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We are well aware that IoT offers a range of possibilities across various industries including consumer electronics and cars, healthcare, utilities, transportation, manufacturing, and so on. Also, Industrial IoT offers means to obtain insights into the business operations.

IoT offers a greater promise in the healthcare sector than in other sectors. This is because the IoTprinciples are already being applied to enhance the quality of care, reduce the cost of care, and improve the overall access to care.

The integration of IoT features into medical devices greatly enhances the effectiveness and quality of service, especially bringing greater value to those requiring constant supervision and elderly patients suffering from chronic illnesses. The IoT has the potential to not only keep the patients healthy and safe but also to improve how the doctors provide care as well.

A few estimates have revealed that by 2025 spending on Healthcare IoT solutions will reach around $1 trillion, and hopefully, will make the conditions favourable for highly accessible, on-time, and personalized health services for everyone.

The IoT can also enhance patient satisfaction and engagement by allowing patients to spend more time interacting with their doctors. This article will explore some of the major applications of healthcare IoT and the challenges it poses for healthcare today.

Applications of Healthcare IoT

Starting with managing chronic diseases to preventing a disease, there are a broad range of applications for IoT in the healthcare sector. Now, let’s dig deeper into each of the major applications.

Providing Constant Attention

The patients who are hospitalized and whose health status requires close attention can be monitored constantly using noninvasive, IoT driven monitoring. This kind of solution uses sensors to gather comprehensive physiological data and the cloud and gateways to examine and preserve the data and then send the examined information wirelessly to physicians for further analysis and review.

This eliminates the need for the doctor having to visit at regular intervals to check the vital signs of a patient, instead offering a continuous and automated flow of data. In this way, it enhances the quality of care via constant attention and lowers the cost involved by eliminating the need for a physician to engage actively in data gathering and analysis.

Building Trust

The connectivity of a healthcare system with the IoT places emphasis on the patient needs. This means timely intervention by doctors, enhanced accuracy in case of diagnosis, proactive treatments, and improved treatment outcomes result in a care that is highly accountable and gains trust among the patients.

Remote Patient Monitoring

All over the world, there are many people who face health issues due to lack of access to effective health monitoring. But, with the help of powerful, interrelated IoT solutions, monitoring the patients has become easier than ever.

These solutions can be utilized to capture the health data of a patient in a secure way from different sensors, make use of complex algorithms to examine the data and then share it via wireless connectivity with the physicians who can make proper health recommendations.

Reduced Costs

With the availability of real-time data from the connected healthcare solutions, the doctors can not only take better care of their patients but also lessen their number of visits to the patient as they can monitor their patients remotely. This decreases the overall health care costs as the costs involved in hospital stays and readmissions are cut down to a greater extent.

Configuring Emergency Alerts

Healthcare IoT allows care teams to gather and connect millions of data points regarding the personal fitness of a patient from wearables like activity, temperature, perspiration, sleep, and heart-rate. As a result, the information obtained from sensors can send out real-time alerts to caregivers and patients so they obtain event-triggered messaging such as triggers and alerts for elevated heart-rate and so on. This will hugely enhance workflow optimization and ensure all the care is handled from home.  

Challenges of IoT in Healthcare

The IoT continues to face challenges in spite of the promise of what it can achieve in healthcare. If these challenges are not addressed soon, they could put the IoT at risk of failure.

By intent and design, the IoT devices collect and transmit real-time data. The infrastructure required to receive and process this information should be designed and developed for scale. This means obtaining, processing, and storing data in real-time from millions of IoT devices and applying analytics to gain insights from this data. Unfortunately, most of the providers lack the know-how and infrastructure to access the data.

Also, most of the devices reporting healthcare data suffer from a lack of common security practices or standards. Due to this, many healthcare IT professionals have raised concerns about the risks associated with data breaches and IoT device tampering.

Other major challenges include lack of EHR system integration and lack of adoption of interoperability. Addressing these problems will further revolutionize the health industry as more organizations will start implementing IoT for their healthcare services.

Healthcare IoT is transforming the way the facilities are delivered to patients. In order to derive the true value of healthcare IoT, the interrelated healthcare devices and the processes that are supporting them must work as a joint system that is comprehensive, integrated, and secure. With healthcare IoT facing few challenges, the healthcare providers are hopeful that the IoT will have a positive impact on delivering valuable data and supporting patient care.

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Despite the great promise of IoT to improve business and society, many think it’s being held back due to complexity and the associated lack of required skills to make it a success. Is it possible that the antidote to this complexity and skill shortage problem lies in the existing open standards and technologies that comprise the World Wide Web? In this podcast, Rob Tiffany makes the case for using existing W3C standards to power the Internet of Things.

Check it out at https://theinternetofthings.io/iot-podcast-can-the-web-save-the-internet-of-things/ 

-Rob

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The internet of things (IoT) is much more than the next step in consumer technologies — it also represents a significant leap forward for industries of all kinds.

Manufacturing is already — and will continue to be — a field almost uniquely suited to applying IoT technology. In fact, there's almost no part of the process that won't be touched in some way by this ever-expanding web of smart and interconnected sensors, computers and machines. No matter how large or small your operation is, it's increasingly difficult to understate the potential value of adding intelligence and oversight to your processes using the internet of things.

Here are four ways IoT is revolutionizing the field of manufacturing.

A Greater Degree of Competitiveness

According to a report published by Verizon in 2016, an overwhelming majority of manufacturing managers already consider IoT technology a critical competitive advantage. It's hard to believe that such a sea change happened practically overnight, but not quite so much when you realize what's at stake.

Suffice it to say, the IoT represents a bundle of industrial innovations that have been a long time coming. Most of the competitive advantages cited by the Verizon report have to do with parts of the manufacturing and business processes that required guesswork or drew from incomplete data sets. We're talking things like altering business processes based on current demand and future trends, optimizing longstanding workflows and responding to unforeseen events.

Technology powered by the IoT can make manufacturing companies more competitive by, among other things, granting some autonomy and automation to back-end processes that inform the rest of your employee processes and workflows. This type of automation could, for example, automatically flag product for shipment to another location based on current levels or even trip a slowdown on one production line to pivot to another product if future demand isn't expected to be there.

The result is a leaner business that can run circles around your more flat-footed competition, who might've been slow to adopt modern technologies. 

A Demystified Supply Chain

Gathering useful insights into the supply chain — that all-important web of manufacturers, shippers and vendors that makes modern production and order fulfillment possible — has been one of the most significant advantages of applying the IoT.

Of course, oversight into vendor and shipper processes is nothing new — but accessing it and making decisions in real-time is a relatively new innovation courtesy of the IoT. These days, every plant location and every party responsible for assembling or moving finished or in-progress merchandise enjoys a higher degree of transparency and collaboration thanks to remote monitoring technology, sensors along material handling paths and assembly lines, and more.

Perhaps most importantly, the availability of granular data at each stage lets each party know exactly what inventory levels look like, all the way up and down the supply chain. This is a significant innovation and a huge stride toward true lean and just-in-time manufacturing, not to mention seamless collaboration. Neither wasteful production methods nor products sitting idle that are needed elsewhere are long for this world, and it's all thanks to the IoT.

