J Patrick + Associates Blog

IoT Security: Protect Your Company and Customers

Posted by Dylan Rivera on Fri, Sep 09, 2016 @ 04:48 PM
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Think of IoT as the gateway between the digital and physical world. Products are being created with pattern recognition and monitoring sensors providing valuable data that can be applied for the benefit of its users and producers.This market will continue to expand over the next 10 years with companies connecting more and more devices. However, with the connection of so many devices, also comes an increase in the number of entry points for potential hackers.

Since IoT is relatively new to the market, devices often lack basic security measures (Communication Encryption). Researchers have shown that many IoT device manufacturers and service providers are failing to implement common security measures in their products. Reports have surfaced exhibiting the increase in programmers hacking into products, ranging from baby monitors to self-driven cars.

Standard security technologies (SSL.SSH) are no longer enough when it comes to safeguarding your IoT devices. The only way to stay to stay ahead of the cyber terrorists is to embed integrated firewalls directly within the protocol stack at the link layer- configured with a specific set of rules on what communication is and isn't allowed.

These firewalls are necessary to stop the cyber attacks before they begin. Failing to implement a strong security protocol will result in:

Loss of Customer Trust

Customers don't want to worry about having their personal information exploited. We all remember what happened to Target.

Increase of Expenses

After being hacked, there is a mass amount of damage control to attend too. That’s a pricey expenditure.

Competition Head Start

To compete in the market, you must offer benefits that your opponents cannot. Don't let your competition leave you in the dust.

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Investment in securing IoT machinery is going to drastically increase from now till 2020. If you're in the market, it's time to check your security’s vulnerability. Don’t let those cyber bullies get the best of your IoT.

 

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Tags: Information Security, cyber-security, IoT

How IoT is Changing AV Sectors

Posted by Nicholas Stearns on Wed, Aug 24, 2016 @ 10:53 AM

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The Internet of Things, or IoT, is the network of devices (cars/buildings/refrigerators) embedded with software, sensors, electronics etc that allow them to network and communicate and exchange data. It’s an exciting development  impacting many sectors- prime among them the AV industry.   

Cutting Costs.

Less Hardware = Less Money. With the  IoT, audio and visual information is transmitted wirelessly. It  can be run on the same cable as internet, phones, power and other devices, all which contributed to cutting down on the costs of wiring.  The number of necessary control devices also drops as one display can be used to run all of the operations. Technology such as Power over Ethernet (PoE) is just one example of this consolidation of wiring.

Easing Integration.

IoT allows for multiple devices to communicate with one another remotely. This opens a number of possibilities in AV. A conference room could have a screen that is connected to multiple devices, allowing for multiple attendees to display information with no wires. Microphones can be switched on and off from one central device, say a desktop or a smartphone. Sensors on the windows read the amount of sunlight coming in, and communicate with the lighting to adjust the overhead lights as needed. The possibilities are quite endless.

Smart Signage.

With IoT, digital signs are becoming more reactive, and therefore more effective. If, for example, a customer walks into a store they’ve shopped in previously (or have a membership to), digital signage can now offer/advertise specific items to that customer. All the sign needs is a Bluetooth connection to a customer’s phone and it can tailor offers similar to previous purchases from the customer.

Or, signage can be informative. EZ Pass gateways can time how long it takes vehicles to move between tolls, and let drivers know estimated time with current traffic conditions. Airports can read how many Bluetooth devices are in a security line, and how long it takes each one to get through. Then, they can automatically message flyers with an alert if they should arrive early due to unusually long security lines. Parking garages can sense which spaces are open, and connect to a car's satnav to direct them to the most convenient spot.

Homes with an IQ.

When it’s said that IoT can connect anything, it isn’t an exaggeration. Samsung is working to create a full line of home appliances monitored and controlled with a mobile device, such as a smartphone. Lights, the radio, even a fridge that is all monitored and controlled with your phone from anywhere.  

Eye in the Sky.

You know what’s really cool? Taking bird’s-eye-view pictures. Or Videos. And with IoT, this has become a lot easier, using drones. With the ability to take shots that would normally require much more money or setup time, drones allow companies big and small to get footage beyond comprehension. The applications of drones in AV range from landscaping advertising to sports events.

A Bright Future

All of these changes and advancements mean that the role and expectations of AV companies is changing with them. When looking for talent, a few specific skills need to be kept in mind.

1) Knowledge of IT is no longer a perk, it’s a requirement. Being able to set up a network, or test the connections between devices is important. Integration doesn’t mean just physically setting up a system, it’s making sure all of the devices are talking to each other digitally.

2) AV companies need to be looking for Information Security Analysts (read more on how to hire the best info sec analysts) With all of the new forms of connectivity available, comes a host of new ways for information to be stolen or compromised. Security has to be a prime concern when we have multiple devices talking to each other and accessing data and personal information.

Staying ahead in the AV space doesn’t only mean having the newest equipment, it also means keeping an eye on all the other infosec technologies. Integration is the name of the game if you want to stay ahead of the competition.

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Tags: AV/VTC/UC, network security, cyber-security, IoT