RECAP: IoT Forum – Mobile Device Mayhem

by  Derek Kerton,  Managing Partner at Kerton Group and Chairman of Telecom Council

DSC_0455The Telecom Council took our meeting on IoT to the Allied Arts Guild in Palo Alto for some old-school charm. We held an un-panel discussion, which pulls content ideas from the audience, and then the panel (and in fact all attendees) address those topics.

The top interest areas identified by our audience of 50 was security. IoT, while being remarkably vast and useful, also poses a new security problem of “putting it all out there”. Where formerly enterprise or consumer assets were locked inside physical walls, IoT enables network-connected devices to be placed everywhere, and certainly within reach of ne’er-do-wells. It is a certainty that the black hats will have access to some client devices. This is a vector into the network, allows reverse-engineering, allows cloning, spoofing, or false data.

The panelists addressed this challenge by discussion solutions from:

  • private networks for high-value customers
  • end-to-end encryption to protect the data and network
  • use of SIM and other secure elements to reduce clone/spoof attacks
  • tokenization to manage identity
  • big data to detect false data, or tampering
  • different levels of security appropriate to the use case

 

Another take-away from the unpanel was a discussion around what the industry is doing to facilitate the invention and development of low cost, but also low-volume, IoT products from startups. Imagination Technologies’ Kevin McDermott explained how Imagination was developing a “starter kit” and associated chips that enabled other companies to build IoT solutions from a platform with much of the work already done. Such kits (also available from Intel, Marvell, Qualcomm), deliver a base of connectivity, cloud, silicon, and OS with basic APIs ready to deploy. Startups from any vertical could use that, add the appropriate sensors and actuators, and build a product as quickly as a child assembles lego. With these kits, IoT is not just a mass-market playground for big players, but something that can be economically done for smaller niche markets.

I’m really enjoying our unpanel format, which gets the audience deeply involved right from the start, and makes sure our panels share their expertise, but in a way that meets the audience’s interests. Thanks to our panelists, and to our active attendees!

 

 

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