Automated Maintenance and Unsafe Operation Alerts

Even the very machines manufacturers use to fabricate and assemble new products are getting smarter thanks to the internet of things. Low-cost sensors are easier than ever for facilities to deploy on their critical machines and equipment, which can make the time and labor associated with ongoing maintenance far easier to manage.

Sensors on manufacturing and product handling equipment provide real-time alerts and analysis concerning the condition of the machine and its many moving parts. These sensors can also take the guesswork and scheduling out of regular equipment maintenance by sending an alert to the appropriate parties at regular intervals — or whenever the machine's onboard self-diagnostic tools detect an impending failure or fault.

The implications for manufacturing are enormous since no two organizations work under the same conditions and with the same equipment. IoT-powered condition-based alerts help facilities maintain the health of their machines, no matter where in the world they're located and no matter what the temperature and humidity are doing. Some devices are more finicky than others when it comes to environmental conditions, making no-hassle maintenance a considerable advantage.

Improved Safety Oversight

Before the industrial internet of things, key performance indicators for employee safety and work environment were commonly spread across several systems, including paper-based ones. This made it difficult for plant managers to get a good, top-down sense of where dangerous processes existed or what types of simple process changes might result in improvements.

The internet of things makes it possible to gather data concerning work accidents and near-misses, property damage, employee injury rates by process and more. It's quite common — and potentially even required — for modern business to track some of these data points as for various compliance purposes. However, it's less common to assemble them in one place and use modern digital technologies to draw actionable conclusions, isolate consistent trouble areas and drill down to causes.

Wearables are another safety-minded application of the IoT. Helmets and wristbands are being eyed as possible future locations for health-related sensors to keep track of workers' physical locations, temperatures, heart rates and more — all in service of rotating employees more regularly, keeping bodily stresses to a minimum and bolstering organizational safety as a whole.

Tomorrow's Technology Today

It's likely that the future will see even more IoT innovations for manufacturing. For right now, these four major improvement areas represent many opportunities for the modern business to revolutionize what they do and how they do it.

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Since its conception, IoT has been impacting numerous businesses in unprecedented ways than expected. IoT infrastructure market, one of contemporary niche verticals of the building construction and infrastructure development sphere, now holds the reputation of being encompassed among the many IoT influenced business spheres. The proliferation of the Internet of things in infrastructure development has led to the procreation of smart homes and cities, touted as a revolutionary phenomenon of the 21st century. With the rising demand for connectivity to enable smart security, social surveillance, smart transportation, energy safety, smart metering, and efficient governance for enhancing consumer lifestyle, IoT infrastructure industry is likely to garner much acclaim in the ensuing years. Estimates compiled in a recent IoT infrastructure market research report forecast this business space to have accumulated a valuation of close to USD 15 billion in 2016.

U.S. IoT infrastructure market, by application, 2016 & 2024 (USD Billion)

A succinct overview of IoT infrastructure market in terms of the application spectrum

IoT infrastructure industry outlook from smart homes

The proliferation of IoT in the home sector has brought about a barrage of changes in consumer standard of living. IoT-enabled homes offer some of the best advantages that can transform a person’s lifestyle across the urban space. Smart devices such as the Nest thermostat, Amazon Echo, smart fridges, Google Home, Wink Relay and Controller, etc., have been popularized across IoT infrastructure market and liberally deployed in smart homes, subject to their incredible benefits such as controlled energy consumption, automated notifications, weather alerts, etc. Fiercely vying with one another to consolidate their positions in IoT infrastructure industry, tech companies have been going the whole hog to introduce highly advanced connected devices for smart homes.

IoT infrastructure market outlook from smart buildings

The deployment of big data and IoT in smart buildings helps deliver actionable insights to improve consumer living comfort, optimize building operations, and reduce energy expenditure. The robust rise in the number of connected devices being installed in smart buildings bears evidence to the fact that IoT infrastructure industry share from smart buildings is likely to plummet in the years ahead. Companies have been planning strategies to brainstorm numerous connected devices for exploiting the potential of IoT in buildings. Recently for instance, Kone signed on a multi-year deal with IBM, with an aim to maneuver the IBM IoT Cloud Platform for connecting, monitoring, and optimizing building components such as doors, elevators, turnstiles, and escalators.

IoT infrastructure market outlook from smart cities

A recently compiled report depicts that close to 60% U.S. citizens prefer living in smart cities, given their incredible advantages. The rising proliferation of smart cities is evident from the incredible proportion of smart city projects that are being undertaken across myriad geographies – which may have a mammoth impact on the revenue graph of IoT infrastructure industry. The numerous advantages provided by smart cities with regards to planning, finance, energy safety, transportation, and other urban aspects have accelerated their demand and popularity across IoT infrastructure market. In consequence, tech behemoths have been signing public-private partnerships, that would lead to the generation of layered framework to address the many challenges of smart city projects by building effective, connected solutions.

The Internet of Things, conceived back in the 1980s at the Carnegie Mellon University, has now metamorphosed into a prodigy that defines efficiency, sustainability, and convenience. The deployment of this concept in infrastructure is likely to open up a plethora of opportunities for construction companies, real estate developers, technology behemoths, and infrastructure development firms, that would strive to brainstorm numerous solutions for connected infrastructure, augmenting IoT infrastructure industry trends. An IoT related report by a research firm claims close to 1.40 billion IoT units to be shipped ahead for smart city projects by 2020, for smart homes, smart buildings, smart transportation, sustainability and climate change. This provides ample evidence to the fact that IoT infrastructure market is here to stay, boasting of a widespread array of technologies, platforms, and applications. A report compiled by Global Market Insights, Inc., claims IoT infrastructure market size to surpass a valuation of more than USD 130 billion by 2024 – which is apparently close to 8.5 times its value in 2016.

Source:https://www.gminsights.com/industry-analysis/iot-infrastructure-market

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The traditional model for enterprise IT systems is centralized: data is brought in from the network ‘edge’ to the ‘center’ – latterly to the cloud – where all the smart thinking happens. Thanks to robotics, extended reality, artificial intelligence and connected devices, this model is being shaken up. This new generation of technology is overhauling existing infrastructures towards a balance of cloud and edge computing, and driving a renewed focus on hardware to deliver intelligence everywhere.

Dealing with data at volume

This approach makes sense operationally. Current predictions suggest that by 2020, smart sensors and other internet of things (IoT) devices will generate at least 507.5 zettabytes of data. Due to the sheer volume of this data, shifting it all to the cloud for computation is becoming increasingly limiting. Instead, businesses are looking to leverage special-purpose and customizable hardware to make more energy efficient and powerful devices at the edge of their networks. Smart technologies and solutions are, therefore, increasingly moving into physical environments.

This shift is taking place across a wide variety of industries. Wherever you look, industry-specific IoT offerings are dispersing data across the network and creating new business models in the process: smart sensors in distributed utility grids and industrial equipment, for example, are propelling everything from predictive maintenance services to workforce safety monitoring solutions.

This ‘internet of thinking’ is also driving unprecedented efficiencies. For example, we recently worked with a European facilities management company, VINCI Facilities, to seize a competitive advantage by transforming its operations with leading-edge technologies and disruptive digital services based on Oracle Cloud technologies.

In one project, the company rolled out intelligent sensors to measure workspace temperature and workers’ presence in a given space. The data helped the company provide a higher comfort to facility occupants and optimize cleaning interventions and energy consumption costs. The company also deployed a wearable device solution to remotely monitor its clients’ workforces, reduce liability and promote safety by ingesting data from workers’ wearable devices. The solution monitors worker vitals and maps employees based on altitude and other factors to mitigate risk and improve working conditions.

