Construction equipment telematics set to rise on building sites, says Berg Insight

Construction equipment telematics set to rise on building sites, says Berg Insight

As construction machinery manufacturers increasingly sell connected products, the building sector looks set to build a new image for itself as a technology enthusiast and embrace digitization. 

The construction industry has a reputation as a technology laggard, with dire repercussions for productivity and profitability.

Last year, researchers at strategy house McKinsey & Company singled it out as a sector “ripe for disruption”, calculating that large projects typically take 20 percent longer to finish than scheduled and come in 80 percent over budget. Worse still, productivity in the building industry has actually declined in some markets since the 1990s.

More digitization and the introduction of IoT technologies could do much to rectify the situation, McKinsey’s analysts say in their report, and this week there have been signs that the sector is starting to understand that. A report from Berg Insight forecasts healthy growth in the global installed base of construction equipment telematics systems, which reached 1.8 million units in 2016. By 2021, that number is set to reach 4.6 million units.

Read more: Dewalt powers ahead with IoT plans for construction workers

Towards telematics

Berg Insight’s report, The Global Construction Equipment OEM Telematics Market, covers all construction equipment (CE) telematics systems offered by equipment manufacturers, either built in-house or developed in partnership with telematics specialists. 

The European market accounted for almost 0.4 million units at the end of last year, with the North American market estimated to be slightly larger, and the rest of the world accounting for more than half of the global installed base.

“Most major CE OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] have introduced telematics offerings for its customers, either independently or in collaboration with telematics partners,” says Berg Insight’s report.

These are commonly factory-installed as standard, at least for heavier machines, it adds, with Caterpillar and Komatsu ranking as the leading OEMs in terms of the number of CE telematics systems deployed worldwide. These two companies together account for more than one million telematics units today, said Berg Insight analyst Rickard Andersson.

Read more: JCB uses IoT to control 10,000 construction machines

Other key players

Other key players include Hitachi Construction (based in Japan), Hyundai Construction Equipment (South Korea), JCB (UK), Volvo CE (Sweden) and Deere & Company (US). Smaller players include Doosan Infracore (South Korea), Liebherr (Switzerland) and CNH Industrial (UK).

“Notably, half of the top 10 OEMs have surpassed the milestone of 100,000 telematics units globally,” said Mr Andersson.

This is important, because these telematics systems can help construction firms locate equipment on busy building sites and assess their recent utilization and performance. Beyond that, the data collected can be used to detect maintenance requirements and send automated alerts for preventative maintenance.

In short, the construction industry has much to gain (and it seems, little to lose) by getting new insights into bulky and expensive machinery that firms typically hope to use for many years to come.

Read more: Clicks for bricks, Procore cements construction management software

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BrickerBot creator Janit0r ‘retires’ after bricking over 10 million IoT devices

BrickerBot creator Janit0r has retired

Alleged Brickerbot creator Janit0R stands down from hectic career of compromising IoT devices. 

Janit0r, the alleged creator of BrickerBot, a piece of malware designed to damage insecure IoT devices so severely that they become redundant, has apparently retired, but not before claiming to have ‘bricked’ over 10 million IoT devices in his recent career.

The resignation letter came in the form of an email to computer help site, Bleeping Computer. Earlier in the year, the person behind the ‘Janit0r’ nickname, a self-professed ‘grey hat’ hacker, claimed that they invented the malware strain to brick IoT devices as a sort of ‘internet chemotherapy’, which could be used to damage vulnerable devices before they got infected with the Mirai malware.

Read more: BrickerBot ‘creator’ claims two million IoT devices have been destroyed

A brief history of Brickerbot

The Brickerbot malware was first detected in April this year. It works by searching the internet for vulnerable IoT devices, and then using exploit code to breach the equipment and rewrite the device’s flash storage with alternative data. This leaves many devices having to be reinstalled or even replaced altogether as the malware can even rewrite the firmware on the device.

Its author has claimed in several emails to have been behind many attacks and outages across the world, including ones against US and Indian internet service providers. However, the supposed perpetrator sent an email to Bleeping Computer announcing his sudden retirement.

They claim to be ‘retiring’ because although the project had been a technical success, they were worried that it was also having a “deleterious effect on the public’s perception of the overall IoT threat”.

“Researchers keep issuing high-profile warnings about genuinely dangerous new botnets, and a few weeks or even days later, they are all but gone. Sooner or later, people are going to start questioning the credibility of the research and the seriousness of the situation,” Janit0r wrote, pointing to the cases of the Persirai, Hajime and Reaper botnets.

Read more: European Parliament pushes on IoT device security and interoperability

Progress  made, but not enough

Janit0r added that while there had been some progress over the past year, with proposals for new security standards,  people, organizations and governments were still not doing enough or moving quickly enough. “We’re running out of time,” they added.

