Lack of critical infrastructure cybersecurity investments in smart cities will seed the future IoT vulnerabilities
Urban population is on the rise worldwide and smart city development projects are harnessing the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) to develop more intelligent, efficient, and sustainable solutions. However, digital security investments in smart cities are severely lagging thus seeding the future vulnerabilities of the IoT ecosystem. The Financial, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), and defense industries will account for 56% of the $135 billion projected total cybersecurity spend in critical infrastructure in 2024, finds ABI Research. The remaining 44% of the 2024 spend will be split between the Energy, Healthcare, Public Security, Transport and Water & Waste sectors – leaving them woefully underfunded and incredibly vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Smart cities are comprised of a highly complex, interdependent network of devices, systems, platforms, and users. Smart energy, utilities, water and wastage, parking and automotive, industrial and manufacturing, building automation, e-government and telemedicine, surveillance and public safety are just some of the verticals that vendors and governments must secure.
Cloud service powerhouses like Microsoft, security leaders like Entrust Datacard and Rambus, cellular communication experts like Sierra Wireless, certification authorities like Globalsign, and multi-vertical service providers like Huawei are some of the key vendors providing smart city-specific solutions. According to ABI Research, there will be approximately 1.3 billion wide-area network smart city connections by 2024. Almost 50% of those connections are expected to be LPWA-LTE and LPWA Proprietary. Some LPWA protocols like the NB-IoT are attempting to tackle at least some digital and communication security challenges. However, the fact of the matter remains that these intrinsically lightweight cellular versions aim toward lowering bandwidth cost, increasing coverage, and lowering latency and are not, in general, capable of handling the increased number of cyber-threats in the interconnected smart city environment.