Similarly, Accenture developed a wearable offering for the hospitality industry that employs intelligent staffing by tracking when the housekeeping crew has finished cleaning and preparing rooms. It plugs into back-end systems built on Oracle systems, and provides data such as the time taken to prepare a room for a guest. This data is combined with metrics around room size for more effective deployment of housekeeping staff, driving increased operating efficiency.

Focus on hardware

To deploy such intelligent networks, organizations must renew their focus on hardware. For years, companies were sold the benefits of cloud computing and software-driven solutions; and for many these became go-to service delivery models. This approach shouldn’t be abandoned, but businesses also need to consider hardware as an alternative for specific solutions where intelligence at the edge adds value. To that end, we worked with Oracle to develop a joint IoT reference architecture, which combines Accenture’s base architecture for IoT with the Oracle IoT Cloud Service and PaaS and SaaS capabilities. It accelerates the delivery of these intelligent networks with purpose-built industry solutions across a variety of areas included under our core Accenture IoT Offerings.

Companies are well aware of this requirement: our Technology Vision for Oracle 2018 survey reveals that 63 percent of executives believe it will be critical over the next two years to leverage custom hardware and hardware accelerators to meet the computing demands of intelligent environments. A further 83 percent agreed that edge infrastructure will speed the maturity of many technologies. 

Towards intelligent environments

The imperative is therefore clear: businesses need to act now to incorporate hardware-focused skills into their workforce alongside the cloud-first skills they have nurtured over the past decade. Without this shift, it will be difficult for organizations to benefit fully from the revolutionary technologies of AI and robotics.

The task isn’t easy: businesses will need to rethink their processes, strategy, service design and hardware considerations, but for those that get it right the rewards are promising: smarter, more efficient and more agile business systems and processes. Those that delay may find it hard to catch up.

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IoT Hardware: All you need to know

 

Back in the early 2000 era, the idea of connecting various devices and granting them access to other authorization apps was quite rare. However, in today’s time, this thought is omnipresent in all sorts of industries. Hardware components decide the cost, abilities, experience, and application of an IoT product. Unfortunately, only 20% of IoT professionals can deal with this part as the skills required are quite different from those dealing with the software portion. Hence, building products using this technology is not as easy as it seems. Since the innovation of Internet-enabled appliances is comparatively new,  security is also a big threat while dealing with the hardware circuitry of these products.

 

Hardware components of IOT

Irrespective of the device being designed, the building blocks of almost every IoT device is likewise. The three most prominent hardware components used in this technology are:

  • Sensors: They collect data from the surroundings and constrain the waves before they get transmitted to the next building block.
  • Microcontrollers: The waves from the sensor are received by the microcontroller for signal processing after which, they regulate the consumption of power while managing the storage. This device also decides the correct responses to different types of signals received.
  • Medium: Communication is aided by the transfer of information between the various transmission blocks and thereby to the cloud. The micro-components making this possible are some radio chips, network protocols, and wireless modules.

These components provide different experiences depending upon the use they have been put up for. But their physical topology always consists of these three elements.

For instance, it is really cumbersome to take real-time recordings of the sensor in a thermostat while regulating the other parameters at constant intervals. The sensor takes time to register the change as the factors like room temperature cannot be altered rapidly.

Also, in an automated industry or office, the conveyor belts need to be regulated frequently. If not, the motor might start to make inarticulate sounds subjecting to a change in the applied load. If some rapid adjustments aren’t made pertaining to the change in load, it might even heat up causing a smoldering smoke to emit.

 

The aforementioned examples suggest how it is important and quite mandatory to have a clear knowledge of the design being implemented, so as to select the correct components for the required task. The predominant jobs of sensors, microcontrollers or the communication mechanism do not change with respect to the IoT application. In the first case, the sensor will record different temperature readings of the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) system and similarly in the second instance, it records the conveyor belt frequencies generated by the motor driver. This output is further fed to a signal conditioning circuit which enhances and adjusts the readings to make them readable by the next building block. Next, the microcontroller handles the sensor output to act upon the temperature of the room or the speed of the conveyor belt. The controller of the motor is also adjusted. Lastly, the medium or the communication circuitry has an established connection with the resources of cloud computing that helps scrutinize the information given by the conveyor belt sensor or updates the owners about their changed room temperature.

 

Issues faced

  • Cost to customize linked devices: At some point or the other, every device connected to a distant one needs to be personalized that is, it needs to possess some unique keys. This increases the cost for the end user. The complexity in assorting the peripherals of a system to the central unit weakens the security of the network.
  • End-to-end network security: Having just WPA-secured Wi-Fi connectivity to a router doesn’t help in privately browsing to some remote server. This is because the local keys are not renewed regularly. For instance, nowadays no one really alters their wifi passkey thinking it to be a hassle.
  • Authenticity: Most websites or marketplaces no longer sell genuine components even after taking a lump sum of money. There is no way to check if a component is perfectly working while buying it. Many fraud sites have been leveraging through this.

Chandramouli Srinivasan - Founder and CEO of Hurify

However, problems are never stopping signs but guidelines. Commenting on the reason why Hurify, an online IoT hardware store, was founded, its CEO Chandramouli Srinivasan says We launched our marketplace in April to address the complexity around fulfilling hardware needs of an IoT project. Easy access to hardware products coupled with a global shipment commitment simplifies management of IoT hardware acquisition for a project owner. Additionally, the marketplace creates real utility for the HUR token – the only medium of exchange on our platform. We view this as foundational to our goal of being a one-stop solution for IoT development. To overcome the eminent problems being faced by the world in designing IoT products, Hurify has created a unique marketplace for IoT’s hardware components but also developed HUR tokens as their only medium of exchange. This enhanced the transparency as well as the reliability of the components being bought. Also, every kind of component is in the same place hence loitering about on websites to find the perfect hardware is no more required. This startup is thus surely bringing the IoT journey to life.

 

The Way Out

While being carried over the internet protocol, the data can be tunneled from the sensors to the applications in order to encrypt it end-to-end thereby enhancing its network security. The other factors which need to be enlightened upon are the validation between a device and server, the integrity of the information and its confidentiality alongside the creation of a safe session key. In the year 1995, Netscape had released the first public SSL (Secure Socket Layer). The purpose behind the same was to allow online clients to exchange information in the safest possible manner. They used applicative distant servers to deliver any form of media or data irrespective of their OS. Client authentication was completely based upon secure and private end-to-end transmission, not disclosing passwords to any third party website and; by keeping the hackers at bay. This authentication was achieved by using the same unique key on both the transmitter and receiver sides of the channel. Now, to distribute this unique key without its exposure, the technique of asymmetric cryptography was brought to light where a unique key was secretly shared between the entities even on a public medium without the need for the key to being exposed.

 

The Bottom Line

The purpose of this article was to introduce the basics of IoT from a device point of view. To be precise, everyone needs to be equally aware of the type of hardware to be dealt with alongside having the knowledge of the software aspects of the technology. There’s still a wild west out there regarding IoT hardware. Even the product managers need to have a proper understanding of the prominent components required rather than holding an expertise in all the areas of this technology. This will also clarify their knowledge of how the end-to-end IoT solutions are put together.

