Phantom http://phantomiot.com/ Everything Internet of Things! Tue, 09 Apr 2019 23:40:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.1 Advantages of the Internet of Things https://phantomiot.com/2019/04/09/advantages-of-the-internet-of-things/ https://phantomiot.com/2019/04/09/advantages-of-the-internet-of-things/#respond Tue, 09 Apr 2019 23:40:41 +0000 https://phantomiot.com/?p=111 Continue readingAdvantages of the Internet of Things]]> The internet of things, or IoT, is a system of interrelated devices and objects that communicate over the internet.

What does this mean to us? Here lies a great question: What does something like a cell phone, tablet, or car have in common with something like an eye?

The Internet of Things could potentially transform every aspect of life, especially, for instance, transportation, as it has many uses today, such as providing a seamless and easy-to-use interface between the world and your connected place of work. However, there are significant technological barriers to such a technology because each aspect is different and requires different solutions. Even with IoT and their associated technologies, there is an expectation that IoT devices will continue to provide the same functionality and to provide more value for their users. For instance, a smartphone should offer the capabilities you need to safely store stored data and access it efficiently.

What are different from IoT devices in one way or another? How do they work?

One important question to consider is a critical one: how do they function? To answer this question would require a thorough and rigorous examination of how both of these technologies work. The basic idea is that an IoT device needs to be able to interact directly with its physical owner and that they are being connected to the physical world in a physically connected way.

As far as functionality goes, a large portion of the design and development of an IoT device is being done by hands-on and hands-on experiments. In order to create a device that can interact directly with its physical owner, this device has to adhere to a set of requirements. Accordingly the user must first define three common functions to fulfill these function requirements:

the interface and the device must communicate with one another through a physical link. A device that communicates this in a physical way via a physical router is not connected to the Internet

The interface and device must provide user information across a number of dimensions like distance between two points or distances from one another

a physical network of data will be connected to the interfaces. At first sight this looks like a simple protocol with an abstract protocol, but that is not the case: the most fundamental part is what happens in the event that the link between the interface and the device is broken. A router is needed that will be able to connect through the router to a specific device of the interface. These must be interfaces. The network must also have a common interface.

The solution is to provide an interface that satisfies the interfaces requirement above. For instance, here is a video demonstration of what the interfaces requirement is like:

A third component of the same project could be a smart computer, or at least a computer that can be programmed to recognize and respond to messages, such as the ones that are being sent by a mobile phone to your home that are transmitted to your home by a smartphone that is connected to your car. However, how it responds and what happens in a smart computer’s environment must be understood, as it is part of every interaction that can be in use within that same device.

Finally, I hope I have covered all of this within a very short amount of time. If you feel like you need more information, ask your question below. Or write me a brief e-mail with your comment or question in the comment section below.

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Microsoft’s Surface is Back! https://phantomiot.com/2018/06/27/microsofts-surface-is-back/ https://phantomiot.com/2018/06/27/microsofts-surface-is-back/#respond Wed, 27 Jun 2018 14:00:37 +0000 https://phantomiot.com/?p=98 Continue readingMicrosoft’s Surface is Back!]]> Now, better than ever, is Microsoft’s newest addition to their Surface lineup. The various rumors have been squashed after the announcement of the new Surface Phone. It combines the best of the loved Surface device lineup with the portability and functionality of the iconic Windows phones. This is clearly Microsoft’s newest attempt at entering the lucrative mobile phone market. Perhaps, they will have better luck this time and be able to secure users for themselves.

The phone has one intriguing feature that has us all on our toes. Microsoft revealed that their preliminary designs show that the phone has the ability to fold out with a larger screen. This appears to be an attempt at capturing the phablet (phone + tablet) market and providing a versatile Windows powered device that can do more than a phone or tablet can do alone. In BlackBerry’s recent Key 2 premier we saw that physical keyboards are in demand for smart phones. We might see Microsoft capture this idea and offer a keyboard to go along with the Surface Phone.

What operating system will it run?

We all saw Microsoft pathetic attempt at integrating phones with desktops in the most hated operating system, Windows 8. They quickly withdrew and brought back the features that made computers great in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Experts suspect that the Surface Phone will be running a variant of Windows 10 that captures the mobile interface features of Windows 8. This may be surprising for some, but smart phones need an interactive touch screen that Windows 10 does not offer well.

How much will it cost?

