Risicomanagement en digitale veiligheid smart cities
Risicomanagement en digitale veiligheid smart cities

Risk management and cybersafety smart cities

Project leader
dr. Jurjen Jansen
January 2021 - December 2021

Municipalities are increasingly using smart-city applications, such as drones to detect forest fires and sensors in the road to improve traffic flow. Besides various advantages, (digital) safety of these applications is an underexposed theme. The Cybersafety research group of NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences and the Cyber Security & Safety chair of The Hague University are jointly investigating the security risks of smart city applications and looking for solutions to address them.

What is the motivation for the project?

Smart-city innovations can be used to improve the quality of life in municipalities, for example by improving the flow of traffic, collecting rubbish on time or improving surveillance. From municipal practice and scientific literature, it appears that the safety of these innovations is an underexposed aspect. When security is not sufficiently guaranteed, hackers or activists can disrupt smart city applications, with all the consequences that this entails. The legal rules of the game and the division of responsibilities are also not sufficiently clear and a point of concern in municipal organisations. This is possibly reinforced by the comprehensive and cross-domain nature of smart-city issues.

Smart cities offer enormous opportunities for innovations, but without serious attention to the security of those innovations, they will come under pressure and technological, social and therefore economic progress will suffer.

What problem does the project solve?

To determine how digitally secure smart city applications are and to provide concrete solutions to improve that security, such as design protocols and governance structures. In the case of more complex dilemmas, solutions to be worked out in more detail will be offered. This research is a first step towards conducting innovative research together with municipalities and coalitions in a domain with many technological innovations and several knowledge gaps. It is a prelude to long-term research in this relevant policy area that brings together opportunities for municipalities, entrepreneurs and citizens.

Project team

The research is carried out by the Cybersafety research group of NHL Stenden University and the Cybersecurity and Safety research group of The Hague University. On behalf of the research group Cybersafety, Jurjen Jansen, Willem Bantema and Saskia Westers worked on this research.

Project approach

Case studies (interviews, files, observations) and literature research.

Project partners

  • Professorship Cybersecurity and Safety of The Hague University of Applied Sciences
  • Municipalities and companies (Cybersprint, Hikvision and VCS Observation)
  • The Hague Security Delta