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For more than a century, advances in technology, machinery and automation have oftentimes replaced humans as a means to accomplish tasks. In this podcast, Rob Tiffany tackles the unsavory topic of workforce reduction as certain tasks have evolved from manual to mobile to IoT.

Listen to the Podcast 

 

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The internet of things is huge right now. Where is it headed? What is the future of IoT? Take a look at our infographic to understand what exactly the internet of things is and some intriguing statistics on where it is headed.
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Security systems installed in a typical facility consists of cameras, access control, intrusion sensors and fire alarms. Typically, these devices are places behind a firewall on a dedicated network. Building control systems are installed on a secondary network can contains lighting, HVAC, fire protection, elevators/lifts, chillers and air/moisture sensors. These systems serve their purpose and will continue to be adapted and make facility systems design more complicated. This complexity can be controlled using common development tools and platforms. Not only will this approach make the process of creating smarter, safer, more energy efficient systems but will also reduce the number accidental deaths and injuries that occur every year.

 

The redundant network design approach is not a very efficient nor cost effective way of operating a facility. This is starting to change as savvy building managers are making the decision to integrate security and building control systems and map them onto a single network. This can entail integrating multiple disparate systems, sensors, NVR devices and video management software. The concept of integrating a camera or access control system to an HVAC system, or a visitor/facility management system or edge recording device to a lighting or fire protection system may seem unusual to some. Yet, this is where many security systems integrators and manufactures are missing out on untapped applications and services opportunities. Modern integrated security and building systems can give facility managers and security directors the tools to improve, simplify operations and reduce the efforts of the operations staff and points of control teams.

 

In the past, the security industry has relied on it’s own approach to integrated systems know as physical security information management (PSIM). PSIM attempts to provide an open architecture to integrate multiple security system products into a single operating platform. This approach has been very hit-or-miss and has left a bad taste in the mouths of systems integrators and end-users. On the flip side of the coin, facility managers have their own integration platform known as a building automation system (BAS). As it relates to physical security, BAS systems are intended to integrate with PSIMs and control individual security systems. However, BAS systems come in many different flavors; many of them are not viewed in a glowing light by building operation end users. Past integrations are not all filled with doom-and-gloom. There are some successful integrations attempted by the collaborative efforts of building controls and physical security organizations. The question is why is this design practice not more common where the benefits and economics make sense?

 

In order to facilitate the adoption and implementation of an integrated system the use of open standard protocols is an absolute must. The building automation industry created BACnet and LONworks which allow for real-time remote connectivity between sensors, actuators, controller devices and software. In the case of LONworks, hardware manufactures have the ability to include a chipset with built-in building control system support. It took some time, but finally the security industry created the protocols ONVIF and PSIA. These open architectures allows the end-user to choose vendors selecting either security or BAS equipment based on features and price. The end-user can also decide to install partial system upgrades without the risk of making costly investments in obsolete legacy systems. With that said, The security industry is curious about implementing the building controls protocols but needs an easier way to integrate them into their hardware and software products in an ad-hoc applications based manner.

 

There are security directors that are not completely sold on the idea of integrating with building control systems. On the other hand, facility managers may question the benefits of sharing a network with security systems especially when functions do not overlap with life-safety systems. However, system integration between building controls, physical and now cybersecurity offers more than just staffing convenience and operational efficiency. Here are a few results from a truly integrated security system.

Faster Response to Incidents – With the use of a robust mobile software solution and integration approaches such camera-to-access control-to-lighting or HVAC staff members can be freed from a console which makes them readily available to respond to incidents or equipment failure.

Provide more accurate compliance reports – Data provided by building controls and security edge devices can be paired with artificial intelligence technologies such as neural networks and genetic algorithms. This helps facilities to comply with government regulations with regards to security.

Reduce accidents and save money – Integrated systems provide better control of building and security systems. For example, if some accidentally stumbles into a restricted area or manages to make it to overly heated or chilled area the access control system, Variable air volume (VAV), or other HVAC system components can send alerts and create historical trend reports. Also a single network architecture can make managing system components easier.

 

Integrated building control and security systems are gaining some traction. However, it is still not a mainstream approach among many manufactures and systems integrators. One proposed solution is to utilize a common platform that is utilizes the industry protocol standards as application and system component building blocks.

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If you are planning to innovate your business and disrupt your niche with the Internet of Things, it may not be as easy as it seems. There are quite a few things that you need to be prepared with, and you should know certain facts about the technology before starting out.

Before anything else, it is important for you to be patient, understand the nuances of the technology and know how best to incorporate it into your business.

It is true that your IoT product will differ from what your competitors are planning to offer and in the technologically driven environment, it is important to differentiate. But, there are underlying patterns that cannot differ, which is why you need to know the basics of IoT before getting started.

So, are you ready to know them?

#1 Start with Design Thinking

When you are surfacing a company with IoT at the core, it is important to think slightly different. All your life as a businessman, you have thought of tactical ways to get your business started, focusing on objectives and goals. However, when you are dealing with IoT, your focus will need to differ. The idea is to think from the user’s perspective and create a framework that will create more practical and usable approaches.

The design strategy should be your first priority. You need to know how and what will work when you are designing for the users. There are a few things you might want to know before planning the design.

What is it that your users need? When we automated home ACs over WiFi, the purpose was to allow remote access, and not keep an eye out for another remote. Once this point is cleared, you may want to think of path defining solutions for the basic idea. The remote needed to go obsolete, which is why the path defining idea was to convert your mobile into a remote. Finally, you will need to build the prototypes and craft a story around it. The idea is to define a product that talks for itself.

#2 Workaround security

When you are working on an IoT-based startup, you might want to think about a security-first solution. You will need to protect the data that can be availed from the connected device so as to offer better security. Remember, the security for IoT based solutions are complex and difficult as compared to a regular security need. If there are more connected devices in the network, the security threat grows and you will find it difficult to control and manage.

So, when you are planning an IoT solution, you will need to think of security before you plan anything else in the device management or define other aspects of the solution.

#3 Managing the costs

Like with any other venture, you will need to think IoT solution development cost. There are costs involved in every stage, and these costs evolve through your development phases.

For instance, let’s start with the development cost of the IoT solution. From planning to actual feature selection to development with connected devices, there are various phases that you need to manage and work around.

Similarly, introducing security into your IoT solution will cost you, which you need to think about before panning it out. Finally, you will need to plan for the operation and maintenance costs of the IoT business, which requires either bootstrapped funds or investment, if you want to survive in the long run. Remember, the IoT business will not get your immediate returns on the investment.

#4 Scaling is different

The scaling of your IoT business works in a different manner from the scaling of other businesses. If a business works at a particular size, it is not necessary it will work for other sizes too. So, before scaling, you will need to figure out will the scaling manage the increased needs and demands of your company. The prototype scaling would differ from the actual business scaling.

Conclusion

IoT businesses are different from the normal businesses, and you will need to understand the nuances before you start building the prototype and acquiring customers. It is more user-oriented and works with a focus on the end goal to be achieved. If you are planning an IoT business, you should ideally consult a professional before starting with the strategies.

 

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The dream of making money with IoT, AI and Blockchain

Have you ever think about how could you make money with the Internet of Things (IoT) or Artificial Intelligence (AI) and of course with Blockchain?  What would happen if you could use the three of them in a new business model?.  Apparently, Success, Success and Success.

