There is no denying that technology continues to have a transformative impact on how we live and work today. However, it must be noted that establishing a smart city, takes a lot more than an intelligent city network, reliable connectivity, or clever applications.
Kaspersky Lab warns, that there is a tremendous need for more awareness on the issue of cybersecurity in smart cities. Cities continue to get smarter and constantly incorporate new technologies into their infrastructure, but they cannot ignore the importance of cybersecurity.
Riaan Badenhorst, General Manager, Kaspersky Lab Africa, says; “As the technology and networks become increasingly integrated, there is also the potential that this will expose more vulnerabilities in co-dependent systems that cybercriminals may look to target. In fact, in exploring security issues in smart city transport infrastructure, our research has proven that data gathered and processed by road sensors, as an example, can be dramatically compromised. Transport infrastructure in a modern megalopolis represents a very complicated system, containing different sorts of traffic and road sensors, cameras, and even smart traffic light systems. All the information gathered by these devices is delivered and analysed in real-time by the special city authorities. If the data is compromised it can cause millions in losses to the city”.
“As a result, multi-layered security for smart cities, that includes security of critical infrastructures, different types of terminals, mobile security and security for data centres needs to be considered – and in the planning phase. When it comes to city safety, it is essential to have profound testing before rolling out any critical infrastructure. For example, our experts can conduct penetration tests, give advice and provide data feeds on the most recent threats. Cyberattacks can therefore be planned for in the same way a city plans for earthquakes and floods – with a reliable, thorough system of prediction, prevention and response”, adds Badenhorst.
“The world around us is changing – and quickly. While digital and smarter technology is certainly becoming embedded in all aspects of the built environment, building a smart city is a complex and ambitious undertaking that requires a multi-disciplinary approach. Succeeding will take a broad set of stakeholders who are open minded and forward thinking enough to break the mould of the tried and tested and have the courage to make good design and investment decisions. And, starting with integrated and holistically designed outlook of basic services - and integrating digital technology at this first level - offers keen avenues to address challenges and opportunities of urbanisation in the face of climate change, thereby making these environments innovatively smarter, more ergonomic, efficient and sustainable; as the cities for Africa’s future,” concludes Johnston.