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Using the Internet of Things to build smarter, more secure cities

By PATRICK STEPHENSON , BRUSSELS – The most direct link that most European citizens have with their governments are through their municipal authorities. But often, confusing bureaucratic procedures and delayed responses from police and crisis-response services can strain relations between burghers and burgomasters. What if emerging IT technologies could improve municipal services through complete transparency — showing every centime spent for every service — while driving down costs and improving security services in moments of crisis?

At the Eighth Annual Internet of Things conference, officials from two cities described how they’re using Internet of Things (IoT) technology to make their citizens safer, while building trust and improving local accountability. The cities are…

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By PATRICK STEPHENSON, with BROOKS TIGNER, BRUSSELS – Among the measures included in European Commission’s cybersecurity package, adopted on 13 September 2017, is the goal of transforming the European Union Agency for Information Security (ENISA) into a new cybersecurity agency. The Commission is also pushing researchers to study new ways to tackle Europe’s burgeoning cybercrime threats. The need is great, to say the least. According to the EU, ransomware attacks increased by 300 per cent between 2015 and 2017, and may increase four-fold again by 2019. One of the workshops during the 6 December meeting of the Commission’s “Community of Users” (CoU) of security research stakeholders (see related article in this issue) focused on cybercrime, several related research projects and the eye-raising statistics that confront authorities in their efforts to combat it. As Michele Socco of the Commission’s home affairs directorate-generale (DG HOME) told the workshop, “65 percent of digital evidence is...