Essentials Plus certification. Focused on safeguarding against cyber security threats, this certification enables Property Inspect users to demonstrate compliance with GDPR and other complex data regulations. With certification depending on the rigorous assessment of cyber security measures, users can be assured of minimal public data risk.

Having integrated Cyber Essentials, Property Inspect fulfils the promise of effectively limiting the risk to public sector real estate data. Optimum awareness can be maintained, with continuous monitoring of the organisation’s cyber security level.

Fully integrated API options also provide users with added protection against unauthorised access, data breaches, and other security threats. From the collection of commercial property inspection data to the issuing of comprehensive reports, Property Inspect is a complete and secure solution.

Property Inspect also has a number of other security-enhancing features:

  • Secure report links, which are accessible via a secure URL that identifies every recipient and when they read the report
  • Permission setting for property professionals at different levels in line with user needs
  • User credentials are stored using a PBKDF function (bcrypt)
  • Security event handling protocols including escalation procedures and rapid mitigation.
public sector cyber essentials plus

Our work in the public sector

Prioritising the security and streamlining of public sector data, Property Inspect has also been awarded a sought-after Vertical Application Solutions Framework Contract by the Crown Commercial Service (CCS). This means that our comprehensive property inspection and reporting software is available to public sector organisations and government departments.

As Steve Rad, Founder and CEO of Property Inspect said, “Being awarded the status of approved Crown Commercial Service provider represents another significant milestone in Property Inspect’s growth and continued expansion. It enables us to establish connections with public sector organisations who are in desperate need of smarter and safer solutions to enhance their operations for the benefit of society, while at the same time improving their processes, increasing efficiency and saving money.”

Successful registration as a CCS provider depended on Property Inspect passing rigorous assessment across six criteria including Capability in Complex Delivery Environment, Social Value, and Environmental Stewardship, as well as Product Expertise. We are now able to bid as an approved supplier for a range of governmental and public sector projects throughout the UK.

Property Inspect’s status as a CCS provider means a commitment to these objectives:

  • Managing cyber security risk
  • Protecting against cyber attack
  • Detecting cyber security events
  • Minimising the impact of cyber security incidents
  • Developing the right cyber security skills, knowledge, and culture.
  • Streamlining the work of property professionals in public sector projects

Looking to the future of a cyber-secure public sector

The government’s prioritisation of cyber security management is clear, with the level of investment in the development and implementation of the Cyber Security Strategy. In replacing the outdated security measures it’s hoped that the threat of increasingly diverse, sophisticated, and aggressive cyber criminals can be contained.

The news should no longer feature public sector organisations having been forced into compliance with major ransomware demands. However, whether this can be achieved in the short to medium term is debatable, as 70% of respondents to Interpol’s first Global Crime Trend survey said that they expected crimes such as ransomware and phishing attacks to increase or significantly increase in the next three to five years.

Therefore, it’s important that we commit to the highest level of security on our platform to ensure that public sector projects remain safe and secure for the businesses and professionals procuring the Property Inspect platform.

Our commitment to data security

While Property Inspect has taken a number of measures for the protection of real estate data, we’re aware that more has to be done given the continuing threat of cybercrime. We are committed to the use of the National Cyber Security Centre’s toolkit, taking steps to create the right environment, get the most relevant information to support decision-making, and taking steps to manage cyber-security risks.

Property Inspect will also continue in our support of the government’s aim of significantly hardening cyber attack resilience by 2025 and beyond. In doing so, we’ll contribute to the collective success the fight against cybercrime, and not just the public sector.

With such a commitment to data security, it makes sense to use Property Inspect for your property inspection and reporting needs, whether you’re operating in the public sector or otherwise.

Sign up for a free trial to experience the benefits of secure, efficient, and streamlined inspection and reporting software that will scale with your business and project needs.

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