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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1) Business-Centric

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

2) Cloud-Creator

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

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

3) Security-Minded

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

4) Emotionally-Intelligent

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

5) Incisive-Innovator

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

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

Follow me on LinkedIn and Twitter, as well.

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The Great IOT Recruiting Rush

The Great IOT Recruiting Rush: The Number One Skill

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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IBM Update: IOT Transformation on Track?

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

Healthcare connectivity key to IOT growth

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

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

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

Stock recovering mightily- thanks to the Cloud

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First Quarter IOT Champs?

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

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

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

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

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IoT Security trends

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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New IOT Trends in Manufacturing

Trends That Will Shape the Internet of Things in 2016

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

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

Manufacturers Will Become Increasingly Software Centric

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

Costs will Decrease, Increasing Adoption

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

RFID Will Be a Major Technology in Manufacturing

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

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

North America will Lead IoT use in Manufacturing

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

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

 

 

Bottom Line – IoT Shows no Signs of Slowing Down

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

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

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

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Top Three Skills for Data Security Pros

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

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

IT Headcount Going Up

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

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

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

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

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

Who owns your data security governance policy?

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

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

 

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

 

What doesn’t work as well?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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BYOD + IOT ≠ Security.

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

How Does BYOD Impact IT Security?

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

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

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

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

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

Security Is Even More Important than Ever with IoT

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

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

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

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

Who are The Big Players in IT Security Today?

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

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

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

Businesses and Professionals Should Prepare for a Growing Market

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

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

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

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

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Data Security Trends for 2016

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

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

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

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

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

Information Management Magazine had some cool ideas on this front:

Consolidation of IT Security

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

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

Responsible Disclosure

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

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

Smaller Businesses Up Security Spending

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

People in the Cloud Share Responsibility

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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A Quick History of the Internet of Things

How Did We Create Such a Rich Market?

Want to know how the "Internet of Things" became a thing at all? To do so, you must look back to the start: the birth of networking and the explosion of consumer technology.

The internet isn’t that old, so far as the world wide web. In 1974, the structure we know and love today was born. Just ten years later. that the first domain name system was introduced, allowing for easier networking. The first website actually came online in 1991. The "internet," as a network of connected devices in consumer homes, was only proposed just a scant two years before that, yet it came crashing into our mainstream world. 

In no time the internet took over. By 1995, multiple websites and systems came online. I remember watching crude bulletin board systems arise, then quickly be replaced by Geocities pages and early websites. The first business webpages actually came in the form of reproduced fliers, essentially scanned and put online to promote companies. All of these new ideas came from the imaginings of others that had taken place decades earlier.

The term “internet of things” or “IoT” is also not a new one. You can find references to it as far back as the idea of the Internet itself, but if you survey an IoT team, it is more than likely that few know this. The history, or at least the ideology, goes back a great deal further than most people know. This, of course, has ramifications on the marketplace, both in how older technology companies approach the space and how traditional product introduction processes operate.

Thinkers across history could be responsible for coining the term, depending on the story you read. Some point to Tesla and Edison as the first to lead connected objects. Others look at the literal applications by Tim Berners Lee and Mark Weiser, the latter of which famously created a water fountain synced to the activities of the NYSE. The founders of Nest could also make the list, one of the first truly non-computer connected objects.

Even the idealism and futurism of the 1950s and 1960s gave way to the Internet of Things thinking. Imagine a classic 60s technology ad, displaying the "home of the future." Everything is connected and communicating, and people are never out of reach of their day-to-day technology.

Then, of course, is Kevin Ashton, a man who comes up when you Google "who came up with the Internet of Things." Kevin is a frequent thinker in the space who is corrected attributed to a verifiable creation of the term, "Internet of Things." Like most corporate lingo, the origin is likely impossible to pin down, but the idea that the term was born in a boardroom is not surprising. The leaders who would go on to actually take these objects to market in the 90s included "traditional" players like IBM and Sony.

The story is that, no matter what route you pick to decipher the past, the rise of Internet of Things thinking is ubiquitous. From the moment "networking" arrived into everyday life, people were thinking about how it would impact our world.

1998 itself is a turning point in many ways, when something changed. Apple returned to the market with the iMac, and the team that designed this platform would go on to design the iPhone and, most critical to IoT research, the iPod. Big name manufacturers that had for most of their development focused on the PC were now investing in everyday objects with connectivity and technological features. The smartphone era was planted, and with it would come the first real consumer-level IoT object based on existing computers.

