Just a year ago today something amazing happened. IoT devices from around the world were used to create the most concise DDoS attack that the United States had ever seen. The attacks  affected sites like Reddit, Spotify, Paypal, Amazon and many others.

Stephen Cobb, in an analysis of the event stated that “We have been shown just how vulnerable the internet – which is now an integral part of the critical infrastructure of the US and many other countries – is to disruptive abuse conducted at scale, by persons whose identity is not immediately ascertainable.”

It’s a year later. What did we learn and how have we grown since that? The world market is completely dependent upon online events and online transactions. That means it is imperative that we stop attacks and prevent further issues.

What Exactly Happened?

Anything that can connect to the internet is risky. The attacks of last year  ( October 21) were made possible by millions of internet connected devices that were simply not well used . These attacks were made possible by people who had no real idea how to use their devices or more importantly, how to secure them. Surveillance cameras, home security,  home routers and many other things were used in order to shut down or deny services to sites. The attackers infected many thousands of IoT devices. Using malicious code these devices were formed into a giant botnet and that botnet swamped the servers of the  affected sites.

How Could That Happen?

Remember in the directions where it tells you to change that default password. It may come as a huge surprise to find that most people don’t. It may also come as a big shock that most people  still don’t a year later and there are no more warnings on packaging than there were prior to the massive DDos a year ago.   What have we taken away from one of the largest attacks on computer systems?  It looks like very little, to be honest.

How Can We Defend Against These Attacks?

We’ve known that IoT devices could be used for attacks since the beginning of IoT.  Companies advise people to change the passwords. Most don’t. Hackers and malware developers know the default passwords to many of these machines and log into them, using them for their own purposes. You can tell people to change the passwords on their IoT devices, but there isn’t any real way to make them do so.

So, a year later, how can we stop this? Realistically, the same way we could always have stopped it. We take better care of our networks, make sure that our passwords are changed periodically and that we don’t share them if we can avoid it.

This type of attack is relatively new so there really isn’t a best practice methodology to prevent it, but there are ways to regulate control of your own home or business network.  If you’re in business, make sure that you have a DDoS defense plan and keep it up to date. Practice it regularly, just like a fire drill.

There are multiple ways to defend against DDoS attacks. While someone may breach your site at least make it as difficult for them as possible by using every device and resource that you have at your disposal. You may just make it difficult enough that it’s not worth the trouble and they will move on.



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Predictive Maintenance uses many different advanced technologies to prevent costly shutdown and costly reactive maintenance of machines. It is used in manufacturing as well as in other venues.

Predictive maintenance works by:

Lowering the time that the equipment maintenance takes

Lowering the cost of necessary parts and supplies that are required to accomplish the maintenance

Lowering the hours that are lost for maintenance by preventing reactive maintenance.

Predictive maintenance has as its goal the prediction—of course—of when a failure in equipment or mobility or anything else—may take place. Secondary to this, it aims to prevent the failure by allowing the maintenance that must be done to take place well before the equipment failure takes place. The ideal situation is that predictive maintenance keeps the frequency of maintenance work as low as possible to keep the costs as reasonable as possible. In addition, its goal is to prevent reactive maintenance but to keep costs low by maintaining an even level –and a low cost measure of preventive maintenance.

Yes, it all sounds just a bit confusing. To make a long story short, preventive maintenance is too costly. Reactive maintenance costs too much and takes too long. Predictive maintenance takes into account past failures, when they took place, why they took place and prevents them from happening without costing an arm and a leg.

How Does It Work?

Predicting a failure can take multiple forms. The methodology must be effective at the prediction of failure and it must also permit time to allow for the maintenance necessary. Some methods include the analysis of vibrations, analyzing oil, thermal imagery, and even observation of the equipment. Condition based maintenance and using the right methodology is imperative and creating a maintenance strategy is imperative as well.

This is not to say that there is no down side to predictive maintenance. In fact the main down side is the cost of the equipment that is necessary for monitoring your facility. Condition monitoring and maintenance monitoring are quite expensive and may be cost prohibitive for smaller facilities. In addition, the specialty training or experience technical personnel that are required to operate the equipment may also be difficult to find and costly to hire.

