3 reminders that you can’t afford to ignore the IoT

Connected Life

1. You can’t say the FBI didn’t warn you.
On September 10, the U.S. top’s domestic law enforcement agency issued what may be regarded as a historic public service announcement:
INTERNET OF THINGS POSES OPPORTUNITIES FOR CYBER CRIME

The fact that the FBI is going public with this warning makes it clear that they’re telling you something that criminals have already know. The potential for smart devices to be exploited is not unique to smartphones, of course.

Here are the top threats America’s top cops identified:

*An exploitation of the Universal Plug and Play protocol (UPnP) to gain access to many IoT devices. The UPnP describes the process when a device remotely connects and communicates on a network automatically without authentication. UPnP is designed to self-configure when attached to an IP address, making it vulnerable to exploitation. Cyber actors can change the configuration, and run commands on the devices, potentially enabling the devices to harvest sensitive information or conduct attacks against homes and businesses, or engage in digital eavesdropping;
*An exploitation of default passwords to send malicious and spam e-mails, or steal personally identifiable or credit card information;
Compromising the IoT device to cause physical harm;
*Overloading the devices to render the device inoperable;
*Interfering with business transactions.

The security advice they offer is worth reading and consistent with what experts like our own Mika have suggested.

2. Boom time for smart cities.
On Monday, the White House announced $160 million would be targeted for “smart cities” initiatives, including next-generation transit systems, energy-efficiency and open source data projects.

Not so coincidentally, IBM reported on the same day that it was launching an Internet of Things division based largely on its Watson’s cloud computing technology that became famous for its success on the game show Jeopardy.

“This includes efforts to make cities smarter, to transform automobile and electronic manufacturing and safeguard food and water supply chains,” Marketwatch reported. “In March, IBM committed to investing $3 billion over the next four years in industry-specific cognitive computing technologies and cloud storage.”

3. Secondary uses for IoT data are becoming big business.
With Salesforce announcing IoT Cloud, a service that will monitor the billions of inputs for sensors likely to be deployed over the next few years, the Wall St. Journal took a look at the business landscape in Silicon Valley developing around the presumption of IoT adoption.

In addition to major initiative from giants like General Electric, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Oracle, Intel and Hitachi, there are “dozens of startups are also hawking related services and software, including Pivotal Software Inc., Jasper, Arrayent, Ayla Networks, PubNub Inc., PTC Inc.’s ThingWorks unit and LogMeIn Inc.’s Xively.”

With so much data going in, the Internet of Things will only truly be smart, in the best sense, and profitable if that data can be put to use intuitively.

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