IoT Proliferation Teeters on the Edge

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IoT Proliferation Teeters on the Edge

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IoT Proliferation Teeters on the Edge

Alex Iuorio Headshot
cyber security chip on circuit board

In his January 12, 2015 speech to the Federal Trade Commission on the growing cyber security threat, U.S. President Barack Obama declared: “If we’re going to be connected, we’ve got to be protected.” At the same time the President was speaking, hackers seized control of the U.S. Central Command Twitter account. The irony of this situation would be comical if the national security implications of the breach weren’t so dire. But they were. And the clear takeaway from this scenario, and the many other high-profile hacks which have occurred since then, is that as connected as our society has become, we are still far from protected.

In fact, a report from digital security company Gemalto revealed that in 2014, more than a billion data records were compromised as a result of 1500+ data breaches worldwide—a 78 percent increase in the number of breached records in 2013. The Gemalto report notes that the size and frequency of these breaches continues to grow, despite enterprises spending $32 billion on security technology in 2013.

What these statistics reveal to me is that the current methods of enterprise security are simply no match for the cunning and malicious intent of today’s cyber hackers. One shortcoming in many enterprise IT strategies, I believe, is the failure to recognize that cloud technologies and the Internet of Things make it very difficult for organizations to define, and therefore defend, the “edge” of their enterprise through traditional network perimeter security technologies.

raw data code with "data breach" and "cyber attach" warnings in orange

Cloud technologies and the Internet of Things make it very difficult for organizations to define, and therefore defend, the “edge” of their enterprise

Companies will have firewalls to protect their server and storage networks, but they may not consider other potential points of entry, such as their connected lighting or HVAC systems. In addition, corporate bring-your-own-device (BYOD) adoption has opened a significant back door to many enterprise networks. According to a study released in 2014 by Hewlett-Packard, 70 percent of devices connected to the Internet are vulnerable to some form of hacking. This security picture is likely to get exponentially messier with predictions of as many as 26 billion connected appliances and devices in the next five years.

Clearly, making the IoT more secure will require a multi-layered approach that can enable networks to be open to connectivity, while creating absolute data protection. While I am far from an information security specialist, my experience with state-of-the-art electronic component technologies leads me to believe that device-level authentication technology such as NFC and use of digital certificates (PKI) holds a tremendous amount of potential for mitigating data security risks, including the pervasive man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack method.

Protecting enterprise IP in this evolving IoT era is undoubtedly the greatest IT challenge facing members of the electronics supply chain. There are no easy answers or silver bullets; but recognizing that traditional perimeter security strategies are insufficient to secure a network edge in the nebulous, virtually boundless Cloud is a crucial first step.

Related Resources:

About Author

Alex Iuorio Headshot
Alex Iuorio

Alex Iuorio is a 30 year veteran of the high technology distribution industry. He has held various p...

  • IoT Proliferation Teeters on the Edge

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    The Internet of Things (IoT) relies on a facile communications framework able to move data easily between embedded "things" and systems located at higher levels of the IoT hierarchy.
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    The Edge to Enterprise - Avnet and IBM Partner to Deliver IoT Offering
    March 13, 2017
    This white paper examines the Internet of Things market with a lens on the complexity of the vendor ecosystem and how partnerships are enabling holistic solutions to come to market.
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    Internet of Things: Designing Sensor-Based Devices with Coin Cell Batteries
    March 13, 2017
    A popular vision of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that it will comprise billions of sensors gathering information about their local environment and transmitting that data back to servers in the cloud. Such data will be compiled, analyzed and shared
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    Smart Cities: What To Look For In 2016 And Beyond
    March 11, 2017
    In a recent article in Government Technology, IDC research director Ruthbea Yesner Clarke discusses three trends emerging around the growing smart cities movement
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    Indispensable Building Blocks of Mobile IoT Devices
    March 10, 2017
    The concept of IoT connected devices connotes many different ideas. Some think of data centers full of servers, network switches and storage arrays aggregating untold gigabytes of random data. Others identify with Ethernet-enabled devices in their pl
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    What’s All The Buzz About? Bees And Smart Map Technology
    March 8, 2017
    You’ve heard about the problems with the bees, right? Their population numbers are dwindling and that’s not good news.
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    Will HaLow open the door for more intelligent systems?
    March 7, 2017
    Reporting on the recent announcement of the “long-awaited Wi-Fi HaLow standard for products incorporating IEEE 802.11ah wireless networking technology,” Jim Hunter of Tech Crunch explains why this new standard may pave the way for more connected
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    An Introduction to IoT Components
    March 7, 2017
    From locomotives and jet engines to baby monitors and home appliance controls, new applications are challenging the imaginations of designers — both in startup companies and within giant corporations.
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    For industry 4.0, reliability builds on robust connections
    March 6, 2017
    Looking to relieve increasing product complexity and cost pressures, manufacturers are moving toward the next phase of industrial automation envisioned in Industry 4.0.
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    What To Do With All That Data
    March 6, 2017
    Just as important as the hardware and the data it collects in an Intelligent System are the tools we need to process and analyze information. Otherwise, an Intelligent System does nothing to serve our purposes.
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    Driving data with unintentional new uses: Internet of Things
    March 3, 2017
    The Internet of Things (IoT) is a natural evolution of the things we already make today.
    Graphic depicting a human head with IOT written of to the side
    Cognitive computing and IBM Watson IoT: unlocking the power of information
    March 3, 2017
    Businesses, academic institutions, cities, and other enterprises may have diverse objectives and missions but all have two things in common: Data, lots of it.
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    Circuit Protection: Helping Drive Reliability and Longer Life
    March 3, 2017
    The primary concerns of engineers designing mobile devices connected to the IoT remain device functionality, performance and feature set.
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    Avnet: your key enabler for efficient IoT product development
    March 3, 2017
    There’s no shortage of hype when it comes to IoT! Fashion designers, futurists, gadget geeks, salespeople...
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    Antennas for RF Designs in the IoT
    March 3, 2017
    The physical connection for many IoT nodes leverages legacy wired networks found in homes, offices, schools, factories and other areas. As we become mobile, wireless physical connections are becoming the norm.
    Graphic depicting Wi-Fi connectivity
    A “Canned” Module/IC Solution Simplifies Wireless Implementation, but Potential Design-in Issues Remain
    March 2, 2017
    Incorporating wireless connectivity into a product is now a standard design requirement for Wi-Fi, IoT, and other applications.
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    10 companies and municipalities that are harnessing the Internet of Things to run smarter cities
    March 2, 2017
    Many of the devices we interact with today are enabled by computers and connected to the Internet. Much of the popular interest in the Internet of Things (IoT) focuses on consumer electronics, with everything from smart refrigerators to thermostats,
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    10 things every intelligent systems needs
    March 1, 2017
    The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the way businesses use technology. This web of interconnected devices and machines gathers information from gas-oil-water exploration sensors to sensors in corn fields, to medical devices and train control

    IoT Proliferation Teeters on the Edge

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