Are Smart Cities Secure?

GUY ROSEFELT | January 20, 2019

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Recently, I participated in several tenders for smart-city projects around the world. I also partook in CEO roundtable discussions at Telecom Exchange LA, including one about what Los Angeles would look like in 10 years for the 2028 Summer Olympics. From those projects, I realized there are several issues that may impact making a smart city secure. Although the tenders originated from different countries, they had a lot in common. All were published by a single government agency, all were requirements specific to that agency and all asked for the standard set of security products: next-generation firewalls, intrusion-prevention systems, Web application firewalls, anti-DDoS, APT protection and so on. The TexLA CEO roundtable, titled "Get Ready for the Olympics LA: IoT, Smart Cities, & Infrastructure Predictions," was interesting. It asked what cyber-threats and protections would be like in 10 years when L.A. hosts the Olympics, what infrastructure would be like and what could be done to prepare. What struck me about all of the above was that cybersecurity technology was not the issue; the smart-city requirements and the discussed roadmaps covered those rather well. What I saw not being addressed were the deployment of multiple Internet of Things (IoT) devices, conflicting or singular requirements for solutions, and organizational self-interest.

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