Technology Record - Issue 22: Autumn 2021

168 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om “Many people lack confidence that government institutions will serve them well,” says Goldberg. “And why wouldn’t they? Government agencies have often struggled to provide services, due to inadequate policies, processes, and technologies. And when they do provide them, they often do so slowly with administrative burdens that make using those services difficult.” “Microsoft can provide technologies on both sides to combat this,” says Goldberg. “On the back-end we can make it easier to implement better policies through better software devel- opment operations such as GitHub. And on the front end we are providing the infrastructure necessary for more stable resident-facing expe- riences, such as the cloud.” The need for greater accessibility and digital inclusion underpins many of our efforts in the tech industry. City life is notoriously fast-paced and challenging, particularly for those strug- gling financially or socially. “Technology has to elevate the government’s ability to help peo- ple,” says Goldberg. “That means it should be used to improve the urban infrastructure they use on a daily basis as well as social services. All too often it’s gone in the opposite direction, creating a digital divide that has prevented the people who need help the most from being able to access that help conveniently, and we need to change that.” Moreover, cities are man-made environments by their very nature. In many cases, they have been built to accommodate a specific able subset of society. “We need to ask ourselves who is left behind in the modern cities of today, and how we can help,” says Goldberg. Microsoft is working to address the challenges faced by elderly, visually impaired and physically disabled citizens by being actively involved with the World Economic Forum and its accessibility initiatives. The organisation is also part of The Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs, a project which aims to promote the rights of people with disabilities in the digital age. “Our goal is to be part of the change by ena- bling transparency, communication and conti- nuity of business and operations,” says Goldberg. “We are investing in strategic technologies and human training to ensure that resident feedback is considered. And we are working to provide a strong technological base that supports these priorities and allows for continued improvement and development.” F E ATUR E We asked a selection of Microsoft partners how their solutions have driven service continuity for smart city leaders during the pandemic Partner perspectives “Service continuity within smart cities is undermined by ransomware and other disruptive cyberattacks. Rapid digitalisation has expanded the attack surface – with cloud services and internet of things devices all presenting new entry points for attackers. Constant intrusion attempts ensure that overstretched IT and security teams – often reliant on outdated tools and methods – are stuck in the weeds, unable to focus on higher value work. Darktrace’s self-learning artificial intelligence protects smart cities like Las Vegas from novel and sophisticated attacks that evade other tools. It works by learning ‘self’ for every user, device, instance, container and control system in the digital environment. This evolving understanding allows it to spot subtle deviations indicative of a cyberattack. Darktrace is therefore allowing smart cities to embrace digital transformation with confidence, stopping novel attacks that evade other systems.” David Masson Director of Enterprise Security at Darktrace