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Locking Down Smart Cities’ Big Data

Information on cities, communities and people is being created faster than ever before in unprecedented quantities. In fact, 90 percent of all the world’s data was generated in just over the past two years. And the data created by smart cities can hold sensitive information about the people who live there.

The nature of Big Data makes it difficult to secure. In smart cities, information comes from multiple sources quickly and in large volumes. Where this data is aggregated and stored, as well as who has access to it, can present unique security challenges. The 2013 Symantec Internet Security Threat Report outlined that 22 percent of targeted cyber attacks of 2013 were toward government and energy/utility companies with 24 percent of identity breaches from healthcare institutions.

So how is Big Data being protected? InfoSphere Guardium takes the approach that to protect Big Data rests with the organizations. They look at monitoring Big Data activity and enforcing compliance with investigations to the overall security. But, “organizations” can be a loose term when discussing Smart Cities. Many aspects of a Smart City depend on a merger of the public and private sphere, therefore integrating embedded security consistently at every level will be both a challenge and a necessity. Hardware and software will need to work seamlessly to make data flow securely.

Government organizations understand this need for partnership and effortless communication. The US Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards (NIST) started a year-long challenge in August of this year to promote the growth of smart cities. The Global City Teams Challenge invites communities and innovators to come together and form teams that will look into technologies to improve the overall quality of life. Whatever solutions industry leaders, innovators, communities and governments come together to find it will be essential to create a system that can protect data and scale to meet future needs as smart cities grow.

How will Big Data protection need to change in the future? What are the largest challenges you see facing the security of Big Data?

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