Only one in four organisations can protect themselves against IoT threats, says survey

A survey from UK-based firm Databarracks has found that only 27% of organisations polled feel able to protect themselves against IoT threats.

Based on the findings, its managing director Peter Groucutt has said that organisations must now factor IoT into their continuity planning.

“The IoT device market is still relatively immature and somewhat of a Wild West,” said Groucutt. “According to industry experts, by 2020 there will be over 50 billion connected devices. Understandably, manufacturers are racing to capitalise on the opportunity, but unfortunately, many are doing so at the expense of basic security measures.

“Organisations need to be aware of these risks, even if they do not use any IoT devices – the growing number of connected devices globally means there is an increased risk of DDoS attacks through IoT botnets – but our data suggests firms are ignoring these threats,” added Groucutt. “Research from our annual Data Health Check survey revealed that only 13% of businesses saw IoT threats as a major concern. Additionally, just over a quarter of organisations (27%) had set policies in place designed to protect against IoT threats.”

According to Groucutt, organisations incorporating IoT devices into their IT infrastructure should not rely on existing policies for evaluating the security of devices, instead develop new ones. Questions such as what protocol the device uses; can the IoT network be isolated from our other systems; is it connecting directly back to the data centre or to a hub – either in the cloud (hosted externally) or to an Edge server that you manage; how do we login and authenticate; can we integrate with our existing authentication products, and finally, what O/S is used and do we have competency; should be considered.

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Four Key Trends IIoT Platforms are Enlisting as Businesses Race to Convert Data into Insights

Four Key Trends IIoT Platforms are Enlisting as Businesses Race to Convert Data into Insights

Four Key Trends IIoT Platforms are Enlisting as Businesses Race to Convert Data into Insights

Frost & Sullivan reveals participants with single complementing competencies will join forces to protect market share and boost customer value.

Coupled with rapidly advancing Internet of Things (IoT) techniques, IoT platforms are set to create new business models aimed at enhanced connectivity, control and convergence.

Businesses are now racing to convert raw machine and process data into actionable and useful insights in real-time. IoT platforms are at the core of this revolution, providing users with the flexibility and tools needed to develop application-centric functions unique to each industry.

Frost & Sullivan Industrial Automation and Process Control Senior Research Analyst Sharmila Annaswamy, said:

“The IIoT ecosystem is rapidly evolving, and will witness acquisitions and collaborations on a large scale to close capability gaps. While major industrial participants with IT-OT expertise are leading the revolution, participants with single complementing competencies will join forces to protect market share and boost their customer value propositions.”

Four key industry trends in IIoT platforms:

  • Industry inclination towards self-service models is expected to advance Application Programming Interface (APIs) modules to the center of industrial IoT strategies;
  • Open cloud developer platforms such as Predix DOJO that allow collaboration between industry experts and in-house software developers is expected to accelerate proof-of-concept modeling for customers;
  • Satellite-based LPWAN technologies are expected to overpower cellular-based network technologies such as LTE-M,NB-IoT, and strengthen IoT use-cases for global asset tracking in oil and gas, and transportation; and
  • Artificial Intelligence engines and cognitive capabilities will soon become a hygiene factor in IIoT platforms primarily driven by the need to surpass the competition and boost solution performance.

“As factories and enterprises move toward a multi-cloud model, IoT platform providers will have to adopt automated load-balancing strategies to allow multi-cloud data transfers and elevate application performance across distinct cloud platforms”, noted Annaswamy.

Frost & Sullivan’s recent research, Landscaping IIoT Platforms—Vendor Clusters and Growth Prospects, compares and benchmarks Industrial IoT platforms and vendor clusters. It highlights the prevalent innovation hubs, key technology and business trends that are influencing the evolution of industrial IoT platforms, and profiles existing industrial IoT platforms such as Condence, Axoom, Losant, Datonis, Jasper, Bosch, Azure IoT, Thingworx, Mindsphere, Devicewise, Lumada, Leonardo, and Predix (GE).
To access more information on this analysis, please click here

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IoT Business News

Analysis: Four smart factory trends to watch in 2018

Analysis: Four smart factory tech trends for 2018

Internet of Business presents four key technology trends that will help the smart factory deliver on its efficiency and responsiveness goals in 2018. 

At the tail end of 2017, a new manufacturing plant opened in Sunnyvale, California, that takes the smart factory concept to a new level.

The facility belongs to Quanergy, a company that specializes in making LiDAR [light detection and radar] sensors – the technology that allows autonomous vehicles to sense their surroundings and to steer, brake and avoid collisions.

