#IoT 2018: The Three Most Important #SecurityTrends

THE INTERNET OF THINGS

You don’t have to wait long for predictions about the massive growth of the IoT. As at the end of 2017, Gartner analysts predicted that we already have around 8.4 billion IOT devices worldwide. This is an increase of 31% compared to the 2016 figures. In 2020, it should be around 20.4 billion IoT devices globally.

That’s not surprising. Because in addition to the ever-growing number of products that are equipped with ever-widening skills to network, there are a variety of new associations, technology partnerships, standards committees and industry initiatives. Closed and established with the goal of enabling companies to truly benefit from the competitive advantages of the IoT.

 

IoT data breaches will not only continue to increase, but the consequences will be more severe than before.

IOT SECURITY

 

As with any emerging and rapidly advancing technology era, such development rarely takes place without challenges. And in the case of IOT, safety is one of those challenges. In core, three trends will accompany us in 2018.

In distinction to the previously discovered weaknesses, which were directed in particular against brands and models in the automotive industry, we were confronted with weaknesses in 2017 within the Controller Area Network (CAN) bus protocols faced. A bus protocol that is used not only in the vast majority of vehicles but is widely used in industrial production, health care is another example.

The vulnerability was discovered by U.S. Pat. Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT). Under certain conditions, attackers were able to disable the onboard security systems. To make it even more complicated, it is not a vulnerability that could be fixed by a patch. That’s because it’s an inherent weakness of the protocol design itself.

 

But in 2017 IoT security was another innovation. For the first time, an implantable medical device was recalled due to IT security issues. To this end, the US Food and Drug Administration responded in a gigantic recall campaign to over 465,000 patients who had been given a particular networked pacemaker. The FDA asked the patients to visit their doctor and get a firmware update of the concerned pacemaker. The device has a vulnerability that could potentially be exploited for attacks. Hackers, for example, would be able to influence the tempo of the signal generator or prematurely switch to energy-saving mode. Unlike the CAN bus protocol, this vulnerability comes with a patch. Patients must consult their doctor personally, but surgery is not necessary. Part of the update is to limit the number of wireless commands that the device can receive while preventing the transmission of unencrypted data. With that being said, we are obviously well on our way to an age when doctors are patch managers as well. It is a disturbing and irreversible trend that vulnerabilities in protocols and devices are increasingly likely to endanger human lives when these protocols and devices are used in an environment for which they were not initially designed.

 

More security awareness, yes, but secure implementation takes time

 

It is expected that IoT device manufacturers, especially end-user devices, will continue to bring in market devices that are poorly or not fully secured. However, the safety awareness of consumers is growing. Although not strong enough to change the buying behavior. Cool features and an affordable price still make the difference. For the first time, Amazon Echo and Google Home are high on the wishlist of technology-savvy consumers. On the other hand, there is a small but growing group of consumers who have major concerns about the safety of these products. The first major waves of attack, such as the Mirai botnet, have received the attention of security experts. For the average consumer, the scope of this type of attack has not yet become apparent. Nevertheless, the pressure on manufacturers is growing and with it the demand for better security and data protection measures.

 

Building security into the equipment from the start will be more difficult and time-consuming than expected. This applies equally to IoT devices intended for end users as well as those used in companies. An example: encryption. One has the ability to encrypt data that an IoT device collects both while they are on the device and when that data is sent to another device or aggregated and analyzed in the cloud. At first glance, this looks like a suitable and straightforward approach. As far as encryption is concerned, there are many good recommendations as to which algorithms are suitable. In addition, there are several OpenSource encryption solutions. So far so good. It is much more difficult to protect and manage the associated keys. Insufficient key management invalidates the entire encryption process. A badly managed key can make the encrypted data unusable. For example, if the key used to encrypt the data in question is not available within an authentication process. The sheer variety of devices in the IoT is compounding exponentially the challenges of encryption and key management. To date, only few have the necessary expertise and suitable technologies to deal with this.

 

The consolidation has begun.

 

 At the moment, analytics and visualization tools are particularly promising for companies and in the context of IIoT, the industrial Internet of Things. These tools attempt to analyze the vast amounts of data that make sense and produce results that help in day-to-day business. Especially in 2017, providers and users of IoT technologies had to put up with more questions about what they think about the different aspects of data protection. All in all, it makes little sense to collect, analyze, or even worse, analyze data based on this analysis if you ultimately can not trust the data. In order to be able to trust them, one must be able to authenticate origin and source. This begins with verifying the device identity (and whether that device uses legitimate validated software from a trusted source), protecting the collected data from the beginning and, of course, the entire communication and transmission path. That these questions are asked in terms of security is one of the sign of consolidation in the IoT. Manufactures have left the phase of prototypes and feasibility studies, moving in the production phase with real users who are increasingly asking critical questions.

 

And consolidation will continue to accelerate. Specifically, the market for enterprise / cloud IoT platforms is unhealthily bloated with an unsustainable number of products. It’s safe to assume that just about every developer would be happy to shorten the list of available products for IoT platforms, preferring to incorporate better artificial intelligence into the remaining ones. Add to this a healthy, or perhaps rather unhealthy, number of safety standards and associations that wants to create a solid safety basis. A variety of initiatives seem to go in the same direction, in fact they often have different goals. Governments and legislators are also in the process of finding ways to create the necessary security conditions better than before.

 

Consolidation and standardization will help to better integrate IoT devices into industrial multi-core environments. And these efforts will ensure that basic security techniques are easier to implement. In particular, those that provide sufficient confidence in an IoT-based environment.

The IoT is a fascinating, fast-growing, and emerging field that will increasingly become the backbone of digital transformation. And it promises them not inconsiderable competitive advantages, which understand how to use it within their entrepreneurial visions, goals and implementation.

Requirements include a strong trust anchor, efficient implementation of the necessary IT security measures, risk assessments in an IoT ecosystem, and meaningful results from IoT projects. The year 2018 will bring us some decisive progress here.

