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Why Companies Should Care About IOT Services

As with any new technology, businesses will need to find quantifiable benefits in the Internet of Things before the concept is embraced and implemented. It could be argued that connected devices are already being adopted on a wide scale: companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Qualcomm, IBM, and others already see IoT as a core part of their businesses. Even so, there are still some, especially small to medium sized businesses, that are weighing up the costs and benefits of ultra-connectivity in the world of the Internet of Things.

You do not have to dig deep to see why IoT is important. Business Insider's research division, BI Intelligence, has predicted that IoT will become the largest device market in the world over the next five years. Most analysts predict market value will reach in to the trillions, with possibly $7 trillion of total value by 2020. Any way you slice the pie, billions of dollars are on the table. These figures are promising for businesses directly involved in the manufacture and design of device services and hardware, but what about the companies that will purchase these technologies to incorporate them into operations?

Perhaps the single largest benefit will be in how Internet of Things devices can lower costs. The manufacturing sector provides an ideal case scenario. Machine to Machine (M2M) systems will allow for machinery to become more efficient, and more autonomous. Take a production line that was previously labor intensive. Sensors relying on IoT can receive orders, initiate fabrication, sign off work orders, and even package products using IoT, and with little human interaction. Even non-automated manufacturing will benefit. Orders can be taken from anywhere in the world, transferred through the cloud, and delivered to remote manufacturing facilities. These systems can collect valuable analytics that can benefit accounting, inventory management, and even resource procurement.

While this type of IoT will directly benefit businesses in manufacturing, it will also create new opportunities for project managers, engineers, and IT professionals who will be necessary in designing, implementing, and supporting these systems. It even creates the role of Chief Internet of Things Officer, the CIOTO, tasked with managing a network of connected systems, and connecting their efforts back to business goals.

Because IoT provides immediate data collection, businesses in all industries will benefit from improved decision making. Being able to analyze and distribute intelligence faster means that tedious data collection will be a thing of the past. Decisions can be made faster, and in some cases can be automated. What this spells for enterprise is, in essence, better decisions based on better data.

Hong Kong International Airport, and other mega-airports around the world, already rely on RFID technology to track luggage and freight throughout their sites. This enables luggage to be delivered by machine to the correct gate, the correct passenger carousel, or to the correct airliner, train, or delivery vehicle. Items are tracked via computer, and managed from a central control point. This reduces hands on management and labor costs. HKIA spent $50 million to develop the initial infrastructure, but widespread adoption of this IoT based technology could save the industry $760 million per year, according to the International Air Transport Association.

Imagine how a similar system could benefit a SMB. Goods delivery could be RFID or barcode tracked on handheld scanners. This tracking information could be uploaded to a cloud solution, from where dispatchers, couriers, and clients could track the location and progress of a delivery. These are the kind of innovations that are driving IoT, and making it a necessary technology in a market where cost and efficiency is key, and where end users and consumers demand constant, easily accessible information.

The opportunities are there for businesses who adopt IoT today. The benefits exist whether they seek to improve manufacturing efficiency, streamline logistics processes, or even provide new ways for customers to interact and receive information. In the growing world of IoT, the question is not why should we care, but is rather, can you afford not to?

Please give us your feedback or share how the Internet of Things has touched your business below. 

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IOT and Assisted Living

IOT and Assisted Living

It is most likely the you have heard the term “internet of things” or IOT in regards to everyday things such as our televisions and phones. That is not however where this new innovation is going to end. There has been a lot of talk about the IOT stepping into the healthcare industry with things like connected healthcare.

Another area where we can expect to see the IOT playing a large role is in assisted living. It is no secret that people are living longer than we ever have before. It has even been said that the first person to see the age 150 has already been born. It should come as no surprise then that nursing homes and senior assisted living facilities are full to bursting with elderly people whom are healthy but incapable or afraid to live on their own. The IOT could help with this.

We are all familiar with products such as Life Alert that have been used to give seniors a sense of security in their own home. These types of things allowed seniors to remain in their homes longer than before. They are not perfect though. The fact is that the technology behind these types of monitoring devices is out dated. It relies on a live person being available 24/7 to respond to the individuals call for help. What happens when the person in question does not have the capability of triggering the monitoring device though? This is where the IOT can step in.

Recently engineers have developed sensors that can be placed discreetly throughout the home. These sensors then monitor the resident’s movements and activities throughout the day. These sensors rely not on a live person monitoring them, but on algorithms and programming that over time learn the normal habits of the person living in the home. They monitor things such as…

  • location of the resident within the home
  • light sources being used
  • bed time and awakening time
  • television watching
  • cooking
  • bathroom usage
  • leaving the home and returning
  • heating or air conditioning temperature and adjustments

Then in the case of an emergency or variations to that pattern that do not fit the normal activity within the home can notify family members or medical professionals.

Another development is something similar to that of Life Alert but more sophisticated. Wireless vital sign monitors. These devices can notify first responders of medical emergencies such as stroke, heart attack and a loss of consciousness without the person suffering having to do anything at all. Further they could notify patients of an issue well before it actually happens, such as notifying a heart patients doctor that their heartrate has been erratic over a period of time, thus indicating that further investigation may be needed. It is not hard to see that very soon we could see the IOT playing a large role in the lives of our seniors, or anyone that needs some form of assistance.  

 For more information about IOT and Healthcare please check out our new website  www.internetofthingsrecruiting.com 

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IoT and Your Utilities Services

The Internet of Things has progressed rapidly in the last decade, providing numerous benefits for consumers, industries, and even government organizations. As a consumer, it can be difficult to break through the noise to see the most important benefits of IoT, especially when the spotlight is often focused on entertainment and convenience services. One benefit of IoT that is sometimes underrepresented, is the ability for new technologies to increase the efficiency and reduce costs of utility services.

Data from the Open & Agile Smart Cities initiative in Europe estimates that gross savings in a moderately sized smart city could be as much as 15% for water, 25% for waste management, and 50% for electrical lighting. Although these estimates might seem generous, they do reflect the optimism of other developed markets. As an example, data from the New Jersey Institute of Technology suggests that smart energy sensors could save the United States up to $1.2 billion dollars per year in the largest cities.

A Proven Case Study

The figures are exciting, but how exactly do they directly impact consumers? To answer this, we can look at how smart water sensors have benefitted residents in the city of Dubuque in Iowa, U.S.

In 2009, the city developed programs to introduce IoT connected sensors to consumer utility lines. Rather than traditional metering systems, residents and businesses were connected to smart meters that could automatically report data back to utility providers, allowing for real time usage monitoring and reporting. With the new meters, residents were better able to monitor their real time water usage and costs, which allowed for a 7% reduction in total water usage. The same system allowed for speedy detection of water leaks and flow problems, which were proactively monitored by the utility company. Because consumers had immediate access to their usage statistics, they could also identify leaks, faucets, or appliances in their homes that could be contributing to water waste. Considered a huge success, a similar system was adopted in the Australian city of Townsville, with similar positive results.

Considering this example of how IoT sensors have benefitted water utilities, it becomes easy to see how comparable systems could benefit electric and gas utilities. The savings aren’t just found from reducing usage and detecting leaks or faults, but also by reducing the cost of actually monitoring utility usage. Machine generated data can be interpreted by computers, eliminating the need for manual data interpretation. Meter reading at the service termination point also becomes unnecessary.

Wider Benefits that Integrate with Smart City Concepts

Using smart meters connected to the Internet of Things is clearly the future of utility metering, but there are still benefits beyond what has been discussed. With a smart city that proactively collects and interprets data, there are possibilities to improve utility infrastructure, identify trends, and plan utilities for new developments based on existing data.

Overall, the potential cost savings and benefits will far outweigh any investment that is made to modernize existing utility networks. Any city of significant size should be able to clearly measure the benefits of IoT, and the adoption rate of new technologies will serve the interests of both service providers, and the end of line consumers.

