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GCN : October and November 2016
[BrieFing] The Obama administration has an- nounced more than $80 million in new funding for smart city research and projects nationwide. The money includes $15 million for studying how communities can handle energy and climate issues, $15 million for trans- portation projects and $10 million for public safety research. One project highlighted in the an- nouncement is a National Science Foundation- funded effort to better under- stand networks of connected and autono- mous vehicles in Chattanooga, Tenn. Another project evaluates how first responders can best use predictive analytics from sensors to issue alerts and warnings during floods. Federal agencies, including NSF and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, unveiled their own initiatives to fund smart city technolo- gies, which include NIST’s Internet of Things-Enabled Smart City Framework. “The public working group seeks to benefit from lessons learned by pioneers of smart city implementa- tions to distill a composable Smart City Framework,” a white paper on the project states. “By composable, we imply that continuous integration and improvement would be achieved through graceful addition of functions as opposed to wholesale replacement or retrofitting.” NSF, meanwhile, plans to invest $24.5 million in fiscal 2017 under the Smart and Connected Communities Program. It includes $8.5 million in awards. Unfortunately, security continues to be a concern. A new Tripwire survey of 200 IT professionals revealed that industry insiders believe an attack on smart city infrastructure is inevitable. The survey found that 78 percent of respondents think such an attack will either definitely or probably happen in 2016, and 88 percent said the attacks would pose a threat to public safety. “While smart cities offer great ef- ficiencies for their citizens, the same internet con- nectivity that enables these ef- ficiencies can be used to deliver physical damage to infrastruc- ture and also cause loss of life if accessed by malicious actors,” said Rekha Shenoy, vice president and general manager of industrial cybersecurity for Belden, Tripwire’s parent company. Robert Silvers, assistant secretary for cyber policy at the Department of Homeland Security, announced in Sep- tember that DHS is planning to release a set of principles for protecting IoT technology, according to Threatpost. It will also be a topic of conversation at the National Governors Association summit this fall. Experts point out that the IoT gives attackers more potential access points to a city’s network, possibly making attacks easier. Tim Erlin, director of IT security and risk strategy at Tripwire, echoed that concern when announcing the survey findings. “Protecting public infrastructure from cyber and physical attacks is a key con- sideration in the evolution of smart city technologies,” Erlin said. “We need to build smart cities with cybersecurity in mind, not add it as an afterthought.” • New funding — and security concerns — for smart cities BY MATT LEONARD 6 GCN OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2016 • GCN.COM To catch non-residents who want to cash in on Alaska’s oil and gas profit- return system, the state turned to an IP-based mapping and tracking tool. The state’s Permanent Fund Divi- dend program returns more than $1 billion of oil and gas profits to state residents each year, but it has been plagued by fraudulent claims. Until recently, the audit and review process was based on tips from people who reported suspicious applications or an out-of-state return address on a paper application. The Department of Revenue needed a way to make sure all applicants were Alaska residents. So when the state adopted an online applica- tion process for dividend requests, it deployed a fraud detection solution from Neustar. The company’s web-based GeoPoint IP Intelligence tool uses a central repos- itory of geographic and network con- nections to map 4 billion IP addresses worldwide. It enables Alaska officials to verify that an online applicant’s IP ad- dress is in Alaska, which makes it easier for them to investigate fraudulent ap- plications more effectively. Since the tool’s implementation, the state has seen a positive return on investment, said Anne Weske, op- erations manager for the Permanent Fund Dividend Division. She added that Neustar’s solution was quick, af- fordable and reliable. It has already identified more than 700 fraudulent applications, resulting in eight indictments, 36 civil actions and a savings of $2.6 million. “Each year we audit thousands of applications and deny hundreds of returns,” Weske said. • Preventing fraud with IP tracking BY AMANDA ZIADEH “We need to build smart cities with cybersecurity in mind, not add it as an afterthought.” — TIM ERLIN, TRIPWIRE 1116gcn_005-007.indd 6 10/6/16 11:47 AM
August and September 2016
January and February 2017