Episode Archive

SCP E54 Cybersecurity in the Smart City, with Vaughan Emery

In this episode of the Smart City Podcast, I had a really interesting chat with Vaughan Emery. Vaughan is the Founder and CEO of Atonomi, a company focused on security protocol for the internet of things. We talk a lot about the importance of cybersecurity as we get more connected, and how they’re using the Ethereum blockchain to do their business. We also have some really interesting conversation about the future of cryptocurrencies. I learnt so much talking to Vaughan so I hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed making it.

Listen Here:

What we covered:

  • Vaughan’s background and his passion for cyber security
  • What sparked his interest in the Smart City space and how his company began
  • What a Smart City means to him and why it’s so important
  • How the US is embracing the Smart City concept, cybersecurity and blockchain
  • Projects Vaughan and Atonomi is working on
  • How autonomous vehicles might become less about transport and more of a platform
  • How connected vehicles can be a security risk and ways that can be isolated or prevented
  • The importance of identity, trust and reputation in a cyber secure future
  • How Atonomi’s products sit on the Ethereum block chain
  • The opportunities and challenges of innovation, regulation and integrating across different disciplines
  • Vaughan’s thoughts about the future of cryptocurrencies


“[I’ve been] Really thinking about cybersecurity and the impact that it has on a rapidly connecting world.”

“As a [cyber security] industry, we don’t have that good a grade. There’s constant data breaches. Most people have been affected by or are fearful of cyber security…So what I do day to day is work on technologies that protect data and protect things.”

“In Smart Cities you have a heterogenous environment, lots and lots of suppliers to cities. Those devices must work together and the only way they can work together is they’re known and trusted.”

“To me a Smart City is taking what the industry has developed as a static city — not a lot of connectivity — to a future state where a lot of the infrastructure and services are actually connected.”

“Statistics has shown that every city has had some form of cyber security attack or data breach. No city and no individual is immune. Before cities really go all in on connecting their infrastructure, the industry has got to figure out how to address the cyber security risk.”

“We think about risks in the context of sensors or devices having to be known and trusted, whether it’s in an autonomous vehicle or in an industrial setting, or it’s a sensor in a city. Good cybersecurity begins with identity and the idea that every device can be known and trusted.”

“I think it’s going to take the government’s input to make sure that all players are using the same protocols, the same standards.”

“For me, what people aren’t really talking about when it comes to crypto is the real utility and the value of moving towards currencies that are borderless, immune from politics and that really can serve a role in a lot of applications.”

“I’d like to see more conversation about how cryptocurrencies can really make it more secure, more efficient, more convenient in a machine economy.”


You can find out more about Aonomi and their website Atonomi.io, connect via Twitter @vaughanemery or @atonomi or Telegram

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community

Connect with My Smart Community via LinkedIn or Twitter and watch on YouTube

Podcast Production by Perk Digital


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