For more info about IOT check out our new websitewww.internetofthingsrecruiting.com

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What's on the Horizon for IoT and CCTV?

What’s on the Horizon for IoT and CCTV?

Smart devices are transforming the world that we live in, but is change always positive? When it comes to the internet of things (IoT), there are two strongly opposing viewpoints. Some see connected devices as a natural evolution of technology and the internet, with far reaching benefits for consumers, industry, and general business. There is also another viewpoint that sees IoT as too risky, too pervasive, and frighteningly unregulated.

The truth may be somewhere in the middle, although both viewpoints raise valid concerns and benefits. If designed and implemented correctly, IoT can increase efficiency, reduce cost, improve safety, and deliver convenience. However, without necessary attention to security and good judgement, IoT technologies can compromise privacy and sensitive data. When considering both viewpoints, it can help to look at a single technology group, such as CCTV cameras with internet connectivity.

The Benefits of Wireless CCTV Cameras

CCTV cameras and IoT can provide clear benefits over older systems. They can backup footage to local or cloud connected storage, which can then be made available for any user with internet access to the system. An embedded chip could also allow for live streaming so that monitoring can be performed off-site, without the need for wired infrastructure. This can reduce costs and improve convenience, while also shattering the old notion that monitoring requires a dedicated video room, staffed by full time employees. Smart cameras can even be configured to record and notify an elected group or individual when movement is detected. This essentially combines the functions of a video monitoring system and an intruder alarm, in a single technology.

With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why businesses and home users would be interested in a networked CCTV system, but when the risks are considered, connected cameras may become less appealing.

What are the Dangers of Current and Future Devices?

A CCTV system that is connected to the internet can theoretically be breached by any party, from anywhere in the world where there is internet access. Unauthorized access can mean that cameras could be disabled or hijacked to steal footage, potentially leaking sensitive trade or manufacturing information. In the case of domestic cameras, unauthorized access can open up the home to prying eyes. Not only can privacy be invaded, but criminals could potentially use cameras to track people’s movements and schedules to plan burglaries, home invasions, or other crimes.

What looks on paper to be a robust and futuristic security system, could just as easily be made to serve malicious parties, so what is the solution?

Security is Key

Like with most IoT devices, security will be the all-important layer that determines whether the benefits can be enjoyed without compromising privacy or increasing the risk of data theft. In commercial business and industry, there are typically more resources available to ensure that networks and devices are secured. Data transfer can be encrypted, and wireless and wired networks can be made safe through enterprise level firewalls and other safeguards. In the home, security is less likely to be effectively managed. Many home CCTV users may be ignorant to the needs of security, and may even be unaware of whether their home network and devices are secured.

This presents a significant challenge which should be addressed in two ways. Manufacturers and innovators have a responsibility to develop IoT systems that are secure by design, with safeguards in place to ensure that even user error cannot compromise the security of a system. At the same time, there needs to be a push to educate consumers (private and business) on the importance of security and the risks of poorly protected IoT devices like CCTV cameras. Government bodies can potentially strengthen security implementations and awareness through regulation and legislation.

With analysts expecting up to 50 billion embedded chip devices to be in use by 2020, it is essential that security and education challenges are met, so that IoT can reach its full potential without compromising the safety and security of organizations and users around the world.

For more information check out our new website.  www.internetofthingsrecruiting.com

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Connected Healthcare is Becoming Vital

How Connected Healthcare is Becoming Vital

There is one word that describes the direction that the health care industry is heading, “connectivity”. This catch all term is used to describe using the internet to increase the reach of medicine. This is also known as the internet of things (IOT) and it is nothing new. It is however relatively new to healthcare.

The goal of connected healthcare is to empower both the providers and patients. Using connectivity, a provider can make use of remote patient monitoring, and consultations without the need to be face to face. This may seem like a moot point to some, but it would enable doctors to reach patients that they have never been able to before. Connected healthcare would also allow things like our cell phones and tablets to send real time medical information to our healthcare providers.

Taking it a step further the aim is going to involve using medical data in news ways. Rather than your medical file sitting unused in a cabinet somewhere the aim of connected healthcare is to compile the data in a way that lets your healthcare provider identify areas in which your day to day life may need improvement. Using this data, you and your provider would then be able to create novel solutions to the issue.

The question still remains though, why is connected healthcare becoming vital? We just explained what it is and some of the benefits but where is the “need”?

It is quite simple; out healthcare network would resemble that of a spider web if we connected all of the facilities with string. You have your imaging done at the hospital, your bloodwork done at a lab and your general check-ups done at your doctor’s office. Then there are outpatient procedures, specialists and countless pharmacies. In days past the only thing that connected these medical facilities were phone and fax (or you transporting your paperwork), which was in no way ideal. The margin for error was simply too great. What’s more it could take days for results of testing or procedures to make it where they needed to go.

What connected healthcare is allowing us to do is use the internet to digitally transmit records, prescriptions, files and test results almost instantaneously. For some this may not seem necessary, the fact is however that our providers are dealing with more and more patients every single day. One example of this would be the fact that the workload of a medical secretary has nearly doubled in the last decade, and where more volume is added the risk of mistakes also increases. Using a digital method for transport will eliminate a lot of the potential for human error within our healthcare network.

That is truly only the start though. Using connected healthcare doctors, specialists, surgeons, imaging techs and pharmacists can all have access to the most up to date and accurate information about their patients. Undoubtedly this will come to benefit us all in ways we cannot even imagine.  

We would like to hear your view of connected healthcare.  To schedule a quick call use the following link  

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Smarter Cities and How They Can Serve Humanity

Communications technology is progressing at a phenomenal rate, especially when it comes to wireless communications and the ever growing Internet of Things. While many observers and media outlets focus on the benefits of devices and how they will impact consumers, producers, and service providers, there are also huge benefits to be gained by modernizing cities, and progressing towards a smart city model.

A smart city is any city where technology is used to improve public services, safety, and efficiency, and the development of such cities will have major economic and social benefits for individuals and organizations within them.

Major Benefits of Emerging Smart Cities

While many of the consumer technologies in the IoT industry have focused on consumer convenience and entertainment, smart city technologies are aimed more at improving quality of life and providing economic advantages within urban areas.

Transportation

One major area of focus for smart city developers, is transportation. Smart city planning requires that transportation is completely integrated, with mass automation. Big data plays a significant role, as connected sensors record data ranging from traffic statistics, to public transport vehicle location, or even the number of pedestrians who are using a major controlled crossing at any time of the day. A smart city will collect this data to aid urban planning, making it easier for cities to plan new infrastructure.

A smart city can also better manage its transportation infrastructure in real time. Sensor data can help to reroute traffic using electronic road signs, or could automatically adjust signal light timing at major intersections, depending on real time congestion and traffic flow. Rather than urban planners reacting to accumulated data over long time periods, smart cities will have immediate access to sensor data which can be interpreted by machines almost immediately, allowing for traffic management changes to occur within minutes, rather than days or months.

Safety

Safety in large cities has always been a major concern, and a significant area of expenditure for governments. Smart traffic management aids road safety, but other areas of personal safety can also be improved with smart cities. Automation can control lighting in public areas, allowing for increased security. Sensors can alert public services when maintenance needs to be performed on street lighting and traffic signals, and data can be used to increase efficiency of maintenance schedules, resulting in cost savings for large cities. Public cameras can deter and detect crime, and sensors can be used to detect gas leaks, fires, or air quality risks in public spaces. With the integration of location beacons in emergency vehicles, fire, police, and ambulance services can better coordinate coverage in high risk areas, and respond to incidents with increased speed.

Utilities

The benefits even extend into utilities. Sensors on electrical lines can detect faults and control electricity flow in real time. Water lines can also be monitored by IoT connected sensors, allowing for the real time detection of leaks and flow problems. Advanced sensors can even test for water quality along mains. Sensors on gas lines will also increase safety and reduce waste from inefficiency. According to data from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, wide scale smart energy sensors could save the United States up to $1.2 billion dollars per year, and efficiency improvements with other utilities would only add to the potential savings.

