Cyber security company serving IIoT clients grabs $18M Series B

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CyberX, an IIoT and industrial control system (ICS) security company raised a $ 18M Series B round led by Norwest Venture Partners, early investors in cybersecurity leaders FireEye and Fireglass (acquired by Symantec). Existing investors that participated in the round include Glilot Capital Partners, Flint Capital, ff Venture Capital, and OurCrowd.

To date, CyberX raised a total of $ 30M in venture funding. The company plans to use the proceeds to expand in the United States and Europe, product development, and to grow security research and threat intelligence teams.

CyberX’s continuous ICS threat monitoring platform uses ICS-specific self-learning that enables it to map and predict information security threats (in operational technology) in less than an hour.

A key factor that differentiates CyberX is it does not rely on rules, specialized skills, or any prior knowledge of a user’s environment.

The company’s target market includes companies from energy, oil & gas, and manufacturing. The customers can protect their operational technology from attackers performing cyber reconnaissance to sniff passwords and crucial network credentials.

CyberX Sanbox

It appears that cyber incidents like WannaCry and NotPetya have made executives from legacy industries like manufacturing and oil & gas nervous. There are reasons for the worry.The latest research by CyberX, based on analyzing 375 industrial control networks via Network Traffic Analysis (NTA), reveals that every one out of three industrial sites is connected to the public internet making it vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The company also found that un-patchable Windows operating system is found everywhere in the industrial settings. It reported such systems can be easily compromised by malware such as WannaCry/NotPetya.

“As a top-tier global VC, NVP’s investment in CyberX is recognition that we are successfully delivering differentiated technology and expertise enabling us to win over the world’s most sophisticated and demanding customers.” Omer Schneider, CyberX co-founder and CEO.

Pointing towards CyberX’s technology, Dror Nahumi, general partner at Norwest Venture Partners dais that “there is a growing need in many enterprises to connect their IIoT and ICS networks to corporate IT networks for performance, monitoring, and manageability reasons. This trend creates a new security risk which requires a modern, IIoT-optimized, security solution”.

Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

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Hitachi Vantara: Bridge the IT/OT divide for IIoT success

Hitachi Vantana: Bridging the IT/OT divide for IIoT success

In a contributed article for Internet of Business, Donna Prlich, chief product officer for Pentaho software at Hitachi Vantara, argues that manufacturing companies must mix IT and OT data to achieve new levels of insight and efficiency. 

Until recently, many manufacturers may have wondered whether the post-industrial world would leave any reason (or deliver sufficient profit) for them to exist. Today, technology changes ushered in by the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are breathing new life and opportunity into the sector.

Hitachi Vantara: Bridging the IT/OT divide for IIoT success
Donna Prlich of Pentaho at Hitachi Vantara

However, the extent to which manufacturers will benefit from IIoT will depend on the maturity of their implementations – and to gain the most valuable and most profitable insights, these implementations will have to tap into data from many different sources and blend it in ways that deliver real insight.

In particular, that means bringing together data from two different types of system that have historically been siloed from each other: Information technology (IT) systems, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and supply chain management (SCM) software; and operational technology (OT) systems, that are charged with the task of monitoring and/or controlling physical equipment in a manufacturing environment.

Read more: HPE and ABB spell out plans for industrial IoT partnership

Mind the gap

There are good reasons for why IT and OT systems have traditionally been kept separate. Manufacturing and industrial facilities use OT systems mainly to ensure availability. Set up as ‘closed-looped’ systems, their data is disconnected from enterprise IT systems.

Industrial environments, where a small change can trigger a domino effect, adopt systematic, methodical approaches to maintenance.

IT systems, on the other hand, which undergo regular maintenance and upgrades, can afford occasional downtime. After all, they aren’t engineered to handle high-voltage systems or the control rods of a nuclear plant.

Nevertheless, the convergence of IT and OT systems and data is already starting to happen. OT is evolving to work with proven IT technologies, such as security software. By the same token, IT systems are scaling to handle the huge data volumes generated by factory OT systems.

