Press Release


 European Release: Smart Cities Pose New Security Challenges and Opportunities 

Energy sector considered to be especially vulnerable to attacks, ISACA research shows

Edinburgh, Scotland (27 May 2018) — The development of smart cities across Europe presents opportunities for improved services and quality of living for residents. But where the adoption of interconnected technologies can act as an enabler to these efficiencies, this can also unearth newfound security vulnerabilities.

New ISACA research on smart cities reveals key security considerations for European smart cities. The study reveals that almost 60% of European respondents surveyed foresee infiltrating critical infrastructure at a city level as the most probable security threat faced by governments. However, only 12% of respondents are confident that their city is best equipped to respond to an incident of this nature, compared to 59% that think national government is best suited to deal with smart infrastructure attacks.

At an industry level, the energy sector was found to be most susceptible to exploitation (76%), followed by regional communications infrastructure (70%) and financial services (62%).

A disruption to city services seems the most obvious result of a security incident. However, with the deployment of malware and ransomware identified as the most concerning method of attack (71%), this indicates a potentially deeper motivation to access citizens’ personal data.

“Before our cities can be identified as being ‘smart,’ we must first and foremost transfer this smart attitude to the way we approach and govern the rollout of new technology and systems,” said Robert E Stroud, CGEIT, CRISC, past ISACA board chair and chief product officer at XebiaLabs. “Our urban centers have many potentially attractive targets for those with ill intent, so it is critical that cities make the needed investments in well-trained security professionals and in modernizing their information and technology infrastructure.”

The majority of respondents consider implementing new tools and techniques such as smart grids and artificial intelligence for cybersecurity to be important, but less than half of respondents consider those likely to be implemented in the next five years.

The need for more effective communication with residents living in a developing smart city is apparent as 81% of individuals believe there is a lack of knowledge on the benefits that smart cities bring. In the coming years, municipalities are likely to be introduced to smart weather technology, monitoring and reporting systems for parking, and monitoring sensors on infrastructure, among other advancements.

Stroud will address ISACA’s smart cities research this week as part of ISACA’s 2018 EuroCACS conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, 28-30 May. The research polled around 2,000 global respondents in February and March 2018. More information on the research and related resources can be found at


Nearing its 50th year, ISACA ( is a global association helping individuals and enterprises achieve the positive potential of technology. Today’s world is powered by technology, and ISACA equips professionals with the knowledge, credentials, education and community to advance their careers and transform their organizations. ISACA leverages the expertise of its 450,000 engaged professionals in information and cybersecurity, governance, assurance, risk and innovation, as well as its enterprise performance subsidiary, CMMI Institute, to help advance innovation through technology. ISACA has a presence in more than 188 countries, including 217 chapters worldwide and offices in both the United States and China.


Press Contacts:

Michelle Micor, +1.847.385.7217,
Jay Schwab, +1.847.660.5693,