Interoperability (or the lack of it) stands out as one of the major obstacles to the expansion of the Internet of Things. As we’ve discussed on this blog, the lack of a common platform for Internet-enabled devices to communicate on has resulted in a balkanized IoT landscape. Nest’s smart thermometer and smoke detector communicate and share information famously, but if you want to link them with some smart appliance from GE or LG, you’re out of luck. But that may soon be changing. On Tuesday, The Linux Foundation announced a new, cross industry consortium of major IT infrastructure makers, software vendors and electronics firms. The AllSeen Alliance is tasked with developing a common, open source platform that allows hardware and software firms to unite their creations, regardless of their brand – and provide basic security features, to boot. The Alliance counts electronics giants like Panasonic, Qualcomm, LG and Sharp as […]
U.S. Cyber Security Framework Is Good News-For Hackers
Ralph Langner, the renowned expert on the security of industrial control- and SCADA systems, warns that the latest draft of the U.S. Government’s Cyber Security Framework (CSF) will do little to make critical infrastructure more resistant to devastating cyber attacks. Writing on his blog, Langner said that a draft of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST’s) Preliminary Cybersecurity Framework does little to compel critical infrastructure owners to improve the security of their systems, or guarantee uniform (and robust) cyber security standards in the critical infrastructure space. NIST released the latest draft of the CSF late last month (PDF). But Langner, writing on Wednesday, likened the framework to a recipe that, if used by three different chefs, produces three totally different dishes…or just a messy kitchen. “A less metaphorical words, a fundamental problem of the CSF is that it is not a method that, if applied properly, would lead to predictable results,” […]
That ARM-Sensinode Buy: What Does It Mean For Security And IoT?
We wrote last week about the decision of chip-maker ARM to buy the small(ish) Finnish software maker Sensinode Oy, which has become a big player in the market for software that runs low power devices like embedded sensors. The deal makes sense at the 100,000 foot level – ARM makes chips that power embedded devices, Sensinode makes the software that is powered by them. Perfect. But the deal actually works at a bunch of different levels, as I learned from a conversation with Michael Koster, the co-founder and lead architect at the group The Open Source Internet of Things (OSIOT). Koster is an authority on The Internet of Things and has helped create open-source toolkits and APIs that promote interaction among intelligent devices. Koster said that ARM’s purchase of Sensinode is as much about both firms’ investment in emerging IoT standards for low-powered, intelligent devices like Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP) […]
IT Security A Major Stumbling Block To Smart Manufacturing
The Internet of Things holds tremendous promise for the manufacturing space. But smart factories may still be more than a decade away, due in part to a lack of solid IT security controls, according to a survey of 1,300 German manufacturing firms and academics. The survey of 1,300 members companies and universities by the German Association for Electrical, Electronic, and Information Technologies (VDE) found that only 20% anticipated adoption of “smart production” (or “Industry 4.0” – as its referred to) by the start of the next decade. In contrast, 70% of those surveyed doubted that smart manufacturing goals would be achieved by 2025, despite obvious advantages. Why the skepticism? One commonly cited reason is a lack of strong IT security. According to a write-up on SAP’s blog, IT security was the most oft-cited obstacle to setting up smart factories. Sixty six percent of those surveyed cited security concerns as a reason to […]
Welcoming A New Sponsor: The Trusted Computing Group!
The Security Ledger is a new, online publication that’s serious about reporting on security and “The Internet of Things.” While we’ve had tremendous success in our first six months of operation, any new endeavor involves some risk. That’s why I’m thrilled to have had the backing of some forward-looking sponsors: Qualys and Veracode. And today, I’m happy to add a new name to that list: The Trusted Computing Group (TCG). For those of you who aren’t familiar with TCG, its best known as the group behind the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) secure, cryptographic chip that ships with almost every modern desktop and notebook PC. The TPM assures a hardware-based root of trust on compliant system, allowing TPM-equipped systems to securely generate cryptographic keys that can authenticate each endpont for use in secure, online transactions and communications. But TCG actually does a lot more. As a security beat reporter, for example, I […]