Information Communications

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Ensuring information is communicated efficiently and with adequate security is vital to the success of business activities. Atkins plays a leading role in planning, designing and enabling these fast changing systems.

About

Advanced communication networks and secure, efficient information management are fundamental to a successful economy.

Accessing information, entertainment and services digitally is now part of daily life, both at home, at work, from schools through to hospitals, from fire brigades to airports, and from offices to the armed services.

The reliance on information and the supporting communications networks has meant that it is now regarded as fundamental to a successful global economy. It is also widely recognised that successful use of information communications technology and systems is a key enabler in the drive towards a low carbon economy.

Our engineers combine excellent domain knowledge with a diverse range of technical capability and strong project management skills to ensure delivery success. We work with public and private sector organisations to plan, design and enable information and communications networks and systems. Our breadth of technical expertise and proven track record of success through all the phases of a project mean we can help turn your vision into reality.

Atkins can assist whatever the challenge; whether it’s delivering broadband to the remote and rural Western Isles of Scotland to ensuring effective baggage handling at major airports. Our capabilities include extensive GIS skills to identify for example where wind farms are best placed, delivering effective information management strategies, improving the efficiency of manufacturing systems, and defining effective security strategies.

We provide design and project management of control and instrumentation systems with complex SCADA through to wide area networks carrying voice and data traffic. We define the business case and deliver innovative identity systems.

Atkins’ engineers work with clients ensuring their information communications systems add value.

FEATURES

Expertise

Our breadth of technical expertise and comprehensive knowledge of our chosen markets ensure our projects achieve maximum benefit for our clients.

Mapping and geospatial analysis

We specialise in the capture and use of geospatial data, and in the design and implementation of geographical information systems (GIS).

Converged networks

We have designed and implemented voice, data and video high bandwidth networks delivering improved efficiency and savings to clients.

Industrial automation systems

We are world leaders in the design and implementation of advanced process automation monitoring and visualisation systems, providing vertical integration of information from the shop floor to boardroom.

Identity assurance

We are experts in the design, building and implementation of enterprise identity assurance solutions, using the latest and most appropriate biometric technologies.

Advanced network design

We are able to solve the most complex of communications and network challenges involving a mixture of wireless and fibre-optic technologies.

Software development

We have a team of software development engineers building applications to overcome complex business and operational challenges.

Infrastructure support services

We support a huge range of clients examining and completing development projects in the UK with a comprehensive range of utility management services. These include the collection and collation of accurate utility plant location.

Data centre design

We support all aspects of data centre design, build and management. Our innovative solutions include modular data centres for increased flexibility and cost efficiency.

Angles

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Lila Tachtsi
20 Mar 2017

Data is valuable, it’s the new currency. In many sectors, including transport, it becomes invaluable when it is gathered, analysed and transformed into operational and business intelligence. And now there is a great potential for doing so in real-time, offering even bigger opportunities for the travel experience. It’s how we use data that will inform and influence the design of our future cities. We have released a white paper that considers how we can use insights from big data to influence strategic decision-making and user behaviour. As well as adding extra network capacity and delivering a better customer experience, big data presents an incredible opportunity to influence people’s behaviour, offering travellers with smarter and more sustainable transport choices. For example, in a world of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs), we can gather data that will inform us about the condition of the transport network, traveller and vehicle behaviour, usage peaks and troughs, the design and operation of towns and cities, and social trends. The maximum value of collaborative CAVs will only be possible with shared ownership and better planned urban networks. Atkins is currently expanding its use of big data to include mobile phone data, GPS data and a wide range of maintained data assets and connected sensors. This helps us to plan and design future services, quickly address any issues on the network, inform customers of disruptions, travel updates and much more. This is just the tip of what is possible.  We have a growing portfolio of big data insight projects

UK & Europe , Group , Asia Pacific , Middle East , North America , Rest of World ,

