OPTIGA Trust X Protecting the Internet of Things

The fact that the devices that are online can be attacked, is an area of concern for all. Hitting right on the nail, Infineon Technologies AG is adding the OPTIGA Trust X to its OPTIGA Trust family. This hardware-based security solution Trust X, provides robust security to the diverse applications in the Internet of Things (IoT), ranging from smart homes, smart offices to drones.

“In the Internet of Things, we must think about security from the very beginning,” says Thomas Rosteck, Division President Chip Card & Security at Infineon. “Hardware-based security provides the necessary protection against attackers, as critical data can be separated from operations. Thanks to OPTIGA Trust X, we make it easy for manufacturers to integrate robust security into their IoT devices.”

The security solution covers a broad range of applications: mutual authentication, secured communication, data storage protection, assignment of keys, lifecycle management, power management, secured updates and integrity protection for the platform.

The OPTIGA Trust X can be used in extreme temperatures from extended range from -40°C to +105°C. It is therefore also suitable for deployment in harsh industrial environments. Device manufacturers save time and costs thanks to the plug-and-play concept enabling even companies without specialist know-how in the field of security.

The company shared that the developers of intelligent streetlights at eluminocity also rely on OPTIGA Trust X from Infineon. They use it to protect the streetlights against unauthorized access – from the cloud down to device level. It’s already being used at the Hong Kong Science Park, where it offers flexible street lighting, a charging station for electric cars, and air measurement sensors.

Next use case shared by the company was that of the “Digital Product School” where UnternehmerTUM, employees from Infineon, Nokia and TÜV SÜD have together with students jointly developed the first drone with hardware-based security. Its aim is to provide emergency services with reliable information before they arrive. Here too, sensitive data must be protected, the control unit must be authenticated reliably and attacks be repelled.

The developers are using the OPTIGA Trust X to deliver efficient protection against attackers and serves as a trust anchor.

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Protecting libraries with the IoT

Here in the UK, libraries as we know them are facing profound challenges. Uncertainties about the future of print contribute to discussions around the perceived declining value of traditional book repositories. Meanwhile, ever-reducing public funding is forcing many libraries to make cuts to their services, or close altogether.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. For many communities, libraries remain vital resources, providing access to a wealth of knowledge, free computer use, and community activities. And technology, far from doing away with the printed word, may be able to support it. Perhaps the IoT can help libraries – by optimizing use of space, enhancing the visitor experience, and preserving valuable rare collections through smart room management.

Head count metrics: understanding visitor patterns

With limited space and lots of things to store, it’s important to make best possible use of the available space. To do that, we need to understand how visitors are actually using it. How many people are using the workspaces and study areas? What times of the day are the busiest? Which are the most popular stacks?

Proximity beacons, deployed in a grid system, could help build an indoor positioning system that can track visitor movements, and answer all of these questions. With 25 or 30 beams spread through the building, it would be possible to measure the number of visitors, what they browsed and which parts of the library were busiest at which parts of the day. This information could be wirelessly sent to an accompanying app, and displayed as a dashboard to library staff.

Having access to metrics like these could not only help library staff optimize their space or improve signage to hard-to-find areas, but could give them much-needed evidence to demonstrate that libraries are still widely used.

Community activities, based on your interests

Beacon technology could offer library visitors other benefits, too. Such as making them aware of activities, workshops, classes or offers based on their interests. Not only does this highlight the extensive range of services on offer, but it could help newcomers to the community reach out to others who share the same interests.

The iBeacon app, for example, sends location-triggered information to visitors about library offers and events. So someone browsing the horror section might receive an alert about a Halloween-themed book reading in the library the following weekend. Someone spending a lot of time in the cooking section might receive an alert about an upcoming cookery demonstration.

QR codes and RFID tags

Then of course, there are the books themselves. It would be fairly straightforward to turn a printed book into a connected object, by instrumenting it with an RFID tag. The tag could wirelessly communicate select information, such as whether the book is available or checked out, for instance.

Meanwhile, anyone stuck for a new book recommendation could scan the QR code of a favourite novel, to see suggestions of other titles they might enjoy, based on the book they have scanned.

