The Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) strand of the national surveillance camera strategy for England and Wales is run by the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI). CPNI is the government authority for protective security advice, both physical and personnel, to the UK national infrastructure (anything that keeps the UK running and functioning). CPNI protects national security by reducing the vulnerability of the national infrastructure to terrorism and other threats. There are also other nationally important assets or events, including high-profile iconic targets, where impact of damage would be equally serious even though these do not deliver an essential service. CPNI’s advice delivery also extends to help the protection of these assets and events.
Getting the balance right
With a majority of the large companies, organisations and government departments taking advice and guidance from CPNI, CPNI is working to promote the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice amongst those people that are applying some of the best security within the UK. Good security is about both the protection of assets and individuals while being balanced with robust policies, procedures and buy in of all stakeholders, customers and the public. As CNI are often the leaders in high end security, it is vital that sites have proportionate and fit for purpose security, both themes that run through the code and the national surveillance camera strategy.
The CNI strand of the strategy is aiming to deliver consistency between CPNI’s own advice for protecting CNI sites and the 12 guiding principles in the code and associated guidance. Throughout the CNI strand, there is of course the complexity that not everything about the security of sites that are of critical importance to the running of the UK can be made public, but sites are being encouraged to be as transparent as possible and no matter what the site or how important or secure CPNI always promotes that sites have proportionate and fit for purpose security.
Leading the way
As I mentioned earlier, CNI sites should be leading the way in best security, if these sites can’t get security right then who can? It is viewed by CPNI that a mark of demonstrating good security is the assessment of a site’s surveillance system against the code. This can be full third party certification, where a commercial company is able to publically demonstrate its compliance with the code, and this should be the aim for all CNI. Where a site is sensitive and cannot release security details, sites are encouraged to self-assess their surveillance system, with assistance from CPNI. Be it third party certification or self-assessment the end result is the same, raised standards, a better surveillance system and overall better security for the UK.
Another theme running through both the CNI strand and other strands of the strategy is helping those that run and manage surveillance systems to understand the code and the simplification of “what the code means to you”. The CNI strand will be dovetailing with the other strands on items such as training, standards, consultants, as well as producing information specific to the CNI to guide them through the code and how to apply it to CNI sites.
So, lots going on this strand the strategy and please follow me on Twitter, don’t forget to sign up for email alerts for my blog and register to receive information on products being developed as part of the strategy.