The Ideal Thing Is For Smart City Initiatives To Also Provision To Capitalize Awesomely By Leveraging Big Data And IoT
Designing future-focused smart-city initiatives must include a redundant sensor network
along with smart Wi-Fi connectivity to adequately cover the target area. Likewise, you must leverage data to ease decision-making and in making effective predictions to ensure that your smart city initiative is future-proof.
Effective and efficient initiatives must include tight collaboration between the municipality, internet provider, data provider, as well as other crucial players. Crucial infrastructures must include smart WiFi access points, smart lighting and video nodes as well as smart kiosks, toward laying a redundant foundation on which the city can begin to collect data on users’ behaviors.
Building a solid foundation for smart city infrastructure will enable city leaders to be able to solve more problems in the most effective manners. The best thing is to provision for future-proof architecture. Once the technology figures out how to measure the heartbeat of the city, then it can be shown in the data where that heartbeat is showing arrhythmia. If you can figure that out, you can get your cardiologist involved earlier rather than later.
Implementing a Real-Time Lab
The best entrepreneurial component of a Smart City initiative must include a sophisticated platform that includes a real-time Lab in which innovators can create solutions within the smart city framework. A real-time lab has many benefits, which include attracting new solutions to persistent city problems, enabling real-time testing as well as commercializing technologies that are suitable to city dwellers. After your project come into fruition, tech firms and other cities in your region and/or country can use this smart city as a testbed for other smart city applications or projects.
Likewise, the real-time lab can also serve as an economic development initiative that will attract companies from all over the world. Specific areas of focus can be transportation, public safety, infrastructure, water and energy, and beyond….
This presents a good opportunity to showcase this smart city initiative as a model that can be emulated with minor customization.
Sensors’ cost reduction
One important factor to consider is determining how to significantly reduce sensor costs, which may entail transforming the city’s existing traffic cameras into sensors themselves for the Smart City, thereby, eliminating the need to purchase new sensors altogether. As with any project, the value of the cost savings will depend on what software vendor(s) is/are chosen.
Analytics can be obtained from video feeds as well as parking and traffic data from sensors that the city is already receiving.
That said, the ultimate goal is to extend the sensor platform throughout the city at a much less expensive proposition.
Municipal kiosks Generating Revenues For The City
Municipal Kiosks with voice-search capability provide convenience as they can offer the passerby with such information as events, restaurants, weather, real-time Smart City data and beyond….
Likewise, smart cities can benefit from kiosk advertising sales through human interactions.
Municipal kioks can also include features, such as games and selfie capabilities, through pedestrian engagements, as well as enabling businesses to post messages in real time, toward generating revenues.
Though the world has evolved a great deal, women still lag in leadership posts in
government and business. Today, only 26 women are in CEO roles at Fortune 500 companies, making up 5.2% of the female population. The stats is actually similar for women CEOs of Fortune 1000 companies, which stands at 5.4%, showing that there is little movement of women making up these high-ranking positions as company leaders.
Women are still faced with a range of challenges that many of their male CEO counterparts don’t have an understanding of and that are preventing many women from achieving their goal of becoming leaders and their ability to get ahead.
Raising your hand as well as speaking up and being heard in meetings are extremely helpful and will catapult you by making you more visible. With equality in the workplace being one of the biggest challenges females currently face, women leaders must go for what they want in their careers and not give up, and hone the essential skills, such as your communication skills, leadership development, and emotional intelligence, in order to secure those opportunities.
Other than supporting and empowering each other, upholding their basic principles, morals, values and integrity, women also need to ally themselves with reliable male counterparts. More importantly, women must be
humble, show togetherness, passion, excellence and enthusiasm toward laying the foundation for progress through their work.
Moreover, women must build healthy relationships with advocates, create a strong personal brand, establish guidelines before each project, position themselves as experts in their field, and communicate with confidence.
One of the biggest challenges female face, however, is to firmly assert themselves toward facilitating lasting freedom and choices.
