As world populations grow, especially in cities and urban areas, there seems no doubt that the energy efficiencies, cost savings, and lifestyle improvements that the smart building or city offers to governments and citizens means that they are set to stay.

 

Examples of new technologies are plentiful and the digital integration of infrastructure systems, both new and old is now a reality. There is a growing stack of evidence as to the benefits of the smart approach.

 

However, cases of security breaches are also growing in frequency. Without proper security measures, the interlinking of data presents cybercriminals with unprecedented access to a wide range of critical systems through single points of entry. A recent Harvard Business Review article warned against employing smart technology without appropriate security and cites examples of recent ransomware attacks like the one hitting organisations worldwide in the last few days.

 

What’s clear is that the focus of developers, planners and engineers so far has been on unlocking the potential of the smart infrastructure. Sufficient consideration of the cyber threats and implications appears to be lacking in some cases. As we accelerate into the digital world, user education is a vital part of this protection against threats.

 

Assystem understands these threats well and has been leading Scissor, the collaborative European security project since 2015 which aims to develop a range of security solutions, specifically for industrial systems such as SCADA which the HBR states as particularly at risk.

 

The need for such projects has been highlighted all too much this week and further effort and investment is needed to ensure we develop cybersecurity solutions at the same pace and make smart infrastructures safe and secure places for everyone.