Funding Public Infrastructure Upgrades: Why Cyberphysical Security Matters

At the Smart Regions Congress at the National Press Club in Washington DC, Spherical|Analytics’ CBO Chris Rezendes shared Context Labs’ experience on the importance of cyberphysical resilience in in smart city projects.

The Congress took place in February and was presented by Venture Smarter as part of the Regional Smart Cities Initiative.

Cyberphysical Security

Cyberphysical security refers to security of the digital systems that monitor and help manage physical infrastructure, as well as the physical security of the infrastructure itself. Take automated toll roads, for example: the cyberphysical security would address the security of the digital automated toll collection, the physical signaling systems, as well as the roadways themselves.

Cyberphysical security in public (and selected private) infrastructure continues to climb as a national, state, regional, and local priority. In response, during the past few years, a number of Federal Agencies – DHS, NIST, others – have issued positions on best practices to upkit the resilience of existing infrastructure and design in appropriate levels of cyberphysical security in new projects.

Rezendes argued that the lives of our citizens, the security of the nation, and the demands of economic resilience and climate regeneration requires cyberphysical infrastructure that is instrumented securely and optimized for demonstrable excellence operationally, financially and socially (utilizing UN Sustainable Development Goals, for example).

Cyberphysical and Climate Risk Mitigation

Rezendes specifically addressed resilience in terms of cyberphysical and climate risk mitigation, emphasizing that funding is unlikely to flow to smart cities projects that are vulnerable to cyber attack or climate catastrophe. In order to encourage investment, Chris recommended combining historical public data with selected, real-time private sector data to create a clearer picture of cyber and climate risk performance over time for both greenfield and brownfield projects.

Collaboration is key, and Chris encouraged inviting agency partners and risk managers into discussions as early as possible. He cited recent successful projects that brought police, fire, and EMS first responders together with technologists on the front end of projects that led to surprising insights and more meaningful outcomes. Collaboration demands sharing, and with sharing, new forms of risk.

Collaboration adds to the demand for higher levels of resilience in our cyberphysical infrastructure if access is part of optimization plans.

What we're doing about it:

These ideas underscore the work we do at Context Labs and Spherical|Analytics, delivering trusted data, or ‘the oxygen of the enterprise’ as Chris says, so that multiple partners and stakeholders have access to only exactly what they need to fulfill their obligations and innovate collaboratively, for the greatest good.

First responders are innovators, too …

By building platforms that attest source identity, verify data, authenticate models of environmental, enterprise and other physical world data, Spherical|Analytics and CONTEXT LABS enable smart cities initiatives to identify and prove current conditions and remediate a growing range of emerging risks in cyberphysical and climate realms.

If you would like to learn more about how you and your teams can radically reduce risk in your programs, please write us at

Read the full article, Why Resilience in Smart City Projects Directly Impacts Funding