Security For Smart Cities

By Bernhard Mehl
June 03, 2020

Smart cities offer a whole new world of efficiency, innovation, and improved community systems. However, smart cities also involve the widespread movement of data and information. These networks can pose a threat to smart city security - an area that needs particular focus in order for smart cities to function well. 

Luckily, many safe city solutions are available. With constantly evolving smart technology comes new answers towards security and safety. Let’s explore some smart city security opportunities and threats. 

Smart City Security Solutions 

Access Control

Access control is one of the easiest, yet most effective, security solutions using smart technology. Regular locks and entry points can be replaced with smart readers and access control technology. These systems can vastly improve security measures as well as increase levels of information and data on the building. 

Using systems, like those provided by Kisi, allows for strict control of building access. On top of this, all access data is tracked and can be easily monitored. This is possible with cloud-based systems that can be accessed from anywhere in the world. 

Access control is a feature of smart city security that can work with the data networks used in these cities. This form of security provides many benefits. It is an easy way of implementing data-driven technology to increase security measures. 

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is one of the more prevalent issues in smart cities. This is because there is so much information that needs protection. This kind of security refers to protecting computers, mobile devices, servers, networks, and electronic systems from attacks. 

With so many different devices working together to create smart networks, having a single cybersecurity solution can be a real challenge. Solutions here can involve critical infrastructure security, application security, network security, IoT security, and cloud security. All these areas need monitoring and defending to ensure the safe operation of a smart city. 

Various forms of software are available to help deal with the potential smart city risks involved with cybersecurity. Regulations through IoT products and manufacturing also need careful controlling to maintain a safe network and data flow throughout the city. 

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Monitoring and Analyzing Data

Since smart cities utilize so much technology, there is a constant transferral of important data. Thus, resulting in vulnerabilities. The amount of intelligent technology used opens the city up to more potential smart city risks. One of the key areas where security needs to focus is on monitoring and analyzing data. 

Data needs to be secure, and network monitoring is an important way of achieving this. An intrusion detection system (IDS) can be utilized to protect network traffic against malicious attacks. An IDS can complement systems like firewalls and antivirus in order to monitor and secure data networks. 

Smart City Surveillance

Smart cities can utilize surveillance systems as a security measure. Smart cities can monitor citizens through sensors placed in key areas around the landscape. These surveillance systems then collect important data for the functioning of the city. In addition, they can help reduce crime. 

With surveillance systems come security opportunities. There are several smart surveillance options that can be used to increase security measures in cities. Due to the smart networks of data available, these systems can achieve more for security - providing an extra level of monitoring and control around smart cities. 

Smart City Risks And Challenges

With so many more layers of technology, sensors, and data, smart cities are open to many potential risks. Smart city security is a big area of focus as there are a number of potential risks and challenges involved in these urban landscapes. 

One area of risk comes from the level of interconnected information technology (IT) systems and operational technology (OT) systems. The integration of the digital and physical environment creates a large layer of connected endpoints. This results in more opportunities for attackers. 

Another major challenge in smart cities is the integration of new technologies. Merging different technology platforms can result in gaps in the security perimeter. With IoT networks and data transfers being so prevalent, smart cities are open to different areas of attack. These can include:

  • Data and identity theft
  • Taking control of devices
  • Theft of credentials
  • Interrupting or redirecting communication between systems
  • Distributed denial of service (DDoS)

Conclusion

Smart city security involves many different measures that need to be taken seriously. While smart cities offer all kinds of innovations and new forms of efficiency, they also bring new potential risks. 

Any smart city that depends more on technology will need to understand the challenges involved. Thus, they will need to focus on the various security solutions available. Fortunately, there are a number of great products and platforms out there that can take smart city security to the next level. 

Bernhard Mehl

Bernhard is the co-founder and CEO of Kisi. His philosophy, "security is awesome," is contagious among tech-enabled companies.