Here in 2016, things are becoming more connected. Cities and urban smart grids are no exception.
IT security firm Tripwire commissioned Dimensional Research to interview more than 200 IT pros and get their thoughts on smart grid security. According to the survey, 78 percent predicted that an urban smart grid attack would occur in the near future — before the end of 2016.
When asked if smart city initiatives are important, almost three-quarters of respondents (74 percent) answered in the affirmative. That explains why their jurisdictions have invested in such a broad array of technologies including public Wi-Fi networks (20.4 percent), surveillance cameras (17.9 percent), and public lighting (11.6 percent).
Additionally, 83 percent of survey respondents specifically mentioned public transportation services as a main point of concern. And 88 percent agreed that public safety is at risk due to an impending grid attack.
Tripwire also recently revealed that the vast majority of IT professionals — 98 percent — point to smart grids being highly vulnerable to cyber attacks.
— Tripwire, Inc. (@TripwireInc) October 23, 2016
Smart grids remain vulnerable
Despite all of these high percentages surrounding attack concerns, Tripwire and Dimensional Research found a surprising lack of urgency.
According to the study, 55 percent of respondents reported that they felt their cities were not devoting enough resources to securing smart grid components.
Stated reasons for the perceived lack of focus on smart grid security varied. Reasons included insufficient budget (32.1 percent), politics (31.6 percent), and a general lack of understanding (23.2 percent).