Category Archives: Popular

Infographic: The Evolving Internet of Things

Infographic: The Evolving Internet of Things

Evolving Internet of Things 

The Internet of Things, or IoT, a term devised in 1999 by British entrepreneur Kevin Ashton, represents the connection of physical devices, systems and services via the internet, and Gartner and Lucas Blake’s new infographic (below) explores the evolution of the IoT industry, investigating its potential impact across just about every aspect of our lives in the coming years. Says W. Roy Schulte, vice president and analyst at Gartner, “Uses of the IoT that were previously impractical will increasingly become practical. The IoT is relevant in virtually every industry, although not in every application. There will be no purely ‘IoT applications.’ Rather, there will be many applications that leverage the IoT in some small or large aspect of their work. As a result, business analysts and developers of information-centric processes need to have the expertise and the tools to implement IoT aspects that play a role in their systems.


(Infographic Source: Lucas Blake)

The 5 Year View

By 2020, Gartner predicts that more than half of major new business processes and systems will incorporate some element of the internet of things, and analysts have disclosed a few more unexpected implications resulting from the Internet of Things. Until 2018, it’s predicted that 75% of IoT projects will take up to twice as long as planned, resulting in cost overruns. Unsurprisingly, more complicated and/or ambitious projects are likely to have greater scheduling overruns, and compromises made are liable to lead to weak performances, security risks and integration problems.

It’s also expected that by 2020 a black market exceeding $5 billion will exist selling fake sensors and video data. New security risks and privacy repercussions are occurring with the IoT solutions and the types of data they generate, and organizations are seeing a new kind of IT complexity which without adequate appreciation and comprehension could critically jeopardize organizations. “The IoT has enormous potential to collect continuous data about our environment,” states Ted Friedman, vice president and analyst at Gartner. “The integrity of this data will be important in making personal and business decisions… A black market for fake or corrupted sensor and video data will mean that data can be compromised or substituted with inaccurate or deliberately manipulated data. This scenario will spur the growth of privacy products and services, resulting in an extensive public discussion regarding the future of privacy, the means to protect individual privacy, and the role of technology and government in privacy protection.

Gartner also points to the expectation that 2020 will see an increase in IoT security costs to 20% of annual security budgets, a drastic increase from the 1% in 2015. Says Earl Perkins, research vice president at Gartner, “Major cybersecurity vendors and service providers are already delivering roadmaps and architecture of IoT security, in anticipation of market opportunity. Small startups delivering niche IoT security in areas such as network segmentation, device-to-device authentication and simple data encryption are offering first-generation products and services, including cloud-based solutions where applicable. Large security vendors have already begun acquiring some of these IoT startups to support their early roadmaps and fill niches in their portfolios.”

Noteworthy IoT Stats

  • According to Gartner, 20.8 billion connected things will be used globally by 2020.
  • This year, 5.5 million new things will be connected every day.
  • Gartner predicts IoT will support a 22% increase in total service spending this year, reaching $235 billion.
  • Regarding hardware spending, consumer applications will amount to $546 billion this year.
  • IoT use in the enterprise will reach $868 in 2016.

By Jennifer Klostermann

Most Active Internet Of Things Investors In The Last 5 Years

Most Active Internet Of Things Investors In The Last 5 Years

Most Active Internet Of Things Investors

A recent BI Intelligence report claimed that the Internet of Things (IoT) is on its way to becoming the largest device market in the world.

Quite naturally, such exponential growth of the IoT market has prompted a number of high-profile corporate investors and smart money VCs to bet highly on this comparatively still nascent industry.


A recently discovered CB Insight report via Twitter stated that the funding of  IoT startups has more than doubled over the last five years. Amongst the most active IoT startup investors since 2010 were Intel Capital at number one, followed by Qualcomm Ventures at the second spot.

Interestingly, the venture arms of both the tech giants have been particularly focused on sensor companies and wearable startups. Industry observers are of the view that because their core business model is heavily reliant on the design and manufacture of ever-smaller chips that power, both Intel and Qualcomm are more inclined to see IoT startups as strategic assets.