Philip Barton
17 Mar 2017

Having had time to digest the major themes in this report, I think that the Government at the time seemed determined to establish the Cyber Essentials scheme as key parts of UK SMEs cyber tool kits, and to leverage the insurance industry to secure that goal. The message was that Cyber Essentials or Cyber Essentials Plus compliance would deserve a reduced premium, as well as enabling greater cyber-risk awareness among SMEs. The report indicated that cyber insurance firms were likely to offer support in becoming Cyber Essentials certified as part of the insurance process. This patently did not happen as planned, and the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) are yet to pick up the reins sufficiently to consider cyber insurance guidance. The report was aimed squarely at SME cyber risk in the IT space, with brief mention that Cyber Essentials may not be appropriate, or rigorous enough, for many manufacturing industries. Regulated industries and critical infrastructure will have their own regimes to follow, so what for the SME manufacturing industries? The NIST cyber security framework or the SANS 20 controls are an excellent starting point, not to mention the many standards that exist such as ISO/IEC27001, ISA/IEC62443 etc. An obvious barrier to widespread adoption of worthwhile, insurance-backed, cyber security in the industrial arena is having sufficiently good cyber forensic capability in place to be able to back up any claim. In the event of an incident, the bias for most manufacturing organisations is naturally toward production and not to preserving evidence;

UK & Europe ,

Richard Piggin
26 Jan 2017

The most recent campaign is reported to have commenced on 6 December, continuing through to 20 December. Vsevolod Kovalchuk, a director at the Ukrainian national energy company Ukrenergo, told Reuters that the 200 megawatt interruption was equivalent to approximately a fifth of Kiev's night time energy consumption, and that the scale of the interruption was very rare. The automation was shut down in the Pivnichna power transmission substation located north of Kiev. The remote terminal units (RTUs) opened circuit breakers, causing a power outage that lasted for 75 minutes. Power was restored manually, with full restoration early the following morning. Power loss was reported in northern Kiev and on the eastern bank of the Dnieper River and the surrounding area. The Ukrenergo director described ‘external influences’ effecting workstations and SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) servers, and anomalies with transmission network data. Although investigations are ongoing, in the meantime researchers have confirmed significant similarities to the power outage a year earlier. This includes phishing attacks, with malware embedded in Microsoft document macros, and traces of BlackEnergy 3 malware used in the attacks targeting Ukraine Government organisations. Oleksii Yasnskiy of ISSP labs, distinguished the more recent attacks, using significant obfuscation: “Being more complex and better organised.” Marina Krotofil, a security researcher at Honeywell Industrial Cyber Security Lab contrasted the previous damaging attack: “They could do many more things, but obviously they didn’t have this as an intent. It was more like a demonstration of capabilities.” Ukrainian media and security researchers have also

UK & Europe ,

Roger Cruickshank
19 Dec 2016

Only last week the headline ‘look no hands’ was pasted across a Dubai newspaper, confirming that a car had driven the 100 km journey itself between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.  Maybe the introduction of mainstream driverless cars isn’t too far off after all.  Dubai actually already has the longest Connected and Autonomous vehicle (CAV), in the form of its Metro, which has been running with ‘no hands’ since 2009.  And those in the taxi business might say that the ability to order and direct a vehicle  is a proxy CAV; the International Road Transport Union (IRU)  recently revealed that their UpTop scheme (bringing global taxi apps onto one platform) has attracted more than double the number of vehicles using Uber. The notion of driverless is not new: besides several metros around the world, driverless lifts and elevators have been around for decades, as has the autopilot button that gets pressed when we fly across the globe. We’ve in fact been using driverless transport for years with a strong safety record.  But CAVs (and their offshoots) are likely to have a greater impact than the first jet airliners of the early 1960s.  At Atkins, a design, engineering and project management consultancy, we consider that this new means of travel and the data generated by its introduction, will touch every part of the built environment - a real eye opener.  We are ourselves leading the UK development of an independent test site for, and a market leading capability in, autonomous vehicles, investigating the