The history of IoT is extraordinarily dense, and the reading of the history depends on who you ask. If you were to question a designer at IBM in the late 1980s, you would find ideas similar to what we now call IoT in constant use. However, if you ask an emerging startup from the early 2000s, you would find a wave of thinkers taking credit for the idea. The reality is somewhere in between: those who thought ahead about computers expected what we have today, billions of devices.

IoT has continued to grow and to evolve and projections are bright for this new methodology for using the internet. The future of IoT is now –with devices coming online every day. The world is reliant upon connected cars, connected medical devices and even connected homes.

Companies today are scrambling to get their own IoT systems online and moving, and new recruits are being brought in every day to head up IoT systems in companies from small to large. How well do they know the history of the space and exactly how broad it can be?

 We want your input - please share your thoughts below!   Click Here 

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The Internet of Things encompasses a wide range of connected services, technologies, and hardware devices. Yet, for consumers, it is the growing number of portable and wearable devices that will be their main interface with IOT tech. The wearable device market is rapidly evolving, especially when it comes to smart watches and fitness monitoring devices.

As opportunities grow, the wearables dominating the market are also changing. What does this mean for those involved in the development, marketing, and sales of these IOT connected devices?

 How Big is the Wearable Market in 2015?

International Data Corporation (IDC) has predicted that wearable device shipments in 2015 will rise to 173% of the total sales achieved in the previous financial year. This translates to over 72 million devices, including smartwatches and health trackers. This growth has been largely driven by high profile releases such as the Apple Watch in April of 2015, and also by widely publicized financial opportunities, Fitbit’s recent IPO being a prime example.

With the potential to move over 72 million units across the market, it is no surprise that leading technology companies like LG, Samsung, Sony, Microsoft, Apple, and Motorola are starting to increase their focus on wearable technology.

When we look closer at the marketplace, we see a strong mix of upstart companies and traditional players, with Fitbit, Garmin, and Xiaomi all new entrants. This blend of "old" technology giants and very new companies is promising - the marketplace is growing rapidly, and opportunity actually exists.

Future growth will be an incentive for further investment. IDC figures suggest that by 2019, global sales of wearables could exceed 150 million units. The market is open completely, with any company able to take a device to market open to growth.

Do these figures mean success for all involved in the wearable market? Not entirely.

Challenges for Businesses to Adapt

Although the overall market has grown, recent trends show that wearable fitness devices are losing out to increased smartwatch sales. Gartner’s latest research suggests that the dip could largely be associated with the increasing crossover in functionality between fitness devices and the latest smartwatches. 50 percent of those seeking a fitness wearable will end up choosing a smartwatch instead, and brands do not necessarily know why this shift is happening.

I think that one feature overlap is contributing to this. Fitness devices chiefly collect information relating to distance covered, physical location, and heath, including heart rate. Nearly every smartwatch on the market today can do all of this, and more. For a savvy consumer, combining a Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch with a high-end Galaxy Note 4 or Galaxy S6 would provide GPS tracking, information on calories burnt, heart rate monitoring, and even blood oxygen levels. The technology is advancing year on year, and it is clear that the innovation gap is already closing.

There are two consequences I see with this lack of clear differentiation. The first is that fitness-focused products need to innovate or die. With the market contracting by supporting multi-feature devices over purpose-built tools, the new goal should be for innovation to differentiate. Put simply, the fitness trackers of the world need to do something that smartwatches cannot.

The second consequence is that companies like Fitbit and Nike, which are focused on fitness tracking, will need to lower prices to compete with integrated smartwatches. When a consumer is faced with a $120 fitness tracker and a $200 smartwatch with phone connectivity, alerts, and apps, the choice becomes very one-sided. Yet, the bottom of the market, and the sector more likely to actually increase sales of purpose-built trackers, is relatively unsaturated. 

Fitbit, Jawbone, and Nike make up 97% of the wearable fitness device market. In smartwatch territory, it is Samsung and Apple that lead the market. Looking at one of the least expensive fitness trackers, Fitbit's Zip, we see a $60 base price point. Even at this level, the casual user has to pause and think - their phone already does much or all of what the Zip does, and a waterproof fitness case is cheaper. Fitbit, in this case, needs either to more fundamentally differentiate or drop its pricepoint.

Where is the Money in Wearables?

Even with staggering sales numbers, wearables are not in themselves a key revenue stream. Instead, it is the associated value that provides the biggest benefit to manufacturers.

