Survey: Attacks on smart city IT all but inevitable
- By Matt Leonard
- Sep 23, 2016
There are plenty of people trumpeting the benefits of the Internet of Things as more cities begin to invest significantly in smart city technology: it will give governments more data to make better decisions, it will make life easier for citizens. But there is inevitably one question brought up during any conversation of IoT: How will the security work?
A new survey from Tripwire of 200 IT professionals shows that those in the industry think an attack on smart city infrastructure is inevitable. The survey found that 78 percent of respondents think such an attack will either definitely or probably happen in 2016; 88 percent of the industry insiders said these attacks would pose a threat to public safety.
“While smart cities offer great efficiencies for their citizens, the same internet connectivity that enables these efficiencies can be used to deliver physical damage to infrastructure and also cause loss of life if accessed by malicious actors,” Rekha Shenoy, vice president and general manager of industrial cyber security for Belden, Tripwire’s parent company, said.
Robert Silvers, the assistant secretary for cyber policy at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, announced this week that DHS is planning to release a set of principles for protecting IoT technology, according to Threat Post. It will also be a topic of conversation at the National Governors Association summit next month.
People tend to point out that the IoT gives attackers more potential access points to a city’s network, possibly making attacks easier. Tim Erlin, director of IT security and risk strategy for Tripwire, echoed that concern when announcing the survey findings.
“Protecting public infrastructure from cyber and physical attacks is a key consideration in the evolution of smart city technologies,” Erlin said. “We need to build smart cities with cyber security in mind, not add it as an afterthought.”
Matt Leonard is a former reporter for GCN.