#CyberSecurity Landscape in 2018 – The focus is on vertical industries

It is well known that the fourth industrial revolution opens up a multitude of new business opportunities. At the same time, however, the danger for cyber-attacks is also increasing. It’s imperative that companies prepare themselves to put them out of danger zone.

Not only should they think about security solutions directly when planning IT technology, but they should also develop a keen awareness of the corporate culture for security – which requires significant investment. According to Gartner’s estimations, security spending in 2018 will continue to rise sharply globally, reaching around $ 93 billion. For the coming year, this means that Cyber Security will capture some of the key trends.

cyber-attacks-data-breaches
IT security experts are still in demand

As technology evolves, security expertise needs to adapt to changing needs. The challenge is to train cyber security specialists to acquire and develop the skills in order to become companies “superheros”. Cyber Security Ventures Report predicts there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity job openings by 2021 and 3.5 million will be unfilled. The responsibility lies in the hands of governments, universities, schools and companies to meet this need.


Protection and resilience

In this day and age it is difficult to completely avoid security gaps. Therefore, you should not dismiss them as improbable, but make appropriate arrangements. As a result of this development, the resilience of the IT infrastructure will be more in focus, and not just only prevention. For companies, it is important to talk openly about their own weak points, to raise their awareness and to show responsibility. Funds, till now used to prevent cyber-attacks, must be redistributed to detect security threats in a timely manner and to remain operational in the case of an attack.


Next-generation security solutions are driven by digital ecosystems

In times of the internet of things the protection of customer data becomes more and more important. Vulnerabilities exposing sensitive data can have serious consequences as companies will be held accountable for personal data in the future. This ownership is a major challenge for companies, and it is the responsibility of technology manufacturers to ensure a degree of security for their users. As the need for cyber security solutions and regulations grows, companies need to develop appropriate strategies to minimize any risk. These strategies should not only meet today’s expectations, but also incorporate new business models promoted by new technologies.


Cyber-attacks increasingly sophisticated

Of the e-mails received, around 70% are spam and the majority of them contain phishing messages. Other known threats include rogue programs as Trojan horses, malware or DDoS attacks. Over the past few months, they have led to massive data loss and continued to make company or customer data vulnerable to cybercriminals. With 93% of the attackers, the money is in the cEnter – this shows the latest report from Verizon. Hackers try to gain the highest possible profit through simple tricks and are often successful in smaller companies with inadequate security solutions.


New technologies: a blessing and a curse at the same time

Innovative technologies enable cybercriminals to use sophisticated methods for their attacks. But these innovations can also help build and strengthen defence and protection against hackers. A major threat, for example, comes from artificial intelligence (AI) applications. However, AI can also be used to detect potential risks faster. How important AI is for IT security is an outlook on the global market for artificial intelligence solutions: according to a recent study, it will grow to $ 18.2 billion by 2023. Likewise, the Internet of Things, with an estimated circulation of 22.5 billion networked items, is both a driver of innovation and a door opener for increased threat potential, according to a Business Insider platform report. On the one hand, security becomes a challenge, but on the other hand, the data gained through Internet-enabled devices can help detect breaches early.


The focus is on vertical industries

While cyberattacks affect all sectors of the economy, there are still some key sectors that are likely to be particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks:

 

The Financial Sector, BFSI (Banking, Financial Services and Insurance): The BFSI sector is under increasing pressure. This is due to competitors with digital offerings and the constant pressure to modernize their existing systems. The value of customer data is increasing as customers demand more comfortable and personalized service. Nevertheless, trust remains crucial. According to a recent study, about 50% of customers would change banks as a result of a cyber-attack, while 47% would completely lose confidence. Large-scale cyber-attacks have already left a large number of banks victims of a hacker attack. This shows that the sector has to adapt to these risks. So it’s important that banks invest more in security solutions to ensure 24/7 protection. Shared Ledgers will significantly shape the future of the banking sector. The most popular technology, Block chain, will be the backbone of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The block chain method provides permanent records of transactions. It is thus part of the accounting control procedures that cannot be manipulated – and have the potential to completely redesign the BFSI sector.

 

Healthcare: More and more patient data is digitized. In addition, artificial intelligence and Internet-enabled devices will increase the speed of diagnosis and improve patient care. However, the integration of personal data and Internet-enabled devices also entails risks. Earlier this year, Experian predicted that the healthcare sector would be the market most affected by cyber-attacks and WannaCry ransomware, as some examples have already shown. This means that the health sector should similarly invest in risk analysis as the banking sector. In addition, the implementation of industry-wide standards is needed.

 

Retail: In the retail market, customized shopping experiences are becoming increasingly important, so data analysis tools help merchants implement them. However, there is also a great responsibility to protect this data, which can include more than just shopping habits and login data, but also account details and addresses. Thanks to Internet technologies, augmented reality and face recognition, the shopping experience is becoming increasingly networked, but here, too, stronger networking also entails a greater risk of data loss. Therefore, the creation of a resilient strategy approach, such as in the banking and healthcare sectors, is also crucial for the trade.

 

Telecommunications: Telecommunications companies as Internet service providers are among the industries that are at increased risk for cyber security. They should include security measures in network infrastructure, software, applications and endpoints to minimize the risk of customer vulnerabilities and data loss. Nowadays, consumers are increasingly wondering who they entrust their data to. For service providers, this is a good opportunity to provide additional security services. In addition, collaboration between competitors may increase cyberattack resilience.

 

Manufacturing industry: Even the manufacturing industry is not safe from hacker attacks. According to an IBM study, the production industry is the third most vulnerable sector to hackers. In this area hackers focus mainly on spying on data as they are very lucrative. The main objectives are networked machines, robots and 3D printers. Vulnerabilities enable attackers to get production plans. In addition, they can intervene in processes and sabotage productions. These vulnerabilities not only cause high financial damage, but also the lives of factory workers can be at stake. Manufacturers should therefore continue to monitor their production line for vulnerabilities and implement control mechanisms that limit access to other areas of the production system when an area is already affected.

