London

Growing London’s digital economy through cyber security

By: Gordon Morrison, Director of Government Relations at Intel Security
Published: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - 13:43 GMT Jump to Comments

The recent launch of The Mayoral Tech Manifesto 2016 on London’s digital future, sets out a clear agenda for the capital’s potential for innovation in everything from infrastructure to the improvement of public services.

The next Mayor of London will have the privilege of leading a premier capital city, famous for its entrepreneurial spirit, business culture and its tech expertise. But the Mayor will also have the difficult task of overseeing the capital’s rapid journey of digital transformation.

Big data, big problems

London has always been a hub of innovation and hive of creativity, but the rise of tech trends such as Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT) offers potentially unlimited opportunity to make the city faster and more exciting than ever before.

Gartner has predicted that this year smart cities around the world will use at least 1.6 billion devices, helping to reduce energy costs and improve building maintenance. This will only increase in the future, meaning billions more sensors, connected devices and massively increased data exchange between cars, companies and people. This will mean smoother transport systems, less congested roads, and instant access information for businesses and visitors.

It can allow the introduction of paperless, digital healthcare that helps save lives and improve patient care conditions. It can enable faster online transactions and the smooth flow of goods and services in and around the city to save time and money. It can also be attractive to global investors who are looking to open up offices in cities equipped with the IT infrastructure fit for the future.

Whilst London is without doubt a commercially successful and increasingly connected city, that status also makes it a target for fraudsters and cyber criminals. Increased connectivity through multiple devices inevitably brings with it serious challenges around security issues. The more IoT devices that appear on London’s networks, the more targets hackers have to try and exploit.

Whilst acting as an enabler for innovation, IoT is also set to cause new challenges for IT directors in the future. Gartner has recently predicted that by 2020, addressing compromises in IoT security will increase security costs by up to 20 per cent of annual budgets. Happily these challenges can be addressed if the right technology, policies and partnerships are put in place.

Secure by default

The challenge of securing the IoT-enabled world is only part of the problem. A fundamental issue around business confidence in the connected world exists that cannot be addressed without a coherent strategy for London as a whole.

That’s why at Intel Security we are continually exploring and analysing the best ways to ensure cyber security best practice sits at the heart of technology innovation. It’s not enough for vendors to build and deploy devices first and consider the serious security consequences after.

Security breeds innovation

With so many recent high profile hacks, companies should be prioritising securing at the very core of all product and service development. The ability to deliver secure services and products should soon become a point of differentiation for customers, with protection built in instead of being bolted on as an afterthought.

There is also a much wider economic case for securing London’s digital future and that can be found in the confidence which secure systems and services can bring to the city. The confidence for entrepreneurs to launch a new online business, to build devices that run on an IoT network or an app for the latest connected car.

London’s confidence in an ever-connected world will be key to accelerating innovation. That’s why a good cyber security strategy can help grow the economy, and give our city the assuredness it needs to succeed in the hyper-competitive connected world.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Information Daily, its parent company or any associated businesses.

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