Edge computing – the trend that see data processing and analytics move closer to the machines that generate that data – plays an important role here, as do real-time streaming technologies such as Apache Spark and Apache Kafka, which are enabling companies that adopt IIoT to react more quickly to changes.

Read more: IIoT adoption increases, but projects still early-stage, says Bsquare

The STIWA Group builds bridges

The STIWA Group has a long history in product and high-performance manufacturing automation. Its machines are highly automated, requiring little human intervention to run. The company also provides data about its machines to customers using them and builds the software they need to analyse it – and is using analytics software from Pentaho to automatically process signals and data as a basis for its own product, AMS Analysis-CI.

The processed data includes machine, production and quality data collected by another STIWA product, AMS ZPoint-CI. In other words, this is an example of OT data being explored via a typical IT approach.

This helps the STIWA Group handle tracking for safety-critical products and gain control of complex assembly and manufacturing processes. 

Read more: Survey shows IIoT has “crossed the chasm”, claims Zebra

A leap of faith needed?

The most common mistake people make when implementing any new technology is solving problems in isolation. This is especially problematic with IIOT, where success depends on big-picture thinking.

Take, for example, a steel factory that wants to improve efficiency by tackling a specific issue that occurs daily: a technician typically looks at the slice of OT data directly relevant to that failure. This could by, say, 20 variables from a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system.

If, however, the OT data was blended with data produced by environmental control and factory planning systems, that technician might not only solve that specific failure but also be able to prevent future ones from happening. This integration also reveals relationships between components that help to significantly improve overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).

In this case, bridging the divide may have involved a leap of faith, but it’s one that has allowed the company to arrive at valuable new insights.

Read more: Only 1.5 percent of execs say their organisation has a clear IIoT vision

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Five key IIoT predictions for 2018: Collaboration, customer success, edge computing, and more

The global industrial IoT market is set to reach $ 933 billion by 2025, according to Grand View Research. Here, Sastry Malladi, CTO of FogHorn Systems, outlines what he think will happen in the space in 2018.

Momentum for edge analytics and edge intelligence in the IIoT will accelerate in 2018

Almost every notable hardware vendor has a ruggedized line of products promoting edge processing. This indicates that the market is prime for Industrial IoT (IIoT) adoption. With technology giants announcing software stacks for the edge, there is little doubt that this momentum will only accelerate during 2018. Furthermore, traditional industries, like manufacturing, that have been struggling to showcase differentiated products, will now embrace edge analytics to drive new revenue streams and/or significant yield improvements for their customers.

Additionally, any industry with assets being digitized and making the leap toward connecting or instrumenting brownfield environments is well positioned to leverage the value of edge intelligence. Usually, the goal of these initiatives is to have deep business impact. This can be delivered by tapping into previously unknown or unrealized efficiencies and optimizations. Often these surprising insights are uncovered only through analytics and machine learning. Industries with often limited access to bandwidth, such as oil and gas, mining, fleet and other verticals, truly benefit from edge intelligence. What’s more, those that apply edge intelligence are able to benefit from real-time decisions, as well as insights from voluminous streaming sensor data.

Due to the current pain points in the IIoT space and the edge technology availability to address them, we expect to see increased interest in edge analytics/ML from oil andgas, energy, utilities, transportation and other sectors interested in revamping their IIoT value.

Business cases and ROI are critical for IIoT pilots and adoption in 2018

The year 2017 was about exploring IIoT and led to the explosion of proof of concepts and pilot implementations. While this trend will continue into 2018, we expect increased awareness about the business value edge technologies bring to the table. Companies that have been burned by the “Big Data Hype” – where data was collected but little was leveraged – will assess IIoT engagements and deployments for definitive ROI. As edge technologies pick up speed in proving business value, the adoption rate will exponentially rise to meet the demands of ever-increasing IoT applications.

IIoT standards will be driven by customer successes and company partnerships

IIoT is just now getting attention from the major technology players. If anything, 2018 will see more new products coming to market, and there will be more to choose from in terms of standards. The next year or two will see stronger alliances, unlikely partnerships and increased merger and acquisition activity as the large technology companies seek innovation inside and outside their organizations. As for standards, they will be driven by success of customers and patterns of scalable IIoT solutions.