 

Authorities: No organization is immune to security breaches and data misuse, not even government agencies. The main target of attack is data stored in the ministries, from voter information to military defense plans. While governments around the world are increasing their cybersecurity budgets and striving to integrate them as quickly as possible, there are still opportunities for criminals to avoid them. Some organizations are already focusing on funding programs that use white-hat hackers to test the IT system and identify potential vulnerabilities for payment. With the growing number of hacker attacks per year, investment in security is becoming more and more important to governments around the world.


What does this mean for the year 2018?

Cybercrile - Get ready to anticipate

Overall, it can be seen that companies in all industries, as well as individuals, need to refine their cybersecurity awareness, recognize the risks, and take appropriate countermeasures. Key competitive advantages are companies investing in security solutions. At the same time, cyber security must also become an issue for state governments and at the international level, and laws and regulations must be adapted accordingly. In addition, governments need to invest in education and disclosure of cyber-threat. New regulations also play an important role here, enabling, for example, telecommunications providers to develop and implement suitable solutions against cyberattacks.

Vertiv: #DataCenter of Industry 4.0

Data Center Trends

When it comes to deploying IT capacity at the edge, a lot of environmental factors can influence organization’s needs. Each business will vary in deployment size, environmental isolation requirements and ease of transferability to name just a few. So, with the revolution of Industry 4.0, there are many options for your edge data center investment.  As the next generation of data center will no longer be limited to central, large-scale facilities, but will seamlessly integrate the edge of networks that are becoming increasingly intelligent and mission-critical.

 

These 4.0 data centers are currently under construction and will significantly shape the IT networks of the 2020s. The emergence of this edge-based infrastructure is one of the top five data center trends identified by a global panel of experts from Vertiv, formerly Emerson Network Power, for 2018.

 

The main reason and motivation behind a new IT infrastructure are the growing volumes of data-driven by smartphone use and the #InternetOfThings in particular – so they can meet the growing demands of consumers. While companies can go many ways to accommodate this growth, most IT executives choose to bring the infrastructure they need closer to the end user – the edge of the network. Whichever approach companies choose, speed and consistent services will be critical to consumers. That infrastructure needs to be scalable to accommodate accelerating data growth and flexible to allow new ways to use real-time data analytics. 

 

In the past, Vertiv had identified trends around cloud, integrated systems, and infrastructure security. For 2018, the company expects the following five trends that will shape the data center ecosystem:

 

Development of the 4.0 Data Center

 

Generally, large data centers have been placed where energy costs are lower and space is inexpensive. To overcome speed, space, availability issues – Edge data center must be placed much closer to the users. These data center will be generally smaller but more of them in a kind of mesh network arrangement. Because whether it’s a traditional IT cabinets or 150-square-foot micro data centers, companies rely more and more on the edge of the network. 4.0 data centers will give companies the possibility to integrate edge and core holistically and harmoniously. Thus, these new data center architectures are much more than simple and distributed networks.

 

This development is made possible by innovative architectures that provide real-time capacity through scalable and cost-effective modules. These data centers will be cost-effective via the usage of optimized cooling solutions and high-density power supplies, as well as lithium-ion batteries and innovative power distribution units. In addition, these concepts integrate state-of-the-art monitoring and management technologies that allow the simultaneous operation of hundreds or even thousands of distributed IT nodes. As a result, complex structures dissolve. Latency and acquisition costs decrease and utilization is optimized. In addition, enterprises can add network-based IT capabilities when needed.

 

Cloud providers focus on colocation

 

Even though the revenue from wholesale and retail data center colocation market worldwide will reach up to 33 billion U.S dollars, with the increasing numbers of IoT devices, cloud usage is increasing so rapidly that cloud providers often cannot meet the demand for capacity. In most cases, providers focus on delivering services and other priorities, rather than building new data centers. They compensate for under capacities with offers from colocation providers. By focusing on efficiency and scalability, colocation vendors can quickly meet the increasing demand for data center capacity while further reducing costs. And the provider has the freedom to choose their colocation partners that best meet their end-user needs and enable edge computing.

 

Reconfiguration of the data centre middle class

 

With the evolution of the market and rapidly changing consumer’s needs, it is no secret that the biggest growth area in the data center market will be in the hyperscale environment – typically cloud or colocation providers – and edge computing. Traditional data center operators now have the opportunity to reorganize and configure their facilities and resources that are critical to local operations thanks to the growth of colocation and cloud resources.

Multiple data center companies will continue to consolidate their internal IT resources. They will probably use all the options for outsourcing to the cloud or to work with colocation providers and reduce their own infrastructures. Their motivation for this transformation will be quick configurations that can be implemented rapidly and are scalable at short notice. Certainly, these new facilities will be smaller, but more efficient and safer – with high availability at the same time. This matches perfectly to the extremely critical nature of the data that these companies want to protect.

 

High-density Data Center

 

High density has been a hotly challenging subject in the world of data centers for years. But with global data consumption in the zettabytes—and the subsequent demand on IT resources—it’s finally the time to start building up, not out. The data center is all about power and cooling, and high density is how you maximize the usage of those two things.

Over the past decade, data centers have made huge advancements to be able to support the high-density computing of today. Traditionally, data centers used multiple racks of low-power systems that weren’t capable of getting work done efficiently. This is about to change!

Although densities below 10 kW per rack remain the standard, 15 kW is no longer a rarity in hyperscale facilities, and some even approach 25 kW. The main driver of this transformation is the introduction and proliferation of hyper-converged computing systems. This expansion of hyper-converged computing systems is driven by products that are offering new levels of automation, tighter integration between technologies, and, in many cases, software-defined solutions based on scale-out architectures.

