Subscribe to our Newsletter | To Post On IoT Central, Click here


All Posts (814)

The IoT Brings Smart Cities to Life

Guest article by Richard van Hooijdonk

In around 30 years, planet Earth will be home to almost ten billion people, 68 per cent of which will live in urban areas. And those urban areas will face a torrent of problems, as authorities will have to rely on limited resources to provide public services to a growing number of citizens. Besides traffic congestion and the potential rise in crime rates, rapid urbanization could also lead to a number of environmental problems like air pollution and overwhelmed waste collection systems. To tackle these challenges and make cities more liveable and manageable, governments are increasingly turning to the smart city concept.

At the heart of this approach is the use of technology to improve public services such as transportation, water systems, waste disposal, and many others. And among all the technologies smart cities deploy, the Internet of Things stands out as the most important, as it’s a network of sensors and connected devices that collect data critical for understanding how urban areas function. As Stephen Brobst, the chief technology officer of Teradata, a big data analytics company, says, the IoT enables us to “get a view of the whole city across these different domains of the life of the city as it’s captured in the sensor data.”

The many ways in which the IoT helps smart cities

Investments in smart cities are ramping up across the world and are expected to grow from $80 billion this year to $135 billion by 2021. Part of that money is allocated for IoT projects that help governments and residents to increase energy efficiency, improve traffic flow, reduce pollution, cut costs, and enjoy a number of other benefits. In other words, the IoT helps smart cities to achieve many of their key goals. Take, for example, the problem of traffic congestion in cities, which is in large part caused by drivers looking for parking space. IoT sensors embedded into the city’s streets, as in the case of Barcelona, can detect empty parking spots and alert drivers through a smartphone app. This helps people park their cars faster, saving time and fuel while reducing harmful emissions.

Many smart cities also tend to promote bike-sharing services as a way to reduce pollution and congestion, but bike theft could be an obstacle for that plan. One way IoT tech can help solve this issue is through technology such as Bitlock, a keyless bike lock that’s unlocked by the user’s smartphone and tracks the GPS location of the bike. This will help police potentially track and recover stolen bikes, while also allowing private and public organizations to analyze bike traffic patterns and find ways to improve the service.

IoT technology is also efficient in tracking and analyzing water use in buildings. For instance, Banyan Water, a smart water management company, claims it’s helped customers to save more than seven billion liters of water since its inception in 2011. The way it does this is by placing sensors and ultrasonic meters that track water consumption across the building, using software to analyze the gathered data and find anomalies such as leaks and overspend.

Municipal waste management companies could benefit from the IoT, too, by placing sensors in waste collection sites, and instead of adhering to strict schedules, dispatching haulers only when collection is really needed. This could cut “overhead for waste makers by up to a whopping 60 percent.”

Things to keep in mind when implementing IoT projects
Clearly, IoT technology can improve lives in urban areas in many different ways, but simply implementing the latest tech won’t necessarily make a city ‘smart’. Marc Jadoul, the head of IoT market development at Nokia, explains that even before the first sensor is installed, the authorities must define their future objectives and budget. The next step is to create broadband internet and IoT infrastructure that can sustain increased traffic. Jadoul also suggests that the authorities need to “think big, but start small” and “identify appropriate milestones and metrics” to be able to monitor their progress. Lastly, technology isn’t the goal, but rather an instrument to make people’s lives better and more connected. To that end, the authorities should promote citizens’ engagement in ‘smart’ projects by asking for their feedback and informing them of the progress. After all, “it’s citizens’ acceptance and engagement that will eventually determine success or failure of any smart city initiative,” Jadoul concludes.

Two key challenges for the IoT and smart cities
And while authorities and citizens see smart cities as a way to live better lives, hackers see them as a potential target. The wealth of data and sensitive services that connected devices produce can be abused by bad actors to disrupt a city’s operations. For instance, imagine if cyber-attacks crippled a traffic light system or a water filtration plant and the hackers asked for ransom. This makes cyber-security one of the key priorities of any smart city endeavour. Another challenge for authorities is the need to buy expensive servers, sensors, high-speed internet networks, and a range of other equipment. Many cities struggle to find the money, although IoT projects could lead to cost savings “to the tune of $2.3 trillion in efficiencies created and revenue generated worldwide by 2024.”

Just rolling out the tech won’t be enough
As our planet becomes increasingly crowded and more people flood to cities, authorities will be under pressure to provide public services to an ever-growing number of citizens and offset the negative consequences of urbanization. Technology such as the IoT and the concept of smart cities might be a solution and a way to fight traffic congestion, pollution, inadequate water systems, and a number of other problems. But for this approach to succeed, citizen acceptance and engagement is crucial, as simply rolling out the tech won’t be enough.

Author: Richard van Hooijdonk
International keynote speaker, trend watcher and futurist Richard van Hooijdonk offers inspiring lectures on how technology impacts the way we live, work and do business. Over 420,000 people have already attended his renowned inspiration sessions, in the Netherlands as well as abroad. He works together with RTL television and presents the weekly radio program ‘Mindshift’ on BNR news radio. Van Hooijdonk is also a guest lecturer at Nyenrode and Erasmus Universities. https://www.richardvanhooijdonk.com

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Cover photo by https://www.shutterstock.com/g/yingyaipumi

Azevedo, Mary Ann, https://newsroom.cisco.com/feature-content?type=webcontent&articleId=1868607.

Giarratana, Chris, https://www.trafficsafetystore.com/blog/how-iot-technology-is-creating-the-future-smart-cities/.

Glaeser, Edward and Helen Dempster, https://www.theigc.org/reader/contagion-crime-and-congestion-overcoming-the-downsides-of-density/cities-and-urbanisation-encourage-economic-growth-in-the-developing-world/.

Horwitz, Lauren, https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/internet-of-things/smart-city-infrastructure-guide.html.

Ismail, Nick, https://www.information-age.com/smart-city-technology-123473905/.

Jadoul, Marc, https://www.nokia.com/blog/10-recommendations-creating-smart-city/.

Maddox, Teena, https://www.techrepublic.com/article/smart-cities-expected-to-invest-80b-in-technologies-in-2018/.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/habitats/urban-threats/.

http://www.sensanetworks.com/blog/waste-management-gets-sexy-smart-sensor-tech/

https://www.un.org/development/desa/en/news/population/world-population-prospects-2017.html.

https://www.un.org/development/desa/en/news/population/2018-revision-of-world-urbanization-prospects.html.