Well, we won’t know exactly until it hits the stores, but the phone is expected to be priced near other flagship devices. With the all so expensive and powerful iPhone X retailing for over $1000 on release, it would not be surprising to see Microsoft new flagship dropping for upwards for $700. Microsoft does not have an established App store with the users and dominance that Apple enjoys. So, we can expect their profits from software sales to be lower.

But, is Microsoft even looking to make a profit with this phone? If they want a dominant position in the mobile phone market, Microsoft will have to offer something that Google and Apple do not provide or drop prices so low that users cannot resist. Nobody wants to have to learn a new mobile operating system and setup their phone from scratch. Only the most adventurous and dedicated users are willing to do this, so it was a great call by Microsoft to start out with releasing a flagship phone that is irresistible to phone gurus. We will have to wait and see, however, if it can pass the test.

Microsoft isn’t the only one folding their phones. Samsung also has plans on a foldable top of the line, flagship, smart phone. Leaked pictures show a similar folding design to the Surface Phone but without the Windows operating system. Android is not equipped to deal with two screens, so Samsung is going to have their software engineers hard at work to make this folding phone perform well in the hands of users. Samsung, however, will have the upper hand with their new OLED screens that have much better colors and viewing angles than tradition smartphone screens. The technology lets each individual pixel be turned off and on at will instead of using a backlight and using the pixels as filters.

None the less, smart phone innovation is not stopping, and the future has tons of new ideas and systems of phone gurus like myself to enjoy. Follow our blog to learn more.

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Tips for Staying Safe Online https://phantomiot.com/2017/08/14/tips-for-staying-safe-online/ https://phantomiot.com/2017/08/14/tips-for-staying-safe-online/#respond Mon, 14 Aug 2017 20:46:28 +0000 https://phantomiot.com/?p=80 Continue readingTips for Staying Safe Online]]> With so many recent cyber attacks, staying safe online is becoming a harder and harder task. I often find myself second guessing whether or not I am truly safe from attackers. Here are some tips that will help you protect you and your family from cyber warfare.

1. Invest in Network Security
One of the worst things that can happen is if an attack gets between you and your destination. Imagine you send a letter to a friend, but before the it is delivered, an attack can read it and edit it. This is the exact problem that many people face online today. By using something called a virtual private network (VPN), you can keep your internet connection secure. When you have a VPN active, attackers will be unable to read your emails or change what you see. The only problem is that the most secure VPNs are not free. A couple bucks a month is definitely worth it to keep you and your browsing history out of the way of attackers. Private Internet Access is a company that offers a great VPN at a very affordable cost.

2. Use Different Passwords
Come on, I know you do it too. Hell, everybody does it. We all reuse the same password on multiple websites. And this is a problem. If an attacker manages to hack the mainframe of a website you visit, they can gain access to the database and learn what password you used on that site. Now imagine if you used that single password on every website. That attacker now has access to your facebook, youtube, bank account, email, and so much more. By using a unique password on every website, you can keep attackers from ruining your life. Be sure to tell your friends and family this tip so they can stay safe and fend off attackers as well.

3. Be Smart
A technique called social engineering is when an attack attempts to trick a victim into believing something false and doing something they shouldn’t be doing. For example, if someone left you a voicemail saying that they were your bank and you needed to call them back, what would you do? Most of us would just call that phone number back and tell them our bank account information. That attacker used social engineering to gain access to our bank information by pretending to be our bank! Now the question you are thinking is probably “how can I protect myself from this.”
To protect yourself from social engineering and phone scams, just follow these simple steps.

  • Don’t blindly accept what the person on the other end is telling you is a fact without concrete evidence.
  • Don’t waste your time trying to identify if a phone number belongs to a scammer. Instead use a phone number reputation website like Glasscaller to see what people in your community have experienced with a phone number.
  • Always take a few moments think before you reveal any identifying information through the phone.
  • Take the step to initiate the phone call instead of letting someone call you. Attackers can spoof their phone number and make it appear on caller id that they calling from a phone number they do not control.

4. Use privacy settings
All of the major social networks allow you to select who can see and comment on your profile. It may not be in your best interest if anyone can access the information you post online. If an attacked knows you are going on vacation for a week, they may come and break into your home and steal from you when you are not away.
Privacy settings can be a great way to keep your private life private. There is no reason your employer needs to know how much you love that hot new bikini you just purchased.

