Smart Cities, Smart Bases, and Secure Cloud Architecture for Resiliency by Design

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Posted on October 26, 2020 | Completed on October 22, 2020 | By: Dr. Lee McKnight, Danielle Taana Smith, Patrick Prioletti, Yusuf Abdul-Qadir, Kevin Bornatsch

How can the smart city concept be applied to military bases, and what security concerns would need to be assessed?

Smart cities’ critical infrastructure, economy, and governance are designed to sustainably improve the well-being of residents (U.S. Government Accountability Office [GAO], 2019). Critical infrastructures, such as energy, electricity grids, communications networks, transportation, and water systems, are digitally enhanced to provide smart services to city residents while ensuring security issues are well monitored and effectively addressed (GAO, 2019).

The smart city concept is readily applicable for military installations, and their neighboring communities, as military bases and cities may share residents, physical infrastructures, employment opportunities, and the provision of a broad range of services (Sharma & Raglin, 2019; CSIAC, 2020). This article illustrates how the smart city concept and especially regional secure cloud architectures can be applied in the military environment and in mixed civilian-military contexts as well (McKnight, 2020). For example, integrating a federated secure cloud architecture can lessen the risks of ransomware and other malicious cyber threats and brings other benefits by increasing visibility for the base commander into all digital and cyber-physical systems operating on the base (AFCEA, 2020; Lee, Bohn, & Michel, NIST-SP 500-XXX, 2019). Of course, critical differences exist between cities and military bases. Military installations exist to train and house soldiers for peaceful and combat operations at home and in foreign countries. Bases also provide operational and logistical support for these missions. Because of their mission, military bases require a heightened level of cybersecurity; classified systems are beyond the scope of this article.

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