European Data Security Agency Homes in on Smart Transportation


With 54 percent of the world’s population living in urban areas, it’s the connectivity of the world’s major cities--and their capacity to analyze a lot of data--that’s making them smarter and better equipped to improve their residents’ lives.

Smart cities collect and process huge amounts data to make transportation, energy usage, water usage and waste disposal more efficient, helping people to live better.

All that connectivity requires electronics. With electronics comes data. And with data comes privacy concerns.

In light of this trend toward smart cities,  the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) released a report on smart cities and their “intelligent public transportation” (IPT).

The report Cyber Security and Resilience of Intelligent Public Transport highlights good cybersecurity practices for protecting critical assets in smart cities, such as networking/communication components, data, payment systems power distribution systems, and physical transportation infrastructure.

The report has recommendations for the European Commission (EC) and its member states; IPT operators; and manufacturers of IPT systems. 

Among ENISA’s proposals:


  • the EC and its member states should promote collaboration between private and public sectors and promote an EU-wide approach to IPT security and strategy, including the harmonization of standards;
  • IPT operators should take cybersecurity as a serious threat and integrate it into corporate governance, strategy and risk management, treating it as inextricably linked with safety, and routinely re-evaluate how cybersecurity is handled; and
  • IPT systems manufacturers should pay close attention to the cybersecurity guidance provided by IPT operators, collaborate to integrate these requirement into products, and create an information-sharing platform to facilitate the process.


ENISA’s U.S. counterpart, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, has also had cybersecurity for smart cities and transportation on its radar for a couple of years. It’s encouraging that governments are taking the issue seriously, because with the number of people living in cities projected to rise to 64% of the global population by 2050, according to the United Nations, it’s hard to imagine everyone getting around without cities that are both smart and safe.

To keep up with the constantly evolving world of privacy and security sign up for the Bloomberg BNA Privacy and Security Update.