Significant Advantages for Stakeholders and Residents

The worldwide smart city technology market is expected to be worth almost $30 billion within the next seven years, a figure that illustrates the huge level of interest from cities and their technology partners.

Smart cities are not just about reducing the costs and resource requirements of the cities themselves, because the benefits will be directly felt by all who live and work within these urban areas. Convenience and quality of life can be improved, and city savings may translate to reduced local rates and taxes, while allowing for increased investment into key infrastructure and public services.

What do you see as the future of smarter cities.   Please call if you would like to discuss and see how we see them unfolding   Click here for a free Consultation 

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Why is the IOT Catnip to Hackers ??

Why is the IOT Catnip to Hackers?

The latest developments in IoT security will protect the companies that use them from disastrous hacks

Rob Enderle writing in CIO Magazine May 20 about a new security certification for IOT products lauded the new offering and cited other measures that responsible IoT businesses must take to secure the future of their companies. His opinion piece couldn’t come at a better time.

Those of us watching the IOT “back door” swing open to hackers have been wondering how and when a product certification like this would become industry standard. Underwriter Laboratory’s Cybersecurity Assurance Program (CAP) just might work. But it’s only a start.

The three-level certification process, according to Enderle, will work fine as long as it’s subject to a “rigorous audit process.” However, he also agrees that using a remote network hub with security stopgaps in place (which is what most are doing now) won’t do a thing to protect wireless devices.

Where we are now, where we need to go

During the NXP/FTF Technology Forum 2016, a group of panelists was asked if the Internet of Things was secure yet. What do you think they answered? Yes, they said, no.

Here’s the rub—and the same thing that Enderle writes about: The connected devices in cars, homes, phones need to have specialty security hardware to stop many attacks. Another missing link, according to Global Business Development Manager Damon Kachur at Symantec, is the need to institute “a massive education process compelling security providers to educate consumers on how to operate their devices securely.”

Using cryptography, requiring several rounds of authentication per day, and manufacturers hiring hackers to break into their IoT devices before they put them on the assembly line—these were also solutions that Forum panelists came up with to secure the IoT.

Horror stories averted?

The stories with the highest profiles are those that see connected cars taken over and crashed; cell phones hijacked and set on fire; and that Target breach, when hackers stole credit cards from Target headquarters using the building’s HVAC systems to get in. What else do we need to do, besides work on certification processes and make sure that before we build the next IoT device, we’ve protected it from hackers?

It’s clear that businesses engaged in the IoT revolution need to make security “job one”. There are heartening signs that this indeed is the case. A recent Accenture paper on IOT security claimed that “businesses surveyed by the World Economic Forum identified cyber-attack vulnerabilities as their most important IoT concern.” And an article last month in Forbes reported that venture capitalists are now “following the money” to underwrite cybersecurity start-ups: “Boston-based Lux Research says investment in “cyberphysical” security startups rose 78% to $228 million in 2015, and will increase to $400 million this year. The report cites rapid adoption of IoT tech, with the potential threats it brings in the area of internet connectivity in cars, homes and factories.”

Businesses that are eager to make money on the IOT without being willing to spend the money on securing it will be increasingly prone to customer data breaches and other high-profile disasters that will close their doors—and slow the adoption of IoT devices—and spending—for years to come. Smart companies need to make an investment in securing their latest IoT game changing use-case or product-- or their customers and partners won’t want to make an investment in them.

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An Internet of Buildings (IoB) that really works and can’t be hacked?

The IOT holds great promise for nearly every aspect of society and, of course, is rife with business opportunity, as well. One of the most exciting opportunities on both fronts remains the opportunity to create connected buildings.

The U.S. Department of Energy poses the challenge in this way: “Buildings will no longer be passive objects that consume resources, but rather active participants engaged in the energy system and our community.”

What exactly is meant by “connected buildings” on a practical level? Some of these characteristics include:

  • Buildings are self-aware and continuously anticipate and adapt to changes in weather, time of day, occupant needs, and socioeconomics.
  • Buildings will transact with utilities (including electricity, gas, and water), local power sources, and other buildings to provide services that will benefit building owners, utility operators, and the entire community.
  • Buildings will minimize their life-cycle cost while meeting their objective functions through optimizing energy and water use, enhancing health and the productivity of occupants, contributing to a cleaner environment, and actively supporting better living.

Smart Buildings: A brief history

Most people don’t think of the first “smart” buildings and think of the lowly thermostat. However, that technology was really the first step toward a “self-aware” building. As you might imagine, other controls introduced during the early days of building management were of the order of the thermostat and managed manually. In the 1980s, many of these systems became digital and by the 1990s, Building Management Systems (BMS) might have been computerized, might have yielded reports that helped facilities manage resources better—however these systems were often fragmented.

From “Green Biz Insights” June 23, 2014

These challenges culminate today in the difficulty of creating open protocol for many different structures under different ownership. We are now seeing important efforts to that end by governments and businesses that collaborate together to forward the promise of smart buildings. These initiatives and the data they generate contribute to an interrelated web of information – a data-rich ecosystem that benefits both the structures’ occupants and the communities where they stand.

Just two short years ago, a Green Biz article proclaimed, “We are now in the era where big data technologies enable us to capture data from different sources, in diverse formats and with varying context. From being a catalyst, data is now becoming a driver of actions. Less human effort is required to manage even though the complexity around data has increased massively. We are essentially at the cusp of what we call the era of 'Internet of Buildings.' This will be the future age of Internet of Buildings, where we will see interoperability and seamless data interchange.”

So how far have we come?

The Present State of the IOB

According to an article in TechVibes, In February at the IBM InterConnect 2016, Siemens Building Technologies Division and IBM’s Watson IoT Business Unit  “announced cloud-based solutions that will leverage Siemens’ building expertise and IBM's Internet of Things capabilities to maximize the potential of connected buildings and the data they create, helping corporate real estate owners across multiple industries drive business results and meet energy efficiency goals.”

IBM's open standards-based Watson IoT Cloud platform can solve a lot of the open protocol issues that industry wonks were bemoaning in 2014. The move toward open standards platform integration in other cities and for other IoB initiatives will ensure that the “language” of connected buildings converges. Then, smart buildings can speak seamlessly among themselves in smart cities that protect resources and create additional opportunities for improving the lives of the people who live there. 

Keeping the IoB secure

Other solid news from the IoB front include government and industry partnerships to control the security risks inherent with the advent of “smart cities.” Entities as diverse as the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Cyber and Infrastructure Analysis, Stanford University’s Center for the Internet and Society, Drawbridge Technologies, IBM, and others in the public and private sectors have mustered efforts to institute changes. These ensure that “risk assessment methods and security measures (that) often don't scale well from the asset or system to the level of political jurisdictions” are adjusted to manage threats to smart buildings, and, by extension, smart cities.

A recent research report identified the threat of a “shadow” IoT” built right into several North American connected buildings that were managed by the same company:

“A survey of building automation system software by researchers at IBM X-Force found that the systems suffer from a range of security issues, from weak authentication and authorization controls.

“Administrative web interfaces used to provide remote access to the systems also are vulnerable to application based attacks and lack basic security controls,” said X-Force researcher Paul Ionescu.

In a “red team” exercise performed for the firm, the IBM researchers found they were able to compromise the company’s main monitoring and control server, which was used to manage several locations in North America. Ionescu told Security Ledger that the attack exploited a weakly secured DLink router that was used to link the building automation system to the Internet.”

In the same article, we learn that “the compromise of Target Stores in 2014 was linked to heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems running within Target’s headquarters.” This incident made the papers when consumer credit cards were compromised; however few knew about the follow-up report blaming the BMS at headquarters. These public relations incidents have the capacity to make a public that is already leery of the “Big Brother” implications of having their house “watching them.”

