Networked security structures
The topic of public safety is of immense importance in cities today and tomorrow. However, while today the term is still limited to the integrity of citizens and public infrastructure, and is closely linked to terms such as police, fire department and health care, in the future the concept of security will also extend to the protection of the newly created and interconnected communication infrastructure.
In Smart Cities public security can be classified into two categories: first, the immediate security of citizens and utilities and, secondly, the security and functionality of the all-pervading information and communication infrastructures. The advantages of a networked, city-wide communication infrastructure of course entail the risk of vulnerability with an immediate effect on essential areas of the municipal infrastructures. These infrastructures have to be protected.
Crisis prevention through communication
Information and communication technologies can assist with prevention as a key concept of the Smart City. These allow simulations of crisis situations, which not only analyze the behavior of people or traffic in public spaces, but will also test and analyze the processes within the communication networks in advance. Particularly important in crisis situations are the interfaces and control authorities of the communication infrastructure, who are tasked with ensuring that problems are solved quickly and data flows are flexibly redirected.
Prevention means in this case that the components that fill the communication infrastructure of the Smart City with content and life, are constantly controlled and that they fix problems themselves, if possible, so that they are able to react reliably in a crisis situation. In addition, the sensor networks contribute to safety: They help in case of exceptional situations to ensure that actors like the police, the fire department or the agency for technical relief can do their job as effectively and quickly as possible.
Not only in emergency and crisis situations but also in everyday situations, such as while shopping online or during virtual interactions with governmental authorities, security is of utmost importance. The security of the electronic data traffic and data protection will become more important with the expansion of eGovernment in Smart Cities. Control mechanisms as well as sophisticated identity management make the use of electronic administrative services easier for citizens without compromising security.