Middle East , North America , UK & Europe ,

Projects

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As part of its focus on continually improving its people, processes and information, EDF recognised the need to gain a better understanding of its staff’s security awareness and training needs so that a specific programme could be developed to meet their continual learning requirement in this area. Atkins worked closely with the client for over three years providing professional advice, analysis and solutions through the full lifecycle of organisational learning and development. This work included development of better learning and development solutions for a range of requirements, such as: • Support for the design and implementation of a structured training programme for the internal regulation department of around 60 people • Design and support of training-related management information and reporting • Design and implementation of a major e-learning PC-based training package on Basic Nuclear Principles Refreshment to be used by over 400 people on a cyclical basis • Participation in key self-assessments relating to organisational learning and development improvements that will support the re-accreditation of the Engineering Support training programme against industry standards. These support services were key to EDF achieving training standards accreditation for one of the largest single training programmes in the world. This has in turn provided credibility for lifetime extension programmes for the company’s existing nuclear fleet and new build programmes. Our support has meant that EDF can clearly demonstrate that they have control of their nuclear resources in a measurable and systematic programme which has a clear view of the challenges in addressing an aging demographic and a finite industry

UK ,

Horizon was particularly aware of the issues surrounding the UK approach to security of control and protection systems. Realising that it did not possess detailed knowledge of evolving best practice and regulatory requirements, our client wished to undertake a comprehensive review of relevant standards, guidance and approaches, as well the expectations of bodies that provided security advice. Atkins was chosen to undertake this security standards review. Our work addressed UK best practice and other well established industry methods from around the world. Nuclear best practice was also discussed, including the US NRC 5.71 Regulatory Guide, which had already adopted international good practice, albeit through a very prescriptive implementation. We reviewed the best practice and standards utilised for securing Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and produced a comprehensive overview, assessment and recommendations on future practice. Our review included: The ISO/IEC 27001/27002 series: • ISA99 – Industrial Automation and Control System Security • IEC 62443 – Industrial Communication Networks Network and System Security • NIST SP 800-82 Guide to Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Security • NRC Regulatory Guide 5.71 Cyber Security Programs for Nuclear Facilities. At the end of the comprehensive review, Atkins produced two briefing papers. The first of these covered ICS security best practice, emerging developments and a forward-looking strategy. The second paper concentrated upon nuclear safety protection systems. The briefing papers, follow up presentations, and meetings provided Horizon with a detailed understanding of the security and safety practices which they then used to inform their strategic planning.

UK ,

HE partnered with their Netherlands equivalent, Rijkswaterstaat (RWS), to help overcome their legacy system drawbacks. Both wished to develop a future operating model that delivered a modern and open technology platform and effective supply chain that would improve the resilience and efficiency of their road networks. Atkins were tasked with developing the security requirements for the Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS) operating model, and supporting its delivery through an open tender process to enable appropriate suppliers to provide the new solution. We worked in collaboration with HE and RWS, integrating our subject matter experts into the project team. This allowed us to agree a joint security approach which would took into account the different cultural, business, security and legislative concerns that the two partners faced. By working closely with all stakeholders, we determined the existing operational structures, business goals and service requirements. We reviewed UK and Dutch security standards and Governmental requirements and negotiated a joint approach to meet these. Finally, we developed a ‘to-be’ security operating model to meet business requirements for input into ‘Pre-qualification questionnaire’ (PQQ) and ‘Invitation to tender’ (ITT) contract phases and proposed and agreed approaches for the formal accreditation of ATMS. Our security-focused business systems analysis and requirements development led to a detailed set of building block deliverables at functional and technical levels. These included the specific application, infrastructure, hosting and platform components. The completion of this project provided HE and RWS with a pragmatic and realistic view of the threat environment for information assets with a

