StateTech Magazine - Technology Solutions That Drive Government en New York City’s Child Protective Staff Tap Tablets to Better Manage Investigations <span>New York City’s Child Protective Staff Tap Tablets to Better Manage Investigations</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Fri, 11/16/2018 - 07:19</span> <div><p>In 2017, child abuse investigators in New York City investigated <strong>60,000</strong> reports of child abuse and neglect. Now, as they go on tens of thousands of visits to homes, schools, doctors’ offices, shelters and other locations to investigate allegations and interview witnesses, they will have a powerful technology tool to help them. </p> <p>The city <a href="" target="_blank">announced in late October</a> that all of its <strong>more than 2,000 frontline child protective staff </strong>in its A<a href="" target="_blank">dministration for Children’s Services</a> have been provided with <a href="" target="_blank">Microsoft Surface Pro tablets</a>. </p> <p>New York said the tablets will give investigators greater access to critical documents and case histories <strong>while they are out in the field</strong>. The tablets are also equipped with new software that will, among other things, <strong>“automatically identify and flag high-risk cases that need additional review by managerial staff,” </strong>the city says. </p> <p>The tablets and software are elements of a much broader effort to use technology to strengthen ACS’ work that ACS Commissioner David Hansell has put in place over the last year and a half.</p> <p>“Our frontline child protective workers are first responders for New York City’s children, and we have to make sure they have every tool available to do their lifesaving work,” Hansell said in a statement. “Whether it’s making the difficult decision to remove a child from a dangerous home or referring a family to substance abuse treatment, these technological upgrades will mean they will have the tools they need to serve children and families right at their fingertips.” </p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM STATETECH:</strong> Find out how Hawaii reaps the benefits of going paperless! </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">How Surface Pro Tablets and Software Will Aid Investigators</h2> <p>As part of the child protective specialists’ work, they must take case notes, track active cases and access a family’s prior child welfare history, the city notes. However, until now, they have had to keep paper records or get to an office to search databases or pull up records, which costs them critical time in sensitive investigations. </p> <p>The Surface Pro devices, which are equipped with high-speed internet connections, will allow investigators to “access the state’s child-welfare database in the field, so that they can <strong>immediately see a family’s past history with ACS and other relevant data</strong>,” the city says. </p> <p>Each tablet also features <a href=";searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">Microsoft OneNote</a>, which provides speech-to-text technology as well as the opportunity for caseworkers to handwrite notes using a stylus. These tools will allow investigators to<strong> type their case notes while out in the field and complete reports more quickly</strong>. </p> <p>Additionally, ACS launched a new <a href="" target="_blank">Safe Measures Dashboard</a>, which <strong>gives caseworkers, supervisors and other staff a streamlined overview of case detail</strong>s. Safe Measures provides workers with a calendar of tasks and deadlines in cases, tracks interviews that were conducted or are still outstanding and prioritizes workloads. Safe Measures also allows supervisors to view caseworkers’ workloads and progress, the city says. A total of<strong> 2,628 ACS workers </strong>have been trained to use the SafeMeasures dashboard on the Surface Pro.</p> <p>“Carrying tablets with these apps and software helps us prioritize our work and complete investigations faster and more efficiently,” Eric Blackwood, a child protective specialist in Brooklyn who was part of the initial pilot phase before tablets were given to all caseworkers, said in a statement. </p> <p>“We can get much more information about families while we’re in the field, we can organize our interview schedules and we can record critical notes in real time,” he added. “This technology <strong>makes us better prepared for the increase in investigations we’re seeing during back-to-school season</strong>.” </p> <p>According to the city’s statement, ACS previously expanded the use of smartphones for frontline caseworkers, developed a new case assignment system to manage workloads more effectively and provided CPS with <a href="" target="_blank">Zipcar Local Motion Technology</a>, which lets frontline workers immediately find and reserve Zipcars online so that they can more quickly respond to possible child abuse and neglect cases.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="" target="_blank"><img alt="ModernWorkforce_IR_700x220_theoffice.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></a></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/phil-goldstein"><img src="/sites/" width="58" height="58" alt="Phil Goldstein" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/phil-goldstein"> <div>Phil Goldstein</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href=";screen_name=philgoldstein&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Phil Goldstein is a web editor for <em>FedTech</em> and <em>BizTech</em>. Besides keeping up with the latest in technology trends, he is also an avid lover of the New York Yankees, poetry, photography, traveling and escaping humidity.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Fri, 16 Nov 2018 12:19:19 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 41801 at The Network Infrastructure Needed to Keep Cities Smart and Safe <span>The Network Infrastructure Needed to Keep Cities Smart and Safe</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Wed, 11/14/2018 - 16:25</span> <div><p><a href="">As cities get smarter</a> and more locales deploy Internet of Things sensors across the urban landscape, they install more devices capable of providing critical data on transportation and utilities systems.</p> <p>However, these IoT sensors are not just there to collect data so city governments can analyze it and improve citizen services, though that is <a href="">a critical function of smart cities</a>.</p> <p>Those devices must <strong>communicate status and the data collected back to command centers</strong> via satellite, microwave or 3G and 4G (<a href="">and soon, 5G</a>) wireless networks. Those networks carry critical data from the edge to cities’ data centers. First responders and emergency management officials in cities need<strong> timely access to this data in the event of natural disasters or other crises</strong>. </p> <p>For cities and towns to be smart, resilient and secure, they need strong network infrastructures that can withstand catastrophes or be reconstituted quickly if there is a service interruption. The <a href="">First Responder Network Authority</a> can be a critical partner for cities and their law enforcement or first responder agencies. <strong>FirstNet</strong>, which oversees the nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network, can help cities <strong>make crucial networks functional again after disasters</strong>. </p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/11301"><img src="/sites/" width="58" height="58" alt="Houston Thomas III" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/taxonomy/term/11301"> <div>Houston Thomas III</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>In his role as Senior Business Development Strategist and Public Safety Senior Strategist, Houston Thomas III manages the architect and engineering process for large-scale integration projects involving public safety agencies. He provides subject matter expertise to CDW•G law enforcement customers with respect to digital intelligence and evidence management.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 14 Nov 2018 21:25:57 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 41796 at Opelika, Ala., Uses IoT to Solve Real-World Problems for Residents <span>Opelika, Ala., Uses IoT to Solve Real-World Problems for Residents </span> <div><p>When smart cities come to mind, one often thinks of large metropolises like New York City, Chicago or San Francisco. What about Opelika, Ala.? The city of roughly 30,000 is a leader in what most people would call smart solutions, with connected LED streetlights, sensors that detect gas leaks, a network built specifically to support Internet of Things use cases, and a public parking app in the works. Opelika has not deployed IoT technology for its own sake, but rather to enhance citizen services and solve real-world problems for residents. </p> <p>For more on Opelika's technology journey, check out our feature, “<a href="" target="_blank">Successful Smart City Projects Emphasize Citizen Rewards Now, Growth for Future</a>.”