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News - Cyber risk management will be a major challenge in 'smart cities' of the future

Source: Asia Insurance Review | May 2018

Asia Cyber Risk Management

Cities in Asia Pacific are getting smarter, but they must be ready for the cyber security risks that accompany the growing adoption of tech-enabled real estate and infrastructure, according to the Clicks and Mortar: The Growing Influence of Proptech study by real estate services company JLL and start-up community Tech in Asia. 
   The report noted that ‘smart cities’ initiatives are being implemented across the world and in Asia this is evident in India, China, Japan, Korea and Singapore. A ‘smart city’ uses different types of electronic data collection sensors to supply information, which is used to manage assets and resources efficiently.
   JLL Asia Pacific COO Albert Ovidi said that ‘proptech’ (property technology) is a key tool in the future development of cities, while digital infrastructure investment is also increasingly important for cities to create more liveable environments and attract and retain the best talent. However, the increasing reliance on the internet of things, data collection and analysis means smart cities must develop effective safeguards against cyber risk. 
   “Many of the exciting innovations being developed in the proptech sector, such as smart home controls or drones for property management, have the potential to improve user experience, and save time, money and energy,” said JLL Asia Pacific CIO Mr George Thomas, adding that while harnessing the latest technology to provide new products and services, implications of data security and privacy must be considered as the sector evolves. 
   Fortunately, cyber policy initiatives across the region are also being developed in tandem with advanced proptech tools, according to the report. Governments are working towards reinforcing domestic information systems security, collaborating with international partners for intelligence sharing, improving threat identification and protecting critical infrastructure.
   One trend the report singled out is the convergence of blockchain and IoT (BIoT), a potential solution to combating cyber risks. BIoT is expected to unleash a new range of services and businesses from which smart buildings and homes could benefit. BIoT would allow real-time access to data from sensors, with blockchain offering protection. Most importantly, it would build trust, reduce time wasted and accelerate transactions.
   “As the proptech space evolves, there are huge opportunities for real estate owners and occupiers,” said Mr Ovidi. “Smarter cities and workplaces bring incredible prospective value. But in order to reap their full benefits, we have to prioritise systemic resiliency to ensure we manage the potential risks.” A 
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