And last of all please remember that just because something awful happens online doesn’t mean your life is ruined. Take a break from the internet to relax and keep a clear mind. Too much time online is not healthy.

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Apple’s iPhone 8 https://phantomiot.com/2017/08/10/apples-iphone-8/ https://phantomiot.com/2017/08/10/apples-iphone-8/#respond Thu, 10 Aug 2017 04:11:22 +0000 https://phantomiot.com/?p=69 Continue readingApple’s iPhone 8]]> The luxury smart phone we have all been waiting for is planned to be released in stores this September. This newest iPhone brandishes some major changes and improvements over the previous generation. Whether or not you like the changes is up to you, but we will be disclosing them all in this post.

In my eyes, the most important part of the newest iPhone is the display. The iPhone 8 will feature an edge-to-edge display that is slightly curved at the sides. Contrary to previous iPhone’s, the iPhone 8 will allow users to enjoy a larger screen without a larger phone. The display also boasts True Tone technology which makes the image as perfect as it can be. Images on the display will look as life-like as they come.

The second major improvement is the camera. The iPhone 8 will feature a dual-lense rear-facing camera. This means that the back of your new phone will have TWO cameras. You may be thinking: why on earth would I want two cameras on my phone? It’s a bit difficult to explain, but a second camera allows app developers to create amazing augmented reality simulations. Thought PokemonGo was cool? Think again cause that is going to be thrown out of the park.

Just like most modern android phones, the iPhone 8 will be equipped with wireless charging. That means you won’t have to try to plug the damn adapter into your phone in the dark.  Just drop you phone onto a charging pad and it will automatically begin charging.

Annoyed with the iPhone 7’s earbud connector? We all thought Apple’s decision to remove the audio jack was terrible. Little did we know was that Apple was planning on removing corded audio all together. The iPhone 8 will come with wireless beatings earbuds that don’t even have to be plugged in to charge. They will be powered wirelessly from your phone. Amazing, huh?

Don’t like Touch ID? Well then the new iPhone 8 is for you. It will come equipped with facial recognition software called Face ID. It will let you unlock your iPhone by just looking at it. The technology uses 3D lasers and iris scanners to identify you and ensure that it isn’t just looking at a picture of you. Face ID has been said to be accurate enough to distinguish between identical twins!

The iPhone 8 won’t be for everyone however. Apple is planning on increasing the price even further past the iPhone 7’s whopping $977. Having the newest iPhone may make you the coolest girl around the block, but you wallet will hurt. Start saving up now and you may be able to afford it without having to lock yourself into a payment plan or payday loan.

 

Stay tuned to Phantom for more updates on the latest and greatest phone and technology news.

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The Internet of Things https://phantomiot.com/2017/08/08/the-internet-of-things/ https://phantomiot.com/2017/08/08/the-internet-of-things/#respond Tue, 08 Aug 2017 16:04:17 +0000 https://phantomiot.com/?p=61 Continue readingThe Internet of Things]]> How It Works
The Internet of things is changing society and the world we live in. There are physical chips that transmit data to a network. This network helps the devices to communicate with each other. The place where the transmitted data go to is at the internet of things platform. It filters the data and takes the most significant data about industries with specialized needs. It takes data from devices and connects to a system where it can change how people shop, use energy and spend time. One example of this is traffic cameras where it can see accidents, weather, and traffic jams. This data then goes through a system where then it can alert people of traffic in an area and do more with the other data. Another example is in stores if more and more people buy a certain product then through the internet of things other stores can stock up on that product to make it more convenient and prevent a problem. The internet of things makes everything more efficient and more convenient. Billions of devices are connected to the internet and can give meaningful information to help the world we live in work properly.

Is the Internet of Things Good for the Future.
Most believe that the internet of things will create a brighter future through technology. I agree with this because technology is advancing the world and the internet of things is helping by giving meaningful data. The internet of things will change how we live in the near future. The internet of things connects smoke detectors, trains, cars, street lights, wind turbines, heart monitors, computers, mobile phones, and much more. The inter connecting networks help with people needs and wants. Also what needs to be changed and have to be improved. One prediction I have that the internet of thing will achieve is more cities will use internet of things devices. What I mean is cities will start to find the benefits of the internet of things and how it will make them more efficient. They will start to automate their systems to save both money and time. But of course, with an opinion, there will be people that will disagree. People think will all this technology and automation it might be impossible to control it. Technology is every where and people believe that internet of things makes it easier to hack into devices and ruin everything.