Speak Up and Be Assertive | Become a member of the C-Suite In the Workplace
Women must assert themselves and make their presence felt firmly as leaders, as fulfilling certain roles should not be simply to sit at the table. It should also mean speaking confidently, regardless of odds faced. Women leaders fear being ostracized or rejected; however, respect comes when one’s voice is heard. I coach leaders to share their voice and perspective because it can help shape policy, the workforce and perspective.
Women must make bold and propitious moves in government as well as in the workplace. They must be willing to take more risks and prepare themselves to take on more challenging roles. Women must take the bull by the horns and go for what you want and be relentless in their pursuit(s). Equivocation will always be your worst enemy.
Re-Entering The Paid Workforce
Relaunching a career after a long hiatus can often be quite challenging as that also entails rebuilding confidence, constructing or reconstructing a robust network, dusting off old skills or developing new ones, and catching up on technology.
Ask For What You Want and Embrace Your Accomplishment
It’s best to master your clone, get confident in your capacity, and gain respect. Stand confidently and speak on your accomplishments. Women tend to think that they must shrink themselves to seem non-intimidating. Instead, women must gain the confidence and understand that they earned their lawful rights to be in the room, like everyone else. That said, shrinking only delays women’s voice from being heard and taken seriously.
The biggest challenge females face is the inability to internalize their accomplishments. Adequately addressing that requires adjusting their locus of control by making accurate assessments of their performance, gathering actionable feedback from other leaders to confirm their strengths, and tackling the Counter-productive Patterns toward developing healthy leadership skills.
Many of the women leaders let themselves paralyzed by their perfectionist tendencies. Countless approaches have worked well to help manage perfectionism. Dealing with this paralysis often involves taking shorter pause(s), such as taking a few deep breaths, short meditation, or longer activities like taking a walk.
Using Authoritative Approaches ThroughTrusting Their Own Voice is Imperative
One recurring theme is consistent in conversations with women leaders: “Who am I to…?” is a virtually inaudible and consistent question that women often ask themselves. Thereby, women must understand that rising to their current title was not by accident. Thus, trusting and using their own voice is imperative.
Women share the challenge of reconciling an internal conflict between being perceived as a respected leader versus a bossy woman. Professional women can resolve this issue and own the respected leader role by shifting from judgmental to neutral words. This subtle transition positively influences the way a listener digests the message and perceives the speaker’s authority and leadership.
Another big challenge that female face is overcome negative thoughts that spring up in their mind to take control of their life. Women need to take control of their thoughts and become consciously aware of them and to either replace them with more positive and encouraging thoughts or to accept them and decide to move forward despite them.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a major digital disruptor that drives performance and
productivity for those within the supply chain industry. Benefit fully from IoT investments within a secure, intelligent and connected supply chain operation, also means that businesses utilize an IoT platform that is built around Identity and Access Management (IAM).
The Internet of Things will help develop new capabilities to revolutionize supply chains. With the increased global and complex supply chains, organizations are obliged to
collaborate closely with customers, suppliers and partners to achieve realtime visibility across every part of the supply chain.
With the Internet of Things (IoT) being one of the biggest technology success stories of all time, the speed at which IoT-enabled devices have become a part of our daily lives has
been astonishing. As over 70.4 billion connected IoT devices are expected to be in use by 2025, IoT will generate as much as $12 trillion a year in the same period, which will represent 11 percent of the world’s economy. This value being generated within business, factories and logistics will feature prominently. Likewise, fifty percent of all IoT spending will come from the manufacturing, transportation and logistics and utilities industries.
Moreover, although business to business (B2B) applications will account for over 70 percent of all value generated by IoT, companies must identify key areas in which IoT can help generate real value and create an IoT-capable infrastructure to realize their full potential.
IoT is benefiting supply chain operations in these different ways
IoT’s ability to deliver makes it the top investment priority within the supply chain of many organizations, as seventy percent of executives are already expecting to see payback from their IoT investments.
Nearly fifty percent of transport and logistics companies have already implemented IoT as part of major business transformation initiatives and are currently using connected devices for notifications and realtime monitoring rather than for optimizing and transforming their supply chain operations.
