Smart Cities Security Needs

Modern information and communication technologies, advanced buildings, utilities and infrastructure, transportation and traffic management, are all components found within Smart Cities.

Smart Cities have become essential for the long term strategy of population support, and attempt to address challenges such as urbanisation, high population growth, safety, limited resources and climate change.

However, Smart buildings may be at much greater risk of cyber attack than originally thought, based on the findings of a report from Kaspersky. The report analysed 40,000 smart buildings worldwide, and found that nearly 4 in 10 (37.8%) of these buildings had been affected by a malicious cyber attack. The majority of these cyber attacks were not “targeted” or “directed” specifically at the smart building computer systems. Instead, it was typically the case that ordinary malware infecting windows based PCs, some of which happened to be controlling the building.

Smart cities use an array of technology and communication standards, in an interconnected world of hard wired and wireless networks. Bluetooth, WIFI, ZigBee, Z-Wave, LoraWAN, and NFC are just some of the IOT communication protocols commonly used across devices produced by thousands of different companies.

As cities become increasingly connected, cyber security can no longer be an afterthought. A principle of Security by Design needs to be a foundation at the start of any smart city project. Especially when devices are responsible for our safety, or integral in utilities.

Generic security products can be used to gather high-level production data, monitor general activity, and protect information system, but alone have limited ability to protect the physical operational equipment.

The cost of cyber attacks is not only financial. In 2021, a cyber attack on a water treatment plant nearly poisoned a small city of 15,000 people in Florida. In 2020, an attack disabled computer systems at Düsseldorf University Hospital, with a patient dying while doctors attempted to transfer her to another hospital. In 2018, a cyber attack on public computer systems in Atlanta shut down many of the city’s functions, some for months, costing over $10 million.

With Smart City operational systems interwoven with our everyday lives, the security around this technology is crucial. As cyber attacks increase in complexity and number, so does your need for a Cyber Security Platform designed for Operation Technology (OT).

Fundamentals First have taken an industry standard, Operational Technology platform and combined it with an enterprise Security Operations Centre (SOC). Not only can we offer you state of the art protection within your operational technology, but we can also patch, safeguard, and proactively hunt security issues across your desktop, server and network estate.

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