 

The world is reacting to edge computing

 

By bringing processing and computing capacities to the edge of the network, businesses reduce latency by highlighting processing and lightening the load on the primary network, supporting better, faster decision-making. The decision to implement an edge computing architecture is typically driven by the need for location optimization, security, and most of all, speed. Three main reasons for the transition to edge computing are the growth of IoT, the pace of technology-empowered business, and evolving user expectations. As today’s data management systems require the most immediate information to support “real-time” decisions that can have an impact of millions of dollars to the bottom line, more and more companies are shifting their computing capacity to the edge of their networks. Also, location optimization reduces data processing from minutes and hours to milliseconds and microseconds and as close to real-time as you can currently get. 

 

About Vertiv
Vertiv designs, builds and services critical infrastructure that enables vital applications for data centers, communication networks and commercial and industrial facilities. For more information, visit VertivCo.com.

Smart Cities – Privacy, Security, #CyberAttacks and #DataProtection


Smart city components

“Smart cities” is a buzzword of the moment. There is currently no single accepted definition of a “smart city” and much depends on who is supplying the characteristics: industry, politicians, civil society and citizens/users are four immediately and obviously disparate sets of stakeholders. It is easier perhaps not to define smart cities but to elaborate their key features in orser to better understand this concept. The connecting key infrastructure that is most often mentioned as making cities “smart” includes:

 

  • networks of sensors attached to real-world objects such as roads, cars, fridge, electricity meters, domestic appliances and human medical implants which connect these objects (=IOT) to digital networks. These IoT networks generate data in particularly huge amounts known as “big data”.
  • networks of digital communications enabling real-time data streams which can be combined with each other and then be mined and repurposed for useful results;
  • high capacity, often cloud-based, infrastructure which can support and provide storage for this interconnection of data, applications, things, and people.

 

Scanning through numerous smart city projects and initiatives undertook, eight key activities can be identified that often define a smart city, ie: smart governance, smart infrastructure, smart building, smart connectivity, smart healthcare, smart energy, smart mobility and smart citizens.

 

A European survey shows that the benefits of smart cities are obvious, but IT security and technological challenges are a major barrier to their acceptance. Ruckus, a network connectivity provider, has published the results of its Smart Cities Survey with UK market research firm, Atomik Research. The survey surveyed 380 European IT decision-makers from the public sector.

 

The aim of the study is to understand the attitudes towards the implementation of smart city concepts and to learn what opportunities they offer to the industry. The majority of respondents (82%) believe that smart city technologies are helping to increase citizens’ security and reduce crime rates, for example via smart lighting or networked surveillance cameras. Although the benefits seem to be well known, fears of cyber attacks are a major barrier to the Smart City. For 58% of the IT decision makers surveyed, the biggest problem is followed by a lack of technology infrastructure and funding.

 

Benefits of citywide connectivity

 

The survey results show that the infrastructure and technology platforms created for Smart Cities could be used to add significant value to the public sector and to develop innovative applications that directly address citizens’ needs. Other areas that benefit from the smart city model include local health (81%) and transport (81%), which provide greater access to public services for citizens through extensive networking. According to IT decision-makers, smart city concepts also provide crucial benefits for the security of citizens (72%), public transport (62%) and the health service (60%).

Nick Watson, vice president of EMEA at Ruckus, said: “A basic understanding of the benefits to citizens shows that policymakers are aware of the benefits of this technology. As the return on investment becomes clearer and smart cities become more and more commonplace, targeted advocacy will allow organizations to work together to make the city of the future a reality. Of course, given the amount of sensitive data that could be divulged, it is not surprising that security concerns play a big role. Only a           secure, robust and reliable network will allow to address these concerns and create a secure foundation for smart cities. “

 

Benefits of smart cities

 

The survey shows that the public sector is well aware of the added value that smart cities has to offer. Almost two-thirds (65%) of respondents said smart cities bring benefits. 78% of respondents said that they recognize that there are strong economic reasons for investing in smart city concepts. These reasons include firstly the credibility of a smart city (20%) and future infrastructure (19%). On the other hand, there is the related attractiveness, which leads to the resettlement of companies (18%) and suggests that the true value of smart cities lies in generating revenue and boosting the local economy.

These findings are a positive step towards ideal framework conditions in which smart cities can successfully develop. To make smart cities a reality across Europe, it takes an overarching approach involving all departments of a city. However, the Ruckus survey also found that isolated projects (39%) still pose a major barrier to smart cities.

Although lack of funding is seen as the third most obstacles to rapid implementation, 78% of respondents across countries expect to have the budget for smart city solutions by 2019. This should also be facilitated by promotional announcements such as the Wifi4EU program. It gives cities the security that the infrastructure will be available to support smart technologies.

 

Overcome barriers

 

To provide these services, a stable public WiFi network is crucial. 76% of respondents agree that this is the most important factor in successfully implementing smart city concepts. 34% agree that Wi-Fi is more important than a wired network. Wi-Fi is probably the preferred infrastructure because people are familiar with it and it gives everyone access to information. If you want to be able to connect with your citizens and use the services you offer more effectively, you need a suitable infrastructure to connect with the public in a way that benefits them.

WLAN is the “glue” for intelligent cities’ network. It makes it easier to distribute the load and reduces connection problems. The access point at the edge of the network is the ideal interface that acts as a message broker by delivering traffic, performing and returning simple data processing, and placing the software through controllers.

However, not all WLAN technologies are the same. Power supply (53%), interference (52%) and backhauls (45%) are the biggest obstacles to setting up a public WLAN infrastructure. 51% of IT decision makers called the consolidation of existing networks as another crucial obstacle. This is particularly important because the number of connected devices is increasing at a time when existing networks are not prepared for the exponential growth of data consumption. IT decision makers have the clear task of choosing the right technology partner to meet the technological needs of their city.