Implementation of IoT in the supply chain is enabling companies to realize significant benefits.
Whereas pre-IoT deployment were done on proprietary networks and could only capture data relating to their
specific function(s), current IoT developments provision for devices with smart sensors to provide realtime monitoring and reporting on every aspect of the supply chain that include the location, temperature, humidity and time of arrival, as well as changing equipment settings and process workflows to optimize performance.
Moreover, granted most companies are currently using their IoT devices for the monitoring and alarm functionality of their previous sensor and tagging technologies, most supply chain executives are aware that the real power of IoT lies in logically connecting people, processes, data and things—then taking advantage of that intelligence to radically change business processes.
The eventual goal is to enable realtime and informed decision-making that allows organizations to move beyond efficiency and cost improvements toward implementing more effective business strategies around new product development, proactive inventory management and demand-driven production.
IoT’s three-stage process in the supply chain include
Data collection: Collecting data not only from IoT devices, but also from people, processes, and other systems and infrastructure
Data consolidation: Converging all data into extremely large data pools—often called data lakes—and ensuring access to structured and unstructured data held in disparate repositories internally and externally
Data conversion: Leveraging cloud platforms with advanced analytics capabilities to gain full intelligence and value from the data
loT entails much more than simply connected devices
Capturing data from connected devices and then analyzing and acting on that data are
key capabilities of IoT devices. IoT is intrinsically linked to analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning as well as other critical digital initiatives. In all, IoT is now a top investment priority for supply chain companies and should be for every organization.
The challenges that supply chain organizations face, as they evolve their IoT capabilities from that of simple reporting and alerting into those that will optimize their supply chain, include the amount of data – that are growing exponentially – they are required to handle as they also struggle to and only analyzed less than half of their IoT data.
Modern supply chains require close collaboration with customers and suppliers
Organizations have made significant strides in connecting and accessing information
from third-party devices, assets and people. Over 40 percent of companies that implement IoT are gathering data from third-party mobile assets, such as trucks, vehicles, as well as integrating directly into IoT supplier networks.
Essentially, IoT-enabled infrastructure must focus on secure and trusted connections for people, processes, systems and things. Such infrastructure should be a structure that enables all forms of connections that include machine-to-machine, machine-to-person and machine-to-application, without placing undue administrative or processing burden on the organization.
IoT is more effective when all elements of the supply chain are connected —a connection that requires a seamless and secure interaction of people, systems and things. The digital supply chain is fast becoming the “Intelligent and Connected supply chain,” thus representing the next stage in digital transformation. The digital ecosystem offers a holistic approach to bringing big data, IoT, analytics and AI together to achieve dramatic business transformation.
In effect, the organization is creating a “digital ecosystem,” of which IoT devices are but one component. The ecosystem is built around a single digital backbone that connects and integrates with any person, device or enterprise system across a highly complex environment, such as a global supply chain, thus providing the foundation on which to link internal enterprise systems and external trading partner communities.
The enterprise-wide IoT platform forms the basis for deploying and managing a digital ecosystem—a central platform that will allow organizations to quickly build and deploy new IoT applications, collaborate with suppliers and customers and optimize supply chain performance while mitigating compliance risks. According to IDC, by the end of 2020, 50 percent of new IoT applications will leverage an IoT platform that offers outcome focused functionality based on comprehensive analytic capabilities.
The ultimate challenge for organizations seeking to fully take advantage of an IoT platform lies in how to drive security across the entire digital ecosystem while also ensuring safe and appropriate access
Although loT security is improving, challenges remain as seventy-five percent of companies list security as their chief consideration when selecting connectivity for IoT projects.
Among IoT users, security is certainly their primary concern. Organizations therefore need an exacting means of protecting devices, data, systems and enterprises from cyberattacks and privacy breaches. Security is aimed at guaranteeing trusted interactions among all entities in the IoT network. It is predicted that by 2020, there will be 215 trillion stable connections with 63 million new ones every second.
