Cities around the world are increasingly challenged by the energy transition and the digital transformation. They are pushed to turn “smart”, which is not just about being tech-savvy, but means being able to leverage the data generated by devices and systems to implement sustinable services to the benefit of citizens, businesses, and the environment. A city becomes smart when it can take data-driven decisions to evolve its infrastructure and services.
Is smartness enough? Not really. A city that fails to make its residents safe is failing one of the main concepts of being smart: protecting citizens by taking appropriate action. Let’s make an example: environmental sensors provide a local and granular picture of parameters such as temperature, humidity, rainfall, air pressure, wind speed, and more. This increases smartness, but also contributes to a safer community – for instance if monitoring heat and UV intensity to alert people when certain thresholds are reached and they would better stay indoors. These “threshold-triggered alerts” are in place in many Japanese cities already, where the increasingly elderly population suffers the most from heatstrokes.
The sense of safety is not only about health: it also encompasses the digital identity, personal data, as well as business and governmental data that are stored and managed on smart applications, IoT devices and the urban network. Connected objects may represent the ideal entry point for cybercriminals to exploit vulnerabilities and get access to people’s data, take control of critical infrastructures or hijack business operations. Ensuring cybersecurity of a smart city is a daunting problem but it cannot be overlooked. Cybersecurity skills and resources, appropriate selection of suppliers, right procedures in place – all concur to defer, limit, and respond to cyberthreats, and to avoid citizens’ prejudice and refusal of new ambitious city plans towards new applications and technologies.
Achieving the triple S – Smartness, Safety and Security – should not be a utopia: with the right tools, processes and technology suppliers in place, cities can benefit from smart solutions to increase citizen’s safety and build a strong defence against cyberattacks. The triple S are high in the agenda of Paradox Engineering: our Smart Urban Network enables the monitoring and control of all connected devices, with the possibility of triggering alerts when certain thresholds are reached. Our city customers can also benefit from the services of a Security Operation Centre (SOC), that monitors, detects and responds in case of cyberattack.
Browse our website and read more about Gijon (Spain), Las Condes (Chile), Nasuhiobara (Japan) and the other cities around the world that are relying on our technology and expertise to build a robust IoT infrastructure for the betterment of their citizens.