As we enter the era of smart buildings and smart cities, it’s clear that IoB companies, in partnership with government, need to seek a common goal: Keep the IoB safe and keep working together to ensure that the IoB revolution lives up to its name—but does not include the infighting and disruption that has characterized non-techie revolutions across time.

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The internet is now a given. It’s something that we don’t even consider. It’s always there and we can depend on it to help us just as we can depend on electricity and natural gas to keep us warm or cool.

 The way in which we use the internet began as communications and has evolved far beyond that to something that is a necessity and something that is changing lives. We are entering a very unique period in the life of the internet.

 IoT is isn't at all new to us though many people are not sure what IoT is and how it’s useful to humanity.  It began at MIT and started nearly 20 years ago, in the early part of 2000s.  IoT, to simplify the explanation, is nothing more than a network that is designed of all kinds of objects that connect to the internet. Refrigerators, cars, trucks, manufacturing computers, watches, tablets, are all examples of the IoT and each of them has unique capabilities.

 Given the changes being made in IoT, this network can now be expanded to include physical items that may not traditionally have been part of the internet. Things like sneakers that count how far you've run or cushion your foot and measure the impact to the body. Street lights connected to the internet can record those who stand beneath them or activity that took place.

 Iot, according to companies such as DHL and Cisco, is firing the imagination and creating a broad and diverse array of new jobs and new methods of accomplishing old tasks.

 IoT offers us a transition in technology that has been impacting many different industries. IT will continue to do so along the way, impacting more tasks and more companies. It will, as it continues to change and evolve—offer huge implications for the movement of goods and services and the business of logistics.

 Today some 15 million devices are connected to the internet. These embed sensors, control computers, help us to analyze our work, to source new data, and to find unparalleled views into operations and information that allow us to improve the speed, improve the products, improve the delivery and improve the overall service to our customers.

 The IoT is already changing the way that we do business and the logistics of storage and delivery. It’s doing that by changing how we are making decisions about how goods are trucked, “stored, monitored, serviced, and delivered to customers.”

Trucks and cars carrying goods are already moving by the use of robotics in countries such as Singapore, the UK and the US.

Units for storage are carefully measuring temperature to ensure that goods are stored in the right way to prevent spoilage and saving money for the companies which are using them.

Vast changes and major impacts in how we buy, sell and use goods and services and improvements in the  ways that they serve mankind are being wrought by the internet of things every day. Expect the future to be more of the same.

For more information check out our website at www.internetofthingsrecruiting.com

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IOT - Whose devices were breached in 2015

IoT, as we all know, is not without issues--though we have become reliant upon it in many ways.. In 2015, there were some very viable and tangible proofs that the IoT field is fraught with real peril and that we as IoT designers, developers and companies need to be paying more attention to security. Just how many different IoT companies and arenas were breached? The answer might surprise you-- not to mention terrify you.

Most of us read about the car that was taken over and driven into a ditch. The ramifications of that were clear to all of us, but some even more frightening things have taken place this year..

Did you know that a flight was taken over-- and the man who took over the flight bragged that he had also manipulated the space station?

 In the past year, the following hacks have taken place.

Medical devices--The FDA ordered that specific drug pumps be no longer used. The software was bad enough that hackers could change the dosage being delivered to people who were using them.So we have the possibility of murder by internet??http://www.securityweek.com/fda-issues-alert-over-vulnerabl…

The DOE--According to a June 2015 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, hackers successfully compromised U.S. Department of Energy computer systems more than 150 times between 2010 and 2014. "Records show 53 of the 159 successful intrusions were "root compromises " "http://www.usatoday.com/…/cyber-attacks-doe-energy/71929786/

A Steel Mill --An entire steel mill was breached resulting in "massive destruction of equipment" http://www.wired.com/…/…/german-steel-mill-hack-destruction/

The US National Nuclear Security Administration--The people who are responsible for managing and securing the entire nation's nuclear weapons stockpile, experienced 19 successful cyber attacks during the four-year period of 2010 - 2014


Firearms--TrackingPoint makes a smart rifle--what it does is to digitally "tag" a target, and then locks the trigger until the gun is perfectly positioned to hit it --and it can hit up to half a mile away but... now there has been a serious flaw found in the software so that a hacker could make a law enforcement hit the hostage rather than the intended target.http://money.cnn.com/2015/07/29/technology/hack-smart-rifle/

Offshore Oil Rigs --Hackers have also shut down an oil rig by tilting it sideways..They hit another rig so hard with malware it was not seaworthy for 19 days..

Government Buildings Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed that hackers had managed to penetrate a state government facility and a manufacturing plant in New Jersey--now all they did was change the temperature, but what COULD they have done.. really think about that.

Last.. but not least.. go ahead and buy that cool toaster and refrigerator..... a funny thing happened with hundreds of kitchens in the UK. All of tehm were hacked and the resultant hack wouldn't allow them to make certan kinds of food in their toaster or store it in their fridge.http://www.cbronline.com/…/iot-security-breach-forces-kitch…

IOT is a time saver and offers us incredible convenience, but as we're beginning to find out, there are some real ramifications to the use of IoT devices that we need to be aware of. More to the point, companies and industries who are offering these devices need to take full responsibility to assure the security of the devices they are offering. IoT security workers and developers are more important than ever before..

For more information about IOT and Security check out our new websitewww.internetofthingsrecruting.com  - Need to update you IOT Security Team - Click Here to schedule a free IOT Needs Assessment Call. 

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The 5 Point Plan for IOT Recruitment

In The Great IOT Recruiting Rush, I introduced the industries that are heating up and the single main skill for the successful IOT practitioner. Here, I give you a targeted checklist for IOT recruiting.

Earlier this month, I published a post about which industries were heating up in IOT recruiting. Obvious players like IBM and Cisco topped the list, of course, but, increasingly, non-technology companies are joining the IOT hiring frenzy.

With all of this going on, it’s quite challenging to nail down the skills that a top IOT recruit will need. Of course, many of these are industry-specific or specifically outward facing (customer experience and wearables) or inward facing (M2M connectivity that extends out to others in the supply chain but stops at the customer service portal). As I place people in this brave new world, I have identified several key traits that they must possess. I’ve come up with a five-point plan so that you can not only use these traits to make your next hire—but to make the next hire that fits with your culture and IOT strategy.

1) Business-Centric

You’ve heard that every business is a digital business, right? Well every IOT person is a business-person first and foremost as a result. Make sure your recruits can interact with business partners effectively (ask what projects they’ve worked on and about the length and depth of their interaction with its executive sponsor) and the business problems that they have solved with their IT prowess.

2) Cloud-Creator

Even if the candidate has only worked on so-called terrestrial IT projects, take the time to understand how deep her understanding is of cloud-based technologies in her industry. If you’ve got an entry-level IOT person, they may not have much experience in the IOT—but they should be able to converse intelligently about Cloud-based systems and the business opportunities they hold.

Your senior people will probably have a wider view, with an awareness (if not a command) of what’s going on in the Industrial Internet and the customer-facing nodes on the IOT. At the end of the day, creating cloud-based business solutions with links to machines, systems or objects is what it’s all about.

3) Security-Minded

One of the biggest issues is the security threats inherent in the IOT. Your junior-to-senior level people must have a firm grasp of data security in their industry—and must be actively involved in following the ways that the IOT community is battling them.

4) Emotionally-Intelligent

Here’s one I get all of the time—“people who are great at leading IOT strategy aren’t necessarily the most personable of people.” That’s simply not true. The IOT consultants and professionals I work with are aware that they are part of a business ecosystem—and that their success boils down to not only survival of the fittest but the survival of the most collaborative, the most innovative, the most respectful of what others in the organization bring to the table. Listen, your IOT projects might be the priciest items on your CEO’s docket this quarter. And where there is much opportunity, a ton of budget and a lot at stake (market differentiation anyone?) there are going to be some interpersonal challenges to overcome. Find out if your prospective recruit can tell you about a “people-problem” he solved or ask about “a time when you had to play politics at work.” This is code for a time when they had to use EI skills to get something done.