Internet of Things Security
The main problem with Internet of Things is that the idea is fairly new. The security had not been fully considered and caused a lot of problems. Experts have warned of the huge risk that many devices connected to the internet may be unsecured. Hacking was a definite possibility, but as the years passed since the idea of the internet of things the security increased due to the huge usage of the internet of things.

More Information on the Internet on Thing Platform
Having a good platform to collect data from devices, sensors, networks, and software can help swiftly deploy internet of things solutions. A platform can exchange certain data between applications. With technology changing the world it is a need that internet of things platforms to exist and work properly.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Internet of Things
Advantages
There is more information, this makes it easier and more convenient to make correct choices. With internet of things, people can save huge amounts of time. It also can help save money, technology replaces human jobs which are in charge of monitoring supplies and other things.
Disadvantage
It is very Complex and can cause many problems and bugs. There were many problems with keeping privacy protected and important data. There also a chance that the software can be hacked which but your privacy at risk. Your info can be misused or abused and it can many problems that may be difficult to fix.

Conclusion
All in all the internet of things is pushing the world we live in forward. But there is still a problem in this what we can’t just ignore. There are efforts to fix the internet of things to help it run the future. This era of technology will definitely have its positives and negatives.

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HIPAA In The IoT https://phantomiot.com/2016/06/29/hipaa-in-the-iot/ https://phantomiot.com/2016/06/29/hipaa-in-the-iot/#respond Wed, 29 Jun 2016 16:03:47 +0000 http://104.128.237.251/?p=18 Continue readingHIPAA In The IoT]]> The HIPAA Of Things

There is a massive effort underway to move healthcare out of big expensive hospital settings and into outpatient clinics, doctors’ offices and even our homes.  Even within hospitals, medical devices are being connected in manners never before possible in order to provide higher levels of care.

All of these efforts have serious implications in terms of protecting our information and that falls under the HHS HIPAA regulations.  In January the FDA released guidelines that essentially pushes HIPAA compliance out to the medical device endpoints.

We have been stating over and over that Phantom is different, that we provide complete security and not a series of one-off hacks.  To drive this point home, we wanted to explore what it means to be HIPAA-compliant, show how Phantom supports this compliance and challenge you to show us anything else in the market that comes close to what we offer the IoT.

Privacy

HIPAA breaks down into 4 main categories: privacy, hacking protection, controlled access and workforce compliance.  We will examine each one in turn.

The first part of HIPAA states that an entity must:

  1. Ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of all e-PHI they create, receive, maintain or transmit;

This part of HIPAA is probably the easiest to support as it broadly breaks down into protecting data in transit from the point where the data is collected/stored to some other endpoint.  And yet that has implications in IoT security that are mostly glossed over these days.  To properly enforce HIPAA, the data must be encrypted, really, and the medical device endpoint and then securely transmitted “usually over multiple mediums” to a cloud in many cases.

Take, as one example, a simple Bluetooth-enabled diagnostic tool such as a thermometer. In order to protect that data, the information has to flow over Bluetooth to a local computer and then be transmitted, usually over a local WiFi connection, to a local server.  Finally the data is transmitted from the local server, usually an EHR repository, to a cloud and that often goes over the Internet.  Think about the options for protection today and it becomes clear that no single solution exists to protect data all the way through these endpoints.

Phantom, on the other hand, works over Bluetooth, WiFi and the Internet and works from the medical devices through the local laptop to the local servers and to the cloud.  With Phantom, a single administrative interface can provide policy-based control that ensures full privacy of the collected data all the way through this chain.

Hacking Protection

This part of HIPAA, on the other side of the spectrum, is probably the most difficult to maintain int the IoT as it states that compliance equates to the ability to detect and respond to new attacks on systems conveying, storing or processing health-related data. In mainstream systems, with updateable software (like your computer), this process is challenging but not impossible.

But how about medical devices? They run embedded software “many without an operating system anywhere in sight” and they are inherently static and not easy to update, if updating is at all possible. In fact, many medical devices lack the basic hardware required to support the standard encryption for Privacy and will need to be replaced if a vendor goes down that road. (For the record, Phantom can enforce privacy without requiring hardware changes in most cases).

