With security ever a concern in all aspects of digital life, analysis company Trend Micro offers up the ten best ways for smart cities to protect systems, data, and services. The ten-item checklist refers to techniques like designing manual overrides for crucial systems and creating enough fail-safes so one connected system can’t jeopardize others. In order of priority, the 10 steps are:
- Design a fault-tolerant system
- Process data with privacy in mind
- Encrypt, authenticate and regulate public communication channels
- Ensure the consistency and security of software updates
- Prioritize security in service-level agreements for all vendors and service providers
- Perform quality inspection and penetration testing
- Always have a manual override ready
- Ensure the continuity of basic services
- Plan around the life cycle of smart infrastructures
- Establish a municipal CERT or CSIRT
According to Trend Micro's "Securing Smart Cities" report, security may be the element which could bring a smart city down to its knees and city officials may not be doing enough to enforce security basics while being swept away on the tide of exciting new smart city ideas.
Smart city investment is expected to reach $88.7 billion by 2025 in comparison to $36.8 billion in 2016 with funding projects such as the White House's "Smart Cities Initiative." City planners have seized upon the idea of bringing connectivity, data analytics and smart city solutions to the population, but in Trend Micro's report, many attacks on city services are possible today.
The researchers also dissected smart city hazards into five top areas to watch: energy, transportation, connectivity, the environment and systems used for governance. Hackers might assault power grids or disrupt emergency medical services. Hacked traffic signals might cause fatal accidents.