5) Incisive-Innovator

I am tired of the cliché about the unbalanced, uber-creative innovator (you know, the nutty professor type) not being able to buckle down and get things done. Your IOT recruits should have big ideas but the ability to place their attention on the minutiae of a key IOT project. These skills are not mutually exclusive in the best candidates I’ve seen. In fact, the innovators are often the best at making sure they have team members who love to juggle the details—and know when to escalate a problem to the appropriate person. Ask if your candidate has had the opportunity to bring an idea to the project phase and how it went. Also ask about what he thinks the “next great IOT frontier” might be. If he is not thinking about this, he’s not energized by his own industry. And those are the people who can drive IOT change for you.

If you want help finding the people who encapsulate the skills (dare we say gifts) that will supercharge your IOT strategy, Click here to schedule a call.

Follow me on LinkedIn and Twitter, as well.

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The Great IOT Recruiting Rush

The Great IOT Recruiting Rush: The Number One Skill

If you are ramping up to hire people to work on the IOT you need to find this one key skill

You probably realize by now that IOT Recruiting is exploding --- with many IT professionals with business experience in hot industries like healthcare, telecom and wearables looking to make the switch from systems software and other terrestrial IT-based positions to M2M or IOT strategy, leadership and sales. I’ve been recruiting for senior IT consultants for over 20 years—and I’ve never seen anything like it.

In a recent Forbes article, Louis Columbus does a great job encapsulating the opportunity. Consider these stats:

  • Fastest growing Internet of Things (IoT) job positions include systems software developers (215% growth in the past year), information security analysts (113% growth), and computer systems engineers (110% growth).
  • General Electric has advertised 2,104 jobs looking for skills needed to support their Industrial Internet initiative in the last two years.
  • Hiring demand for commercial and industrial designers with IoT skills has risen by 322% since 2014
  • Employer demand for product engineers with skills related to the Internet of Things has increased by nearly 275% since 2014.
  • And from an Ashely Zito Rowe blog: “GE’s Industrial Internet Insights Report predicts that the “Internet of Things” will add $10 to $15 trillion to global GDP in the next 20 years, and employer competition for skills in this space is on the rise as a result.”

 IOT hiring is obviously heating up. I recently published an update about IBM and its IOT center in Germany. The other hot IOT companies that Columbus cites are Microsoft, Oracle, Honeywell and Cisco. What’s more, non-technology companies are joining the fray, as well. So what kinds of skills should our newest IOT leaders have on their resume?

 As I outlined in articles about IT analysts vs. IT communicators the skill sets for these professionals continues to grow. Consider this recent topic from the IOT slam conference:

 “Platforming IoT: What makes an IoT Platform Transformative. This session will explore key capabilities, features and technologies that are moving IoT Platforms from infrastructure enablers (italics mine) to business imperatives.”

 “From interoperability to security to future capability, platform decisions can make or break an IoT investment. Given the criticality of digital transformation across industries, this panel of IoT heavyweights will shine some light on what defines a transformative IoT platform,” said panel moderator and M2Mi COO, Dr. Sarah Cooper, Internet of Things Community Vice-Chairwoman.

 Notice the phrase, “from infrastructure enablers to business imperatives.” I think that says it all. Where an IOT recruit might have loads of experience in infrastructure, architecture and even data security, those who are not adept at enabling their business partners to take advantage of the business opportunities of the IOT just don’t have the perspective to lead IOT strategy.

 I keep hammering home that point because I am primarily in the business of helping people succeed. To succeed in the IOT, you can’t just be a data guy—you’ve got to be a customer-centric business enabler.

 In an earlier article, I outlined the kinds of skills I would like to see in an IOT leader. In Part Two of this article, I will share a five-point checklist for companies who need to recruit for the IOT—and candidates should listen up, as well. This checklist will help you arrange your resume, prepare for interviews and gather the stats from your stellar projects that prove you’re not only an IOT find—but an IOT star.

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IBM Update: IOT Transformation on Track?

There have been some interesting developments for Big Blue in the IOT space recently. Last time we reported on them, we were monitoring analysts’ worries about the semiconductor business and other divestures late last year. This year, it seems clear IBM is poised to create even more profitable opportunities in our IOT space. Let’s check in and see where they are.

Healthcare connectivity key to IOT growth

The healthcare giant, Pfizer, recently contracted with IBM to create IOT solutions for clinical trials. In a recent news article, the two have teamed up to create one of the first completely connected clinical trial environment for Pfizer’s Parkinson’s Disease medication.

For enterprise connectivity, Big Pharma has long turned to IBM for its enterprise software used in manufacturing, for finance and accounting and, of course, as an outsourced service desk delivery provider. The move to clinical uses of IBM expertise is not that much of a stretch—and cross-selling to this industry will get easier and easier as use cases -- such as the Parkinson’s trial -- gain traction.

In the meantime, to prepare for a 2019 launch of this experimental drug, Pfizer and IBM are setting up a “connected house” in Yorktown Heights, NY. About 200 people will live there, with IBM and Pfizer tracking them throughout their days (and, presumably) nights. This control group will help the team test the premise—and also will yield much valuable data for IBM to expand into similar uses for “connected houses.”

Stock recovering mightily- thanks to the Cloud

March saw IBM stock rebounding from lows late last year, largely due to a Morgan Stanley rating that took into account the company’s growth opportunities in the IOT. After experiencing fifteen months of declining revenue, it seems that March’s bounce-back reflects mostly IBM’s perceived power in the cloud.

“Although Amazon (AMZN) continues to lead overall in the cloud space, within the private and hybrid cloud space, IBM looks to be out front. Katy Huberty, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, believes that the market has, in fact, “underappreciated” IBM’s growth potential, as reflected by its share prices.”

The turnaround is related to IBM’s investment in “strategic imperatives… in cloud, analytics, mobile, social, and security technologies” with “IBM’s total cloud revenue (growing by) 57% on a year-over-year basis to $10.2 billion.” Analysts watching this movement will continue to upgrade the stock—and companies looking to invest in gamechanging cloud technologies to gain competitive advantage—will sit up and take notice, as well.

SAP partnership in Cloud computing allows companies to “dip a toe into the IOT”

When we talk about the IOT among ourselves, chances are we are operating from a set of assumptions that the general business community does not share. Everyone sees the opportunity. But some companies don’t have a clear path to leveraging it. Enter an IBM-SAP cloud partnership.

This partnership will allow businesses who want to “dip a toe” into IOT technologies continue to use classic, SAP enterprise infrastructure while introducing cloud-based services over time. The IOT investment might gain sign-off more quickly if the SAP-IBM partnership allows decision-makers to trust their providers more—and which companies are more ensconced in corporate IT than SAP and IBM?

“SAP’s collaboration with the 104-year-old tech giant appeals to established companies that have shied away from outsourcing operations or want use a combination of their own data centers and those in the cloud.”

First Quarter IOT Champs?

So what’s going to happen on April 18, when IBM is scheduled to report 1st Quarter earnings? That depends on who you talk to. Goldman Sachs is maintaining a neutral rating—and the stock is generally thought to be overvalued by about $3 to $10—once again, depending on who you talk to.

As we started out saying, IBM’s focus on healthcare is seen to be its “white knight” in this regard. Using its Watson capabilities, IBM is actively searching for hospital and pharmaceutical partners in oncology, in particular, to build a Watson-based information repository which will “deliver…quick access to the top-tier cancer care exclusive to MSK oncologists, enabling them to provide elite cancer treatment to their patients anywhere in the world.” Using Watson technologies to fine-tune offerings in the IOT, particularly in healthcare, seems to be IBM’s “ticket to ride” for IOT opportunities in the future.

