NXTKey hosts panel on Smart City Cybersecurity

NXTKey Corporation CEO Mr. Shivaji Sengupta put together and moderated the Smart City Cybersecurity / Connected Communities panel at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference held in Atlanta, GA on July 17-19 2023.

Smart cities are urban environments that use information and communication technology (ICT) to improve the quality and performance of urban services, reduce costs and resource consumption, and to engage more effectively and actively with their citizens. Examples of such services include city administration, education, healthcare, public safety, real estate, transportation, and utilities. They do this by leveraging connected technologies, sensors, data analytics, and other innovative methods.

Smart city cybersecurity refers to the collection of tools, policies, security concepts, security safeguards, guidelines, risk management approaches, actions, training, best practices, assurance, and technologies that can be used to protect a city’s infrastructure, data, and services, especially those that are interconnected and interdependent via the internet and other communication networks. Given this level of digital integration, cybersecurity becomes critically important for a variety of reasons which include Data Protection, Infrastructure Security, Privacy, Public Trust and National Security. Therefore, cities adopting smart technology must consider cybersecurity a key priority, investing in robust protection measures, security protocols, and ongoing monitoring systems to detect and respond to threats.

Related to this, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has rolled out the “Connected Communities” initiative that focuses on a comprehensive examination of the technologies in which 5G networks are intended to enable. Integrating a greater number of previously separate infrastructure systems into a single network environment expands the digital attack surface, increasing opportunities for threat actors to successfully exploit a vulnerability for initial access, move laterally across networks, and cause cascading, cross-sector disruptions of infrastructure operations.

NXTKey has been associated with smart cities since 2014 and have delivered smart city projects across Asia and Africa for the US Government. Our projects have included smart utilities, smart governance, smart transportation, smart incident operations centers which are part of the greater smart city initiative.

We had on our panel:

Mr. Christian Lowry who is a Sr. Risk Analyst in the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), National Risk Management Center (NRMC).

Mr. Paul Wertz who has spent a career in AT&T and has since then worked on smart city / smart base projects for the DOD.

And finally, Mr. Ray DeMao who has had a long career being at the forefront of reinventing cyber protection and changing the asymmetric battlefield where threat actors have maintained an advantage.