How can systems that are never meant to change adapt to new threats? And if you somehow can change these systems, existing security forces those changes to occur in patient-facing code and that could mean going through a compliance review (think years) just to respond to a new attack.

This is where Phantom really shines as we provide an independent layer of protection that can be updated at any time even on embedded systems. Since we are independent of the patient-facing software, we do not incur compliance hits. Given the fact that our entire behavioral set sits in policies, changing how Phantom functions in order to overcome a new exploits reduces to simple configuration changes.

Controlled Access

We particularly enjoy this part of HIPAA as it completely obviates the use of any other “security” in the IoT space. The statute states that an entity must:

3. Protect against reasonably anticipated, impermissible uses or disclosures;

This part of HIPAA can be thought of as the Active Directory part of the rules. If you consider your business network, you log into your computer to prove who you are (authentication) and then you are provided with a set of rules that determine what data you are allowed to access (authorization). These are two of the Triple A’s for all modern enterprise security system (auditing will be discussed in the next section) and they are crucial for HIPAA compliance in modern, non-IoT systems.

Now look in the IoT and try to find anything on the market that provides device-level authentication and authorization from medical device endpoint to the cloud, go ahead we will wait.

It does not exist and that is because nothing on the market offers a true security solution (and, no, encryption is NOT complete protection!).

Phantom, on the other hand, does provide direct device-to-device authentication and a comprehensive authorization component that locks down communications to whatever degree is required. With Phantom, HIPAA controlled access rules can be enforced even when no humans are around and devices are running the show. By the way, almost all modern IoT hacks occur due to a lack of authentication and authorization – NOT due to poor encryption.

To this end you can think of Phantom as the Active Directory for The IoT.

Workforce Compliance

The last part of the HIPAA rules state that an entity must:

4. Ensure compliance by their workforce.

In enterprise security terminology, this part of the rules is enforced through auditing which you can think of as the process by which your phone company determines how many minutes you used last month. In non-IoT systems, auditing is supporting through auditing servers that receive messages from service-providing applications stating that a given service was provided to a given user. While we have issues with Triple A services in general, and the lack of guaranteed delivery for auditing in particular, that is beyond the scope of this post.

In regards to HIPAA, auditing provides a mechanism to track the flow of patient data in a system and to ensure that the data is not shared or viewed by unauthorized people. These audit trails are essential for HIPAA compliance and yet how can an IoT system possibly support this requirement when there are no auditing servers in sight?

Phantom actually provides an intricate reporting system that sits underneath healthcare software and that can support auditing throughout a system. Since Phantom travels over any medium, there are no barriers to tracking data flow and since Phantom is policy-based, where reporting data is stored, transmitted and aggregated can be adjusted on the fly for performance and connectivity reasons. Best of all, since Phantom sits on all endpoints, auditing can be evolved from the current well I sent IoT paradigm into a guaranteed delivery solution that can verify not only the sending of data but also the integrity and reception of that data at a given target endpoint.

So there is a basic overview of HIPAA and how Phantom can support those rules in the IoT now show us any other solution on the market that can do the same thing.

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Enterprise IoT https://phantomiot.com/2016/06/28/enterprise-iot/ https://phantomiot.com/2016/06/28/enterprise-iot/#respond Tue, 28 Jun 2016 13:23:51 +0000 http://104.128.237.251/?p=16 Continue readingEnterprise IoT]]> Is The IoT Ready For The Enterprise?

We hear about it constantly – trillions of dollars worth of industry upgrades; billions of dollars in new industry, the Internet of Things (IoT) will be everywhere.

The Biggest Thing To Ever Impact Humanity.

The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread (well…maybe not sliced bread…)

But is the IoT really ready for the enterprise?

One on hand, the IoT has actually been around for a long time in terms of machine to machine (M2M) communications and, in fact, things like our cars and many commercial buildings employ smart systems. That stated, these systems, while technically IoT systems, are not the focus of these fantastical forecasts.

Instead images of millions of devices running in an automated manner and producing vast amounts of new – and supposedly valuable – data are the focus. Yet when one looks at this scenario from an Enterprise IT perspective, it is not excitement and a rosy future they see…

It is a Big Fat Nightmare.