IT and OT teams will collaborate for successful IIoT deployments

IIoT deployments will start forcing closer engagement between IT and operations technology (OT) teams. Line of business leaders will get more serious around investing in digitization, and IT will become the cornerstone required for the success of these initiatives. What was considered a wide gap between the two sectors – IT and OT – will bridge thanks to the recognized collaboration needed to successfully deploy IIoT solutions and initiatives.

And will OT design affect IIoT apps? Yes, definitely. Recent research and field studies suggest that analytics tools are being made more accessible to end users, i.e. domain experts and plant operators. This means that advanced technology is now being made available to field workers, so operational decisions can be driven in real-time at the industrial location.

Edge computing will reduce security vulnerabilities for IIoT assets

While industries do recognize the impact of an IIoT security breach there is surprisingly little implementation of specific solutions. This stems from two emerging trends:

  • Traditional IT security vendors are still repositioning their existing products to address IIoT security concerns
  • A number of new entrants are developing targeted security solutions that are specific to a layer in the stack, or a particular vertical

This creates the expectation that, if and when an event occurs, these two classes of security solutions are sufficient enough. Often IoT deployments are considered greenfield and emerging, so these security breaches still seem very futuristic, even though they are happening now. Consequently, there is little acceleration to deploy security solutions, and most leaders seem to employ a wait-and-watch approach. The good news is major security threats, like WannaCry, Petya/Goldeneye and BadRabbit, do resurface IIoT security concerns during the regular news cycle. However, until security solutions are more targeted, and evoke trust, they may not help move the needle. Latest from the homepage

Alchemy IoT launches with $4 million seed funding to ease IIoT via the use of AI

Alchemy IoT has launched with $ 4 million seed funding from Aweida Venture Partners to help make the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) easier via the use of AI.

Clarity, Alchemy IoT’s cloud-based application, is said to provide small- to mid-sized industrial customers with better returns on industrial assets by analysing asset performance through unsupervised machine learning and adopting proactive measures to boost productivity of industrial fleets and machinery.

The cellphone-enabled application introduces a novel "no-code" approach to IoT Asset Intelligence that eases the way how fleet management, plant maintenance and manufacturing performance can be enhanced through the use of AI and unsupervised machine learning. Some of the main features of the application are: monitoring of sensor data; AI-based analytics; and sending notifications and alerts about operational anomalies via web browsers, email or within the application.

Victor Perez, CEO for Alchemy IoT, said: "Our mission is to make AI-powered IoT a 'no-code' proposition, one that any industrial company can quickly start and put to use to gain fast value. Too many of today's IoT solutions require a massive budget and an extraordinary amount of customization to even getting started – we aim to disrupt and change that."

Alongside this, the company announced the introduction of a new industry approach "IoT Asset Intelligence” to address the complication and market fragmentation associated with Big Data, IoT and AI.

Talking about IoT Asset Intelligence, Perez said: "IoT Asset Intelligence combines our best thinking into an actionable framework to plan, implement and gain value from AI-based IoT initiatives – especially for smaller organizations that may lack the resources for expensive consultants and data scientists.”

According to Alchemy IoT, visibility and efficiency via a combination of data-driven processes and a renewed culture around innovation and critical thinking are the primary theme of the IoT Asset Intelligence framework.

Some of the core tenets of IoT Asset Intelligence are: leveraging data intelligence to make meaningful business decisions; working with existing tools to optimise and enhance current processes; identifying processes for the purpose of improvement and align new value streams and setting up top-line goals and ROI opportunities.

The most recent figures released by IDC estimate that there will be 30 billion connected devices throughout the world by 2020. Latest from the homepage

An Insider’s 11 Take-Aways from Companies Winning Industrial (IIoT) Cybersecurity

iiot according to ge ventures

As you read through blogs and articles about cybersecurity and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), it’s easy to get so focused on the complexities (and there are many), that you lose sight of the big picture. There is huge opportunity in this space—untapped by the existing IT cybersecurity players.