For Ruckus, the findings of this study are an opportunity to engage in dialogue with various public-sector organizations on how smart city technologies and a public Wi-Fi network can add value. The survey shows that WLAN is considered necessary for the creation of smart cities because:

  • It gives access to everyone information (71%);
  • it delivers the necessary infrastructure to offer additional services (70%);
  • it overcomes the digital divide between citizens (67 percent);
  • it is cheaper for governments (61%);
  • it could lead to better service (37%);

The research shows that Wi-Fi is a key contributor to helping smart cities deliver reliably and sustainably, but along the way, European policymakers still have some obstacles to overcome. It is reassuring to see that there is a widespread belief that smart cities add value to society. But if the government and the public sector are not investing in the right technology, then they risk missing the numerous opportunities for cities, citizens and themselves.

NB-IoT: Narrowband Internet Of Things with a wide range of Applications

With the growing number of Internet of Things (IoT) applications, the need for transmission paths and techniques is also increasing. Recently discovered, Narrowband-Internet of Things (NB-IoT) is a standard-based low power wide area (LPWA) technology developed to connect a wide range of new IoT devices and services. NB-IoT significantly improves the power consumption of user devices, thus the “things” can send/receive data without establishing a default bearer.

NBIOT CAPABILITIES

This new concept has enabled IoT infrastructures to have the battery life of sensors increased to up to 10 years. Especially true for sensors used in remote areas and without power. Prime example: weather sensors in agriculture – they are predestined for the use of low-consumption, battery-powered Narrowband IoT modules. In a typical broadcasting behavior, these usually last around ten years with two standard AA batteries. Or smart metering: gas and water meters are usually installed in basements where dead spots can occur better mobile radio reception. In addition to battery life, NB-IoT network also provides adequate reception throughout the building, creating the prerequisite for reliable meter reading from a distance.

 

Standardized Radio Technology

 

NB-IoT is part of the Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) and was developed as standard by the 3GPP co-operation, a worldwide collaboration of standardization committees for mobile communications. NB-IoT ensures interference-free reception in buildings and enables low-cost and area-wide networking of devices with low energy requirements, with a range of more than ten kilometers. The data transfer rate is up to 250 kbps, with a bandwidth of 180 kHz. Most NB-IoT modules transmit only once an hour or daily smaller data packets.

The advantages of NB-IoT over other LPWAN standards such as Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRa) are higher signal strength and scalability. NB-IoT enables a significantly greater number of connections per radio cell and transmits data directionally throughout. Also compared to the GSM standard, NB-IoT offers higher coverage and better building penetration. Analysts estimate that there will already be five billion LPWAN connections across the globe in five years.

 

 

Narrowband networks for Europe

 

Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone operate end-to-end networks throughout Europe for narrowband IoT communications on 800 and 900 MHz frequencies in operation. As for Deutsche Telekom, the national rollout in the Netherlands has already been completed. In Austria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, Telekom is extending its existing NB-IoT supply to other cities. In Germany, a number of metropolitan regions are already connected – the area-wide expansion is to be completed by the end of 2018. In the other hand, Vodafone has announced their launch for Australia, New Zealand, and Germany.

 

NB-IoT in the field test

 Target industry for NB-IOT

The application possibilities for NB-IoT are not only limited to smart meters or the monitoring of forests, fields, and livestock in forest and agriculture. The use of NB-IoT also promises great benefits in container tracking and in the monitoring of gas tanks in transport and logistics as well as pallets and pipelines in the industry. In addition, energy service providers, for example, who use smart building solutions to collect and process consumption data – and motorists who save time and fuel with smart parking solutions, also gain practical advantages.

The city administration in Hamburg will digitize about 11,000 public and private parking lots and parking garages using NB-IoT technology in order to set up a smart parking solution. Sensors in the parking lots will communicate in real time via an app with the drivers, who are then briefed on the shortest route to the nearest free parking spot. The introduction of smart parking is also in the offing in other German cities. There, the driver should even be given the opportunity to reserve parking for a specific time in advance.

Internet of Objects Will Reach €250 Billion in 2020

BCG expects that by 2020, € 250 billion will be devoted to IoT technologies, products and services. Among the studies examining the adoption of new technologies and investments in the IoT sector, the recent market analysis of the Boston Consulting Group offers a whole new vision.

The total number of IOT connections is expected to grow from 6 billion in 2015 to 27 billion in 2025, an annual growth rate of 16%, according to Machina Research’s annual report.

The B2B market for the Internet of Things (IoT) is increasing day by day. Software-Hardware vendors, Service providers are all in competition to get the biggest market share. And to get the biggest piece of cake, every IOT provider’s concern is to know where are the growth opportunities?

 

Annual growth of at least 20% in the overall market

 

The two main sources of growth in the IoT market will be investment in services and applications. Here are the main points raised in the new BCG market study. Between 2015 and 2020, BCG expects revenues from all IoT sectors to grow at an annual rate of at least 20%. B2B customers are more focused on services, IoT analysis and applications, making them the fastest in terms of growth. By 2020, these layers will have captured more than 60% of the IoT growth. Moreover, each of these layers is expected to generate 60 billion euros of expenditure by 2020.

SERVICE AND IOT APPLICATIONS

 

The ten most valuable business cases for business leaders

 

To spend €250 billion in IoT,  companies need to know which IoT applications have the potential to deliver more value.

Study reveals that predictive maintenance, production optimaization and automatic inventory management are the three most commonly used cases that will drive the IoT market by 2020. Business leaders are wondering how the IoT can help their businesses increase customer satisfaction, improve service quality, support new business models and reduce costs.

With those above mentioned use cases, BCG conducted a thorough analysis. They found another ten most valuable uses include the ability to use sensors to predict when machines will need to be repaired, Self Optimising Production, Automated Inventory Management, Remote Patient Monitoring , Smart Meters, Activity Trackers, Distributed Generation and Storage, Fleet management, Connected Cars and Response to Demand. The following chart compares the ten use cases by expected level of spending until maturity.