Leveraging its global headquarters for Watson Internet of Things (IoT) in Munich, Germany will be key to IBM’s IOT momentum, as well. Their focus since the center opened in December of 2015 has been on “launching a series of new offerings, capabilities and ecosystem partners designed to extend the power of cognitive computing to the billions of connected devices, sensors and systems that comprise the IoT.” This strategy will play out to its fullest later this year and in the next five years, as the company solidifies its leadership role in the IOT space.

Stay tuned to these pages for more on the players in IOT, or give me a call with IOT recruiting needs. An IOT-enabled CIO responsible for M2M and manufacturing connectivity? Check out our latest article on the IOT-powered ride you’re in for in 2016.

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IoT Security trends

Security threats are the biggest concern among the main concerns on the Internet of Things. Due to its very nature, it is a target of interest for those who want to commit either industrial or national espionage. By hacking into these systems and putting them under a denial of service, or other attacks, an entire network of systems can be taken out. This has caused cyber criminals to become very interested in the IoT and the possibilities that surround its misuse.

Fortunately, companies are realizing that there are many potential problems with their framework. This has caused a new trend of companies reviewing these areas and coming up with an effective solution. Until that is done, those using these devices should remain wary. The IoT allows devices to exchange contextual information and to execute certain decisions based on this information. This means cars, homes, power supplies, and even water supplies using the IoT could potentially be at risk. In these cases, physical security is irrelevant, as a simple change of data could impact the control of systems and cause them to function as a dangerous item.

The idea of a security breach through the IoT isn’t something that is a possibility that could happen either. There are already cases of hackers breaking into the systems. Two cars were hacked, their brakes were disabled, and the lights turned off. All without the driver having the ability to control them in a test situation. Another instance of a yacht being taken off course by a hijacked GPS system is another.

Even in the home, people are at risk. Devices that have video cameras, children’s monitors, and similar devices that should be safe are actually giving hackers the chance to cause havoc in the home. Smart wired homes are having their temperature settings and lights flickering on and off, as these hackers explore the possibilities that are out there. Even the latest electric power meters that are digital are allowing hackers to steal power with ease.

But these device annoyances aren’t where the heart and soul of the IoT lies. Instead, it is the possibility of what can be done with these systems. Since everything is attached through the internet, these devices have the potential to perform a third party attack on websites. If millions of devices hit a website at the same time, it can overwhelm the bandwidth and potentially take down a competitor’s website, effectively crippling them until they find a workaround solution. Corporate espionage becomes a real concern as competition realizes they can turn simple devices against their main competition and draw in their business.

All this means that the virtual world has the ability to have an impact on the physical world. The solution right now is to boost security on our devices that use the IoT. With added security tools and advanced API that can detect usage that goes beyond what the system is designed to do, there is a lower risk for the world.

With terrorism one of the main concerns in the world, and growing dangers around us, we need to be smart how we use technology. That’s why when we look at the IoT that we don’t write these devices off as being nothing more than simple tools to make our lives easier, but recognize them for the potential dangers they could also possess.

For more information about looking for IOT/Security Talent check our our website atwww.internetofthingsrecruiting.com 

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New IOT Trends in Manufacturing

Trends That Will Shape the Internet of Things in 2016

In a relatively short time, The Internet of Things (IoT) has grown from a niche technology in the global market, into a widely embraced phenomenon. Rapid advancements in IP technologies, as well as the IoT devices and industries that they’re used in, mean that devices are now able to be integrated in more ways than ever before. One particular sector that has strongly embraced IoT adoption, is the manufacturing industry.

Offering a range of benefits, IoT will be a major force in shaping manufacturing throughout 2016 and beyond.

Manufacturers Will Become Increasingly Software Centric

Manufacturing hardware, processes, and even operational processes, will become more reliant on software. Whether referring to the embedded apps and software within devices, or the server-side software that controls machines and automations, manufacturers that adopt IoT as part of their strategy will need to focus investment and knowledge building around software. Not only will this affect the depth and complexity of their IoT integration, but it will also mean that these manufacturers will need to procure new talent or upskill existing staff with specific IoT skillsets in IT.

Costs will Decrease, Increasing Adoption

Cost has been a significant factor for manufacturers who have been hesitant to adopt widespread IoT systems in manufacturing. As IoT technologies continue to mature, implementation costs will decrease. Because IoT provides significant benefits in operational efficiency, price shrinkages will influence manufacturers who were previously undecided on the financial benefits of IoT.

RFID Will Be a Major Technology in Manufacturing

Research firm Markets and Markets, has projected that RFID will be widely adopted in the manufacturing sector. There are a number of factors contributing to this, including the ability to use passive RFID chips in manufacturing, with little additional cost. NFC is expected to experience the highest level of growth. Manufacturers will be able to benefit from RFID tracking on the production floor, but also in packaging and distribution.

In case studies, such as the use of RFID to track luggage at Hong Kong International Airport, RFID tags have been shown to provide read rates of up to 97%, compared to 80% for optically read barcode tags.

North America will Lead IoT use in Manufacturing

Although China and the United States have often swapped positions at the top spot of total manufacturing output, it is the U.S. that will lead IoT implementation in manufacturing for 2016. This is mostly due to high automation, frequent technological advancements, and a history of early-adoption of new technologies. This contrasts greatly with China, where output is high, but production methods differ, favoring low-cost labor in place of high levels of automation.

This increased trend in IoT adoption is expected to benefit other areas of North American industry, such as the R&D and software sectors. Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Intel, IBM, and General Electric are all U.S. based multinationals that lead in IoT sensor and software development. German companies SAP SE, Siemens, and Bosch, are also IoT leaders that will benefit from increased demand for IoT solutions in manufacturing.

 

 

Bottom Line – IoT Shows no Signs of Slowing Down

Regardless of initial reluctance to adopt, and increasing security concerns surrounding IoT devices, the industry as a whole is showing no signs of slowing down. Firms like Gartner research have predicted that there will be almost 7 billion sensors in use by the end of 2016, and that enterprise level software spend will total over $860bn, globally.

Manufacturers will realize more efficient operations which stretch from administration, to production floors, and even distribution. The internet of things doesn’t represent a flawless group of technologies, but it is set to be a significant aspect of the future of high tech manufacturing, no matter which way you look at it.

For more information on IOT Recruiting please check out our new websitewww.internetofthingsrecruiting.com  

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Top Three Skills for Data Security Pros

What you need to succeed in data security? Compliance, Governance and Data Security Experts

If 2016 shapes up anything like the last quarter of 2015, data security in the IOT will continue to be a hot topic for all of us working to protect our work in the Cloud. In mylast article, I discussed several trends that we are monitoring at SoftNet Search’s IOT practice area. This time, I will weigh in on the kinds of people who will fulfill the needs of companies who are staying ahead of data security trends.

IT Headcount Going Up

According to all the people that matter, IT will continue to hire data security and other pros in 2016. For example, Computerworld’s recent survey showed that “37% of the 182 IT professionals who responded to the survey said they plan to increase head count in the upcoming year -- that's a significant jump from last year, when only 24% said they planned to add new staff. Moreover, 24% of those polled this year listed "attracting new talent" as first among their business priorities for the next 12 months.”

So how will they find the data security specialists they need? They will focus on these top three skills:

1) Security (General) – General security projects rated number two in the “most important IT projects that survey respondents have underway.” General security specialists, including data security pros, will command higher salaries, with Robert Half Technology 2016 Salary Guide predicting a 5% to 7% rise this year, hitting a range of 100K to 200K on average.

2) Compliance- Small-to-medium sized businesses are racing to ensure that their compliance policies are up to speed, especially if they’re working in the IOT. Healthcare continues to head up the compliance market in this field, with financial services and consumer privacy goals (customer information safety) coming in a close second and third, respectively. Data security specialists and database analysts will continue to command higher salaries—and a track record of managing big data in the cloud – and providing compliance leadership for functional business partners—is a must.  Computerworld again: “Exactly 50% of the IT professionals who participated in our Forecast 2016 survey said they plan to increase spending on security technologies in the next 12 months.” Making sure these technologies include built-in compliance gate keeping will be top of mind for data security leaders all throughout 2016.

