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DHS S&T Driving Cybersecurity Message to Smart Cities

Release Date: October 16, 2017

During National Cybersecurity Awareness Month—and throughout 2017 and 2018—the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is partnering with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to boost the cyber-protections of cyber-physical systems (CPS) and internet of things (IoT) connected devices.

Under Secretary (Acting) for Science and Technology William Bryan
Under Secretary (Acting) for
Science and Technology
William Bryan

Specifically, S&T is working closely with NIST in the 2017-2018 Global Cities Team Challenge on the emerging efforts of so-called “smart cities.”

CPS and IoT smart devices increasingly enable cities and communities to improve services, promote economic growth and enhance quality of life. At the same time, most CPS and IoT devices have come to the marketplace without the security architectures and measures needed for smart cities to operate securely and well over the long-term.

Launched in 2014, the GCTC helps communities partner with innovators who use networked technologies to solve problems—ranging from mass-transit improvement to energy management to disaster response. GCTC has recruited and incubated more than 160 action clusters and the participation of more than 150 cities and 400 companies/organizations around the world.

The new DHS S&T-NIST “Smart and Secure Cities and Communities Challenge” (SC3) encourages GCTC participants to adopt designed-in cybersecurity for “smart city” systems that are more secure, reliable, resilient and protective of privacy. The two agencies are bringing together communities, innovators and businesses to encourage collaboration on improving the cybersecurity of their connected smart-city systems.

For its part, S&T’s Cyber Security Division (CSD), a division of the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency, is encouraging and promoting the development, adoption and implementation of cybersecurity protections within smart-city environments and helping DHS S&T-funded programs and performers bring their solutions into the GCTC.

The SC3 initiative encourages the active participation of prominent companies in the smart cities ecosystem and already has commitments from AT&T, Verizon and Motorola Solutions.

Under the GCTC umbrella, companies and cities will work together voluntarily, without formal requirements. Recognizing its importance, SC3 will encourage teams to treat cybersecurity and privacy as a first-order consideration in designing and implementing smart-city applications.

Through SC3, S&T’s CSD will also encourage innovators from the cybersecurity industry and research community to teach cities, communities and GCTC teams about the cyber challenge and help them successfully address cybersecurity and privacy.

The new phase of the GCTC was announced in August in Washington, D.C. at the 2017 GCTC Expo. The event brought together more than 100 teams from around the world to exhibit their smart-city projects and showcase the benefits to their communities. CSD provided an opening workshop to introduce the SC3 challenge.

I invite you to learn more about CPS, auto cybersecurity and this joint S&T-NIST initiative by joining our October 24 Tech Talk. You will gain insight about the critical cybersecurity and safety concerns of automobiles and CPS and IoT devices and how CSD is addressing these pressing issues.

Last Updated: 01/12/2023
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