Securing Smart Cities with comprehensive IoT security solution

Smart cities are rapidly becoming a reality all around the globe. Like all revolutionising innovations, smart cities are developing their own unique challenges alongside of their perks. Among the benefits of Smart cities lies a slew of security nightmares that are unmatched by any other technological development. Such large, interconnected networks of gadgets and people are bound to generate issues ranging from social surveillance to pollution to even physical security threats. Let`s get prepared to countermeasures well before towards building the resilient cities of tomorrow.

The challenges that are clouding the smart cities excitement

Man-in-the-middle: An attacker breaches, interrupts or spoofs communications between two systems.

Data & identity theft: Personal information of inhabitants may lie in the hands of cyber attacks for fraudulent transactions and identity theft as large amount data are being generated in automated system such as parking garages, EV charging stations and surveillance

Device hijacking: Smart apparatus such smart meters can be hijacked by attackers without altering its functioning. Thus without any difficulty virus like ransomware can be launched to hamper Energy Management Systems (EMS) or stealthily siphon energy from a municipality.



Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS): This is typically achieved by flooding the target with superfluous requests to prevent legitimate requests from being fulfilled. In the case of a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack), incoming traffic flooding a target originates from multiple sources, making it difficult to stop the cyber offensive by simply blocking a single source. Within smart cities, a plethora of devices, such as parking meters, can be breached and forced to join a botnet programmed to overwhelm a system by requesting a service simultaneously.

Permanent Denial of Service (PDoS): Permanent denial- of-service attacks (PDoS), also known loosely as phlashing,is an attack that damages the device so badly that it requires replacement or reinstallation of hardware. In a smart city scenario, a hijacked parking meter could also fall victim to sabotage and would have to be replaced.

Countermeasures towards building resilient cities of the future

Connected smart city devices should be protected by a comprehensive IoT security solution that does not disrupt profitability or time to market.

Firmware integrity and secure boot- Secure boot utilizes cryptographic code signing techniques, ensuring that a device only executes code generated by the device OEM or another trusted party. Use of secure boot technology prevents hackers from replacing firmware with malicious versions, thereby preventing attacks. Unfortunately, not all IoT chipsets are equipped with secure boot capabilities. In such a scenario, it is important to ensure that the IoT device can only communicate with authorized services to avoid the risk of replacing firmware with malicious instruction sets.

Mutual authenticationEvery time a smart city device connects to the network it should be authenticated prior to receiving or transmitting data. This ensures that the data originates from a legitimate device and not a fraudulent source. Secure, mutual authentication— where two entities (device and service) must prove their identity to each other—helps protect against malicious attacks.

Security monitoring and analysisCaptures data on the overall state of the system, including endpoint devices and connectivity traffic. This data is then analyzed to detect possible security violations or potential system threats. Once detected, a broad range of actions formulated in the context of an overall system security policy should be executed, such as quarantining devices based on anomalous behavior

Security lifecycle managementThe lifecycle management feature allows service providers and OEMs to control the security aspects of IoT devices when in operation. Rapid over the air (OTA) device key(s) replacement during cyber disaster recovery ensures minimal service disruption. In addition, secure device decommissioning ensures that scrapped devices will not be repurposed and exploited to connect to a service without authorization.


See through Walls with Augmented Reality in the construction industry

Augmented Reality is the most promising new technologies to be used on construction sites offering unique and exciting way to communicate design intent and to visualise virtual objects and designs in the real world. AR is gaining speed in construction as it is one industry that will clearly benefit from it. Companies implemented augmented reality are already seeing the financial benefits.

About in AR in the construction space

Augmented reality is about the incorporation of a computer-generated image on a person’s view of the real world. It provides a view of both what the world and work actually look like and what it could look like. There growing number of wearables being developed. There are numerous benefits to adopting this technology. In addition to the increased efficiencies and reduced costs, it can allow builders to stand out from the crowd when marketing their property to consumers and gain an edge over their competitors.

Imagine you are part of a crew constructing a new office building: Midway through the process, you are on-site, inspecting the installation of HVAC systems. You put on a funny-looking wearable and step out of the service elevator. Through the visor on your wearable, you pull up the Building Information Model (BIM), which is instantly projected across your field of vision. There are heating ducts, water pipes, and electrical boxes, moving and shifting with your point of view as you walk along the corridors. Peel back layers of the model to see the building’s steel structure, insulation, and material finishes. It is like having comic book–style X-ray vision—and soon, it could be a reality on a construction site with AR wearables.

This magic eyewear is a wearable augmented-reality system being developed for use in the building and construction industry. Essentially, it allows builders, engineers, and designers to wear it and experience an immersive, full-scale 3D environment.