IOT SPENDING 2020

 

A more common digital transformation in companies that do not use technologies

 

By 2020, 50% of expenditures will be related to manufacturing, transportation, logistics and utilities. BCG predicts that IoT will have an even more transformative effect on non-technology-based industries. The success of this transformation depends heavily on secure, scalable, and reliable integration solutions, encompassing cloud systems and platforms.

Among the businesses to be monitored in this area, there is also more and more customers using real-time integration to connect existing ERPs, on-premises systems to cloud applications and platforms. This configuration allows for faster and more reliable operational performance.

IOT SPENDING BY INDUSTRY

 

Tech companies are becoming IoT suppliers

 

According to the BCG study, 40% of customers prefer to use traditional, existing and already well established software to implement their IoT solutions. This represents a challenge for large industrial companies whose future depends on their ability to transit to IoT suppliers. For example, General Electric’s Predix platform is an end-to-end industrial operating system to help its customers increase their operational efficiency. GE has made it clear that it is considering becoming a world leader in industrial IoT (IIoT) and being a major supplier to the IoT market.

Siemens is positioning itself in a similar strategy with its MindSphere platform. Azure IoT Suite from Microsoft, SAP Cloud HANA, Cloud IBM Watson and Cisco IoT System are examples of companies that redefine their business models as IoT providers. Device manufacturers such as Bosch and Intel are reinforcing to offer complementary hardware and operating systems to consolidate the IoT ecosystem of customers.

Today’s IoT customers are looking for end-to-end solutions. IOT vendors can only be successful if the connected things, communications, backbone, and security layers work seamlessly with the top layers. IoT providers don’t necessarily have to master all the components within the technology stack, but it is essential to takes into account the customer’s desire for an end-to-end solution.

#NFC-Technology: Discover the Value of NFC Application For Your #InternetOfThings

NFC APPLICATIONS

Smartphone is increasingly present in our environment. For many of us, it wakes us up in the morning, allows us to know how to dress after checking the weather, accompanies us in transportation, allows us to stay in touch with real world and many other activities related to each of us. In addition to that we are purchasing more and more products and services with our smartphones and our interaction is growing with our environment, home, car or city. And as you know, all this carries the generic name of IOT.

 

With performing all the previously mentioned activities, we leave our traces on the Internet. We leave information on different social medias. Only with the simple use of Gmail, free for the user, we give authorization to Google to use the information contained in our emails. By comments on blogs, on Amazon, on TripAdvisor, on Twitter, pictures on Flicker or Instagram, we therefore share much more information than we think, again, more or less voluntarily, and all this is enriching databases under the generic term of big data. This information is making the economic happiness of many companies, the first being Google, Apple or Amazon. This IOT is mainly an Internet of the data, we give our data that is recovered and exploited by others.

 

As more things are getting connected, concerns over data privacy and security are growing. Using NFC as a communication method can help resolve some of these concerns.

 

This is where the NFC comes in.

 

NFC (=Near Field Communication) technology was born thanks to the coupling of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Technology) with smart cards. RFID is a contactless identification system that has been used for a long time for traceability purposes. It enables simplified transactions, data exchange, pairing, wireless connections and convenience between two objects when in close proximity to one another (about 10 centimeters). Because the communication is one-to-one and requires such close proximity, data privacy is more inherent that with other wireless approaches.

 

The choice of NFC technology on mobile phones is guided by several motivations related to the consumer use of the mobile phone at the present time and by various types of NFC applications conceivable in the field of mobile banking, creative marketing, health. Indeed, in recent years the integration of several technologies (4G, 4G+ networks, GPS, NFC, etc.) into the mobile phone has transformed it into a multiservice tool that cannot be ignored in our daily lives.

 

Today, NFC technology is gaining interest from manufacturers, particularly those in the telephony, IOT and sensors sector, who have integrated it into many consumer Smartphones. There are many applications ranging from electronic payment to time-stamping and localization.

 

Communication Modes of NFC:

 

NFC has 3 communication modes: Card emulation mode, The reader mode and Peer-to-Peer.

 NFC COMMUNICATION MODES

Card emulation mode: In this mode, any NFC enable device, can be used to make transactions instead of using any contactless card. In the case where the NFC enable device is a compatible mobile phone, the SIM card of the operator can be used as a security element by storing encrypted information. There are many different sort of card-type applications, such as, contactless payments, identification card, loyalty card, access control, motel pass cards etc.

 

The reader mode : The mobile terminal becomes a contactless card reader (active mode) or “radio labels” (electronic tags). This mode allows you to read information from various NFC-enables smart objects, only by approaching your mobile phone in front of electronic tags placed on the street, on bus shelters, monuments, posters … or on packages, products = smart advertising. Not only reading but it’s also possible to write information to these smart information sources using the right NFC enabled device.

 

Peer-to-Peer Mode: This mode allows two NFC enabled devices to exchange information, such as vCards, photos, videos, tickets, etc. A device with NFC technology is capable of exchanging information with contactless smart cards but also with other devices equipped with this technology. In peer-to-peer mode, one of reader/writer behaves as a tag, creating a communication link. Using NFC in this mode is equal to having a secure network in your pocket that you can use in any location with peace of mind.

 

 

Study Case: Hotel Room Access

 

Let’s take a first mobile phone user, who usually travels and book hotels for his stay. This person has a SIM card in which an NFC application is installed. His mobile operator, in Belgium, told him that he could access NFC devices thanks to his SIM card because it has a SIM-Centric technology.

 

Our user thus travels on business in different regions of Belgium. The hotels in which he stays ask him to pass his phone in front of a terminal in order to obtain a digital key. So, his phone can be used as a key.

Afterwards, our user goes to a conference in Germany and also wants to check-in in a hotel room. At the time of registration, the reader accepts his SIM card but informs him that his operator will charge him a fee due to this service outside Belgium.

 

Upon returning from the conference, the user asks his operator to change the billing-plan so that he does not have to pay any fees in the future and the operator tells him that this is impossible because at the moment the service costs the operator.

