Contact us today!

FRS Pros 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.

FRS Pros can help. Give us a call at 561-795-2000 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
Wednesday, May 22 2019

Captcha Image

Mobile? Grab this Article!


Tag Cloud

Tip of the Week Security Technology Best Practices Internet Privacy Network Security Business Computing Productivity Google Cloud User Tips Business Management Microsoft Tech Term Hackers Innovation Software Hardware Efficiency Mobile Devices Browser Data Backup Computer Malware Hosted Solutions Windows 10 Cybersecurity Smartphones Smartphone Data Recovery IT Services Data Windows Office 365 Data Security Email Apps Internet of Things IT Support Outsourced IT Android Backup Communication Upgrade Cybercrime Network VoIP Operating System Disaster Recovery Workplace Tips Communications Business Continuity Vulnerability Saving Money Business Money Alert Server Phishing Law Enforcement Ransomware Gadgets Users Small Business Mobile Device Management Artificial Intelligence Collaboration Virtualization Managed IT Services Passwords Miscellaneous IT Support Social Media Best Practice Managed IT Services Employer-Employee Relationship Automation Applications Wireless Information Cloud Computing Spam Chrome Microsoft Office Save Money Holiday Computers Networking OneNote Information Technology Word Telephone Systems Tech Support Managed Service Provider Managed IT Facebook Router Unsupported Software Health App Google Drive Blockchain Two-factor Authentication Windows 10 Bring Your Own Device Proactive IT Evernote SaaS Google Assistant User Error Risk Management Hybrid Cloud Touchscreen Data Storage Cortana Budget Government WiFi Wireless Technology Mobile Device Conferencing Wi-Fi Robot Data Management Business Technology Audit Update Productivity Data Protection Patch Management Wireless Charging Politics Meetings The Internet of Things Google Docs Project Management Shortcut VPN iPhone Devices Sports BDR IT Management Data Breach Telephony Cost Management Augmented Reality Password WannaCry Quick Tips Travel Commerce Application Managed Service Hosted Solution Excel Access Control File Sharing Avoiding Downtime Mobility Hacking Printing Search Fraud Encryption Mobile Security Safety Gmail Social Engineering Battery Vendor OneDrive Private Cloud Sync PowerPoint Admin Remote Monitoring Storage Break/Fix IT solutions FAQ DDoS Hyperlink Edge Hacker Files Touchpad Retail Websites Recovery Identity Going Green Social NFL eWaste Emergency Disaster Machine Learning Identities Point of Sale Employee-Employer Relationship Voice over Internet Protocol iOS WIndows Server 2008 Wireless Internet Saving Time Medical IT Windows 10s HBO Charger Entertainment Value Wasting Time Data Loss Ciminal Screen Mirroring Humor Data Theft Identity Theft Administrator Data Privacy Windows 7 Computer Care Nanotechnology Device Security Amazon Downtime Legislation Language Office Streaming Media Adobe Workers Lithium-ion battery Gamification Keyboard Shortcuts Unified Threat Management Software as a Service 5G Solid State Drive Personal Information Sabotage Accessory Emails Cast Gifts Computing Vendor Management Access Hard Drive Display Root Cause Analysis Windows Ink Virtual Assistant E-Commerce Comparison Scam Chromecast Testing Computer Fan Reputation Licensing Updates Memory Human Resources Upgrades Bandwidth YouTube Hard Disk Drive History PC Outlook Computer Forensics Peripheral Data storage Microsoft Excel IT budget Education Marketing BYOD Credit Cards App store Samsung Internet Exlporer Chromebook Co-Managed Services Remote Computing Google Maps Spyware Alexa for Business Payment Cards Specifications Virus Camera Microsoft Word Financial Payroll Employees IT Solutions Paperless Office Legal Uninterrupted Power Supply Management Settings Employee Webinar Antivirus Telephone Apple Sales Proactive Projects Transportation Tablets Maintenance Security Cameras Consultant Laptop Smart Technology Flexibility Music Advertising Compliance Television CrashOverride Instant Messaging Printers Company Culture Scalability Analytics Regulation HaaS End of Support Keyboard Relocation Black Market Cleaning Automobile Big Data Thank You Twitter Managing Stress USB Worker How To Books PDF Hiring/Firing Mobile Computing Video Games Experience Congratulations Work/Life Balance Virtual Reality Crowdsourcing Employer Employee Relationship Current Events Electronic Medical Records Text Messaging Benefits es Phone System Cache Save Time Office tips Computer Accessories Training Monitors