“Because of this, I’ve decided to make a public appeal regarding the severity of the situation. Taking credit for all the carnage of the past year has serious downsides for me and my mission… However I also recognize that if I keep doing what I’m doing, then people of influence may simply perceive the IoT security disaster as less urgent, when in reality they should consider it an emergency requiring immediate action,” they stated.

Operators of IoT DDoS botnets were taking precautions against BrickerBot, and this made Janit0r’s work even more challenging, they said, and they are wary of legal repercussions.


“There’s also only so long that I can keep doing something like this before the government types are able to correlate my likely network routes (I have already been active for far too long to remain safe),” Janit0r wrote.

“For a while now my worst-case scenario hasn’t been going to jail, but simply vanishing in the middle of the night as soon as some unpleasant government figures out who I am.”

Read more: Reaper IoT botnet proves less virulent than expected

Severe disruption ahead

As well as advising users to take sanctions against vendors that do not deliver security updates efficiently, the BrickerBot author suggested that ISPs use tools like Shodan to audit their networks and isolate ports and services that don’t need to be online. The internet, they warned, “is only one or two serious IoT exploits away from being severely disrupted”.

Ian Hughes, IoT analyst at IT advisory firm 451 Research, acknowledged that IoT security is a significant concern, but warned that companies are mainly paying attention to security holes when a public release of information forces the issue.

“A more credible approach is offering a bounty or proper reporting scheme to have problems raised and acted upon. The IT industry is full of examples of problems found and ignored, or attempted to be hidden, until they are made public, and IoT continues that unfortunate tradition,” he said.

Read more: Andromeda IoT botnet dismantled by international cyber taskforce


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Consumers value IoT, but they don’t trust it, says Cisco

Consumers value IoT, but they don’t trust it, says Cisco

New research finds that fears over data privacy persist but aren’t enough to get consumers to pull the plug on smart devices. 

Cisco has announced the findings of new consumer-focused research, based on a survey of over 3,000 US and Canadian consumers, that the networking giant says is designed to help businesses that offer IoT-based products and services give the market a boost when it comes to customer confidence and adoption.

The message from the report, The IoT Trust/Value Paradox, is clear: consumers believe these products and services deliver “significant value”, but they don’t understand or trust how the data they share with providers is managed or used.

No change there, it seems: the same could be said of any of the major social networking sites. And, as with social networking sites, consumers are unwilling to disconnect from IoT services, even temporarily, despite their concerns.

According to Cisco, 42 percent of respondents said the IoT was too deeply integrated into their daily lives to simply ‘switch it off’. From this, the company deduces that they find it easier to tolerate uncertainty and risk than to pull the plug on IoT.

Read more: Study reveals in-person service essential in creating smart homes

What is the IoT, anyway?

A lot depends, of course, on how a consumer defines the IoT. In the Cisco report, respondents were twice as likely to recognize personal IoT devices such as wearables and smart home security systems than they were public ones, such as smart streetlights and wind turbines.

That stands to reason, given the hype around consumer devices and the relatively limited exposure to  IoT that many people have had in their working lives to date, unless they’re directly involved in making strategic decisions about their company’s digital direction.

But even at home, while it’s perfectly true that many people now have smart devices, others are perfectly happy to potter along in a relatively ‘dumb’ home that ‘just works’ for them, unless they see real value in making a switch. For a vast swathe of the world’s population, of course, this isn’t even an issue.

What does stand out, in Cisco’s research at least, is that respondents are overwhelmingly positive about the value the IoT brings to them, however they define it. Fifty-three percent say that IoT makes their lives more convenient, 47 percent say it makes them more efficient, and 34 percent say IoT increases their safety.

Read more: Survey: UK consumers wary of smart home products

A matter of education?

At the same time, only 9 percent of respondents say that they trust that their data, collected and shared through IoT, is secure. And only 14 percent feel that companies do a good job of informing them what data is being collected on them and how it is used.

According to Cisco, “As companies build their businesses around IoT services, they need first to understand the importance of educating their customers on the role of IoT in delivering new, valuable services that will enhance their lives. Only when customers understand the value of IoT – and trust that these new services can be delivered in a way that respects and protects their data – will mainstream adoption increase.”

There’s some truth in that, certainly. A great deal more work needs to be done by smart device makers on data privacy – and, while they’re about it, they should definitely cast an urgent eye over device security. But if “mainstream adoption” is truly the goal here, an education in the IoT might be overkill.

At Internet of Business, then, our take is this: the onus rests with smart product device makers to sort out privacy, tackle security – and do a much better job of explaining to customers what value might look like, in terms of the impact we can expect connected devices to have on our day-to-day lives.

And, here, interoperability is going to be key, because a thousand different apps to turn on lights, track our pets, measure our fitness efforts and curb our energy usage is unlikely to be workable for many in the longer term.

Read more: Smart home device metadata offers hackers insight into residents’ habits

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Dutch police decide to retire drone-catching eagles

dutch police retire drone-catching eagles

The news that Dutch police were planning to use eagles as part of a counter-drone strategy made headlines in 2016. One year on, the program has been abandoned. 