The up side is that in comparison to being shut down for preventive maintenance or to being offline for reactive maintenance, the cost of predictive maintenance may seem a very small burden.

For More Information on Predictive Maintenance : Click Here for IOT Analytics Reports.

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Automation is creating a real buzz in multiple arenas. From robotics to warehousing, automation is the order of the day. Many people believe it will also real issues by dramatically impacting our ability to make a living. With robots replacing laborers in manufacturing vehicles and artificial intelligence (AI) many people believe that the AI and IoT will begin  simply killing the job sectors.

3d rendering of human brain on technology background represent artificial intelligence and cyber space concept

Which Industries are Affected the most by Automation?

There isn’t a single industry that isn’t going to be affected in some way by automation in the coming months and years. In fact,  automation has the potential to replace factory workers, miners, travel agents and bank tellers. It can not only do the job but it can do it more safely in a way that will preserve the lives of humans.

Automated technology threatens 2.2 to 3.1 million people around the globe, who are involved in the transportation sector. In addition,  software today has the capability of assessing substantial volumes of documents, thus, eliminating most of the professionals in IT. With the advances in these software programs it doesn’t really matter what kind of occupation you have, you can be replaced.

While we do understand that automation is depriving people of their jobs, there is a brighter side to the story. People with tech skills are greatly in demand because without them an automation system cannot be installed or operated.

Is the World Going to Suffer from Mass Unemployment?

Well, studies did show  that  artificial intelligence jobs and automation would adversely impact the various working sectors the chances of mass unemployment are quite unlikely. In order to reverse the detrimental effects of automation, it is necessary for the people to have at least some sort of knowledge in the tech field. Even medical personnel and lawyers need to learn the usage of contemporary tools so that they can stay abreast of ongoing changes.

Now that we know which sectors are going to be affected  which  professions have no reason to worry?

Which Industries are not to be Affected by Automation?

Automation would not be able to kill the jobs that require interpersonal skills and empathy. Can you imagine programmed robots as psychiatrists helping you to deal with life’s complex issues? Consultants communicate and extend affection for treating and curing people. Same goes for teachers imparting knowledge. Nurses, personal trainers, makeup artists, hairdressers, are also going to be very difficult to replace using technology. These are a few places where technology will assist, but cannot replace those –in the field. If you’re looking for a career change that is future proof, there are a few to choose from. Are you interested in how Artificial intelligence and machine learning are helping the search engines to function better? Learn how Machine Learning is Changing the Face of Search Engines.

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One of the most important parts of our world and one that keeps us alive are bees. They pollinate more than  seventy—yes seventy—percent of the crops that feed mankind. In addition they give us more than 30 billion dollars in crops every year in our economy. That means that if we have no bees we’re going to be a hungry country. It also means that living with no bees simply isn’t possible.

Bees are declining very quickly these days. They are under threat from many different problems, not the least of which is a virus and another problem Varroa Descructor, a parasitic problem that feeds on bees and can cause ruin to an entire colony of bees in a very short time.

Artificial Intelligence and Big Data are being brought to bear on the problem and are making headway in finding ways to save the bees. The Bee Scanning app is using the vision of a computer to help to protect the bees and to show the farmers at the first sign problems so that they can go and correct it. The Machine Learning and the object recognition is making it so that the beekeeper can see the mites on the bees and work to eradicate them more fully and more quickly.

The decline of bees must be halted but in the interim, there are drones, robo-bees as it were that are now in use to collect pollen particles and to fly into the next flower and rub the pollen off. The robo-bees are being controlled manually at the moment but the team that created them has said that they are developing autonomous bees using the power of AI.

While it isn’t the ideal solution it is A solution and one that may save both the bees and mankind in the long haul.

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It’s no secret that connected cars are already on the market. When it comes to IoT it doesn’t get much more controversial than the autonomous vehicle.  These connected vehicles however are a different story. While the self driving vehicle is causing consternation from young people to older people, connected cars are something that the world seems to be ready to embrace. Nevermind that some of them have already been hacked and will likely be so again, people want them and the demand has dramatically increased for connected vehicles that make people’s lives easier.