Likewise, as IoT connections grow so will trusted interactions, which will become increasingly essential. Each connection must therefore be cautiously managed, while the IoT platform enables data flow into processes across the supply chain.
Reliable estimates suggest that many IoT devices have security vulnerabilities and that 81 percent of all cyberattacks were credentials-based. Guarding the perimeter is no longer enough: security revolves around how various entities gain access to the network.
Provide secure and seamless data exchange across organizations and systems
Enable the effective management of online and offline state of entities and sync data across networks and in the cloud
Enable the management of the lifecycle of entities as roles and authorizations evolve
Control entities’ use of protected resources
Administer access and manage entities’ access
Enable the Integration of disruptive disparate technologies (cloud and on-premises apps) as well as legacy systems and data repositories
Enable the management of global compliance and governance
Seamlessly enable the connection to internal enterprise systems and external trading partner communities Security is at once a major concern and a key enabler. Within the supply chain, loT is not a task that a single organization can achieve in isolation. Rather, loT must function alongside suppliers, logistics providers and other partners. The level of collaboration needed to optimize supply chain performance requires trusted access into the systems of trading partners.
Most companies view IT security as a key enabler of building trust when moving online.
IoT platforms that enable identity-centric approaches allows organizations the flexibility to manage the lifecycle of devices, systems and people from initial provisioning to final deletion. Such platforms deliver powerful capabilities to manage the relationships between entities, and the ability to audit and track every event associated with every entity delivers complete transparency across the digital ecosystem.
These IoT platforms enable vast amounts of structured and unstructured data from various sources to be rapidly ingested and aggregated in large data sets. Unified data model allows all data to be normalized across the entire ecosystem. The platform can then apply a series of services to the data to meet the needs of the business processes within your supply chain. Its integrated advanced messaging and orchestration services enable the flow of data among devices, systems and people, thus removing the need for separate machine-to-machine, machine-to-application and machine-to-people integrations.
IoT use cases that offer the potential for great value to supply chain operations
Supply chain use cases for IoT Pervasive Visibility include knowing an item’s location, condition and delivery time is of vital importance to all supply chain operations.
With previous generation of tags and sensors that could only provide some information on location and condition, their scope were quite limited. As the elements weren’t connected, it wasn’t possible to track items in realtime. More importantly, the data they created was isolated from other relevant data. For example, a barcode could provide information about the location of a pallet when it arrived at a warehouse, but this information couldn’t be correlated with the temperature of the item during transit. IoT provides improved end-to-end visibility of goods ”from floor to store,” thus enabling the continuous and pervasive flow of data from highly connected supply chain assets during every stage of the process. This visibility includes tracking and monitoring of multi-modal 3PL providers, optimization of warehouse operations and improvements in “last mile” delivery.
The key to Persistent Visibility lies in a new generation of cloud-based Geographical Positioning Systems (GPS) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags and sensors
These tags and sensors provide granular, realtime information of item identity, location and other tracking information. They also provide environmental information such as temperature, humidity and even the condition of the pallet.
With Pervasive Visibility, the supply chain professional has a complete picture of every item as it passes though the supply chain, allowing the organization to achieve unprecedented levels of control and transparency to ensure that the right product is delivered at the right time in the right condition and at the right cost. Pervasive visibility is also useful in the monitoring of perishable goods moving through a supply chain.
Through continuous monitoring, it is possible to measure the performance of any asset in the supply chain and effect change when required. Pervasive visibility delivers complete control, which means knowing what assets are currently doing and what they will do next.
This data facilitates analysis that identifies when assets are underperforming and how to better utilize assets to improve business performance. In this way, an organization can begin to increase the automation within business processes to eliminate manual intervention, improve quality and reduce costs.
The connected vehicle is one of the breakthrough use cases for IoT. Today, millions of car owners are benefiting from a series of in-car services, including predictive maintenance and emergency support, delivered from a central IoT platform. The connected vehicle has even greater application within the commercial world as the basis for improved fleet management. For example, a container in transit can be tracked by the meter or by the second. Not only can trucks continually report on the performance of the vehicle and the condition of the cargo, but they can also communicate with the driver to advise on optimal speeds and routes.
