Internet of Things – Angels and Demons

Angels_and_Demons

The Internet of Things (IoT) is moving from buzzword to reality. But the journey is not being easy. Angels that defend the IoT and demons that attack the IoT continue in a war. They are trying for years to shift the balance and make the IoT a big success or a sonorous failure.

Let’s see who are the ones and the others.

“The IoT Angels”

The “IoT angels” are convinced about the true scope and value that supposed embrace the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution. They help governments and citizens, companies and consumers to understand the benefits of the IoT but they also advise about the challenges and risks ahead.

Let’s see who the “IoT angels” are.

  • Regulators – National Regulatory Authorities, European Commission, manufacturing industry, operators, standardization organizations, academics and user groups working on different aspects related to the impact of M2M and IoT emerging services and technologies on existing regulatory regimes.The Alliance for the Internet of Things (AIOTI) was launched by the European Commission and various key IoT players (industries, SMEs, start-ups). The AIOTI aims over the coming years to give the EU the lead in the Internet of Things (IoT) field creating a dynamic European IoT ecosystem. Regulators should ensure effective competition in the sector, identify market failures in order to correct them. They have the power to boost the sector although sometimes they are conditioned by the dark power of the “IoT demons”. Internet of Things needs Government support. The SmartAmerica Challenge, a project spearheaded by Presidential Innovation Fellows and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, is facilitating demos and discussions on how machine-to-machine (M2M) interaction can bring tangible benefits to society. The group’s current focus is on healthcare and security applications.
  • Alliances &Consortiums – Without collaboration among these Alliances & Consortiums we will not be able to build “The Internet of Things”.
  • Bloggers of the Internet of Things – Without their articles and their insistence we would not have achieved the Hype so soon.
  • Speakers of the Internet of Things – Without their sessions and seminars we would not have achieved the Hype so soon.
  • Startups, Entrepreneurs, Incubators and Investors – that are poised to help shape the future of IoT.
  • Event organizers – that organize the IoT / M2M events all over the world allowing customers and enterprise visibility and evangelization, networking and sharing experiences and learning for attendants.

“The IoT Demons”

The “IoT demons” are convinced about the danger of Internet of the Things for society, businesses and themselves. IoT demons provide cyberattack against the IoT, delay IoT business decision and threaten against our privacy and freedom.

Let’s see who the “IoT demons are.

  • Hackers of the Internet of Things –   Last year, Proofpoint, Inc., a leading security-as-a-service provider, uncovered what may be the first proven Internet of Things (IoT)-based cyberattack involving conventional household “smart” appliances. The global attack campaign involved more than 750,000 malicious email communications coming from more than 100,000 everyday consumer gadgets such as home-networking routers, connected multi-media centers, televisions and at least one refrigerator that had been compromised and used as a platform to launch attacks. A study released by Hewlett Packard concluded that 70 percent of Internet of Things devices contain serious vulnerabilities.  An alarming example came last year when a researcher discovered that hackers could remotely gain control of medical devices including defibrillators, X-ray machines and drug-infusion pumps. In a “60 Minutes” interview that aired on Feb. 8, 2015, Dan Kaufman, a former video game developer, who now works for the U.S. Dept. of Defense to secure the Internet, demonstrated how to take control of an automobile’s computer system to the point that he gained complete control of acceleration, braking—even the horn—via the built-in emergency communication system. The fact that hackers were able to successfully gain control of a blast furnace in a manufacturing plant may surprise some of you. And do not forget Stuxnet, a computer worm that was discovered in June 2010. It was designed to attack industrial programmable logic controllers (PLCs).
  • Product Owners – “Historically, products have been launched through stage-gate product development, in which ROI and margin calculations have been the guide rails for decisions. Through this traditional lens, IoT devices simply do not appear attractive when compared to other potential investments. IoT device costs skyrocket, and not just because of embedded sensors. Existing products will often require new industrial designs and updated production lines to address power and connectivity requirements. Product owners are facing these IoT hurdles — financial justification, strategic partnering and platform complexity — across all industries”.
  •  Government surveillance Internet of Things pose a greater threat to personal privacy than democratic governments. Since 2004, the NSA has used authority in the Patriot Act to request court orders for communications data from phone and Internet companies. “If terrorism continues unabated the situation will only get worse because it will give legislators an excuse for laws like the Patriot Act,” say Jonathan Peizer, the chief technology officer of the Open Society Institute advocacy group. Governments are expanding networks surveillance to cover the Internet of Things and therefore citizens and business see them as demons.
  • EnterprisesMost enterprises are not ready for the Internet of Things. It is not only privacy and security concerns. The enterprise needs to be ready for the connected products and connected business revolution change and they are not. Internet of Things will force new business models, Online Service Model, Digitally Charged Products, Sensor as a Service, IoT Service Aggregators, Models, Complex collaborative models. It is not highly-profitable companies – just as has proven the case with Microsoft – they will not be able to control the service innovation process indefinitely.

We should not wonder that highly- profitable companies from all sectors halt the advance of the IoT until they are ready to dominate this market again.

Summary

All changes carry associated risks, and in any change we always find supporters and detractors, angels and demons. Internet of Things will be a big change that will have an impact on our lives, our jobs, in our cities, in our public services and in our companies.

The “IoT angels” who defend these changes are aware of the risks and challenges ahead, but they have to fight against the “IoT” demons who want to avoid or delay that these occur.

Nobody is winning, nobody is losing. I can say we are currently in a draw.

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