Smart Cities must address Cyber security issues: Report

Data privacy has emerged as the biggest threat for the Smart Cities ecosystem, says a recent report by Ernst & Young

Data privacy has emerged as the biggest threat and challenge for the Smart Cities model in India, says a recent report by Ernst & Young.

The report titled “Cyber Security: A necessary pillar of Smart Cities 2016 has pointed out various challenges and threats that the existing models pose for the cities.

“Since many opportunities for IoT will arise through technological integration and collaboration, which will continue to increase in complexity — this complexity breeds risk,” the report said.

The risk involves data theft, security bugs and hacking which can seriously impact the system.

According to the report, one of the major concerns about smart cities sensors in the equipment; buildings etc. are insecure and not tested thoroughly. Owing to lack of standardization of IoT devices, the sensors are prone to hacking. Notorious individuals can hack the sensors and feed fake data, causing signal failures, system shutdowns etc.

“Because of this ongoing development, we cannot tell exactly what kind of threats will emerge next year, in five years’ time, or in 10 years’ time; we can only say that these threats will be even more dangerous than those of today,” The report pointed out.

The report has pointed out that the developers and the government must work on these challenges and develop a standard so that cities are not threatened.

“It’s important to remember that cyber security is a citywide issue and not just a technology risk..we need to be clear about the type of security controls needed,” The report said.

At present Smart Cities present a huge market opportunity of $1.56 trillion, with more than 26 smart cities expected to be established by 2025.

“The challenge is to acknowledge that there are a set of issues and concerns that need to be addressed, and to find and adopt solutions to these that also enable the benefits of smart city technologies to be gained,” the report concluded.

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