7 January

Where Is IoT Headed in 2019?

After surveying over 120 industry experts, Shannon Lee, IoT For All’s Community Director, breaks down the top IoT trends for 2019.
 
IoT itself has started receiving attention as an emerging technology trend for 2019. The importance of IoT for our future is finally being realized by the general public, but here at IoT For All, we’ve understood its importance all along.
 
Below, I break down the input of over 120 industry experts highlighting the most thought-provoking. You can expect insight around 5G, smart cities, cybersecurity, edge and cloud computing + hybrid deployments, augmented reality (AR), democratization and governance, and more.
 
Cybersecurity
 
It’s no surprise that over half of the predictions we received addressed cybersecurity issues within the growing IoT industry. As IIoT use cases begin to evolve and be implemented, temporary fixes to networks will no longer hold and security breaches will continue to abound rapidly. 2019 will place focus on IT/OT and because of this, an increase in attacks will emerge. Many are predicting that blockchain will be used by IoT and IIoT developers to secure access to both devices and networks. With an increase in attacks being predicted we will see industries begin to adopt Security-by-Design. Companies have been using temporary patches or fixes when it comes to security concerns, but we will start to see them working with hardware and software that has security built in.
 
Industry Insight
 
Hansang Bae, CTO, Riverbed Technologies
 
“IoT hasn’t been overhyped, but it is underdeveloped. The widespread and rapid adoption of IoT devices has caused manufacturers to fast-track development, sacrificing the advanced security technologies that would provide greater protection in favor of low production costs. This will lead to widespread IoT security breaches in 2019. These breaches will be large enough and damaging enough to create a shift in attitude about IoT across the spectrum of end-users, developers and device manufacturers. First, there will be a wake-up call and the realization that there is no quick fix to the security breaches – only smart security investments and re-engineered devices. As developers begin to prioritize security over ease of access, we’ll see a slowdown in the development and adoption of IoT devices, which will ultimately lead to the long-term success of the technology. These breaches—and the search for their solutions—will also boost other technologies, such as machine learning.”
 
Chris Rouland, Founder and CEO, Phosphorus
 
“Despite all the obvious warning signs, IoT security will NOT tighten in 2019. The race is on to automate just about everything and, unfortunately, security is an afterthought, resulting in glaring vulnerabilities just waiting to be exposed. It’s 1988 all over again as we enter the Robert Morris era of IoT security, and it will likely take a devastating attack on a massive scale before IoT security becomes a top priority and receives the attention it deserves.”
 
Andrew Howard, CTO, Kudelski Security
 
“Cyber and IT systems will continue to interface closer with IoT and OT environments, enabling new lines of business and greater efficiency, but also opening organizations to new lines of attack. IoT will continue to be a compelling proposition to build a connected culture (smart cities, smart homes, etc.), however leading to increased attack surfaces and increased privacy and security concerns in general. The complexity of the IoT ecosystem will continue to drive security vendors to research and develop products around IoT visibility, monitoring, and management (IoT Edge computing/platforms to evolve and grow). As the proliferation of IoT devices continues, we will see attack services and hacking tools on the rise, with automation as a trend for malware too. In 2019 IoT botnet exploitation will intensify, with industrial IoT as the primary target. Cybercriminals will take advantage of IoT as a platform and blockchain based command-and-control for botnets. This will likely increase the cost of controls and compliance as well as spur new regulations that will mandate critical infrastructure industry to disclose cyber-attacks and hold companies accountable. With the increasing threats, industries such as supply chain will begin to place greater demands on their suppliers for security certifications and audit reporting. This will in-turn mandate suppliers to develop [a] security-by-design product.”
 
George Kamis, CTO for Global Governments and Critical Infrastructure, Forcepoint
 
“Networked industrial control systems (ICS) that require “always-on” connectivity represent an expanded attack surface, and nowhere is that more apparent than in IoT devices. WiFi and other network-connected sensors in autonomous vehicles and appliances have introduced a rapidly evolving set of security requirements. While attacks on consumer IoT are prevalent, the possibility of disruption in manufacturing and similar industries makes the threat all the more serious. In 2019, attackers will break into industrial IoT devices by attacking the underlying cloud infrastructure. This target is more desirable for an attacker— access to the underlying systems of these multi-tenanted, multi-customer environments represents a much bigger payday. There are three issues at play: the increasing network connectivity to edge computing; the difficulty in securing devices as more compute moves out to the edge, as they do in remote facilities and IoT devices, and the exponential number of devices connecting to the cloud for updates and maintenance. As control systems continue to evolve, they will be patched, maintained, and managed via cloud service providers. These cloud service providers rely on shared infrastructure, platforms, and applications in order to deliver scalable services to IoT systems. The underlying components of the infrastructure may not offer strong enough isolation for a multi-tenant architecture or multi-customer applications, which can lead to shared technology vulnerabilities. In the case of industrial IoT, a compromise of back-end servers will inevitably cause widespread service outages and bring vital systems to a screeching halt. Manufacturing, energy production, and other vital sectors could be affected simultaneously. With Meltdown and Spectre in 2018, we saw vulnerabilities that bypass the software and firmware layers to expose processor hardware to exploits. In this scenario, attackers use low-privilege programs in order to access more critical data, such as private files or passwords. Almost all CPUs since 1995 are thought to be vulnerable, and new variants of Spectre continue to surface. Attackers will divert their attention on developing variants that subvert the underlying cloud infrastructure used by IIoT systems. As processor speed is critical to performance, manufacturers and cloud service providers could continue to choose speed over security in order to gain a competitive edge, inadvertently introducing further vulnerabilities. Organizations will need to move from visibility to control where the IT and OT networks converge to protect against these deliberate, targeted attacks on IIoT systems.”
 