In 2015, Intel Capital led a particularly successful round to BodyLabs, a startup that deals in 3D body-scanning sensors. Apart from that, the company invested in Sano Intelligence, another fast-growing developer of biometric sensors.

Other IoT infrastructure startups that bagged rather lucrative investments from Intel Capital include Bocom Intelligent Network Technologies, SigFox, and Stratoscale.

Similarly, Qualcomm Ventures have also been showing great interest in emerging brands such as drone manufacturer 3D Robotics and Whistle Labs, a dog wearable manufacturer. In addition, the company also have invested in sensor networks made by Placemeter, Panoramic Power and Streetline.

Foundry Group and KPCB made it to the third rank in the list of top IoT investors. While Foundry Group seemed particularly focused on hardware manufacturers such as Fitbit, MakerBot and LittleBits, KPCB has been investing across a diverse range of IoT niches including auto, home automation, as well as wearables.

By Brent Anderson

4 Industries Being Transformed By The Internet of Things

4 Industries Being Transformed By The Internet of Things

Compelling IoT Industries

Every year, more and more media organizations race to predict the trends that will come to shape the online landscape over the next twelve months. Many of these are wild and outlandish and should be consumed with a pinch of salt, yet others stand out for their sober and well-researched judgements.

Online business publication Business Insider has a solid track record in the game of predictions, and there are some extremely interesting predictions with regard to the Internet of Things (IoT) and the ways that it is shaking up global business.

Connected Cars

Connected carsComic-Driverless-Cars are set to become ever more popular in the coming months. A recent surver revealed that two-thirds of new cars shipped in the US will be connected to the internet. That’s strong growth and it happens for many reasons.

On the supplier side, the auto industry benefits from the big data generated by thousands of connected cars in the real world, while consumers are in thrall to the media, data and applications which are geared specifically to people on the move. During 2016, it’s predicted that automakers will start to push updates and fixes to cars through the internet, which will be a massive change and signal the beginning of the end for mass recalls to deal with a problem.


The surge in the Internet of Things implies more devices are connected to the internet, and this brings with it greater security threats than ever before. Devices can be hacked, controlled remotely and data can be stolen. “As a result, as IoT devices become more common, and as companies become more wary of their vulnerability to data being stolen by hackers, we expect a huge surge in demand for insurance policies that protect against cyber hacks,” claims the report.


On the subject of insurance, the Business Insider Intelligence Report predicts that insurers will rely more and more on IoT to minimize their risk and inform their decision making.


(Image Source: Shutterstock)

In 2015, insurers used IoT to track the driving habits of those they insured, and were extremely pleased with the results. You can expect the same sort of data-driven research from insurers when it comes to homes, offices, and even personal health data through devices such as FitBit and Apple Health.

Big data and the internet of things are going to have a profound impact on the insurance industry, and all the signs are that this change is already underway.

Oil Efficiency 

The collapse in the oil price during the last year has meant a major shakeup for oil producers around the globe. Producers don’t expect much of a recovery this year. As a result, maximizing efficiency has become a watchword for the industry. “We believe many of them will utilize IoT devices and analytics systems throughout the oil supply chain (upstream, midstream, and downstream) to improve their profits.”

By Jeremy Daniel

Infographic: IoT Programming Essential Job Skills

Infographic: IoT Programming Essential Job Skills

Learning To Code

As many readers may or may not know we cover a fair number of topics surrounding new technologies such as Big data, Cloud computing , IoT and one of the most critical areas at the moment – Information Security. The trends continue to dictate that there is a huge shortage of unfilled jobs in this area. Cybersecurity training is certainly not for everyone as perhaps you’re more innovative and entrepreneurial in nature. Perhaps you really want to go places and develop something that the world and venture capitalists have only dreamed of.  Do you enjoy IoT and connecting things? If so, take a look at the cheat sheet discovered at Pinterest to help give you a quick refresher of some of the hottest and most utilized programming languages used today.



Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

How to Identify and Authenticate in the Expanding IoT Ecosystem

It is a necessity to protect IoT devices and their associated data. As the IoT ecosystem continues to expand, the need to create an identity to newly-connected things is becoming increasingly crucial. These ‘things’ can include anything from basic sensors and gateways to industrial controls systems, retail terminals and scanners, and kiosks to medical devices, heating and lighting systems, connected homes, and smart cars.

Identity and authentication for the IoT enables the use of foundational information security concepts, including confidentiality, integrity, availability, authentication, and non-repudiation. At the core, identity binds credentials. It allows an operator to well manage IoT devices, define access, set policies, and secure communications to protect devices and data. But within the Identity of Things (IDoT), how does one clearly define the credential and the accompanying authentication and encryption services?

Identity and Access Management

The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) first raised this issue back in September 2015 when the organization released a Summary Guidance on Identity and Access Management (IAM) for the IoT. Within the document, the CSA emphasized the importance of properly identifying things in order to enable authentication, encryption, and data integrity in an ecosystem. Currently, there are more than 20 different study groups, consortiums, alliances, and standards initiatives working toward creating a secure framework for the IDoT.


(Image Source: Shutterstock)

Issues such as scale, power and computational constraints, ruggedized requirements, energy limitations, increased number and variation of connectivity protocols, and cost factors, among others, make it difficult to simply impose a legacy enterprise IAM or credential management solution. Furthermore, while scenarios for IoT authentication are numerous, there are three notable challenges: token-based authentication currently only works for HTTP, symmetric key mechanisms require input at manufacture, and standard Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is generally considered impracticable for constrained environments.

Cybersecurity Obstacles 

The three obstacles are ones the cybersecurity industry is working diligently to overcome. For token-based authentication, new methods need to be devised for all the new connectivity vectors (cellular, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC, RFID, etc.), either as one, convergent authentication method or one for each vector. Both approaches will require significant research and development.


Alternatively, and with some modifications, symmetric key mechanisms can be adapted for the IDoT. For example, Digital Short Range Communications (DSRC), used in vehicle-to-vehicle communications, supports a much smaller certificate structure than the standard X.509. Meanwhile, the use of certificates requires some form of central mechanisms and management structure, such as PKI. In fact, many (and notably certification authorities) tout PKI as the contending standard for identification, encryption, and authentication of IoT devices, but traditional PKI does not scale well for the IoT. A more dynamic key architecture may need to be developed. Essentially the method chosen will depend on the constrained devices in question and their respective environment.

From a private sector perspective, a number of firms are already promoting authentication, identity, and related management services to address the challenges head-on. The movement in the private sector is dynamic, with numerous firms—from startups to big players in the enterprise IAM and authentication and key management space—investing in the IoT market. While some are offering data-centric security platforms for IoT and M2M, others are developing cloud-based IoT security platforms to create and manage digital identities. The solutions are wide-ranging and varied.

In all, the IDoT market opportunity is still nascent, but it is evidently expanding quickly. Most pressing is the development of adapted identity solutions. These solutions will need to revolve around data centric encryption, dynamic certificates and key architecture.

By Michela Menting

The Monstrous IoT Connected Cloud Market

The Monstrous IoT Connected Cloud Market

What’s Missing in the IoT?

While the Internet of Things has become a popular concept among tech crowds, the consumer IoT remains fragmented. Top companies continue to battle to decide who will be the epicenter of the smart home of the future, creating separate ecosystems (like the iOS and Android smartphone market) in their wake.

Google’s OnHub router works with Weave, which the tech giant recently received in its acquisition of Nest, in a clear play to become the leader in smart home technology. Apple has the Apple TV hub and the HomeKit, while Amazon has its Amazon Echo and Alexa.

Samsung acquired SmartThings, which connects Samsung appliances in the same home and will be integrated into its smart TVs, and LG just announced its own SmartThinQ hub. All of these systems work within their individual product lines, but none provide the cohesive solution that will lead to true interconnectivity.


