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Closing the Knowledge Gap in Manufacturing: Converge IT with OT

Recently, the article “Making IoT Pay in Manufacturing” in Forbes caught my eye with a few interesting statistics from a recent study:

71% of manufacturers say IoT will have a significant impact or some impact on their business over the next five years (24% and 47% respectively)

Yet 24% have no company wide understanding of IoT.

While the majority of manufacturers see the value of IoT, there’s a significant knowledge gap in how to best plan for and capitalize on these technologies.

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Cisco Leading the Way in IoT Wireless

Basic CMYKWe are pleased to announce that the Cisco Industrial Wireless (IW) 3700 Series is the winner of the Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Award in the Network Integration – Wireless Products category.  Voting was open to over 140,000 industrial engineers responsible for automation, control, and instrumentation technologies. The final voting round for the wireless category included three other newly launched competitive products, with the IW3700 Series ultimately selected as the clear winner. Read More »

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3 Secrets to Going Digital from Flex’s CIO

What are the secrets to a successful digital transformation? We’re exploring that in our Going Digital podcast hosted by Peter High, President of Metis Strategy, Author and Keynote Speaker. Peter recently interviewed Gus Shahin, the Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President of IT at Flex (formerly known as Flextronics) to understand their success. Note – this transcript has been edited due to space limitations.

Flex manages supply chains and manufactures products for companies – from large OEMs like Cisco to startups. They procure, manufacture, distribute, and repair products for their customers with about 100 factories in 40 countries.

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Machine Intelligence In The Workplace: The Next Big Thing

It isn’t every day that I publicly disagree with a man who won the Turing Award and was on a first-name basis with Albert Einstein.

But today I respectfully will.

On January 24, an incredible man named Marvin Minsky died. He was one of the fathers of computer science in general and artificial intelligence in particular. I never met Mr. Minsky, but I share his passion for AI. The concept of superintelligence fascinates me. Yes, we’ve got a lot to figure out. There are so many HAL-like dangers we need to dodge. The work is really fascinating and if you want to read some really interesting work by Minsky take a look at his Society of Mind.

In eulogizing Minsky, the BBC linked to one of the last interviews this pioneer granted—a piece in the MIT Technology Review. Be sure to watch the video; I guarantee it will be four minutes and five seconds you will not regret.

The nit I’d like to pick with Mr. Minsky comes at the halfway point. Read More »

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The Internet of Things Is Not Always So Comforting

Over the past few years, the Internet of Things (IoT) has emerged as reality with the advent of smart refrigerators, smart HVAC systems, smart TVs, and more. Embedding internet-enabled devices into everything presents new opportunities in connecting these systems to each other, making them “smarter,” and making our lives more convenient than ever before.

Despite the new possibilities, there are major concerns about the IoT which inspire a legitimate question: “What happens if it’s not ‘done right’ and there are major vulnerabilities with the product?

The unfortunate truth is that securing internet-enabled devices is not always a high priority among vendors and manufacturers. Some manufactures do not have the necessary infrastructure to inform the public about security updates or to deliver them to devices. Other manufacturers are unaccustomed to supporting products past a certain time, even if a product’s lifespan may well exceed the support lifecycle. In other cases, the lack of a secure development lifecycle or a secure public portal to report security defects makes it near impossible for researchers to work with a vendor or manufacturer. These problems expose users and organizations to greater security risks and ultimately highlight a major problem with the Internet of Things.

What does this mean for the average user? For starters, a smart device on their home or office network could contain unpatched vulnerabilities. Adversaries attacking the weakest link could exploit a vulnerable IoT device, then move laterally within an organization’s network to conduct further attacks. Additionally, patching vulnerable devices can be complicated, if not impossible, for the average user or for those who are not technically savvy. For organizations that maintain large amounts of IoT devices on their network, there may not be a way to update a device that scales, creating a nightmare scenario.

 

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