To state it in the simplest terms, when protecting free consumer accounts like, Gmail or Facebook accounts, the motivation for investing in security is driven by certain objectives—protecting customer trust, avoiding an unpleasant hit to the company’s reputation, etc. These are, of course, real and important concerns. But when an industrial company is trying to protect a $ 10 million turbine, the economics of investing in security become very different—and much more straightforward. There’s a reason why much of current security investments are directed towards the industrial space: it’s an enormously promising market—and one where new innovations can have an enormous impact.

GE Ventures, the venture capital subsidiary of General Electric, is one of the organizations that recognizes the large opportunities (and even greater responsibility) to lower costs and eliminate unplanned downtime for their customers. They have been working closely with industrial companies for decades. The company has also built longstanding trust relationships with customers and helps them take advantage of the industrial Internet and protect them from its inherent risks. They are rising to that challenge—their own Predix architecture, a platform that help to optimize industrial business processes, has an extensive security-in-depth strategy.

iiot and ge ventures

In addition to the security-in-depth strategy on their platform, GE Ventures is always on the lookout for startups that are advancing the industrial cybersecurity art. According to them, there are some very talented ones out there. Of course, IIoT is not an easy market to break into for startups. Industrial networks are different than enterprise IT that makes them a terrible place for moonlighting—having a great product roadmap in traditional IT is not a birthright to succeed in industrial cybersecurity. But there are some commonalities among the most successful and promising startups in this space. Here are a few from GE Ventures’ perspective:

1.) They know their stuff.

There are lots of things That GE look at when evaluating a startup: A team with the right specialties. Differentiated technology. But the most important factor separating companies treading water from those already swimming laps is that they are staffed top-to-bottom by people who “get” industrial applications.
The most successful startups have a kind of institutional knowledge of industrial control systems (ICS)—often gleaned from working in industrial in their previous careers. They’ve learned important lessons (sometimes the hard way): They know the market. They understand its constraints. They understand through experience the attack surface and exposure. And they always, always keep their eye on the ball: the business continuity of the customer.

2.) They take the IIoT Hippocratic Oath: First, do no harm.

No matter what they’re working on, successful IIoT startups never lose sight of their customers’ primary objective: this machine cannot fail. Whatever work they’re doing to secure a system, they know that it absolutely cannot slow down or knock out industrial assets. They create a security layer that’s at least as agile, if not more so, than the devices and systems it’s protecting.

3.) They don’t make things harder for the customer.

Successful IIoT startups know that their target customer has been doing things a certain way for years. They know not to make assumptions that these customers have the same in-house capabilities and institutional knowledge that a non-industrial enterprise would—or, when it comes to software, that they even speak the same language. And they don’t assume that the customer will be willing to fill in gaps that are lost in translation. The most promising IIoT startups are ready to deliver IT solutions to industrial, and they’re not afraid to make it clear that that’s where their expertise lies. But they come out of the gate speaking OT.

4.) They make security integrated.

Successful IIoT startups know that treating security as an additional feature or up-sell will never fly. Their customers expect security to be baked into the product and fully integrated into existing industrial process.

5.) They don’t try to eat the whole cake at once.

Enterprise IT security and IIoT cybersecurity are two totally different animals. You can’t just port something from one world into the other. Yet, there are lessons to be learned from the evolution of enterprise security. Among the biggest that successful IIoT startups adhere to: they don’t try to solve the security problem in one fell swoop.

In the enterprise world, we started with one big problem (protecting digital assets and data), and ultimately broke it down into a whole lot of smaller problems: perimeter security, identity/authentication, data loss prevention, compliance, etc. Smart IIoT startups apply the same thinking to IIoT cybersecurity. They’re not looking to “solve” industrial cybersecurity. They’re attacking smaller, discrete problems and developing useful solutions.

6.) They start with the assumption that they will be targeted.

Even the biggest and best digital companies in the world find malicious or unexplained code in their environments—sometimes threats that have been lying dormant for years. Smart IIoT startups expect that their solutions will be subject to the same types of malicious and/or intelligence gathering threats as well. That doesn’t mean they don’t spend a huge amount of time and effort trying to prevent breaches. But they spend just as much time and effort making sure that, if someone does get in, they can isolate that breach and prevent it from infiltrating the rest of the system. And they recognize that the ICS attack surface extends beyond industrial devices and networks themselves, to all parts of the organization and supply chain.