In the next sections I provide information of some business models implemented with these three technologies.

IoT Business Models

As IoT moves past its infancy, certain trends and economic realities are becoming clear. Perhaps the most significant of those is the realisation that traditional hardware business models just don’t work in IoT. Take a look at “The top 5 most successful IoT business models” that have emerged as particularly effective applications for IoT.

If any of you is building an IoT product, this article ” IoT Business Models For Monetizing Your IoT Product”  show how to make money with IoT.

Zack Supalla, the founder and CEO of Particle, an Internet of Things (IoT) startup, suggest “6 ways to make money in IoT”.

Finally, in “How IoT is Spawning Better Business Models” we can read three ways companies like Rolls Royce, Peloton, MTailor or STYR Lab  was rethinking their business model and have created revolution in the marketplace. 

Blockchain Business Models 

It sounds repetitive, but yes "Blockchain technology may disrupt the existing business models”. The authors´ s findings concerning the implications of blockchain technology for business models are summarised in the following picture.

 

Do you think that blockchain will likely to cut into big-players’ revenues? Then, this article: “New Blockchain-Based Business Models Set to Disrupt Facebook and Others”, is for you.

If you are ambitious and you are planning to build a viable business on blockchain, then read “Building an International Business Model on Blockchain”.

I am also an advocate of the coming era of decentralization (at least in my most optimistic version) and Blockchain is a step more to create value when the End of All Corporate Business Models will arrive.

AI Business Models 

Companies from all industries, of all shapes and sizes are thus faced with an important set of questions: Which AI business models and applications can I use ? And what technologies and infrastructures are required?.

It seems that we all are convinced that artificial intelligence is now the most important general-purpose technology in the world that can drive changes at existing business models. Not surprised then, that  AI is Revolutionizing Business Models.  The “data trap” strategy, that in venture capitalist Matt Turck’s words consists of offering (often for free) products that can initialize a data network effect. In addition, the user experience and the design are becoming tangibly relevant for AI, and this creates friction in early stage companies with limited resources to be allocated between engineers, business, and design.

This article introduces  some good examples of AI business models :

New Business models with the intersection of IoT, AI and Blockchain

With IoT we are connecting the Digital to the Physical world. Connected objects offers a host of new opportunities for companies, especially in terms of creating new services. The amount of data generated by the billions of connected objects will be the perfect complementary feed to many AI applications. Finally, blockchain technology could be used to secure the ‘internet of things’ and create smart contracts in a decentralized infrastructure that boost the democratization of technology and creation of sustainable communities.

You must remember that new business models that include IoT, AI and blockchain need among other characteristics: Volume and Scalability. Volume of devices, Volume of data, Volume of customers, volume of developers and powerful ecosystems to escalate. 

Good luck in your search and implementation of your new business model.

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With any security system involving a human component, there’s a careful balance between requisite security measures and the user experience. The reason most of us have one or two locks on our front door – instead of twenty – isn’t because we don’t want more security, it’s that the experience would be far too much of a daily hassle.

When it comes to IoT security, the balance is askew in the other direction: the marketplace is glutted with lower end IoT devices that privilege a simplified user experiences over robust security. While this strategy allows consumers relative ease and a frictionless process in activating smart home and other internet-connected products, this devaluing of security leaves a virtual unlocked front door for malicious hackers who have little difficulty in accessing these devices. A largely unsecure IoT industry is proving time and time again to have significant and harmful repercussions, in the form of the mayhem that hackers can inflict on vulnerable users, and for the internet at-large as devices are corrupted for use in devastating IoT botnet-based DDoS attacks that continue to make headlines.

The need for security is, of course, a major issue that the IoT industry must overcome. Even as Gartner foresees the IoT rapidly expanding to 20.4 billion devices by 2020, a recent market survey finds that 90% of consumers do not have confidence in the security of IoT devices. In the same way, IoT security – and customer confidence in it – is just as important to the enterprise, as commercial IoT applications may provide personalized services that utilize sensitive data, involve monetary transactions, or offer other features requiring authentication that is unquestionably safe and frictionless for customers. Altogether, this makes IoT security a key concern that absolutely must be resolved for the IoT industry to have longer term staying power and to reach its full potential.

Passwords are (rightfully) going extinct

Passwords continue to be the default option for account security across all industries. While common, they’re also an overly complex user authentication method that are becoming less effective in securing access, while also becoming more frustrating and challenging from a UX perspective.

Forgetting your password requires ones to waste time with reset emails and security questions – if we can remember them -  a cumbersome process equivalent to fumbling with twenty door looks.  And beyond delivering a subpar UX, most IoT devices are manufactured without a traditional security interface (no screen, no keypad), leaving passwords a poor candidate for IoT security and leading enterprises across industries seek alternative and more secure ways for authenticating users.

Biometrics are the answer to the IoT’s present – and long term – security needs

Biometric security measures are growing in popularity and in widespread use.  Smart phone users are deploying fingerprint identification or facial recognition to unlock screens. Alexa, Siri, and other voice-activated tools have made talking to your technology commonplace, increasing demand for voice-based authentication as a common security solution.

The biometric approach to security is particularly well-suited to the IoT, though, and offers a compelling synergy with the desires of today’s businesses to establish more personalized interactions and relationships with customers. As demonstrated by the rise of chatbots, brands are evolving to include personalities that go beyond mascots and logos. Businesses want the customer’s brand experience to feel familiar – acquaintances and friends don’t require identification when they see you.  Biometric authentication enables a more natural and passive experience, whether that’s opening the smart home lock on your front door, activating IoT devices inside, or interacting with brands and their products by other means.

In addition to the stylistic advantages, several technical advances have enhanced the current viability of biometric security for the IoT. The memory footprint of biometric security algorithms are getting smaller while also getting more efficient.  Algorithms as small as 2MB now have the capability to fully secure IoT devices. And these algorithms are also becoming smarter and can thwart spy movie-esque attempts at trickery; for example, biometrics can now distinguish between your voice and a recording of it. Backed by AI and machine learning that studies individual user behavior, biometrics can also now authenticate users by their gait, how they type, how they apply pressure to a touchscreen, and plenty more of the things that make you, you.

Secure authentication is the only way to commercialize IoT in the enterprise. When this happens, there will be proper verification of monetary transactions and sensitive personal data can be shared. The challenge for the industry is to provide a secure, frictionless (passive) authentication that fully takes advantage of the IoT without compromising the UX.

With the death of passwords accelerating and the stakes of security for IoT industry health so high, the arrival and incorporation of highly capable biometric security measures within IoT devices is certainly a welcome one.

 

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Top IoT Startups to Invest in 2018-19

With the IoT surfacing as the next great destination for investment, many industry titans are scrambling and fiercely competing to seize their share of the revenues in the IoT market. Currently, IoT is at the core stage of industries like energy management, healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, and transportation. In convergence with various technologies like blockchain, AI, and edge, IoT has the potential to disrupt all the aforementioned verticals. Companies like IBM, Intel and Cisco are swiftly investing in the IoT technologies to take a lead in next era of technology. The adoption of IoT in all industries is becoming so vital that tech giant, Microsoft has announced to invest $5 billion in IoT over next four years globally.