Combining IoT with other supply chain systems creates a “smart warehouse” that can boost responsiveness and efficiency. Using sensors, tags on pallets, video cameras and wearable devices, such as smart watches and glasses, staff can chart each item’s optimal time and path prior to its arrival. In addition, IoT can improve the performance and safety of autonomous vehicles—such as forklifts—as they travel around the warehouse.
Reduced supply chain risk With so many geographically dispersed organizations in the global supply chain, there is ample room for uncertainty, which breeds supply chain risk. Any number of factors can affect or delay order fulfilment. Although reduced supply chain risk has previously been difficult to predict and control, IoT can improve control over goods in transit. At a tactical level, IoT can provide constant information on road and weather conditions to the driver and head office to plot the optimum delivery route. This feature enables constant delivery status in realtime to the customer, thereby creating an enriched customer experience.
Strategically, IoT, when used in conjunction with AI and analytics, becomes extremely good at predicting and planning for adverse events (such as natural disasters) with the aim of reducing risk and increasing business continuity.
Proactive Replenishment and Improved Customer Experience
With inventory optimization being key to every company, reducing inventory levels while improving customer experience requires the ability to automate much of the replenishment process in order to continuously monitor stock levels and restock as required.
Likewise, avoiding out of stock situations that may lead to lost sales entail adding tags and sensors can be added to all items. Connecting the sensors to the Warehouse Management System can provide realtime inventory visibility. Like monitoring the stock levels, IoT platforms can indicate the condition of each item, such as the storage temperature or expiration date, to ensure the quality of the items in the supply chain.
Scanning pallets before they leave the warehouse, will ensure that the right items are shipped in the right order, during outbound delivery, and automatically update stock levels while also triggering the replenishment process when ever required.
The growing use of IoT in the retail and store environments allows an organization to capture in-depth information on customer preferences. Along with consumption monitoring analytics, shelf sensors provide immediate notification when retailers are running low on stock and can automatically trigger replenishment. Likewise, IoT data also enable quick and accurate prediction of future buying patterns. That way, companies can start building their inventory based on actual customer demand, therefore reducing the amount of stock held in the supply chain to ensure the correct levels of availability
Being able to predict when part of sub-system of a serviceable product is likely to fail continues to be a key investment area for the supply chain. Whether a given a part is within the production process, the warehousing environment or part of a connected fleet vehicle, IoT enables proactive monitoring and analysis that can boost the performance and lifespan of the part as well as ensuring the availability of the entire sub-system.
Predictive maintenance is a key use case in IoT
By attaching sensors to physical assets, they’re able to emit instant alerts to the supply chain professionals when it is operating outside acceptable levels. When applied to advanced analytics and machine learning, the IoT platform can determine whether the part needs to be replaced or repaired and then automatically trigger the correct process.
This conclusion is not only from the history and past performance of a particular asset, but also from a range of data sources covering similar asset types, sub-systems and operating conditions—information that can provide intelligence and enable a more informed decision.
For example, the flow rate sensor attached to a hydraulic pump on a train’s braking system may alert the IoT platform to pressure loss in the hydraulic pump. The machine learning and AI capabilities within the IoT platform can then decide whether to repair or replace the part. The IoT platform then automatically triggers the correct process (either to repair or replace a failing part) and initiates any supporting processes, such as parts ordering, work orders and documentation exchange needed to ensure that maintenance is completed as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Organizations are currently reaping competitive advantage by managing their supply chains as a strategic asset. Increasingly, companies are working with suppliers worldwide to increase supply chain efficiency and collaborate on ways to drive customer experience and create new products. Indeed, with operational efficiencies and revenue opportunities, the IoT is set to revolutionize the supply chain—offering the potential to radically improve the performance of its supply chain. However, like the supply chain itself, IoT-based solutions involve a complex ecosystem of devices, systems and people. Reaping the full benefit of any IoT investment, then, requires an enterprise IoT platform that can quickly and easily create new IoT applications that address the key use cases—such as Pervasive Visibility, Proactive Replenishment and Predictive Maintenance—for IoT in the supply chain.
