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Innovation

Smart city buildout will lead to security risks

Deploying smart city infrastructure is a no brainer on paper. However, the security risks need to be addressed, according to a Forrester Research report.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

Deploying smart city infrastructure---networks, sensors, devices and endpoints like meters---is a no brainer on paper. However, the security risks need to be addressed, according to a Forrester Research report.

In a report, Forrester analyst Usman Sindhu argues that security pros will be essential to the smart city buildout. Simply put, the more connections there are within city infrastructure the more the risks rise.

This graphic illustrates the risks:

Among the key concerns:

  • There will be 1 trillion networked devices in three years. The intersection between these devices and city infrastructure will leave multiple points---grid systems, sensors, devices and applications---potentially vulnerable.
  • Smart cities will increasingly hold personal and classified data. That's a big honey pot for hackers to target.
  • Cybercrime will target city government. "Governments across the globe are becoming much more active in identifying the cyberrisks in cities’ infrastructure components such as power grids, healthcare systems, water supplies, financial services, and government agencies as they become more and more IT dependent," says Forrester.
  • Smart building information management could allow infrastructure to be controlled remotely.
  • Overall, Forrester argues that security professionals need to be trained smart infrastructure deployments, environments need to be tested vs. hackers and threat modeling and intelligence needs to be aggregated. It's still early in the smart city buildout, but security practices need to move to the forefront.

Like most IT systems, security is often viewed as an afterthought. In smart city deployments, security has to be built in from the beginning.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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