Quanergy’s new smart factory features a high-capacity, fully automated production line, located in a clean room environment. The line features state-of-the-art semiconductor handling and packaging equipment, including a conveyor system connecting machinery along this line that turns the raw material of silicon wafers into finished LiDAR sensors.

The facility also handles automated calibration and final testing of sensors, according to the company, providing “high quality and reliability in an industry that thus far relied mainly on manual labour to build mechanical LiDARS.”

Smartness, of course, is in the eyes of the beholder – but it’s probably safe to define the ‘smart factory’ as a venue in which connected technologies enable manufacturing operations to become more efficient and more responsive. And we can expect to see more connected technology and smart factories emerge in the manufacturing sector during 2018.

Read more: Huawei sets up Connected Factory group to push 5G in manufacturing

What does 2018’s smart factory look like?

With that in mind, Internet of Business has come up with a list of four trends to watch in 2018. These are technologies that we believe will help manufacturing companies achieve these twin goals of efficiency and responsiveness.

1. Industrial robotics

At a Philips plant producing electric razors in the Netherlands, robots outnumber production workers by more than 14 to one, according to a recent article from strategy firm McKinsey & Company. A new wave of factory automation is underway, its authors write, and robots are entering new environments and creating new value for manufacturers. In part, this trend is driven by the availability of collaborative robots, or ‘cobots’ that are cheaper, more mobile and more flexible than their predecessors and that can work safely alongside human colleagues.

2. OT/IT convergence

Operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) have long been kept separate as sources of data – but there’s a growing understanding that combining the data from these two silos can lead to valuable insights into manufacturing performance. In turn, these insights can help with closer adherence to manufacturing schedules, fewer periods of downtime and faster responses to issues with machinery. In 2017, we saw a number of industry partnerships that bring together OT and IT companies – such as that between ABB and HP, for example. 2018 is bound to bring many more.

Read more: Machine vision: a bird’s-eye view of the smart factory

Here come AI and AD

3. The rise of AI

Artificial intelligence has a key role to play in the smart factory, helping manufacturers predict demand patterns and allocate resources far more accurately. In other words, AI allows manufacturers to answer questions based on cold, hard data rather than human guesswork. At its Oracle Open World event in September 2018, executive vice president of application development Steve Miranda unveiled new, cloud-based smart factory apps that come with embedded AI – Oracle Adaptive Intelligent Apps. These, said Miranda, would support “sophisticated decision science” – but in a way that was hidden from users and embedded in the software they use to perform day-to-day work tasks.

4. Additive manufacturing

As 3D printers become cheaper, faster, more accurate and better able to work with a broader range of materials, including production-grade ones, they’re increasingly used to make final products, not just prototypes. This is referred to as ‘additive manufacturing’, because these machines lay down layer after layer of a given material to create a ready-made object, as opposed to the ‘subtractive’ business of cutting, drilling and hammering material away. This will open the door to building personalized variations of mass-produced products – from a pair of sports shoes built to fit the individual user’s feet to an automobile with bumpers and spoilers customized according to their own design.

At Internet of Business, we’ll be following these trends closely over 2018. They also promise to be hot topics at our Internet of Manufacturing event in Munich in February (details below).


Coming soon: Our Internet of Manufacturing event will be coming to Munich on 6 & 7 February 2018. Attendees will get the chance to learn more about how connected technologies open up new paths to increased productivity and profitability for industrial companies. 

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Internet of Business

Four Logics of Corporate Strategy

Corporate strategy is the set of choices that diversified corporations such as IBM, Walt Disney, and Tata Group make to create and capture value across their businesses over time. It’s a crucial driver of financial performance for multi-business enterprises. A recent meta-analysis found that a business unit’s corporate parent accounts for more of its financial performance than the industry where that business unit competes.1 According to a McKinsey & Co. survey, 83% of senior executives said that the effective reallocation of resources across business units is the single biggest driver of revenue growth.2

Although executives understand the importance of corporate strategy in theory, many struggle to develop one in practice and link it to business unit priorities. According to a separate survey of nearly 2,000 managers running multi-business corporations, only one in five executives said their company had an effective process for developing and revising corporate strategy.3 Just one-third of respondents said that their corporate strategy process and business unit strategy reviews were fully integrated.4

In our experience, organizations often struggle with corporate strategy because executives lack clarity on how the parts of the corporation fit together to create and capture economic value. Unless executives have a shared understanding of the relationships between corporate headquarters and the business units and among different businesses, they risk talking past one another when discussing strategy. We have helped dozens of top teams formulate their strategy, and along the way we have found that a simple matrix can help crystallize how the parts of the business fit together to maximize performance. Once executives come to a shared understanding of this fundamental issue, they can decide who should lead the strategy development process and how to integrate corporate and business unit strategies.

