For the last decade or so, communities have been claiming to be “smart”. Smart city initiatives abound around the country, and in my experience, particularly with Beehive Industries, the transformation of a city from offline to online can dramatically improve speed, efficiency, and innovation in a city environment. Omaha has been lucky to emerge as a city that has started many new initiatives – mostly outside of government – including the Hack Omaha (which has existed for nearly 5 years now) and Mind Mixer / MySidewalk (which is now located in Kansas City).
I have worked in govtech software that is built to enable the “ensmartening” of cities. Beehive Industries specifically creates a forum for handling data and making many unknown pieces of information easily digestible. At its essence, this is the basic building block of a smart city. However, these opportunities and positive aspects of smart cities also enable the dark cloud associated with hacking essential systems of a city. This type of hacking has been around and threatened for many years – but the smarter the city, the more likely that the city will be hacked.
Moreover, these systems appear at least from my limited interaction with experts to be particularly vulnerable.But, don’t take my word for it. Here are a couple of articles about recent hacks and areas where there are particular vulnerabilities.