(Image Source: Ekimetrics)

Defragmenting the Ecosystem

When I leave my house, I have to turn off the air conditioner with Nest, turn on the porch lights with Philips Hue, and lock the door with Lockitron. Why can’t I press one button to tell the house to go into “vacant” mode after I leave? With tech giants competing with one another to own the smart home, the consumer gets a fragmented product full of potential but without an avenue to realize it.

For startups, the problem rests with centralized business processes. Young companies don’t have a go-to platform for discovery and distribution like larger ones (think the Google Play store for Android). An IoT company needs to develop a native app for both Apple and Android, purchase retailer shelf space, advertise its device, and promote its platform. This massive barrier to entry stifles innovation for growing companies, but we know what needs to be done.

Changing the status quo starts with encouraging connectivity. The smart home of the future needs to have contextual awareness. If my security camera identifies a burglar, I want the fire alarm to activate, the lights to go off, and the door to lock behind him. When I enter the car to go to work, I want the coffee machine to heat up and the air conditioner to turn on at the office.

Smart Home IoT Connected Cloud Market

(Infographic Source: Rogers)

All of these things are possible through individual apps today, but without context awareness, technology fails to live up to its potential. We need interoperability. We need the IFTTT for the IoT to get everything working together.

But connectivity doesn’t mean companies should slap an Android logo on a device and say it raises the value. Both Samsung and LG tried this tactic with washing machines that connected to smartphones but received a lukewarm public reception.

Connectivity in itself isn’t enough. We need meaningful connectivity, and the only way to produce that is to identify the pain points in using our appliances and alleviate them using technology. Otherwise, we risk using technology for technology’s sake without any clear end goal in mind.

Wouldn’t it be great to get a call from the service center before your refrigerator breaks down rather than have to call in as you frantically put the milk in a cooler while mopping the floor from the melting ice? A true IoT solution makes this possible, and while we’re not there yet, some companies are on the right path.

Driving Connectivity in the IoT

The business that creates the best, most inclusive ecosystem first will be the winner. Google’s Weave protocol coupled with its Brillo operating system holds a lot of potential. Intel and Qualcomm are working on the hardware for potential single-source solutions. And smaller companies, such as HeliumSenseware, and Arrayent, are working to create the kind of revolutionary connectivity that would allow everything to work together.

Whether current attempts succeed or not, the uncertain state of the IoT solutions market tells us that the IoT wave is still new — with the potential for astronomical growth on the horizon.

Comparing the IoT to smartphones, we’re currently developing apps for the Nokia 3310. The IoT has yet to experience its revolutionary moment — its iPhone. Once one or two functional ecosystems emerge and we start building infrastructure for them, the possibilities for innovation will explode overnight. When everything can talk to everything else and work as a single unit, the possibilities for creative solutions become endless.

After a comprehensive IoT ecosystem finally takes hold, any kid with a computer will be able to tap into data from multiple sensors, made by different manufacturers with different protocols, and tie them together to create a meaningful experience. This reality isn’t decades away, either. Within the next few years, the IoT promises to transform our homes and lives with interconnected experiences seemingly unimaginable just 15 years ago.

How can we — especially those in the technology industry — encourage and advance these opportunities?

By being open to sharing APIs and linking to other platforms, we increase the chances of a serendipitous breakthrough. We need to give developers access to the tools and see what they can discover.

In the right environment and with the right attitude, we can finally connect all of the pieces we already have and create the cohesive solution that has so far eluded us. Will 2016 be the year smart home platforms start to converge? We sure hope so.

By Saar Yoskovitz 


Saar Yoskovitz is the CEO and co-founder of Augury, an Israel- and New York-based company that is bringing predictive maintenance technology to new markets. Augury is a mobile-based solution that diagnoses and predicts machine performance using vibration and ultrasonic sensors paired with machine learning algorithms.