</p> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Wed, 11/14/2018 - 08:50</span> <div> <div>Tweet text</div> <div>Discover why @Opelika_Alabama is on the leading edge of practical #smartcity solutions, and how it uses #IoT to make life better for its 30,000 residents. #smartcities </div> </div> <div> <div>Video ID</div> <div><p>1977055591</p> </div> </div> <div> <div>CDW Activity ID</div> <div><p>MKT25519 </p> </div> </div> <div> <div>CDW VV2 Strategy</div> <div>Data Center</div> </div> <div> <div>CDW Segment</div> <div>State &amp; Local</div> </div> <div> <div>Customer Focused</div> <div>True</div> </div> <div> <div>Buying Cycle</div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/7451" hreflang="en">Nurture</a></div> </div> <div class="pw-widget pw-size-medium pw-layout-vertical" data-layout="vertical" data-url="" data-title="Discover why @Opelika_Alabama is on the leading edge of practical #smartcity solutions, and how it uses #IoT to make life better for its 30,000 residents. #smartcities" data-via="StateTech" data-button-background="none"> <span> <span>Nov</span> <span>14</span> <span>2018</span> </span> <a class="pw-button-twitter cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-facebook cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-linkedin cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-reddit cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-flipboard cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-email cdw-taboola-social"></a> <!-- Pinterest button is in EdTechk12 theme's vertical template --> </div> <div class="pw-widget pw-size-medium pw-layout-horizontal" data-url="" data-title="Discover why @Opelika_Alabama is on the leading edge of practical #smartcity solutions, and how it uses #IoT to make life better for its 30,000 residents. #smartcities" data-via="StateTech" data-button-background="none"> <div> <a class="pw-button-twitter"></a> <span class="pw-box-counter" pw:channel="twitter"></span> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-facebook"></a> <span class="pw-box-counter" pw:channel="facebook"></span> </div> </div> <div class="pw-widget pw-size-medium pw-layout-horizontal" data-counter="true" data-url="" data-title="Discover why @Opelika_Alabama is on the leading edge of practical #smartcity solutions, and how it uses #IoT to make life better for its 30,000 residents. #smartcities" data-via="StateTech" data-button-background="none"> <div> <a class="pw-button-twitter cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a href=";" target="_blank"><span class="pw-box-counter cdw-taboola" data-channel="twitter"></span></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-facebook cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-linkedin cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-reddit cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-flipboard cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-email cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <!-- Pinterest button is in EdTechk12 theme's horizontal template --> </div> <div> <div>Pull Quote</div> <div> <p class="quote"><a href="node/"> We have the same problems big cities do, it&#039;s just at a different scale. You can solve those problems, it just takes a little imagination. </a></p> <img src="/sites/" width="60" height="60" alt="Stephen Dawe, CTO, Opelika, Ala. " typeof="foaf:Image" /> <p class='speaker'> <span>Stephen Dawe</span> CTO, Opelika, Ala. </p> </div> </div> Wed, 14 Nov 2018 13:50:19 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 41791 at North Dakota CIO Presses for Expanded Cybersecurity Resources <span>North Dakota CIO Presses for Expanded Cybersecurity Resources</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Tue, 11/13/2018 - 13:01</span> <div><p>Over a recent six-month period, North Dakota’s IT systems and networks experienced <strong>34 million</strong> vulnerability attacks directed at software, <strong>3.3 million</strong> denial of service attacks and <strong>88 million</strong> spam or phishing emails.</p> <p>All of those attacks were repelled, <a href="" target="_blank">according to local TV station KFRY-TV</a>, but the state’s cybersecurity efforts are coming under strain due to budget cuts. </p> <p>North Dakota Information Technology Department (ITD) CIO Shawn Riley in September told a bipartisan group of state lawmakers that his agency will <strong>ask for more than $11 million in software upgrades and 37 additional cybersecurity experts</strong> in the next two-year budget, <a href="" target="_blank">according to the Associated Press</a>.</p> <p><strong>The state employs only 11 cybersecurity experts now</strong>, Riley said, according to the AP. The additional personnel are needed to counter a threat landscape that is growing increasingly complex. “We have a huge challenge in front of us,” Riley told lawmakers.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM STATETECH: </strong>Find out how state IT leaders can enhance security through federal frameworks! </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">North Dakota Faces Cyberchallenges and Budget Cuts</h2> <p>North Dakota’s cybersecurity defenses are rated as average. An internal review revealed that on a scale of 0 to 5, the state’s security ranks <strong>a very average 1.2</strong>. “1.2 out of 5 is not where we want to be, but it’s not like we’re undefended. We’re very, very defended, but do we need to be vastly better at our process? Absolutely,” Riley said, according to KFRY-TV. </p> <p>Enhancing cybersecurity defenses will require an investment of about <strong>$20 million</strong>, according to Riley, but the state IT agency is already facing an <strong>$18 million</strong> funding cut to meet Gov. Doug Burgum’s budget recommendations. Riley estimated the cost of additional cybersecurity experts would be about $12 million in salary and benefits annually, according to the AP. </p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">StateScoop adds</a>: “ITD itself already has plans to cut $77 million of its existing $245 million budget, <strong>a 31 percent reduction</strong> that will result in a loss of 17 of the agency’s 344 employees.”</p> <p>“If we absorb an $18 million cut, can we do our job? We can absolutely do our job,” Riley said, according to KFRY-TV. “Do we have to prioritize differently? We certainly do. Do we have to take on projects differently? We certainly do.”</p> <p>ITD has turned to public-private partnerships to help fill positions. In July, the state <a href="" target="_blank">announced a partnership</a> between <a href="" target="_blank">Palo Alto Networks</a> and higher education institutions in the state to expand cybereducation at all levels. </p> <p>Democratic State Sen. Larry Robinson, of Valley City, N.D., said he thinks the state legislature should fulfill Riley’s request when it reconvenes in January<strong>. “I think we need to step up to the plate here,” </strong>Robinson said, according to the AP. “It’s wrong if we ignore it.”</p> <p>“If we're going to step to the plate and address the cybersecurity issue, it’s going to come with a price tag,” he added, KFRY-TV reports. Riley said ITD will push for additional legislation to help the cybersecurity education program and increase cyberdefense resources, the station notes.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="" id="" rel="" target="_blank" title=""><img alt="Cybersecurity_IR_stayprotected_700x220%20(1).jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="" /></a></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/phil-goldstein"><img src="/sites/" width="58" height="58" alt="Phil Goldstein" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/phil-goldstein"> <div>Phil Goldstein</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href=";screen_name=philgoldstein&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Phil Goldstein is a web editor for <em>FedTech</em> and <em>BizTech</em>. Besides keeping up with the latest in technology trends, he is also an avid lover of the New York Yankees, poetry, photography, traveling and escaping humidity.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Tue, 13 Nov 2018 18:01:19 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 41786 at How Technology Can Be a Tool for Civic Engagement <span>How Technology Can Be a Tool for Civic Engagement</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Tue, 11/13/2018 - 10:51</span> <div><p>As the world becomes increasingly connected, innovation is empowering more people than ever to contribute to their communities — whether that means volunteering for a local cause, working with municipal government to solve an important issue, or voicing opinions on key public planning matters.</p> <p>Indeed, cities across the U.S. and throughout the world are <strong>taking advantage of emerging technologies for sharing, tracking and visualizing data </strong>that will help mobilize their citizenry. </p> <p>In Louisville, Ky., residents in one of the city’s lowest-income neighborhoods can stroll down to their local community center for free high-speed internet access, <strong>digital literacy training </strong><strong>and</strong><strong> assistance in the development of tech and entrepreneurship skills</strong>. In tandem with the <a href="" target="_blank">PNC Gigabit Experience Center</a>, Louisville also initiated a <a href="" target="_blank">Digital Inclusion Plan</a> aimed at helping citizens obtain the skills and tools needed to earn degrees, find jobs and contribute to the overall welfare of the city.</p> <p>In Austin, Texas, the public housing authority offers a program called <a href="" target="_blank">Smart Work, Learn, Play</a>, which aims to connect underserved communities with various opportunities by <strong>increasing their ability to use online public services, particularly transportation.</strong> Austin built on a digital inclusion program that seeks to put an internet connection, digital literacy training and computers in every housing authority home. The new program involves a housing authority nonprofit subsidiary, Austin Pathways, which has recruited “mobility ambassadors” to encourage low-income residents to be more engaged citizens.