SMB Nation Blog

SMB Nation has been serving the Bainbridge Island area since 2001, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Get Ready for IoT by Taking 3 Essential Steps

by Oliver Schabenberger

To prepare for IoT, companies need to take advantage of big data and advanced analytics, and adapt their culture, so they are ready for the transformation.

In the early 1990s, the general public made its earliest forays into using the Internet. At the time, no one could have imagined where the IOT one photo shutterstock 468787469 A2technology would lead. Social media, e-commerce, mobile apps, cloud computing, software as a service -- the list is endless. Entire classes of applications -- even industries -- were not even a gleam in their creators' eyes. Today these internet-based technologies have transformed the way we live and work.

Fast-forward more than 25 years. We are at a similar stage in the latest iteration of the internet -- the Internet of Things (IoT). Pundits of all stripes predict that the IoT will change everything. Connected cars. Better patient monitoring devices. Industrial machines that track their own maintenance requirements. Intelligent street lights. Everything will be connected.

As with the original internet, we have no idea where the IoT will take us. And before we see the full impact of the predicted and unforeseen advances, we will need to remove significant technical obstacles, notably security and lack of standards.

Still, despite the roadblocks, companies that get ahead of the IoT curve will undoubtedly benefit from a lasting competitive advantage as they forge new markets. So what can your company do today to prepare for the future of IoT? The following are the top three best practices:

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Lenovo Line Up

Last Look at Accelerate 2017!


I thought you might be interested in these two last looks at the recently completed Lenovo Accelerate 2017 conference in Orlando. I will repeat.

Long-term Roadmap: Analytics and IoT

Lenovo NA President Emilio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My 1:1 with Lenovo NA President Emilio Ghilardi.

Different is Better

Sammy Kinlaw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My 1:1 with  Sammy Kinlaw, NA Channel Chief

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IoT Possibilities in 2017

Internet of Things (IoT) is already impacting working and living environments with exciting trends. It has come a long way and 2017 looks promising for tweaked and heightened possibilities. Technology continues to make mass production cheaper, almost every electronic device is built to be wi-fi ready and IoT close to half of the world’s population now have access to the internet, compared to just 20% in 2007. As broadband internet becomes cheaper to connect and use, it is only fair to expect a tsunami of IoT from 2017. The concept of IoT is to connect every powered device to the internet; once it can be turned on and off, why not hook it up to the internet?

Imagine your alarm waking you up at 6:30 am and sending an instruction to your water heater to warm your bath water, and your coffee maker to start brewing. Imagine if your car could communicate parts which are due to be changed to a supplier and automatically schedule a date for replacement after interacting with your calendar to know when you will have the time. What about the possibility to have your printer place an order online for new supplies of paper and cartridges … the possibilities are endless. The kitchen is one area in the house where IoT can be optimize for efficiency to reduce waste and power consumption and this year will see a lot of focus accordingly.

Last year provided the opportunity for companies to build devices ready to take advantage of the IoT concept. CES 2016 showcased most of those devices; as the big companies and the known brands were flexing muscles, startups were also showcasing what the big companies were overlooking. Now there is internet and its penetration is unstoppable; let everything that can be connected be connected now! Apple and Google launched home products last year to connect lights, locks, thermostats and other home devices to the internet to enable them to be seamlessly controlled even away from home.

With the seamless connection of everyday useful items to the internet comes the concern on security and hacking. Last year, IoT took a nervous hit when reports suggested that Dyn, a cloud based internet performance management company which provides services to companies like Twitter and Netflix, was attacked. It was believed by experts that the attack was caused by Mirai bot, which scouted the internet for IoT devices with default usernames and passwords, using them for the attack. This partly prompted the release of the security framework of Industrial Internet Consortium. Hackers will not backdown on their malicious activities, but security will also be continually heightened. Nevertheless, a major security breach is probably just a click away.