 

In another case our user could book his hotel room online. He would then receive on his mobile phone an electronic key that would be valid throughout the stay and that, when used with the NFC chip and the appropriate application, would allow him to access his room by presenting the mobile in front of the door equipped with an NFC reader.

 

The Clarion Hotel in Stockholm, helped consumers to access directly their rooms and avoid queues by replacing all room keys in 2011 with digital keys for customers already equipped with NFC devices. Same approach for check-out, made with a simple touch between their phones and the lobby reader. 60% of users said they had saved more than ten minutes and 80% would use the system again if they had the opportunity while the hotel was able to reassign check-in staff while removing keys replacement problems.

 

Transport users already use their phones as boarding passes and we witness NFC payment systems in restaurants, taxis, shopping malls or distributors. In hospitals, offices, university campuses, we can use our phones to enter buildings, make purchases, use transportation and identify ourselves. NFC phones is even being used to provide physicians with access to your medical history.

 

Industry experts predict that the NFC will continue to revolutionize our lives in the years to come. Our daily checklist – “keys, wallet, phone” – is about to shorten. It will not take long before you see the functionality of these three objects integrated into an NFC compatible handset.

#Data : An Important Piece To “The #InternetOfThings” Puzzle

Internet of things

Every day, connected objects generate billions of information that must be processed and analyzed to make them usable. Thanks to the development of connectivity on multiple devices, the arrival of inexpensive sensors and the data inflation they transmit, IoT have took irreplaceable place in our daily lives. IDC forecasts worldwide IOT market to grow more than $7,1 trillion by 2020. The number of devices will more than double from the current level, with 40.9 billion forecasted for 2020.

 

These very serious estimations do not, however, take into account the full extent of this digital revolution. If the design of connected objects is the showcase of the IoT and its vast possibilities, it still requires strong skills on the processing of the exploited data collected from sensors terminals, machines and platforms to interpret it in order to boost productivity and increase performance.

 

Just as in jewel market, the big winners are gold/diamond dealers. In the IOT domain, this role is played by companies able to manage the mountains of data generated by these connected devices because the collected data is profoundly changing the way businesses used to operate. Almost every day, new applications are imagined, with consequences at all levels of organizations because the real added value of connected objects only comes from the uses and the ability of companies to create new services.

 

Several studies demonstrate that companies are still facing a gap between the collection of new data and the presentation of the analyzed information so that it can be understood and explored in great detail, whether it is for a connected house, connected car, a portable terminal or an industrial solution.

 

Here below is the list of tips companies must consider before every IOT project implementation:

 

  • Sort valuable information among a big volume of data:
    Exploiting IoT means generating a huge amount of data. The challenge for companies is to filter the stray information and find the ones that are really important. This is why many companies integrate a flow analysis and a process analysis. The first provides real-time information from data streams such as navigation paths, logs, measurement data, and the second is to take machine data captures.

 

  • Set and manage priorities:
    The IoT implies different levels of necessity in terms of urgency and latency. It’s important to take this into account because one expects to interact with the “real world” in real time. For example, sensors in mines must trigger an alert as soon as they detect the presence of toxic gases. Similarly, other IoT information may not be needed “just in time”, such as regularly collected data to further refine and improve the predictive model itself. This data can potentially be collected and processed several times a day, for example.

 

  • Design considerations for IoT technologies:
    Information security, privacy and data protection should systematically be worked at the design stage. Unfortunately, in many cases, they are added on later once the intended functionality is in place. This not only limits the effectiveness of the added-on information security and privacy measures, but also is less efficient in terms of the cost to implement them. Although industries are actively working to address this, it stays a major IoT problem.

 

  • Cross the Data:
    In the case of preventive operations, for example, companies want to collect data from objects (such as smart meters) and cross them with relevant relational data, such as maintenance agreements, warranty information and life cycle components. It is therefore essential that companies can rely on the data from which they make important decisions.

 

  • Tracing the data:
    The increased collection of data may raise issues of authentication and trust in the objects. In addition, it should also be noted that by using information collected about and from multiple objects related to a single person, that person may become more easily identifiable and better known. So in order to fully exploit the potential of IoT, tools must be much more flexible and allow users to shape and adapt data in different ways, depending on their needs or those of their organization.

 

Collaboration between the IT team and business experts is more critical than ever before in analyzing IoT data. In addition to those who understand the data, it takes experts to analyze gathered data from specific devices or sensors. While any analyst can understand the data in the context of a company’s performance indicators, only a data specialist would be able to explain what kind of hidden data contains a wealth of information, and how with the right tools, companies can unleash that potential.

IT Challenge n°2: Rise of new Partnership Models

 

IT Partnership Models

2020 companies will be totally interlinked organizations within an ecosystem in which new strategic partnerships and associations will be formed, as well with customers, suppliers and competitors!

 

A profound transformation of the ecosystem

The growth of value creation is a major trend in digital era. We witness more and more companies opening up, thanks to the multiplication of the interactions allowed by cloud, data repositories, connected objects … This condition requires companies to rethink their business partnership strategies within their ecosystem in order to succeed in the age of digitization.

This ecosystem is very extensive, with an interesting diversity of actors, such as, GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon), start-ups, innovative SMEs, communities, customers, employees, self-entrepreneurs, suppliers, public and local authorities and political institutions… In the era of “co-something”, a company can no longer succeed alone in its market, particularly because of the rapid emergence of new business models, competitors “out of nowhere” and an accelerated renewal technology.

 

The challenges: anticipate and ally

Controlling the ecosystem depends on anticipating the evolution of it’s different actors, to be noted that actors in the traditional IT are not necessarily those of the current ecosystem, nor, of tomorrow. Some will disappear or merge, others will emerge, many will become partners.