</p> <p>The city of Raleigh, N.C., is also utilizing technology to further civic engagement through <a href="" target="_blank">InVision Raleigh</a>, a web-based 3D tool <strong>allowing citizens to visualize and interact with proposed changes in the city</strong>. Using a solution from <a href="" target="_blank">Esri</a>, a geospatial company, the city provides government staff and the public with location-based data that can be viewed online or downloaded as detailed custom maps, including buildings, parks and zoning.</p> <p>What these three efforts have in common is the objective to use civic technology, or CivTech, to improve the lives of citizens and provide them with the means to get involved in their local communities. CivTech <a href="" target="_blank">can be defined</a> as “the development and/or use of technology that enables the engagement or increased public participation in improving government infrastructure and enhancing citizen communications or opportunities.” CivTech is being used in myriad ways throughout the country. </p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM STATETECH: </strong>Find out why these eight smart cities are ones to watch! </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">CivTech Tackles Citizen Concerns with Data Analytics</h2> <p>According to <a href="" target="_blank">a Governing Institute, Accenture and Salesforce survey</a> of 2,000 citizens, <strong>43 percent</strong> of respondents had complaints about the quality of their city or county infrastructure, but <strong>only 26 percent</strong> said they ever contacted government agencies for help with potholes, graffiti, broken sidewalks, derelict buildings or other problems. When investigating this discrepancy, citizens cited insufficient information, having to rely on others to get the job done and lack of time as top barriers to getting engaged.</p> <p>When properly deployed, CivTech addresses these barriers by providing government agencies with <strong>a user-friendly, one-stop-shop online for sharing information with citizens about key issues</strong> facing their neighborhoods while enabling residents to log their thoughts, concerns or complaints.</p> <p>Most cities today are starting to address such needs by creating dynamic web and social media sites people can access from connected devices. A few are even taking it to the next level with more advanced innovation, such as data analytics, virtual digital assistants and blockchain. </p> <p>In the digital age, with nearly everything connected, there is <strong>massive</strong><strong> opportunity for state and local government agencies to collect, aggregate, cleanse and analyze data</strong> to better understand the needs of their citizens. Data analytics are taking off in the business world, and it is only a matter of time before that happens in the public sector as well. </p> <p>New York City, for example, already has a Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics, or <a href="" target="_blank">MODA</a>. City leaders use it to accumulate and analyze data from various city agencies to effectively address crime, public safety and quality of life issues. Analytics tools enable the city to strategically prioritize risk, deliver services more efficiently, enforce the law and increase transparency with citizens, who can access all of this data online. </p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM STATETECH: </strong>Discover the key trends in smart cities technology via our smart cities content hub! </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">Virtual Digital Assistants Serve as Hubs for Everything</h2> <p>Many of us know Alexa, the virtual digital assistant residing on <a href=";searchscope=all&amp;sr=1&amp;ln=0&amp;b=AMA" target="_blank">Amazon devices</a>. It can read us the news or weather, make a phone call, play music and even order a pizza. But in Louisville, the city is using it as <strong>a central hub for delivering important information to its users</strong>.</p> <p>Through its <a href="" target="_blank">Smart Louisville</a> program, the city is an early adopter of a free web-based service called If This, Then That, or <a href="" target="_blank">IFTTT</a>, which acts as a middleman between apps and hardware that might not otherwise talk to one another. With IFTTT, users can trigger various conditional commands, or applets, to<strong> keep citizens alerted about important civic events and opportunities affecting their lives</strong>.</p> <p>For example, Louisville might have an applet you can subscribe to where if there is a flood in town, then an emergency alert would be sent to that Alexa device, car stereo or designated device. Or if <a href="" target="_blank">Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher’s podcast</a> is updated, then you would receive a notification on that social media site you care about. This type of technology is increasingly connecting citizens to need-to-know, personally curated information.</p> <h2 id="toc_2">Blockchain Makes Data Available to Those Who Need It</h2> <p>Blockchain is currently being deployed by the city of Austin, which is <a href="" target="_blank">piloting a program with homeless residents</a>, who will be <a href="" target="_blank">given a unique identifier </a>securely recorded on the blockchain. The homeless residents can use this identifier to consolidate their records and <strong>gain access to vital city services</strong>. </p> <p>At the same time, authorized agency employees can <strong>access these records to deliver the necessary services appropriately</strong>. At a municipal level, blockchain can also help create smart networks and grids to enable various civic engagement functions, such as secure online voting or volunteering for the fire department. </p> <p>Today, there are an ever-increasing number of opportunities for government agencies to apply digital technology in ways that will mobilize citizens to get involved in civic affairs. Web and social media sites are a decent place to start, but they are just table stakes. </p> <p>To truly make a difference, state and local governments should <strong>speak to their citizens and understand what type of technologies they would use, then invest in those that are worthwhile</strong>. With the return of getting more people engaged in civic life, these investments are well worth the cost.</p> <p> </p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1%20(1).jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="" /></a></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/11746"><img src="/sites/" width="58" height="58" alt="Tommy Gardner " typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/taxonomy/term/11746"> <div>Tommy Gardner </div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href=";screen_name=tommygardnerhp&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Tommy Gardner is CTO for HP Federal, spanning the U.S. federal agencies, higher education, K¬–12 education, state and local government customer segments, as well as federal systems integrators. His responsibilities include technology leadership, strategic technology plans, product and technology strategies and customer and partner relationships.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Tue, 13 Nov 2018 15:51:06 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 41781 at How Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostic Tools Can Help Track Smart City IoT Devices <span>How Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostic Tools Can Help Track Smart City IoT Devices</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Fri, 11/09/2018 - 08:05</span> <div><p>Cities that are undertaking smart city projects can turn to a class of tools to help them monitor Internet of Things smart city device traffic and maintain optimal network performance. These solutions fall under the heading of <strong>network performance monitoring and diagnostic tools</strong>. <a href="" target="_blank">As a CDW article notes</a>, <strong>NPMD tools</strong> “can play a crucial role in minimizing downtime, maximizing cost savings and delivering a satisfying experience for end users.”</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Gartner notes</a> that NPMD tools allow IT operations and network managers to “understand the performance of applications, the network and infrastructure components via network instrumentation.” The tools offer IT pros in city governments <strong>“insight into the quality of </strong><strong>end user</strong><strong> experience.”</strong></p> <p><strong>NPMD tools</strong> not only can monitor the network components to “facilitate outage and degradation resolution, but also to <strong>identify performance optimization opportunities.</strong> This is conducted via diagnostics, analytics and debugging capabilities to complement additional monitoring of today’s complex IT environments.”</p> <p>There are <a href="">a lot of things that become “smart” in a smart city,</a> including parking spots, streetlights, buildings, traffic signals and more. Smart city initiatives will attract technology investments of more than <strong>$81 billion</strong> globally in 2018, and spending is set to grow to <strong>$158 billion </strong>in 2022, <a href="" target="_blank">according to IDC</a>. </p> <p>Research firm <a href=" All of those connected devices" target="_blank">IHS Markit expects</a> the smart city market will accelerate in 2018, with smart city device shipments eventually surpassing<strong> 2 billion </strong>by 2030. All of those devices, sensors and connections lead to increases in network traffic for cities. That traffic can degrade existing networks and connections.