As data becomes more & more valuable, a major challenge for organizations today is to identify the right technology mix that maintains the integrity of their customer’s information. Reports suggest that loyalty frauds have increased by 89% in 2019. While enterprises focus on attracting customers through their loyalty programs, their rewards have continuously proven to be more lucrative to cybercriminals.
The ongoing pandemic has indeed accelerated the demand for certain technologies/trends that will either help various industries in maintaining the “new” standard operating procedures at the workplace or transforming the way business is done in order to generate new sources of revenues
Let us pick up some industries and evaluate how the pandemic has made way for certain technologies/trends:
Industry reports predict the mixed impacts of COVID-19 on the IoT market. From the technology perspective, enterprises are looking at CAPEX reduction over the short term and automating processes to make supply chain and manufacturing more flexible over the long term. Specific IoT applications like remote asset tracking, drones, healthcare, smart cities with easy to install IoT solutions will have an uptake over the coming weeks.
Enterprises like Hotels, Retail Malls, Restaurants, Cafes, etc. that have built their Guest Wi-Fi networks with MAC addresses as unique user identity will now struggle to provide a seamless experience to their guests. Using MAC reauthorization such enterprises identify and provide seamless wi-fi connections to their returning guests or even allow them to roam between multiple venues. With this new update, guests will now be forced to re-authenticate their devices via captive portal every 24 hours as their device MAC address will change. This will not only disrupt the connections of guests every day during their stay at any hotel but also returning customers will not be recognized automatically and would need to verify themselves every time they visit the venue.
The tokenization server needs to give back the original data to authorized applications. For this, it either needs to maintain the tokenized to original data mapping or at least tokenized data to key (the key from which the original data was tokenized) mapping. This imposes security issues on the tokenization server itself for the stored data. Currently, most of the applications store this as encrypted data to protect it. Steganography can come to help here and can make the tokenization server free from storing any such data.
IT security has evolved over several decades through trial and error, having acquired adequate knowledge, tools, and processes to handle the traditional IT security challenges, with seemingly good accuracy. Whereas evolution in OT introduced the ability to monitor and control physical devices remotely. The injection of IT-based technologies such as big data and machine learning in OT, along with the evolutions in machine-to-machine communication and the IoT, enabled several innovations towards managing physical devices in industrial scenarios.
Traditional PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) systems, with their reliability and effectiveness, have been successful in securing the IT ecosystem till date. It also makes them an inevitable candidate for securing the IoT ecosystem as well. Many existing IoT ecosystems are using PKI for achieving the CIA as it enables an organization to establish and maintain a trustworthy digital ecosystem (people, systems, and things) by managing keys and certificates.
Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionized the field of inventory management. The availability of real-time and accurate data about the assets has changed the outlook of the game. With real-time data trickling in from the attached IoT devices, it is helping businesses to make more informed decisions, thereby, translating into bigger profits.
Network security today holds foremost importance to IT departments today and there is a need to encompass security methods that go far beyond just blocking unauthorized access to predictive modeling of these malicious attacks. Network-based intrusion detection systems offer highly effective protection against all intruder activities, malicious traffic, and con artist masquerading. Various machine learning techniques such as Artificial Neural Networks (ANN), Support Vector Machines (SVM), Naive-Bayesian (NB), Random Forests (RF), and Self-Organized Maps (SOM), etc can be used to develop a NIDS. A combination of signature-based and anomaly-based systems can best secure the enterprise network as it ensures the detection of both known as well as Zero-day attacks.
GDPR moves the data ownership back in the hands of the data subject by providing them the fundamental rights to access, rectify, and erase their data stored by the businesses (or data processors). Even automated decision can be contested. Data processing needs consent as a foremost requirement. The individual has the full power to withdraw his consent anytime. In fact, if we look at the basic premise of GDPR, it is evident that the law is all about empowering ‘Data Subjects’ to have full control of their personal data.
And that is where Blockchain comes in.
Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policy is hardly a novelty these days as enterprises now allow employees to access sensitive business data on their personal mobile devices. Hence, a large percentage of users utilize the same mobile devices for both business and own purposes. Also, they store a variety of personal and business data on their smartphones, tablets, or phablets. With the recent WhatsApp security breach fresh in our minds, it is not incorrect to say that mobile apps are vulnerable to critical security attacks. This, in turn, makes security testing of mobile apps imperative.
A supply chain consists of a network of interconnected businesses, right from procurement of raw materials to the delivered goods, in the hands of the consumers. This also entails the suppliers of raw materials, manufacturers, transporters, warehouses, retailers etc throughout the chain. To maintain a healthy and effective supply chain is a challenge, considering the myriad factors affecting it and the complex topology they present. As the hops in the supply chain keep on getting more and more dispersed, it becomes increasingly difficult to track and trace supplied goods.
The Internet of Things is based on a centralized system of interrelated devices that are equipped with computing abilities. These devices have inbuilt UIDs, a set of unique identifiers that can transfer data through a network without requiring human interaction. The sensors in devices and appliances will collect different types of data and communicate, analyze or even act on it. With IoT, businesses can develop new ways to connect and increase value by building new businesses and channels of revenue. It is no secret that implementing solutions that involve the use of the IoT would provide seamless connectivity across all platforms, but at the same time, there’s a raging security issue that risks shutting down the entire set up.
We are currently at the forefront of developing new and amazing systems by leveraging what Blockchain has to offer. The decentralized nature of Blockchain means higher levels of security. While it initially seemed like an excellent opportunity to improve financial institutions, Blockchain is showing growing potential in the healthcare sector, government, and now, the Internet of Things.
Digital Transformation is much more than a disruption or technology. A case in point is the retail giant Walmart. Amazon's epic takeover of the online retail market has compelled companies like Walmart to adjust or perish. Toys R Us is a good example. Toys R Us was one of the world’s most famous toy brands which buckled under due to growing online competition. They filed for bankruptcy last September and are now shutting down their stores. Walmart, however, is clearly trying to up the ante as it plans to add 500 more pick-up towers to its already existing network of brick and mortar stores and 200 pickup towers. It is trying to blur the line between online and offline sales by allowing the buyer to pick-up online ordered products from any of its pickup towers. In the process it gives buyers discounts for picking up their stuff, thereby, saving delivery cost. With an employee base of more than 2.3 Mn, retail giant Walmart has a good insight on purchasing habits of people. Recent retail industry reports suggest that they are now prioritizing the extraction of client data. With data being the new currency, they have realized that to continue succeeding in their game they will need to transform how and what they sell. Such a paradigm shift in their way of doing business has enabled them to maintain a thorough catalog, while providing significant value to their customers.
There is no standard approach to IoT security as it is not just about the device, or the network, or the clients, but a combination of several of these. Providing a solution that caters to the security requirements of participating entities i.e. the device, cloud, mobile application, network interfaces, device firmware and the ecosystem at large is a challenge.
Blockchains are transforming many industries beyond just revolutionizing digital currencies. While a large part of our focus is on how blockchains can empower a new form of “digital currency” that avoids the pitfalls of our existing currency system (namely, reliance on a central authorities like banks, avoiding expensive transaction fees and money fraud due to double-spending (Double Spending, n.d.)), many other industries are leveraging other unique benefits of blockchains to help them digitize their B2B processes of automatic audits, verifiability and contractual agreements. This brief note will describe some of these industries and how blockchain is helping them transform.
This brief paper will talk about how blockchains can be effectively used in IoT Networks and focuses on how it can help solve common issues of scalability, trust & cost. The paper also discusses some of the disadvantages of blockchains for this purpose and how they might be overcome.
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