Most of the research on corporate strategy emphasizes how the corporate parent assembles its portfolio of businesses and how it adds value to each business unit.5 In our matrix, we represent this relationship with the vertical axis, labeled Corporate-Business Unit Linkage, which measures how reliant the business units are on corporate resources and capabilities to make money.6 (See “Defining the Four Logics of Corporate Strategy.”) Companies such as Trader Joe’s and Burberry Group score high on Corporate-Business Unit Linkage because their stores depend completely on corporate assets to succeed. Indeed, if you stripped a Trader Joe’s store of the company’s brand, economies of scale, and distinctive portfolio of private-label products, all you’d have left is an undifferentiated local grocery store. Private equity firms’ portfolio companies, which typically operate as stand-alone entities, lie at the other extreme of the Corporate-Business Unit Linkage dimension.

When assessing where your company lies in terms of the linkage between corporate and business units, focus on capabilities and resources (such as the ability to develop new products or brand) that are critical to creating and capturing economic value. If corporate shared services (for example, human resources, legal, or accounting) could be easily outsourced, they aren’t strategic — just convenient. The key question isn’t whether business units run independently of corporate but the extent to which they could.

The Business Unit-Business Unit Linkage (shown on the horizontal axis of “Defining the Four Logics of Corporate Strategy”) represents how dependent the business units are on one another to create and capture value. At the left are companies such as General Electric and Tata Group whose portfolio companies run independently of one another. At the other end of the spectrum are companies such as IBM, where the different business units (in this case, consulting, software, hardware, and financing) need to work together to provide integrated solutions to customers.

Combining the dimensions into a two-by-two matrix results in four distinct ways to think about corporate strategy:

  • Portfolio: “Portfolio” logic guides traditional conglomerates such as GE and Tata Group as well as private equity firms such as KKR & Co. and The Blackstone Group.
  • Leverage: Companies whose business units make heavy use of the corporate brand, technology, and other expertise such as Trader Joe’s and Burberry pursue a “leverage” logic.
  • Federal: The “federal” logic includes loose confederations of businesses that band together to pass business to one another, jointly lobby regulators, or share best practices, all without a powerful corporate parent. Examples include Star Alliance in airlines and The Leading Hotels of the World in lodging.
  • Integrative: The “integrative” logic describes companies in which business units rely both on corporate assets and one another to succeed. For example, Walt Disney theme parks, movie studios, consumer products, and children’s television divisions all use the company’s iconic brands and characters to increase customers’ willingness to pay, and they generate revenues by cross-promoting and selling one another’s products.

How do leaders know which logic applies to their company? Answering the questions in “Assessing the Logic of Your Corporate Strategy” will help you place your company on the matrix.

Not all business units in the integrative quadrant are equally dependent on corporate resources or on other business units. For example, Pacific Investment Management Co. (PIMCO), the large asset-management organization based in Newport Beach, California, has historically enjoyed considerable autonomy from Allianz, its German parent. Some corporations organize their business units into clusters of similar companies that closely coordinate. The industrial conglomerate Danaher, for example, has acquired hundreds of businesses over the past 30 years and combined them into clusters in areas such as dental and life sciences and diagnostics. The businesses within each cluster work closely together to serve the same customer segments, but collaboration across clusters is less important. If your organization depends on external partners or pursues a platform strategy, be sure to consider the outside stakeholders when plotting your position on the Business Unit-Business Unit Linkage axis.

The relationships among the various parts of the business can evolve over time. To offer customers a seamless experience, retailers such as Burberry are forging tighter links across their historically autonomous online operations and physical stores. When analyzing your own organization, start by understanding your current position but focus on where you want the company to be in the future. Functional and shared service activities should follow any shifts in corporate strategy. For example, if you want to shift from the portfolio quadrant to the leverage quadrant, shared services must migrate from having an exclusive focus on business unit priorities to supporting the overall corporate strategy.

