Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Who Needs the Internet of Things?

This week, the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced it has sold more than 10 million Raspberry Pi boards and celebrated the milestone by releasing a new Raspberry Pi Starter Kit. While many of these Linux-driven hacker boards were used for the foundation’s original purpose -- creating a low-cost computer for computer education -- a large percentage have been sold to hobbyists and commercial developers working on Internet of Things (IoT) projects ranging from home automation to industrial sensor networks.



Linux-driven open source and commercial single board computers and modules sit at the heart of the IoT phenomenon. They are usually found in the form of gateways or hubs that aggregate sensor data from typically wirelessly enabled, sensor-equipped endpoints. Sometimes these endpoints run Linux as well, but these are more often simpler, lower-power MCU-driven devices such as Arduino-based devices. Linux and Windows run the show in the newly IoT-savvy cloud platforms that are emerging to monitor systems and analyze data fed from the gateways in so-called fog ecosystems.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be analyzing the IoT universe, with a special focus on Linux and other open source technologies used in home and industrial automation. I’ll look at major open source products and projects, IoT-oriented hacker boards, security and privacy issues, and future trends.

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See more at: linux.com

Why The Consumer Internet Of Things Is Stalling

Builders of the Internet of Things (IoT) have long promised consumers a more convenient future: We will all live in “smart homes” where surveillance cameras, thermostats and garage door openers will turn on and off automatically, our groceries will order and deliver themselves into our refrigerators, and our speakers will know our taste in music. In our “smart cities,” always-on surveillance systems will crack down on crime and sensor-driven roadways will put an end to traffic.



Yet this hyper-efficient, IoT-fueled future is years away and plenty of pundits and investors are talking about consumer IoT as a too-hyped trend that’s failing to take off. According to a 2016 Accenture survey, consumer demand for smartphones and IoT devices is stalling. So why aren’t consumers snapping up the new technology?

Industry insiders say the barrier is a lack of standards: connected devices can’t talk to each other, and each device comes with its own app, rather than being managed from a single point of control. Others think jargon-y marketing is to blame: Consumers still scratch their heads when they hear “Internet of Things.”

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The potential power of IoT is truly awe-inspiring, but in order to boost sales and drive demand beyond the early adopter set, we need to stop making toys no one cares about and instead work on building simple solutions to real, everyday problems for real people.

See more at: forbes.com

Friday, 2 September 2016

IoT Security Starts with Identity

There is no hotter tech sector right now than the Internet of Things (IoT). Everybody and anybody who is offering an internet connected device has an IoT story. As with many hot technology markets, there comes a lot of noise and confusion. Just in the consumer IoT market alone, there are multiple competing platforms and not all of them enable devices to interconnect with each other. In the industrial IoT (IIoT) market, not only are there competing platform vendors, but there are many industry organizations trying to define IIoT interoperability. Confused yet? Just wait…

Now, when we start to talk about security, there is even more confusion on where to get started and how to implement a security strategy. There are no fully defined or adopted standards, or security architectures for either consumer IoT or IIoT today. Many consumer IoT device manufacturers are sacrificing strong security measures to get devices to market. This could create serious issues down the road if vulnerabilities are exploited and devices cannot be secured. In the IIoT market, industry groups such as the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and Trusted Computing Group (TCG) are actively working with security vendors on frameworks for IIoT security. But, these frameworks are still in the early stages and interoperability will need to be tested and addressed before they can be fully rolled out and implemented.

Before I discuss how you can get started with an IoT security strategy today, I just want to reiterate why we want to connect things. The benefits are simple – greater access, control, efficiency and optimization. When everything is connected and communicating, things work together, we can access these things from everywhere and anywhere and collect, share and analyze data to better manage our homes, our health, our cars, the environments where we work and operations of industry. All of this connectivity leads to higher performing systems, cost savings and new revenue streams.

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In order to go to market today, IoT device manufacturers need to begin implementing security in the early design phases of their products. Security can no longer be an afterthought as it has in the past with so many legacy connected device and products. Trying to retrofit security into devices already in use can be difficult, costly and a burden on the users.

Key benefits of building identity in from the start:
- Gain a Competitive Advantage – Build identity into your IoT devices and services to leverage secure functionality as a competitive advantage.
- Offer a Superior User Experience – Make security and identity easy to offer your customers provides a positive user experience.
- Brand Reputation and Integrity – Assure products and software code are legitimate. Don’t let counterfeit products and malware impact your brand.
- Privacy and Safety Ensured – Ensure sensitive data remains private and the safety of your customers and users is not jeopardized by a malicious attack.

See more at: globalsign.com