 

A report from IDC states that the worldwide Internet of Things market will grow from $656 billion in 2014 to $1.7 trillion in 2020 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.9%. As per the report, connectivity, devices and IT services will be responsible for the majority of the IoT market in 2020. IDC estimates that all the three services will account for over two-thirds of the worldwide IoT market in 2020, with devices (modules/sensors) alone representing 31.8% of the total. With the increase in market size, the investments in IoT globally shall rise from over $800 billion in 2017 to nearly $1.4 trillion in 2021 indicating a worthy investment with quick ROI. Current investment in IoT holds a promising return as the adoption of IoT increases with market size and spendings. As investment is worth in IoT, it is now important for investors to know which startup having innovative technology would be ideal for them to invest in. The number of startups in the IoT rose rapidly from just 13 in 2013 to 189 in 2014. Following is the list of top startup companies using innovative technologies like blockchain, AI and edge which will aid an investor in selecting an ideal company.

 

Discovery IoT

Discovery IoT is a revolutionary solution that enables brands to track their products through their supply chains, accurately on a real-time basis. They are developing a tag, Cliot, which will hold the ability to track products with embedded sensors and is built at the cost of $0.10. With IoT in convergence, Discovery is using the latest technologies like blockchain, AI and edge computing (mesh network) to solve current problems including stock-outs/empty shelves, product obsolescence/expiry etc., faced by the supply chain industry. Participation in Discovery’s sale will be the next best destination for investors as their solution will soon be adopted by a massive audience. The pre-sale of DIS tokens will be made available for a limited period starting from June 15, 2018 and ICO will be made available for 6 weeks starting from August 1, 2018. They will abate bonuses as per rounds, to attract more investors, keeping in mind that the early investor gains handsome return. Discovery has a strong team lead by Selvam VMS, Co-Founder & CEO, a veteran in the field of supply chain management with more than 10 years in the domain. He is accompanied by Kumar T, Co-Founder & CTO, a techie with more than 15 years of knowledge and experience in the areas of IoT and AI. Also, they are supported by various professionals, experts and senior advisors like Aly Madhavji and Nandakumar Balanujan with 36+ years of experience in supply chain; and incubated by the Blockchain Founders Fund.

 

IOTium

 

IoTium is a startup based in California with an aim to advance secure network infrastructure for the industrial Internet of Things. Their Network as a Service (NaaS) solution is designed for the building automation, industrial automation, oil and gas, manufacturing, transportation and smart city industries, empowering them to securely connect legacy onsite systems to cloud-based applications to leverage new analytics, machine learning, and predictive analytics applications. Till date, IoTium has secured $8.4 million in Series A funding and is backed by investors including GE Ventures, March Capital, and Juniper Networks, as well as Pankaj Patel, former Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer at Cisco. The funds have been used to expand its trail in the oil and gas, transportation and smart city industries with the launch of the IoTium NaaS. This investment has helped them in a recent distribution partnership with The Panel Shoppe and a building automation firm, Relevant Solutions.

 

 

Evrythng

Evrythng is a startup based in London, New York, and San Francisco which creates IoT and smart solutions to make products more intelligent and interactive. They collect, manage and apply real-time data from smart products and smart packaging to drive IoT applications. The company aims to ensure that connected devices can be managed and enhanced through real-time data and analytics throughout the full product lifecycle. This includes assigning digital identities to devices which allows them to be tracked and thus driving IoT a step further. This provides businesses with insights into their supply chains and consumers with awareness of the counterfeit product. The startup has secured $42.3 million in four funding rounds with lead investors being-  Sway Ventures, Atomico, and BHLP. The company's clients include Coca-Cola, Avery Dennison RBIS, Crown Holdings and West Rock.

 

Notion

Notion, an IoT startup based in Denver, Colorado, provides home security and monitoring through adaptable sensors. The low-cost sensors can be used to monitor unauthorized entry and take temperature readings of a user's home. Notion’s small sensor can be placed near doors and other locations around the house to monitor motion, temperature, water leaks etc. The startup has secured $16 million in funding by following a solid crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter through six investment rounds and has used the funds to expand the development of home sensor products and to tap into the insurance market. It has attracted audience and investors including Draper Nexus, Translink Capital, Mesh Ventures and XL Innovate.

 

Conclusion

 

Starting from home devices to industrial machines and automobiles, it is widely speculated that the next tech revolution is likely to be spurred by the ability to connect things. Therefore, the tremendous interest generated in IoT evident from the growing number of startups and mounting investments is a testament to IoTs potential to create enormous business opportunities around the globe. As the technology is yet to mature and the market for it is far from being saturated, the time is ripe for investing in IoT based solution providers.

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Although it took some time to manifest, nation-states have realized the potential for cyber espionage and sabotage on IoT devices.

The latest news

On April 16, 2018, the US authorities issued a warning that government-backed Russian hackers are using compromised routers and other network infrastructure to conduct espionage and potentially lay the groundwork for future offensive cyber operations.

In a joint statement, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), along with the UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) - the cyber arm of Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) - said that Kremlin-backed hackers are using exploits to carry out malicious attacks. The hackers are using compromised routers to conduct man-in-the-middle attacks to support cyber espionage, steal intellectual property, and maintain persistent access in victim networks for use in additional campaigns.

U.S. CERT noted that cyber actors are exploiting large numbers of enterprise-class and residential routers and switches worldwide to enable espionage and intellectual property theft.

 

A growing concern

This is just the most recent of several incidents wherein nation-states have used connected devices for their goals.

A spying campaign called “Slingshot” targeted at least 100 victims in the Middle East and Africa from at least 2012 until February 2018, hacking MikroTik routers and placing a malicious dynamic link library inside to infect target computers with spyware components.

In another incident, nation-state actors left political messages on 168,000 unpatched IoT devices. The attackers used a bot to search the Shodan search engine for vulnerable Cisco switches and were easily able to exploit a vulnerability in Cisco Smart Install Client software to infect and “deface” thousands of connected devices with propaganda massages.

 

The west is also toying with IoT devices

Russia and China are not alone in investigating the potential of exploiting IoT devices. In 2016, US intelligence chief James Clapper acknowledged that the US would consider using the Internet of Things to spy on adversaries. More recently, the Dutch Joint Cyber SIGINT Unit hacked a CCTV camera to spy on a Russian cyber group called ‘Cozy Bear.’ As a result, they were able to identify many of the members as employees of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service.

As western countries become more aware of espionage efforts by foreign governments, it is not surprising that they are fighting back by trying to reduce the attack surface. Several Chinese CCTV manufacturers were recently flagged for having built-in backdoors that could allow intelligence services to syphon information. Dahua, a maker of CCTV cameras, DVRs and other devices was forced to issue an emergency patch to its connected devices. Camera models from Shenzhen Neo Electronics were also exposed to have a severe security flaw. Finally, the largest maker of surveillance equipment in the world, HIKvision, was accused of having a backdoor and banned by certain US bodies.

 

What’s next?

While the potential for information collection through IoT devices is enormous, we shouldn’t forget that these are physical devices deployed in the real world, so hacking them can have real consequences.