 

Read more…
The benefits of using Edge Computing / Machine Learning solutions are very attractive to manufacturers because allows minimize latency, conserve network bandwidth, operate reliably with quick decisions, collect and secure a wide range of data, and move data to the best place for processing with better analysis and insights of local data.
Read more…

IoT Security Compliance Checklist

Recurrent cases of Cyber attacks such as the Dyn Cyberattack in 2016 and the Jeep Cherokee Hack in 2014 are all proof that any IoT device needs a robust IoT Security Framework in place to avoid a security problem. Any hack into an IoT Network can make bring a business to a complete standstill, and this can lead to a loss in brand loyalty, loss in revenue, and more depending on the nature and severity of the attack. In fact, Cyber attacks cost U.S. enterprises $1.3 million on average in 2017.This is a huge figure considering the fact that the average cost of a cyber attack for enterprises grew from $1.2 million in 2016 to $1.3 million in 2017. That’s 10 times higher than the $117K cost of a breach for SMBs. To understand more read the Importance of IoT Security Compliance.

Factors To Consider For IoT Security Compliance Audit Checkist

Several Businesses prefer to outsource their IoT Security compliance to third party agencies to ensure that the best minds in the industry are at work to maintain IoT security and Device security of the organization. However merely entrusting your security compliance framework with an external body does not mitigate your risk of falling prey to Cyber Attacks and IoT security breaches. You need to ensure that the compliance framework takes into consideration the following factors in security audit checklist:

Product/Device Life Cycle

Security needs due consideration right from inception stage of the product lifecycle. Security considerations should be embedded in design as well as the functionality of an IoT device. Similarly, the life cycle of devices being used in the organization also needs to be monitored. For instance past employees must not have access to current data and devices must not stay on a network after the requirement for access is over. A sound security compliance framework must closely monitor who can access specific devices and what actions a device is allowed to perform.

Authorisation and Authentication

These are the two keywords that must be present in every security assessment checklist. Authority implies role-based access controls over functionalities of an IoT product. This not only limits access in multi-user products but also helps to mitigate the effects if the security of a device or product is compromised. IoT devices perform to their fullest potential by communicating with other IoT devices and networks. This is like a two-sided sword, the threats at times can outweigh the benefits. Communication with an unsecured device or network leads to security vulnerabilities due to malicious applications. Thus security framework must allow only for authenticated devices to connect with each other.

 

Data Protection

All IoT Products must limit the data that they collect so that there is a lower chance of data breach. Storing unnecessary Data about the consumer leads to a higher chance of data exposure to unauthorized parties. Manufacturing organizations also need to provide visibility about the data they are collecting and why it is crucial. Further, there should be opt-out options wherever possible.

Testing

Testing is an integral part of ensuring efficiency of your chosen security framework. Testing must include physical testing, digital testing, and Third party testing. Continual testing followed by relevant patching is a must for a secure IoT Security compliance framework.

 

Flexibility

The security framework must be flexible enough to accommodate new tools and guidelines in the industry. An essential way of doing so is making software updates as automated as possible. Allowing this will mean that as and when new threats are discovered the mechanisms to deal with the vulnerabilities can be updated across all devices without waiting for user validation.

Remote patching

All your IoT products must come with Remote Patching functionality. This can help save thousands of dollars spent on product recall or vendor services. Security management can be a lot easier with this functionality, and it also improves customer user experience.

Intrusion Detection

Any number of functionalities are useless unless the IoT compliance framework can detect intrusion and send appropriate alerts in real time. The primary challenge for detecting intrusion is incapability of most platforms in processing Big Data. Since data deciphered from IoT is enormous, the platform being used to process such data must be compatible to process such vast volumes of data. The platform must be able to provide insights such as anomalies in the traffic pattern, malicious behavior to provide behavioral analytics. Any divergence from normal behavior can trigger alerts to required parties, giving them appropriate leads on action required.

The above are only the primary components that must be taken into consideration while developing a security framework. Companies must invest in a detailed IoT Security Compliance Framework. Get in touch with us to know more about the components of a robust IoT security framework and if your organization is compliant with all such components.

This article orginally appeared at https://www.gowitek.com/iot/blog/iot-security-compliance-checklist.

 

Read more…

What was the last thing you bought online? Why didn’t you go to a store to buy it? Was it for the vast number of items you could scroll through before making a choice or the recommendations that the website or app pulled up for you, remembering your choices and interests from a previous visit, or the ease with which you paid for it with a card whose details were already stored with the website?

The online shopping experience is leaps and bounds ahead of the traditional experience in terms of using data and technology to provide unique and personalized customer experiences. While brick and mortar stores also have their own upsides, the move towards omni-channel retailing today is key.

So what does an omni-channel experience really mean? The term refers to merging of services and features of multiple channels in order to provide a seamless, integrated and consistent experience to users. It means bringing the best of online shopping to the physical store to enrich customer experiences and create new channels for revenue generation.

The reason that e-retailers are able to provide a vast number of superior and personalized features is because of access to a larger volume of data and analytics. Their algorithms are constantly monitoring your every step, from consideration to the point where a sale occurs. Traditional retailers need the same approach and connected products under Internet of Things provide a way to do exactly that. A digital transformation of store assets by connecting them to each other and the internet through means of sensors or digital tags (barcodes, QR codes, Datamatrix codes, NFC & RFID tags) working together with AI and cloud computing, will result in smart connected products at every point within a customer’s journey, collecting and analyzing data.

Many brands already have an online presence as well as applications from where one can directly buy their products. However, a true omni-channel retail experience is one where it works in tandem with, influences and enhances the in-store shopping experience.

A number of leading brands are also coming up with innovations to improve customer engagement and play to their expectations born from online buying habits regarding a seamless and hassle-free shopping experience. Here is a look at the areas within a brick and mortar store that could see incorporation of connected products to facilitate an omni-channel retail experience.

Personalized services
Analytics and personalized services and features go hand in hand together. Brands need to know about their customers in order to curate services for them. Data on a customer’s journey across the store, products they pick up or put back, keeping track of their past purchases and recommending more according to that, and extending coupons and offers specifically for them; feeding data of such nature into algorithms that perform analytics then deliver insights upon which personalized services can then be built.

Kroger has partnered up with Microsoft to roll out EDGE™ Shelves (Enhanced Display for Grocery Environment). Equipped with digital displays, these shelves promise to provide a unique guided customer experience. The solution will also utilize in-store sensors to identify individual shoppers and extend custom recommendations, promotions and offers as well as other personalized content.

Customer’s in-store journey:
The journey of a user buying things online is not too complex; browse, select, pay. If they are a regular customer, chances are the app already knows their delivery points and payment details. A similar journey is far more difficult to emulate inside a retail store. The popularity of Endless Aisles technology is a step in this direction. This technology is based on the observation of how some people fail to find a particular product in their size or colour. No problem! They can simply place an order with their specifications using an endless aisle in the form of an interactive kiosk within the store itself, and the product gets delivered at their doorstep in a couple of days. It’s a win-win situation; customers don’t leave the store unsatisfied and the retailer does not lose out on a sale.

Another feature gaining traction is “click and collect/return”, where customers can place orders through the brand website or mobile app and collect their items from a store at their own convenience.