UK ,

The client had found it difficult, expensive and disruptive to their programme portfolio to maintain and manage a pool of experienced security consultants with the necessary analysis and security artefact-creation skills required to support the accreditation decision. Due to the finite resource, deciding which projects would benefit most from the IA consultants’ skills was also proving challenging. As a result, there was a risk of critical systems either remaining unaccredited or being accredited on the basis of an inadequate risk assessment. We worked with the client to develop a new managed service approach to the provision of security that brought together all the necessary expertise into a single team. Through the creation and implementation of a security catalogue, we provided key security and accreditation activities for the client. These covered business impact identification, risk assessment, threat and vulnerability analysis, and current and new service/system ‘as-is’ security reviews. Also included were estate and system architecture advice and design, policy and standards gap analyses, and accreditation and risk management. In addition, our (previously CLAS) accredited security consultants provided specialist security support or management to particular projects over an extended period. Through the implementation of managed accreditor services we coached, mentored and trained the client’s junior accreditors. This proved to increase the client’s capabilities in accreditation and developed the organisation’s information risk management maturity. Our managed security consultancy service provided specialist advice to the client that is now an embedded part of the enterprise architecture. Our specialist expertise was also applied to the client’s department-wide information assurance enhancement

UK ,

As a significant element of the IT estate was legacy, the key challenge our client faced was understanding where information assets were stored and processed. This knowledge gap meant that DWP was unable to properly quantify and understand their risk exposure to help develop effective mitigation strategies. DWP therefore approached Atkins to perform a threat and risk assessment of their IT estate, specifically looking at key information assets and how they were stored, accessed, transmitted and processed. Atkins worked closely with DWP across a four month programme to provide a snapshot threat, security risk, and maturity assessment of key information assets across the IT estate. We identified IT and business stakeholders for engagement and reviewed DWP security approaches, policies, procedures and IT architecture to obtain the wider IT estate view. Quantitative and qualitative data was also collected on the shape of the IT estate through documentation reviews, workshops and interviews. This was then employed to identify the flow of data, potential threats and vulnerabilities. Finally, we identified key security risks and opportunities to reduce and mitigate these. We then developed strategic recommendations for the ownership and management of key information assets. As a result of this work, senior stakeholders obtained a quantified view of information asset risk across the DWP IT estate. Our threat assessment recognised what would make DWP an attractive target, as well as highlighting the key threat actors and the likely attack vectors. Clear and concise prioritised expert guidance was also provided relating to information asset risk mitigation activities. This informed

UK ,

Without a clear and deep understanding of their current cyber posture, the client’s leadership team were unable to identify their risk exposure or to develop an effective strategy for cyber resilience. Atkins were selected to perform a cyber risk assessment to identify the key challenges, threats and risks to Government-provisioned services, broader critical national infrastructure and key economic activity. The review would need to establish a realistic picture of the client’s level of resilience and their capability to respond to a serious cyber-attack. Working in collaboration with the client and key stakeholders, we developed a snapshot cyber threat and risk assessment. This provided a measurement of maturity assessment relating to their key assets. A series of sequenced and integrated work packages were also created. These focused on identifying Government and business stakeholders for engagement and reviewing existing security approaches, strategies and policies to obtain a wider national view. The work packages also involved collecting and analysing data on the state of the nation through events, workshops, interviews and reviews, and identifying key security threats, risks and opportunities to reduce risk and improve resilience. As a result of the risk assessment activity, potential threats, attack vectors and vulnerabilities were also highlighted, along with identification of what would make the client an attractive target. Our client’s senior stakeholders obtained a realistic view of the maturity of their cyber defence, with key areas of weakness and strength identified across Government and business sectors. Clear and concise prioritised expert recommendations, based on the client’s technology, people and processes, were then provided

