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Smart cities pose potential targets for hackers

by Alexander Pieri on Mar 16, 2016


Multiple connected sensors over a city's infrastructure could be at risk of a security breach.
Multiple connected sensors over a city's infrastructure could be at risk of a security breach.

A number of security challenges have arisen, particularly with cybersecurity, in the wake of the rapid growth of smart city developments across the GCC.

While smart cities offer a range of opportunities for both businesses and residents to improve efficiency and quality of life, the related technologies also enable potential security and data breaches.

Aji Joseph, general manager at RadarServices Middle East, said: “Smart cities are developed with an interconnected ICT infrastructure and innovative digital services that ride on an embedded mesh of sensors and controls, undertake advanced analytics, and offer rapid connectivity and world-class services to all users - residents, visitors and businesses.

“However, the very same platform also becomes a magnet attracting relentless attacks by hackers.

One such example lies with a scenario based on the Internet-of-Things (IoT), which suggests the utilisation of multiple connected sensors oversees a city’s key infrastructure.

Should hackers attempt to breach security here, an attack could potential bring a city’s daily operation to a standstill, or worse still impact its national security.

To prepare for such scenarios, both decision makers and smart technology providers will need to ensure the right type of security measures are put into place, while also devising effective responses to possible attacks.

Currently the UAE leads the reach in terms of smart city initiatives with its Dubai Plan 2021 and Dubai Smart City program. Currently the nation’s leadership aims to launch 1,000 smart government services by 2017.



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