Click here to close now.

SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan, Blue Box Blog, Lori MacVittie

Blog Feed Post

The Internet of (Secure) Things – Embedding Security in the IoT

By

We’re seeing a glimmer of the future – the Internet of Things (IoT) – where anything and everything is or contains a sensor that can communicate over the network/Internet. The underlying technology enabling IoT is Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications. Your running shoe tracks your workouts, sending the data to a mobile app. Your wristband tracks your daily activities, including sleep patterns. Your smartphone controls your television. Your tablet displays recorded videos from your home DVR, anywhere in the world. Your refrigerator tracks your food consumption and contacts a nearby grocery store to restock (someday delivered by drones!) Your car self-tunes and in the future may self-drive and be aware of your schedule (so will self-start and adjust the environment when it’s time to go to work). These are examples of consumer-oriented sensors and devices, but that has occurred in parallel with business, professional, infrastructure, government and military applications. Here are some examples…

Healthcare: Think of medical devices and how they’ve progressed – pin pricks for testing blood sugar to diabetes pumps to contact lenses that can monitor your blood sugar. Pacemakers can report statistics on your heart to doctors and hospitals.

Homes/Offices: Companies and utilities are building sensors into major appliances and HVAC systems. You can opt-in to smart metering so that a utility can load balance energy distribution. That capability is starting to reach into the home, with NEST thermostats and smoke detectors for example. Security alarm systems have communicated with operations centers and police for a long time, but now allow monitoring and control from your smartphone. These smart home technologies are also being applied to smart office buildings. Sensors throughout a building monitor power demand, air temperature and moisture, light levels and external factors (e.g. weather reports). That data is integrated with the building control system and room schedules to optimize energy consumption.

Transportation: For automotive vehicles, there are speed and red-light cameras, EZ Pass toll payments, bridge stress sensors, and traffic management systems outside the vehicle. Inside, there are diagnostic monitors, heads-up displays, adaptive cruise control, and integration with smartphone or in-vehicle GPS/mapping systems. Similar sensor systems exist for rail, sea and air transportation.

Agriculture: GPS-directed combines and sensors on everything from sprinkler/irrigation systems to soil/fertilizer quality are connected via a mesh network to optimize production and quality (thanks Ray Van Houtte for your graduate work in the 1970’s!)

Military: Sensor systems are being used to improve operations from logistics to the battlespace. By tracking the details of every item, the supply chain can be dynamic and more easily optimized. Sensors on drones and robots – air, land and sea – communicate to human operators, analysts and soldiers in the field to improve situational awareness and tactics. There’s even an Android app that leverages M2M communication to a scope to enable a sniper rifle to hit the target every time, regardless of the shooter’s expertise.

Last year, there were over 10 billion connected devices, and estimates predict this number to climb to anywhere from 30 to 50 billion by 2020. In terms of sensors, HP Labs estimates that we’ll hit 1 trillion before too long. To leverage the data and information across a number of these areas, HP Labs is working on a project called CeNSE (Central Nervous System for the Earth)

CeNSE intends to deploy billions of nanoscale sensors that detect and communicate information across all five human senses. The goal is to better understand our world in order to improve resource management and predict dangers to safety and security in the physical world.

hpinternetofthings

With these burgeoning capabilities, there needs to be some focus on cyber security. In my previous blogs, I wrote about continuous monitoring. In today’s current environments, attempts to continuously monitor enterprise security are challenged to track their current assets, which for large organizations number in the hundreds of thousands. The IoT will multiply those assets by a million or more. Today those assets are built on a variety of platforms and operating systems; the software is rarely patched and their communications are not secured. We’ve already seen examples of exploits of these systems – automobile telematics, pacemakers, smart TVs, and more. Science fiction depicts the worst of these scenarios in movies like “Terminator” or “The Matrix”, with machines taking over the world. In the latest of these, Ray Kurzweil’s idea of the singularity moves to the dark side, with a human intelligence taking control of the IoT in “Transcendence

Things aren’t necessarily so dire. The need to embed security in the IoT, from sensors to mobile apps to back-end infrastructure, is recognized and there are a number of efforts working to address the issue.

In private industry, there are companies using their expertise in cybersecurity to provide solutions in this space – QNX, acquired by Blackberry, and Mocana. QNX is a mature Unix operating system that over the years has built the most secure real-time operating system (RTOS) for embedded systems, Neutrino. It’s being used in automobile systems, home appliances, and to secure M2M communications.