Jeremy Hitchcock, Founder and CEO, Minim
 
“I predict at least one country will block the sale of a brand of devices because of security concerns as IoT security breaches continue almost every day. I think we see the first mass cyber-physical attack, such as attackers locking many people out of their homes or taking control of their lighting.”
 
Pedro Abreu, CSO, ForeScout Technologies
 
“Malicious actors will leverage Buildings Automation Systems (BAS) in a major public ransomware attack. Building automation systems and other advances in technology are driving the rapid adoption of smart buildings. Making a building intelligent can offer numerous benefits and savings, but also introduces new risk and as adoption continues, we will see not just an increase in the volume of malicious activity, but an increase in the severity and damages.”
 
Scott Nelson, Chief Product Officer, Digi International
 
“Since blockchain hit the public consciousness with the growth of cryptocurrencies, its other potential applications have been a constant topic of conversation. Those will turn into a practical reality as IoT developers have gathered the expertise needed to deploy blockchain for IoT device security needs. While secure data transportation, e.g. patient health records, and automated contracting, e.g. logistics transactions will remain an area of focus for institutions, device manufacturers will find blockchain addressing access and authorization needs. These early IoT adopters will use blockchain to control access to both devices and networks. They will remove and grant access through integrated device members of chain including smartphones. The blockchain offers to remove the opposition of security and usability. As manufacturers retrofit installed equipment with new monitoring and management features secure access will enable deployment and usability will avoid churn.”
 
James Goepel, CEO and General Counsel, Fathom Cyber
 
“I think we’re going to see many more states, and possibly the federal government, following California’s lead and creating legislation that imposes new cybersecurity-by-design requirements on IoT manufacturers. As IoT devices continue to proliferate, their security issues move from simple annoyance to national security-level issues. We are seeing the early tip of the vulnerability wave already, such as the case earlier this year where nation states and criminals were able to learn movement habits at covert military bases from data collected via smartwatches and insecure app configurations, and botnet attacks against critical infrastructure that originated from pwned (hacked) IoT devices. Legislators and regulators are starting to pay attention and will force the issue since the industry doesn’t seem to want to make security a priority.”
 
Dean Weber, CTO, Mocana
 
“We have begun to see digital transformation projects being held up because they cannot address security. This is an issue because, in order for digital transformation to be successful and use it to make informed decisions based on data analytics and AI, the data needs to be trustworthy. If you can’t trust the device, you can’t trust the data to make smart decisions or else it will disrupt operations or make other costly impacts. If the device is compromised, the data will be compromised as well. We call this “garbage in and garbage out”. This will make organizations look at devices with security built in instead of bolted on in 2019. Silver Bullets Don’t Exist. In 2018, we saw a lot of leadership adopt technologies due to their hype and false pretenses that they would be the quick and easy fix for their organizations’ risks. Blockchain is a great example of one of these technologies. This is one of the biggest areas that we have seen leadership make mistakes.”
 
Data and Sensors
 
With IoT being adopted across all industry verticals, businesses will be more likely to see standardization in how data is collected and utilized. The use of RFID tags and sensors will allow for disruption from concept to development and finally to supply chain management. An increase in the amount of data collected and the number of sensors combined with best practices will prevent delays in manufacturing, be able to track assets in hospitals and reduce the effectiveness of equipment, to name a few. Ultimately, a rapid increase in the amount of data collected from connected devices will lead to the democratization of IoT. This will open the door for retail and various other industries that have yet to fully adopt IoT to do so.
 
Industry Insight
 
Dave McCarthy, Vice President, BSquare
 
“Until now, IoT has been most common across industry verticals with high-value assets, such as manufacturing and oil & gas. With more IoT applications becoming available in app stores, businesses in many industries will be able to add IoT with a click of a button. In 2019, we expect to see more standardization in the collection of data as well as how it is processed, which opens the door for retail and enterprise IT.”
 