Consumer Transparency
Smartphones are everywhere and 71% of consumers use theirs to conduct research on products before buying them in-store. Retailers can capitalize on this medium’s ubiquitousness and familiarity to create a similar experience inside retail stores. Modern consumers are also more conscious of how their lifestyle choices, including products they buy and consume, impact the environment and society. Electronic labeling practices incorporating scannable QR codes, RFID tags or NFC stickers, let the customer pull up expanded product information instantly on their smartphones, presenting more than a simple ingredients list, and allowing the brand to display the entire journey of the product from its origin to the shelf. These tags can be further utilized to enrich customer experiences by providing tailor made content for a particular customer such as promotions and offers.

Navigation
In-store navigation services are another example where connected smart products can contribute to unique multi-channel experiences. Retailer Target has installed store fixtures like LED lights which have built-in bluetooth beacons. Their app takes advantage of these beacons to locate users inside the store and guide them to their desired locations by pulling feed from shopping lists stored by the user on it. French Retail giant Carrefour in partnership with Philips has implemented a similar system, however using Visible Light Communication (VLC) technology instead. VLC enabled LEDs emit a code that is readable by any camera on a smartphone, connecting customers to the digital experience provided by the store through their app.

Beating the Queue
Amazon Go is the true embodiment of what a connected retail store of the future will look like. Customers in these cashierless stores need not stand in long queues for checkout as they can just grab what they wish to purchase and walk out. The exit turnstiles trigger an automatic payment from the customer’s credit card, which is already stored on the app, on leaving the store. Not only are these stores getting rid of one of the most annoying bits about shopping in a a brick and mortar store, they are also combining multiple sensors across the store to collect a treasure trove of valuable data. Weight sensors on shelves know exactly when an item is removed from the shelf, or when it is put back. Multiple cameras track and record each customer’s movements within the store. Computer vision along with intelligent algorithms combine to create a unique identification for each customer and separate them from others.

Traditional brick and mortar stores are in an urgent need to innovate in order to maintain a competitive edge by keeping up with consumer expectations and habits, which are constantly evolving thanks to e-commerce. They need to look towards Internet of Things and establish a connected and digital ecosystem within their stores which collect valuable data on their customers, data that can then be converted into smart insights, on the foundation of which smart decisions can be taken to provide sophisticated, delightful and engaging customer experiences.

Read more…

Plenty of companies yearn to integrate cloud computing with their IT infrastructure but feel hesitant to do so due to concerns about data security. A lot of public cloud host service providers make use of the same hardware infrastructure to manage the needs of various clients which can compromise the security of data systems.

 

However, it is possible to hire the expertise of private cloud computing companies as they follow data security methods that can work for HIPAA and PCI-sensitive organizations. By getting private cloud computing solutions, companies can have greater control over their data security needs.

 

Here are 5 handy tips for implementing cloud computing concepts while maintaining the highest levels of security.

  1. The first thing that you need to keep in mind is the location of your data. Unless you know the location of your data, it won’t be possible for you to secure it. While it is still important for you to use technologies like firewall, data encryption, and intrusion detection methods, knowing your data’s location allow you to prevent security breaches when the cloud system stops working. You should be able to use dedicated hardware to implement stringent security parameters for your data that you share through cloud computing.
  2. Make sure that you keep your data perfectly backed up. When you take backups of your data, you can be sure of the fact that your data is safe against any kind of losses. This can also help you secure all important information about your business and provide you with the peace of mind that you seek.
  3. The data centers that you choose to work with for your company should always take data security in a serious manner. They should be able to implement the best security measures in the servers in which your data is kept. It is important that they are PCI or HIPAA certified and SSAE 16, SOC 2 and SAS 70 audited. Managed services like intrusion detection, firewalls and antivirus can really work out well for you by making your data, applications, and enterprise more resilient.
  4. A good way to ensure security for your data would be to check out the clients that a cloud service provider has worked with. By seeing whether the cloud provider has already worked with clients in the past requiring critical and stringent security measures, it is possible for you to make sure that your data is in good hands. Organizations operating in the financial, insurance, healthcare and government sectors are certainly good examples requiring high-end data security. By contacting these companies, you can be sure if they offer excellent data security.
  5. It is important that you also carry out detailed tests to ensure that the cloud systems are equipped with the best security features.

 

These are the top 5 and most important cloud computing security tips that many app development companies india agencies are adopting in their development and implementation processes so as to have better security for their product or services.

Read more…

Digital Transformation is now a number one priority for many businesses. Over the past two years, businesses have put increased focus on digitally transforming their brands from the inside out.

 It is an ongoing process of change based on the market and the needs of the customers. To deliver this change successfully, there is a need to establish a clear vision with objectives & expected outcomes.

 Simply put vision is a picture of how the organization will look like after stipulated time.

 Importance of Vision:

 ·      Provides the big picture and clearly describes what your organization will be like in several years

·      Clarifies the right direction of change to ensure that everyone is moving forward

·      Inspires everyone to take action in the set direction

·      Synchronizes the action of different people. It provides self-sufficiency to individuals and teams while reducing conflicts.

 

There are some do’s & don’ts for setting up a vision:

 

Do’s:

·      Develop a Vision that is in line with the company growth strategy.

·      Connect with partners who support your vision, not only third-party technology vendors but your own customers and employees

·      It should create the sense of urgency

·      Link vision to specific goals in future

·      Describe how the company will actually change

·      How will you engage differently with customers?

 

Don’ts:

·      It remains only as floor branding and marketing

·      Restricting the employees with set vision & its boundaries

·      Vision is way too complicated, vague and lacking actionable initiatives

·      Poor communication of the vision beyond the involved few stakeholders

·      Setup the vision before analyzing current systems and operations

 

Vision brings in the cultural change that is required for Digital Transformation. People are extremely important in this roller-coaster ride. 

  

When the digital vision is not clear, that affects the speed of adoption of both senior management and middle management. People will not act just because technology is ready. 

 Some successful vision statements, which helped companies in their digital transformation:

 Google - To provide access to the world’s information in one click

 Amazon - To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online

 Walmart - To be the best retailer in the hearts and minds of consumers and employees

 GE - To become the world’s premier digital industrial company, transforming the industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive

 Ikea – To create a better everyday life for the many people

 Southwest Airlines - To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline

 

A top-down vision is a cornerstone & catalyst for digital transformation. These and many companies have created great vision statements to survive in this digital age.

 
 
 
Read more…

With concerns rising amongst citizens, the USDA issued the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (NBFDS) last month intended for manufacturers, importers, retailers and other entities in retail space for the disclosure of bioengineered food and ingredients on product labels. The move was made with a view to bring in more transparency and provide consumers with standardized formats to disclose information pertaining to bioengineered food products.