Intelligent application fields of AR in the construction space

  • Showing Plans to Local Governments

Between building information modelling and augmented reality, architectural firms and construction companies will know how a building will fare over time. The impact of the building can be explained to officials with details. Adjustments in terms of remedial measures or preventive measures can be carried well before the impacts be it at the environmental or social level. The value of augmented reality in construction in the planning and permit stages is and will continue to be incredible.

  • Showing Plans to Clients

Clients see computer-generated images or drafts, and they might have a slightly different image or vision for what they expected.  By using augmented reality in conjunction with BIM both the architects and construction firms can truly showcase functional models to their clients. Changes and all queries can be addressed well before the construction starts and thus meeting the perfect requirement of clients in efficient time limit without the need to do adjustments after the project completion. With better client engagement in the project, there is the elimination of cost attached to readjustment after construction. It makes augmented reality in construction a major investment in reducing costs for re-work.

  • Measuring Accurately

It might sound odd, but augmented reality actually helps measure spaces more accurately. Augmented reality gear collect data on space’s height, width and depth. This means using augmented reality in construction projects incorporates all dimensions into usable models. When using augmented reality, many companies use drones to take near perfect measurements of the space. Then using a building model or computer model of the structure with an accurate measurement, project managers know what it will look like. They have accurate measurements of the equipment and other parts of the building and can see how it fits on the job site. Especially in construction, accurate measurements are crucial to work performance (labour, time and materials) and can be improved by augmented reality.

  • On the Site

The best benefit to augmented reality is the ability to see how things fit on the site. It gives project managers the tools to see how everything fits on site before parts are ordered or assembled. While most companies are using VR helmets, glasses and other wearables on the sidelines for safety, it looks as though it will soon be available to walk through the site. It helps projects managers know how the plumbing, electrical and other utilities will fit into the structure so they can plan for it.

Discover the future of cable network infrastructure; Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON)

GPON is the highest speed, longest life, lowest cost network infrastructure available in the market. Offering a genuine future‐proof access network with flexibility and upgrade capability well into the future. This high bandwidth, power saving, green technology is transforming a wide range of businesses and government agencies. Including mining accommodation camps, hotels and multi-dwelling accommodation, campus-style building layouts, retirement villages, residential and commercial developments, corporate and high rise buildings.

About GPON network

A GPON network consists of OLT (Optical Line Terminals), ONU (Optical Network Unit), and a splitter. The splitter will divide the signal when needed. The OLT takes in all of the optical signals in the form of beams of light from ONUs and will convert it to an electrical signal. OLTs normally support up to 72 ports(There are cards of 16 pon ports in use. OLT can accommodate upto 15 cards – OLT MA5600T for example) . An ONU connects to end users and will send their signals back to the OLT. A GPON network can reach up to 20 km and provide service up to 64 end users. GPON utilizes both upstream and downstream data by means of Optical Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM).

It is a network containing both active and passive elements. Active elements are in Central Office, at customer, in repeaters, switches and etc. Passive Optical Network (PON) which had no active components between CO and customer. Passive equipment has no electrical power needs, it guides the traffic signals contained within specific optical wavelengths. Voice, video and data traffic flows (triple play) can be easily implemented using different wavelengths. And particular equipment used is GPON

By using passive splitters GPON enables one single fibre to do what multiple fibres used to give the end user the ability to consolidate multiple services onto a single fibre data network. GPON is also totally scalable without the need to recable the network. Systems can be configured up to many thousands of users with multiple OLT chassis. So as usage trends evolve and end users bandwidth requirement grows, GPON enables future upgrade migration without passive Infrastructure replacement. The end result is a future-proofed, customisable, high capacity fibre network for all forms of IP based services, including CCTV & Webcam, Security Systems, Interactive Signage “PIDS”, Video on Demand, High Speed Internet, PMS Integration, High or Ultra High Definition IPTV, Access Control & Door Entry, VoIP Telephony, Traditional Analogue Telephony, Automated Minibar Systems, POS Terminals, and Wi‐Fi Access Node.

The potential in GPON

  • Fast and reliable technology

GPON’s passive optical network delivers a much higher bandwidth capacity than traditional networks, with speeds capable of exceeding the maximum NBN plan by ten times (conservatively)! The cabling has a longer life, longer reach, is less susceptible to interference, and has faster connector solutions.

  • Cost saving technology

Switching to a GPON enables many short- and long-term cost savings. GPON is the lowest cost network infrastructure available in the market, using 80% less copper and 60% less power than traditional networks. With GPON there are also reduced training, maintenance, installation and operational costs. At the same time GPON extends the lifecycle of network infrastructure. GPON fibre is also substantially lighter, affording huge cost savings for larger projects and transport of cabling.

