IoT systems should be designed and operated with security in mind to protect of the public, ensure the integrity of services, and be resilient to attacks.


4.1: IoT systems should be designed with an explicit focus on minimizing security risks (e.g. unauthorized operation or hacking, system faults, tampering, and environmental risks), limiting the potential impact from a security breach (e.g. the release of personally identifiable information), and ensuring that any compromises can be quickly detected and managed.

4.2: IoT systems should utilize established security frameworks, where possible, and ensure communication between components is tightly constrained.

4.3: Identity and access management controls should be in place to ensure that the right people have access to systems, networks, and data at the right time. Users with access to IoT systems should be identified and authenticated. Identification should be to the individual and not to the role.

4.4: All data should be protected in transit and at rest, and systems should be secured against unauthorized access or operation. Data storage mechanisms must not be easily removed from devices and systems must not have vulnerable external interfaces (e.g. unsecured USB ports).

4.5: All partners utilizing public assets and/or networks for IoT deployments should adhere to the principles and guidelines set by the City. The City has the right to restrict or revoke access to assets, devices, and public networks to protect the public interest and public safety.

4.6: The City and its partners should engage in both audit-based and continuous monitoring to ensure that systems are working and that devices have not been compromised.

4.7: Responsibilities related to security monitoring and the protection of IoT systems should be clearly defined. In the event of a breach, public and private sector entities will be required to comply with the City’s breach disclosure and notification requirements.

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These guidelines are designed to continually evolve and improve over time — we welcome and appreciate all feedback. We also invite cities to join the effort by committing to our guiding principles for the responsible and equitable deployment of smart city technologies. Contact us to learn more.

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