WELCOME TO The THE INTERNET OF THINGS REPORT
Arm flexes flexibility with Pelion IoT announcement
JON GOLD | August 3, 2018
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Article | June 2, 2021
Modern computing devices can be thought of as a collection of discrete microprocessors each with a dedicated function like high-speed networking, graphics, Disk I/O, AI, and everything in between. The emergence of the intelligent edge has accelerated the number of these cloud-connected devices that contain multiple specialized sub-processors each with its own firmware layer and often a custom operating system. Many vulnerability analysis and endpoint detection and response (EDR) tools find it challenging to monitor and protect devices at the firmware level, leading to an attractive security gap for attackers to exploit.
At the same time, we have also seen growth in the number of attacks against firmware where sensitive information like credentials and encryption keys are stored in memory. A recent survey commissioned by Microsoft of 1,000 security decision-makers found that 83 percent had experienced some level of firmware security incident, but only 29 percent are allocating resources to protect that critical layer. And according to March 2021 data from the National Vulnerability Database included in a presentation from the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) at the 2021 RSA, difficult-to-patch firmware attacks are continuing to rise. Microsoft’s Azure Defender for IoT team (formerly CyberX) recently announced alongside the Department of Homeland Security a series of more than 25 critical severity vulnerabilities in IoT and OT devices
So you’re building an IoT solution and you’re ready to select your connectivity approach. Should you use Bluetooth? WiFi? LoRa? Cellular? Satellite? As I’ve explored in a previous post, the connectivity approach you choose ultimately comes down to the specific needs of your use case. Some use cases favor mobility and bandwidth, and power consumption doesn’t matter as much. Other use cases favor extensive battery life and broad coverage, and bandwidth doesn’t matter as much. In this post, I argue that for Enterprise IoT solutions, you shouldn’t use WiFi regardless of the use case. To build and implement a successful IoT solution, your connectivity needs to be reliable and consistent. When there’s an issue that needs troubleshooting, knowing that certain components of your IoT solution are reliable and consistent enables you to narrow your focus and address issues more effectively. There are many challenges in IoT, many of which stem from operational challenges and from having thousands of devices out in the real world where they’re subject to harsh, ever-changing environments.
Low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs) are helping drive the Internet of things (IoT) explosion. They connect millions of low-power IoT and Industrial IoT (IIoT) devices into wireless networks over a range of distances, from short to really, really long, from indoor applications to those covering large fields or even cities. But device designers using the LoRaWAN standard may be lulled into thinking that just configuring its security keys is enough to prevent their devices from being hacked. A new report says it isn’t. Four protocols give enterprises a choice in LPWAN connectivity: cellular NB-IoT, LTE-M, and Sigfox, and the non-cellular LoRaWAN standard. Among these, the open LoRaWAN overwhelmingly dominates. Omdia (formerly IHS Markit – Technology) projects a “quite high forecast” for LoRa, said Lee Ratliff, senior principal analyst, connectivity and IoT.
Perhaps no more than a decade ago, the notion of ‘smart cities’ probably implied thoughts of which metropolitan areas could be said to have the greatest density of schools, colleges and universities. You want a smart city? Okay, how about Oxford, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Washington DC, Paris and so on. But that’s (obviously) not what we mean by smart cities today. In this post-millennial age, we define a smart city is a municipality that uses information and communication technologies (many of which will gravitate towards the Internet of Things (IoT) and the data backbones that serve it with application processing, data analytics and increasing amounts of AI) to increase operational efficiency, share information with the public and improve both the quality of government services and citizen welfare.
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