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The Trouble with Smart City Security Assessments

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So, you’re running a city, and are in the process of making it smarter. You invest in new tech to broadcast warnings to all mobile phones in the area, you get free public WiFi at key points in the city to drive people to hang there longer, you have street lamps that adjust with sunlight and tell you when they’re broken to save you money as well as keeping streets safer, and you outfit all public buildings with centrally managed smart thermostats to better control heating and cooling costs.

Maybe now you’re even ready to take the next steps with police and emergency communication systems, as well as e-voting for local directives. Things are looking good for your city, and they will continue to look good if you’ve made it a Secure Smart City.

Cybersecurity is that thing that all that smart-stuff in your Smart City needs to grow upon. It’s not the thing you buy to put in front of all these things to make them safe because you’d need one for each of the thousands of devices that make up the Smart City network.

Security needs to be part of everything, or else just one criminal on the other side of the planet will be joy-riding your traffic light system and at the minimum causing pure chaos. Or just one raccoon could chew through the line going to your smart thermostat system and your courthouse could double as a sauna.

The problem is assessing that security . Cities have very different requirements than corporations and many security professionals are not prepared to test the kinds of devices and the kinds of networks that smart cities create. Even if they can test them in the technical sense, what may fail a corporate security test may be acceptable in a Smart (Read more...)


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