Advanced Identity and Access Management must be one of the platform’s core components. Thus, it is crucial to implement an IoT platform that allows organizations to enable the secure and trusted interactions needed to achieve close collaboration with trading partners and optimization across the entire supply chain operations.
Smart city technologies are attracting citizens everywhere while also boosting business and economic opportunities for entrepreneurs and municipalities, improving quality of life, while also making municipality operations more efficient.
Moreover, Smart City applications rely on a new class of intelligent devices as well as smart networking infrastructure platforms that enable continuous[reliable] connections for improved decision making.
That said, in order to ensure successful implementation, cities must rely on a proven quality IoT networking platform that can easily scale and that is also able to deliver the most secure and reliable solutions for their citizens.
Successful IoT projects must enable innovation across the full spectrum of city systems, including transportation, energy, water, health and safety, environmental sustainability and building management. At Blue Label Weekly Magazine, our IoT Consulting services, our multi-application platform approach enables seamless integration and coordination across numerous city departments and projects toward maximizing community value and return on investment.
Likewise, our IoT services leverage the same network for the deployment of additional smarter city applications over time, thereby, your city greatly reduce long-term costs and accelerate speed of deployment for all new services. Our robust partner ecosystem and strict adherence to open standards empower your city to have the greatest selection of solutions and applications and limitless extensibility, enabling you to forge your own path to the smart city future.
Our effective and efficient IoT services enable you to utilize an open, standards-based infrastructure toward providing your city the best foundation
to meet these challenges. IoT Verse’s commitment to standards ensures interoperability across a diverse ecosystem of connected intelligent devices and applications. IoT Verse’s products deliver a reliable, secure and flexible integrated application that enables cities to have the power to choose the right solutions and scale for their smart cities projects.
With the food industry experiencing a decline in customer trust after the recent food contaminations (ie., E. Coli outbreaks and others ) , the industry has now found it rather imperative to reassure customers while also enhancing customer experience.
The industry has found an innovative way to increase trust through the use of blockchain solutions in the food sphere, as they are already being utilized in a similar fashion in parallel industries like beverage, pharma, the financial industry, and beyond.
Blockchain technology and solutions will help build and/or restore consumer confidence in the following ways:
Food Recalls and Life-Saving
With one in ten people around the world becoming ill due to foodborne diseases, and with an astronomical number of approximately 420,000 dying from these illnesses, blockchain solutions will help with quickly isolating and documenting and tracking product recall or contamination issues in the supply chain.
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Blockchain track-and-trace solutions is enabling immediate tracking of affected items and associated serial number(barcode) to their origins(distributor and original supplier), so that the issue can be tackled quickly toward isolating and/or removing the contaminated products from menus, shelves, and supply chains. Likewise, that supplier will be flagged immediately on the blockchain so that other clients who have sourced or bought the vegetables can be made aware of the danger.
IBM is already leading the way by working on a solution that will significantly improve food tracking abilities, which may reduce such process to seconds from weeks.
Blockchain solutions are advantageous for everyone in the industry, including the customers whose lives are going to be saved.
Lastly, this solution will be made more effective by assigning a uniquely identifiable number, the number that is usually assigned by GS1( the global standard body that offers unique codes called GTINs that are applied to products), to every crate, shipment, or individual package of produce. To ensure effectiveness of the track-and-trace strategy, every participant in the supply chain must transfer custody of their products every step of the way.
Trusted Product Labeling
Although there already are companies, like “Where Food Comes From (WFCF) “, that put workers on the ground to test different claims in the marketplace to confirm product label claims(ie., organic), blockchain solutions can also bring the food industry together around regulations and consumer demand, while ensuring the integrity of marketing claims, by enabling existing certifications and facility audit reports to be registered on blockchain to prove authenticity of claims.
