Concerns about IOT Security Starts Initiatives and Alliances

IoT

 

Within this year, we would see hundreds of billions of devices expected to be connected to internet connecting our lives, homes, commute, shopping, transportations etc. etc. All of these, whether call it Internet of Things or Internet of Everything, will be potentially putting everything about us and everything of us on internet. When Facebook connected went beyond connecting friends but also putting all about us online to be learnt, profiled and targeted, it of course became huge privacy concern for all of us. But IoT goes much beyond, it is no more informational, but if  hacked,  can be controlled.

There are three main issues: First, any devices connected to

First, any devices connected to internet, would potentially be monitored. If you are putting cameras in all the rooms so that you can monitor your teenager or intruder remotely from your office, the same cameras can be potentially monitored by hackers, and if you are unlucky, then by anti-social people including thieves and terrorists.

Second, the devices can be subjected to Denial of Service attack hence they would not perform as expected.

Third, more dangerous, is they can be controlled. Once, their control plane is hacked in, the devices can be controlled. Whether your self driving car, or your home entrance door or oven, if they can be controlled by you, they can be controlled by others too. Wouldn’t it be scary.

Of course, traditional security measures are getting appropriated for devices, their OS, communication etc. Multi-level, authentications, authorizations followed with encryptions, key and secrets managements are getting in from devices, to OS, to transports to controls.

This need spurring a lot of initiatives along with partnerships, at the RSA Conference last week in San Francisco,  Intel partnered with Intercede, UK-based digital identity and credentials expert.  To protect the transfer of data between devices and cloud and web servers, Symantec is partnering with  Cryptosoft. Symantec claims have already embedded security in over one billion devices. For protecting ‘connected Car’, WISeKey, a Swiss cyber security company, and bright box  announced an alliance to protect connected cars.

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IOTivity framework 1.1.0 to be released for IOT devices

As announced last week, a new version 1.1.0 of IOTVity from Open Interconnect Consortium is getting released soon, I thought it is worth covering a little bit about this one of many IOT Standardizations. Prominent backers of OIC are Intel, Broadcom, Samsung and , latest, Microsoft and many others. The Iotivity is a standard for device intercommunication from the OIC. It is competing to ALLJoyn from AllSeen consortium led by Qualcomm.

iotivity-architecture-small-v01

As depicted in above architectural diagram, IOTivity offers Device Discovery, Device Communication, Data and Device Management functionalities. This opensource is available on Android, Ubuntu Linux, Tizen, and Andruino under Apache 2.0 license.

Battle of Titans on IoT Standards to Control your Connected Life

According to a report from Gartner published in Dec 2013, The Internet of Things (IoT) will grow to 26 billion units installed in 2020 representing an almost 30-fold increase from 0.9 billion in 2009. This will result into 300 billion incremental revenue mostly in 2020.

This is a next big opportunity. All the device manufacturers, network players, telcos, etc. would want to have a major share of it.

The IoT would include worlds of home automation devices, interconnected cars, wearables, smart sensors, movable / fixed assets, etc. All the diverse devices needs to communicate, monitored and controlled.

No wonder, Intel, Samsung, Dell, Broadcom and many others announced this week a formation of Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC). According to a report, the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) will define a common communications framework to wirelessly connect and manage the flow of information among personal computing and emerging IoT devices of operating system via diverse service providers. The consortium would make open source code contribution, and provide device certifications.

OIC is not the first one in the market. Back in December, a group of companies led by Qualcomm announced another alliance called AllSeen Alliance and made AllJoyn as a standard for achieving the same. Initial members of this alliance included Qualcomm, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Sharp, Silicon Image and Hailer. Microsoft, and Cisco also joined the alliance.

However, Google’s Nest has become a de facto icon of intelligent device in the sphere of Home automation. Google is seriously expanding in the market.Google has recently bought Dropcam too. Google took it further by announcing Working With Nest framework. Effectively it would become Google’s standard for controlling home automation.

Apple is not be behind too. Apple will deliver a much awaited iWatch later this year. It would play an important role in wearables. Apple already has AirPlay as a standard for connecting apple ecosystem devices like AppleTV, etc. Would AirPlay be Apple’s “standard” for for interconnecting , controlling and monitoring devices?

The big question is Who would control effectively your life, home (via home automation), transport (via interconnected cars) and health( via wearables) ?

Do you have a say in it?