Securing Smart Cities: leading security experts join forces to make modern cities safer

Date: Thu, 06/25/2015 - 12:04

Backed by leading IT security researchers, companies and organizations, including IOActive, Kaspersky Lab, Bastille, and the Cloud Security Alliance, the Securing Smart Cities initiative aims to solve the cybersecurity challenges smart cities face through collaboration and information sharing

Securing Smart Cities: leading security experts join forces to make modern cities safer Image credited to Kaspersky Lab

The group will serve as a communications node for companies, governments, media outlets, not-for-profit initiatives, and individuals across the world involved in the creation, improvement, and promotion of smart and safe technologies for modern cities.
The concept of a smart city is very topical, and many organizations are working on intelligent solutions to make urban areas energy efficient, comfortable, environmentally friendly, and physically safe. Unfortunately, far fewer are considering the cybersecurity of these smart cities. The more IT organizations involved in creating a smart city, the greater the potential risk. If security is not addressed early on, the cost and complexity of a smart city could make it difficult to address problems. In the end, the city would be left vulnerable.

The Securing Smart Cities initiative seeks to prevent this outcome using a range of activities, such as:
• Educating smart city planners and providers on the importance and cost benefits of security best practices
• Collaborating with partners to share ideas and methodologies
• Endorsing the significance and benefits of introducing security early into the development lifecycle of a project or plan
• Fostering partnerships between cities, providers, and the security community
• Creating standards, guidelines, and resources to help improve cybersecurity across all areas related to smart cities

Participants in Securing Smart Cities believe that the initiative will help efficiently and responsibly share knowledge about the cybersecurity of modern cities. It will connect vendors of infrastructure automation equipment with security researchers ready to validate the secure functioning of these products. It will also bring city authorities together with the security community to collaboratively solve new cybersecurity problems.
“The cybersecurity of a modern, smart city is not something you can solve on your own. The concept involves so many different technologies communicating with each other in so many ways, that the only way to predict and eliminate all possible security issues is through collaboration between experts around the world. This is what Securing Smart Cities is for,” said Cesar Cerrudo, CTO for IOActive and Board Member of Securing Smart Cities.
“Smart cities present a tremendous opportunity for growth, sustainability, and social improvement. However, the projects can’t just be smart, they also need to be safe. Enabling embedded technologies and leveraging the Internet of Things in city infrastructure brings forth risk that must be considered and monitored to maintain safety for citizens. We want to work with city planners and builders to raise awareness about cyberthreats and share information on how to mitigate those threats before they can impact the public,” said Chris Rouland, Founder and CEO of Bastille and Board Member of Securing Smart Cities.
“Securing Smart Cities aims to solve cyber-problems at every stage of a smart city’s development: from planning through to the actual implementation of smart technologies. We encourage city authorities, equipment and software vendors, as well as security researchers to join the discussion,” said Patrick Nielsen, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab and Board Member of the Securing Smart Cities initiative.


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