Over the course of the past year these cars have become much more connected and are creating a really good income for the auto makers. What’s more as internet technology grows and advances, the automobile as we know it will be vastly different and will continue to become more controversial.

The next decade alone is projected to change the way that we drive, the way that we travel and the entire car ownership experience.

A new report from BI Intelligence examines every aspect of the  metamorphosis of the car, inclusive of the market, the benefits, the consumer response and demand as well as strategies and projections.

Some of the key elements of this report are:

Connection is offering new and clear business opportunities

Consumers are adopting the cars and adapting to them much more rapidly than anyone had dared to dream.

More than 380 million connected vehicles will be traveling our roads by  2021 and many of them will be self driving. The market is nearly guaranteed because automakers who are creating vehicles today plan to connect most of what they have on the market in the next two years alone.

Completely autonomous cars are only a few years in the future and all of us may be “driving” them quite shortly. Technical companies are playing a huge role in the development of automobiles. Which begs the question,  in the new future are we going to see tech companies which are actually developing and manufacturing cars?

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It’s a given that with the many different types of IoT and connected devices that we’re using and the massive advances in IoT that one of the biggest issues we’re going to run into is cyber security.

Organizations are going to be spending millions of dollars this year alone on cybersecurity. They are seeking ways to help their company to find intruders in their networks.
The problem is that in todays outsourced and hyper-connected world, even the most sensitive data can—and must—be seen by hundreds or thousands of people. Business partners abound today and in many cases, most of them must access data or services inside the company’s networks.

With so many people who require access, how can you keep effective control of these third parties to minimize risk to your data?

Third parties pose a very significant risk to companies and their data. If you aren’t aware of the many hazards that they can pose, you’ve missed the major news briefs  and the headline- worthy breaches that have taken place—many of which were caused by third party access companies who were less than responsible with their security.

The response from governmental entities as well as regulators has been very clear. It’s time to get the risks managed and the cyber security under control. In just the past few years alone the OCC, SIFMA, SEC and NAIC as well as the DOD have set forth new guidelines or new requirements or recommendations that will provide for managing third party risks when it comes to cyber-security.

With so much at stake, medical, financial, legal data, not to mention company reputations  at stake, companies are encouraged to consider four key elements when they are building their third party risk programs.

Build a team. Use the best that you have to help you to identify all of the third parties that are going to pose a major risk to you.

Have your team focus on the parties that will be the biggest risk first and then assess which of them are the most critical to you.

Choose standards that are applicable. Select the right security standards and make them doable and applicable to the company at hand.

Use a trust but verify methodology with the higher risk third party companies and assess and reassess them on a regular basis.

Put together your own team and your own management plan and ensure that you manage every aspect of risk that are part of your company. Those who adopt a good security management plan will invariably stand out and remain ahead of the pack while those who do not going to be left in the dust.

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Machine learning and Deep learning. Two analytic and data building concepts that have changed the game in many ways when it comes to jobs and how they are received, achieved, and handled. First, we need to cover our basis here and explain to those that don’t know the difference between the two, exactly what those differences are.

What is Machine Learning (ML)?

Before AI came machine learning. The basis for machine learning is that a collection of data is put into a specific system(this system doesn’t even have to be great) and once that data is placed, the machine will use what data it has to form an outcome. To break it down, consider the concept of storm prediction. Much data is placed within the system and from there it’s possible predict an upcoming storm.

What is Deep Learning?

Deep learning is the feeding of data into a computer system. One this is done, the computer then begins making decisions in regards to other data. These data decisions are then fed through the neural networks just like with machine leaning. However, unlike machine learning, it’s quite a bit more complex in it’s binary true and false questions due to its logical constructions.

How Machine Learning And Deep Learning Affects Jobs

We’ve been developing AI for quite some time. Machine learning and deep learning and its affect on the job industry really depends on the industry, what these AI’s will be doing, and countless other concepts. For the moment, while AI has been put into place in various areas, those jobs that AI has “taken over” has opened up avenues for different jobs and has forced millions to simply add another area of expertise to the table of skills.