Protecting rare collections

Larger or more specialist libraries could use the IoT to help protect their rare collections by monitoring and controlling the conditions in which they are stored. Humidity, temperature and light sensors could measure the conditions in rare books rooms in real time, remotely adjusting them according to preset limits to preserve the precious artefacts within.

Learn about IBM’s work to preserve culture through technology

IBM has often worked with cultural institutions, using technology to preserve and protect historical manuscripts, sculptures and other precious resources. To learn more about our work in technology and the arts, read this article on preserving culture through technology.

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Protecting our water and preserving our energy with IoT

In developed countries we give little thought to whether our water is clean or how it got there. But for more than 40 percent of the world’s population having a clean, sufficient water supply isn’t reality. In some cities, the U.N. has found that in some cities, up to 70 percent of the water is lost due to leaks and pipe bursts.

Grundfos, a global leader in advanced pumping solutions and water technology, is doing its part to provide everyone with access to clean water and sanitation, and Azure IoT is part of the process. Since opening its doors in 1945, Grundfos has produced energy-efficient pumps that move water to where it should be, whether for drinking, for treatment, or for crops.

Currently, Grundfos manufactures more than 16 million pumps a year that feature its smart pumping solutions, which identify and isolate faulty pipes and reroute water to its intended location. Through the collective power of Microsoft Azure, the Azure IoT Suite and Microsoft Dynamics 365, Grundfos has increased the intelligence of its solution and added remote monitoring and maintenance services that will reduce costs and save time responding to emergencies.

With the Azure IoT Hub, the company’s solution can establish a fully-managed service that enables secure, two-way communication between its pumps and a customer’s monitoring console. Using the Azure IoT Device SDK, it can then collect pump data in real time and synthesize it with Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Armed with the resulting insights, Grundfos’ smart pumps can predict, prevent, and react to issues as they arise. And if the weather forecast calls for excessive rainfall, Grundfos can use that external data to help isolate water and prevent flooding. This sets the stage for new services that add value for customers, improve disaster relief and sanitation, and save lives.

Safeguarding the water supply isn’t Grundfos’ only concern. Water pumps consume roughly 10 percent of the world’s electricity supply, making it a key contributor to climate change. With the predictive analytics abilities in Cortana Intelligence, Grundfos has the potential to forecast when power usage is at its lowest and reschedule pumps to work during off-peak hours.

Clearly, there is more to be done, but with the power of Azure IoT, Grundfos is helping to ensure that the global water supply is safe, reliable and efficient.

Check out the full customer story to learn more about Grundfos’ intelligent pump solution.

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The Internet of Things, Cloud and Analytics: The New Frontier in Protecting the Endangered Rhino

Francois Spruyt, Chairman Welgevonden Game Reserve

Welgevonden Game Reserve in South Africa features 37,000 hectares (the equivalent of just over 90 thousand acres) of diverse landscapes and geology, and is home to much of the African continent’s stunning wildlife. South Africa is also home to most of the world’s remaining rhinos.

At Welgevonden you will also find something which, at first glance, may seem a quite out of place. Words like IoT, cloud and predictive analytics are typically outsiders at a game reserve, but they belong in Welgevonden for a very good reason – each is part of our attempt to stay one step ahead of poachers and help save what’s left of our country’s dwindling rhino population.

Consider these numbers:

  • Over the past decade, more than 7,000 rhinos were killed across the African continent
  • In 2016, more than 1,000 were killed in South Africa alone
  • If this rate continues, some say, the rhino could become extinct in less than a decade

Recent statistics suggest that the increase in the rate of rhino poaching has stabilized, but the absolute number being killed is still dreadful. And amid increased collaboration between the SA government and the private sector to fight this war, this ‘stabilization’ has come at an outrageous cost to the country. And it is a war in very real terms – more heavily armed poachers that have to be confronted by more heavily armed anti-poaching units.

How the IoT can protect rhinos from poachers

For several years, we at Welgevonden have been working on smarter solutions to curtail this scourge. Together with our partners, we now believe that the fate of these rhinos may not rest on the presence of more guns, but on something far more powerful: data. That’s where IBM Internet of Things (IoT), cloud and other components become part of a winning formula.

In recent years, Wageningen University in the Netherlands and Welgevonden conducted a study that opened many eyes to these new alternatives to protect our rhino friends. What the research found is that prey-animals react differently, depending on the type of threat they encounter, whether it’s coming from predators such as a lion or a human nearby, who might be a reserve employee, a tourist or a poacher.