Enterprise IT groups are notoriously understaffed and overwhelmed with demand. They have collectively learned over time that anything new needs to minimize the burden on their strained resources and the IoT does the opposite. Whereas enterprise IT groups require centralized administration, the IoT is the wild west with no clear concept of control at all – much less something centralized. Enterprise IT groups want to leverage existing people and reduce complexity into understandable policies that, ideally, prevent learning curves for new technology. The IoT is an accumulation of deep technology, disparate protocols and it requires a vast number of deep technical skills to manage it at any level.

From a non-human perspective, enterprise IT groups are struggling to see how they can support IoT systems at scale in any secure manner – an essential requirement when dealing with sensitive information. Modern security options overwhelm networks or simply fail at scale. Nothing provides true, end-to-end protection and there is nothing on the market that provides a cohesive reporting platform for any level of business intelligence.

So why would enterprise IT adopt the IoT again?

Enterprise IT controls mainstream adoption of any new market and, until the IoT can meet these basic requirements, it will remain a fringe movement with a ton of potential.

Maybe you disagree and, if so, tell us why.

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Smart Building Use Case https://phantomiot.com/2016/06/27/smart-building-use-case/ https://phantomiot.com/2016/06/27/smart-building-use-case/#respond Mon, 27 Jun 2016 11:11:11 +0000 http://104.128.237.251/?p=24 Continue readingSmart Building Use Case]]> Testing The Market: Smart Buildings

Phantom provides a unique way to plug the security holes in the Internet of Things (IoT) is a way that does not require any code/system changes. This ability results in some interesting potential solutions and we are currently trying to figure out which solution will give us our best chance at early success.

To this end, we need your help.

We will be releasing a series of blog posts that explain a given specific use case and we really want to hear from you in terms of interest. If you are involved in the target story, then please let us know what you think. Are we on target or missing the boat? Is this something of high interest/need or a topic you laugh about and would not even consider for years?

Your input now can save us tons of time and really help us increase our chances of success.

Thank you so much – now onto the use case!

Use Case: Smart Control Systems

There is a ton of literature online about the perils of not protecting buildings, energy grids and data centers.  Everything from Stuxnet to the Target hack to threats that our entire infrastructure will go offline and cost a trillion dollars in damage.  In response there are tons of efforts underway to figure out how to standardize the protection of these systems – now called Cyber-Physical Systems – and mitigate future attacks.

But how real are these needs and what are people willing to do today?

In the case of Phantom, we can provide a solution today that will protect smart control systems and fully support whatever standards come down the road tomorrow.  With Phantom, ICSs, or CPSs as they are now labeled, can be completely secure with minimally impact in terms of resources.  We do not require any software changes or configuration modifications in current systems and our software is easy to implement.  Moreover, either Phantom or a trusted vendor can manage the deployed solution – which works across a range of CPSs (HVAC, lighting, electric gird, security, etc…) to further minimize the impact of any future regulations.

Does anybody care?

We ask because it appears that people need to be forced into accepting security.  In MedTech, these is much easier as HIPAA gives providers no choice and now HIPAA is being expanded to medical devices.  Phantom can maintain compliance without impacting systems and that appears to be a solid sale.  In finance, FIPS rules denote exactly how systems need to be secured and, again, FIPS is spreading into the IoT and Phantom’s ability to maintain FIPS compliance transparently seems to be of interest.

And yet, while there is a ton of activity, no such compliance rules yet exist in smart buildings/control systems.  They are on their way and should be here in the next 3-5 years.  Given the fact that new largest commercial building efforts often take as long, or longer, to build and they anything deployed by system integrators today will be susceptible to new rules as they come out, there is a strong case to be made for Phantom to be used now.

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But is it enough?  If you are a commercial builder, system integrator or engineering design firm, is security really at the forefront of your discussions?  Do you see an option such as Phantom being a value add today or an issue you will deal with down the road?

Thank you for your comments!

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Putting Security In Its Place https://phantomiot.com/2016/06/17/putting-security-in-its-place/ https://phantomiot.com/2016/06/17/putting-security-in-its-place/#respond Fri, 17 Jun 2016 04:45:34 +0000 http://104.128.237.251/?p=22 Continue readingPutting Security In Its Place]]> Why (Cyber) Security Is So Hard

“It is the programmer’s job…no wait the system admin…no, no the network engineer…err who is running our security shop again?!?”

Deadlines missed because of “stupid security needs”.

Groans, and lost revenues, as yet another fleeting security product results in yet more business disruption.

Man, security stinks.