  • Safe technology

GPON delivers greater network security with fewer interruptions to the service. Powerful security measures at the physical layer, data layer and the end user port greatly reduce or eliminate the potential for Denial of Service (DoSS), redirects or other malicious attacks.

  • Green technology

GPON technology allows businesses and government agencies to boost their Green Star Rating.  GPON systems utilise fibre optic cabling, which is made from glass that can be recycled. As well as using up to 90% less copper and up to 60% less power than traditional networks, ongoing environment benefits include the up to 90% reduction in air-conditioning requirements.

  • Space saving technology

GPON eliminates the need for multiple comms rooms full of duplicated infrastructure. And because GPON only uses one cable, instead of multiple cables, GPON technology also reduces spacial requirements for cable pathways by up to 80%.

  • Future-proofed technology

Because GPON delivers fibre to the room there is no longer a need to replace the entire network as technology evolves. The system will support advances in end user technology requirements without the need to replace or upgrade the GPON infrastructure. And recent advances in GPON technology (NGPON2 and XGSPON) means GPON can continue to exceed the bandwidth requirements of end users for the next two or three generations of technology.

  • All-round better technology

Delivering a better user experience: higher bandwidth capacity; substantial short- and long-term cost savings; safer, faster, greener, space saving and future proofed technology Gigabit Passive Optical Networks tick every box. It’s never been more important to invest in a future-proof network that supports innovation and growth…and with GPON the future of cable network infrastructure is already here.




“smart” and the Internet of Things (IoT) bring real innovation opportunities with smart parking

Smart Parking solutions are on top of mind of public officials, city information technology (IT) and innovation executives when planning smart cities. In the age of “smart” and the Internet of Things (IoT), it is easy to see why smart parking solutions are considered innovative. IoT could provide a viable, cost-effective and lasting remedy to this problem. City planners now have the technology to build smart city parking solutions for their commuters, which will result in higher quality of life for urban dwellers. Major cities around the world can install advanced IoT technology on its busiest streets and parking garages.

About Smart Parking Solution Functionalities

Sensors embedded in the ground, or cameras mounted on light poles or building structures, determine whether the parking spaces are occupied or available. This data is routed wirelessly to a gateway and relayed to a central cloud-based smart parking platform. It is aggregated with data from other sensors to create a real time parking map. Drivers use this map on their mobile phone to find parking faster and easier instead of blindly driving around searching. For parking control officers, the map directs them to where the parking violations are and improves their citation enforcement effectiveness. While smart parking solutions provide improved visibility and effectiveness for both drivers and parking enforcement officers, that is not where the real innovation lies.

The stakeholders around Smart Parking

The real value lies in the data, and when combined with data from key stakeholders (businesses, other city agencies), processes and systems, will yield real innovations that matter most.

Drivers, parking enforcement officers and agencies are the main stakeholders to be happy with solutions of Smart Parking. Parking control agencies must balance between increasing enforcement effectiveness against the perception of overzealous prosecution of parking violators and increased complaints from local businesses.

Businesses are also of concerned as parking frustrations drive some customers and potential employees to go elsewhere. This results in businesses underperforming, shutting down, or relocating.

To residents in dense urban areas, parking is a real problem for those who use their cars on a daily basis. Difficult parking situations causes people to find questionable alternative parking arrangements, park far from where they live, or choose to live in another area with more parking.

The real IoT innovation for impactful change

In spotting the real innovation opportunities with smart parking, data is collected by the sensors, and can be used along one or more of the innovation paths.

  •         Sponsored meter time extension

Smart parking solutions can be configured to notify driver that their parking meter is expiring soon, and allows them to extend the parking time through their phone and a merchant in the area is notified, pays for a 15-minute extension, and the driver is notified that the merchant paid for it.

  •         High value, high priority enforcement

Smart parking solutions can efficiently identify violators that pose potential safety risks. Cars that are illegally parked in red zones, passenger loading and unloading zones, bus stops, and handicapped zones pose a bigger disruption to traffic than a car that is five minutes past the time limit. This type of targeted enforcement allows the parking control officers to find and clear those disruptions proactively before they become a real problem.

  •         Parking incentives to drive business growth and economic development

Merchants could offset their customer’s parking costs as incentive to get them in. This is similar to parking validation programs for garage parking, but applied to metered street parking. This has the intended effect removing some of the barriers that might have prevented their customers from coming in.

  •         Efficient citywide parking space utilization

Parking control agencies can maximise the number of spaces available for drivers on any given day, turning otherwise empty spaces into revenue generating occupied spaces. Using historical parking and traffic information, parking analysts can adjust meter enforcement times, rates, and maximum parking times to fill up normally unoccupied spaces.