Contact us today!

Network Solutions Unlimited Blog

Why Smart Cities May Not Be a Smart Idea Just Yet

Why Smart Cities May Not Be a Smart Idea Just Yet

As of this point, the vast majority of our experience with the Internet of Things has been on a small scale - accessories and appliances that connect to the Internet to gain some added functionality. This technology can also be applied to a larger, more civic purpose - the development of something called a “smart city.” Unfortunately, this application could prove to be as problematic as the IoT we are more accustomed to.

What a Smart City Should Be
On the surface, a smart city sounds like a great idea. Using technology and heavily leaning on Internet of Things principles, a smart city collects data and leverages it to improve public services, inform the local government’s actions, and generally improve the population’s contentedness. Traffic flows more smoothly, infrastructure is better maintained, and life is good.

At least, in theory.

There is an unfortunate tendency for consumer-focused IoT devices to be vulnerable to attack, a trait shared by the systems that control a smart city.

The Effects of an Attack
To fully grasp the influence that an attack on a smart city could have, it would help to take a closer look at some of the systems that a smart city would have in place. As we've established, the motivation behind a smart city is to improve the population’s quality of life, a goal that requires data collection and analysis to be reached.

This data will be collected via sensors that examine a wide variety of factors, like the weather, traffic conditions, and even air quality and radiation. While this data would once be delivered to human decision makers, automated systems would be able to make changes to resolve any issues. For example, if traffic was starting to become congested in a certain area, the surrounding traffic signals could be automatically manipulated to relieve the gridlock.

The trouble starts when these systems don’t have enough security to keep them safe from cyberattack, potentially leaving the city’s infrastructure wide open. In a preliminary study of three companies that could supply the systems that a smart city would be built upon, their products had 17 basic vulnerabilities - and we’re talking very basic vulnerabilities, like easily-guessed passwords, avoidable authentication requirements, and bugs that could let in malware.

Why This is Important
Speaking in a geopolitical sense, enacting a smart city with vulnerabilities like these is like painting a target on one’s back. You only have to look at the fairly recent attacks on both the energy grid and electoral systems of the United States for evidence that infrastructure and civic systems are considered very fair targets. While there are actions in process to shore up these vulnerabilities, opening up metropolitan areas to attack through obvious security flaws would not be a good idea.

Of course, we don’t mean to say that scaling the Internet of Things to a metropolitan scale is inherently not a good idea, either, it’s just there needs to be more security protecting the well-being of the populace that lives there. The same can be said of any business that relies on Internet-connected technology. If the devices and network components that a business uses aren’t patched and secured, that business is vulnerable.

Network Solutions Unlimited can help. Give us a call at 217-428-6449 to learn about our security solutions and how they can protect your business.

Do You Know How to Determine Your Computing Needs?
Tip of the Week: Evernote as a Productivity Tool


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Saturday, September 22 2018

Captcha Image

Mobile? Grab this Article!


Tag Cloud

Settings VPN Adobe Phone System Electronic Medical Records Connectivity HaaS Ciminal Wireless Internet Google Drive eWaste Specifications Tablets Spyware Analysis WIndows Server 2008 Streaming Media Private Cloud SaaS Advertising Management Malware Identity End of Support Content Filtering Books Windows Ink Screen Mirroring Business Continuity Hard Disk Drive Technology Audit Automation Communication Windows Social Engineering iPhone Windows 10 Android Best Practices Augmented Reality Fraud Information Remote Computing Benefits Nanotechnology Scalability Search Humor Personal Information Office Sales Cloud Data Backup Operating System WPA3 Business Management Legal Hackers Bring Your Own Device Spam Blocking Managed Service Provider Entertainment Workers Troubleshooting Budget Unified Communications Content Filter Public Cloud How To Apple Internet of Things Relocation Cast Google Docs Network Unsupported Software Assessment Microsoft Office Comparison Storage Tech Support USB Employee-Employer Relationship Licensing Alexa for Business Samsung Data Privacy Project Management Telephone Systems Data Recovery Application Customer Websites Smartphones Windows 10 Administration BYOD User Error Gifts Managed IT Service Chromecast Travel Word Mobile Device Management PowerPoint Business Computing Touchpad WannaCry Firewall Managed Service Keyboard Worker Commute Loyalty Saving Money Virtual Reality Efficiency Scam Proactive Monitoring HBO Mobility HIPAA Battery Security Cost Management Transportation IoT Passwords Instant Messaging Smart Tech Files Mobile Law Enforcement Communications Google Assistant Work/Life Balance Quick Tips Compliance Experience Cleaning Techology Charger Chromebook Facebook History App The Internet of Things IT solutions Consultant Audiobook Business Intelligence Public Computer Printers Regulation Emails Printing Wasting Money Hard Drive Microsoft Word Excel Network Security Projects Best Practice App store Data storage Computers Software Productivity Phishing Bandwidth Shortcut FAQ Language Internet Exlporer Sync Holiday Downtime Legislation Managed IT Outlook Thank You Artificial Intelligence Congratulations Document Management Outsourced IT Memory Workplace Tips Business Technology CrashOverride Hiring/Firing Vulnerability IT Support Cybercrime Wireless Charging Hosted Solution Risk Management Patch Management Two-factor Authentication Computer Forensics Encryption Employer-Employee Relationship hacker Chrome OneNote Commerce Disaster Recovery Safety Amazon Microsoft Excel Managed IT Services Shadow IT WiFi Virtualization Internet exploMicrosoft Conferencing Smartphone Privacy Update Recovery Cloud Computing Ransomware Google Maps Health Government Backup Data Apps Computing Vendor Management Physical Security Twitter Maintenance intranet Avoiding Downtime Virtual Assistant Virus Value IT Management Edge Users Tip of the Week Productivity Dark Web BDR Collaboration VoIP Worker Company Culture Microsoft Emergency Gmail Employer Employee Relationship Content Identity Theft Social Media Data Storage Financial Technology Save Money Television Computer Antivirus Blockchain Hybrid Cloud Remote Monitoring Touchscreen Colocation Two Factor Authentication Lifestyle Business Owner Data Protection IT Services Automobile Education Hosted Solutions Retail Vendor Video Games Big Data Computer Care IT Support Data Breach Monitors Black Market Wireless Technology Miscellaneous Root Cause Analysis Save Time Managing Stress Reputation IT budget Wireless Professional Services Going Green Device Security Hard Drives Unified Threat Management Camera Hacking Information Technology Hardware Cortana Cybersecurity Testing Devices Internet Managed IT Services Cache File Sharing Mobile Security Computer Fan Updates MSP IT Solutions Evernote PDF Sports NFL Financial Spam Windows 10s Browser File Storage Monitor Email Office Tips Money Password iOS Students Identities How to Flexibility User Tips Upgrades Robot Applications Laptop Mobile Device Innovation Politics Mobile Devices Meetings Smart Technology Office 365 Bluetooth Credit Cards Webinar Router Gadgets Wi-Fi Training Google Tech Term Redundancy Data Loss Server Upgrade Gamification Computing Infrastructure Business Software as a Service Data Theft Data Management Rootkit Computer Accessories Small Business Data Security Proactive IT Networking Alert Solid State Drive Marketing