7.) They’re ready to scale.

Successful IIoT startups never forget that for industrial customers, zero downtime is acceptable. They know that it’s not enough to have great tech—they have to be ready to engage that technology on a scale of thousands of deployments, sometimes in multiple countries—sometimes overnight.

8.) They know that security starts well before connecting a single industrial device.

Successful IIoT startups recognize that some of the most dangerous vulnerabilities aren’t just flaws in their code, but weaknesses in their supply chain. They know that any OEM that incorporates subassemblies made by others can potentially introduce tampered firmware into their system by accident. And they’ve learned the lesson from vendors who had excellent technology but saw deals evaporate because the customer realized they were using an untrusted vendor for one component of the supply chain. Solid IIoT startups take steps to secure their products during every step from building to shipping, when it can be most vulnerable to mistakes or malicious actors.

One of the more interesting areas now being explored: public ledgers. A growing number of companies are looking at Blockchain public ledger technologies to help authenticate assets and provide an audit trail with end-to-end chain of custody. (Industry groups are getting involved too—the Trusted IoT Alliance recently announced a new initiative to promote standard ledgers to authenticate IoT devices.) It’s still very early days, but work like this could prove incredibly valuable for ICS, where many categories of non-IT assets (engines, parts, sub-parts) are connecting back to the IT backbone.

9.) They don’t get distracted by buzz words.

The startup space, or at least the media covering it, tends to be overly sensitive to the hype cycle. Whatever the latest hot concept may be (currently, AI and machine learning), companies rush to make sure they can claim to check those boxes. Successful IIoT startups don’t spend their time worrying about the latest flavor of the month. They’re laser-focused on delivering concrete answers to specific industrial problems.

10.) They understand the need to secure data at rest and in motion.

Industrial customers need solutions not just to secure data at the edge—where more data than ever before is being collected and processed—but also to secure data in motion as it travels to the cloud.

Data in motion poses a particularly cumbersome challenge for industrial systems. Some companies in this space are developing solutions to simplify passthrough of encrypted data, eliminating the need to decrypt data at any point in transit, and its associated risks.

11.) They understand the job is never done.

Good cybersecurity startups recognize that they’ll never be “finished” with their solution, and they don’t get too comfortable with their current design. They understand that real-world cybersecurity means ongoing, indefinite iteration.

This isn’t a comprehensive list. But if you’re charting the course of companies developing interesting new solutions in IIoT cybersecurity, it’s a good place to start.

Authors: Michael Dolbec & Abhishek Shukla, Managing Directors of GE Ventures

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IIoT revenue to cross $1 trillion by 2027, projects Navigant Research

A new Navigant Research report has projected that the combined cumulative revenue for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices, software and services throughout the world will cross the $ 1 trillion mark by 2027.

The trend will be driven by an increasing number of enterprises as they start realising the benefits of IIoT leading to lower costs and increased equipment maintenance, the research firm added.

The report, titled “Industrial Internet of Things”, analysed the overall emerging IIoT market and highlighted the key market drivers and technologies as well as the regulatory frameworks. According to the report, in the beginning IIoT solutions can appear to be a little complex to administrators who are not aware about hardware, software, and service choices.

Neil Strother, principal research analyst with Navigant Research, said: “We are starting to see more and more companies across the spectrum adopt IIoT strategies, deploying hardware and software platforms to help lower operational spend, and to serve as a competitive differentiator that can help them sell products and services at lower costs.”

Elsewhere, a Technavio report on smart farming practices using IoT held that the future of agriculture is being shaped by IoT resulting in increased crop yields, real-time plant and filed monitoring and enhanced supply chain management.

