The introduction of connected intelligence into industrial settings and its integration into “smart cities” have many benefits including reduced costs in business, education, healthcare and municipal administration, enhanced service delivery, increased safety and participation of citizens. However these interconnections and technologies also pose critical risks to safety, security, and vital city functions, risks that often remain underestimated.

Like all large organizations, cities struggle with the basic capabilities and competencies related to cybersecurity of their information, systems, and services. This breakthrough group examines the potential benefits and risks posed by the integration of smart technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) into urban environments. The group also aims to explore how to increase cities’ ability to create and maintain resilience, manage risk, and maximize the benefits of technology in this new, interconnected environment. This group builds on EWI’s past work on critical infrastructure resilience and preparedness, including the use of the international information-sharing platform for sharing best practices for mitigating cyber risk to critical infrastructure.


In February 2019, the breakthrough group published a new report, Smart and Safe: Risk Reduction in Tomorrow’s Cities, which provides guidance for city executives and administrators to manage technology, and the associated risks, effectively. The guide was launched alongside the Munich Security Conference.

The guide examines key issues related to the integration of IoT and smart technologies in urban environments, and highlights best practices, standards and frameworks vital to smart city efforts. It identifies city-wide challenges and provides recommendations across four major areas: cybersecurity, cyber resilience, privacy and data protection, and collaboration and coordination in governance. The guide was developed with input from key experts at Unisys, Microsoft, Huawei Technologies and NXP Semiconductors.

In 2017, this group organized roundtables for ICT industry and city officials to discuss cyber challenges for smart cities and identified solutions. It also conducted expert interviews and engaged in national and international forums to raise awareness about IoT security and policy challenges.


This breakthrough group will conduct international outreach in cities, at civil society conferences, and with industry partners to disseminate and build on the recommendations in the guide. EWI will continue to address the implications of smart technologies and IoT, particularly in urban and industrial environments, including expanding on some elements of the guide.  

EWI Publications:

Smart and Safe: Risk Reduction in Tomorrow’s Cities

Cybersecurity Risks and Rewards: How Much Should CEOs Worry About Cybersecurity? What Should CEOs Do to Minimize Risk?

The Reliability of Global Undersea Communications Cable Infrastructure (ROGUCCI)

Priority International Communications

Related Publications:

Resource: Annotated Bibliography on the Internet of Things

CSIS Report: Managing Risk for the Internet of Things

Cybersecurity and the Internet of Things - a Law Enforcement Perspective

Fintech—A Complex Disaster in the Making