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Towards revolutionized urban management: the impact of IoT on smart cities

© Takashi Watanabe/Unsplash

What do we mean by smart cities (or smart cities in good French) exactly ? The CNIL defines this concept as follows: “ The smart city is a new concept of urban development. This involves improving the quality of life of city dwellers by making the city more adaptive and efficient, using new technologies that rely on an ecosystem of objects and services  ”. At the basis of the functioning of these smart cities is the IoT (or Internet of Things), which consists of the interconnection of physical objects via the Internet.

However, the full integration of IoT faces significant obstacles, particularly regarding data privacy and securitypassing through the network. An article published in the journal IEEE Xplore presents the role of IoT in smart cities from different aspects. Both in terms of security, the difficulties encountered in creating sustainable environments or in exploring promising ideas that fuel the development of these cities of the future.

L&# 8217;interconnection and sustainability at the heart of smart cities

The first vision carried by the smart city concept is that of a more sustainable city, which integrates advanced technologies in order to manage its resources more optimally. The city of Copenhagen, for example, has developed several initiatives in this direction. Smart bikes that capture pollution or applications that allow users to track their transportation use and reduce their carbon footprint (Journey Insight) or reduce their energy consumption (Energy Insight).

The concept of smart city emerged in 1994, and has therefore evolved considerably since . In the beginning, a smart city was an urban entity integrating information and communication technology (ICT) into its infrastructure in order to improve the lives of citizens and the efficiency of services municipal.

Since then, the idea has expanded to include several other key concepts. Among these, the digital cities. The idea is that urban unity facilitates citizens' access to online services: electronic governance, digitalization of services municipal, etc.

We also find the concept of ubiquitous cities (U-Cities) which fully integrate IoT into urban space. These technologies collect and analyze a colossal amount of data to improve urban life. Rainwater harvesting, automation of public lighting, electricity and traffic management via technology.

A typical ubiquitous city is Songdo, South Korea, where technologies are an integral part of the urban fabric: automated waste management, air quality sensors, buildings equipped with technologies to save energy. All this contributes to much more predictive management of urban resources.

Security and confidentiality issues in the era of IoT

The main obstacle to the rapid expansion of IoT in the heart of these new cities is data security. Indeed, the more the number of objects connected to the Internet increases, the more the risks linked to cyberattacks also increase. If the smart city is certainly more sustainable than a classic city, it is on the other hand more vulnerable from an IT point of view.

C&amp ;#8217;this is why, according to researchers working on the concept of smart cities, it is important to put in place robust defense mechanisms to minimize these risks. There is no shortage of solutions.

Strong authentication, for example, is an identification and verification procedure that secures communications between devices on the network< /strong>. This often combines at least two factors: biometrics and password among others. Other types of security such as access control (who accesses what resource), intrusion detection (network monitoring to discern suspicious activity) or data protection techniques private data are already integrated into certain urban ecosystems.

The secure and interconnected future of smart cities

Of course, there is no completely tamper-proof computerized system, hence the importance that research continues in order to to strengthen security and confidentiality in this type of hyperconnected environment.

The first key area for improvement lies in improving the flexibility and mobility of connected devicesin cloud-edge fog architectures. The goal is to process the data as close as possible to where it is collected (edge). This reduces the amount of data sent to the cloud. This is where the concept of fog computing comes in, coupled with that of cloud-edge.

This is an architecture to reduce latency in data processing and improve their overall security.

In addition, it will also be important to develop protocols and systems ensuring data security specifically designed for IoT applications. These trust management servicesare absolutely essential to creating a safe ecosystem. This will involve strengthening authentications on the network, guaranteeing that stored data is secure and that sensitive data is protected using special encryption.

Progress in the field of IoT in the service of smart cities have been immense in recent years. However, these require sustained attention so that data security is not compromised. The primary idea of ​​IoT integrated into urban space being to improve the daily life of residents, exploiting it to its full potential will depend entirely on our ability to manage these data flows appropriately.

  • The smart city principle has encompassed several concepts since its emergence in 1994.
  • The main challenge of smart cities has been linked to security and data confidentiality since &# 8217;advent of the IoT as a central pillar of this concept.
  • The room for progress regarding this issue still remains quite large in order to’ harness the full potential of IoT.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116