Earlier referred to as Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), the new Standard has come up with the term “Bioengineered” (BE) for genetically modified food products. The USDA defines bioengineered food and ingredients as food that contain genetic material that has been modified through in vitro recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) techniques, and for which the modification could not otherwise be obtained through conventional breeding or found in nature. Under the new Standard, highly refined foods and ingredients like syrup, sugar and vegetable oils, without any detectable genetically modified material, are exempt from disclosure as food items that contain them will not be considered as bioengineered.

What does this mean for food brands & manufacturers in terms of compliance with the regulation?

The USDA has laid down four channels that concerned entities can use for BE disclosure: (1) text, (2) symbol, (3) electronic or digital link or (4) text messages.

Out of these, electronic labels or digital links appear to be the quickest, possibly least disruptive method of quick compliance with the new regulation. Electronic BE foods disclosure can have some upsides; It is a sustainable, efficient and cost effective method to dispense valuable product data to consumers, while leveraging the smartphone technology and its ubiquitousness. It also supports changes to label content instantly without reprinting or having to change the entire packaging everytime there is an update that needs to be shared with consumers, a useful feature to accommodate future changes in labeling standards.

Electronic or digital disclosure can be achieved through a digital link or a scannable QR code placed on the product packaging, which on being scanned will take the user to the appropriate landing page containing the product data. NBFDS stipulates that the BE symbol be placed in an immediately visible spot on this page, potentially looking something like this : 

The SmartLabel program presents excellent scope to comply with these regulations. The SmartLabel initiative spearheaded by the GMA is already bringing in QR code based digital labeling practices, having added over 25,000 products under its helm. Not only does it provide expanded product information, but it also ensures content is delivered in a standardized format which is easy to break down and absorb by consumers.

The clock is ticking as concerned entities have till January 1, 2020 and January 1, 2021 for small food manufacturers, to comply with and implement the new Standard, with the mandatory compliance date set at January 1, 2022. The urgency to begin exploring solutions for BE regulations compliance before the NBFDS takes full effect has begun and the time to act and implement a viable strategy is running out.

Read more…

The massive data streams produced by IoT devices can be efficiently processed using flow-based programming. This approach allows for the interconnection of multiple IoT devices, creating a flow between them, and thus the ability to exchange data across predefined connections and networks.

Thanks to the capabilities of the cloud, this approach can facilitate the processing of deep real-time telemetry data pools. Such a solution can be especially useful in asset-intensive industries such as logistics and transportation, automotive, agriculture, utilities, oil, gas and manufacturing.

Learn how to build IoT telemetry simulators for Azure and Amazon cloud platforms using the Node-RED tool. Read more...

Read more…

Thought of opening your venture in the bakery and pastry sector but could not make it because of lack of proper storage at a particular temperature. If your company is leading company in the bakery and pastry sector and has various production and retail shop, a fleet of over 20 vehicles that perform around 40 deliveries every day then you have dabbled over the right partner.

Biz4intellia, an end-to-end Industrial IoT solution provides a cold chain monitoring and smart tracking system that works from storing the stuff at a proper temperature to reach the destination in peak condition. You need not to worry if you want to deliver your stuff in the morning and want to reach out your customer early at the point of sale. To control the temperature and make delivery more proficient, Biz4intellia has its own Smart Tracking solution which uses sensors and gateways.

The route optimization feature of Smart Tracking maps out the optimized routes for the fleet drivers so that the deliveries of cakes, pastries, and fresh bread products to the retail outlets can reach within the given time. With the sensor system, the temperature and location of each fleet can be known in real-time and hence alerts can be received through a smartphone/tablet/pc and basic internet connection.  

The below image tells about the present status of a particular vehicle like the temperature of the refrigerator, weight it is carrying, latitude, longitude, speed, and battery. Alerts are sent if a driver crosses the threshold of the speed or the refrigerator is not at a correct temperature.

Role of Sensor and wireless gateway:

During transportation of the food items, maintaining an optimal temperature was a critical task to prevent the costly spoilage. The Cold Chain Logistics solution provides a consistent and inexpensive way to ensure that your coolers and freezers are working properly, possibly saving thousands of dollars from unnecessary damage.  

Biz4intellia IoT solution eradicated all the challenges and developed the Cold Chain Monitoring solution consisting of a temperature sensor, 3G antenna, wireless gateway, GPS antenna, and a charger.

The temperature sensor used cost near about $49 with a frequency of 900MHz.To accurately measure the temperature, a thermistor is used. These small-sized sensors are perfect for monitoring ambient temperatures around the physical location of the sensors. Customized sensors allow the user to set the frequency of readings and the threshold value so that alerts via SMS or email can be sent. The sensor works accurately up to a temperature of +/-1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) with the actual range varying according to the environment. With the sensor reporting frequency and other variables, you can also determine the battery life.

Out of the box features:

  1. Alerts if a door is left open:

During the course of taking the food from one place to another or during loading/unloading, if the door remains open then an alert is sent for the same. Also, if pilferage occurs during the same, notification via SMS or e-mail is sent.

 

  1. Geofencing:

The Geofencing feature captures the location of the vehicle with the coordinates of a particular area. Sends alerts when a driver deviates from the prescribed path as it can bring delay in delivery time and can cause accidental loss. 

 

  1. Reduce Spoilage and Waste:

If a temperature is not within the range then it spoils the food and hence it becomes a waste. Therefore, a real-time alert is sent if a cooler’s temperature is outside of its nominal range.  

 

  1. Save time and resources:

The automated system tracks temperatures so that a manual checking is not required. Hence it saves the time and resources to track the temperature and location of the vehicle.

  

  1. Predictive Maintenance:

Improved scheduled maintenance can be attained by the sensors and then the devices calculate the expected lifetime of machines well before their threshold comes.

 

  1. Maintain regulatory compliance:

Sensors help businesses to achieve regulatory compliance by giving 100% accurate data.

 

  1. Monitor from anywhere:

In a world of the digital era, accessing your smartphones/tablets/pc let you monitor the vehicle from anywhere around the globe.

 

How does it work?

The Biz4intellia solution monitors the temperature in the vehicle refrigeration chamber and sends the data to the gateway with the help of the 3G network. The real-time location of the vehicle is obtained with the help of the GPS antenna and is sent with the help of 3G network only. The battery has a capacity of 6600mAh and sends data even when the vehicle is off. In the absence of 3G coverage like in remote locations, data values are stored in memory and are then sent as soon as the vehicle comes in the coverage area.

 

Real-time data analysis-

 With the recent digital technologies, transmission of data has become very easy. Mobile technology enables the transmission of data which gets accessed by the gateway. Also, it tells about the temperature along with the position of the vehicle in real-time. The solution can be used for any transport or logistics company that needs instant temperature and position monitoring of the fleet. As cakes are one of the most delicate goods to be transported, tracking their real-time location and refrigerator temperature was always a necessity.   

