SG8 – Smart Cities Security

SG8Smart Cities are, according to a notorious definition by Holland (2008), “…territories with a high  capacity for learning and innovation, …. [concerned] with people and the human capital side of the
equation, rather than blindly believing that IT itself can automatically transform and improve cities”.

The purpose of a Smart City is therefore to define and implement models and strategies for  sustainable development for a modern urbanization, explicitly taking into account the context, the location and conflicting social and economic needs (Growth vs. Decrease, Industrial development Vs. Pollution reduction, Aging population vs. Youth of new ethnic groups, Aging infrastructures vs.
Smart infrastructures, etc..) and, above all, the very central fact that the focus of the city is the citizen. The primary need is therefore to ensure a good quality of life to citizens, with their specific needs and requirements, through the use of an extremely broad spectrum of integrated technologies such as ICT; Earth observation from ground, air and satellite; positioning systems, unconventional sensors networks, security  systems; not to mention the technology areas generally referred to as “smart”: mobility, energy, communications.

In the “security” domain, a Smart City has a dual connotation. In fact, the security of citizens is certainly one of the primary needs, but we cannot forget that the Smart City itself, as a co-operative integration between urban systems, is itself subject to risks and should therefore be protected from various threats that can affect its networks and infrastructures.

The Smart City is therefore characterized by being a “network of networks”, network of infrastructure based on highly heterogeneous technologies; this fact makes the Smart City particularly sensitive to the risks of service disruption due to natural or man-made causes, with the additional risk of a “cascading effect “, all the more relevant as the “smart” citizens will increasingly depend on the information and infrastructures deployed in the area.

In an emergency situation, “smart” distributed infrastructure can be a strength if they allow a better management of crises, also through the use of the population as an additional “information
source” (e.g. citizen as a distributed sensor, timely communication of context), but also represent a point of weakness if a poor resilience creates additional problems such as lack of information,
energy, transport capacity (e.g., deficiencies in electrical distribution which prevent operation of transport networks thus complicating efficient evacuation of the population in crisis scenarios).

It is thus clear that a Smart City requires the definition of a policy based on strategies and models of prevention, protection and mitigation of the effects of security or catastrophic events.
This objective can be pursued through the development of methods and tools that are able to join: current status monitoring, quick damage assessment, crisis management and scenario analysis for the purposes of prevention, also in order to optimize and share the cost of the construction of sensor networks and of management and analysis systems.

There is therefore a significant convergence between the issues of resilience and continuity of service of the Smart City and those of Critical Infrastructures, with the important difference that the Smart Cities always are densely populated areas, with all the inherent problems in terms of management of supply, evacuation, public health, etc… In this context, the connection of the citizens in the area through mobile networks is a source of information, the availability of which must be guaranteed even in emergency conditions as not to lose a channel of acquisition and communication of information essential for the management of the emergency itself.

For all these reasons the Sector must fulfill three main tasks:

  • Define a reference framework for the safety of the infrastructure of Smart City (City Smart Security Framework – SCSF) so that the city can be defined as “Safe” from the point of view of robustness, of resilience of its infrastructure and of the capacity to reliably handle crisis situations.
  • Define which areas of innovative research must underpin the security of the citizens of a Smart City, or what innovations need to be introduced as part of the “urban security” for the fact of being in a “smart” context.
  • Define which results of the other 7 SERIT Sectors are relevant to the security of the Smart City and how they can find a place in the framework referred to in paragraph 1. It ‘is clear tha some of the content areas of transport, energy, cyber, cultural heritage, building, etc… are relevant to this Sector .

Smart Cities Security Framework
The Smart City is such as it is equipped with a technology and informative architecture,  cooperative and integrated, which should have its synthesis in an operating room that can represent
and control in a unified manner all subsystems that are part of the domain, providing information and services to all stakeholders.

The strength of the Smart City, i.e. the integration of cooperative systems for the provision of services, can also represent its point of weakness since “smart” citizens will depend ever more widely from the information and actions of the subsystems on the territory.

The SCSF Framework must therefore take account of:

  • Ways in which security and resilience are implemented in the individual subsystems;
  • How the information on which the services are based is protected;
  • Protection of the services provided in the light of the need for their continued operation time and distributed in space, even in emergency conditions;
  • Ways in which an integrated view of security subsystems can be built;
  • How to implement the resilience of the Smart City.

The Framework should also form the basis for planning of urban systems that includes the contents of safety and security, with particular reference to the inclusion of new monitoring technologies
directly in the newly built infrastructures.

Themes to address:

Security and resilience of urban subsystems
Models, processes and tools for the security of individual subsystems.

Information protection
Security of the generation and archiving chain for “big data” and “streaming data”.

Services protection
Security of infrastructures (logistics, energy, mobility) and of computing and communication networks distributed on the urban territory (or elsewhere, e.g. cloud).

Integrated vision
Models, processes and tools for integration of security information.

Smart City resilience
Policies and guidelines must be developed addressing “smart” urban development, making it possible to include, both in the re-urbanization undertakings and in the development of new infrastructure and urban areas, the technological components connected to the “network of networks”, with the aim to increase the availability of information useful for to the management of safety and emergencies (e.g., low cost monitoring systems based on sensors embedded in the infrastructures such as accelerometers, pressure sensors, humidity sensors, fiber optics etc..).

Urban Security Innovation
“Urban Security in the time of Smart City” is the subject of this sub-sector: what research areas can be addressed on security issues starting from the fact that the smart integration of the city subsystems allows to have accurate and not previously available information on what happens in urban areas?

Themes to address:

Description on new security-related urban processes

Analysis of the way in which new urban processes (including “participated security”) can be a source of useful information for security purposes.

Development of new concepts of operation
Non-invasive sensors, “non-sensors sensors”, wide area surveillance based on the integration of technologies for Earth Observation (from ground, airborne and satellite) with positioning technologies and web technologies, federated and scalable ICT architecture for real-time process management, usage of “ubiquitous network” interconnecting the citizens as a means of protection and processes management.

Application to security of data fusion / advanced analytics techniques
Models, processes and tools for information collection and analysis.

Security Operators
How the role of security operators will change because of the evolution of urban processes and the increasing availability of data, information and communication networks.

Citizen feedback
How to give back to citizens in ”smart and friendly” way information useful for their safety.

Other Sectors’ contribution
To optimize the activities to build Smart Cities’ security we need to identify what relevant contributions can be shared with other Sectors, indicating, for each identified research area, what changes may be required to harmonize activities with the SCSF Framework and what role the specific sub-sector / technology area / research activity has in SCSF.

Sharing with other SERIT Sectors and Technology areas also has the purpose of addressing the sharing of the costs of the realization of sensor networks and of the management and analysis systems dedicated to a multi-domain scenario such as the Smart City.

SG 8 associates: Smart Cities Security