Establishing a good relationship with the right partner, which can be a supplier, requires joint sharing of opportunities and risks, commitment to common goals, and shearing value. And this sharing of value aims to bring something new and positive to the partners, and ultimately to help them grow. Strategic partnerships can be established when there are common objectives for value creation. With this perspective, the partnership is strategic and is quite different from the traditional customer-supplier relationship (even major), in which the parties are bound by a contract for the providing services.

The objectives of each party must be the same and the balance of the relationship arises precisely because of that different but valuable opinions and ideas.

 

Challenges: Negotiation and Confidence

  • Collaborate: one of the typical challenges of partnerships will be to manage the paradox between internal resources (including CIOs) that are experiencing difficulties and struggles, collaborating and, on the other hand, the market, which requires close collaboration to better innovate.
  • Dialogue: companies are confronted with a cultural interoperability challenge in order to engage all the actors involved, even if they do not share a common language.
  • Establishing trust: a partnership relation is always based on trust. Thus, it is not a question of “collaborating to collaborate”, but of collaborating to win together, in order to create communities that engage clients and collaborators.

R-Link is the result of a long-term partnership between Renault and Tom-Tom. R-Link is an integrated multimedia tablet, driven by a tactile control or an advanced voice command. It combines, the various functions related to multimedia in the car such as, navigation, radio, telephony, messaging, well-being, eco-driving. Renault’s interest in combining with Tom-Tom was to increase the value for its customers, to know them better and to improve the level of service.
This example illustrates the idea of a service platform: Renault added services to its products by developing the customer experience.

 

To conclude, I’ll say that the success of these new partnership model depends only on the business taking much greater role in designing, building, and exploiting the technology, platforms, and data it needs to succeed. Overcoming challenges of traditional IT management is a step forward of bringing IT closer to its true mission and succeeding in all IT collaborations.

Secure #IOT: and if #BigData was the key?

By 2020, the planet will have more than 30 billion connected objects according to IDC. The security of these objects is a major discussion topic. Ensuring the security, reliability, resilience, and stability of these devices and services should be a critical concern not only for manufacturer, companies using them but also for the end user. Security solutions abound on the market, but has anyone just thought of Big Data?

 

The Internet of objects is third industrial technological revolution, enabling companies to work smarter, faster and of course in a more profitable way. IOT represents endless and challenging opportunities, and above all, it shows that a full-fledged ecosystem is being created. This is very different from big data, because most companies consider big data to be static; the data is generated in logs that have utility only where they are, because there is no connectivity. With the Internet of objects, the data is mobile.

 

A good example of the potential created by the Internet of objects is the work done by Deloitte and a medical device manufacturer in order to optimize the management of chronic diseases in patients with implanted devices. They have established remote data transmissions from patient pacemakers. Pacemakers communicate via Bluetooth at low frequency and contact the healthcare provider using a handset. With this connected object, the physician can obtain real time information to better determine the treatment protocols.

 

However, there’s one critical issue that still need to be addressed to facilitate the Internet of objects adoption by every organization, and this issue concerns the IOT security as well as all the elements that makes it up. With billions of objects and terminals connected to the Internet, including cars, homes, toasters, webcams, parking meters, portable objects, factories, oil platforms, energy networks and Heavy equipment, the Internet of objects abruptly multiplies the surface of threats, increasing the number of vulnerabilities and creating millions of opportunities for threats and attacks.

IOT Risk Management

The recent DDoS attack illustrates the alarming dangers and risks associated with unsecured devices and components of Internet of objects. This should certainly have the effect of raising awareness for businesses and individuals, and should lead them to take actions for the security of Internet of objects. According to a recent study released by computer security firm ESET and the NCSA (cyber security alliance), about 40% of respondents in the US have no confidence in the security and privacy of connected objects. So these security issues will remain at the forefront as long as manufacturers will not seriously removed security vulnerabilities, and companies won’t increase their internal cybersecurity measures to effectively detect and counter future security threats. Although it is necessary to take into account many parameters to secure the Internet of the objects (security of the terminals, network security, etc.), one of the key pieces of the puzzle is to determine how to take advantage of massive quantities of data continuously generated by the devices.

 

A data-driven approach to prevent IOT cyber attacks

 

Big data plays a crucial role in protecting a company and its assets against cyber threats. The future of the fight against IOT cybercrime will be based on the use of data for cybersecurity. According to a recent Forrester report, “Internet object security means monitoring at least 10 times, if not more than 100 times more physical devices, connections, authentications and data transfer events as today. Having a better ability to collect event data and intelligently analyze them through huge data sets will be crucial to the security of connected systems. “

Given all this, companies need to think about these two following things to prepare for this new era …

 

The first is that companies need to rethink the security perimeter. Recent attacks that have targeted connected objects have made clear that the “security perimeter” is now more conceptual than physical. The constantly evolving nature of our new hyperconnected world also leads to the constant evolution of threats. As the technical community continues to connect the world and contribute to innovations that improve home security, improve medical care and transform transport, it is clear that the hackers will seek to exploit these same innovations for harmful purposes. We need to rethink the perimeter of security as the corporate edge continues to expand beyond the traditional borders to which we were used to.

 

Then, the detection of the threats must adapt to the magnitude of the connected objects. The world continues to hyper-connect, the number of security events that any enterprise must store, consult and analyze are also increasing significantly. Having a cybersecurity platform capable of supporting billions of events is essential to ensure total supervision of all devices connecting to and accessing a company’s network. The use of technologies such as #MachineLearning for the detection of anomalies will allow companies to continue to detect suspicious behavior on the workstations without any human intervention. The ML scalability coupled with the Internet of the objects will be the key to the anticipated detection of the threats specific to IOT.

 

As we know, by 2020, the planet will have more than 30 billion connected objects. To get the most out of these revolutionary innovations and prevent them from becoming a nightmare in terms of IT security, organizations will have to learn how to manage, process, store, analyze and redistribute a vertiginous volume of data in real time and all of this by respecting security norms.. We increasingly depend on these devices for essential services, and their behavior may have global reach and impact.

 

Sources: