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Strategies for Safe and Secure Implementation

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Strategies for Safe and Secure Implementation

The Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionized the way we interact with technology, from our homes to our workplaces.

IoT devices are used to monitor, control, and optimize everything from energy usage to inventory management. While IoT technology offers many benefits, it also comes with risks. In particular, turnkey IoT solutions, which provide complete systems that are ready to be deployed, pose unique challenges and potential risks. In this article, we will explore the risks associated with turnkey IoT solutions and how to mitigate them.

What Are Turnkey IoT Solutions?

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Source: Deloitte

Turnkey IoT solutions are complete systems that are ready to be deployed. They typically include hardware, software, and connectivity, as well as services such as data analytics and maintenance. Turnkey IoT solutions are designed to be easy to use and deploy, making them popular with organizations that lack the resources or expertise to build their own IoT systems from scratch.

Risks Associated with Turnkey IoT Solutions

While turnkey IoT solutions offer many benefits, they also come with risks. These risks can be classified into three main categories: security risks, privacy risks, and legal and compliance risks.

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Source: Allerin

Privacy Risks

Privacy is a major concern when it comes to turnkey IoT solutions. IoT devices can collect large amounts of data about users, including personal information such as names, addresses, and even biometric data. This data can be used for nefarious purposes, such as identity theft, or sold to third parties without the user’s consent.

Security Risks

One of the biggest risks associated with turnkey IoT solutions is security. IoT devices are vulnerable to cyber attacks, and turnkey solutions are no exception. Hackers can use IoT devices as a gateway into a company’s network, stealing sensitive data, disrupting operations, and even causing physical damage. In some cases, hackers have used compromised IoT devices to launch large-scale attacks on other targets.

Legal and Compliance Risks

Turnkey IoT solutions also pose legal and compliance risks. Companies that collect personal data are subject to a variety of regulations, including the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Companies that fail to comply with these regulations can face significant fines and damage to their reputation.

Data Security Risks

IoT devices are often connected to the internet, making them vulnerable to cyber attacks. The large amounts of data that are generated by these devices are attractive to cybercriminals, who may seek to steal sensitive data or use it to carry out malicious activities.

One of the main concerns with IoT devices is that they are often designed with security as an afterthought. This means that many devices may have vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers. Furthermore, the sheer number of devices that are being used in IoT networks means that managing and securing them all can be a significant challenge.

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There have been several high-profile examples of data breaches involving IoT devices. For example, in 2016, hackers used a network of compromised IoT devices to carry out a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on a domain name system (DNS) provider. This attack caused significant disruption to many popular websites and services.

Interoperability Risks

One of the key benefits of IoT technology is that it enables different devices and systems to communicate and work together. However, achieving this kind of interoperability can be challenging, particularly when devices are developed by different manufacturers.

When devices are unable to communicate with each other, it can create inefficiencies and limit the usefulness of IoT networks. For example, a smart home system may be unable to integrate with a smart car system, preventing the user from accessing certain features or automating certain tasks.

Interoperability can also create security risks, particularly if different devices have different security protocols or vulnerabilities. Attackers may be able to exploit these differences to gain unauthorized access to devices or networks.

Compliance Risks

IoT devices are subject to a wide range of regulatory and compliance requirements, particularly in industries such as healthcare and finance. For example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the United States sets standards for the storage and transmission of healthcare data.

Organizations that fail to comply with these regulations may face significant fines and other penalties. Ensuring compliance with these regulations can be challenging, particularly as new devices and technologies are introduced.

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Mitigating Risks Associated with Turnkey IoT Solutions

The rise of turnkey IoT solutions has brought numerous benefits to companies looking to enhance their operations and gain a competitive edge. However, with these benefits come potential risks, such as security vulnerabilities, data breaches, and privacy concerns. Fortunately, companies can take steps to mitigate these risks and ensure the safe deployment of turnkey IoT solutions.

Firstly, conducting a risk assessment is a critical step in identifying potential vulnerabilities and threats. A thorough risk assessment can help companies understand the specific risks associated with their turnkey IoT solution and develop strategies to address them.

Secondly, selecting a reputable provider is essential. Companies should choose a provider with a proven track record of security and privacy. Checking references and conducting due diligence can help in selecting the most suitable provider.

Thirdly, implementing strong security measures is crucial. Companies should implement security measures such as two-factor authentication, encryption, and access controls to protect their IoT devices and data. These security measures should be continuously monitored and updated to stay ahead of potential vulnerabilities.

Lastly, regularly monitoring and updating IoT devices is essential. Companies should ensure their devices are secure and up-to-date with the latest software patches to address any identified vulnerabilities.

The benefits of turnkey IoT solutions are numerous, but companies must be vigilant to mitigate the potential risks associated with them. By following the best practices outlined above, companies can deploy turnkey IoT solutions confidently and securely.

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Best Practices for Selecting a Turnkey IoT Provider

3 Criteria You Must Evaluate Your IoT Platform Against

Selecting a turnkey IoT provider is a crucial decision for companies that want to implement IoT solutions. It is essential to choose a provider that can ensure the security and privacy of your IoT devices and data. Here are some best practices to consider when selecting a turnkey IoT provider:

Proven Track Record of Security and Privacy

It is crucial to choose a provider with a proven track record of security and privacy. Look for providers that have experience working with similar clients in your industry and ask for references. Conduct research on the provider’s reputation by checking online reviews and industry publications.

Regular Updates and Maintenance

IoT technology is continuously evolving, and regular updates and maintenance are essential to ensure optimal performance and security of IoT devices. Choose a provider that offers regular updates and maintenance to ensure your devices are always up-to-date.

Strong Encryption and Access Controls

The security of your IoT devices and data is critical. It is essential to choose a provider that offers strong encryption and access controls. Encryption ensures that your data is protected, while access controls restrict access to your devices and data to only authorized personnel.

Data Privacy and Compliance Policies

When selecting a turnkey IoT provider, it is crucial to consider their data privacy and compliance policies. Ensure that the provider follows data privacy laws and regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Additionally, ask the provider about their security and privacy practices, including their data retention policies and data breach response plan.

Choosing a turnkey IoT provider is a critical step towards implementing IoT solutions. Companies must choose a provider that can ensure the security and privacy of their devices and data. By following the best practices outlined above, companies can make an informed decision when selecting a turnkey IoT provider.

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Conclusion

IoT technology has the potential to revolutionize a wide range of industries, from healthcare and manufacturing to agriculture and transportation. However, as with any new technology, there are also significant risks and challenges associated with IoT.

Organizations that are considering implementing IoT technology must carefully consider these risks and develop strategies for mitigating them. This may involve investing in security and data protection measures, developing clear policies and procedures for IoT use, and staying up to date with regulatory and compliance requirements.

By taking a proactive approach to IoT risk management, organizations can harness the power of this technology while minimizing its potential downsides.

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TECHNOLOGY

Next-gen chips, Amazon Q, and speedy S3

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AWS re:Invent, which has been taking place from November 27 and runs to December 1, has had its usual plethora of announcements: a total of 21 at time of print.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given the huge potential impact of generative AI – ChatGPT officially turns one year old today – a lot of focus has been on the AI side for AWS’ announcements, including a major partnership inked with NVIDIA across infrastructure, software, and services.

Yet there has been plenty more announced at the Las Vegas jamboree besides. Here, CloudTech rounds up the best of the rest:

Next-generation chips

This was the other major AI-focused announcement at re:Invent: the launch of two new chips, AWS Graviton4 and AWS Trainium2, for training and running AI and machine learning (ML) models, among other customer workloads. Graviton4 shapes up against its predecessor with 30% better compute performance, 50% more cores and 75% more memory bandwidth, while Trainium2 delivers up to four times faster training than before and will be able to be deployed in EC2 UltraClusters of up to 100,000 chips.

The EC2 UltraClusters are designed to ‘deliver the highest performance, most energy efficient AI model training infrastructure in the cloud’, as AWS puts it. With it, customers will be able to train large language models in ‘a fraction of the time’, as well as double energy efficiency.

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As ever, AWS offers customers who are already utilising these tools. Databricks, Epic and SAP are among the companies cited as using the new AWS-designed chips.

Zero-ETL integrations

AWS announced new Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL, Amazon DynamoDB, and Amazon Relational Database Services (Amazon RDS) for MySQL integrations with Amazon Redshift, AWS’ cloud data warehouse. The zero-ETL integrations – eliminating the need to build ETL (extract, transform, load) data pipelines – make it easier to connect and analyse transactional data across various relational and non-relational databases in Amazon Redshift.

A simple example of how zero-ETL functions can be seen is in a hypothetical company which stores transactional data – time of transaction, items bought, where the transaction occurred – in a relational database, but use another analytics tool to analyse data in a non-relational database. To connect it all up, companies would previously have to construct ETL data pipelines which are a time and money sink.

The latest integrations “build on AWS’s zero-ETL foundation… so customers can quickly and easily connect all of their data, no matter where it lives,” the company said.

Amazon S3 Express One Zone

AWS announced the general availability of Amazon S3 Express One Zone, a new storage class purpose-built for customers’ most frequently-accessed data. Data access speed is up to 10 times faster and request costs up to 50% lower than standard S3. Companies can also opt to collocate their Amazon S3 Express One Zone data in the same availability zone as their compute resources.  

Companies and partners who are using Amazon S3 Express One Zone include ChaosSearch, Cloudera, and Pinterest.

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Amazon Q

A new product, and an interesting pivot, again with generative AI at its core. Amazon Q was announced as a ‘new type of generative AI-powered assistant’ which can be tailored to a customer’s business. “Customers can get fast, relevant answers to pressing questions, generate content, and take actions – all informed by a customer’s information repositories, code, and enterprise systems,” AWS added. The service also can assist companies building on AWS, as well as companies using AWS applications for business intelligence, contact centres, and supply chain management.

Customers cited as early adopters include Accenture, BMW and Wunderkind.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

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TECHNOLOGY

HCLTech and Cisco create collaborative hybrid workplaces

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Digital comms specialist Cisco and global tech firm HCLTech have teamed up to launch Meeting-Rooms-as-a-Service (MRaaS).

Available on a subscription model, this solution modernises legacy meeting rooms and enables users to join meetings from any meeting solution provider using Webex devices.

The MRaaS solution helps enterprises simplify the design, implementation and maintenance of integrated meeting rooms, enabling seamless collaboration for their globally distributed hybrid workforces.

Rakshit Ghura, senior VP and Global head of digital workplace services, HCLTech, said: “MRaaS combines our consulting and managed services expertise with Cisco’s proficiency in Webex devices to change the way employees conceptualise, organise and interact in a collaborative environment for a modern hybrid work model.

“The common vision of our partnership is to elevate the collaboration experience at work and drive productivity through modern meeting rooms.”

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Alexandra Zagury, VP of partner managed and as-a-Service Sales at Cisco, said: “Our partnership with HCLTech helps our clients transform their offices through cost-effective managed services that support the ongoing evolution of workspaces.

“As we reimagine the modern office, we are making it easier to support collaboration and productivity among workers, whether they are in the office or elsewhere.”

Cisco’s Webex collaboration devices harness the power of artificial intelligence to offer intuitive, seamless collaboration experiences, enabling meeting rooms with smart features such as meeting zones, intelligent people framing, optimised attendee audio and background noise removal, among others.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

Tags: Cisco, collaboration, HCLTech, Hybrid, meetings

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TECHNOLOGY

Canonical releases low-touch private cloud MicroCloud

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Canonical has announced the general availability of MicroCloud, a low-touch, open source cloud solution. MicroCloud is part of Canonical’s growing cloud infrastructure portfolio.

It is purpose-built for scalable clusters and edge deployments for all types of enterprises. It is designed with simplicity, security and automation in mind, minimising the time and effort to both deploy and maintain it. Conveniently, enterprise support for MicroCloud is offered as part of Canonical’s Ubuntu Pro subscription, with several support tiers available, and priced per node.

MicroClouds are optimised for repeatable and reliable remote deployments. A single command initiates the orchestration and clustering of various components with minimal involvement by the user, resulting in a fully functional cloud within minutes. This simplified deployment process significantly reduces the barrier to entry, putting a production-grade cloud at everyone’s fingertips.

Juan Manuel Ventura, head of architectures & technologies at Spindox, said: “Cloud computing is not only about technology, it’s the beating heart of any modern industrial transformation, driving agility and innovation. Our mission is to provide our customers with the most effective ways to innovate and bring value; having a complexity-free cloud infrastructure is one important piece of that puzzle. With MicroCloud, the focus shifts away from struggling with cloud operations to solving real business challenges” says

In addition to seamless deployment, MicroCloud prioritises security and ease of maintenance. All MicroCloud components are built with strict confinement for increased security, with over-the-air transactional updates that preserve data and roll back on errors automatically. Upgrades to newer versions are handled automatically and without downtime, with the mechanisms to hold or schedule them as needed.

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With this approach, MicroCloud caters to both on-premise clouds but also edge deployments at remote locations, allowing organisations to use the same infrastructure primitives and services wherever they are needed. It is suitable for business-in-branch office locations or industrial use inside a factory, as well as distributed locations where the focus is on replicability and unattended operations.

Cedric Gegout, VP of product at Canonical, said: “As data becomes more distributed, the infrastructure has to follow. Cloud computing is now distributed, spanning across data centres, far and near edge computing appliances. MicroCloud is our answer to that.

“By packaging known infrastructure primitives in a portable and unattended way, we are delivering a simpler, more prescriptive cloud experience that makes zero-ops a reality for many Industries.“

MicroCloud’s lightweight architecture makes it usable on both commodity and high-end hardware, with several ways to further reduce its footprint depending on your workload needs. In addition to the standard Ubuntu Server or Desktop, MicroClouds can be run on Ubuntu Core – a lightweight OS optimised for the edge. With Ubuntu Core, MicroClouds are a perfect solution for far-edge locations with limited computing capabilities. Users can choose to run their workloads using Kubernetes or via system containers. System containers based on LXD behave similarly to traditional VMs but consume fewer resources while providing bare-metal performance.

Coupled with Canonical’s Ubuntu Pro + Support subscription, MicroCloud users can benefit from an enterprise-grade open source cloud solution that is fully supported and with better economics. An Ubuntu Pro subscription offers security maintenance for the broadest collection of open-source software available from a single vendor today. It covers over 30k packages with a consistent security maintenance commitment, and additional features such as kernel livepatch, systems management at scale, certified compliance and hardening profiles enabling easy adoption for enterprises. With per-node pricing and no hidden fees, customers can rest assured that their environment is secure and supported without the expensive price tag typically associated with cloud solutions.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

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Tags: automation, Canonical, MicroCloud, private cloud

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