I ended my last post saying that “new technologies create new opportunities for cyber attackers and new challenges for cities as they must prevent attacks and guarantee the perennity of public services”.
I did a bit of google research and could find some example of cities or public services being cyber hacked in some way:
- In 2014 CNN revealed in an article that hackers compromised the computer network of a U.S. public utility, according to a report from the Department of Homeland Security.
- In Feb 2015 cyber attack crippled New York city offices communications.
- In May 2015 Oklahoma City website was shut down by cyber attack.
Though it looks like these are minor attacks and that we are far from witnessing a city being completely paralysed by hackers, still it seems that cyber risk is a major concern modern cities. As they deploy new technologies and offer more services to their citizens, cities become smarter but also provide more open doors to potential attacks. Behind the services that we enjoy such as the Bicing service in Barcelona, smart street lighting, smart transportation, smart parking, garbage collection or security cameras there different technologies that may provide new opportunities for cyber attackers. This is is a new challenge for technology providers and for cities as it requires different approach to how technologies are introduced and tested, how people and administration are trained, how budget are allocated and how cities are planning their growth and evolution as well as how do they incorporate the cyber risk in their own thinking.
Prevention seems to be on the to do list of everyone and I guess that my beloved Barcelona is safe as I write. I wish you a nice summer break.