The reality is that security is not some evil plan by nerds to take down corporations – rather it is just in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Security is also poorly understood, rarely implemented properly and it needs to evolve.

Understanding Cybersecurity

First the Big News – cybersecurity is not “encrypting some data” (which, BTW, precludes almost every “solution” in the IoT space). Rather cybersecurity is the ability to monitor and control how a system behaves. This translates into technical things such as authentications, authorization and, yes, encryption. Security also translates into nonobvious features such as central administration and reporting/system visualization. Cybersecurity, therefore, cannot be construed through the lens of a series of one-off partial solutions for an overall system – rather it needs to be considered through a holistic lens across the entire system.

Proper security, therefore, is a foundational tool upon which systems should be built.

Positioning Security

With a basic understanding that security is really a foundational tool, it becomes fairly clear that security really needs to move out of the way. Think about it – people are trying to build into systems the foundational upon which those systems should reside.

Huh?

You are not asked to break your email into packets and send those packets over the network. Instead, brilliant people in the past realized that all systems needs to be built on ubiquitous communications foundations and moved their technology down and out of the way. You do not see people trying to write code to send packets of data over the wire into their applications – that makes no sense – so why are they trying to add in security?

If you look at all of the reason why security sucks, it is clear that those issues all revolve around a foundational system (security) being forced into the upper levels of IT and business. Companies want to build functionality and not get dragged into the mire of foundation building – especially when the current options force a kluge of disparate technologies throughout an enterprise.

Phantom Learning

Sure Phantom does just this type of work – we move security down and out of the way – but the repercussions of that move were surprising. We had intended this move to enable us to free ourselves of operating system dependencies (it did) but we did not realize the true breadth of this approach until we succeeded in building our initial smart layer.

What we discovered was an amazing ability to effortlessly change and adapt to new attacks, gain incredibly-detailed views into systems and scale at massive scales – all with no business disruptions and all without really caring what is running on top of us. We discovered that cloud services, IoT devices, mobile apps – it really did not matter. We even run under modern options such as VPNs with no impact and over every medium we have discovered – WiFi, Bluetooth, OTA, RF and even microwave. It is almost as if the current Internet architecture was waiting for a system such as ours.

Security is NOT hard – it is a foundation. Things get hard when you try to force foundational efforts into the very systems upon which the foundation should be built. Correcting the fundamental issue and security becomes both easier to accomplish and no longer an obstacle for business success.

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Is IoT Mainstream? https://phantomiot.com/2016/04/05/is-iot-mainstream/ https://phantomiot.com/2016/04/05/is-iot-mainstream/#respond Tue, 05 Apr 2016 23:00:39 +0000 http://104.128.237.251/?p=20 Continue readingIs IoT Mainstream?]]> Is The Internet of Things Mainstream?

We all hear the quotes – the Internet of Things, Industrial Automation (basically anything with an Internet connection) is going to be MASSIVE.  Accounting for trillions of dollars and billions of devices in just a few years.  The IoT will dominate our lives – from safer buildings and cars to medicine and critical infrastructure…

But is it mainstream or just a dream?

As we have been developing our product, we have noticed some interesting facts about the IoT.  First it is highly-fragmented – dozens of different protocols for communications, a plethora of isolated security tools for specific needs that do not work together.  No centralized ability to administrate IoT systems and nothing that appears to scale.

In other words – a complete disaster from an Enterprise IT perspective.

And let’s face it – without the large companies on board, the IoT is never going to account for much – other than hype.

We have heard other facts – such as the one stating that over half of the IoT solutions that will be here by 2020 have yet to be built.  While very exciting, it again points to an early adoption cycle dominated by hopeful visionaries as opposed to a market sector being accepted by mainstream customers.

On the flip side, things are not so simple and there are clearly plans underway to upgrade older infrastructure, make cities smarter and there is a large amount of movement in general in the IoT world.  Then again, a quick look at some of the mainstays – finance, government/military and healthcare – reveals nominal traction at best.

So, again, is IoT mainstream and, if not, are these “2020 predictions” valid?

Look, Phantom is hoping things are true and we think our IoT management system will enable all the features that enterprise IT requires for the IoT.  We are early stage, however, and unless there is the fastest adoption in the history of IT (which, by the way, fits right into all of those IoT predictions), there is no way we are ushering in all of the IoT into the mainstream in the next couple of years.

So what do you think – is the IoT mainstream?  Does it matter?

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