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Matt Goggin

Securing Smart Cities for Resilience & Sustainable Value

The road to resilient cities and a more resilient society is an aspiration we should all be thinking about now. As billions of devices are being connected, we’re moving up from the early smart products phase to the advent of smart cities and regions, which impact us all.

Around the turn of the century, when the Internet of Things (IoT) surfaced, following a few decades of machine-to-machine communications, the opportunity was centered around how products were becoming smart connected products. The programmable thermostat gave way to Nest or other smart connected thermostats, for example.

Fast forward to 2010, when we became defined as a “Networked Society” or a part of the “Internet of Everything.”

In late 2014, Michael Porter of Harvard and Jim Heppelmann of PTC co-authored a paper in the Harvard Business Review about the progression of IoT. They spoke about the move from “Products” to “Smart Products,” “Smart Connected Products,” “Products Systems,” and ultimately “Systems of Systems.”

This IoT-enabled world is part of the reshaping of our lives brought to us by the Internet and pervasive communications and computing we experience in our hyper-connected lives today. Every day, we make progress towards incredible innovations that impact our personal beings, our homes, our neighborhoods, our schools, our local governments, and state and federal programs. Infrastructure is more digital than ever. The bridging of the physical, or “built” world and the digital, or “cyber” world is now maturing and given the positive benefits of being able to instrument and better control streets, bridges, tunnels, grids, water systems and more. We have arrived at Industry 4.0.

In a perfect world, society is more stable, more agile, more equitable, more sustainable – and more secure. Now that IoT is genuinely beginning to mature, we must start addressing the higher-level issues now, or we could suffer significant consequences, including attacks on our critical infrastructure by nation-states and other adversaries.

Our cities will become less secure and less productive if we do not secure the data the IoT generates, such as data at rest, data in use, and data in motion.

We need leadership in industry and government that understands this. We need to move as a technology industry with a new information superhighway that replicates the success of the physical interstate highway system. Using public-private partnerships, and by developing high standards, we can unleash the real value of Smart Cities, Smart Regions, Smart States, and a Smart Nation.

Dispersive’s team is committed to contributing our technology to a safer connected world, and today are pleased to share our new white paper, Smart City Resilience through SDN. You can download it here, and contact me if you’d like to learn more about the resilient design of our software. It can scale to secure deployments that connect multiple devices, systems, and solutions using a more agile, affordable, and scalable approach. Technology thought impossible twenty or even ten years ago.