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IoT Holds Great Promise – But Ensuring its Security Takes Strong Leadership and Teamwork!

April 18, 2014 at 6:00 am PST

Many people take the term “Internet of Things” too literally, and assume that IoT is about the things, themselves. But they’re missing the whole point! It’s not the “things” that makes IoT special. After all, connected devices are neither new nor particularly interesting, particularly since the data each individual item produces is of little value. But by networking these devices together, IoT enables us to benefit from their ability to combine simple data to produce usable intelligence. In turn, that intelligence can be used by businesses to increase operational efficiency, and by individuals to make life easier and more comfortable.

But despite the many benefits of IoT, the billions of connected sensors, devices, and other smart objects it comprises will also dramatically increase the diversity of threats we will face. As a result, securely embracing IoT will require a multi-layer approach to security – including cloud, perimeter, physical, and device-level security, as well as end-to-end data encryption.

Ensuring that we can reap the overwhelming benefits of IoT without undermining security isn’t going to happen on its own; it will take strong leadership and a great deal of teamwork throughout the industry. That’s why I’m proud that Chris Young, Cisco’s Senior Vice President of Security, recently topped the list as one of the top 100 thought leaders for IoT! It will take leaders like Chris, who have a strong understanding of security and a passion for IoT, to help ensure that we can securely embrace IoT.

I honestly expect IoT to change the world in a variety of ways. But truly harnessing its power requires that we inspire and cultivate a true culture of security throughout every level of the extended network – which means that leadership and teamwork will be far more valuable than the technology, itself.

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My #InternetofEverything Perspective: Integrating Cities with IoE and City24/7

Tom Touchet, CEO of City24/7, shares his perspective on the Internet of Everything. 

When the Internet of Everything is written about in history, the main determiner of its success or failure will be how it has benefited humanity. With this goal of ultimate connectivity in mind, Cisco and LG partnered with City24/7, a revolutionary IoE communications system that combines the power of smart infrastructure with the ubiquity of smart phones to bring broadcasts and customized information to the everyman. Through this partnership, City24/7 is installing 250+ Smart Screens in New York City’s five boroughs – the first large scale deployment in an emerging global market.

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City24/7 is an interactive platform that integrates information from open government programs, local businesses and citizens to provide meaningful knowledge anytime, anywhere and on any device where it helps people the most. By incorporating touch, voice and audio-technology, City24/7 delivers a wide array of hyper-local information received from connected sensors, monitors and intelligent data tools, in real-time. City24/7 can even protect city inhabitants by alerting authorities citywide through intelligent networks when resources are needed in a specific area. These resource-efficient, environmentally resilient networks ensure the safety and security of residents while establishing an attractive, vibrant self-image.

Stand on any busy city corner and you will witness organized chaos. Thousands of people moving in every direction. Where are they going? What do they need? How can they access resources to help their day? Until now, these questions were often the great mysteries of the city.

We now have ways to better help inform and protect these citizens. City24/7 provides accurate and meaningful information to massive numbers of people, whether they are traveling to home, work, school or shopping. Since it’s interactive, the network is also learning what those citizens want and need, providing dense analytic data. These insights can be used by city managers to plan new programs and improve the efficiency of current systems, with the goal of making cities more convenient, comfortable and thriving.

That, in turn, improves quality of life for everyone, benefiting humanity in a way never seen before. That’s the power of the City24/7 network – the first city channel built with the IoE in mind.

How could City24/7 impact your city? Share your thoughts and join the conversation on Twitter.

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4 Key Requirements to Scale the Internet of Things

April 15, 2014 at 8:00 am PST

Today the Internet of Things (IoT) is everywhere: you can easily see smart meters on houses, parking sensors in the ground, cameras attached to traffic posts, and people wearing intelligent wristband and glasses -- all of them connected to the Internet. And this is only the tip of the iceberg: while you are reading this blog post factories, trains and trucks around the world are also being connected to the Internet.

Many traditional industries have historically requested help from different types of engineers to improve their processes and gain efficiency. Now they are asking us, the Internet engineers, to contribute solving new industrial world challenges by connecting billions of new devices.

The more ambitious part of this journey is the integration between both worlds: Information Technology (IT) and Operation Technology (OT). For that a systems approach is required to scale the existing Internet infrastructure to accommodate IoT use cases, while making IT technology easy to adopt for OT operators. We are facing a historical opportunity to convergence massive scale systems in a way we have never seen before, and such an effort will unlock a multibillion-dollar business.

Scaling IoT

In order to be ready to capture this opportunity and scale in a sustainable manner, four requirements are necessary:

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Ask The #InternetOfEverything Futurist: “How Will the Future of Technology Integrate into our Five Senses?”

In my role as Cisco’s Chief Futurist, I get many questions about what the future holds and how new technology and emerging solutions will change our lives. Be sure to check out previous Ask the #InternetOfEverything Futurist blogs and videos about the advances of battery technology, the future of smartphones and new retail models.

Greek philosopher Aristotle first classified the five senses of human perception: sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing in De Anima, a landmark piece of work that explores how we interpret reality.

Today, Aristotle’s belief about senses still holds true: Our senses help us obtain a better understanding of the world around us. And as the Internet of Everything (IoE) connects more people, process, data and things, emerging technology and the network to support such technology is playing an increased role in our sensory development and capabilities.

New solutions that rely on haptic touch technology, sensors and real-time data transmission protocols are no longer requiring us to touch or even see technology in order for us to interact with it. These innovations coupled with the power of the Internet of Everything are creating enhanced experiences for us – and a new way of viewing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching our world.

In today’s Ask the #InternetOfEverything Futurist post, I’ll answer a question from Cisco Champion Karen Woodard’s student, Kurt, who addresses this type of IoE-enabled sensory technology evolution. Kurt asks:

Question: “How will the future of technology integrate into our five senses?”

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Calling All Internet of Things Entrepreneurs!

With less than 1% of things in the physical world connected to the Internet, there is an incredible opportunity to connect the unconnected. In keeping Cisco’s commitment to drive Internet of Things innovations, Cisco announces a new initiative to recognize and support up-and-coming innovators, entrepreneurs and early-stage startup businesses that contribute to the growth and evolution of the Internet of Things – an IoT Innovation Grand Challenge!

Internet of Things Innovation Grand Challenge

Today, Cisco is announcing the Internet of Things Innovation Grand Challenge. This global open competition aims to  recognize, promote and accelerate the adoption of breakthrough technologies and products created by startup businesses that will contribute to the growth and evolution of the Internet of Things.   Read More »

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