3) Governance- Many large corporations have a lock on their governance policies because they have the headcount to ensure that Cloud and SaaS solutions across the enterprise fold into their existing governance plans. They can also pull together IT governance committees to get ahead of this issue and ensure that data security guardrails are firmly in place via smart governance plans.

Who owns your data security governance policy?

The problem is, many companies have had to institute ad hoc governance because they don’t have the time to control these policies in a centralized way. Functional, siloed IT business partners might “own” the governance policies for say, customer information, with others guarding HR or manufacturing data. Data security pros with backgrounds in IT governance can help answer IT leaders’ most pressing governance questions in an enterprise-wide manner and ensure that governance rules don’t languish in silos, making your company prone to breaches of policy. Hire someone to answer these questions:

  • How to start instituting a cohesive governance strategy that grows with the company (and its technologies)?
  • Who should we include on our team
  • How long it will take until the governance policy works on its own to cover all of our technologies and foreseeable ones?
  • Who should manage the project and become accountable from the beginning?

 

If your data security pros don’t have the answers to these questions or have not worked as a team to define governance for the IOT, chances are they will need to get up to speed—and quickly.

 

What doesn’t work as well?

We’ve watched some companies hire a consultant to help the Corporate Governance Officers (CGOs) with the IT end of their jobs. The problem with that solution is that IOT and cloud-based data security and governance should not be placed on the table in front of a bunch of lawyers that, no matter how skilled, can’t be expected to keep up with best practices in the field. Hiring internal IT governance headcount, if even on a contract basis, works better in the long run and will cost you thousands less without costing you your peace of mind.

 If you’d like to know more about the highly-skilled data security specialists I’ve seen in my practice; or if your enterprise requires help with IT compliance, governance or data security in general, definitely give me  a shout.

Looking to hire Data Security Professionals -  Click Here for your free Search Assessment Call  

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One of the biggest barriers to IOT success is a dearth of data security talent. Find supermen and –women to get your enterprise to the next level

This week, Batman vs. Superman opens in theatres. Batman’s got his gadgets and Superman, his alien powers. What out-of-this-world powers will you need to get your IOT data security talent on board-- up to speed?

There are so many challenges to sourcing IOT talent, it seems like you need superpowers to simply suss out the best candidates. Experts agree --finding talent remains one of the biggest barriers to getting value out of the IOT—and data security experts are often the most in demand.

David Weldon’s recent article in Information Management pointed to some disturbing trends in IOT security—as in, will security issues remain the biggest hurdle IOT practitioners face in getting projects off the ground?

The study from TEK in that article boldly stated that: “While 55% expect IoT initiatives to have a ‘transformational’ or ‘significant’ impact - just 22% of IoT initiatives have progressed to the implementation stage.”

That’s a huge gap! So what is standing in our way? Survey respondents from 200+ companies said that security and ROI are the biggest problems and that “information security experts are cited as the most difficult skill set to find.”

This same group of IOT leaders was asked where IOT initiatives would have the most impact in the next five years. We’ve used their responses to help you track the super skills you need for your data security team:

Survey respondents were very clear on where they expected IoT initiatives to impact their business on a long-term basis, factoring a five-year planning horizon. Top impacts expected were:

  • 64 percent said creating better user and customer experiences – Here we have the data security expert who is often sourced from Cloud-based technology services that are outward facing, such as sales and CRM systems. A consumer-based data security pro will often help you check off your IOT bases faster than any other.
  • 56 percent said sparking innovation - Data security experts who have done time protecting business development functions, start-ups, or tech product launches along the IOT can help you see the big picture. It doesn’t hurt to have an MBA-level degree in IT innovation (especially if they have worked as an IT innovations leader from within an executive committee in one of the industries your company serves.)
  • 52 percent said creating new and more efficient working practices and business processes – One of the key differentiators among IT talent is their ability to lead process change and gain buy-in from key players in the company. In the field of IOT data security, make sure your security pros have spent time in the functional trenches of your industry. If they don’t understand the value levers in your particular business, they won’t know to protect them.
  • 50 percent said creating new revenue streams, including new products and services – This is indeed the superpower to possess! Along with innovations experience, your data security leader should have new product experience—especially during launch, when experts agree, IOT start-up data is at the most risk. Commonly, “white hat hackers” in small- to- medium businesses fit the bill.
  • 36 percent said an increased ROI on IT infrastructure – Too often data security is cut into two functions in large IT corporations—infrastructure and external. Your data security leader must be adept at identifying security challenges in both areas, or she won’t be able to calm the fears of your key investors or decision-makers when they ask what to build and how she will make it a safe platform for their IOT springboard.
  • 35 percent said substantial cost savings and operational efficiencies—Our data security pro might seem too good to be true by now, but one thing we know he isn’tis a spendthrift. He should also be able to measure the value of what IOT data security leadership can do before any resources go into it—and clearly outline the risk of not spending enough on security to protect the whole shebang. A data security pro who is only concerned with the 1s and Os and not with the dollars and cents will cost more than he or she is worth.

If you want to make sure your IOT initiatives get off the ground, track where they will make the most difference to your business and then find data security professionals with IT experience in those areas.

A word of caution: The popular “Security as a Service” (SECaaS) outsourcing model for security management might not work, according to another guru, Stephanie Ibo, at IM. “The irony lies within the fact that SECaaS will use the cloud as a mainstream deployment platform, when part of its own reason of existence is to enhance the protection of…the cloud!”

I would argue that “large security service providers (who) integrate their products into a corporate infrastructure on a subscription basis, making security more cost effective to large corporations” will have a difficult time reaching “the ultimate objective of security implementation – “Security at the Core” – even if popular ousourced services like authentication and security event management get the enterprise a few steps closer.

I believe that having an internal IOT security head will ensure that you have all of your bases covered. Let me know what you think! Call me for a free checklist and consultation at 303-337-7871. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for more IOT data security talent sourcing information.

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BYOD + IOT ≠ Security.

Last year, the number of smartphones in the world hit a new record. Out of the 4.55 billion cell phone users worldwide, 1.75 billion of those were using smartphones. Users are rapidly switching to smartphones as these devices become more affordable, and as 3G and 4G networks are introduced into key markets, allowing faster than ever data transfer rates. For businesses, this increasing smartphone penetration has significant implications. As more businesses adopt BYOD (Bring your own Device), IT security professionals and CIO leaders will need to address the issues of security that are introduced as business data is taken on the road, and exposed to external networks.

How Does BYOD Impact IT Security?

Data security consultants, and anyone involved in information technology or management, will need to be clear on the risks that are introduced with BYOD.

A company that allows BYOD is able to receive great benefits from doing so. Systems that allow for users to bring their own devices mean that staff are able to use devices that are familiar to them, which can reduce training time and increase efficiency. At the same time, businesses can save significant amounts of money on IT procurement, because users are bringing their own cell phones, tablets, and even laptops, from home.

There are even benefits to recruiting - new hires will be more comfortable with their own device and the option to bring it in, instead of having to juggle phones and computers.

Even with these key advantages, there are some problem to overcome. The biggest challenge with BYOD is security. A BYOD device would be almost worthless if it didn’t have sufficient access to a corporate network, so that a staff member can easily obtain the information and run the applications that they need to perform their jobs. This means opening up access to systems which would have previously been protected by closed networks accessed by in-house devices, with security enforced through strict and robust security policies.

Another challenge exists when employees leave a company. Because they take their devices with them, there needs to be a mechanism in place that prevents access from devices that are no longer associated with an authorized staff member. Compared to a model without BYOD, this adds another layer of security, and a number of process layers within the organizational structure of a business. Without addressing this type of situation, businesses would be putting themselves at significant risk.

