For the past few years, a lot of effort has been made to make existing cities smarter or to build smarter cities from scratch. Such cities extensively use Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as the backbone to monitor infrastructure and utilities in the city to improve the standard of living and ensure that residents get better services and a better quality of life. The focus has been on leveraging information technology to connect disparate components of the city infrastructure. This results in centralization of the whole spectrum of services — and this is where the problem may start.
Very few discussions — if at any all — are in public domain to protect the hub from potentially falling into the wrong hands. What if someone just hacks into the system and takes control of the whole infrastructure?…
In a world where Internet-of-Things and Machine-to-Machine communications will become common, it would be far easier for hackers to control the infrastructure. So the chances of someone catching the problem early will be less likely. The way forward should be to ensure having a failsafe mechanism to manually override the system in case of emergency in order to go back to the old system where cities were not so smart. This one feature might one day prevent smart cities from becoming dumb.
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