At a time when authorities in a good number of cities across the globe are working towards using new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), distributed ledger technology (DLT) and the internet of things (IoT) to digitize their entire processes in a bid to become smart cities, the Sentinel Protocol team has buttressed the need for decentralized security in smart cities in a July 22, 2019 blog post.
Cities are Getting Smarter
From Malta to Singapore down to South Korea, cities are getting smarter with each passing day, but much attention is not being given to the security of these smart cities, making them a disaster waiting to occur.
Earlier in June 2019, Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Singapore’s National Research Foundation announced that they had set aside over $30 million to be used in building infrastructure that would transform the country into a “smart city-state.”
During the Smart Nation Summit 2019, Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, reiterated that the region’s smart city project represents the next phase of nation-building for Singapore.
Reportedly, the Singapore Smart Nation Initiative which aims to integrate blockchain technology into the processes of the state and build an “open and inclusive 5G ecosystem,” has achieved significant success so far, as it has brought about administrative reorganization and better state-citizen engagement.
Elsewhere, the government of Dubai has introduced the “Dubai Plan 2021” which is focused on transforming the nation into a global smart city with six major targets including smart life, smart transportation, smart society, smart economy, smart governance and smart environment by 2021.
Demand for Decentralized Smart City Security
The integration of new technologies into the operations of cities fosters productivity, transparency, interconnectivity, reduces costs, and improves the lifestyle of residents, but there are also hidden dangers associated with such developments as there often is.
In a world where everything is digitally connected, data privacy has become a crucial talking point.
According to the Sentinel Protocol team, the severe data security breach that impacted Facebook and Google users, as well as the healthcare and financial ecosystem goes a long way to show that firms still lack technical cybersecurity, have little to no regard for their users’ data and the increasing sophistication of hackers.
Also, the team has opined that the proliferation of cloud computing infrastructure has made it easier for bad actors to break into crypto exchanges and other financial systems to steal peoples funds.
To curb these security threats, the team says it is important to lower barriers to sharing information related to cybersecurity threats by putting in place a “crowdsourced threat intelligence” system.
Elaborating the importance of the matter, especially in a world where companies and individuals freely share and report the latest security threats, the post writes:
“…because of access to that information, anytime from anywhere, people would be able to counteract those threats before their identities, digital assets, and even smart cities get compromised by hackers.”
In essence, the team says smart cities must crowdsource security intelligence and save the information on a distributed ledger to promote traceability and mitigate security breach.