Utilizing Digital Marketing Techniques Via The Cloud

Utilizing Digital Marketing Techniques Via The Cloud

Digital Marketing Trends

In the past, trends in the exceptionally fast-paced digital marketing arena have been quickly adopted or abandoned, keeping marketers and consumers on their toes. 2016 promises a similarly expeditious temperament, with a few new digital marketing offerings taking center stage. According to Gartner’s recent research into Digital Marketing Hubs, brands plan to increase digital commerce investment as they attempt to connect business revenue with digital marketing spend through “digitally led business models.” Thanks in part to the convergence of multimedia, superior machine learning, and the quest for more personalized marketing, this year’s trends and innovations promise even more excitement.


(Infographic Source: Gartner)

Custom-Made Advertising

A top-performing trend right now, advertising made to fit seamlessly into a website’s general content is more a necessity than novelty. The impact on user experience is significant, particularly when one brand purchases all of the advertising space in one area. But the concept often causes contention as ads often ‘trick’ readers into believing they’re part of the standard content. Furthermore, this type of advertising is often perceived negatively as paid endorsements. Objective media is likely to lose any credibility should their audience ever believe they are solely ‘in it for the money’, so the use of advertising that appears to be an extension of the publishing brand should always be executed prudently, if at all.



(Image Source: Shutterstock)

When driven by data, personalization allows marketers to better communicate with their audiences through especially relevant content. This promises greater response rates from correctly targeted consumers and fewer marketing withdrawals thanks to a drop in SPAM-like communications hitting the wrong people. Video portals is a particular area in which increasingly personalized experiences are being created, with some marketers dynamically reconfiguring videos based on a user’s activity. 2016 is sure to see the continued personalization of content marketing, web marketing, and video marketing, with vendors amalgamating trends and offering refined content.

Video: Interactive & Live

The use of interactive video is gaining momentum, allowing marketers the opportunity to develop one on one communications with prospective customers. Viewers have the chance to tailor their experiences, choosing preferred content paths, all the time increasing marketers’ insight. And live video is providing more intimate experiences for customers and companies worlds apart. Customers are provided more engaging and positive experiences with the brands they use, thus heightening the sense of personalization.

The Cloud & Marketing

As evidenced in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, the top tools take into account today’s not-so-secret weapon: Cloud. Digital marketing in the cloud promises all of the essential digital marketing tools, but with the flexibility and speed to ensure to-the-minute solutions are always available and personally customizable. Though Adobe, Marketo, Oracle, and Salesforce dominate, competition in the sector is stiff, fortuitously guaranteeing today’s digital marketers user-friendly, cost-effective, and cutting-edge possibilities.

By Jennifer Klostermann

A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

Botnets and DDoS Attacks

There’s just so much that seems as though it could go wrong with closed-circuit television cameras, a.k.a. video surveillance. With an ever-increasing number of digital eyes on the average person at all times, people can hardly be blamed for feeling like they’re one misfortune away from joining the ranks of Don’t Tase Me, Bro, esteemed internet celebrity.

However, if you think viral infamy is your worst-case scenario when it comes to CCTV, think again. Keep reading to find out why CCTV cameras and other internet-connected items are open to being hijacked by hackers looking to do DDoS damage, and about the bizarre case of the CCTV botnet located at a mall five minutes from a professional DDoS mitigation service.

The internet of issues with the Internet of Things

CCTV cameras belong to the Internet of Things (IOT), a grouping of, well, things that are linked through both wired and wireless networks, often using the same internet protocol as the internet. They’re embedded with network connectivity, electronics, sensors and software that allow them to collect data and exchange data. Pacemakers, smart thermostats and microchips in animals are all examples of the items that make up the Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things is actually very cool. It minimizes the gap between the physical world and computer-based systems. It’s what allows you to turn on your smart washing machine from the office, or lock your front door from the train. Here’s the issue with the Internet of Things, though. Your laptop is connected to the internet, so you’ve secured it. Same for your phone, tablet, probably your router, and any other number of internet-connected devices you use on a daily basis. You wouldn’t leave those open to exploitation, allowing just anyone to hijack and control them.

