BSI: the organization that fights against the hacking of smart houses and cities

BSI: the organization that fights against the hacking of smart houses and cities

“We have gone from living with isolated objects to being connected to them, so we are going to protect them,” explains Javier Castells, director of BSI in Spain and Portugal in an interview with MERCA2 . “Imagine that I am your neighbor and I hack your fridge to defrost it, I can open your house through the digital key or enter your bank account,” he says.

“Or now, that all cities want to consume less energy, water, or be more efficient and begin to connect the elements of the city to the Internet, they can leave Madrid without light,” he says.

The objective of BSI (British Standards Institution) is to prevent smart houses and smart cities from suffering. In its day to day, the British company works shaping, integrating and supporting innovation in the Internet of Things (IdC) and the safe and reliable use of smart applications, data and devices in 193 countries and with more than 86,000 customers . In sectors that include the automotive, aerospace, environment, food and medical care industry.


Cyber ​​attacks on these objects have increased 600% since 2016 and BSI is dedicated to generating regulations that help minimize the risks of internet development, hacking or fraudulent use of data.

Castells estimates that the IdC business will have an impact of one billion euros over the next 20 years and there will be 20,000 million objects connected to the internet . In fact, there are already 8.4 billion connected devices. Therefore, they work with the National Cybersecurity Center, the CSA of Singapore and the Department of Digital Culture of the United Kingdom (among others) in the development of future standards.

In Spain, there is the Spanish Association for Standardization (UNE), in Germany the BSI … each country has its standardization body, that’s why the BSI defines its company as “a standardization entity that collaborates with other entities, such as the European Commission (EC), but not only. ”

And he adds, “the EC tends to make standards common and things are built according to standards.” Therefore, they are described as “pioneers” in developing standards around the Internet of Things or information security. Some standards, which later “have been adopted internationally” and have become IPSO standards.


Households are becoming “smarter”, in fact, in the United States, one in four uses a digital assistant such as Amazon, Alexa or Google Home . A category of products that did not exist four years ago. However, although many are delighted with the IdC, two thirds take time to make new purchases of smart home devices for privacy reasons.

The lack of consumer confidence potentially weakens manufacturers. Therefore, BSI serves those sectors “that ask for things.” They can be manufacturers of smart locks or smart TVs. What they ask is that their objects “be comparable” to other objects on the Internet of things, which are governed by the same rules.

“We work with companies that already have objectives in the market, who want these products verified in our laboratory to verify that when they are in the market they do not suffer a hacking.”

In this sense, Javier Castells speaks of a February standard, the ETSI TS 103645 , specific about the security of things. “This rule has to begin to be implemented internationally so that we all speak the same language, it is from domestic and city elements. Everything is related because the goal itself is no longer independent ”concludes.

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