By understanding which logic of corporate strategy they want their business to follow, executives can develop the right type of strategy for individual business units and the enterprise as a whole. In the portfolio logic, for example, corporate strategy will focus primarily on developing guidelines for deciding which businesses to enter, fund, or exit. At the same time, each business unit will need to have its own stand-alone strategy. In the integrative quadrant, in contrast, corporate will need rules for managing the portfolio, developing and leveraging corporate resources and capabilities, and managing interdependencies across units. In that quadrant, business units will need strategies that allow them to win as stand-alone entities while at the same time aligning with the corporate strategy. (See “Strategies by Quadrant,” which provides guidance on what corporate and business unit strategy might look like for each logic.)

Once leaders agree on the right logic of corporate strategy for their organization, they can formulate a strategy with an eye toward implementation. To translate their strategy into action, leaders should articulate a handful of strategic priorities to serve as guidelines for activities, priorities, and investments throughout the organization. Our article titled “How to Develop Strategy for Execution” describes the process for translating strategy — at the business unit or corporate level — into concrete objectives to drive results.


MIT Sloan Management Review

Announcing Four NDSS 2018 Workshops on Binary Analysis, IoT, DNS Privacy, and Security

The Internet Society is excited to announce that four workshops will be held in conjunction with the upcoming Network and Distributed System Security (NDSS) Symposium on 18 February 2018 in San Diego, CA. The workshop topics this year are:

A quick overview of each of the workshops is provided below. Submissions are currently being accepted for emerging research in each of these areas. Watch for the final program details in early January!

The first workshop is a new one this year on Binary Analysis Research (BAR). It is exploring the reinvigorated field of binary code analysis in light of the proliferation of interconnected embedded devices. In recent years there has been a rush to develop binary analysis frameworks. This has occurred in a mostly uncoordinated manner with researchers meeting on an ad-hoc basis or working in obscurity and isolation. As a result, there is little sharing or results and solution reuse among tools. The importance of formalized and properly vetted methods and tools for binary code analysis in order to deal with the scale of growth in these interconnected embedded devices cannot be overstated. The BAR workshop aims to provide an interaction point for researchers doing work in binary program analysis, with half of the workshop dedicated to traditional paper sessions and the other half to a roundtable discussion among researchers, implementers, and end-users of binary analysis techniques.

The second workshop is also new this year and focuses on Decentralized IoT Security and Standards (DISS). The success of the Internet of Things (IoT) depends significantly on solving the underlying security and privacy challenges. Due to their scale of deployment and limited resources, some of these systems will be extremely challenging to secure. A decentralized approach to IoT security brings forth many opportunities but also challenges, such as operating with constrained device and network capabilities, state synchronization, and trust management. At the same time, many IoT standards are now under development and decisions are being made today that will have long-term impact on the security of these systems. Of particular interest are open standards (e.g., IETF CoAP, OCF, and LWM2M), developed by organizations such as the IETF and the W3C including W3C Web of Things. The DISS workshop will gather researches and the open standards community together to help address the challenges of IoT Security.

The third workshop, DNS Privacy: Increasing Usability and Decreasing Traceability (DNSPRIV), continues the work started at the first DNS Privacy workshop held at NDSS 2017. DNS Privacy has been a growing concern of the IETF and others in the Internet engineering community for the last few years. Almost every activity on the Internet starts with a DNS query (and often several). Those queries can reveal information about not only what websites are visited but also about other services such as the domains of email contacts or chat services. This information crosses international boundaries and is sent in the clear. The IETF has taken steps to address these concerns; however, because of the diversity of the DNS ecosystem, and the pervasive role of DNS and domain names in Internet applications and security, much is not fully understood or resolved. The goal of this workshop is to bring together privacy and Internet researchers with a diversity of backgrounds and views, to identify promising long-term mitigations of the broad space of DNS privacy risks.

The final workshop, Usable Security (USEC), is a regular at NDSS dating back several years. It has even resulted in a sister event held in Europe over the summer months. This workshop brings together the technical and human aspects in of real-world technology to provide improved security and privacy. Experience has taught us over and over again that the best technical solutions for security and privacy will fail in deployment if usability is not a key design consideration. Enabling people to manage privacy and security necessitates giving due consideration to the users and the larger operating context within which technology is embedded. USEC 2018 aims to bring together researchers already engaged in this interdisciplinary effort with other computer science researchers in areas such as visualization, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and theoretical computer science as well as researchers from other domains such as economics and psychology.

I hope you will join us at NDSS 2018 from 18-21 February. Registration for the event will open later this month. Visit the NDSS website for more information, including upcoming announcements on the full workshop and NDSS program agendas. You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn using #NDSS18.

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