IoT will not be limited to homes, offices and cars this year. Cities will also work effortlessly to have transportation, traffic, waste and energy management all coordinated with IoT. Q4 last year saw a lot of work to bring artificial intelligence to mobile. IoT will tap into those possibilities as well. Strategic alliances and collaborations will also be made by small and medium scale organizations to produce low cost items to increase patronage of IoT ready devices. This will ultimately set the right tone for a much bigger wave next year.

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Start-Up Pitch-Off Event Review

Start-Up Pitch-Off Event Review

I never met a press pass I didn’t like. Such an award is a glitterati pass not open to all. I’ve done the US Open (last year at this time at Chambers Bay in the Seattle-area), an IoT conference, countless Microsoft Worldwide partner conferences (WCP) and many other events. So I jumped at opportunity to attend the TechCrunch (TC) Seattle Meetup and Pitch-Off this past week. I wasn’t disappointed and I will repeat. I was impressed that TC could attract over 300+ attendees to this event (that’s hard – let me tell ya). Further I was impressed how extroverted everyone was. Folks walking up and striking up a start-up chat. For just an evening, Seattle lost its shy Scandinavian culture.


Let’s get specific. One intrepid entrepreneur, Bill Herling, introduced himself to the SMB Nation team at the event (myself and Tim Carlson). He is the founder and CEO of Dial which is a new video storytelling platform and a way to create and share interactive advertisements. Turns out Herling lives near our Bainbridge Island location and we intend to get together soon to discuss good business. First conversations will be about raising capital for his endeavor. In the pic, Herling is center and Tim Carlsen is left. What I liked about Herling’s moxie is that he attended as an “attendee” and was not one of the selected pitch-off start-ups who made a 60-sec “pitch” before the entire audience. Rather Herling engaged in “Hallway 101” working it ‘til it hurt. My kinda guy!


Finally, a comment on the format. After an arrivals period, the pitch-off competition commenced. Then the winners were announced. For the record – here are the start-ups that played in the pitch-off reindeer game:

The TC Meetup and Pitch-Off is a traveling roadshow. For example, it recently visited Austin as well. Next up is Tel Aviv and Berlin. 

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MachNation provides recommendation for IoT security vendors

The Internet of Things continues to lead industry news and innovation in the second half of 2015, and myriad providers and vendors are attuned to IoT’s importance. 

MachNation, an IoT insight services and application development firm, announced today recommendations for five security vendors and 10 requirements for creating a secure solution in “IoT Security Landscape and Vendor Recommendations 2015.”

“MachNation has been providing our customers with industry-leading analysis and strategic support for their IoT initiatives,” said Steve Hilton, co-founder and President, MachNation. “Today, we are thrilled to announce a new publication that provides a list of 5 recommended IoT security vendors and 10 requirements to help public and private sector organizations craft a holistically secure IoT solution. We recommend the IoT security solutions of ARM, Bayshore Networks, Cisco, Intel and Wipro.”

The report, available here, covers the five recommended providers in detail and provides information about 13 other IoT security vendors.

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Webroot and Lynx partner to protect IoT

Webroot and Lynx Software Technologies announced earlier this week the start of a strategic partnership combining security technologies to enable developers to build advanced threat detection and protection into IoT and IIoT devices. 

In the combined solution, components of Webroot’s IoT Security Toolkit are embedded inside the LynxSecure Hypervisor secure virtual space. 

“With constantly changing security threats, we need an IoT security solution that adapts to any environment while taking into account the importance of future-proofing and the need for living protection,” said Dick Williams, Webroot CEO. “As we bring our cloud-based threat intelligence to IoT developers through the Webroot IoT Security Toolkit, we see a very clear alliance with Lynx. By combining our technologies, we’re able to offer a unique solution to protect the connected IoT world from advanced targeted threats.”

The integration of Webroot’s toolkit substantially increases threat awareness, Lynx CEO Gurjot Singh agreed.