That said, once there are enough buy-ins from participants in the supply chain, the good labeling practice of ethical companies will be amplified, thereby, weeding out companies who make false claims or misstate the origins of their products through blockchain’s decentralized tracking systems.
To take advantage of the benefits provided by blockchain solutions, companies like Block Commodities Ltd. have entered into partnerships with commodities exchange groups (ie., Global Markets Exchange Group International LLP ) to create a blockchain-based platform for African commodity markets. The platform aim is to connect farmers in sub-Saharan Africa with worldwide buyers and brokers, that will further democratize the process, produce actionable insights to empower farmers by enabling them to get better prices for their crops as well as financial assistance at reduced-rate(s).
Lastly, blockchain solutions will provide visibility to consumers on what’s inside the products that they are consuming, enable them to make trustworthy food choices, and help establish and secure trust.
The future is unfolding now, as smarter devices using machine learning and artificial
intelligence are being created every day and permeating every facets of our lives as they are increasingly becoming part of the mainstream electronics culture. Smart devices are quickly being incorporated into smart homes faster than ever. It’s already been predicted that, by 2020, there will be over 20 billion smart devices connected. IoT devices are already a huge part of how we interact with our vehicles, homes, appliances, and beyond….
Evidencing that IoT is taking off rapidly, Target operates a store in San Francisco that sells IoT devices exclusively. Likewise, there is big money in the IoT space currently, and it will only continue to grow as technology improves.
The collection of data by IoT devices will encourage the creation of even smarter ones. Municipal connected IoT devices, including smart traffic lights that utilize data to sync lights, are transforming cities into smart cities. Other smart IoT devices are improving cities’ overall efficiency and saving municipal governments money as everything can be remotely managed. Smart homes are currently using smart thermostats, lighting systems and coffee makers that collect data on occupants’ habits and patterns of usage to facilitate machine learning toward enabling efficiency.
Keeping These Devices Secure
With all these IoT devices connected, end-to-end security can present a real challenge. The best answer, however, is to utilize a security solution that not only provides end-to-end security but also encrypts the message all the way through.
Thus, devices with encryption keys that can decrypt the encrypted data, as it’s sent and received, are ideal. These devices also enable you to wrap the message body and leave all the actionable data in TLS. Whereas actionable data ought to be simple data like temperature information. Likewise, all inbound ports should remain closed at all costs to prevent your IoT devices from being open to vulnerabilities and DDOS attacks. Configuring devices for outward connections to only make outbound connections will keep the door closed and prevent applications access as well as access to services behind the open ports. The outward connection can be left open so the device can listen in with a secure tunnel back from the network.
The Publish-Subscribe Paradigm is A Great Solution to Many IoT Issues
Using the Publish-Subscribe model with protocols like MQTT, Websockets, or Streaming HTTP to send data on a small scale, ensures connection security to be secure but only works on a small scale. Utilizing such model, the publisher is given a write token and the subscriber a read token, and each token can be revoked at any time and tokens can also have an expiry. In addition, tokens can be set to work with only certain datastream (in this case channel names) so you can have control over what goes in and out of your network.
Utilizing solutions like PubNub help keep globally (large-scale )secure networks running as it also supports secure message delivery among devices. No need to setup your own servers no custom code(s) needed in order to communicate with your backend.
The key to a successful IoT project is to make provisioning incredibly fast and ensure that the entire user experience seamless.
IoT devices are special-purpose devices, that, most likely, connect wirelessly to a network and transmit and receive data over that wireless connection in order to monitor or
control one or many device(s)(thing(s).)
The key characteristics that make IoT devices work include sensors for data acquisition and monitoring as well as actuators – the physical interface – to control the thing(s)( a smart thermostat, the dimmer switch in a smart light bulb, or the gear motors in a robotic vacuum cleaner ) as well as data processing and storage.
Moreover, IoT devices are also equipped to process sensor data, store that data locally, and provide the computing power that makes the device operate.
Although security is the biggest problem with IoT devices, it is the last thing that is considered in the
device’s development lifecycle. However, there are lots of manufacturers out there who build pricier
and more secured devices.
