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As ‘smart city’ technologies like street video surveillance, emergency alert systems, automatic tolling, and gunshot detection systems continue to expand through state and local government, so does the threat of damaging consequences due to the hacking of these systems.

When state and local governments prepare to address cybersecurity concerns regarding public infrastructure, it may be helpful to consider technical vulnerabilities of the ‘smart city’ tech, the potential damage caused by a cyber attack, and how attractive the tech is to hackers.

One Route Fifty article featuring Alison Post, a professor at Berkeley, noted that technology and urban policy experts were divided in regards to whether or not the benefits of utilizing ‘smart city’ technologies outweigh the risks to privacy from possible hacking. Some of these potential damages include gridlock, increased car accidents, civil unrest, and more.

A report constructed from the poll results of cybersecurity experts revealed that some of the riskiest ‘smart city’ technologies are emergency alert systems, video surveillance units, and automated traffic signals. This increased risk stems from being an attractive target for cyber criminals as well as from having devastating consequences if hacked.

The report indicated that automatic tolling, open public transit data, gunshot detection systems, and water consumption tracking posed more moderate risks and high-tech waste collection bins, recycling systems, and water leak detection systems were the least risky tech devices.

However, experts admitted that the cybersecurity efforts governments may already be implementing to prevent cyber attacks were not taken into consideration. Vetted suppliers of cybersecurity in the public sector and government opportunities for suppliers in cybersecurity and emerging technology are available through GovShop, a platform that connects government buyers and suppliers through Big Data and AI.