According to the report, the global IoT market in smart farming will grow at a CAGR of almost 11% from 2017-2021. The report has highlighted three drivers that are responsible for the growth of the IoT market in smart farming worldwide viz a decline in the rates of sensors; boost in IoT solutions for remote monitoring; and lack of arable land and a swell in population. Latest from the homepage

Augury Halo helps predict mechanical failures with the IIoT

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology firm Augury has introduced a cloud-based diagnostics platform that foretells equipment failures beforehand by keeping a close eye on mechanical equipment.

Augury Halo can predict equipment failures by using sensing technologies such as vibrations and ultrasound. It also provides comprehensive, actionable recommendations for maintaining machine health. In addition, the platform issues reports about the developing problems and suggests maintenance practices. Targeted for smart industrial and commercial plants, Augury Halo maximises uptime of mechanical equipment, mitigates maintenance costs, extends equipment life, and improves machine reliability by providing actionable insights from machine data. Another advantage of Augury Halo is the requirement of minimal training for handling.

Saar Yoskovitz, CEO of Augury, said: “The Industrial IoT is changing the way the industry makes informed decisions based on real-time data. Halo shortens the time to action – from the earliest signs of malfunction to remediation.”

Interested parties can get a live demo of Augury Halo at the forthcoming International Machine Vibration Analysis and Condition Monitoring Conference (IMVAC) and the International Maintenance Conference (IMC), to be held in December 2017. 

Elsewhere, a Technavio reports projected that the global IoT-enabled industrial wearables market will grow at a CAGR exceeding 10% from 2017 to 2021 to hit $ 3.05 billion at the end of the forecast period.  The report “Global IoT-Enabled industrial wearables market from 2017-2021” has highlighted three factors that are contributing to the growth: increasing mega trends in digitalisation and automation; more focus on workplace safety and efficiency and augmented smart sensor adoption. Latest from the homepage

Mocana leads partnership aiming for more secure IIoT devices

Mocana leads partnership aiming for more robust, secure IIoT devices

Mocana takes lead on plans to develop kits for building more robust IIoT devices and services with Avnet, Microsoft, Infineon and Xilinx.

Mocana, a start-up working on security for industrial control systems (ICSs), has announced it is partnering with electronic components company Avnet, software giant Microsoft, semiconductor specialist Infineon and Xilinx, a supplier of programmable logic devices, in order to develop an industrial IoT (IIoT) system “that meets the latest cybersecurity standards.”

The result is a hybrid bundle of both hardware and software built on Avnet’s UltraZed-EG system-on-module (SOM) technology. It is designed to be flexible and rugged for IIoT and small-form-factor IoT devices. The combination includes Mocana’s security software operating on the Xilinx Zynq Ultrascale+ MPSoC, using the capabilities of Infineon’s OPTIGA TPM (Trusted Platform Module) 2.0 security chip.

It interoperates with the Microsoft Azure cloud, with the goal of making it easier and more accessible for companies to bring more secure IIoT devices and services to market.

Read more: IIoT could revolutionize UK manufacturing, says Siemens-led report

Critical importance

“Securing our connected world is of critical importance,” said Srinivas Kumar, vice president of engineering at Mocana. “A major challenge for developers of IoT edge products is their lack of familiarity with cybersecurity standards. Our partnership with industry leaders Avnet, Xilinx, Infineon and Microsoft intends to ease this burden by providing a robust hardware plus software cybersecurity design that can be replicated or modified by system designers to fit their application needs.”

As the IIoT expands, device manufacturers must meet stringent cybersecurity standards, such as IEC 62443-3-3, FIPS 140-2 and NERC CIP 003-3.

According to the companies that make up this alliance, designers and developers need a robust platform that includes both hardware and software for IIoT. The joint solution is comprised of a comprehensive suite of secure hardware and software technologies that can be embedded into IoT and IIoT devices, including:

  • Avnet UltraZed-EG system on module (SOM): A board-level circuit that integrates a system function in a single module.
  • Xilinx Zynq Ultrascale+ MPSoC: A heterogeneous, multi-core ARM processing system with programmable logic for scalable and comprehensive IIoT edge platforms.
  • Infineon OPTIGA TPM 2.0 PMOD: A peripheral module comprised of a secure chip that generates hardware and software keys based on Trusted Computing Group (TCG) standards.
  • Mocana IoT Security Platform: Cybersecurity software that integrates with embedded applications to handle authentication, certificate management, device and data integrity, confidentiality and encryption and control.
  • Microsoft Azure IoT Device SDK and Azure IoT Edge runtime: Software that facilitates building secure cloud and intelligent edge applications.