Some believe in the theory that AI will simply take over and leave thousands, if not millions, of people out of work. It’s possible that there will be a mild level of displacement for certain areas, but again, this theory isn’t sound enough to merit the “horror” that some have of AI. The entire concept of AI is to aid in the process of advancement and not to simply bring forth an army of robots to “do it all”.

Consider the duel partnership of surgeons and AI systems that save lives on a daily basis. It’s highly doubtful that doctors will become extinct from Machine or Deep Learning. This concept, alone, labels certain areas of success with the incorporation of AI. Without a doubt, the thought of too much artificial intelligence within the job industry is a fear for many people of varying industries. Some experts are concerned that AI and all that goes with it, will have a negative impact on the work force.

While it is true that AI has replaced specific roles in the job industry, the pros and cons can be measured in equal balance. There are areas that will see a decrease in the need of workers, yet there are also greater advances and areas of expertise to fill in the process of keeping up with the future of AI, Deep Learning, and Machine Learning. Thus far, the idea of AI is still looked upon in a positive light.

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It’s no secret that data breaches are on the rise. In fact, there have been more data breaches than ever before. Medical data breaches are  proven to cost more than any other type of breach, costing about 400 dollars per record.

Data breaches are rising dramatically putting them on the agenda for most C-suite and corporate boards. Customer information is being lost, trade secrets are being sold and confidential assets being breached can significantly lower customer loyalty and trust as well as definitely lower the reputation of those companies which were breached.  They can also give the competition a significant advantage.

These aren’t the only things that companies have at stake. The many different types of cyber-security risks make cyber-security a vastly complicated problem. In fact attempting to protect the many different frameworks and CMS and private networks is fraught with other complications to layer on top of the complexities.

Today, governments are seeking ways to stem the tide of breaches and break-ins by creating new legislation that provides for specific levels of security and best practices for companies.

This tidal wave of  governments and new cybersecurity regs and recommendations make additional problems in and of themselves. The United States government alone has proposed more than  200 bills (actually 240 at last count.) This includes legislative proposals for ways to deal with cyber-security. This number of  mandates and proposals have taken place  in just the past three years alone and the number continues to rise.

The proposals fall into a wide range of categories. In some cases the proposals are that companies implement direct requirements for protection. One example of this is that companies in the critical infrastructure arena are going to be facing requirements for security in the US and in the UK and EU as well. They will have specific  requirements for risk assessment, control and for  personnel training. The question is how can a country legislate a level of security when that level cannot be guaranteed by any company. There are even “trade secret” protection laws in the works that require companies  to take “reasonable steps” in order to keep information about the programs and devices safe from cyber threats—though what those steps are is another unknown.

In addition to legislating the devices and services that are being legislated, share holders  are becoming more demanding that companies safeguard medical and technical information. That means that securities laws as they relate to new IoT devices and services are also being legislated. In the United States, some measure of shareholder litigation as well as SEC proposals and enforcement are already launched and seeing some effect.

With all of the changes and the advances in technology, it’s no surprise that legislation will follow. Is your company ready for the changes that are being made in IoT and internet services?

According to Brink News, “The rising tide of cybersecurity regulation and recommendations complicates the landscape for companies.”

The National Institute of Standards or NIST, offers one of the most comprehensive tools for managing the risks involved in information security. Even the federal government agencies of the US are embracing it wholeheartedly. In a survey undertaken by Dell, more than 80 percent of professionsl in the security arena are using the NIST framework for improving their own security, which makes it a great place to start for companies which are trying to come into line and ensure their compliance to the expected new regulations.

According to the experts, the NIST method and framework may well be the guideline that the courts and legislators will use to determine whether companies in the IoT and IT business are doing their best to secure devices and provide for data security.

There are other standards that are entering into play such as the ISO 27001 which is being used by many companies. The standard is different structurally than the NIST Framework though NIST makes reference to the ISO requirements in their own framework.

What is your company doing to secure their data and IoT devices? How are you set up to come into line with the regulations and legislation that is sure to be just around the corner?

