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Moving in the Right Direction in Secure Smart Nation and Cities


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In October, SSH Communications Security joined two conferences in Singapore: GovernmentWare and Cloud Expo Asia. The hot topics at both events were around Smart Nation, aligning with cloud adoption. Singapore’s Smart Nation vision seeks to improve living, transport, healthcare, environment and business, as well as address growing urban challenges powered by ICT, networks and big data.

Smart Nation: Inspired by Smart City

  • Smart Nation expands on the Smart City concept. Cities around the world like Barcelona, New York, London and Nice, are experimenting with innovative technologies to tackle issues such as energy conservation, street lighting, waste collection and traffic light management. Singapore’s Smart Nation applies this concept across the nation. 

    For example, the Land Transport Authority of Singapore is targeting 45% savings in energy cost by replacing street lighting with LED lights on 500 roads. In the healthcare sector, several public hospitals are piloting a tele-health rehabilitation system, which transmits patient data wirelessly from sensors attached to patients’ limbs, as they perform therapy in their own homes – saving time previously taken by traveling to and waiting in hospitals, and helping to reduce load and queues in the hospitals themselves.

    As Singapore develops further into a Smart Nation, more applications, connectivity, and technologies will become increasingly cloud-based - a prerogative in order for the services, data storage, and processing capacities to scale to the needs of a nation increasingly digitizing its daily life and operations.  

    The migration of citizen, municipal, governmental and enterprise data into the cloud, combined with the explosion in the number of devices and data sources connected to the Internet, present new challenges for the IT security infrastructures and services being developed for the protection of the nation’s critical data. Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions, controlling and monitoring access to, and transfer of the critical data, need to adapt to the increasingly elastic operational environments. 

Smart Cities and Nations

Co-creating Secure IAM Platform across Smart Nation

Scaling previously siloed data processing and storage environments into a Smart Nation requires IAM solutions to evolve from the limited scopes of on-premise point-solutions to integrated platforms facilitating transfer of critical data within and between on-premise environments and private and public clouds. Such a platform needs to drive information flow effectively between environments optimised for various consolidation, processing, and publishing services. Data streams cannot be constrained by gateways and jump servers demanding interactive authorizations and staging of data, but rather need to flow securely and directly end-to-end, without gaps in security.  

IAM platforms need to be able to manage diverse types of entities producing, transmitting, collecting, processing, and accessing data. These included interactive human users (citizens, employees and public servants), machine entities (the Things of IoT), applications, and various batch file transfer, system, and service accounts). Each of these entities needs to be able to utilize the identities and access credentials optimal to their type (e.g. cryptographic keys or certificates), and authentication mechanisms, as well as access controls need to seamlessly enable both interactive user and M2M access. These platforms are optimally software-based and easily virtualised, to enable effective deployment and elastic scaling - adapting to the environments of the rapidly evolving Smart Nation. 

Gathering and analysing the data of a Smart Nation, ranging from private citizen, location, energy consumption, traffic, and other critical data categories, requires strong access controls, visibility, and oversight as to who accesses the data, as well as the over integrity of the maintenance operations executed throughout the infrastructure. Again, the entities carrying out these operations represent both interactive human administrators and operators, as well as applications and systems. Auditing and monitoring solutions need to be able to inspect the operations and data transfers invoked by these, regardless of the type, and to enable layered security controls, i.e. intrusion prevention, DLP, and malware inspection to perform their services upon the encrypted data streams that form the backbone and vital flows of a Smart Nation. 

These capabilities will be vital in building and maintaining the trust necessary for the citizens to fully live their lives, powered by their Smart Nation. SSH Communications Security’s CryptoAuditor and Universal SSH Key Manager work in the IAM space. To learn more how to implement a secure IAM platform for Smart Nation or Smart City, please contact our Regional team.

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AuthorTommi Lampila

Vice President, APACTommi serves as Vice President, APAC and is responsible for sales, business development and channel operations for the region. During his 15 years at the company, Tommi has worked as a product manager for multiple network encryption, authentication, and security management solutions.

Prior to SSH Communications Security, Tommi was an Information Management Engineer at Rautaruukki, a large Finnish steel corporation. He has an masters degree in engineering from the Tampere University of Technology, Finland and carries a CISSP certification.

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