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Security experts collaborate to launch ‘Securing Smart Cities’ initiative

Zafirah Salim | May 28, 2015
This new initiative aims to solve the cybersecurity challenges smart cities face through collaboration and information sharing.

IT security researchers, companies and organisations, including the likes of IOActive, Kaspersky Lab, Bastille and the Cloud Security Alliance, have teamed up to launch on Tuesday (May 26, 2015) a new Securing Smart Cities initiative.

This not-for-profit initiative hopes to help the world built smart cities with cybersecurity in mind. It seeks to identify the cybersecurity challenges faced by smart cities, and then work on solutions to address these issues.

Patrick Nielsen, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab and Board Member of this said initiative, said that Securing Smart Cities aims to solve cyber problems at every state of a smart city's development - from planning, through to the actual implementation of smart technologies.

He added that city authorities, equipment and software venders, as well as security researchers are also encouraged to join in the discussion.

As organisations work on creating intelligent solutions to make the city 'smarter', many are overlooking the cyber security aspect this smart city project. In fact, the more IT is involved in the creation and operation of a smart city, the greater the potential risk.

As such, Securing Smart Cities seeks to improve the security of smart cities by educating cities and providers on the importance and cost benefits of security best practices, as well as promoting the importance and benefits of introducing security early into the development lifecycle of a project or plan.

The group will also work on collaborating with partners to share ideas and methodologies, and building partnerships between cities, providers and the security community. On top of that, it will also create standards, guidelines and different resources that can help to improve cyber security across all areas related to smart cities.

"Smart cities present a tremendous opportunity for growth, sustainability and social improvement. However, the projects can't just be smart, they also need to be safe. Enabling embedded technologies and leveraging the Internet of Things in city infrastructure brings forth risks that must be considered and monitored to maintain safety for citizens. We want to work with city planners and builders to raise awareness about cyberthreats and share information on how to mitigate those threats before they can impact the public," said Chris Rouland, Founder and CEO of Bastille and Board Member of Securing Smart Cities.

"The cybersecurity of a modern, smart city is not something you can solve on your own. The concept involves so many different technologies communicating with each other in so many ways, that the only way to predict and eliminate all possible security issues is through collaboration between experts around the world. This is what Securing Smart Cities is for," added Cesar Cerrudo, CTO for IOActive and Board Member of Securing Smart Cities.


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