The Internet of Things is designed to be remotely controlled across network infrastructure. Read that again. These items are designed to be remotely controlled. And yet, how many of those cow microchips do you think are secured? How many smart TVs? How many of the 245 million surveillance cameras that are installed worldwide? (And that’s only counting the professionally installed surveillance cameras. Imagine how many do-it-yourself cameras are out there with even less security.)

Hijacking horror stories

You’ve probably already read about the downside of the Internet of Things, you just may not have realized it. One of the most high-profile instances of this is the recent stories about baby monitors being hacked, with grown men screaming at babies in the dead of the night.


(Image Source: Shutterstock)

As you can imagine, the potential for foul play with the Internet of Things is extensive. This is what’s led to the creation of CCTV botnets, which have been behind a number of DDoS attacks. By gaining control of internet-connected devices, attackers are able to direct those resources at a target website or other internet service, overwhelming it with malicious traffic and either driving it offline, or slowing it down enough to be unusable for legitimate users.

The consequences of a DDoS attack are many and dire. Not only will a website that’s not working drive users away and erode consumer trust, but a DDoS attack can also cause hardware damage, software damage, and can act as a smokescreen while attackers steal intellectual property, customer information, and financial data. And in terms of dollars and cents, an unmitigated DDoS attack can cost an organization a staggering $40,000 per hour.

From a virtual battlefield to a physical one

CCTV botnets weren’t anything new to professional DDoS mitigation providers Imperva Incapsula. In fact, they first publicly warned about them in March of 2014 when a steep increase in botnet activity largely traced back to CCTV cameras.

However, it was a slightly different ballgame when Imperva Incapsula began to mitigate repeated HTTP flood attacks on one of their clients. The DDoS attack itself was nothing special – peaking at 20,000 requests per second, no big deal for professional DDoS mitigation – however when Imperva Incapsula began looking through the attacking IPs, they discovered something curious. Some of the botnet devices were located right near their office.


Geo-location of CCTV Botnet devices (Source: Imperva Incapsula)

Further detective work revealed that the botnet devices in question were CCTV cameras that were accessible to attackers through the devices’ default login credentials. Imperva Incapsula employees took a look through the camera lens and recognized a mall not five minutes from their offices. In a stark departure from a normal day spent fighting the evils of the internet, employees were able to head over to the mall and explain to the camera owners in-person what had happened, why it happened, and help them clean the malware from their cameras.

Lessons that need to be learned

What you need to learn from these Internet of Things incidents is two-fold. Firstly, if you have internet-connected devices like smart TVs, washing machines, thermostats, precision farming equipment, anything, they need to be secured. Even if you for some reason did not care if your devices were being used in a botnet to carry out DDoS attacks, rest assured that if attackers can hijack your devices for DDoS attacks, they can take control of them for other reasons. This is an especially frightening thought when it comes to nanny cams and other monitoring devices in your home.

The second lesson that needs to be learned in all of this is for website owners. The Internet of Things is already massive and it’s estimated by Gartner that by the year 2020, it will be comprised of over 25 billion devices. That is billions of devices that could potentially be used in DDoS attacks against websites just like yours.

Professional DDoS protection is already a necessity, and it’s only going to continue to become a bigger necessity. Professional DDoS mitigation services may not be able to protect you from the prying eyes of a CCTV camera during your most embarrassing moments, but they can protect your website, your users, your equipment, your intellectual property, and your finances from CCTV and other Internet of Things botnets.

By Naomi Webb

CloudTweaks Comics
The DDoS Attack That Shook The World

The DDoS Attack That Shook The World

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Reuters News: Powerfull DDoS Knocks Out Several Large Scale Websites

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A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

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Botnets and DDoS Attacks There’s just so much that seems as though it could go wrong with closed-circuit television cameras, a.k.a. video surveillance. With an ever-increasing number of digital eyes on the average person at all times, people can hardly be blamed for feeling like they’re one misfortune away from joining the ranks of Don’t…

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Cloud Infographic: Security And DDoS

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Despite Record Breaches, Secure Third Party Access Still Not An IT Priority

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