 

The cold chain logistics is a catalyst in the supply chain thereby supplying better nutrition and improving global food security. Temperature controlled logistics and monitoring system plays an important role in the modern day business. With the ever-increasing population residing in the present developing or emerging countries, there are huge business opportunities in emerging markets. Companies are taking advantage of these modern technologies thus providing more benefits to the people.  The reliability and the efficiency of the cold chain logistics solution have reached to a point where the food and beverage industry can make the best use of it.

As the technology made its footprints into the market companies as McDonald switched from frozen to fresh beef patties for its core burger product which could not have been possible without the coming up of the cold chain logistics.

Read more…

3 Reasons to Use .NET for your Next IoT Project

The concept of connecting objects with the internet is the Internet of Things. It was conceived in order to establish a direct amalgamation between the virtual world and the physical world. Internet of Things is useful in the way that it recovers concrete data and information and makes them useful by offering economic benefits and improving the daily life as well.

The time has now come where people and IoT app developers have started to understand the importance of this technology and are working towards achieving greater goals with it. Tech giants have started to adopt this technology and work on developments. Here are some major reasons why they are doing it.

  1. Windows 10 IoT Core. .NET is fully compatible with Window 10 IoT Core. The system for Windows 10 was released in 2015 and was designed specifically in a way that runs on low-power devices. One great thing about this is it’s free. It comes along with a handy toolkit. There are lots of integration options. .NET Core can be extremely helpful in creating great IoT apps. They offer a pretty smooth UX.

  2. .NET Readymade Solutions. Almost every coding problem or issue is developed or resolved and has a solution somewhere over the internet. .NET helps developers in a great way making use of unfinished solutions and saving their time. So if you face a problem finding an IoT solution, it is very likely that someone has already found a solution for it and the code must have been posted somewhere over GitHub. .NET is a large community and the number reusable code it produces is also huge. This can help in speeding up the development process. This is why .NET is a great option.

  1. Microsoft Azure. Microsoft Azure is known as one of the best available enterprise-class platforms. It is of great use for IoT users. Microsoft not only provides the Azure IoT platform and IoT accelerators, but also recovery and data storage in addition to that. Some of the most important features of an IoT platform are security, analysis, interoperability, and flexibility. These features help the IoT developers in a great way.

Microsoft Azure is a cloud platform that is both secure and reliable. It offers several services. Deploying cloud applications is pretty easy by simply setting up an application host or running it on the Azure panel. Azure technology is being continually worked upon by the Microsoft engineers. Many new features will be added and those updates will come out soon.

Conclusion

For any technology, it is extremely important to have a supportive community that offers help whenever required. .NET has that kind of community. There are more than two million people working on .NET, so you imagine the number of people ready to help you and offer advice in the community.

IoT will see immense growth in the coming years, considering the demand for such technology. When that happens, all the work done on it right now will then prove to be useful. .NET is the preferred environment for creating IoT apps and there is no doubt in that.

 

Read more…

The internet of things (IoT) has the power to influence so many of our services and utilities. So many, in fact, that even power itself is included in the concept’s clean sweep of the world’s commodities. Here’s what you need to know about the Internet of Energy.

 

The three Ds – decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitisation – are transforming the energy sector, as the quest for a carbon-free world continues. This falls on a backdrop of the IoT’s driving of efficiency around wind turbines and solar systems, which look set to represent the future of global energy consumption. The new connected energy business model is already here, it is called the internet of energy.

The internet of energy explained

The year is 2018 and the demand for clean energy has never been higher. Governments presiding over developed markets face pressures to cut emissions in the face of global warming, while projections from the International Energy Agency outlines a rise of 55% in the global demand for energy between 2005 – 2030.

Access to energy has already increased in recent years, but with the UN estimating global population growth of a further two billion by 2040, the coming years will lead to huge pressure on solar and wind power to meet this growing demand.

Another factor is the decentralisation of energy grids as a result of old, centralised systems failing to integrate newer units, like solar panels. Operators claim that billions are being spent on stabilising faulty power grids every year, with some of this passing onto the consumer.

A solution comes in the form of an internet of energy, whose technology can provide the infrastructure for decentralised, smarter energy grids and a stable supply of power.

The future of power

The internet of energy is based on a foundation of data, collected by a network of sensors with varying applications.

General Electric is one of the groups that use sensors within its turbines to monitor things like output and productivity. This is funnelled into a computer providing information on external factors, like the weather or fuel costs, which churns out recommendations for peak performance.

Artificial intelligence is ideal in this situation as a result of its ability to analyse data much quicker and more effectively than humans. In 2017 the concept was praised by the United States Department of Energy following its examination of past fluctuations in power to determine the answers for a more stable and efficient grid.

Quantum computing is another area of much interest for energy players. Its ability to process and store data at a faster pace than a classical computer makes it perfect for oil rigs, where tens of thousands of sensors are used to collect information on the performance of equipment.

At the core of further decentralisation has been blockchain; touted by China’s State Grid Corporation as a way of securing information on things like use of power and market prices. Data can then be shared with government bodies and private firms to develop a deeper understanding of the country’s energy consumption.

Conclusion

In near enough every use case of the internet of energy, there is an underlying theme: connectivity. By collecting, analysing and trading data via a secure, decentralised network, the energy industry can start to find a route towards providing renewables for the world’s population.

The truth is, solar and wind turbines will not solve our problems alone. With revelations that the annual waste of renewable energy from China is enough to power Beijing for an entire year, there is a clear need for a network to make better use of this equipment.

Given the rising demand for energy – and its following of a production model that dates back over 100 years – our companies must embrace the innovations that can accelerate its production. Through an internet of energy, we might have found the answer.

Get in touch to see how your own organisation can benefit from decentralised solutions and IoT.

 

Originally published at eleks.com

Read more…

IoT In Banking And Financial Industry

Internet of Things industry is developing rapidly and it provides people with a range of digital devices and sensors all around the world. According to predictions of Gartner consulting agency, about 6,5 billion of connected 'things' will be available by the end of 2018. And, by the way, this figure has grown to 30% comparing to 2016. It is expected that we will get almost 20 billion IoT devices by 2020.
 
As IoT is surrounding us in all fields of activity, banking area is also striving to make use of IoT and get some benefits. The niche of IoT software development is growing, so let's see the main reasons why you need IoT in banking and other financial services.

Why you need IoT in your financial business

Usually, when you start dealing with something new, you need to see strong reasons why you need it. That is why before you start developing your own the IoT solution for banking or any other FinTech service, you need to see advantages of IoT in this field. How has the Internet of Things impacted business? In this section, we will pay attention to 5 benefits why IoT can be beneficial for financial business. 
 
iot finance
How IoT can be used in banking
 

Collect all data in real-time mode continuously

For example, when individuals want to insure the car or house, using the IoT, they can always get access to the up-to-date information regarding patterns of using the insured product. If they insured the car, they can see all regulations and rules concerning all insurance cases gathering sensor data from any point - whether it be their home or car. And, yes, it is just one example of thousand other possible options thatIoT solution providers can offer.

