Raconteur

Future of Infrastructure 2020

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R A C O N T E U R . N E T 15 is perfect for ransomware, given the urgency faced by municipal authori- ties to get it back online, he adds. "Without a doubt, they [crimi- nals] will move on to smart city systems because it's an easy vic- tory for them," says Curran. "When the smart city is brought to its knees and people are complaining, politicians will easily release the money demanded." So what can municipalities and regulators do to ensure the cities of tomorrow gain the benefits of digital solutions while mitigating security concerns? Firstly, all those involved in digital solutions need to be frank about the risks involved. The smart city market is a boom market at present, with lead - ing analyst firm MarketsandMarkets predicting its global value will hit $717 billion by 2023, more than double the current value. It is easy to be blinded by the hype, but city authorities should adopt a security-minded approach from the get-go, warns Alexandra Luck, pro- ject manager for the security stream of the Cambridge-based Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB). To that end, CDBB published a draft set of broad principles in late-2018 to create alignment on how information is managed. The Gemini Principles insist that "holis- tic security principles must be built in from the outset" and that steps to protect private data be prioritised. Precisely what such steps should look like is addressed in a longer set of guidelines, entitled PAS 183, co-authored by Luck for the UK government. Specific to privacy issues, the advice calls on pro - ject managers to carry out a triage process to identify if individuals are identifiable. If so, a full pri- vacy impact assessment should be put in place. The end-goal, according to Luck, is to help cities better understand their key vulnerabilities and what risk-management controls are required. It is not, she emphasises, to reduce the risk to zero. To arrive at a level of security risk "tolerable to the relevant parties" is the best to be hoped for. Such an argument might satisfy some but, as in the case of Toronto, it may not wash with everyone. Much depends on political and cultural attitudes, says Richard Karpinski, research director at the analyst firm S&P Global Market Intelligence. Citizens' expectations in an open, liberal country such as Canada, for instance, differ markedly from those in China, where personal free - doms are more restricted. The latter, as such, may very likely find them- selves with greater wiggle room. That said, the level of potential intrusion from the application of artificial intelligence and video sur- veillance is now reaching another level, according to Karpinski. Current technology allows for much deeper and rapid analysis of data than before, as well as longer storage times, he adds. As a minimum, smart city devel- opers should ensure legal protec- tions are in place. Such is the pace of technological change, however, that legislators are struggling to keep up with events. The preference of policymakers to date has been to encourage smart city proponents to self-police. The government-endorsed Cybersecurity Framework in the United States and the European Union's Network and Information Security Directive are notable examples of this hands-off compliance approach. Bettina Tratz-Ryan, research vice president at advisory firm Gartner, says city authorities and their private-sector partners need to be far more proactive. In a recent white paper on the subject, she lays out at least ten steps security managers should consider adopting. The list includes everything from developing internal training on security threats through to lever - aging cloud-based security pro- grammes and preparing for tougher privacy regulations down the track. Strong governance systems are the key mechanism to hold accounta- ble all stakeholders, namely private companies as well as city govern- ments, for implementing security procedures. She adds: "After all, cit- ies are only as strong as their weak- est link." Proving smart city projects do not contravene the law is only half the battle. They need community buy-in. Fail to gain this and digital- isation initiatives risk precisely the same kind of citizen opposition and project delays as in Toronto. Glasgow City Council is an exam- ple of good practice. A pioneer in smart city applications, it is consid- ering implementing new technolo- gies such as 3D-printable bins with sensors as part of an upgrade of the city's waste-management system. Before sending the idea out to ten- der, however, it contracted a local organisation specialising in com- munity engagement to speak to local residents and glean their opinions. Not only did this generate valuable feedback, it also gave Glaswegians a sense of being involved in any potential changes. Done well, digitalisation should deliver efficiencies and cost-sav- ings to municipalities, says Sarah Drummond, co-founder of Snook, the firm employed to lead Glasgow's consultation. But, ultimately, improving citizens' everyday lives should be the primary objective, which implies putting people at the heart of any smart city project. Ben Snaith, researcher at the Open Data Institute, concurs. He points to the use of civic panels in Gdansk, Poland, and an e-partici - pation tool in Madrid as examples of just this kind of citizen-centric thinking in action. As smart cities begin to move from hype to reality, now is the time to put the processes in place to ensure citizen safety, he argues. This means prioritising open data, open government, open infrastruc - ture and open standards. Indeed, if Snaith had his way, he would bin the term "smart cities", with its connotations of shareholder interest. Far better, he says, is "open cities", the value of which flows to the people, businesses and commu- nities that form them. The level of potential intrusion from the application of AI and video surveillance is now reaching another level www.heliostowers.com Helios Towers is investing heavily in local skills and capabilities to deliver industry leading services for mobile network operators across Africa, enabling the enhanced and dependable mobile experience needed for the growth of the African digital economy " Kash Pandya | CEO Helios Towers Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images Google-affiliate Sidewalk Labs' model for the its Quayside development master plan in Toronto

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