This has been the Summer of crippling cyber attacks against Cities. In the US, about 22 municipalities across Texas were simultaneously held hostage for millions of dollars by a hacker infiltrating their computer systems and encrypting all their data. More than 40 other US Cities faced cyberattacks this year, including Baltimore, Albany and Laredo, Tex., Lake City, Fla (the latter paid a ransom demand of about $460,000 in Bitcoin because reconstructing its systems would have been more costly).
As reported by SmartCitiesWorld, cybersecurity investments in Smart Cities are lagging, so local governments and urban applications are incredibly vulnerable to cybercrime. According to ABI Research, by 2024 there will be approximately 1.3 billion wide-area network Smart City connections worldwide, and almost 50% of those connections are expected to be LPWA-LTE and LPWA Proprietary.
Some LPWA protocols like NB-IoT are tackling some digital and communication security challenges. However, these intrinsically lightweight cellular versions are focused on reducing bandwidth cost, increasing coverage and lowering latency, so they are not capable of handling the increased number and advancement of cyberthreats.
In a more and more connected landscape, ABI Research notes that we should consider every Smart City service as secure as its weakest link. That’s why blockchain technology stands out as a performing and cost-effective solution for Cities to move away from the conventional, no more sustainable ‘bastion defence’ paradigm, and provide full device and data security, data integrity and validity.
How to integrate the blockchain into existing and new IoT urban networks? Join Paradox Engineering and SmartCitiesWorld on September 25th, 2019 to learn more: don’t miss the webinar taking place at 4pm (CET), 3pm (UK), 10am (EDT), 7am (PDT), registration is now open.