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM STATETECH: </strong>Find out why these eight smart cities are ones to watch! </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">How IoT Smart City Devices Increase Network Traffic</h2> <p>Sensors, IP-connected cameras and other smart city devices <strong>add traffic to city networks of varying sizes</strong>, says Greg Schulz, an independent analyst and founder of StorageIO. These traffic streams can range from numerous, small bits of information that are collected and transmitted regularly from sensors to large video streams from internet-connected surveillance cameras. How that affects the network depends largely on how well the network is segmented, both physically and with <a href="" target="_blank">virtual local area networks</a> for workload isolation, traffic isolation and quality of services, Schulz says.</p> <p>How IoT devices affect a city network also depends on how the existing network is running, whether its hardwired, wireless or some other kind of configuration. City IT managers need to consider how adding traffic, independent of IoT devices, would affect their network, Schulz says. That will lead them to consider how the network is physically and logically engineered.</p> <p>Then, city network engineers and managers need to <strong>think through how IoT devices will access and use the network</strong>. That includes whether IoT devices will merely be collecting data and sending it back to a cloud or data center, or whether the network will be used to actively control IoT devices deployed around the city. </p> <p>“Is it going to be used for collecting video streams?” Schulz says. “Or configuring, managing, monitoring via an IoT hub, but also used for IoT collection and dispersion activities?” </p> <p>Cities also need to <strong>consider their existing supervisory control and data acquisition systems</strong> that control waterworks, gas, electric and other industrial systems in public utilities. SCADA systems are the precursors to IoT systems, Schulz notes, but are generally more protected, isolated and hardened. “Are those being thought of as part of a broader IoT network?” he says.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM STATETECH: </strong>Discover the key trends in smart cities technology via our smart cities content hub! </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">How NPMD Tools Can Help Monitor IoT Device Traffic</h2> <p>Network performance monitoring and diagnostic tools<strong> give city network managers a baseline for network traffic </strong>so they can determine if something is anomalous. </p> <p>“It tells you what normal is so that when something unusual occurs in terms of network performance or activities, you have something to measure it against,” <a href="" target="_blank">says</a> Destiny Bertucci, “head geek” for network monitoring at <a href=";ctlgfilter=&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">SolarWinds</a>.</p> <p><strong>NPMD tools</strong> alert network admins to a variety of issues so that they can <strong>quickly isolate issues and resolve them, minimizing network downtime</strong>. “Ideally, the network monitoring solution should allow the network administrator to be much more proactive than reactive, providing the end user with a much more reliable and efficient network,” says Mark Amick, senior product consultant at <a href=";searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">Ipswitch</a>. “The best end user experience is where the end user never thinks about their network — it just always works reliably.”</p> <p><strong>NPMD tools</strong> can tell network admins things as simple as the health of a network and the devices running on it, the utilization of the network and how much bandwidth is being taken up by certain devices, according to Schulz. They can also point to where access points are congested and where bottlenecks and faults are in the network. And they provide an overview of network performance — for example, the network may not be overloaded, but it is slow for all users.</p> <p>NPMD tools allow admins to quickly isolate those problems and determine, for example, that city officials may be testing new IoT devices that are “clobbering” the network, Schulz adds. </p> <p>Additionally, NPMD tools can be <strong>placed in the traditional physical layer of networks</strong>, around switches and routers, but can also be placed a layer up in the logical part of the network, as well as another layer up to<strong> look at the workloads running on the network</strong>.</p> <p>“Part of the role here is that whoever is working with these tools is able to move up from the traditional network and start looking at the workloads or the organization that is being facilitated by the network,” Schulz says. </p> <p>“There are some tools that look up and down the stacks and layers,” he adds. “Some tools can only look down at the actual switches, the routers or the network services. Some look up at a logical layer. Some look up at the application layer.”</p> <p>At their best, performance monitoring tools can allow network admins to isolate problems down to the actual devices in specific locations or rooms that are causing network issues. They also tell admins the type of errors that are occurring, such as dropped packets. That way, network operations staff members can intervene or hand off the issue to other IT team members.</p> <p>Schulz says ultimately, the goal is <strong>“having enough information to avoid flying blind so that you can go and find what the real problem is,”</strong> as opposed to trying numerous fixes while complaints about network performance flood into network operations centers. </p> <p>Network administrators will typically see such information via graphical user interfaces or dashboards, Schulz notes, which may be integrated with existing network toolsets or as a standalone solution.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="" target="_blank"><img alt="IT%20Infrastructure_IR_1%20(1).jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></a></p> <h2 id="toc_2">How to Pick NPMD Tools for Smart Cities</h2> <p>NPMD tools are often <strong>pieces of software that run on servers, hardware appliances or virtual machines</strong>, Schulz notes. The software talks to switches and other network components, collects information and describes network event data. </p> <p>City agencies and governments looking to deploy or replace NPMD tools have a great deal of options. Ipswitch and SolarWinds offer such solutions, as do a range of other vendors, including <a href="" target="_blank">Hewlett Packard Enterprise</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Cisco Systems</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Dell EMC</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Juniper Networks</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Riverbed</a>.</p> <p>Different vendors offer varying approaches. For example, HPE’s <a href=";ctlgfilter=&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">Network Node Manager </a><a href=";ctlgfilter=&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">i</a> supports “smart plug-in modules designed to<strong> enhance the awareness of specialized network environments</strong>, providing network administrators and staff with the information they need to quickly identify and fix problems,” as the CDW article notes. “Workspaces create purpose-based displays for groups of managed elements, and dashboards create guided workflows through problems.”</p> <p>On the other hand, SolarWinds offers a bevy of network performance monitoring modules that<strong> address specific network monitoring tasks</strong>, including <a href=";searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">Network Performance Monitor</a>, Network Bandwidth Analyzer Pack, <a href="" target="_blank">NetFlow Traffic Analyzer</a>, and <a href=";searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">VoIP and Network Quality Manager</a>. </p> <p>Traditional NPMD tools are also taking on new functionalities, Schulz says, and are adding the ability to specifically manage IoT devices. Some tools plug in at lower layers of the network while others can tap into layers further up and look at applications, he adds. “Their focus is more in being able to collect information, aggregate it, display it, help manage, as opposed to being focused just on the networking,” Schulz says of the latter tools.</p> <p>Many NPMD vendors offer agencies free trial versions of their software, which can be downloaded and installed to verify capabilities, but agencies should also use other methods to evaluate a solution, Amick says. “Take time to fully understand the solution, its capabilities and also the future roadmap for the product,” he says. </p> <p>Given the variety of tools out there and the stakes for network performance, agencies should <strong>partner with trusted third parties to help them pick NPMD solutions</strong>. “Probably the biggest mistake organizations make is not learning and understanding the full capabilities of the solutions they have purchased or are about to purchase,” Amick says.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/phil-goldstein"><img src="/sites/" width="58" height="58" alt="Phil Goldstein" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/phil-goldstein"> <div>Phil Goldstein</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href=";screen_name=philgoldstein&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Phil Goldstein is a web editor for <em>FedTech</em> and <em>BizTech</em>. Besides keeping up with the latest in technology trends, he is also an avid lover of the New York Yankees, poetry, photography, traveling and escaping humidity.