 

Doomsday scenarios

Here are just four of many potential “doomsday scenarios” that could result from IoT device hacking:

Grid manipulation attacks

Power grid security has received the appropriate attention in recent years, due in part to large scale cyber-attacks on power grids around the world. But what if, instead of hacking secured power plants, a nation-state was to hack millions of smart devices connected to the power supply, so that it could turn them on and off at will? That would create spikes in local and national power consumption, which could damage power transformers and carrying infrastructure, or at the very least, have substantial economic impact.

Power companies try to balance consumption loads by forecasting peak consumption times. For example, in the UK, demand spikes are as predictable as half-time breaks in football matches or the conclusion of an Eastenders episode, both of which require an additional three gigawatts of power for the roughly 3-5 minutes it takes each kettle to boil. The surge is so large that backup power stations must go on standby across the country, and there is even additional power made available in France just in case the UK grid can’t cope. 

But since no one could anticipate an IoT “on-off” attack, nobody could prepare standby power, and outages would be unavoidable. In addition, power production, transportation and storage costs would be enormous.

Smart utilities

By attacking Internet-facing utility devices such as sewage and water flow sensors and actuators, attackers could create significant damage without having to penetrate robust IT or OT networks.

 

Smart city mayhem

Having a connected urban infrastructure is a terrific thing. The problem is that once you rely on it, there is no turning back. If the connected traffic lights, traffic monitoring cameras and parking sensors are taken offline or manipulated, cities could suffer with large scale interferences to their inhabitants’ daily lives. For example, shutting down connected street lighting could impact millions.

Simple terror

Since we are all aware of the potential impact of a devastating cyber-attack, it would not take much to invoke large-scale hysteria. Just imagine someone hacking a street sign and altering it to display messages from the country’s enemies.

 

Summary

Nation-states have long targeted IT infrastructure to gather intelligence and intellectual property, but their focus has shifted to OT/industrial networks with the aim of facilitating disturbances and physical sabotage. IoT seems to be the new domain in which proficient bad actors can collect information, create disturbances, cause large-scale damage, and inflict terror and panic. The IoT is both insecure and increasingly ubiquitous, and these characteristics make it attractive for hackers and guarantee continued exploitation.

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We often don’t compare technology to fable stories, but when it comes to the internet of things (IoT), the story of Pandora’s Box comes to mind. It’s a technology that has great potential, but where the weakness and possibilities lie are in it’s lack of basic security measures. We might even go as far as to say, what security? These are the concerns we’re thinking about at IT Security Central.

As a completely remote company, we’re taking measures to understand how the internet of things can impact our company data security. Hackers look to exploit technology vulnerabilities to access valuable information. Hacking an IoT connected fish tank, smart fridge - these aren’t far-fetched stories. These are stories that are happening now. 

The lack of secured IoT devices starts in the development phase. These devices are developed on a basic linux operating system with default codes that buyers rarely change. When these devices are developed, security isn’t on the agenda; rather, developers are looking at human behaviors and outside threats. When they should be looking inwards.

An unsecured IoT device is the weak link in the connection. As one of the fundamental purposes of the technology is to provide connection and accessibility, this one weak link can bring down the entire network. And if your remote worker’s BYOD devices are in someway connected to that network, your company just became vulnerable.

Remote workers or ‘the gig economy’ is expected to increase in frequency. According to the Global Mobile Workforce Forecast Update, employees working remotely is suppose to increase to 42.5% of the working population by 2022. At that time, the world is projected to see half of its population working outside the office either full-time, or part-time. 

Security vulnerabilities, remote workers and IoT - where is the connection? The scary thing, remote workers are likely to already have IoT devices in their work environment, and most likely, they are not protected. These devices can mostly be smart home devices that workers have acquired to make their daily lives easier. Common devices include Amazon Echo, Neo and GeniCan.

The first step in active prevention is to make your employees aware of the importance of data security and then aid them with the tools for success.

Best Practices for Protecting Your Network (from Remote Workers)

With the wealth of internet-based security technologies, the idea of protecting your network with in-house servers and the traditional firewall is (well) old school. With cloud-based companies, you can now access and protect data in easy step-by-step processes, and the best news, most of these companies do the data management for you.

One of the most progressive approaches to remote worker security would be to adopt a monitoring service to collect data and actively look for anomalies in the network. Through data collection and analysis, a monitoring software creates a user profile of normal, everyday behavior. The administrator can set ‘alerts’ for when certain data repositories and files are accessed, or when sensitive data is moved. The longer a data breach goes undetected, the larger financial implication for the company. Requiring remote workers to download and use a remote monitoring software is one of the highest levels of protect against data loss.

But if monitoring isn’t on your agenda, these are a few basic tactics that employers can encourage remote workers to undertake.

Permissions Management

Though the workers are remote, administration can set limits to data access. This process starts by undergoing a through analysis and understanding of each position. It’s important to understand who needs access to what information, and who doesn’t need access to information. Once this is understood, administrators can restrict information, and they can also set ‘alerts’ when information is accessed without prior approval.

Home Network Policy

Once employees leave the brick & mortar walls, the manager has little access where and on what internet network they’re accessing information. But don’t fret, this freedom and flexibility is part of what make remote work appealing. Where privacy might be a factor, we don’t suggest to go as far as asking remote workers to eliminate IoT devices on their network. Rather, we encourage to create a policy that specifically states the security requirements that the IoT must have in order for the work network to be accessed. By educating your employees, you can save them and data loss heartbreak.

Encryption

Encryption, encryption, encryption. You’ve heard the importance of encryption. For remote workers, the company can never be too safe, so they should go the extra mile and set remote workers up on an encrypted network. A VPN ensures all connections and communications are encrypted when the network is accessed. Don’t worry about IoT connectivity in their home, or when remote employees connect to an unsecured public wi-fi connection. A VPN provides the next level of security through encryption, and a hacker won’t be able to access communication or data without alerting administrators to a potential breach. 

IoT devices are already integrating into our at-home lives, and when remote workers access their at-home networks, suddenly the topics collide. As more workers go remote, it’s important to look inwards towards security to see how everyday IoT devices impact company data. Take the time to ensure that remote workers are protecting the network effectively.

Guest post by Isaac Kohen. Isaac Kohen is the founder and CEO of Teramind (https://www.teramind.co/), an employee monitoring and insider threat prevention platform that detects, records, and prevents, malicious user behavior in addition to helping teams to drive productivity and efficiency. Isaac can be reached at [email protected]. Connect with Isaac on social media: LinkedIn, IT Security Central and Twitter @TeramindCo.

 

 

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Guest post by Romain Wurtz, Chief Technology Officer, NarrativeWave

As companies engage in the implementation of analytics and data science applications, many challenges lie ahead. According to the Harvard Business Review, many data science applications fail due to poor goal definition, a lack of understanding of the key data, or a lack of focus on business value.

We believe the best route to data analytics and particularly analytics for the Industrial Internet of Things, must have several key elements:

Key Elements of Effective Analytics:

Builds upon your Subject Matter Experts’ existing knowledge. Allows engineers to use the platform and be part of the analytics process.

Enables automation of key processes.  Builds a solid foundation for more complex analytics (e.g. predictive).

This article takes a look at each of these elements in further detail and explores why they are important to driving value for your organization.

Having a platform built on your subject matter experts’ knowledge is the best starting point.

Your Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and engineers have been building and maintaining your equipment for decades. Their expertise and knowledge is the best available expertise on how your equipment should be operated, maintained, and evaluated. Incorporating their knowledge to best evaluate data from the equipment and what that data means, is the ideal starting point for the application of analytics.