Mocana’s move to initiate this agreement in the commercial space is interesting in that that the firm has a track record in producing military-grade technology. As IoT devices, their controllers and higher level embedded systems now form a part of increasingly complex software-defined networks, we may be on the tipping point of defining military-grade IoT security as the new standard for industrial control systems.

One week to go: Don’t miss our IoT Build event, taking place in London on 14 & 15 November 2017. It’s a great opportunity for attendees to explore the platforms, architectures, applications and connectivity that comprise the IoT ecosystem. IoT Build will also be coming to San Francisco on 27 & 28 March 2018.

The post Mocana leads partnership aiming for more secure IIoT devices appeared first on Internet of Business.

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IIoT adoption increases, but projects still early-stage, says Bsquare

IIoT adoption increases, but projects still early-stage, says Bsquare

A new survey from Bsquare finds that few industrial companies are using advanced analytics to make sense of IoT data.

Almost nine out of ten (86 percent) of industrial organizations are currently adopting IoT solutions and 84 per cent believe them to be ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ effective, according to a new survey from IoT specialist Bsquare.

The IIoT Maturity Study finds that even more (95 percent) believe that IoT has a significant impact on their industry – but it also shows that most IIoT investments remain focused on connectivity (78 percent) and data visualization (83 percent). Fewer than half of respondents (48 percent) have moved on to performing advanced analytics on that data and even fewer (28 percent) are automating processes based on the insights derived from that analysis.

The survey questioned around 300 respondents in the US at companies with annual revenues of more than $ 250 million. Participants were evenly divided among three industry groups: manufacturing, transportation, and oil and gas.

Read more: IIoT could revolutionize UK manufacturing, says Siemens-led report

IIoT: Complex, but merits investment

Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of all respondents say their businesses plan to increase their IoT investments over the next 12 months, despite almost every respondent acknowledging that IoT deployments are complex.

Nine out of 10 decision-makers feel it is very or somewhat important for their organization to adopt IoT solutions and 95 percent perceive IoT as having either a significant impact on their industry at a global level.

Industrial organizations are using IoT most frequently for device connectivity and data forwarding (78 percent), real-time monitoring (56 percent), and advanced data analytics (48 percent). More mature uses of IoT in industrial settings include automation and enhanced on-board intelligence for machinery.

More than 90 percent of IIoT adopters cite device health as the primary reason for IoT adoption, in a nod perhaps to the growing importance of predictive maintenance, followed by logistics (67 percent), reducing operating costs (24 percent) and increasing production volume (18 percent).

More than half of organizations are using annual subscription models for their IIoT solutions, and 77 percent use a cloud-based model, with Amazon (with AWS) and Microsoft (with Azure) tying for first place as preferred cloud service provider.

“Our study shows that while industrial organizations have enthusiastically adopted IIoT, a majority have not yet moved to more advanced analytics-driven orchestration of data insights,” said Kevin Walsh, vice president of marketing at Bsquare.

“These later stages of IIoT maturity – analytics, orchestration and true edge computing – tend to be where most of the ROI [return on investment] is realized. This is especially important because, according to our study, the number one reason cited for IIoT adoption is cost reduction.”

Read more: Survey shows IIoT has “crossed the chasm”, claims Zebra

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Analysis: From IoT to IIoT and onwards to IIIoT

Analysis: From IoT to IIoT and onwards to IIIoT

Could the IoT be fragmenting into increasingly disparate categories and terms, asks Adrian Bridgwater?

First there was the Internet. Then, there was the Internet of Things (IoT). Sometime after the IoT had established itself as an army of sensors, devices and equipment with a connection to the web, there arrived the notion of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), which seeks to distinguish the use of IoT technologies in factories and power plants, for example, from the consumer realm of wearables and smart home gadgets.