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Fri, 09 Nov 2018 13:05:41 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 41766 at Behind the Scenes, Back-End Equipment Empowers Smart City Capabilities <span>Behind the Scenes, Back-End Equipment Empowers Smart City Capabilities</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/92511" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mickey McCarter</span></span> <span>Thu, 11/08/2018 - 09:34</span> <div><p>The term <strong>“smart cities” conjures images</strong> of bright, efficient lighting, video surveillance cameras, and traffic and air quality sensors hanging from utility poles.</p> <p>But there is <strong>a lot on the back end that goes into making a city smart</strong>, as <a href="" target="_blank" title="Stephen Dawe">Stephen Dawe, CTO of Opelika, Ala.</a>, tells StateTech. In 2016, the city assessed how to best deploy sensors around town without building a massive Wi-Fi mesh network. </p> <p>“I came across the LoRaWAN technology at <a href="" target="_blank" title="Cisco">Cisco</a>,” Dawe says. “<strong>Then, with CDW’s help, we got Cisco</strong> and a company called Cimcon on the lighting side, and a company called Actility, which is a Cisco partner, on the LoRaWAN side, and we started to build the required Wi-Fi.”</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" title="LoRa">LoRa</a> (short for “long-range”) is a wireless data communication technology that is different from the Wi-Fi standard. It runs on 900 megahertz, providing access to a LoRa wide area network (LoRaWAN) through access points with a 100-meter radius. <strong>The solution proved ideal for covering vast areas</strong> where trees and other obstacles might have blocked traditional Wi-Fi, Dawe says.</p> <p>“So, <strong>our smart city solutions became just pieces of software</strong>; there was no real need to add additional hardware,” Dawe says. “That's what the LoRaWAN is going to allow us to do.”</p> <p><strong><em><a href="" target="_blank" title="Smart City Growth">MORE FROM STATETECH: </a></em></strong><em><a href="" target="_blank" title="Smart City Growth">Discover why successful smart city projects emphasize citizen rewards now!</a></em></p> <h2>Smart City Infrastructure Connects Sensors</h2> <p>Without adding additional hardware, <strong>Opelika can identify sensors and build applications</strong> to support them into the LoWaRan back end, Dawe says.</p> <p>Of course, the entire project became possible because <a href="" target="_blank" title="GIG City">Opelika dedicated itself to becoming a “gig city,”</a> <strong>running fiber through every municipal building</strong>. The municipality equipped every city building with fiber, then added more compute power and virtualized its data center. </p> <p>“We bought an <a href="" target="_blank" title="IBM">IBM</a> BladeCenter H, actually,” Dawe says. “<strong>We virtualized all the servers</strong>. Then we started looking at applications for the police department. <strong>Every police car is connected by LTE through a VPN with Verizon</strong>, with encrypted data, so that they can work wherever they go,” Dawe says.</p> <p>“Cities are beginning to, and will continue to, integrate technological dynamism into municipal operations, from transportation to infrastructure repair and more. <strong>The back ends of these systems are not always apparent to the end user</strong> — but as the integration of smart cities technologies becomes more visible in our everyday lives, we could begin to see large-scale changes in our cities,” states the National League of Cities in “<a href="" target="_blank" title="Trends in Smart City Development">Trends in Smart City Development</a>.”</p> <p>Kiosks and sensors may reside on the front end of a smart city project, but communication systems and broadband infrastructure serve as <strong>“the glue that holds the Internet of Things together,”</strong> NLC says. </p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="" target="_blank" title="Digital Transformation"><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_2.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></a></p> <h2>Data Centers Key to Information Analysis</h2> <p>The capabilities of IoT are key to enabling smart cities.</p> <p>“The key technology behind the success of smart city initiatives, whether that’s improving pollution levels or traffic conditions, is the IoT,” <a href="" target="_blank" title="Information Age">states Information Age</a>. “<strong>The IoT is a network of physical connected devices</strong>, like vehicles or home appliances, that enable these ‘things’ to connect and exchange data. This in turn, is creating never-before-seen opportunities to converge the physical and the digital — via data analytics — to improve efficiency (both in public and private sectors), drive economic benefits and improve livelihoods.”</p> <p>And in the end, <strong>smart cities must improve data collection and analysis</strong> to enhance the lives of citizens. Data centers, such as the one collecting input from sensors in Opelika, empower true smart cities to realize this goal.</p> <p>A <a href="" target="_blank" title="Dell EMC">Dell EMC</a> white paper, “<a href="" target="_blank" title="Smart City White Paper">Smart Cities and Communities</a>,” outlines some of the challenges to making the best use of data. “Data from different departments, which is often in different formats, is not easily combined. <strong>That makes it difficult for cities to gain the analytics-driven insights</strong> that come from data comparisons. In addition, there is no easy way to integrate sensor and application data into other city systems.” </p> <p><strong>The white paper calls for the implementation of a dashboard</strong> to foster integration and provide a platform for an overview of real-time information from data analytics. Dell EMC is part of the GDT Smart City Framework, a data platform from GDT, <a href="" target="_blank" title="SAP">SAP</a> and <a href="" target="_blank" title="Dell EMC">Dell EMC</a> based on <a href="" title="Intel">Intel</a> Xeon processors.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/11391"><img src="/sites/" width="58" height="58" alt="Mickey McCarter" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/taxonomy/term/11391"> <div>Mickey McCarter</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Mickey McCarter is the senior editor of StateTech Magazine.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 08 Nov 2018 14:34:54 +0000 Mickey McCarter 41761 at Why Securing Elections Requires a Little Bit of Zero-Trust <span>Why Securing Elections Requires a Little Bit of Zero-Trust</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Wed, 11/07/2018 - 13:46</span> <div><p>As the country digests <a href=";module=Spotlight&amp;pgtype=Homepage" target="_blank">the results of this year’s midterm elections</a>, the concerns that were raised about the potential risk of cybersecurity threats to our voting systems remain. This year, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 to <a href="" target="_blank">make nearly $400 million available</a> to the states to improve their administration of federal elections.</p> <p>I’ve met with secretaries of state, state IT leaders and local government officials across the country who were intensely focused on how to use this assistance to shore up election systems cybersecurity. </p> <p>Having served in state IT leadership for much of my career, I know how important it is to<strong> spend resources wisely and emphasize solutions that address the core issues of a challenge</strong>, versus simply applying a Band-Aid to solve it. Because our voting system is multifaceted, potential solutions to the election security challenge require a deeper focus on infrastructure. Even though the election is over, <strong>states should see election security as a year-round effort</strong>. </p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>MORE FROM STATETECH: </strong>Find out how network segmentation can protect voting infrastructure! </a></em></p> <h2 id="toc_0">State-by-State Election Vulnerabilities Are Distinctly Similar</h2> <p>States are the architects and supervisors of their respective election systems, and they execute this important constituent service in varying ways. Some states vote exclusively by mail, while others rely exclusively on electronic voting machines. Other states have a combination of voting options available to constituents in different localities. </p> <p>Regardless of how or when states collect votes, <strong>they use similar technology for voting infrastructure</strong>. Like other constituent services, state agencies store, manage and monitor voter identification data electronically. </p> <p>States run websites which house voter resources, often including calendars and polling locations. Voter registration can be done electronically in many parts of the country or through agencies such as the state’s department of motor vehicles. Government employees who input new registrations by mail or paper still must process them using computers and networks. </p> <p>This means the election system has <strong>many components that are vulnerable entry points</strong>. Most states are aware of these realities and are focused on three areas: reducing online election systems vulnerability, enhancing security for Election Day operations and providing cybersecurity training for employees.