The use of eagles as a countermeasure was never the most convincing way to protect sensitive locations from rogue drones. The most natural response to seeing the birds of prey in action was to wince. Officials have insisted that the eagles were never put in harm’s way, but it turns out there were further complications.

To put it bluntly, eagles don’t always do what they’re told. So it will come as no surprise that Dutch police quickly found that this counter-drone ‘solution’ didn’t reap the results they were hoping to achieve.

According to a report on Dutch news site NOS, practice runs highlighted the fact that the birds had minds of their own and, despite plenty of training, didn’t always carry out instructions to the letter.

Read more: WeRobotics to use drones to curb mosquito populations

The threat has not materialized

Another reason the program has been abandoned is that Dutch police have deemed it an unnecessary expense. Over the past twelve months, the birds have been present at events in Rotterdam and Brussels. Fortunately, they never saw any action; the threat of a terrorist incident involving a drone is yet to materialize in Europe. 

Another factor in the decision was the mounting cost of raising, training and feeding the predators. The retiring eagles are being sent to a shelter, according to Dutch police, and the experiment is over. 

That said, there are a host of more sophisticated counter drone solutions on the market now. These include Department 13’s Mesmer system, which effectively hacks rogue drones in mid-air and hands control over to security personnel. Kinetic solutions are also under development, such as Drone Defence’s NetGun X1 and the more heavy duty SkyWall from OpenWorks Engineering. 

For sensitive locations such as airports and sports stadiums, drone manufacturer DJI has recently launched Aeroscope, an awareness tool that can be used by law enforcement to track drone pilots who are flying where they shouldn’t. Although passive in nature, it can be used alongside active measures and act as an early warning system.   

Read more: US drone collision study flies in face of UK research

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IDC: Worldwide spending on IoT to surpass $772 billion in 2018

Worldwide spending on IoT to top $ 772 billion in 2018

Global spending on IoT in 2018 looks set to be up 15% on 2017’s performance, say IDC analysts. 

Global spending on IoT is set to reach $ 772.5 billion in 2018, an increase of almost 15% on this year, according to a new forecast released by analyst company IDC.

Analysts at the research firm reckon the upward trajectory will continue, with IoT spend growing at a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 14% between 2017 and 2021, hitting the $ 1 trillion mark in 2020 and reaching $ 1.1 trillion in 2021. That’s a slight downgrade from an earlier IDC forecast that estimated a 2021 total of $ 1.4 trillion.

Read more: IoT projects driving IT budget decisions, 451 Research finds

2018 IoT spending by tech category

When it comes to sales by technology category, hardware will account for the largest proportion in 2018, totalling some $ 239 billion. Modules and sensors will account for the bulk of this, says IDC, although this category also includes infrastructure.

The next biggest product sector will be services, followed by software and connectivity (networking). Software spending will be led by application and analytics software, IoT platforms and security software. It will also be the fastest-growing technology segment, with a five year CAGR of just over 16%. The global bill for IoT services will grow at just over 15% and will nearly equal the bill for hardware by the end of the forecast period.

According to IDC analyst Carrie MacGillivray, by 2021, more than 55 percent – in other words, the majority – of spending on IoT projects will go towards paying for software and services. “Software creates the foundation upon which IoT applications and use cases can be realized,” she said. “However, it is the services that help bring all the technology elements together to create a comprehensive solution that will benefit organizations and help them achieve a quicker time to value.”

Read more: Business leaders find IoT economics “increasingly compelling”, says Verizon

A sector-by-sector look at spend

When it comes to the industries paying out the most to become IoT-enabled, IDC’s picks tally with most other industry estimates. The usual suspects are all here: manufacturing (with an outlay of $ 189 billion in 2018), transportation ($ 85 billion) and utilities ($ 73 billion).

In manufacturing, the company’s analysts said, IoT spend will be largely focused on manufacturing operations themselves and production asset management – in other words, the upkeep and use of plant-floor machinery. In transportation, two-thirds of spending will go towards freight monitoring, followed by fleet management. In the utility industry, spending will be dominated on the development of smart grids for electricity, gas and water.

And then there’s cross-industry spending to consider – those IoT projects and initiatives that see companies from different sectors come together to work on connected vehicles, for example, or smart buildings. Spend here is forecast to be almost $ 92 billion  in 2018 and will rank among the top areas throughout the five-year forecast.

Finally, in terms of geography,Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) will be the geographic region with the most IoT spend in 2018, racking up a bill of $ 312 billion. North America (the United States and Canada) will follow closely behind with $ 203 billion. Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA)’s IoT bill will amount to $ 171 billion.

The individual country set to spend the most, meanwhile, is China, where $ 209 billion will be spent in 2018, driven by investment from manufacturing, utilities and government.

Read more: IBM’s Harriet Green: The ABC of IoT in 2018

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