Analytics platforms using purely Machine Learning or Artificial Intelligence may lack insight on what the data means and the meaning of events within the data. Without human interaction or interpretation, more advanced analytics, such as predictions, have a difficult time achieving the desired outcome. Without a determined outcome, the process can take months to evaluate, and even then, the analytic effectiveness and accuracy can remain unknown and unproven.

We believe the best starting point for analytics is one that starts by using your own proven analytic methods as a foundation and then allows for a natural, building blocks approach.

Using a platform that allows engineers to be part of the process helps with the adoption of analytics.

Adopting new analytics and data driven business models is fundamentally about changing the way business has been done for many years. In an effort to make this transition, gaining adoption and trust of key players within your organization will significantly impact the success of a new program. Having a platform where SMEs can interact and engage, without having to be a data scientist or a developer, results in higher adoption and more impactful business outcomes for the organization.

Implementing a platform that automates current processes creates short-term and significant value.

In order to gain value from large data sets and sensor data, only a platform that starts to automate part of the process can create scalable value. Meaning, the platform must be able to interpret data, generate insights, and provide recommended outcomes for end users. Otherwise, it becomes just another way to visualize and explore data. This can add value on its own, but doesn’t reach the impact that automation provides. As noted earlier, building a system on your proven analytic methods, and then adding a layer of more advanced analytics, such as machine learning based predictions, is the best route to a highly accurate, automated platform.

Building a platform with a solid foundation of your experts’ knowledge is the best way to approach implementing an entire suite of analytics.

Building a platform configured by your own SMEs creates the optimal foundation for an entire range of analytics. Your experts can provide knowledge about significant areas such as:

The meaning of key data. How sensors are related to each other.

What constitutes an actionable event?  What constitutes a false alarm?

Exceptions to the rule.

Once this knowledge is part of an automated platform, adding a full range of analytics becomes more impactful. For example, knowledge of what constitutes a false alarm can lead to an insight describing what turned a false alarm into a valid alarm and what indicators are worth automatically tracking. By contrast, an approach that solely tries to use machine learning or AI techniques without these key understandings, can struggle with the “right” business outcome, accuracy, dealing with exceptions, and delivering significant value to the business.

Business Cases & Outcomes

These business case examples show how we at NarrativeWave impact customer’s operations, profitability, unplanned downtime, and workforce efficiency.

Improved Accuracy of Event & Alarm Analysis.

Challenge: The traditional workflow of diagnosing events or alarms on large industrial assets is a manual process for engineers. A manufacturer was looking for a solution that would increase accuracy and reduce the risk of costly human errors. 

Solution: NarrativeWave’s platform allowed the customer’s engineers to create detection models and equations through the SaaS platform. Currently, this manufacturer receives accurate and automated root-cause analysis of events in near real-time.

Impact: The software provided a 25% increase in accuracy of diagnosing events, which means a more consistent, predictable solution for this manufacturer’s engineers and clients.

Reduced Time Spent Diagnosing Alerts & Alarms

Challenge: Sensors on large industrial assets generate millions of data points per second. When an alert was triggered, engineers spent hours conducting redundant, manual research to diagnose the problem and produce an actionable report for clients. The diagnostic process can take up to 16 hours and technicians were struggling to keep up with the expanding service requirements. 

Solution: The NarrativeWave platform automated their manual processes, delivering an analysis, actionable insights, recommendations, and a report to their engineers in less than 3 minutes. This allowed their engineers to make near real-time decisions on what happened, why it happened, and what to do next.

Impact: The outcome resulted in a 95% time savings in diagnosing alerts and alarms, which reduced unplanned equipment downtime, improved workforce efficiency, and enhanced service contract profitability. This proved the opportunity for a multi-million dollar savings per year for this OEM, and better supported real-time service contracts.

Optimized Productivity of Skilled Engineering Labor

Challenge: More than 50% of all industry alarms are false positives, which still have to be diagnosed and solved. A customer was looking for a solution that would allow their engineers to optimize their workflow and spend less time servicing invalid alarms. 

Solution: The NarrativeWave platform automated the root cause analysis of events to produce actionable insights based on the manufacturer’s data. The outcome was an explanation of the event that occurred and guidance on what to do next, which was provided to the engineers within a few minutes.

Impact: The platform accurately and quickly invalidated false alarms, allowing engineers to focus more time on resolving valid alarms and serving their clients. For the first time, engineers were being leveraged in the best way to impact this manufacturer’s operations.

Increased Efficiency in Creating Detection Models

Challenge: A large enterprise client had a robust analysis setup with 3 detection models and 150 threshold variants. The client’s process for iterating detection models originally took 3–4 months and required engineers to rely on development from either a software engineer, data scientist, or an outside software vendor. 

Solution: NarrativeWave’s platform provided an intuitive pipeline, enabling their business users to quickly create, manage, and iterate their own detection models. The platform is user-directed, managed and utilized by the customer’s internal engineers, without the ongoing need of developers or data scientists.

Impact: The iteration timeframe has been dramatically reduced since using NarrativeWave. More importantly, this customer’s engineers can setup iterations on their own, allowing for immediate impact on the business operations and for their clients.

Enhanced Next Generation Knowledge Base

Challenge: Engineers have been detecting alarms individually for 30 or more years. While working with a major engine manufacturer, NarrativeWave found the detection process was not recorded, standardized, or made available to other engineers and management within the organization. 

Solution: The platform is setup to record the engineers’ knowledge and feedback, resulting in a platform that gets smarter over time. Engineers can customize the business analysis and recommendations to make them as accurate as possible, therefore creating an evolving knowledge base for SMEs. 

Impact: The outcome resulted in the manufacturer, for the first time, being able to capture their engineers’ knowledge. This increased collaboration between engineers, improved standardization, and allowed valuable knowledge to be visible across the organization.

Improved Fleet Health & Management

Challenge: Manufacturers and equipment operators currently lack visibility into assets across their entire fleet, making it difficult to identify poorly performing assets and best performing assets. 

Solution: With NarrativeWave, asset performance can be evaluated near real-time, enabling organizations to better manage critical assets and plan for future actions, all by the click of a mouse.

Impact: The platform-wide view provides significant time-savings of tracking and managing fleet health for equipment manufacturers and operators. Additionally, the platform reduces unplanned downtime and helps organizations prevent critical equipment failures.

Improved Predictive Analytics & Maintenance

Challenge: Manufacturers and equipment operators are interested in deploying predictive models for better asset maintenance and warranty support. Pure machine learning approaches lack a solid foundational basis and can be difficult to implement successfully.

Solution: With the NarrativeWave Knowledge Base, key information such as the meaning of events, the relationship of sensors, and what constitutes a valid alarm are already known. By applying machine learning techniques to a solid NarrativeWave foundation, predictive analytics is more effectively implemented. 

Impact: This approach provides a strategic method of utilizing predictive analytics and improves the outcome of implementing analytics. The result is a highly accurate, auditable platform rather than a pure “black box” approach.

 

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We are in the dawn of a new cyber society. A society where organizations shall design plans to utilize the unique skillsets of both AI Systems and humans. A society where Humans and AI systems shall work and live together and without fear. A society where humans shall use newfound time and freedom to advance strategic skills and individual talents.
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