Personalized customer service

Considering that preferences of the customer change very fast, financial institutions along with other fields simply cannot ignore new digital innovations and they need to engage in the development of new solutions. Today customers can always stay in touch with their bank using a tablet, smartphone or laptop. That is why banks see perspectives in the development of IoT apps that make it possible to gather more data about customers, their behavior, and preferences. The IoT connections facilitate a widescale data collection about users. This data helps banks understand their customer better and offer them more interesting and personalized experience, useful target tips. It leads to a new level of interaction between bank and customer and to the great future of banking technology.
Example: imagine that your customer came to your bank and they just enter the main door. You can use the network of sensors and beacons with appropriate software to authenticate the customer with the biometrics like facial recognition. This customer every day withdraws a certain amount of money in ATM of your bank, and thus ATM will prepare money for the customer, and when the user enters his PIN, cash will be prepared to withdraw. By the way, you can find more benefits of facial recognition software in our article. As you see, IoT and banking area can be mutually beneficial.

Enhancing the decision-making process

If the bank learns more information about their customers getting the data from the IoT devices, it helps improve decision-making process with better customer service and product strategy. For example, using data from social media or buying preferences of the customer, banks can build the picture of potential credit risk for each customer and then make commercial offers to the potential customer. Here you need the development of analytical software that will help implement it, and our company can assist in it. Thus, IoT in financial services can help specialists understand the general condition of other fields. Up-to-date data will give the current situation in retail or agriculture that is very important in the process of new markets analysis.

Communication between various devices

Combination of sensors and software will help make cashless payments automatically, without even touching user's phone or banking card. This financial solution can become widespread one day. As an example, users go to the cash register in the supermarket, and there is a sensor installed that detect the number of products in their cart and the type of these products. Then it calculates the total sum for all products and connects to their mobile wallet. The payment is done automatically. But of course, this FinTech solution should undergo governmental approval to meet all financial regulations.

Customer smart interaction with the Internet of Things

For today, capabilities of the IoT in banking sector and other financial areas are not revealed in a full manner. The Internet of Things is just starting entering in FinTech. But it is expected that the IoT will play a very important role in banking strategies.
Experts predict also the development of the niche where customers will be able to connect their banking account to the range of smart devices. For example, smartwatches will give their owners a signal when they exceed the limit of planned expenses. Today banking apps already can give you notifications about all financial transactions, but this algorithm will be modified to the new level.
 
banking and iot
 
As a result, we can show a simple example of what capabilities IoT in banking and finance area has, but this list will grow as innovations appear. And if you have any idea on the development of your own banking software - do not hesitate to contact us.

Ways how IoT can be used in financial sector

Banks from all over the world are trying to use IoT capabilities in their industry to get more customers involved. Starting from mobile banking apps that today are used by the majority of all world banks, since apps help monitor preferences of customers, to the range of sensors that make it possible for financial institutions to gather information from their branches and sensors in wearables that can track how customers use banking products. The Internet of Things and financial services create a beneficial combination.
 
internet of things use cases in banking
Ways of IoT application in FinTech sector
 
IoT vs fraud
If you are a faithful fan of our blog, then you saw our article concerning the prevention of fraud in FinTech app using artificial intelligence. Well, IoT and AI can become the symbiosis can enhance and improve the process of fighting the cybercrime. IoT FinTech devices and software with integrated AI can collect more data about financial transactions made by their customers that will help improve the security level and make financial processes easier and more secure.
 
Invisible payments
As we mentioned above, the combination of sensors and software facilitates the development of invisible payments and other main financial procedures using wearables like smartwatches, voice-recognition devices, special RFID sensors in Uber cars and restaurants to make automated payment without taking the phone out. A 22% of world financial organization CEOs predict the payment from cars to become a reality in the next two years, according to PwC.
 
Payments from everywhere
Let's not forget about smart refrigerators and other home appliances that also allow users to make payments for food delivery, like an example. IoT in finance industry can let you create an ecosystem for the optimization and acceleration of payment process. Pay from everywhere - wherever you are. Cleveroad can give you a hint on how to create an advantageous IoT app.
 
Autonomous wearables
As for statistics, 60% of world-leading financial institutions plan to make wearables the main payment device within a couple of years, it is a kind of IoT business strategy. Moreover, it is highly possible that the new generation of wearables will be created - wearables that function without a smartphone. Rings, VR devices, and even hi-tech clothes will replace common smartwatches one day.
 

Main challenges you may face adopting IoT in financial sector

Never forget about the main rule - all coins have two sides. And IoT technology has its second side that will show you some pitfalls IoT brings to humanity. Especially if it concerns finances where accuracy and security are highly important. All benefits shown above will bring some problems related to confidentiality and security of customers' personal data. The financial field that uses IoT connections should make sure the safety of personal data to their customers. Let's see main weak sides of IoT in FinTech.
 
Privacy and security
That is the main danger that can be ahead when people use the Internet of Things in finance. Since IoT is the whole network of devices and various software, the risk of hacking is increasing exponentially. And in case of financial industry, the privacy and security are the most important issues to be taken into account when thinking about protection. When the financial and personal information is being transmitted through the IoT network, all this data can be breached and hacked. So the privacy and security concern means a lot and rapt attention should be paid to it.
 
No common standards
Different devices require different maintenance approach. Unfortunately, there are no common standards for maintaining IoT equipment. It seems to be impossible for today to resolve this issue. The matter is that all hardware used in IoT can be manufactured by different suppliers and they cannot have one common maintenance standard. And even if all hardware manufacturers in the world will agree to use one specific standard, technical issues will still remain. Only if there will be one monopolistic manufacturer of all equipment, but it is unreal since it will damage economic situation in the whole world. So, the lack of common standards can be the reason for failures in the functionality of IoT devices.
 
Complex system
As we mentioned above, the longer and bigger system is, the higher the probability of any failures in the system. But considering that this is a financial field, failure in IoT network can become the reason for total malfunctioning in the whole system and lead to huge losses. IoT can be represented as the chain where each link plays an important role in proper connection. Break one link - all chain will be broken as well. And it concerns both hardware and software part. That is why you should choose high-quality hardware manufacturers and experienced software development companies. So IoT in banking industry and other financial services is a technology that is rather difficult to deal with.
 
Higher unemployment rate
IoT helps automate working processes that required human brain before, and it means that some employees would simply lose their work positions, especially if these are young and not so skilled workers yet. Banks and other financial institutions will have to cut more jobs with the advent of IoT technologies in the financial industry. Unemployment growth will damage economic and social situation not only in one specific country but also in the whole world economy.
 
iot and finance
Pitfalls Internet of Things hides in financial sector
Read more…

In recent years I have listened till the satiety about the importance of ecosystems to make the promises of the IoT come true and in some way for not to leave in bad position the analysts who have flooded us with their optimistic predictions.