Derek Jose, co-founder and CPO, Flutura Decision Sciences and Analytics
 
One of the primary challenges in the practical execution of IoT projects is blind spots in vital signals. Making assets and process context-aware requires heightening the assets’ sensitivity to events both within them (quality of lube oil, sound anomalies etc.) and around them (Sulphur gas emissions, pressure). The quality of models is directly correlated to the quality of sensor streams. The better sensors get, the better the AI/IoT models become. Second, dedicated IoT sensor data ‘highways’ will form a backbone for industrial companies. Today’s data networks are insufficient to keep up with high data transmission rates required by rising sensor density on upstream/downstream processes/assets combined with the increased frequency of transmission. Companies like Sigfox and Ingenu are focused on building dedicated next-generation sensor data transmission infrastructure for moving sensor data at scale from point A to point B. It’s like getting a dedicated lane on the national highways where you can move sensor data streams – vibration, pressure, sensors, rpm etc without sharing the ‘data lane’ with consumer data to support machine critical upstream, midstream, and downstream processes and the equipment powering these processes.”
 
Sanjay Malhotra, CTO, Clearbridge Mobile
 
“There is an overwhelming amount of data and traffic on the already teeming connected network, and as IoT grows, there will be a more significant push for data governance. By the end of 2019, it will be necessary to have tighter security at all endpoints, specifically to enforce protocols concerning the storage, use, and deletion of IoT implementations. For example, smart city pilot projects are growing popularity collecting data on everything from transport infrastructure to building occupancy and utility systems; however, many of these enterprises lack security measures to protect connected devices and sensors from communications technology attacks. Without building cyber resilience, vulnerable components of smart-city administration are subject to a broader and more severe attack surface.”
 
Cloud, Edge, and Hybrid Solutions
 
More companies will adopt the power of a mixed cloud computing and edge environment in 2019. Edge computing itself is gaining a lot of traffic in the IoT space, but to successfully deploy IoT solutions, businesses will have to implement multi-level solutions. These solutions will see implementation and practice first in the industrial space. Transferring large quantities of data to the cloud limits the capabilities of real-time data collection and analysis. Combining cloud and edge storage will ultimately allow for digital transformation to occur on a more consistent and regular basis. The emergence and popularity of Device-to-Cloud will enable businesses to integrate IoT into digital transformation strategies for the enterprise.
 
Industry Insight
 
Sastry Malladi, CTO, FogHorn
 
“Hybrid- and multi-cloud solutions will dominate the industrial IIoT deployments. As industrial organizations look to bring multi-cloud environments together to provide a more cost-effective approach and flexibility, it will be important for edge solutions to be cloud agnostic. Vendor-exclusive solutions will likely begin to fall by the wayside as companies look for more flexibility and freedom of choice when building their edge-to-cloud environments. Google, AWS, Microsoft, C3IoT, Uptake, and other leading cloud providers will establish more collaborative partnerships with edge computing companies to help businesses as they continue to improve and expand their offerings.”
 
Alan Conboy, Office at CTO, Scale Computing
 
“Next year [2019] will be a defining year for edge and hybrid computing strategies as IoT and the global network of sensors pile on more data than the average cloud has had to handle in the past. This transition will officially crown edge computing as the next big thing. 45 percent of all data created by IoT devices will be stored, processed, analyzed and acted upon close to or at the edge of a network by 2020. In the process, edge computing will take on workloads that struggle on hosted cloud environments, passing the torch over to HCI platforms.”
 
Bill Peterson, VP of Industry Solutions, MapR
 
“Organizations will save time and money by processing and analyzing data at the edge versus moving it back to a core, storing it and applying traditional analytics. Use cases include anomaly detection (fraud), pattern recognition (predicting failures/maintenance) and persistent streams. Autonomous vehicles, Oil and gas platforms, medical devices are all early examples of this trend that we will see expand in 2019. Cost drivers for this trend are bandwidth (semi-connected environments as well as expensive cellular) considerations and storage (reduce the amount of data sent to the cloud).”
 
Ashish Syal, Chief Engineer for the IoT, Sierra Wireless
 
“In 2019, the maturation of open source hardware and software platforms built specifically for the IoT will give makers and developers the tools they need to test ideas and cost-effectively build IoT proof of concepts that can be integrated into digital transformation strategies. Industry leaders like Google, AT&T, Orange, and Bosch are investing in maker and developer communities, as they are bellwethers of IoT-enabled digital transformation. The availability of new IoT Device to Cloud (D2C) platforms that simplify and speed the processing, filtering and prioritization of data at the edge, as well as the transfer of data into ERP, CRM, SaaS and other applications, will enable enterprises streamline supply chains, develop new business models and improve customer experiences, creating further IoT-enabled digital transformation strategies. The winning D2C platforms will truly make it easy to deploy IoT applications (beyond the marketing hype). Engaging and growing the IoT developer community will be a key metric to determine the monetization for these IoT D2C platforms.”
 
 
This is an extract from an article written by Shannon Lee for iotforall.com. Read the full story here.

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