Smartwatches, in particular, are seen as accessories. They are paired to smartphones and in turn can help to drive sales. They are also showpiece items. Even if Samsung, Apple, Sony etc. only manage to sell wearable technology to 10% of their smartphone customers (a speculative number), they will generate brand marketability, and logically would experience knock-on sales.

When it comes to companies like Nike, Fitbit, and Jawbone, the profit can come from connected services. Examples include subscription based exercise plans, analytics software, and in the case of Nike, a wearable can lead to increased apparel sales.

Still, there is an incredible gap for new entrants to the market. Apple and Samsung can rely on a massive pool of existing customers, and directly integrate their offerings into that group. Fitbit cannot, with no "hub" devices on the market. Even subscription-based models cannot make up for the gap. This makes the marketplace incredibly hard to predict going forward - nothing prevents a company like Samsung from releasing another mid-range watch and completely dividing the market. 

As with all IOT technology, the wearable device is only one part of the experience, and therefore only one part of the business model. It is the way in which data is collected, analyzed, and presented that provides the true value of any smart device. Smartwatches already have an advantage because they are highly integrated into their respective smartphone operating systems. Wearable fitness device companies have the opportunity to provide fitness tracking as a service, and must find new ways to monetize the service to generate direct revenue on top of initial hardware sales.

What does the Future Hold For Wearable Technology?

Over a billion smartphones were sold around the world in 2014. Global wearable sales make up less than 10% of that number. The challenge for manufacturers is to develop wearables that easily integrate with daily life that also are something that consumers want to use on a daily basis.

While wearables are high in consumer mindshare, they are relatively low in actual penetration. Smartwatches are now able to integrate a fitness device with a smart device in a way that is both compelling and practical, but is it enough? Those in the industry will need the best ideas, the best strategies, and the best talent to ensure that in-demand products are developed in line with business goals, and that they result in strong financial growth.

 

When considering how to hire leadership for the emerging Internet of Things market, keeping these consideration in mind is critical.I can help guide your choices, find the best candidates, and bring IoT experience to your company. Contact me today for a consultation.

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How Secure are Home IOT Devices, Actually?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a phenomenon that is currently experiencing huge year on year growth. One of the fastest growing areas within the industry is in the market of home IoT devices. These are devices designed to make life easier, such as connected garage door openers, smart switches, smoke alarms, and even IP surveillance cameras. There are almost 5 billion connected devices being used today, and according to Gartner Research, that number is expected to grow by 500% in the next 5 years.All of this shows a promising industry, but unfortunately the risks are never covered as much as the growth figures. IoT devices are often designed without a necessary focus on security or user privacy, and this is something that the industry needs to address.

Security Risks for IoT in the Consumer Space

Although IoT can be found in industries as diverse as medical and even manufacturing, it is the home markets that garner the headlines and consumer mindshare. People have come to expect that their security cannot always be maintained online. But the difference with IoT is that we’re not simply talking about passwords, emails, and social media accounts. Instead, we’re talking about access to the garage door, the front door, or even knowing whether or not somebody is home.

There are plenty of examples where common IoT devices have been found to be unsecure, or at least at risk of being compromised with relatively little effort.

The Fortify Security Software Unit at HP released case studies last year where they compared ten of the most popular devices used in home IoT. They found that seven out of ten devices had significant security issues. An average revealed 25 security risks in each individual product. The most prevalent problem was that IoT data was unencrypted as it was transferred through wireless networks. Worryingly, six of the devices didn’t even download firmware from encrypted sources. This leaves a possible risk where malicious firmware could be directed to home devices, providing external access for malicious parties.

HP isn’t the only company to have taken an interest in IoT security. Veracode recently published a report that was based on a similar survey of consumer devices. While the HP survey focused on devices like thermostats and lawn sprinklers, the Veracode study included critical devices, such as the Chamberlain MyQ Garage door opener, and the Wink Relay wall control unit. Veracode’s study looked more at risk than actual vulnerabilities, but the results were still significant.

The Wink Relay, if compromised, could allow external audio surveillance inside a user’s home. Information could be used for blackmail, to aid identity theft, or even for industrial espionage in relation to the resident’s employer. The Chamberlain garage door opener, if compromised, could mean that a third party could tell whether a garage door was open or not, allowing opportunities for easy, unauthorized entry.

Even if these devices connect to a relatively secure cloud platform, there’s always a risk that a home network could be compromised, and the fact is, few consumers are even aware of the dangers.