All, or at least most of those who read my articles know that there is no company in the world, no matter how great it is, it can do everything in IoT. So, ecosystems are the key to successfully in this business.

The ecosystem allows to achieve a multiplier effect and a trusted environment.

Creating an IoT ecosystem either horizontal (technology) or vertical (industry) requires a lot of talent alliance managers able to maintain win-win transactions over the time.

Select an IoT ecosystem is not an easy task. In the IoT ecosystems there are fights between equals, also abuses usually produced from the big ones over the little ones. There are conflicts with companies that are in several ecosystems sometimes with contradictory interests. It is very usual how partners collide with the objectives of the ecosystem and you can imagine betrayals and back stabs.

For instance after IBM acquisition of Red Hat, will the IoT open source architecture designed by the ecosystem Red Hat , Eurotech and Cloudera be a good decision?

In my post “The value of partnership in Industrial Internet of Things”  and subsequent comments I presented several successful cases of collaboration among members of these ecosystems. But let's be honest, there are few references and examples after 4 years.

The fragility of Alliances in IoT is a challenge to accelerate adoption of IoT Ecosystem solutions.

IoT Ecosystems

In Harbor Research article “ Has Anyone Seen A Real Internet of Things Ecosystem?” ,dated November 2013, the analyst firm wrote that no really significant ecosystem or network of collaborators had emerged in the IoT arena in spite there was early and very interesting efforts being made by several players. We can thing that in 2013, these ecosystems were very emergent alliance developments and have had not attained the scale, scope and momentum we expect will be required to really drive this opportunity to its intended and expected scale.  Most of the attempts thus far to drive an ecosystem advantage have failed to scale and reach critical mass.  This just underscores how challenging building a high velocity network of partners can be.

In this article I will focus my analysis on 4 examples of IoT ecosystems that represent a big portion of the value chain in the multiple IoT submarkets: IoT Connectivity Provider, IoT Cloud Platform Vendor, IoT Professional Services and IoT Solution Aggregator.

Telefonica: IoT Connectivity Ecosystem - https://iot.telefonica.com/partners

One of my first attempts to monetize my IoT services was through the Telefonica IoT Solution Partners program. It was four years ago. At the beginning I received a couple of calls from the Operator to help me create my account and describe my services. We were many partners and although the Partners Search portal left a lot to be desired, I did not see much competition in my services and I thought that we would be the perfect accelerator for the ecosystem. I was wrong. Since I register, I have not received any invitation to participate in any event for partners, nor has anyone contacted me to request my services, nor have I needed the portal for contact any other partner (for that I already have my LinkedIn network).

How the hell are you going to find me as IoT Solution partner if Telefonica IoT web page does not offer a link to the partner search page ? and the use of this non update page is frustrating with duplicates names, closed companies, etc.

Telefonica identifies 3 types of Partners: Operators Alliances, Channel Partners and Solution Partners.

Operators Alliances: Telefonica is partnering with other Tier-1 telecom operators including the IoT World Alliance and other operators like China Unicom, Sunrise and Avea in order to provide IoT customers with the best, seamless services worldwide and lower costs.

Channel Partners: Telefonica enables partners to drive growth and differentiate their business by reselling their Global Managed IoT services. It helps to increase their capabilities, enabling deployment on a global scale, in particular in regions such as Europe and Latin America

Solution Partners: Telefonica Solution Partners ecosystem consists of a global network of IoT providers with functional or industrial expertise: IoT Device Providers, IoT System Integrators and IoT Industrial Experts.

I never liked the idea of Telefonica oriented to quantity (around 1000 partners including duplicate names and not updated list) instead of quality in Partners and I think the results have been and are very poor. Clearly a point to improve if they want the IoT to take off inside the Operator.

Talking with Telefonica IoT you quickly recognize that if you are not Microsoft, AWS, or similar unless you bring business to them you will never get business from them.

Telefonica does not lead any IoT ecosystem, neither geographically, nor industrially nor technologically. It is just one more logo (important of course) in many presentations of IoT vendors.

I can not understand of its win-win strategy and goto market regarding IoT platforms. In addition to its own platform, Telefonica appears as a partner of at least Microsoft Azure, PTC-Thingworx, SAG Cumulocity, AWS IoT, Cisco Jasper, Libelium, etc. Maybe they should select partners around ‘share of outcome’ rather than share of investment if they want to lead some ecosystem. Pecking is good for the birds.

Telefonica need an open-minded company culture to become comfortable with an ecosystem structure.

IoT Cloud Platform Vendor  -  Microsoft IoT Ecosystem

Having worked at Microsoft, I recognize that I have had the temptation to become an IoT partner. But also, because my business model is based on vendor independence my decision was to help other companies to enter in the MSFT IoT ecosystem

This year I was convinced that I needed to change my approach. But, instead of becoming a partner, I decided to convince other 2 Microsoft partners strong in complementary disciplines (Business Intelligence and Cloud) to create a specific area for IoT. I have not succeeded, which makes me think that despite the efforts and investment planned by Microsoft, Partners do not see IoT business clearly yet.

The list of Internet of Things Trusted Partners certified in Microsoft Azure Certified is impress and I recognize the effort of Microsoft building an IoT ecosystem that fuels business transformation. Without going further, the largest partnership with GE Predix and the partnership with PTC  will help industry customers accelerate their digital transformations by adopting IoT.

In this case, finding an partner de Microsoft Azure IoT is easier than in the previous case. The categories of IoT partners for Microsoft are: Devices, Gateways, security, isv, network and telecommunication and system integrators.

By the way, no partner in Spain according with this web. ☹. Maybe is the right time to invest.

 Microsoft is expert identifying, nurturing and managing partners and Azure IoT is a great opportunity to lead some IoT ecosystems.

IoT Professional Services - EY IoT Ecosystem

EY, otherwise known as Ernst and Young, is a leader in the IoT space. Not involved in the construction of devices themselves, EY is instead helping organisations navigate the largely unchartered waters of IoT.

While working in an engagement with EY IoT, I read a report developed by Forrester Research dated Oct/18, 2017 “Vendor Landscape: IoT Professional Services”. This report segments the landscape of IoT Professional Services firms, based on functional capabilities to help enterprises deploy IoT-enabled processes, vertical market focus, and geographic reach. Based on the service offerings, vertical capabilities, and characteristics of a broad array of professional services firms, Forrester has identified eight categories. The major players in the consulting firm segment include Deloitte, EY, KPMG, and PWC because these strategic consulting firms combine strong business strategy capabilities with the ability to execute on digital transformation initiatives. The report clearly showed EY strong IoT capabilities across the globe. EY was also recognized as Internet of Things services leader by HFS Research.

For EY, initiatives like launch a global IoT/OT Security Lab to help clients stay ahead of emerging threats or to launch EY wavespace™, a global network of growth and innovation centers to help clients achieve radical breakthroughs is a way to demonstrate its strategic alliances like SAP, GE Digital, Microsoft, IBM or Cisco how important is to create an ecosystem with the firm. These technology vendors rely on EY to implement IoT solutions in large customers with a business-driven approach.