This research fueled the idea of harnessing IBM Cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and predictive analytics technologies to combat the poaching of endangered rhinos at Welgevonden. These new technologies are aimed at making poaching predictable and therefore nearly impossible – effectively replacing guns with IoT technology, predictive analytics and collars with embedded sensors that are placed on typical prey-animals, including zebra, wildebeest, eland and impala – but not the rhinos.

Following the sentinels

Rhinos are excluded to ensure that their precise whereabouts remain unknown. So how can these rhinos be protected if they are not being tracked? Rather than follow the rhino, all eyes are focused on observing how the prey-animals respond to disturbances, including the presence of potential poachers, versus a tourist or an employee traveling across the reserve in a vehicle. Through IBM’s IoT platform, teams monitor and collect sensor-information related to location, movement pattern, direction and average speed of travel of these animals; and are using this movement and other data to create rule-based patterns, or algorithms, built on the prey-animals’ response to perceived threats.

As a result, animals such as the Zebra become sentinels to their rhino brethren, and their response patterns trigger an early warning system that allows the reserve to proactively respond as soon as poachers are detected, long before any attack on a rhino might occur. This idea of a proactive, predictive system is something that existing technology-based solutions have been unable to provide, and for Welgevonden Game Reserve, it represents the next level of defence.

Based on early results, the IoT may be the answer to an age-old problem, one that could remove threats that have haunted rhinos for years. But it doesn’t end there. These same solutions will protect other African animals that are targeted by poachers, such as the African elephant, lion and other predators. It could also be used to help the plight of other animals threatened by poaching all over the globe.

Learn more

For more information about IBM Watson IoT solutions, please visit our website.

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Ingenu’s RPMA Brings IoT Connectivity to Maritime Vessel Monitoring, Providing Fleet Safety and Protecting Global Fisheries

Ingenu’s RPMA Brings IoT Connectivity to Maritime Vessel Monitoring, Providing Fleet Safety and Protecting Global Fisheries

Orolia’s McMurdo Omnicom Solar Fishing Beacon to assist in vessel communication and fisheries monitoring.

Ingenu Inc.™, the company that delivers purpose-built IoT connectivity, today announced that it will be enabling Orolia’s McMurdo Omnicom Solar Fishing Beacon to assist in vessel communication and fisheries monitoring.

Serving the global fishing industry, the Omnicom Solar solution will use RPMA® (Random Phase Multiple Access) connectivity to enhance vessel safety, prevent illegal harvesting, and protect national interests and dedicated economic zones.

The Omnicom Solar Fishing Beacon, powered by RPMA technology, is ideally suited to address the needs of the global fishing industry, as it provides long-range, robust, secure network connectivity to maritime vessels. With a range of up to 50 km (31.6 mi.) from the device to the shore-based RPMA access point, the beacon functions as a search and rescue distress device and provides location services, broadcast and two-way communication features. Significantly, RPMA adds an extremely high level of security to the communications network, making it extremely difficult to spoof or jam. This is a significant advantage over other technologies, such as AIS (automatic identification system).

In many of the world’s maritime regions, protection of natural resources is crucial to a country’s economic prosperity, with well over 50 percent of the world’s seafood exported from developing countries. Artisanal vessels, which operate in these areas, are difficult to monitor and protect due to lack of sufficient communication technology. As a result, governments and leaders in these regions are implementing programs to protect citizens and resources, while enhancing safety and security in national waters.

“We are pleased to partner with Ingenu to enhance the functionality of this important safety and monitoring solution,” said Jonas N. Olsen, chief strategy officer at Orolia. “The attributes of RPMA provide the Omnicom Solar Fishing Beacon with extended range and data capabilities at a significantly lower cost than existing technologies. As the world’s leading provider of resilient PNT systems, including maritime management infrastructure, we understand the needs of this industry, and we are excited to bring this powerful solution to the market.”

“The global availability of RPMA technology makes this an ideal solution for fisheries from Angola to Peru,” said Ted Myers, chief technology officer, Ingenu.

“With RPMA, Orolia can serve the entire market with just one device, enabling a compelling use case for vessel monitoring across the world.”

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