According to leading industry analysts, cybersecurity and data security remain a key focus for cities who are deploying connected street lighting systems as part of a new or ongoing public Internet of Things (IoT) initiative. In their Global Smart Street Lighting & Smart Cities: Market Forecast (2019 – 2028), to give just one example, analysts Northeast Group identify cybersecurity as an issue for all smart infrastructure projects. This is true in many cities, including those where ownership and management of smart street lighting is migrating from the utilities—who can often draw on several years of experience protecting data, deploying firewalls, and developing effective defenses—to the municipalities, who may possess less expertise.
As connected street lighting systems proliferate and become more deeply embedded in smart city initiatives, security implementations, processes, and responsibilities become more crucial and therefore more valuable. And because connected street lighting can transform the public lighting infrastructure into a pathway for collecting data and delivering smart services that can make cities more efficient, livable, resilient, and prosperous, the need for protecting confidential data and city assets increases. Cities must ensure that their connected systems are designed with proper security measures in place, and that they are properly deployed by installers and operated by end-users.