A lack of investment in cybersecurity protections could imperil the future of smart cities and the Internet of Things devices on which they run, a new report from ABI Research warns.

ABI anticipates there will be 1.3 billion wide-area network smart city connections by the year 2024. Of the $135 billion projected to be invested into critical infrastructure cybersecurity in 2024, ABI expects that the financial, information and communication technologies (ICT) industry and the defense industry will account for 56 percent of that spend. That leaves just 44 percent left over for energy, health care, public security, transport and water and waste – an insufficient share to adequate protect these sectors, the report asserts.

An executive summary of ABI report asserts that cyber investments are rarely discussed during the development process as smart cities grow in complexity, an oversight that will eventually catch up to governments, forcing them to correct past mistakes. Furthermore, the summary notes that developing an effective security framework for smart cities is not easy because "myriad issues will appear in each step of the value chain."

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