Creating a “Secure Smart City” requires a Private Public Partnership that incorporates people, policies, processes and technology from both government and industry into the overall strategy process. Smart Cities integrate transportation, energy, water resources, waste collections, smart-building technologies, and security technologies and services. The growing complexity and magnitude of risks requires an unprecedented level of collaboration between public and private stakeholders than ever before. Extending public/private sector working partnerships to physical and cyber threats to the critical infrastructure makes good sense.

Most of the urban critical infrastructure is owned by the private sector and regulated by the public sector. Because of that ownership factor, a Secure Smart City can only be really viable if it operates under the umbrella of a public/private a partnership.
Frost & Sullivan estimates the combined global market potential of smart city segments (transportation, healthcare, building, infrastructure, energy, governance) to be $1.5 Trillion ($20B by 2050 on sensors alone per Navigant Technology).
Keeping a smart city secure is a real challenge as the urban safety ecosystem of citizens can involve many scenarios and threats, including terrorism, crime, weather incidents, and natural disasters.
Maintaining a secure safe city entails creating a public/private infrastructure to conduct activities and provide technologies that protect and secure citizens.
This includes:

Building protocols between the public and private sectors for secure safe city is an essential priority for planning and accountability.  Information sharing and interoperable communications are a first step in situational awareness. To understand and meet the changing threats, first responders, law enforcement, and government and civic leaders must collaborate, train together, and can talk to each other.

*A successful Safe City is one where Law Enforcements and Private Sector/Public collaborate

Another very difficult challenge is keeping up with the increasing sophistication of the threats. This is not an easy task and requires predictive incident mapping. Elements of that mapping include incorporating predictive analytics, establishing informed risk management planning, and implementing horizon network monitoring & diagnostics. Because we are now in a digital era, much of the planning can largely be automated via algorithms, artificial intelligence, and augmented by big data.  In homeland security, many interesting applications of data analytics are being incorporated into government programs for case management situational awareness and mitigation. However, everything can be fallible and there still we always be a need for a human oversight factor.

Some of the interesting technology digital era trends impacting the transformation of smart cities include:  automation, robotics, enabling nanotechnologies, artificial intelligence (human/computer interface), photovoltaics and printed electronics), wearables (flexible electronics) and information technologies such as real-time analytics and predictive analytics, super-computing, wireless networks, secure cloud computing, mobile devices, and virtualization.

*Drones – is this the future of Safe City Technology?

While primarily designed to facilitate citizen services, all these technologies also have smart city security applications. In ensuring public safety, mobile chemical and biological sensors can alert to CBRNE threats, and robotics can diffuse bombs. Sensors and embedded security systems, including surveillance cameras can monitor criminal behavior. A good example of these technologies was demonstrated back in 2005 in the city of London. Closed-circuit TV monitoring cameras helped lead to the identification of suspects who carried out the attack on London’s subway and bus systems Because of the limitations of personnel to constantly patrol areas of cities, surveillance by video and acoustic devices enabled law enforcement to extend and their reach. Now in 2016, most cities employ such monitoring systems.

As our cities grow more complex and interconnected by the Internet of Things, urban smart technologies are becoming more and more ubiquitous. Unfortunately, the threats are also growing and becoming more sophisticated. It is not enough for a city to be wired, accessible, and smart. Security is an imperative and the paradigm for the new “Secure Smart City” is rapidly evolving.

About the Author

Charles (Chuck) Brooks serves as Vice President of Government Relations & Marketing for Sutherland Government Solutions. He is also Chairman of the CompTIA New and Emerging Technologies Committee. Chuck was selected “Cybersecurity Marketer of the Year by the 2016 Cybersecurity Excellence Awards. He has served on numerous advisory boards, including as a Technology Partner Network Advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He is a subject Matter Expert to The Homeland Defense and Security Information Analysis Center (HDIAC), a Department of Defense (DoD) sponsored organization through the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC). Chuck served in government at the Department of Homeland Security as the first Director of Legislative Affairs for the Science & Technology Directorate. He also spent six years on Capitol Hill as a Senior Advisor to the late Senator Arlen Specter and was Adjunct Faculty Member at Johns Hopkins University where he taught homeland security and Congress. Chuck has an MA in International relations from the University of Chicago, and a BA in Political Science from DePauw University. Chuck has been widely published on the subjects of innovation, homeland security, emerging technologies, and issues of cybersecurity in media such as FORBES, Information Week, Alien Vault, ComputerWorld, The Hill, Federal Times, Government Security News, Homeland Security Today, MIT Sloan, and NextGov.

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