IoT security also has to become contextual and adaptive; capable of changing to support rapidly morphing threat and business use cases; and has to cut across traditional silos of cybersecurity, health and safety, engineering and others. In the world in which after few decades of effort we are still losing cybersecurity battles daily, how can conscientious companies move forward with addressing new and significantly more complex IoT security threats?
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With so many critical services enmeshed with smart cities, the attack surface is enormous and extremely vulnerable. The more technology is involved, the greater the vulnerability to infrastructure and city services. The time to act on securing our smart cities is now. The more that systems with vulnerabilities are incorporated, the greater is the risk to which city dwellers are exposed – and the more that we will have to catch-up in the future.
The inherent threat the evolution of our living places - Our species has moved out of the trees onto the savanna – just to build concrete trees instead, in the form of cities. Although this may be a nutshell view of human history, the movement towards making our living places habitable is taking a new turn. We no longer live just in the physical world, we now live also in the cyber-physical, and this transforms how we live, work, and play in the form of the ‘smart city’ built on our own data.
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Personal privacy is something that once lost, may be difficult to pull back. If we have innocently signed away our data privacy rights because of trust in the status quo, there are no guarantees that our personal data will not be used against ourselves or our family members. The smart city train has already left the station. In a world where the population is increasing and resources are finite, we need to find smarter ways of living together. Smart technologies hold the key to making this happen but we need to proceed with caution and build a layer of respectful trust and privacy in our smart places.
The phrase 'smart city' conjures up a vision of a Metropolis like urban jungle. A jungle that is made up of intelligent structures, buildings that know when we enter and leave, traffic that flows easily, and always available parking spaces. A place where the city knows what we want, before we want it, and gets it right every time. This utopian vision of a future is actually fast becoming a reality… But as this brave new world opens up opportunities for business, it also reveals vulnerabilities for the individuals within the smart city too, including their own personal privacy. The smart city is built not only on traditional bricks and mortar but on data too. These data are integral to both the intelligence behind the smart city and our own place in an increasingly digital world. Privacy is one of those things that once lost, is difficult to regain. Are our smart cities leaders taking care, not just to provide efficient, clean living, but to take care of our privacy too?
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"We're building a robot the size of the world, and most people don't even realize it." This is how Bruce Schneier described the Internet of Things in a nutshell… The "things" in our Internet of Things are frighteningly exposed… So, why isn't there more discussion about IoT hacks outside of the cybersecurity community? While the headlines are dominated by news of cyberattacks on retailers, there’s been surprisingly little buzz about this huge threat to what’s increasingly becoming the Internet of Everything… Why doesn't a government somewhere evaluate these frameworks, consult with experts, and draft regulations? If there's one thing everyone agrees on, it's the need for some sort of global standard to adopt. Ideally, industry leaders will come together to create the framework our growing internet of things desperately needs. The successful development and adoption of this network depends on it.
In the 60s cartoon The Jetsons, the family lived in a futuristic city with flying cars, a robotic housekeeper, and even a watch that let you do video calling. The Jetsons city of the future is with us in the here and now as we have the technology to build smart cities, and in doing so, we can create amazing places to live and work. This idea of making our cities smart is engaging clever minds all over the world and we are witnessing the emergence of smart places across the globe. All of the visions of smart city projects have one thing in common. They are based upon the creation of, analysis of, and processing of, large amounts of data — aka integrated data exchanges, all predicated on hyper-connectivity achieved often through Internet-enabled devices. These data are the sights and sounds of the processes we use to live and work in municipalities…
You may have heard, over the last year or two, about the new technological miracle that is the blockchain. It seems that every banker, insurer, manufacturer, artist, lawyer and cybersecurity professional is shouting about blockchain from the highest peak and telling us how it will be used to secure everything against anything for all time, additionally removing those embarrassing blemishes from our skin and freshening our breath at the same time. Clearly some large portion of the blockchain-related content we see in the media is hyperbolic, at best, but it is an important technology nonetheless. Let's take a look at some of the realities of what we can and cannot do with blockchain in relation to cybersecurity.