The town of Florence and Subex, a leading Internet of Things (IoT) and critical infrastructure security solutions provider, have partnered to provide security to the town’s public infrastructure, especially in their move to become a smart city.
According to ABI Research, smart city technology could have cities locking in incremental economic growth of almost three percent and driving more than $20 trillion in additional benefits by 2026, and Florence is leading the way in Arizona.
“Arizona cities are behind in implementing and investigating and investing in the smart city technology when compared to other states and around the country,” Brent Billingsley, Florence Town Manager said. “In a town like Florence we have a hard time competing on a number of levels with the cities in the Phoenix metropolitan area. What an [exciting] opportunity for us to invest in something that’s on the cutting edge and be a leader when compared to our peers in metro-Phoenix.”
According to Billingsley, the biggest concern the town had when considering whether to implement smart city technology was the security threats.
“The first thing that came to mind was, hold on a minute – before we do anything, we better figure out how to keep that information safe, keep it out of the hands of folks who want to potentially do damage to us,” Billingsley said.
This is where Subex comes in, the company helps provide cybersecurity to detect, repel and fix advanced threats to Florence’s basic and vital technology systems, even after the town launches its smart city project.
“We have threat researchers who are looking for attacks and we are then are able to create security solutions for devices that can’t protect themselves,” Kiran Zachariah, VP, IoT Business, Subex said. “[Smart cities] have become very perceptible to cybercrimes and what happens is because these devices are more susceptible… a large number of attacks that we see are on IoT devices… These attacks are prevented by us because we know the threats before they actually come.”
The Center for Strategic and International Studies reports in 2017 cyber-crimes cost the global economy between $445 and $608 billion and the United States economy between $140 and $175 billion.
The partnership puts Florence at the forefront of cutting-edge technology by being one of the first cities to use Subex solutions, strategies, and measures. They expect their partnership to pave the way for other cities to ensure high protection levels for their smart city projects.
“We hope to work with Subex to develop a security protocol and infrastructure that’s far superior to what exists in other government entities today and to be able to share our experience and the benefits received with other cities and towns,” Billingsley said. “We want our partner to find success in their business model, be able to sell this product, and meet all of their goals. I think this partnership puts them on a path [towards] success and when they succeed, the town will succeed as well.”
According to Zachariah, “The single most common reason that stops people from adopting smart cities today is the security and because there is no security paradigm to protect that new infrastructure, people are adopting smart cities much slower. By providing that security coverage, the adoption of smart cities will only increase.”
Subex is also donating an IoT lab in Florence so the town’s youth can learn technology that will be important moving forward in a tech career path.