</p> <p>That’s a good start, but we also have to remember that while states oversee their elections centrally, they rely heavily on local counties and municipalities to administer them. If, for example, local administrators are working on unsecured or untrusted devices or networks, or have their credentials stolen, then the system remains open to great risk.</p> <p>Focusing on the system at the state level alone is not a security strategy that covers all aspects of local voter record administration. It’s important to have <strong>a comprehensive, risk-based security strategy that protects the physical locations and devices people use to vote</strong> on Election Day while securing the myriad components of the state and local election system year-round. </p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" data-widget="image" href="" id="" rel="" target="_blank" title=""><img alt="Cybersecurity_IR_howstrong_700x220.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="" /></a><span title="Click and drag to resize"> </span></p> <h2 id="toc_1">States Should Trust No One and Verify Everything</h2> <p>Traditional IT security models rely on an impermeable perimeter around data centers. However, today’s cybersecurity threats are too persistent and sophisticated for traditional countermeasures. Security experts now recommend implementing a next-generation security model, <a href="" target="_blank">called zero </a><a href="" target="_blank">trust</a>, to preserve all layers of the IT infrastructure.</p> <p><strong>Least-privilege and zero-trust IT protocols </strong>allow governments to maintain credentialing for key systems. In the case of elections, critical parts of the voting system would be made available only to election administrators.</p> <p>Least-privilege and zero-trust security protocols ensure that individuals and networks who don’t need (or aren’t authorized for) access to certain data or work applications <strong>won’t be able to access them</strong>. State election officials can require hard-line credentials for any election administrator or application to access the voting infrastructure, and that access would be limited to only the information or program needed to fulfill their role in overseeing the election. </p> <p><strong>Validating those credentials</strong> would not be as simple as flashing a badge. A series of validations would verify that the user is who they say they are, that their intended use is authorized and that they are allowed to take that action from the device they’re using and the location they’re attempting to use it in.</p> <p>Zero-trust protocols underpin the entire voting infrastructure and must be built directly into the infrastructure to secure all user endpoints, as well as any critical data stored on-premises or in the cloud. They’re scalable — passed to mobile devices and applications and compatible with measures like multifactor authentication — allowing administrators to register voters or oversee poll locations. <strong>Microsegmentation</strong> builds scalable security perimeters into election networks, so everyone accessing information through them —whether state overseers or local administrators — do not pose unexpected risks to the full system.</p> <p>End-to-end security systems with zero-trust models enhance cybersecurity readiness regardless of a state’s voting method or time frame. Zero-trust principles will protect the infrastructure in vote-by-mail states, such as Oregon and Washington, just as well as they do states reliant on voting machines, such as Nevada and Georgia, and they’ll maintain the integrity of our elections every day of the year — not just on Election Day.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/11506"><img src="/sites/" width="58" height="58" alt="Herb Thompson" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/taxonomy/term/11506"> <div>Herb Thompson</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Herb Thompson, a state and local government and education strategist for VMware, worked in IT for over a decade for the state of Wisconsin, most recently serving as its deputy state CIO.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 07 Nov 2018 18:46:47 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 41756 at The 7 Things That Become ‘Smart’ in a Smart City <span>The 7 Things That Become ‘Smart’ in a Smart City </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Wed, 11/07/2018 - 12:12</span> <div><p>Smart cities come in <a href="">all shapes and sizes</a>. Some are major cities <a href="">like San Francisco</a>, and others are smaller, like Ann Arbor, Mich. Yet they are seek to use technology to improve services for residents and make their lives better. </p> <p>“What’s important to me is not the technology. It’s the why — why are you doing this?” Stephen Dawe, CTO for the city of <a href="" target="_blank">Opelika, Ala.</a>, previously <a href="">told <em>StateTech</em></a>. “There is nothing wrong with being ambitious. But a lot of cities finished a smart city prototype and never scaled it to the entire city or the entire targeted population. When we look at any application or project, the first question I ask is, how do you cover the whole city? I don’t want to just do prototypes.”</p> <p>Indeed, it is important to get technologies to scale up in smart cities to achieve the maximum benefits. And helping residents should always be at the forefront of smart city programs. However, <strong>technology is a necessary ingredient for smart cities</strong>. </p> <p>Here is a quick primer on the <strong>seven key aspects of city infrastructure and life that can be made “smarter” through technology</strong>. While this is not a comprehensive list, it does cover many of the main areas where smart cities have made progress in recent years. </p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM STATETECH: </strong>Find out why these eight smart cities are ones to watch! </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">1. Smart Parking Drives Efficiencies</h2> <p>The modern city is dominated in many ways by traffic, especially from cars. And, as cars roam city streets searching for open parking spots, they spew carbon dioxide and other tailpipe emissions, contributing to climate change. </p> <p>Cities can use smart parking to make that process more efficient and environmentally friendly. Using GPS data from drivers’ smartphones and <strong>sensors embedded in the ground below parking spots</strong>, cities can determine when spots are available and deliver real-time parking maps to city residents. Mobile applications accessed via smartphones or connected car systems can send notifications to drivers if they are near an open parking spot. </p> <p>For example, <a href="https:/ %5bsubhead%5d 2. Smart Transportation">as <em>StateTech</em> has reported</a>, Los Angeles installed smart parking technology that allows drivers to check a mobile app, website or call 511 for real-time availability and cost of parking spaces along a 4.5-mile stretch of downtown. The city also installed a dozen electronic message signs <strong>letting motorists know where to find available parking spots</strong>. </p> <p><em>StateTech</em> reports: </p> <blockquote><p>To detect whether spaces are open or occupied, the <a href="" target="_blank">Los Angeles Department of Transportation</a> embedded wireless sensors on 6,300 parking spaces and in some city-owned parking lots. The parking management software tabulates occupancy data and parking meter transaction data, then automatically analyzes the information, alerting transportation officials and allowing them to charge different prices based on demand, location and time of day.</p> </blockquote> <p>Besides Los Angeles, other cities that have implemented smart parking initiatives include Ocala, Fla.; Norwalk, Conn.; and the San Francisco suburbs of Redwood City and San Mateo.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">2. Smart Streetlights Make Cities Safer — and Save Money</h2> <p>For cities looking to tap the Internet of Things, smart streetlight upgrades can give them a strong foundation. </p> <p>Cities can refurbish old streetlights with more <strong>energy-efficient LED bulbs, as well as wireless connectivity, motion sensors</strong> that activate lights when passersby are near and connected sensors that can alert the city when bulbs need to be changed.</p> <p>Those solutions can help make streets safer, all while saving governments a great deal of money on electricity costs. <a href="" target="_blank">Chicago reported in August </a>that, a year into a four-year streetlight modernization program, it had installed more than 76,000 LED streetlights in the city’s violence-prone south and west sides. By switching to energy-efficient LED streetlights, the city expects to cut its streetlight electricity costs in half, a savings officials estimate at approximately $100 million over 10 years.</p> <p>Meanwhile, <em>StateTech</em> reports: </p> <blockquote><p>Los Angeles, an early adopter of the tech, has equipped more than 80 percent of its streets with connected lights that feature LED bulbs and 4G LTE wireless connectivity over the last few years. The city is already seeing the benefits of the change. The city reported a 63 percent savings on its energy bill in the first year with the new lights, and it’s using the connected poles to improve resident cell service, among other benefits.