Cisco’s Rebecca Chisolm, Will Ash: Smart City Plans Should Include Security Architecture

Local chief information officers should consider three factors when incorporating security into the design of smart cities, Cisco Systems’ Will Ash and Rebecca Chisolm wrote in a joint guest piece published Thursday on GovTech.

Chisolm and Ash said that city officials must first engage experts in early-stage risk and baseline assessments to cover network penetrability, automation and control system issues.

A smart city plan should also include measures to secure endpoints, such as connected devices and sensors, as well as to segment different network parts to thwart potential risks, the Cisco executives noted.

They proposed implementing a strategy to manage data, devices and vulnerabilities and ensuring network visibility through threat analytics.

"By introducing a security architecture into the planning of a smart city — even if it’s only supporting a connected intersection — the most critical step to a smooth growth trajectory is made," they added.

Ash serves as senior director of security sales at Cisco's public sector business while Chisolm is the head of the company's state, local and education business development team.

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