UK ,

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) wished to commission collaborative research for the Ministry of Defence (MOD) into the relationship between people and cyber/ information assurance. Particular focus was required on the human and cultural issues relevant to risk and friction points associated with the design of policy and procedure. Atkins collaborated with University College London (UCL), bringing together industry, commercial and academic expertise to undertake this research. A set of customised assessments were developed to be undertaken by MOD staff using a specialised tool. This helped to identify an individual’s security understanding within their working environment, to highlight skills and knowledge gaps and focus on behaviours that may pose a risk to security compliance. Through this research it was identified that current security practice reduces productivity by introducing rules that often create a conflict with the individual’s primary task and are consequently circumvented. The work conducted represented new and innovative thinking leading to a number of achievable recommendations across the MOD. These would ultimately lead to a new paradigm in the way systems, policies and procedures were developed and implemented. Research outcomes of the identification of friction, and understanding of what is causing it, can also form the basis for a potentially lower friction solution that operators can comply with.

UK ,

Atkins On The Go was the first app that Atkins had ever built, and it was a very successful trial of several new ways of working.  With innovation partners Fluxx, we wanted to build a tool that was as useful as possible for our 18,000 staff around the world. We did this by involving staff at every stage in the process.  We started with an open invitation from CIO Richard Cross, who wrote to every member of staff inviting suggestions for what the app might do. This crowdsourcing project was spectacularly successful, with over 400 responses in just the first two hours.  It became apparent that timesheets and expenses were the key things, but staff also suggested bigger, even more innovative ideas; using phones to grant access to buildings, or building an Atkins car sharing system around the app.  It was also crucial to involve everyone in Atkins, not just the vocal minority who responded to Richard’s email. So the team ran a detailed persona study, to understand the needs of specific groups within Atkins.  Their research focused on people working on site. They were the group we were most keen to reach with the new app, but also the group least likely to rapidly respond to an email appeal.  Interestingly, we had about 50 requests suggesting that email and an address book would be useful on mobile. These were both things that were already possible in the existing system, but a significant minority hadn’t realized. That made it clear that education and training was as

Group ,

Products

CIRRUSmaps™

CIRRUSmapsTM  

CIRRUSmaps™ is a flexible web mapping platform to help you turn location based data into valuable business information.
www.cirrusmaps.co.uk

 

FARYNOR

Farynor  

FARYNOR is a comprehensive and adaptable Fire Safety Records Management System. It is available as a ‘software as a service’ on the UK Government G-Cloud.
www.farynor.co.uk

 

GLASS

GLASS
 

GLASS visually depicts logic relationships within equipment, systems, infrastructure or organisations, and is immensely valuable in planning and safety analysis, incident management and training.
http://www.nsaglass.com

 

LOCARD FORENSIC CASE MANAGEMENT

LOCARD  

LOCARD is the most advanced truly integrated Forensic Case Management System on the market. It is available as a ‘software as a service’ on the UK Government G-Cloud.
www.locard.co.uk

 

MALPAS

Malpas  

MALPAS is one of the world’s most rigorous and advanced software analysis and verification toolsets.
www.malpas-global.com

 

READY TO DIG

Ready to dig  

Atkins is the UK’s leading provider of utility reports. We also provide a wide range of utility management services across the lifecycle of a project.
www.utilitymanagementsolutions.co.uk/readytodig/

Locations

For more information on our work and experience in this sector please contact:

           

Dave Clark
Divisional business development director
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 7834566727
Email: David.K.Clark@atkinsglobal.com

 

           


Resources

In this section you can find technical papers and thought leadership articles produced by Atkins for the information communications sector.

Title Format Size
Welcome to broadband country pdf 256KB
Top 5 advances in facial recognition technology jpg 1.1MB

In this section you can find brochures produced by Atkins for the information communications sector.

Title Format Size
Communications, ICT, information management and security pdf 322KB
Welcome to broadband country pdf 256KB

In this section you can find technical papers and thought leadership articles produced by Atkins for the information communications sector.

Title Format Size

Careers

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