A ground shot of skyscrapers in a city

The smart city revolution

By 2050, about 68% of the world’s population is expected to live in cities. The inherent interconnectivity and transparency of smart cities make them highly vulnerable to security attacks. We would naturally advocate that cyber security, or to be more precise, cyber resilience, be designed in from the start for all smart city initiatives.

Global transformation

Cities across the developed world are rapidly adopting IoT and related low power communications and AL/ML technologies to transform themselves into Smart Cities. There are significant socio-economic drivers ensuring this transformation is occurring rapidly. The complex evolving system of systems that are in the process of being built today are bringing with them rapidly growing threat surfaces and associated vulnerabilities.

However finding and funding the cyber security expertise to provide the cyber resilience in this context is challenging given the growing skills shortages relative to the growing scale and complexity of the task.  A 2018 UK government sponsored study found that that more than half of all businesses and charities (54%) have a basic technical cyber security skills gap, falling to 18% in public sector organisations. Smart cities typically involve a mixture of public and private partnerships, so this is a significant systemic risk in itself.

An interconnected globe

Download the full whitepaper

For a deeper look at how smart cities can employ cyber resilience, read our in-depth paper. We cover the following areas:

  • Exploring the potential for cyber attacks to generate systemic risk to the UK's evolving smart cities
  • Introducing the concept of the smart city as a complex socio-technical system
  • Outlining the dynamic cyber risks associated with rapidly evolving smart city ecosystems


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