You know IP-based information is everywhere, even at stoplights, since traffic engineers get real-time data on vehicle flow from loop detectors and video feeds from cameras. But does such data need to be secured? Casey Potenzone, CIO at Uniloc USA Inc. in Irvine, Calif., argues that it does. He says cities are beginning to merge their IP data traffic, including information from intersections, onto single metropolitan networks.
IT secures other data, but that stoplight flow is ignored. He claims that could be a problem if hackers decide to mess with a city's traffic, as depicted in the film Live Free or Die Hard. Since most urban areas won't have Bruce Willis to save the day, Potenzone contends that they'll need to put a StrongPoint appliance at critical intersections. Unveiled last week, the appliance links to a StrongPoint server in a data center and encrypts all communications between the intersection and authorized personnel in the data center. Pricing for the field-hardened appliance starts at $2,500. Server software starts at $5,000 to manage up to 25 appliances. "Nobody says no to security," Potenzone says. Or, as Willis character John McClane says, "Welcome to the party, pal."