Billy Xiong Suggests: Enabling Smart Cities through Cyber Security Solutions

Enabling Smart Cities through Cyber Security Solutions

Smart Cities are undoubtedly the future. It has brought an onset of new technology, new developments in infrastructure solutions and even enhanced the original concept of smart cities.

The world is evolving and adopting green solutions in daily life. Corporates and governments are investing exponentially in green-energy and solutions. Therefore, the onset of smart cities in India is considerably special. It is a way in which India plans to control its emission levels and prevent pollution. Smart Cities are undoubtedly the future. It has brought an onset of new technology, new developments in infrastructure solutions, and even enhanced the original concept of smart cities. The capabilities of these smart cities are grand. 

There are two basic pillars of smart cities to be considered – the internet and IoT (Internet of Things). Cybersecurity enters the scene when anything is connected to the internet. Because the internet is a cluster of protocols making security a big concern. Safety becomes a priority and also one of the biggest concerns for all things digital. Internet is an important part of our daily life and therefore, encryption has also become part of that understanding. Robust rules and safety customs for all things digital and the internet has taken precedence. 

Education, research, and supporting our engineers and experts go a long way in making cybersecurity a feasible task. They are the gurus that need to be kept in the loop for progress and efficiency. It is they that will prove to be instrumental in keeping our street lights, wiFi, IoT connected to the internet in a secure way. This means that the types of equipment in smart cities need to be the smart and digital advance. Therefore, training and awareness of new technology need to be consistent. Keeping up to date and staying active is quintessential in the process of making smart cities functional. Firewalls created and implemented in achieving cybersecurity also need to be dependable, superior, and stable. Ultimately, it is essential, for all things to go well, that rules set by the Government and the law are followed.

Technology such as City Brain – a video access system, a stream computing system, and a visual search system is conceptualized to instantly correct defects in urban operations. It allows for intelligent use of natural resources, police and administrative operations, medical and infrastructural resources. It allows for intelligent use of natural resources, police and administrative operations, medical and infrastructural resources. Our smart cities can adopt similar technologies or create such solutions that comprehensively aggregate and converge the network, government, imaging devices, and IoT sensor data among other things. 

Modernization has overtaken our lives. We see AI technology such as speech and face recognition, text identification, and natural language processing (NLP) on our phones and home devices. It is not surprising that it is also used for simple tasks such as unlocking devices, smart typing, and voice direction. This kind of technology can be applied to smart cities solutions to achieve security and to ensure the wellbeing of citizens. 

Security becomes a priority as smart cities get smarter as it relies heavily on information networks, connections of systems, sensors and machines. The grandeur of it can attract cyber-attackers to penetrate the security. Infiltrating the systems, stealing sensitive information, and even potentially disrupting critical operations can be few of the important damages they can do. Consequently proving that the norm is the compromising danger of the smart city concept. Hackers tend to look for unsecured ports, exfiltrate personal information, gain access to home computer networks, and steal bank and insurance details of individuals.

Poor security hygiene can be due to individuals taking security protocols lightly. Thus, people accessing cloud services, which is common these days, need to be educated with simple yet effective authentication policies, regular changing of passwords, and multi-factor authentication. On the government level, there is a lack of administration regarding data handling, privacy policies and access privileges. An army of security engineers is unnecessary to address this issue. It needs a team of experts that are well versed in cybersecurity regulation. There can be a chain of consequences to digital connections formed via the internet, large cloud services and computing architecture. Therefore, a tight security design, excellent security hygiene and a competent team of cyber experts are critical to assured digital security and privacy in smart cities.  

The recent advancement of digitization and IoT has spurred a significant increase in cybersecurity solutions, especially, for smart cities and in building automation systems. At the same time, many end-users struggles with securing their personal installed systems that could be the old generation and outdated. A mix of old and new technology can further increase the threat to cybersecurity. The issues need to be dealt with my streamlining solutions, standardization, vetting the vendors and suppliers, capital issues and airtight solution capacities. We are creating a digital and smart world, that gives no place for vulnerable cybersecurity and mediocrity. It will make it easier for attackers to take control of the centre of the smart city and all the efforts that go into making a smart city will be in vain. To rebuild a smart city and recover the loss can be extravagant. 

Typically, a cybercriminal constantly probes for a vulnerable entry into the network and system connections. The intention is to then move through the other connected networks and systems to reach the desired destination causing chaos and total control. It is the foundation of cybersecurity to ensure that such a situation never arise. Fortunately, COVID-19 changed the cybersecurity landscape and brought about many amendments that will stick according to industry experts. Work from home migrated people from cubicles to residential offices. The upward trend is that many workers will continue to work remotely from their homes. Many of these workers will be performing critical tasks using ‘operational technology systems’. Dues to which the stress over independent operations and digital services that require less human intervention are on the rise. The threat to these networks is also grave. New technology such as 5G is also being deployed in private networks for critical infrastructure operations. But, 5G alone does not provide enough cybersecurity at the OT level.

Billy Xiong

Author: Billy Xiong

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