</p> </blockquote> <p>And, <a href="" target="_blank">as Information Age observes</a>, this data collected by sensors supported by street lights cuts to the heart of the smart cities idea. <strong>Connected cities make use of real-time information provided by sensors</strong>, networks and data analytics, and street lights are a fundamental piece of infrastructure providing statistics on how well the city is doing. </p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM STATETECH: </strong>Discover the key trends in smart cities technology via our smart cities content hub! </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_2">3. Smart Transportation Increases Pedestrian and Driver Safety</h2> <p>Smart transportation systems are a catchall that includes everything from <a href="">driverless cars</a> to smart traffic signals. Through sensors, analysis and communication among systems, intelligent transportation systems aim “to ease congestion, improve traffic management, minimize environmental impact and increase the benefits of transportation to commercial users and the public in general,” <a href="" target="_blank">notes TechTarget</a>.</p> <p>Columbus, Ohio, has become somewhat synonymous with the idea of a smart city — and smart transportation — since <a href="">about two years </a><a href="">ago</a>, when it won a <strong>$40 million</strong> grant through the highly publicized <a href="" target="_blank">Smart City Challenge</a>, a nationwide contest put on by the U.S. Transportation Department. The city is not just focused on autonomous vehicles, but also supports a multimode trip-planning application to help residents use different mobility options in and around the city, enhanced by a common payment system.</p> <p>Meanwhile, many other cities are using <strong>connected traffic lights and cameras</strong> at traffic signals to improve pedestrian safety. For example, <a href="" target="_blank">Boston’s Smart Streets project</a> involved a partnership with <a href="" target="_blank">Verizon</a> to test data gathering technology at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Beacon Street, where a cyclist was killed during a traffic incident. The city used video cameras; LED lights; under-road sensors; and a web-based platform for data analysis, dashboards, visualization and reporting. The goal was to gather aggregated data about traffic patterns at the intersection. The city tweaked roadway design and signal timing to improve safety. </p> <p>And Portland, Ore., <a href="">has deployed</a> <strong>192 sensors </strong>on three of its dangerous streets. The sensors, which were installed on light poles, will provide a constant count of vehicles and pedestrians as well as data about vehicle speeds. The sensors include two cameras, “an array of environmental sensors for measuring temperature, pressure and humidity, a CPU/GPU for performing real-time analytics, a solid-state drive for local data storage, and cellular LTE hardware for data transmission.”</p> <p>Using the data collected by the sensors, the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s staff “will use the sensor information to make recommendations about future changes” to <strong>make it easier for pedestrians to walk and cars to drive on these and other city streets</strong>, <a href="" target="_blank">the city says on the project website</a>.</p> <h2 id="toc_3">4. Smart Energy Enables Other Smart City Solutions</h2> <p><a href="" target="_blank">According to the nonprofit Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative</a>, modernizing electric grids through smart grid enhancements “is an integral first step to enabling smart cities.” Making renewables like rooftop solar power more realistic is “a game changer for sustainability,” and increasing their use can enhance public health and improve the environment. </p> <p>Smart grid enhancements also “allow <strong>better integration of new technology like electric vehicles</strong>, which, in turn, creates a bevy of possibilities down the road for urban areas,” the group notes. “Future possibilities would include city-wide zero-emissions transportation and electric vehicles that act as power storage in case of emergencies.”</p> <p>Smart grids also allow residents to access their energy data and enables utilities to offer new pricing programs that can lead to increased energy efficiency, the nonprofit says. </p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM STATETECH: </strong>Get caught up on the key takeaways from the Smart Cities Week 2018 conference! </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_4">5. Smart Health Gets a Boost in Smart Cities</h2> <p>Smart cities are often driven by increased connectivity. Those networks help enable sensors that collect and transmit data and, eventually, can improve city services. However, that connectivity can also help improve residents’ health. </p> <p>In Chattanooga, Tenn., <a href="" target="_blank">the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga</a>, the city’s municipally owned telecom and utilities provider, has invested heavily in fiber-optic network infrastructure, <a href="">delivering 1-gigabit-per-second connections</a>. That has enabled residents to access superfast broadband services, but it could also spur the deployment of new services, including telehealth.</p> <p>The city is actively <strong>exploring the idea of delivering telehealth services </strong>to residents who subscribe to EPB broadband services. With EPB closing in on 100,000 total subscribers, telehealth services could potentially benefit a significant number of residents.</p> <p>There are other ways that public health can be enhanced in smart cities. About a year ago, <a href="" target="_blank">Sidewalk Labs</a>, the <a href="">smart city arm</a> of <a href="" target="_blank">Google</a>’s parent company, Alphabet, spun out the aptly-named public health unit, <a href="" target="_blank">Cityblock Health</a>. The company aims to leverage technology alongside new care models to provide for underserved populations and level the healthcare playing field.</p> <p>“Our idea is simple: cities should be healthy places to live — for everyone,” Iyah Romm, co-founder and CEO of Cityblock Health, wrote in <a href="" target="_blank">a blog post announcing the new company.</a> “To make cities healthy, we need a system in which value is rewarded over volume, provider-patient relationships are meaningful and lasting, and the use of technology decreases costs instead of raising them.”</p> <p>As a way to bring telehealth and other health technologies to all city residents, not just the affluent, Cityblock has developed a platform called Commons. The tool <strong>allows a care team to wrap itself around a patient and connect</strong>, <a href="" target="_blank">according to MobiHealthNews</a>. </p> <p>“Part of the notion here is that technology has to stitch this ecosystem together,” Romm said in October at the Connected Health Conference in Boston, according to MobiHealthNews. “The notion that health is local and pervades everything we all talk about across why these models don’t scale. So as opposed to running away from that and saying ‘it’s impossible,’ we’ve embraced it. We said, ‘How do we build a tech platform that adapts to locality?’”</p> <p> </p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1%20(1).jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="" /></a></p> <h2 id="toc_5">6. Smart Buildings Help Protect the Environment</h2> <p><a href="" target="_blank">According to Navigant Research</a>, around of <strong>30 percent</strong> global greenhouse gas emissions and <strong>70 percent</strong> of energy consumption in major cities are attributable to buildings. Sensors in smart buildings can detect when there are people in a room so that temperature and lighting can be adjusted, saving money and sparing the environment, when rooms are not in use. </p> <p>“Thus, buildings can play a pivotal role in helping to achieve smart city goals,” Navigant says. “The data collected and insights generated by smart building technologies can lead to <strong>changes in facilities management that reduce energy consumption for climate and sustainability goals </strong>and help improve public health and safety.”</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Industrial giant Siemens notes</a> that “the world’s most advanced buildings have brains — a kind of central nervous system that balances and reconciles competing interests such as energy minimization, occupant comfort, and grid stability.” </p> <p>Like other industrial companies and network technology vendors, Siemens has a building automation system. Known as Desigo CC, it allows all building systems to be integrated into a single platform that can be operated intuitively. Such systems can allow fire protection, heat, ventilation and climate control, lighting and video surveillance to be managed together. </p> <h2 id="toc_6">7. A Smart Environment Is Necessary in Smart Cities</h2> <p>As cities add more “green” buildings that are energy efficient, they should also be thinking of how technology can improve the environment more broadly. </p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">The consultancy Deloitte says</a> that for a smart city to live up to its name, <strong>“using technology to foster sustainable growth is essential.” </strong></p> <p>“This means leveraging technology to maximize the efficient use of precious resources and encourage sound choices by all players,” Deloitte adds. “This includes not only city-owned buildings, but businesses, universities, hospitals and nonprofits and individual citizens. This means likely leveraging sensor technology, behavioral economics, and gamification to alter not only physical infrastructure, but to encourage positive resourcing decisions.”