Smart Cities Are Prone to Terrorist Attacks: What Can Be Done?

Source: Raconteur

We live in a world where technology is taking over our daily lives. We’re now at a point where several cities around the world have adopted the monicker of smart cities, and that has a lot to do with the rise of self-driving cars, drones, and other things that are designed to make life easier.

Folks from all walks of life are moving to these cities just to experience what they have to offer, but is it the safe thing to do? You know, one might believe that when a city gets smarter, it ultimately becomes safer, but that might not be the case here.

Source: Pixabay

Lack of new security measures is a significant problem

Here’s the thing, The Economist Intelligence Unit believes companies and authorities need to improve security at the same pace as new technologies if they want to keep these smart cities safe. There need to be unique rules in terms of physical and digital security seeing as attackers can take advantage of several vulnerabilities in this new world.

The EIU went on to add that should hackers manage to gain access to power supplies, an entire city could be left in chaos should they decide to shut down everything. Therefore, city officials must come up with a new plan to combat such a scenario.

“The rapid deployment of digital technologies in pursuit of the ‘smart city’ has also exposed vulnerabilities. While smart city technologies no doubt bring benefits, the rush to embrace them carries considerable risk,” said the EIU in its “Safe Cities Index” report. “If investments in digital technologies are not accompanied by commensurate investments in cyber security, the consequences could be dire.”

Each year, the EIU ranks cities around the world in its Safe Cities Index. It takes several matters into considerations such as personal safety, health security, digital security, and infrastructure safety. We understand that 60 countries were ranked in the 2017 indexed, and the top 10 is a mixture of Asian, European, and American cities.

Here’s the top 10 cities ranked by the EIU

  1. Tokyo
  2. Singapore
  3. Chicago
  4. Amsterdam
  5. Hong Kong
  6. Toronto
  7. Los Angeles
  8. San Francisco
  9. New York
  10. Dallas

For those who do not believe in what the EIU is doing, one only need to revert to 2016 when hackers attacked San Francisco’s light rail transit system’s computers. All data were encrypted, and from there the hackers proceeded to demand a ransom.

Now then, due to the cities capabilities and resources, the issue was rectified the next day. However, the EIU pointed out that if the hack had happened during the week, several commuters wouldn’t have made it to work on time.

The attack could have also affected children going to school. Furthermore, if hackers had attacked the power grid, well, it would have bee quite devastating.