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"Smart City" project for Karabakh: The security requirements of smart cities

Updated: May 20, 2021

Further acceleration of technological progress and the expansion of the sphere of influence have gradually made our lives more comfortable. Our technological friends, who know us better than we do, already offer faster solutions for many issues, both in domestic and business lives. The unlimited potentials of smart cities, one of the latest technological innovations, make many of the things we imagined years ago a reality. Forecasts suggest that global GDP will be increased by 5% and reaches about $20 trillion thanks to the digital megacities. The positive effects of such cities on the environment and human beings have already been observed.

Now Azerbaijan is moving to a smart city system, as well

By joining the ranks of developed countries in this direction, Azerbaijan has also taken the first steps to make cities and villages smart. The issue was reflected in the "National Action plan for 2020-2022 to promote open government" at the beginning of last year. The liberation of the territories which are under occupation for almost 30 years means the expansion of the scale of smart cities and villages to be built throughout the country. In the process of restoring the liberated territories in recent days, the concept of smart cities in those areas is the subject of discussion. While smart cities are an innovative solution for the efficient use of natural resources, improving the living standards of citizens, and achieving economic development, such areas, which are completely surrounded by technological means, are considered the greatest threat of the era, cyber threat.

Main requirements for preventing cybersecurity problems

The security requirements of smart cities are based on the security of technology and infrastructure, as well as operational security that can withstand any cyberattack. The next requirement is related to the data created and transmitted within the infrastructure using different technologies. But in any case, data protection depends more on operational security. Because any cybercriminal who breaks the system will violate the policy of obtaining information.

What are the causes of cyberattacks?

There are many reasons why smart cities are vulnerable to various cyberattacks. These include poor encryption, cloud layer, bugs in software, hardware used, and more.

Poor encryption - the use of strong encryption is one of the most important ways to protect the security of devices connected to the Internet. In this case, because confidential documents are verified only by an authorized person, it will be impossible to decrypt, view or change the content, even if the cybercriminal has unauthorized access to the information.

Software errors - When a cybercriminal enters the smart city system due to software errors, he/she can take control of the system and use the available data

Cloud layer - Cloud systems have security issues such as Outsourcing and Multi-tenancy that require accurate calculations. Outsourcing requires remote access, which can result in less control over the data and compromise security and privacy. However, this can be resolved by making sure that the cloud provider is reliable and that data from external sources is trustable in terms of security and privacy. The security problem of multi-tenancy is that it allows many users to use the cloud platform.

Only in 2018, the number of prevented cyberattacks in smart cities was 48 billion. The main concern in this regard is that ¾ of companies are not sure about their security systems. According to the report of “Global Risks”, digital crime is one of the main threats to the global economy, and the material damage caused by it is estimated at billions of dollars.

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