IoT Offers Significant Benefits but Comes Along with Cyber Risks: Report

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India needs to be cognisant of the challenges that smart cities across the world have faced in terms of the deluge of cyber-attacks affecting the availability of smart city infrastructure

Internet of things (IoT) provides significant benefits but it comes along with associated cyber risks. Therefore, it is vital to have them function in a secure atmosphere to realise all the benefits, said a latest report by FICCI-KPMG in India.

The report titled – Cybersecurity in Smart Cities, deliberates upon the possible challenges that major government agencies and stakeholders need to make sure are factored in, while developing smart cities in order to provide a secure environment.

In India, smart cities will boast of several smart solutions including smart energy management, smart healthcare, smart waste management, smart urban mobility, smart trade and economy facilitation, smart skills development centre, e-governance and citizen services, smart water management and smart surveillance.

These solutions are powered by a blend of heterogeneous enabling technologies like ubiquitous network connectivity, smart cards, sensor networks, IoT-based devices/wearable devices, open data, cloud computing and advanced analytics running on new-age artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, the report says.

Components of cyber security

The report highlights some key components of cyber security. These include:

  • Establishing a minimum baseline for security standards: Generally accepted standards are set to ensure innovations achieve mainstream adoption
  • Establishing security, privacy and trust in ecosystem: Stakeholders and individuals in smart cities need to understand what technology is being utilised, what data is being captured, where it is stored, how it is being accessed, and what mechanisms are implemented to protect the data
  • Driving cybersecurity across smart cities value chain: All suppliers need to gain accreditation or submit to audits and assurance examinations, which will be critical to build cyber assurance and cyber resilience into the ecosystem for overall cyber confidence and trust in smart cities.

Commenting on the findings, Elias George, Chairman – Infrastructure, Government and Healthcare, KPMG in India, said, “The realm of a smart city is an interconnected network of economic, social, cultural and personal interactions that affect every aspect of our lives. An effective smart city will optimise the transmission and utilisation of data to improve economic prospects and to enhance the quality of living. In this context, the value of data becomes immeasurable and the challenge is to ensure that data is stored and transmitted safely, securely and robustly in the wider public interest.”

“However, India needs to be cognisant of the challenges that smart cities across the world have faced in terms of the deluge of cyber-attacks affecting the availability of smart city infrastructure, continuity of services and misuse of personal data. Smart cities need to ensure that they are working on cyber security across the value chain – security is only as strong as the weakest link,” George added.

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