Smart and AMRUT cities: IoT and security take center stage

As digitally connected infrastructure becomes ubiquitous, IT implementations have to ensure better data security.

IDG STAFF Jan 09th 2018

Technology services will play a significant role in large-scale government projects, such as the "smart cities" mission in India. With uber connectivity becoming a reality, populous and fast-growing countries will need innovative solutions to ensure sustainability.

However, preparedness for implementation remains a concern due to several reasons. Among them are diverse economies, politics and the public's willingness to accept current standards of data security and privacy 'on the grid'.

 

How India needs to balance innovation and security concerns

 

 

 

Cyber-attacks in 2017 were rampant as they penetrated even protected entities like government, intelligence agencies and healthcare services in the US and in UK. Budgets on security tend to increase after sudden events, but they have the potential to slow down the pace of innovation and the adoption of new technology.

 

 

 

 

As India needs significant improvement in infrastructure and utility services, the government is pursuing partnerships with various technology services providers to realize projects like Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation (AMRUT). It aims to develop water supply, sanitation and public transport in a digital-savvy, sustainable way for the masses. Cleaner and cheaper energy practices are most likely to lead future plans into execution.

On the other hand, the Smart Cities Mission will focus on urban transformation. Cloud, clean energy, smart homes, smart grids and connected devices have the potential to usher in a revolution in living standards. However, a regulatory approach to cyber security will be imminent. While more innovation can effectively modernize government portals and citizen-centric services, new implementations will have to evolve to deliver the objectives.

 

Cyber attacks in recent times

Cyber attacks in 2017 were rampant as they penetrated even protected entities like government, intelligence agencies and healthcare services in the US and in UK. Budgets on security tend to increase after sudden events, but they have the potential to slow down the pace of innovation and the adoption of new technology. Pressure on organizations can impede large-scale services, slow down growth and result in poor public satisfaction.

As we move on with the smart cities project in 2018 the government and its private partners will have to focus on cyber security for open networks through research in both, technology and policy development.

 

Digitally connected government services in India

Smart grid electricity, water distribution, pedestrian assistance, smart homes, mobile phones and other devices bring with them the risk of data leakage. Consequently we need to have flexible cybersecurity solutions to protect diverse devices.

We need a proactive approach to ward off threats like malware and advanced persistent threats. Otherwise, the consequences can be widespread and potentially dangerous.

 

Building cybersecurity into technology driven services

In a scenario where we are increasingly relying on technology to deliver services, security becomes paramount.  Smart cities will function and be accepted only if implementations are tested for foolproof delivery of services.

Complex tasks create the demand for connected government portals, which will be the right time to test and put in place cybersecurity practices that will adapt and respond proactively to changing threat scenarios.