Do not expect EY or any of the consulting firms to lead any IoT ecosystem. Their role is to leverage their business strengths and client relationship to empower the ecosystems to which they belong

IoT Solution Aggregator - Tech Data IoT Ecosystem

Perhaps the most complex task I have done regarding advising of IoT ecosystems was with one of the largest IT distributors in the world, Tech Data. The challenge of balancing players like Microsoft, Dell, Cisco, IBM, Schneider or Vodafone with innovative startups in several industry verticals and different use cases without anyone feeling careless was very exciting.

To find a right place for Tech Data in the IoT value proposition schema, , was another challenge. It was great helping the company defining its role as an IoT Solution Aggregator and define which partners should be included for Tech Data IoT repeatable solutions.

Tech Data has been able to demonstrate how to become useful for IT and OT vendors and how provide value to existing and new channel of IIOT system Integrators worldwide.

I always have believed this approach could make easy for their small and medium end clients to adopt IoT solutions quickly.

I did not have time during my engagement with Tech Data to analyse and support the launch on new business models, but I am sure they will leverage its position to offer new services based on data aggregation.

Education, the latest products, support services, and firm footing in the B2B world put IoT Solution Integrators  at the centre of the Internet of Things craze.

 Key Takeaway

The IoT market is still in its early stage. Enterprises face many different options for IoT partners and suppliers. Choosing the right ecosystem is critical not only for a successful IoT project implementation but for the journey in their Digital Transformation.

IoT ecosystems need to understand that most industries thrive on "coopetition," it’s important to become cognizant and respectful of competitors, as they may also be your potential partners.

Just like with people, when it comes to IoT business, no two ecosystems are alike. We have been helping different type of companies to build or enter in the most suitable ecosystem. I have no doubt only the best ecosystems will survive; the challenge is to rank among so many. It is really a nightmare.

Ecosystems is hardly new but as rapidly evolving and if they are able to leverage the shared data and information from intelligent sensors, machines and assets, radical new modes of value creation will emerge.

Read more…

Your home security system. Air condition system. Your car. Why, even your coffee maker. Almost every imagine digital appliance is now connected to the Internet. The era of connected things has arrived.

IoT is no longer a science project that businesses are putting off for the future. It is a promise to a future that must be leveraged now. In fact, today, it is more difficult to find a coffee-maker or any home appliance without Wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. Not just at homes, even at corporations, connected devices has become a serious boardroom topic. According to DigiCert’s State of IoT Security survey 2018, 83% of organizations say the Internet of Things (IoT) is important to business today, and 92% say it will be in two years.

IoT can bring to businesses several benefits like improved operational efficiency, new revenue channels, business agility, and enhanced customer experience.

However, there are enterprise concerns that dwarf the possibility of gaining these benefits.

Among the top 4 enterprise concerns for IoT are security and privacy.

Source: DigiCert’s State of IoT Security survey 2018

How the Internet of Things can become the Internet of ‘Threats’

If not controlled, secured and monitored, the Internet of Things can go from smart connected things to a web of connected threats. Here are some ways how connected devices can go rogue.

#1 The connected risk of BYOD

Global corporations are losing no time in enabling their employees with BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and WFH Work From Home working models. Although these working models amplify productivity, they also carry with them the risk of IoT.

For instance, an insecure connected device at an employee’s home can be hacked into by a hacker thereby gaining access to the office system. If the employee has failed to take adequate security measures for the office gadgetry, then it leaves the ground open for the hacker to seed an infectious malware, virus or anything malicious into the office network. That is the connected risk of BYOD which IoT creates.

#2 DDoS attacks

Source: DigiCert’s IoT Security Infographic

Do you know that insecure IoT devices can take down cities? IoT botnets combined with DDoS attacks can bring connected urban infrastructure to a grinding halt. This is not any sci-fi or fictional scenario. Hackers can track down IoT sensors, hack into their weak interfaces and run commands to shut down services or to hijack their functioning.

To cite a real-world example, cities like New York, Singapore, Barcelona, etc. are already running extensive public utilities with the help of IoT. IBM’s white paper - The Dangers of Smart City Hacking found more than 17 security vulnerabilities that make it “painfully easy” to take down large IoT-based urban networks. The security vulnerabilities included public default passwords, SQL injection, authentication bypass and so on.

#3 Premise Intrusion

Home security device shipments worldwide is expected to touch 700 Millions by 2019. According to Alarms.org, three-fourth of homeowners buy security systems that can be monitored through their mobile devices. While these systems saves time and provide convenience, they also become easy targets that hackers can infiltrate easily.

By hacking into the smartphone or a weak smart device, the hacker can take down the home security system thereby gaining access to the entire household. The same scenario applies to corporate offices as well, which makes IoT a certain Internet of Threats.

So, do these security threats mean that it is the end of the road for IoT app development? Not so. There are best practices that enterprises can embrace to insulate their IoT networks from vulnerabilities.

Best practices to establish security in IoT app development

IoT is a relatively new concept. The IT industry as a whole is yet to attain widespread knowledge and authority on its usage, maintenance and security. Here are some best practices that can help thwart the security risks involved in IoT app development.

#1 Review the risk involved

Having a brief idea of the risk landscape will help device a strategic security policy specifically for IoT devices. Penetration testing can be carried out to identify key vulnerabilities that should be addressed on high priority. For example, default public passwords is a vulnerability that can be resolved quickly without much ado.

#2 Setup device identity

Each device in the IoT network must be identified and tagged to grant secure access. Use secure over-the-air updates to keep the device security intact and in tune with the latest development.

#3 Encryption

More than the connected device, it is the data that it creates and exchanges that is of value. Every data exchange by the devices in the network should be secured with end-to-end encryption, code signing or with SSL certificates.

#4 Public Key Infrastructure

Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) can help create the basic framework required for authenticating device identities and for establishing the integrity of security patches. It also facilitates easier management of public-key encryption thus making it a perfect choice for establishing IoT security.

#5 Plan long-term

IoT is going to be here for the long-term. It is not any short-term fad that can be easily replaced. It is got a strong hardware presence which cannot be removed easily. Hence, any security measures made for IoT networks should be planned for the long-term.

What’s next?

With the promise of IoT comes several perils as well. IoT botnets can take down large-scale and sensitive connected networks, including urban infrastructure, home security systems, etc. McKinsey Global Institute estimates the economic impact that IoT can create to be in the range of $3.9 trillion to $11.1 trillion worldwide by 2025. But, the true economic benefit of IoT can be attained only if it is secured and insulated from security threats. To sum it up, security should be the bottom line of IoT app development. Without security, IoT can create more damage than the benefits that it can provide.

Read more…

IoT Open Discussion Forums

Upcoming IoT Events

More IoT News

IoT Career Opportunities