How Smart Cities Can Minimize the Threat of Cyberattacks
As cities face the digital future, governments must prioritize cybersecurity protocols to mitigate attacks that could cripple entire communities.
In the not-so-distant future, smart cities will weave the Internet of Things (IoT) and interconnected devices into existing technology infrastructure to bring entire communities online. Singapore, for example, recently launched its Smart Nation program, deploying citywide sensors and monitors to collect data on everyday living. Using an online platform dubbed Virtual Singapore, the city-state plans to use the information to improve livability and enhance government services.
But like all things digital, smart city networks have the potential to be breached by malevolent intruders. In Ukraine, hackers targeted a power grid and took an entire city’s substations offline, leaving thousands of residents without power. Cybercriminals can also disrupt emergency response systems. In Texas, hackers triggered all of Dallas’ emergency sirens, eventually prompting government officials to shut down the city’s security system.
Bringing cities online invites a new type of threat that most government agencies are unprepared for. From traffic lights to power grids, smart cities are full of entry points that could fall victim to hackers’ exploits. As cities design their digital future, government agencies need to prioritize cybersecurity protocols to mitigate attacks that have the potential to cripple entire communities.
Smart Cities Must Strengthen Security Protocols
As the number of IoT devices grows, security sits atop the list of government policy concerns. But today, only one in three governing bodies says they are prepared to manage IoT security. While 12% of government respondents believe they have the resources to respond to cybercrimes, 47% say they are only well-equipped in some areas and ill-equipped in others. Some cities, such as Dallas, discover the hard way that they lack the skills needed to protect their residents in the wake of crises.
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