Mocana is working on a new type of product code called AtoM (App-to-Machine) that will allow different users to manage and control devices securely, depending on their authority. In addition, they have built a Device Security Framework that provides end-to-end security for any device, based on US Government standards and regulations

On the open source side, there is an effort to build common communication platforms and interfaces for the IoT called AllJoyn that simplifies device information and configuration, onboarding, notification, control, and audio streaming.

Similarly, the AllSeen Alliance expands AllJoyn’s framework to multiple manufacturers and communication fabrics.

By enabling the integration of the variety of devices to communicate and connect, these initiatives will provide a common framework to secure and monitor the IoT. It’s something we have to build in to the IoT ecosystem now. If we wait, we’ll be playing catch-up, just like we are in Internet security – but at a much larger scale. Of course, with billions and trillions of devices and sensors, the accumulation of this information leads to a discussion of big data and big security data, which I will address next time.

 

This post first appeared on George Romas’ HP Blog.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley, former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), is Founder and CTO of Crucial Point LLC, a technology research and advisory firm providing fact based technology reviews in support of venture capital, private equity and emerging technology firms. He has extensive industry experience in intelligence and security and was awarded an intelligence community meritorious achievement award by AFCEA in 2008, and has also been recognized as an Infoworld Top 25 CTO and as one of the most fascinating communicators in Government IT by GovFresh.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Infrastructure & Services will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS) is a managed services provider of cloud computing solutions for the IBM Power Systems market. The company...
Enterprise IoT is an exciting and chaotic space with a lot of potential to transform how the enterprise resources are managed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Hari Srinivasan, Sr Product Manager at Cisco, will describe the challenges in enabling mass adoption of IoT, and share perspectives and insights on architectures/standards/protocols that are necessary to build a healthy ecosystem and lay the foundation to for a wide variety of exciting IoT use cases in the years to come.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CenturyLink, Inc., a leader in the network services market, has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CenturyLink is the third largest telecommunications company in the United States and is recognized as a leader in the network services market by technology industry analyst firms. The company is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and ...
Docker is becoming very popular--we are seeing every major private and public cloud vendor racing to adopt it. It promises portability and interoperability, and is quickly becoming the currency of the Cloud. In his session at DevOps Summit, Bart Copeland, CEO of ActiveState, discussed why Docker is so important to the future of the cloud, but will also take a step back and show that Docker is actually only one piece of the puzzle. Copeland will outline the bigger picture of where Docker fits a...
SYS-CON Events announced today the DevOps Foundation Certification Course, being held June ?, 2015, in conjunction with DevOps Summit and 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. This sixteen (16) hour course provides an introduction to DevOps – the cultural and professional movement that stresses communication, collaboration, integration and automation in order to improve the flow of work between software developers and IT operations professionals. Improved workflows will res...
As cloud gives an opportunity to businesses to buy services externally – how is cloud impacting your customers? In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Fabio Gori, Director of Worldwide Cloud Marketing at Cisco, provided answers to big questions: Do you see hybrid cloud as where the world is going? What benefits does it bring? And how does Cisco connect all of these clouds? He also discussed Intercloud and Cisco’s investment on it.
SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud, a provider of enterprise resource planning software, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. B2cloud develops the software you need. They have the ideal tools to help you work with your clients. B2Cloud’s main solutions include AGIS – ERP, CLOHC, AGIS – Invoice, and IZUM
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch ...
A new definition of Big Data & the practical applications of the defined components & associated technical architecture models This presentation introduces a new definition of Big Data, along with the practical applications of the defined components and associated technical architecture models. In his session at Big Data Expo, Tony Shan will start with looking into the concept of Big Data and tracing back the first definition by Doug Laney, and then he will dive deep into the description of 3V...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY., and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides private all-in-one social intranets allowing workers to securely collaborate from anywhere in the world and from any device. Social, mobile, and eas...
There is no doubt that Big Data is here and getting bigger every day. Building a Big Data infrastructure today is no easy task. There are an enormous number of choices for database engines and technologies. To make things even more challenging, requirements are getting more sophisticated, and the standard paradigm of supporting historical analytics queries is often just one facet of what is needed. As Big Data growth continues, organizations are demanding real-time access to data, allowing immed...
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on T...
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, a...
There are 182 billion emails sent every day, generating a lot of data about how recipients and ISPs respond. Many marketers take a more-is-better approach to stats, preferring to have the ability to slice and dice their email lists based numerous arbitrary stats. However, fundamentally what really matters is whether or not sending an email to a particular recipient will generate value. Data Scientists can design high-level insights such as engagement prediction models and content clusters that a...