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Cyber threats confronting the digital built environment: Common data environment vulnerabilities and block chain deterrence

Erika A. Parn (School of Engineering and the Built Environment, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK)
David Edwards (School of Engineering and the Built Environment, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 27 February 2019

Issue publication date: 26 March 2019

7194

Abstract

Purpose

Smart cities provide fully integrated and networked connectivity between virtual/digital assets and physical building/infrastructure assets to form digital economies. However, industrial espionage, cyber-crime and deplorable politically driven cyber-interventions threaten to disrupt and/or physically damage the critical infrastructure that supports national wealth generation and preserves the health, safety and welfare of the populous. The purpose of this paper is to present a comprehensive review of cyber-threats confronting critical infrastructure asset management reliant upon a common data environment to augment building information modelling (BIM) implementation.

Design/methodology/approach

An interpretivist, methodological approach to reviewing pertinent literature (that contained elements of positivism) was adopted. The ensuing mixed methods analysis: reports upon case studies of cyber-physical attacks; reveals distinct categories of hackers; identifies and reports upon the various motivations for the perpetrators/actors; and explains the varied reconnaissance techniques adopted.

Findings

The paper concludes with direction for future research work and a recommendation to utilize innovative block chain technology as a potential risk mitigation measure for digital built environment vulnerabilities.

Originality/value

While cyber security and digitization of the built environment have been widely covered within the extant literature in isolation, scant research has hitherto conducted an holistic review of the perceived threats, deterrence applications and future developments in a digitized Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Operations (AECO) sector. This review presents concise and lucid reference guidance that will intellectually challenge, and better inform, both practitioners and researchers in the AECO field of enquiry.

Keywords

Citation

Parn, E.A. and Edwards, D. (2019), "Cyber threats confronting the digital built environment: Common data environment vulnerabilities and block chain deterrence", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 245-266. https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-03-2018-0101

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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