Connectivity in the smart city

Smart Cities World January 2019:

Smart buildings and cities are becoming less of a rarity, attracting both tech-savvy entrepreneurs and established businesses.

The smart city environment fosters thriving communities, where businesses can excel and their people can work happily, achieving their full potential. More than this, they help businesses to cut costs, streamline operations and increase profit margins.

One of the key factors in today’s productive workplace is access to a fast, secure and reliable Internet connection. In fact, it is usually among the top ‘wish list’ items for prospective tenants.

Without it, productivity can decrease, communication, both external and internal, is compromised, stress ensues and profits can drop. But how can businesses be sure, when deciding upon a smart city space, that your connectivity will be all they need it to be?

Certified connectivity

According to Emma MacLeod of Hurley Palmer Flatt, a building services and engineering consultancy, connectivity certification is an increasingly sought-after element for prospective tenants.

MacLeod said: “Companies such as Wired Score and Honeywell provide systems that allow criteria to be measured, so that tenants can have an overview of a building’s connectivity, which can also be compared against others.

“This type of information can be used as part of an active marketing strategy in order to attract prospective tenants, as well as providing reassurance. Such certification allows for better understanding of performance, together with the promotion and improvement of digital infrastructure.”

Cybersecurity

Whilst good connectivity is a priority, how many businesses consider how secure their Internet connection is?

Cybersecurity certification could be helpful, given the increasing number of cyber-attacks we now see. For example, I wonder how many people stroll the corridors of a building searching out an unsecured Wi-Fi router to log on to? What if an unauthorised person gains entry to floors where they may be able to obtain access to a network: are they able to view all of the information, or have good data security and physical access systems been installed? Are all of the packets of data that are travelling around the ‘backbone’ of the network encrypted? How about a shared access communications room? Security of cable control and management systems is critical since, once on to the ‘backbone’ of a system, untold damage can be done by eavesdropping on network cabling.

It is also good practice to offer two types of Internet connection, one for those employed by the company and one for its guests. This way, the business is able to manage the areas visitors can access, protecting any sensitive information, which is particularly pertinent now given the arrival of the GDPR.

Read the full article here in Smart Cities World