As we move forward, it is clear that security needs to be a top priority within the Internet of Things marketplace. Which means that stakeholders need to:

  • Understand the security risks involved with connecting home control devices to the cloud
  • Provide necessary security on their platforms
  • Educate consumers about security risks, and how they can protect themselves
  • Focus on building a talent pool of network security professionals to complement their core IoT development teams

Internet of Things represents an exciting time in the evolution of consumer, corporate, service based, and industrial technologies. It is important that key developers and manufacturers don’t lose sight of security during times of rapid innovation. With the right talent, and the right approach, the industry can build highly secure infrastructure and devices. This will ensure trust and desirability remains high, with the potential to drive adoption and overall market growth.

 

How does your team ensure practical security with its connected products?

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When you read or hear about the Internet of Things (IoT), do you imagine that we’re not quite in an age where such a concept is able to be fully realized? Have you ever pointed towards the fragmentation in the market regarding devices and services, or even the complexity of IoT, and questioned how concepts like the connected home could be adopted on a widespread scale?

If you’re still questioning IoT at this point, then it’s possible that you’re simply not looking closely enough. Many of the products and services that you’re using are already a part of IoT.

Microsoft’s Office suite is a connected service on IoT, Apple’s ecosystem is IoT to the core, and even your late model vehicle is likely connected to IoT in some way. In the consumer world, IoT is simply the reality of all your devices being connected; from your game console, to your cellular phone, the computer in your office and on your coffee table, and even your automated home lighting, air conditioning, and garage door.

IoT as a concept was first described over 20 years ago by researchers at MIT. They spoke of a future where devices and sensors would collect and share data. There’s a reason why it is a buzzword today. Data capabilities, the decreasing cost of hardware, and the widespread adoption of the internet have made IoT possible for consumers, businesses, and large organizations across the world.

As a consumer, you’re probably already using IoT today. Your smartphone can connect to your home PC and control it remotely. You can set schedules for you Cable PVR and arrive home to your favorite programs already recorded and ready to play. You can even strap a smart device to your wrist while you jog, while also collecting data on your heart rate, the calories you’ve burnt, and even map a GLONASS or GPS tracked route of where you went.

You can then upload that data to the cloud and retrieve it later. You can share it with other people. You could even send the information to your personal trainer who can observe and advise around your exercise regime. This is what the Internet of Things is all about. For consumers, it’s all about the power of information.

IoT makes life easier. Progression has been gradual, and in many ways low key. This may be why many haven’t noticed it happening. When you used to collect your mail, there was one place where you could do it; your mailbox. Today, your mailbox is anywhere that you go, as long as you have a connected device. We used to bank inside buildings. ATM’s came later, and they increased the convenience. Today you can bank from a smartwatch. You can make payments with an NFC chip without swiping plastic. You can transfer your money from account to account from a Smartphone or PC.

The Internet of Things has provided countless advantages to society. From smarter automated manufacturing, to biometric implants in critical care patients, IoT does more than the average person knows. Perhaps the fact that we already use IoT without even knowing it, is testament to how important, influential, and firmly embedded IoT is in our lives today.

 Give us you feedback on IOT - Click Here

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What's Hot in Hiring: Data Security Consulting!

Big Growth in Data Security Provides Opportunities for Consultants

By 2016, the worldwide data security market is expected to approach almost $90 billion in total value. This means that security is big business, and it should be. Data security has become increasingly critical as businesses utilize increasingly complex technology. Likewise, businesses that are directly involved in technology, such as Internet of Things and connected devices startups, cloud service providers, and even internet service providers, all have a vested interest in maintaining the security of their data.

Three Core Influencers on the Security Market

There are three core areas of influence that are driving the key players in data security consulting. Market influencers, according to Gartner Research, include BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), big data, and the security threats themselves.

BYOD is changing the way that SMBs and enterprise clients think about security. In the past, security solutions could be rolled out and controlled across a limited number of devices that were usually owned and maintained by employers. Today, it is more common for executives and staff at all levels to bring their own devices, which can then connect to company applications and networks. This creates the challenge of implementing robust security policies and technologies that can cover a range of devices and access methods.

Increased connectivity has led to increasing levels of "big data" in business. Considering all of the channels where data is collected, whether it be through software, customer interactions, or even data that comes from IoT connected devices, it is becoming critical that big data is not only collected, identified, and categorized, but that it is kept secure. Security in the future will be essential for protecting IP, trade sensitive information, and maintaining privacy.