</p> <p>That applies to everything from sensors to detect water leaks, just-in-time waste collection and energy distribution. It can also apply to how cities are constructed. Sidewalk Labs’ <a href="" target="_blank">planned design of Toronto’s Eastern Waterfront</a> district will <a href="" target="_blank">include timber buildings</a>.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/phil-goldstein"><img src="/sites/" width="58" height="58" alt="Phil Goldstein" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/phil-goldstein"> <div>Phil Goldstein</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href=";screen_name=philgoldstein&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Phil Goldstein is a web editor for <em>FedTech</em> and <em>BizTech</em>. Besides keeping up with the latest in technology trends, he is also an avid lover of the New York Yankees, poetry, photography, traveling and escaping humidity.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 07 Nov 2018 17:12:18 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 41751 at Election Day 2018: States’ Voting Cybersecurity Measures Are in the Spotlight <span>Election Day 2018: States’ Voting Cybersecurity Measures Are in the Spotlight</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Tue, 11/06/2018 - 10:44</span> <div><p>Voters are streaming to the polls today across the country, from Maine to Alaska to Hawaii, and a key question is not what the results will be, but whether the vote itself will be secure. </p> <p>During the last election, Russian cyberattackers looking for vulnerabilities <a href="" target="_blank">scanned 21 state election systems</a>, including those in Illinois, over the 2016 campaigns. Since then, states and counties have taken steps to <a href="">increase cybersecurity protections</a> around voter registration systems and voting machines, increase information sharing and work <a href="">with federal and local partners</a>. States have also increased their investments in cybersecurity measures for their election IT systems, including<strong> purchases of multifactor authentication, perimeter sensors, email filtering </strong><strong>and</strong><strong> monitoring, threat scanning</strong> and more. </p> <p>Despite all of that, vulnerabilities remain. According to <a href="" target="_blank">the Election Cybersecurity Scorecard</a>, published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank, <a href="" target="_blank">states average a “C-” in election security</a>. The CSIS report says that state and local governments have <strong>“underinvested in securing digital election systems”</strong> and that across the country, state and local officials “have limited staffs and budgets for security, and many of the most competitive races in 2018 are being held in some of the most vulnerable areas.”</p> <p>State, local and federal officials say they have been taking aggressive measures to secure the vote and monitor for hacking and tampering efforts. </p> <p>Federal agencies including the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI have “opened a command center to help state or local election offices with any major cybersecurity problems that arise,” <a href="" target="_blank">the Associated Press reports</a>. </p> <p>“We’re light years ahead of where we were two years ago, and before that we were even further behind,” David Becker, a former Justice Department official and founder of the nonprofit <a href="" target="_blank">Center for Election Innovation &amp; Research</a> tells <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Wall Street Journal</em></a>. “Not only do we now know the nature of the threat, but t<strong>he systems today are more secure than they have ever been</strong>. That is not to say they are invulnerable — they never are.”</p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>MORE FROM STATETECH: </strong>Find out how network segmentation can protect voting infrastructure! </a></em></p> <h2 id="toc_0">States Share Security Info and Work with Partners</h2> <p>To help coordinate information sharing among states about threats and give them access to cybersecurity resources, in March <a href="" target="_blank">the Election Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center</a>, or EI-ISAC, sprang into being. The center, backed by the DHS and run out of the nonprofit Center for Internet Security, works with trusted affiliates to conduct research and gather intelligence about cyberthreats targeting elections or elections-affiliated systems. </p> <p>The ES-ISAC sends out threat intelligence and also has been offering <strong>vulnerability assessments, incident response services </strong><strong>and</strong><strong> other cybersecurity protections</strong>. So far, the center has signed up<strong> all 50 state election boards and over 1,200 jurisdictions</strong>. There are more than 8,000 jurisdictions across the country responsible for the administration of elections, <a href="" target="_blank">according to the National Association of Counties</a>. </p> <p>The center, which was spun out of the <a href="" target="_blank">Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center</a>, is deploying <a href="" target="_blank">Albert sensors</a> at the state level, and a number of states are exploring deploying them on the local level as well, according to Ben Spear, a senior intelligence analyst at the MS-ISAC who is running the ES-ISAC. Spear, <a href="" target="_blank">speaking to StateScoop</a>, says that the center has “a 24/7 security operations center where people can call in any time, and a forensics team that can provide incident response as needed.” </p> <p>As StateScoop reports: “In August, states disclosed <a href="" target="_blank">their plans</a> for their shares of<strong> $380 million</strong> in grants from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Some states are using their grants to purchase new voting equipment, others are using it to create full-time cybersecurity positions in election offices.” </p> <p>Some of that money will be used for long-term elections security measures. In the run-up to the 2018 midterms, many states have <strong>shifted around personnel to enhance cybersecurity</strong>. “We were able to bring them up to speed pretty quickly with staff transferring in from other roles,” Meagan Wolfe, the interim administrator of the <a href="" target="_blank">Wisconsin Elections Commission</a>, told StateScoop recently. </p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>MORE FROM STATETECH: </strong>Find out how network segmentation can protect voting infrastructure! </a></em></p> <h2 id="toc_1">States, Counties Put Voting Protections in Place</h2> <p>There are certainly gaps that exist in election security, and the <em>Journal</em> reports that “voting machines have been replaced or upgraded in some states, but others are relying on equipment that is outdated or has a known cyber vulnerability.”</p> <p>Still, states say they have made strides to close gaps.<strong> “States all across the country are more prepared,” </strong>Wayne Williams, the secretary of state of Colorado, told the <em>Journal</em>. Williams has been among the most active in adopting electoral cybersecurity measures, the newspaper reports.</p> <p>Indeed, <a href="">as <em>StateTech</em></a> has previously reported:</p> <blockquote><p>Colorado is mitigating the risk of attacks by nation-states and other actors with stringent IT requirements and policies, says Trevor Timmons, <a href="" target="_blank">Colorado Department of State</a> CIO. “We require that counties have endpoint protection software and not just anti-virus, but advanced malware prevention software for any machine that accesses the voter database,” he says. To make it easier, Sophos software is made available to Colorado counties at no cost. On the database side, data is encrypted.</p> </blockquote> <p>Other states are using their National Guard units to guard against cybersecurity threats to election systems. Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman <a href="" target="_blank">tells StateScoop</a> that uniformed personnel “will have roles at the states security operations center alongside her civilian staff, running a series of threat assessments and vulnerability scans leading into Election Day.” </p> <p><strong>“They only have to get it right once, and we have to get it right 24/7,”</strong> Wyman <a href="" target="_blank">said in Seattle in October</a>, according to the publication. “We are seeing activity. We assume every single threat could be someone trying to mess with our elections.”</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Cybersecurity_IR_howstrong_700x220.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="" /></a></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/phil-goldstein"><img src="/sites/" width="58" height="58" alt="Phil Goldstein" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/phil-goldstein"> <div>Phil Goldstein</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href=";screen_name=philgoldstein&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Phil Goldstein is a web editor for <em>FedTech</em> and <em>BizTech</em>. Besides keeping up with the latest in technology trends, he is also an avid lover of the New York Yankees, poetry, photography, traveling and escaping humidity.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Tue, 06 Nov 2018 15:44:25 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 41746 at