A Glance into the Future: The Security and Privacy Challenges of Smart Cities

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You may not think that traffic problems could be that damaging, but the risks far outweigh the advantages if enough people are injured or hurt. With that, it can all be done by a mobile device anywhere in the world. It might taint the drinking water, cause train delays, and so much more.

Though no one wants to dissuade the world from using smart city technology, it must be emphasized that cybersecurity is crucial for a smart city development. You can’t build a smart world without keeping it secure, or you might end up with chaos.

Data Breaches

Smart cities include the harvesting, storage, and analysis of huge data amounts related to individuals. From their location throughout the day to the personal data stored on government platforms, it is sensitive and highly valuable to attackers.

The most extreme smart city visions could involve surveillance of every interaction to build up profiles of people being monitored. If that data ever gets leaked or stolen, it poses a significant threat to those related to the problem.

If the person’s location is exposed, it could reveal their entire schedule. Thieves might use such information to rob the house, stalk their moves, and even more malicious things. With that, leaked data causes identity theft, which could drain the bank account and so much more.

Given how much data is collected from the smart city, there are tons of ways to take advantage of such technology and harm others. Securing smart cities is possible, but cyber solutions and cyber intelligence have to be on point and perfect to do that. The cloud and IoT technologies are required to handle cybersecurity and prevent an attack.

Why Smart Cities Pose a Risk to Privacy

Risks to privacy are another concern for urban smart cities. If the information falls into the wrong hands, the privacy risk is significant. However, what happens when the data is where it should be, pushed through different algorithms and stored in databases in the cloud? Smart cities have a potential to collect tons of data through various services and devices connected to the cloud that can be used to impact different things.

With the IoT sensors, the data could end up under the government’s control or a private company. These places have various software technologies and service options to protect them and keep them secure on the network.

Typically, it is stored in the cloud or on network computers. Various smart city initiatives are conducted through public-private partnerships are launched solely from private companies.

Since the world is still in its infancy relating to privacy law and many countries don’t have regulatory frameworks for it, we aren’t sure what data can be collected, when, or under what conditions.

Why Worry about Privacy and Security?

Cyber connectivity brings about tons of malicious people and various challenges and threats. Though most people focus on making these smart cities secure, you must also consider that people also have the mindset of “don’t do anything wrong and have nothing to hide.” Privacy doesn’t really focus on what you’re doing; it’s more about the right you have to it. Cyber attacks are prevalent, even now without a smart city. Online attacks happen every day, and people often worry about their information being protected. You use mobile technology with your smart device to provide secure solutions and often connect to the cloud.

However, the cloud isn’t completely secure. You’re not under surveillance at all times right now, and the government doesn’t have full control over your life. Connectivity threats and being online can change that and impact certain things, but it’s not all about the digital challenges.

There’s a moral code that smart cities might violate where privacy is concerned.

The IoT network is there for a reason. IoT means Internet of Things, and it pertains to the networks of physical objects – those that are embedded with software, sensors, and all the rest. Typically it’s in the form of devices, and a cyber attack is prevalent.

The severity of the Threat

Now that you know cyber issues are prevalent, it’s important to find the right cyber solutions to keep the smart city secure and safe. This requires each device to be protected if it might be added to the digital framework or networks of the city itself.

While cyber security primarily focuses on the cloud, there are other secure software options and resources available in the digital space. It is possible to mitigate the risks, but it requires that all devices be secure, each area within the city has a local service, and attacks are watched for and stopped immediately.

It is easy to compromise smart cities, so security is often the thing focused on most. However, this also relates to management, device access, service options, and so much more.


Mitigating Risk

To ensure that people reap the benefits of smart cities without putting security at risk, administrators must focus on a cybersecurity-first approach. It’s essential to train and recruit security specialists who understand the cyber concerns and offer cyber services.

Administrators should also focus on implementing appropriate processes and using the right security services with the right technological advancements. That way, they have visibility of what’s going on in the system and can keep it secure and safe.

Security teams must know everything that’s going on and offer management solutions that meet the needs of the smart cities. Armed with the right information security professionals can prevent an attack by understanding where the vulnerabilities are and removing them from the physical system.

Management then continues on each device to provide appropriate service wherever possible. More analysis must be done so that there’s no compromise on smart technology versus safety and security.


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