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A Vision of Smart City: Digital Solutions for a Better Quality of Life

By eMudhra Editorial on March 11, 2023
A Vision of Smart City: Digital Solutions for a Better Quality of Life

As cities are getting smarter, they are evolving into models of social and economic development. What we see today is just a preview of what digitization can eventually do for urban life. Until recently, the concept of a smart city revolved primarily around better infrastructure and public services. But with the digitization of services and processes, whether it be filing taxes or making online transactions technology is being injected directly into our lives. Another key example is the surge of IoT devices. It would not be an exaggeration to state that the population of IoT devices has well surpassed the human population, putting instant information about transit, traffic, health services, safety alerts, and community news into millions of hands.  

Digitization is a key driver of recent economic, cultural, political, and societal transformations in a smart city, but as with any consequential reform, these changes entail both positive and negative impacts. While the ease of processes has reformed urban lives, we are posed with the substantial risk of cyber threats. As a result, there has been a growing impetus to rethink the concept of security in the digital age. The emerging need for operating and maintaining digital infrastructure with 24/7 diligent coverage is critical for the secured vision of a smart city. 

The vision of a smart city with secure digital infrastructure can only be attained with a people-first approach. After a decade of trial and error, leaders have realized that the shift towards the vision of digital society is to use technology and data purposefully to make better decisions and deliver a better quality of life. Let us delve deeper into what exactly is a smart city and how digital solutions can help in creating a secure digital society in smart cities.  

What Makes a City Smart? 

The crux of smart cities is to put data and digital technology to work together to improve the quality of life Above all, the mobility and usage of a city’s resources in an effective manner are the qualifying criteria for a city to be considered a smart city. Three fundamental factors work together in a smart city  

First is the technology base, which includes a critical mass of IoT devices, interconnected networks, and other connected devices backed by secure and safe high-speed communication networks. The IoT devices and the interconnected devices create a digital ecosystem that is further safeguarded by the second layer of security applications 

The second layer consists of specific applications. Translating raw data into alerts, insight, and action requires the right tools, and this is where technology providers come in to ensure the integrity and safety of the digital ecosystem. The third layer is usage by cities, companies, and the public.  

Tapping into the Unrealized Potential of Smart Cities: 

To create a ‘smart city’ several technology building blocks are required, ranging from artificial intelligence to machine-to-machine (M2M), PKI-based security platforms and IT integration, as well as supporting telecom services. The following are some of the benefits of the incorporation of digital technology in the smart city infrastructure 

  • Improved Integration and delivery of public services 
  • Enhanced environmental sustainability and resilience 
  • Reduced barriers and enhanced connectivity for small businesses and enterprise
  • Improved governance  

The fundamental essence of digital innovation is to render urban services efficient. For instance, it is the data-driven innovation and data availability on transport flows, energy, and water and waste systems that have allowed the unprecedented depth of analysis and facilitated targeted real-time interventions for better management of urban systems. Another key advantage of large-scale digitization is the connected transport system which relies on IoT and interconnected communication channels 

Digital Security in Smart Cities 

Digital security in a smart city refers to the protection of digital infrastructure, devices, and data in a city to improve its efficiency, sustainability, and quality of life for citizens. Since the foundation of a smart city is based on enhanced connectivity and digitization of processes the potential of cyber-attacks and data breaches poses a significant threat to the digital integrity of these cities  

Digital security in a smart city involves implementing measures and strategies to protect against cyber-attacks, such as: 

  • Encryption: Encryption is the foundation of PKI technology which ensures the integrity of data as it is transmitted over the internet and stored in databases. 
  • Access control: Restricting access to IoT devices, applications, and systems to authorized personnel only and implementing strong authentication measures. 
  • Network security: Implementing firewalls, intrusion detection systems, multi-factor authentication, rigorous implementation of identity-first security approach and other security measures to protect against network-based attacks. 
  • Incident response: Having a multi-tiered backup strategy in place to ensure the authenticity and integrity of the digitally processed data plan in place to respond to cyber-attacks and quickly mitigate the damage.
  • Regular updates and maintenance: Keeping all software and systems up-to-date with security patches and upgrades.
  • Employee training and awareness: Educating employees about best practices for digital security and ensuring they understand the risks and how to avoid them. 

In summary, digital security is a critical aspect of any smart city implementation, and it involves protecting against cyber threats and data breaches to ensure the safety and privacy of citizens and their data. 

eMudhra: Helping You TRUST The World Around You!

How eMudhra can Help in Securing Smart Cities? 

eMudhra is a global trust service provider and a globally certified CA. We issue X.509 certificates in both public and private sectors through our emSign root. We prioritize identity-first security in the digital ecosystem. As a part of our identity-first security approach, we issue SSL/TLS certificates, document signer certificates, S/MIME certificates, and Code Signer Certificates. These are part of our high availability Certificate issuance engine that can help automate the entire Certificate Life Cycle Management of Certificates, the right from issuance to expiry and renewal for a large volume of IoT devices. 

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