GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Opportunities and Challenges in Internet-of-Things (IoT) deployment for Smart Cities: a GCC perspective
Paper Proposal Text :
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) possess a unique opportunity realize secure internet-of-things (IoT) applications for Government and Public Safety services. The security of IoT is considered to be of the same level of importance as Public Safety networks. This can be brought about with the approach for a unified network that allows interworking across the various public safety agencies in the GCC and deliver the economies of scale that are not possible in the niche targeted market of public safety. The number of public safety users globally are estimated to be between 10 and 20 million which compared to the regular commercial market of over 3 billion is regarded as a niche. The challenge for device manufacturers and the ecosystem of infrastructure suppliers to provide security implementations tailored to the requirements of a single nation is a substantial one. Every nation bears the burden of securing communications in a way that can protect the public infrastructure and services from cybersecurity threats that are ever evolving. However, to tailor and individualise an entire network can be hampered by budgetary constraints even at a national level. Hence a significant opportunity exists when a large group of users is formed through some level of harmonization across Government agencies that are able to cooperate in terms of security implementation. The existence of such an opportunity for smart city IoT deployment in the GCC is discussed in this paper with a special focus on LTE.
LTE as a standard and technology can deliver the IoT technology which smart cities should consider when moving in the direction of scalability, reliability and growth of public services and smart applications. The recent standardization of narrow band IoT (NB-IOT) by the 3GPP standardization body, brings reliability to the forefront with licensed wireless spectrum that is protected unlike other IoT wireless technology. For Governments to deploy IoT based applications becomes more practical as the issues related to interference faced in unlicensed wireless spectrum can be managed. Focussing on spectrum is not enough. Reliability in terms of security requires a lot more attention in the case of IoT as devices are not in possession of a user and are more vulnerable to attack. Even if physical security were to be addressed, the security threats brought about by sniffer technologies can result in severe exploits. To overcome some of the vulnerabilities more robust security implementations are required.
It could be argued that the commercial market segment of LTE can wait for security enhancements to evolve while steps to mitigate vulnerabilities are taken in the interim. However, this is a luxury the public safety world can least afford where the loss of a life in an emergency is a key performance indicator. In this paper, we discuss the security vulnerabilities of such a promising technology and present the approach to mitigate them in today through a vision of unification and cooperation of public safety agencies in the GCC. Methods of security implementation, based on the fundamentals of intelligence sharing are provided and discussed. The work in this paper establishes the economies of scale that can be leveraged by the GCC member states to secure IoT for smart cities.