Ransomware vs. Smart Cities

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With Smart Cities and Ransomware on the rise are we likely to see a major city’s systems held to ransom in the future?

Connectivity of IoT devices is growing rapidly: from smart fridges, to smart homes, and even smart cities. This service goes beyond machine-to-machine communications: with communication with humans (Hello Alexa) and as a way to manage a city’s assets. The ‘urban informatics’ improve efficiency, quality and performance of a city by reducing cost and resource consumption.

We have seen a marked increase in ransomware and the ransoms have been getting bigger, with larger organisations targeted. We have seen both hospitals and councils attacked but will it stop there or move onto bigger and more effective attacks?

Mark James, ESET IT Security Specialist, talks about what organisations need to do to protect themselves from ransomware attacks .

“This is indeed a very real threat, as cities strive to become interconnected into a “smart” integrated, almost live network of devices controlling, monitoring and even adapting to provide the demanding answers for todays and indeed tomorrows digital user.

“It will have to ensure security is top of the list if we want to keep control of it all.

“So many different companies want to connect and interact, but not relinquish control over their own systems.

“They are trying to find ways to have data flowing from one system to another which makes it a definite target for cybercriminals to take control.

Segregation and data control will be key in keeping this expanding network safe, the ability to adapt and physically isolate compromised systems will have to be a priority, if or even, when it goes wrong.

“If we continue to embrace the smart city model without placing security firmly at the top, the stuff we see in movies won’t just be sci-fi; holding whole city infrastructures at ransom could easily become a reality.”

Are you interested to see ‘smart’ cities evolve? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter @ESETUK

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