How to Secure the Smart Cities of the Future?

StartUp City | Monday, August 17, 2020

It is a challenge to secure smart cities effectually from all the possibilities of cyber-threat. Cyberattackers using DDoS and ransomware have already become serious threat to the amentity providers and public sector organizations.

FREMONT, CA: Advanced automated high-tech cities have always been one of the popular concepts of science fiction. To turn the idea of connected smart city into reality, governments and leading tech firms are ready to invest billions in the tech sector. While many organizations put emphasis on developing smart city technology, predictions show that the global smart cities market will possibly grow 21 percent by 2027.

Toyota’s recent announcement on Woven City, an experimental “living laboratory” based at the base of Mount Fuji, is a promising step towards turning the concept of smart cities into reality. Woven City will house 2000 company employees, also will allow Toyota to trial connected technology like Robotics, driverless technology, AI, and autonomous traffic management. These connected high-tech cities are deemed to provide ample amount of amenities, allowing the city residents a better quality of life. For instance, Automation of transport and waste management will help city planners to estimate population swell.

Despite all the bright sides, the emerging smart cities are not completely free from risks. They can be vulnerable to cyberattacks if not fully secured.

Smart Cities can be Exploited

It is a challenge to secure smart cities effectually from all the possibilities of cyber-threat. Cyberattackers, using DDoS and ransomware, have already become a serious threat to the amenity providers and public sector organizations. Georgia, the city of Atlanta, was hit by a joint ransomware campaign which resulted in knocking out major services including parking, court, and utility services. The attackers demanded ransomware of $52,000. Besides this, the city had to spend more than $2mn in the process of fixing its systems. The possibility of cyber threats will only increase as the cities become more interconnected and automated. Cyberattacks can cause terrific damages from disrupting traffic systems to widespread power cuts. Attacks on the operational technology (OT) can have huge negative impact on the citizens.

How to Mitigate the Risks?

Effectually securing the connected technologies of smart cities is a difficult task. It can be achievable with the help of the right resources and strategy. City planners combing the security-first approach with the right technology will be able to mitigate threats to a great extent. The potential risks and consequences of the attacks must be focused on. Each part of the technologies introduced to the network must undergo a thorough examination to ensure complete security. Security personnel should keep a constant watch over the smart city network as a whole. They should also constantly track the data of every component, IP addresses, model of each device, and patching routine. It is mandatory to identify the breaches and then to patch it in advance as, for example, the recently discovered zero-day exploits were dealt with. In the processes of risk management and mitigation, effective solutions can bring a lot of improvements to the IoT and OT systems. Thus, by taking care of all these matters, smart cities can be safe and secured.

See Also: Top Smart City Solution Companies

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