But just as some industry watchers were starting to think that the IIoT term would serve their classification needs for a while longer, yet another layer of IoT terminology has surfaced: the Industrial Infrastructure Internet of Things (IIIoT).

Read more: IIoT ambitions give rise to thriving start-up scene, says CB Insights

What is the IIIoT, anyway?

As a notion of a defined space in the stacks of data and applications feeding to and from the IoT itself, the Industrial Infrastructure Internet of Things (IIIoT) is characterized in two ways: by the types of installation in which it is found; and by the nature of the analytics that it performs.

First, by installation type, the IIIoT is the optical cabling in smart cities, the networking layer of energy plants and ‘big’ machinery from printing presses to industrial moulding units. The IIIoT is digital roads (when they finally arrive), digital street-lighting and the digital air conditioning system in your favorite airport. Often representing a part of what might be defined as a civil engineering project, the IIIoT is massive in physical scale and massive in the number of data points it creates.

Second, by data analytics type, the IIIoT is characterized by meta-level data analytics. But why is this so?

Machines produce more data all the time, obviously. What this means today, 17 years into the post-millennial age, is that we are moving from terabytes onward to petabytes. By the end of the decade, we will be discussing the move from petabytes to exabytes.

What this volume of data creates is an opportunity for meta-level data analytics. Industrial infrastructure, once digitized, can start to shoulder some of the analytics we need to use within its own slice of the total data fabric. Applications will then feed from a more tuned, refined, analyzed, intelligently automated (and essentially smaller and more accurate and de-duplicated) pool of data. The IIIoT shoulders the first stage of all data analytics by executing it at the meta-level.

For an opinion on this topic, Internet of Business spoke to two firms that operate in this space. Yotta is an infrastructure asset management company that uses IoT technologies to collect data in towns and cities, working with local councils to maximise connectivity and value from data analysis. Meanwhile, AspenTech uses IoT, AI and big data to optimize and maintain energy plants, allowing large energy firms to identify when machines are most likely to breakdown before they do so.

Read more: Survey shows IIoT has “crossed the chasm”, claims Zebra

Thoughts from the edge

As Yotta chief product and technology officer Manish Jethwa explains: “It can be easy for data to become unmanageable when the quantities continue to rise to such a high level in terms of terabytes and petabytes and there must be a sound infrastructure in place to mediate the data, which is where meta-level data analytics at the IIIoT level can help.”

He agrees that businesses can use the cloud model to help reduce the sheer amount of data being gathered by sensors and probes, but it is important to analyze what infrastructure is being used to hold and manage the data.

Yotta’s asset management platform Alloy works to extract large volumes of data collected through the use of microservices. The use of microservices is critical because it can help to filter smaller elements of data and then drive crucial data to the right places, which then allows data analysis to happen at a more general level.

“One simple example of this type of data collection in practice is when collecting temperature variations within cities, which may require a number of different sensors to collect regular readings. Microservices can provide a valuable service in reducing multiple measurements into key notifications of predefined threshold being exceeded. It is easy to imagine similar technology being used to monitor noise and air pollution too,” said Jethwa.

Mike Brooks is senior business consultant at AspenTech. Brookes agrees that by using the vast volumes of data today in the right way, businesses can now arm staff with the intelligence that pinpoints exactly the specific part in an asset or system, that if worked on today, could help you to avoid unnecessary failures during a spike in demand, or enable you to negotiate the risk of a random shut down.

“The science of maintenance within the Industrial Infrastructure Internet of Things leverages both historical and real-time operational data, that when fed to algorithms, can model the precursors to failure across all assets and systems. This enables truly accurate and proactive identification of asset vulnerabilities in near real time. The output is a refined set of recommendations that enable engineers and maintenance professionals to act well ahead of any potential impact on individual assets or larger systems,” said Brooks.

Could we add even further I’s to the IoT? Hopefully not… although we’re not ruling out the likelihood that certain industry players might not be able to resist the temptation to start talking about the Industrial Infrastructure Internet Intelligent of Things (IIIIoT).

Read more: IIoT could revolutionize UK manufacturing, says Siemens-led report

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