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
For financial firms, the cloud is going to increasingly become a crucial part of dealing with customers over the next five years and beyond, particularly with the growing use and acceptance of virtual currencies. There are new data storage paradigms on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive financial data around the world without touching terrestrial networks. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Cliff Beek, President of Cloud Constellation Corporation, ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri, Inc, a leading provider of enterprise cloud infrastructure, 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. Tintri offers an enterprise cloud platform built with public cloud-like web services and RESTful APIs. Organizations use Tintri all-flash storage with scale-out and automation as a foundation for their own clouds – to build agile development environments...
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, will motivate why realizing the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insigh...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DivvyCloud 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. DivvyCloud software enables organizations to achieve their cloud computing goals by simplifying and automating security, compliance and cost optimization of public and private cloud infrastructure. Using DivvyCloud, customers can leverage programmatic Bots to identify and remediate common cloud problems in rea...
While some vendors scramble to create and sell you a fancy solution for monitoring your spanking new Amazon Lambdas, hear how you can do it on the cheap using just built-in Java APIs yourself. By exploiting a little-known fact that Lambdas aren’t exactly single threaded, you can effectively identify hot spots in your serverless code. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, David Martin, Principal Product Owner at CA Technologies, will give a live demonstration and code walkthrough, showing how to ov...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale, a global pure play Infrastructure as a Service provider and strategic partner of Dassault Systèmes, 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 2010, Outscale simplifies infrastructure complexities and boosts the business agility of its customers. Outscale delivers a secure, reliable and industrial strength solution for its customers, which in...
The 21st International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
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 ...
Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex 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. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tappest will exhibit MooseFS 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. MooseFS is a breakthrough concept in the storage industry. It allows you to secure stored data with either duplication or erasure coding using any server. The newest – 4.0 version of the software enables users to maintain the redundancy level with even 50% less hard drive space required. The software func...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists will examine how DevOps helps to meet th...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software in the hope of capturing value in IoT. Although IoT is relatively new in the market, it has already gone through many promotional terms such as IoE, IoX, SDX, Edge/Fog, Mist Compute, etc. Ultimately, irrespective of the name, it is about deriving value from independent software assets participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution.
SYS-CON Events announced today that EARP 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. "We are a software house, so we perfectly understand challenges that other software houses face in their projects. We can augment a team, that will work with the same standards and processes as our partners' internal teams. Our teams will deliver the same quality within the required time and budget just as our partn...