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The Internet of Things gets real

Bob Violino | June 3, 2014
Practical applications are emerging for connected devices in key industries.

The company used its Ford OpenXC research platform to gather data from connected vehicles. Data was then indexed, analyzed and visualized in Splunk's machine-generated big data platform and made available in a Connected Car Dashboards, which include visualizations specific to both electric and gas-powered vehicles.

Ford OpenXC is a combination of open source hardware and software that enables developers to read data from a vehicle's internal communications network. By installing a small hardware module to read and translate metrics from vehicles, the data becomes accessible to smartphone or tablet devices that can be used to develop custom applications.

Many of the metrics gathered have never before been available for vehicles, and show insights about driving behavior that could extend to consumer and commercial applications, according to Splunk. Insights gained from the open data project include analysis of the accelerator pedal position, vehicle speed, steering, wheel position, etc.

Expect to see a lot more examples of IoT emerge in the coming months as the technology that supports it evolve and companies grasp the potential benefits.

Security and the IoT

Information security — and privacy — are among the worries many companies have when it comes to the Internet of Things. How do you prevent physical objects such as cars and smart meters from getting hacked?

"Public safety and privacy are the real concerns," says LeHong.

"Organizationally, the operations folks and the IT folks have to work together to take operational security and IT security to an overall cyber security perspective," LeHong says. "The two areas will be so intertwined that these groups will have to work together — and maybe even become one group — to be effective."

A lot of natural reticence to share data "has evaporated around the apps and social media that we use and the cookies we accept," says Murdoch. "But expect there to be a greater level of concern about devices because of the greater intrusion to our daily lives."

Security is really about trust and scale, Murdoch says. "Expect to see different approaches to peoples' data and defaults to not using their data for anything but the actual service being offered," he says. "Quality of service from a brand will become a key tool in addressing this."

Organizations can "expect to see a number of incidents where IoTs are hacked, data stolen and services denied," Murdoch adds. This is especially likely for startups that have not funded adequate security architectures, he says.

In terms of scale, a device that can be used by many different people and different stages of its life will cause problems, Murdoch says, especially when there are billions of them. There will be a need to test and provide quality of services on many different platforms, he says.

 

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