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Frost & Sullivan awards Webroot for IoT cybersecurity innovation

Webroot announced yesterday it received the 2015 North American Cybersecurity for Robotics & Industrial Control Frost & Sullivan Product Leadership Award, which recognizes Webroot’s IoT cybersecurity and Industrial Internet of Things technologies. 

"We are honored to accept this coveted award, and it serves as strong validation of Webroot's overall IoT security leadership and unique, future-proofing strategy," said John Sirianni, VP of IoT Strategic Partnerships at Webroot. "While existing cybersecurity solutions for embedded devices focus on locking down systems at the time of manufacture—which has been shown to be ineffective against the evolving threat landscape—BrightCloud Threat Intelligence continuously monitors the origin and nature of attacks, and defends vulnerable IIoT devices and systems against ever-evolving exploits."  

Webroot’s technology combines BrghtCloud Threat Intelligence with Webroot’s device micro-agents to protect connected devices against threats including DDoS attacks, malware, ransomware and sensitive data exfiltration.

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Webroot releases IoT toolkit, equips users with protection and threat intelligence

Webroot announced yesterday the release of the Webroot IoT Security Toolkit, which enables Internet of Things and Industrial Internet of Things solution designers and system integrators to integrate threat intelligence services and cybersecurity device agents. webroot

The IoT Security Toolkit is designed to protect next-gen systems against advanced threats of ever-evolving malware, zero-day exploits and internal vulnerabilities.

"As the world begins to unlock the potential of IoT devices and platforms, cybercriminals are deploying more advanced attacks to hijack critical applications inside edge devices," said John Sirianni, VP of IoT Strategic Partnerships at Webroot. "Because the Webroot IoT Security Toolkit leverages real-time threat intelligence to protect deployed systems against cyberattacks, solution designers and integrators can meet the mandatory requirements for security and safety systems by ensuring that critical devices and systems operate as expected. Together with our strategic partners, we are playing a critical role in developing and deploying devices and systems that are defended against the zero-day and advanced persistent threats of today and tomorrow."

The toolkit includes device agents, BrightCloud Threat Intelligence Services and a secure web gateway.

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Altera Joins Industrial Internet Consortium

Altera Joins Industrial Internet Consortium

Altera Corporation announced today it joined the Industrial Internet Consortium, an industry organization focused on facilitating development of an Internet of Things global ecosystem.Internet of Things

"Altera technology will enable the IIC to look at innovative ways to support accelerated intelligent cloud and gateway platforms that collect and process the input from a wide variety of 'things' at the edge of the network," said David Moore, director, Industrial Business Unit at Altera. "These platforms can benefit significantly from Altera's hardware and software programmability, which can flexibly service fragmented application needs while offering the performance to cost-effectively accelerate analytics and security in the data center and IoT infrastructure."

Altera brings to IIC its FPHA and SoC products and experience, which offer designers the ability to securely bridge wired and wireless interface standards across a range of IoT applications. It will work with other consortium members to build out the Industrial Internet, a network of intelligent devices and sensors.

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Uber Allies with AT&T to Expand Coverage

UberUber and AT&T recently announced that they have entered into an agreement which will allow Uber to greatly expand its coverage in the United States. As of this writing, Uber is in 60 cities, and has been able to cover 43% of the US population in four years (you may remember Harry’s article on his experience with Uber). The company is now switching its focus slightly from expansion in distinct cities, to general overall coverage in a campaign known as UberEVERYWHERE.

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Parallels Summit Day Three: Company News and Insights from Serguei Beloussov

Parallels Summit LogoWednesday marked the final day of the Parallels summit, and I wanted to take some time to not only give a quick summary of that morning’s keynote from Arconis CEO, Serguei Beloussov, but to also cover Parallels’ company announcements.

I’ll begin with the news Parallels released earlier this week in the form of a press release. Parallels announced that it has completely redesigned its Parallels Cloud University, an online (browser-based) training program for business and technical roles in service providers’ companies. According to Parallels, this training allows service provider partners to quickly onboard new employees.

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