Every company should be taking steps now to implement some type of protection to meet the ever changing threats as well as the ever changing cyber-security regulations.

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Connected vehicles and self-driving automobiles sounds a lot like science fiction doesn’t it? The reality is that even though it sounds like something out of a Jules Verne book, we’re already using them and we’re seeing massive benefits to both the driver as well as the companies who are using them.

What’s the Down Side?

Autonomous vehicles do have a down side in that they can be hijacked or hacked as we have seen happen in the past. The many naysayers of the technology cite the hacking of automobiles and the bad technology that allowed motorcycles to stop in mid traffic, causing accidents in the past.

It is very possible that loads of goods could be stolen via a hacker or hijacker and that goods that are not meant to be publicly available could become so. This is a real concern and one that car makers and autonomous vehicle creators are addressing.  There is simply nothing out there that cannot be hacked.

What’s the Up Side?

These cars and other vehicles are offering the drivers a safer trip as well as a lower insurance cost and considerable data that is telling us more about how people use their cars and how to make them much safer along the way.

Analysis of the big data that we get from autonomous cars is also helping us to provide information for other technology and other innovation.

Autonomous technology is in broad use today. It’s being used  in many ways to help to make the world and people much safer.

Loads of items that are dangerous in nature may be driven by autonomous vehicles, keeping people much safer in their jobs.  As these autonomous vehicles become more popular and are used more frequently the data that they provide, both in amount and in type will change, giving us a better look at new ways to make the world safer and better for humankind. Is the risk worth the reward? Time will tell, but so far, the rewards seem to outweigh the risks.

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Wearable devices have become hugely popular in recent years, to the point where it’s no longer novel to see people wearing smartwatches and fitness trackers out in public, or even in the workplace. As much as these devices have allowed for new experiences and added convenience in business and professional settings, they also come with a certain level of risk.

Illustration of a isolated smart watch icon with a 2016 sign

In business cases, a number of companies are now considering wearables as devices to use in their health and wellbeing strategies, or even for staff tracking and other operational functions. Is this a good thing for the employment relationship, and should employees have concerns regarding their privacy and the use of mandated wearable technology?

Full Disclosure Will Be Key to the Acceptance of Workplace Wearables

In an age when the majority of electronic devices are becoming increasingly connected, it is reasonable that the average person should have some concerns regarding their privacy. In personal life, a user can take their own steps to protect their personal data; so what happens when it’s an employer that controls the collection, storage, and use of personal data?

For any organization to be able to make use of wearables for any kind of employee tracking or data collection, it is important that full disclosure is made. Employees need to know what data will be collected, how they are expected to provide it (through wearables or other biometric devices), and how that data will be used. Employers have an obligation to provide all of this information upfront, and an element of transparency will help to facilitate the acceptance of any new workplace policies regarding mandatory wearable devices.

Data Protection is a Non-Negotiable Obligation

Being transparent is the first step, but it’s not enough on its own. Employers need to have an appropriate security solution that will prevent data loss, unauthorized access, or even data theft by third parties. The intent to protect data should be outlined in contractual employment agreements, and should comply with any local or federal laws regarding information collection and storage. While organizations do have some rights to collect data with employee agreement, they should also be aware that employees have the right to decline participation in any new wearable device data initiatives, which could lead employment disputes and loss of valuable staff.

With such a fine balance between making use of new technology and data, privacy, and the employment relationship, organizations will need to be careful when developing strategies regarding wearable devices. It needs to be clear how such devices and data collection will benefit an organization, and appropriate messaging should be in place to achieve employee buy-in for any new initiative.

With the right approach, wearables could allow companies to better track staff attendance, manage workplace incidents, and even ensure the health and wellbeing of employees. However, without the right management, the push for wearables could easily damage the relationship between employees and employers, making strategic planning and communication an essential aspect of implementing any new technology in the workplace.

About Bill McCabe/ Internet of Things Recruiting – Executive Search/ Retained Search for the Internet of Things/ Machine 2 Machine/ Big Data Markets

IBM IOT Futurist – see you at #IBMInterconnect – March 19-23 Las Vegas

Top 50 IOT Authority on Twitter – per IoT Central

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