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Smart city services cyber attack ‘likely’, says survey

Many cyber security experts are wary that smart city technologies are being adopted faster than the technology needed to protect them

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The study found that 88 per cent fear a cyber attack on critical city infrastructure
The study found that 88 per cent fear a cyber attack on critical city infrastructure
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Smart cities must be built with cyber security in mind, not add it as an afterthought

81 per cent believe a cyber attack targeting critical city infrastructure could cause physical damage

83 per cent are worried about cyber attacks that target smart city transportation initiatives

More than three-quarters of IT professionals (78 per cent) working for state and local governments believe a cyber attack against smart city services is likely in 2016, according to a survey.

 

Research conducted on behalf of security and compliance solution provider Tripwire by Dimensional Research assessed cyber security challenges associated with smart city technologies. When asked if a cyber attack targeting critical city infrastructure posed a threat to public safety, 88 per cent of respondents said, “yes.”

 

Despite growing profitability in the sector, many cyber security experts are wary that smart city technologies are being adopted faster than the technology needed to protect them.

 

“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,” said Rekha Shenoy, vice president and general manager of industrial cyber security for Belden, Tripwire’s parent company.

 

Additional findings from the survey included:

  • 81 per cent believe a cyber attack targeting critical city infrastructure could cause physical damage;
  • 83 per cent are worried about cyber attacks that target smart city transportation initiatives;
  • Only three percent of the respondents believed there would not be a cyber attack against smart city services this year.

“As we use more and more technology to innovate around the management of cities and their infrastructure, we also create new attack surfaces that can be exploited,” said Tim Erlin, director of IT security and risk strategy for Tripwire. “Protecting public infrastructure from cyber and physical attacks is a key consideration in the evolution of smart city technologies. We need to build smart cities with cyber security in mind, not add it as an afterthought.”

 

Tripwire provides security, compliance and IT operations solutions for enterprises, industrial organisations, service providers and government agencies. Its solutions are based on high-fidelity asset visibility and deep endpoint intelligence combined with business context. Together these solutions integrate and automate security and IT operations.

 

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