Finally, the increasing number of security threats that are present, are reshaping the market, and will continue to do so in the future. In addition to the attacks and exploits that have been common in the past, data security consulting professionals now have new technologies where compromises must be patched and anticipated. IoT devices, SaaS solutions, and an increasingly widespread cloud adoption will be major factors that shape the needs of future data security.

 

Data Security Consulting: What is Hot?

Recent graduates, professionals looking for new opportunities, and even CIOs within existing organizations can anticipate the opportunities and needs, by identifying current roles and niches in the data security consulting market.

A data security role may be completely specialized, or in some cases, generalized and more leadership based, depending on the size of an organization.

Information security can be broken down into two main areas. These areas are hardware, and software. A data security consultant may be expected to have a wider understanding of their industry, but in reality they will only specialize in some key areas. This means that employers need to be specific about who they’re looking for and the technologies that they use. It also means that jobseekers need to be upfront about their expertise, or they may risk finding themselves in a position that is beyond their current skillset, which could lead to career impacting underperformance.

As a consultant, the role is to advise, develop, and implement change. This change is usually to address a problem that already exists. In the case of data security, this could mean that a security threat has already been identified, or it could be to mitigate possible threats with new technologies.

  • Consultants need superior application and network penetration skills. This means that they should be able to break down, and analyze the way that software works within any environment. This includes input and output channels. Networks need to be understood in the same way. The purpose of this knowledge, is to identify where risks exist, or where existing security breaches are occurring.

  • Software algorithms are known to provide false positives, so a consultant needs to be able to identify these, and should have skill in determining viable threats. This will help the consultant to allocate resources where they are most necessary, which can benefit their employer, financially.

  • Consultants should build an understanding of the technologies used by their employer. Whenever working on a contract, a consultant will deal with systems that they are unfamiliar with. Understanding the underlying technologies will be critical to implementing successful security solutions. This may require knowledge of cloud computing and infrastructure, IoT protocols and industry practices, or even specifics of networking or programming languages.

  • Successful consultants will be experts in risk management. This should not just include software and hardware, but also their employer’s strategy when it comes to risk management. Some companies are willing to accept higher levels of risk, while some have more stringent expectations. Understanding the culture of any particular company will be critical.

 

As Data Becomes More Important, Security Consulting Becomes a Necessity

It does not matter whether a business processes EPS payments, collects consumer information for a large retail operation, or even deals exclusively in cloud technology and the Internet of Things. The reality is that, as long as they are collecting and storing data, they will need dedicated security professionals.

Protecting that data for commercial and privacy reasons, will best be achieved with the right candidates, who have the skills and experience to deal with security threats in the modern business landscape.

I found a great resource for planning for and making decisions about information security at the Gartner Research Security and Risk Management page.

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The Internet of Things might seem like a buzzword right now. Google Trends shows continual interest in the subject each year, and the marketplace is growing. With an estimated 26 billion devices projected to be connected by 2020, it is actually something that you need to take seriously. It is more than some hip term, and may actually be the way of the future. 

Seeing actual examples of Internet of Things devices in action can help shed light on what these devices actually do. 

Take for example, the use of the internet of things in medicine. In a hospital, devices are connected to pagers, computers and other devices so doctors and nurses can easily monitor the stats of a patient, regardless of where they are in the world. If there is an alert, such as a patient coding, healthcare professionals are alerted at once.

Major cities are even incorporating the internet of things into how they handle their parking. In city parking garages, the IoT helps drivers know how many free spaces are available on each level. These sensors help drivers to locate spaces easier and help the garage to determine when they are filled to capacity. This is incredibly useful when a major sporting event or concert is going on.

Cities are also using the Internet of Things to help them to better maintain roads. Sensors located on roadways monitor the normal flow of traffic at a given time. In areas where traffic is heavier than others, these devices transmit counts to a central system. The city then can plan maintenance for these areas and increase lanes, based on the statistics these devices transmit.

Another way the Internet of Things is being used today is in your car. Some car insurance companies now have devices you can plug into your vehicle. This device monitors the speed you are going, braking habits and even how loud your radio is. This information is sent over the internet to the provider. Based on the transmitted data, the provider determines if you are eligible for good driving discounts. Of course, this is a double-edged sword. Those who drive erratically may also face higher rates based on the transmissions from this device.

As you can see, the internet of things is becoming an important part of our world. Every year, new industries are rolling out new technologies that incorporate, or take advantage of IoT. Before long, our world will be universally connected and our devices will be far more powerful than they are today.

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