Security Is Even More Important than Ever with IoT

The Internet of Things has been called the future of business, computing, and entertainment. Indeed, IoT covers all of these areas, whether you look at a smart TV, an internet capable MRI machine, or even the cloud services that deliver email, streaming video, or music, to devices that will work from anyplace where there is an internet connection.

IoT exists in complex industries, too. Consider a production line that utilizes networked sensors along the line, which then transmit data in real time between ordering systems, packing robots, and even dispatch centers, to coordinate logistics. Considering the data that is collected using IoT sensors, and then the possibilities there are to interface with this data by using BYOD devices, it becomes clear that a system utilizing IoT technologies and BYOD access policies, needs to be secured to the highest industry standards.

Security breaches could mean that an unauthorized party is able to gain access to production data or even sensitive manufacturing secrets, or that a previous employee is able to take data and learnings to a competitor, using their own device that was once legitimately authorized through BYOD policies.

Similar risks exist in any industry. If you are an IT data security consultant within a contact center business, you could be tasked with protecting CRM systems, billing information, payment gateways, and other critical systems. Sales reps, telephone agents, and remote staff could all be using BYOD devices to connect to a decentralized cloud solution. Ensuring that access control and other security measures are present, will be a core aspect of the solutions that you design and implement. The reality is that a single violation can expose your entire network, making it critical to hire the right people and solve for these problems internally and for your clients.

Who are The Big Players in IT Security Today?

You only need to look at the world’s largest information security consultancies to see that data security is a big business.

Deloitte, currently the biggest player in IT security, made over $2 billion in revenue from security consulting in 2014. Other leading companies are seeing similar growth, with all of the top five, including IBM and KPMG, seeing revenue growth in security consulting. All of the top five exceeded 5% growth between 2013 and 2014.

This means that not only is there a clear growing need for security consulting, but also that there will be an increased demand for IT security consultants who are experienced in the latest technologies, including cloud and IoT technologies. The demand has been partially spurred on by high profile data security breaches, especially those at government level.

Businesses and Professionals Should Prepare for a Growing Market

Not only do businesses need to assess and respond to their needs regarding BYOD, IT security, and overall risk management, but they will need to begin to seek the most qualified consultants to lead their security initiatives.

Likewise, qualified candidates who are entering the job market need to seek out the most promising opportunities. Such as those that exist with businesses where they will have the opportunity to demonstrate their expertise in new and emerging IT technologies.

Moving forward, the businesses and professionals who recognize the importance and opportunity within data security consultancy, will be the ones who benefit the most in the next five years, when both IoT and IT Security are expected to experience drastic market growth.

How are you hiring to fill the need? Let's talk and see how your BYOD security concerns can be solved with a single hire - IOT Security Officer.

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Data Security Trends for 2016

Data Security Professionals: What You Need to Know NOW: Trends for 2016

There are some scary things happening in data security. Along with the rise of the Internet of Things there has been a corresponding push by hackers to wrest the cloud from us law-abiding folks.

“Gartner is predicting that 6.4 billion connected “things" will be in use globally by the end of 2016 - up 30 percent from 2015 - and that number is expected to reach 20.8 billion by the year 2020. As more Internet connected devices hit the market, so too do the vulnerabilities that come with them, as evidenced by highly-publicized incidents of 2015 where researchers exploited vulnerabilities in planes, guns, medical devices and automobiles.

As the Internet of Things market expands and innovates, researchers will continue to find and uncover exploitable vulnerabilities in these newly connected “things,” which will in turn continue to fan the flames of responsible disclosure.”- Information Management

Companies are having a difficult time finding data security pros who know how to conquer this new frontier of data security in this “every business is an IT business age.”

Information Management Magazine had some cool ideas on this front:

Consolidation of IT Security

Big companies are buying out medium companies and then these really big companies are eating all of the “little fish” in sight. Dell buys EMC. Cisco buys Lancope. They all begin to buy companies like Adallom, Aorato and Secure Islands. It’s not going to stop next year, in fact, it will accelerate.

“It’s worth noting that offering up a “one stop shop” experience is completely different than being able to integrate technologies together to offer a seamless user experience.” Will that seamless user experience include seamless security?

Responsible Disclosure

You’ve got a Certified Hacker on staff who has uncovered some issues that overlap into the public domain. How much are you legally (never mind morally) required to divulge to regulators and/or competitors? According to IM, this issue will only get thornier as 2016 progresses: 

“White hat” hackers, hired to scope out flaws in systems, are already facilitating company / researcher relationships within the technology industry via bug bounty programs. However, it seems that many segments of the manufacturing industry would rather utilize lawyers to block research altogether than address the vulnerabilities that are uncovered. Another option for security researchers to consider is self-regulation, where they accept the risks and responsibilities associated with their findings.”

Smaller Businesses Up Security Spending

Remember the famous hacks of 2015? They were publicized more than ever before.  Companies like "LastPass, Securus Technologies, VTech and TalkTalk (are being targeted by) cybercriminals because they’re seen as less secure, while oftentimes owning valuable customer data.” These cyberattacks will grow in 2016.

People in the Cloud Share Responsibility

If you deploy in the cloud you share security responsibilities. Small to medium companies are hiring internally or taking advantage of Cloud Services’ security add-ons in contracts. To get a quick primer, check out Amazon’s shared responsibility model.

The other items in Information Management’s list include improved incident response protocols including communications and crisis management to calm investors and consumers; and enhanced collaboration among our communities as “security professionals are utilizing tools and platforms in order to better share and collaborate on security research and uncovering and responding to threats.” The folks at IM “expect this to increase and become more formalized amongst organizations, industry verticals and individual practitioners over the next year.”

What trends would you like us to keep an eye on for you as a cutting-edge data security specialist or leader? Let us know! We’d love to include your favorite topics right here.Email me. Until then, stay safe!

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The smart phone on your belt is dramatically different from the flip phones of a decade ago. Technology continues to move at incredible speeds and we are truly living in a golden age. But the where we are headed is unlike where we’ve been.

In the future, the Internet of Things will be a reality in every sector. Smart systems will be released with sensors and robotics that simplify and automate manufacturing. The system will operate through wired and wireless networks and an infrastructure will help us to accomplish more during the course of a day.

This begins with physical objects, built with sensors and actuators placed in them. These individual parts will send and receive information in order to complete specific tasks. They will depend on real time data and this information will affect the big picture. In fact, each device on the assembly line will connect to a central system that will orchestrate and synchronize the entire system to ensure things run smoothly and as effectively as possible.


In order for smart manufacturing to work, there need to be systems in place that work with the smart manufacturing vision. Sensors must be placed in technology and a host system installed. This will help with logistics, order placement, procurement and other essential functions that impact the overall system.

So who does this? While your IT department could technically handle the task, it would be time consuming and cost you hundreds of man hours to develop. A better choice is to consider a vendor who can help with the effort. These individuals will help to create a functional system which is tightly integrated and allows you to effectively manage your manufacturing operations. With new industry standards being released for manufacturing all the time, it is certain the internet of things will play a pivotal role in the future of manufacturing automation.

An example of it is already seen in the food and beverage industry. Machines currently communicate sensitive information like temperature, humidity and the condition of the containers. Companies can also track shipments with identifying codes and determine where they originated from in the company and where these items were shipped to in the world. If there is a case of contamination, they can also quickly contact locations who received items that might be tainted.

When the internet of things becomes dominate on these manufacturing lines, there will be more power. There will be a central master computer that will run the entire operation. It will have an intelligent way to analyze, address concerns and to remain independent at all times, all while continuing to meet the demands of production.

There is no denying the internet of things will play an important role in the future of production. Good will be released faster and profits will spike for a company. That makes it important to embrace today and incorporate in the current structure of your business. Doing that will help you to be part of the future and to remain a visionary in the industry.

 

Are you hiring ahead of the coming shift in how workers work?

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