Smart City initiatives, which have been taken up by a number of Asian countries, employ the use of advanced technology in urban infrastructure. These initiatives are aimed at improving the efficiency and productivity of the population as a whole.
Many technologies, like cloud computing and Internet of Things (IoT), are yet to develop fully. The security issues facing these systems require the public sector to approach the concept with a degree of deliberation. IoT is ever powered and ever vulnerable.
Due to the heavy integration of such sensors into everyday items, a lot of personal and sensitive data is inadvertently harvested and stored. Hackers and criminals may be able to gather this data to find the whereabouts and habits of a person, and they would be able to get a detailed and accurate insight into his/her daily activities.
FBI addresses this concern in Healthcare
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently issued an alert about IoT device usage and security vulnerabilities. The alert was directed towards the healthcare sector.
As IoT is starting to make waves through hospitals, security is an important concept to be addressed. The data that people are collecting is highly personal, confidential, and sensitive. The IoT security landscape has built cause for concern with its susceptibility to weaknesses in password security, encryption and user access permissions.
The issue is that current systems in US healthcare are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Attackers will search for personal health records and health insurance data to gain access to bank accounts. They may also use this information to get medical prescriptions for substances.
It was made clear to healthcare providers whom received this alert, that the FBI does not find them as resilient to cyber-attacks compared to other sectors. It has been noted that President Obama’s Accessible Healthcare Program site has been criticised for its security flaws.
As innovators and service providers individually create devices and systems which can be used in smart cities, they may not able to create ones which can be interfaced or interconnected to form a common system. Governments have to cooperate with city planners, innovators and industrial experts to put a set of policies in place. They will be able to refer to these policies while developing new technologies.
The convenience of citizens is the final aim of developing smart systems. With governments and innovators increasingly focusing on solving the privacy issues, IoT is bound to become more and more secure. As this technology develops and matures, it takes people closer to realising the dream of creating interconnected systems for smart cities.