Having IoT devices both at home and on your corporate network means that your devices are widely exposed to malware attacks. In fact, your devices might have already been attacked or compromised while you not aware of it. By modifying your firewall to enable port-forwarding to allow your devices to be conveniently accessed from anywhere on the internet to monitor and control them, they are widely
exposed to the internet.
Many IoT home security devices tested were found to have substantial vulnerabilities, including weak
passwords, lack of encryption when devices communicate over the network, as well as account enumeration (when using password reset feature to find valid user account IDs). All of the tested devices are likely to be a part of any smart home today: smart TVs, home thermostats, webcams, smart locks, and beyond.
Firmware and/or Software
The firmware and/or onboard software that runs an IoT device sit between the hardware and the outside world, and fall into one of two categories: embedded firmware or operating system-based (OS-based) firmware.
Most IoT devices connect wirelessly
IoT devices most often communicate wirelessly, using a direct 802.11 Wifi connection to your router,
which means they can be anywhere in your home or enterprise. The communication needs of the device
change depending on how it is designed to work.
Device Provisioning and Management
As some IoT devices (aka, Headless devices) do not have built-in user interaction hardware, such as a
touch screen, one way to configure these devices is to use Wifi Protected Setup (WPS) by pressing the
WPS button on your IoT device and pressing the WPS button on the router to establish a connection.
Other devices create a Wifi access point to which you can connect by using your smart phone to access a
setup program where you to enter your Wifi network credentials. Yet, other devices, like gateways,
are provisioned using the pairing mode. To pair, you follow the device-specific instructions to put
the devices in pairing mode so that they can connect to the gateway.
Monitor and manage the devices
Once your devices are connected to the network, you can monitor and manage them either through a
smartphone or through an interface connected to a cloud service.
Other devices like CCTV security cameras have dedicated IP addresses and connect directly to the
internet. These devices are accessed directly over the internet, bypassing the need for a cloud service
provider or gateway.
Many malware attacks are designed to test the defenses of the target by employing multiple attack vectors to exhaust all of its defenses in the process. Most of these attacks are characteristic of clever and resourceful hackers.
The attack vectors
Weak passwords and backdoors With some manufacturers emphasizing easy setup and use for end-users who are often not technically savvy, as well as their desire for automatic software upgrade and support, they provide some simple way to login to the device, like a single userid/password combination. Often times, these users leave the device’s login credentials unchanged.
Lack of encryption
Unfortunately, security features like encryption that is able to secure data over the network are often overlooked or not even considered by some manufactures. Likewise, many IoT devices do not support encryption.
Being on the Internet and accepting incoming traffic, devices are exposed and will come under attack. Most IoT devices already have little or no security and are particularly susceptible to attack.
The attack: Scan and takeover
As it sounds, a scan and takeover attack is comprised of two phases: the scan and takeover phase and
the attack launch phase, which are executed by a Command and Control (CNC) program. After the IoT
device attack, the device is taken over and bent to the hacker’s will.
The CNC program is a malicious program that scans IP addresses on the internet looking for hosts with
open ports, and attempts to log in using a set of known default userid/password combinations (for
example, admin/admin, root/admin, user/user, and so forth), if a port is found open. If successful, a script runs and reports the device’s IP address, along with the login credentials to use and, subsequently, pushes the malware to the device that it needs to run the attack. The device is now controlled and awaits for the actual attack to take place.
While the device(s) owner is unaware of what is going on, the attack continues as other devices are taken over and referred to as bots. These types of attacks usually cause either DDos attacks (crippling the target host(s) by sending it/them so much HTTP (and other) traffic it/they cannot handle)) or spam bots.
Protecting your IoT devices
Always change default passwords When you provision a new device, go into the management interface and change the password. If there is not a way to do this, and you plan to expose the device to the internet, consider using a device that allows you to. Likewise, remove devices with telnet backdoors.
Run regular port scans on all your devices There are multiple scanners out there that can enable you to run the tools yourself.
( For assistance, please contact us InternetOfThings@Bluelabelweekly.com )