A great article by Chatham House, linked below looks at the all too credible potential for increased vulnerability of the Internet of Things (IOT) to cyber attack. Read the article – it is well worth it – but in essence, the headlong dash to maximise the time and cost savings which can be achieved by networking our daily stuff is leaving a (very big) back door wide open.
Many of the devices which are forming the IOT have no built in security and are not designed with sophisticated access controlled in mind (or anywhere).
Carry this through to the Smart City context. Harnessing Big Data and broad platform interconnectivity are at the heart of the “smart”. There is a degree of inherent resilience in systems which relate and operate very closely to each other, but which have no direct operational crossovers. One goes down, the others continue to function and – in theory – take the strain.
The smart city is, however, an entity in a way that no current city can be. The degree of connectedness is almost organic and, indeed, AI is probably set to play an increasing role.
The protections which the Chatham House Article talks about in the IOT context are just as relevant as smart city platforms and ttechnology develops: universal standards, insurance driven compliance, etc.
However, in the same way that Tim Berners-Lee had no idea what the internet would become, do we have any idea what Smart Cities will ultimately be capable of or to what ends their systems could be exploited?
Read the bit in the article about the Teddy Bear…..