Blog: Cyber security from the ground up

Our new Associated Partner, the Town of Florence, Arizona, has recently announced a partnership with Subex, a telecom analytics solutions provider. Together they will establish an IoT security lab in Florence.

I am still amazed over the work that town manager Brent Billingsley and his colleagues are performing. Latest news is the IoT security lab they are establishing in Florence together with Subex.

The lab will serve to raise awareness on cyber security issues for citizens of Florence, lawmakers, businesses and other stakeholders and is comprised of physical and virtual devices, connected networks and systems, and subsystems that raise awareness of various aspects of cyber security. It will enable decision makers, students and city officials to get first-hand experience and learn of how cyber security works and is designed first-hand.

I really love this move, because I believe practical experience is the only way to fully understand how things work and how we need to behave to minimize risks and how to do it together. I have understood that cyber security must be a part of the project from the beginning since it is a crucial part of the whole design or solution. It isn’t something that can be added when everything else is ready. Then it would be like trying to add the eggs after the sponge cake comes out of the oven – it gets messy and never solid. I have also realized that you need to have good back up plans when things go sideways, so you can provide critical services even if the power is out or you network is down. This is hard to do but it really pays off. And it is so much easier to fix when everything is up and running, instead of trying to solve it during a crisis.

Digitalization and connectivity enable so many new things and is so disruptive towards society that it may cause insecurity, mistrust and you risk losing initiative and progress. This must be prevented and the best way to do that is to include all stakeholders in the process of developing the smart city, also citizens as Florence are doing, and encourage co-creation. Then you enable interpersonal relationships between these groups which is the basis for trust and safety, the ground pillar in society.


–Petra Dalunde, Chief Operating Officer, Urban ICT Arena

Article written by Petra Dalunde