Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

The Internet of (Secure) Things – Embedding Security in the IoT

By

We’re seeing a glimmer of the future – the Internet of Things (IoT) – where anything and everything is or contains a sensor that can communicate over the network/Internet. The underlying technology enabling IoT is Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications. Your running shoe tracks your workouts, sending the data to a mobile app. Your wristband tracks your daily activities, including sleep patterns. Your smartphone controls your television. Your tablet displays recorded videos from your home DVR, anywhere in the world. Your refrigerator tracks your food consumption and contacts a nearby grocery store to restock (someday delivered by drones!) Your car self-tunes and in the future may self-drive and be aware of your schedule (so will self-start and adjust the environment when it’s time to go to work). These are examples of consumer-oriented sensors and devices, but that has occurred in parallel with business, professional, infrastructure, government and military applications. Here are some examples…

Healthcare: Think of medical devices and how they’ve progressed – pin pricks for testing blood sugar to diabetes pumps to contact lenses that can monitor your blood sugar. Pacemakers can report statistics on your heart to doctors and hospitals.

Homes/Offices: Companies and utilities are building sensors into major appliances and HVAC systems. You can opt-in to smart metering so that a utility can load balance energy distribution. That capability is starting to reach into the home, with NEST thermostats and smoke detectors for example. Security alarm systems have communicated with operations centers and police for a long time, but now allow monitoring and control from your smartphone. These smart home technologies are also being applied to smart office buildings. Sensors throughout a building monitor power demand, air temperature and moisture, light levels and external factors (e.g. weather reports). That data is integrated with the building control system and room schedules to optimize energy consumption.

Transportation: For automotive vehicles, there are speed and red-light cameras, EZ Pass toll payments, bridge stress sensors, and traffic management systems outside the vehicle. Inside, there are diagnostic monitors, heads-up displays, adaptive cruise control, and integration with smartphone or in-vehicle GPS/mapping systems. Similar sensor systems exist for rail, sea and air transportation.

Agriculture: GPS-directed combines and sensors on everything from sprinkler/irrigation systems to soil/fertilizer quality are connected via a mesh network to optimize production and quality (thanks Ray Van Houtte for your graduate work in the 1970’s!)

Military: Sensor systems are being used to improve operations from logistics to the battlespace. By tracking the details of every item, the supply chain can be dynamic and more easily optimized. Sensors on drones and robots – air, land and sea – communicate to human operators, analysts and soldiers in the field to improve situational awareness and tactics. There’s even an Android app that leverages M2M communication to a scope to enable a sniper rifle to hit the target every time, regardless of the shooter’s expertise.

Last year, there were over 10 billion connected devices, and estimates predict this number to climb to anywhere from 30 to 50 billion by 2020. In terms of sensors, HP Labs estimates that we’ll hit 1 trillion before too long. To leverage the data and information across a number of these areas, HP Labs is working on a project called CeNSE (Central Nervous System for the Earth)

CeNSE intends to deploy billions of nanoscale sensors that detect and communicate information across all five human senses. The goal is to better understand our world in order to improve resource management and predict dangers to safety and security in the physical world.

hpinternetofthings

With these burgeoning capabilities, there needs to be some focus on cyber security. In my previous blogs, I wrote about continuous monitoring. In today’s current environments, attempts to continuously monitor enterprise security are challenged to track their current assets, which for large organizations number in the hundreds of thousands. The IoT will multiply those assets by a million or more. Today those assets are built on a variety of platforms and operating systems; the software is rarely patched and their communications are not secured. We’ve already seen examples of exploits of these systems – automobile telematics, pacemakers, smart TVs, and more. Science fiction depicts the worst of these scenarios in movies like “Terminator” or “The Matrix”, with machines taking over the world. In the latest of these, Ray Kurzweil’s idea of the singularity moves to the dark side, with a human intelligence taking control of the IoT in “Transcendence

Things aren’t necessarily so dire. The need to embed security in the IoT, from sensors to mobile apps to back-end infrastructure, is recognized and there are a number of efforts working to address the issue.

In private industry, there are companies using their expertise in cybersecurity to provide solutions in this space – QNX, acquired by Blackberry, and Mocana. QNX is a mature Unix operating system that over the years has built the most secure real-time operating system (RTOS) for embedded systems, Neutrino. It’s being used in automobile systems, home appliances, and to secure M2M communications.

Mocana is working on a new type of product code called AtoM (App-to-Machine) that will allow different users to manage and control devices securely, depending on their authority. In addition, they have built a Device Security Framework that provides end-to-end security for any device, based on US Government standards and regulations

On the open source side, there is an effort to build common communication platforms and interfaces for the IoT called AllJoyn that simplifies device information and configuration, onboarding, notification, control, and audio streaming.

Similarly, the AllSeen Alliance expands AllJoyn’s framework to multiple manufacturers and communication fabrics.

By enabling the integration of the variety of devices to communicate and connect, these initiatives will provide a common framework to secure and monitor the IoT. It’s something we have to build in to the IoT ecosystem now. If we wait, we’ll be playing catch-up, just like we are in Internet security – but at a much larger scale. Of course, with billions and trillions of devices and sensors, the accumulation of this information leads to a discussion of big data and big security data, which I will address next time.

 

This post first appeared on George Romas’ HP Blog.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder and partner at Cognitio Corp and publsher of CTOvision.com

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
The taxi industry never saw Uber coming. Startups are a threat to incumbents like never before, and a major enabler for startups is that they are instantly “cloud ready.” If innovation moves at the pace of IT, then your company is in trouble. Why? Because your data center will not keep up with frenetic pace AWS, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new capabilities In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Don Browning, VP of Cloud Architecture at Turner, will posit that disruption is inevitable for c...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
Deep learning has been very successful in social sciences and specially areas where there is a lot of data. Trading is another field that can be viewed as social science with a lot of data. With the advent of Deep Learning and Big Data technologies for efficient computation, we are finally able to use the same methods in investment management as we would in face recognition or in making chat-bots. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Gaurav Chakravorty, co-founder and Head of Strategy Development ...
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
What if you could build a web application that could support true web-scale traffic without having to ever provision or manage a single server? Sounds magical, and it is! In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Munns, Senior Developer Advocate for Serverless Applications at Amazon Web Services, will show how to build a serverless website that scales automatically using services like AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, and Amazon S3. We will review several frameworks that can help you build serverle...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
Interoute has announced the integration of its Global Cloud Infrastructure platform with Rancher Labs’ container management platform, Rancher. This approach enables enterprises to accelerate their digital transformation and infrastructure investments. Matthew Finnie, Interoute CTO commented “Enterprises developing and building apps in the cloud and those on a path to Digital Transformation need Digital ICT Infrastructure that allows them to build, test and deploy faster than ever before. The int...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buyers...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
@DevOpsSummit has been named the ‘Top DevOps Influencer' by iTrend. iTrend processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @DevOpsSummit ranked as the number one ‘DevOps Influencer' followed by @CloudExpo at third, and @MicroservicesE at 24th.