Tech Talk: Planning Ahead for Big Events

There is no shortage of tech-related conferences and events throughout Indiana. To help you plan ahead, here is an update on three important ones upcoming this spring:

Although work is already taking place at the Indiana IoT Lab in Fishers, the official grand opening will be March 21. More than 50 companies are on board at the facility, where innovation and collaboration will meet to advance the connections between Indiana businesses and Internet of Things technology.

The AT&T IoT Civic Hackathon will return April 20-21 at the Indiana IoT Lab and Launch Fishers. The focus of the third annual Hackathon will be improving first responder technology and public safety. Among the many guest speakers: former Boston Police Department commissioner Ed Davis and Indiana congresswoman Susan Brooks.

The Indiana Chamber’s inaugural Cyber Security Conference is set for May 1 at the Indiana Chamber Conference Center. Protecting company information from ever-increasing sophisticated attacks is vital for all organizations. Best practices in cyber security and data privacy will be featured. Registration is open and sponsorship opportunities remain.

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Ten Cybersecurity Predictions for 2018

In looking back at 2017, one of the enduring outcomes is that cybersecurity cemented its place in the national conversation.

cyberattack under scrutiny

Though there were a number of major cyber breaches or hacks in the past year, the most far-reaching and potentially devastating was from Equifax. Yahoo Finance reports that over 145 million people were impacted, with stolen data ranging from contact information to Social Security numbers.

The breaches impact consumers as well as businesses, which can face dire consequences if not adequately prepared for such attacks. BizVoice magazine looked at cybersecurity concerns and efforts in two recent editions (find those stories here and here). We interviewed Nathan Stallings of Matrix Integration for one of those stories; the technology infrastructure and advisory company assists its clients in preparing for and preventing such attacks.

Stallings shares his “Top 10” cybersecurity predictions for 2018:

  1. Resources (people and money) for preventative and proactive measures will continue to shift from the network perimeter to within the network. Network Access Control (NAC), network segmentation, and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) products and/or services will be the top three solutions for most organizations.
  2. Cloud security will become even more important as workloads transition to the cloud, whether public, private, or hybrid. The challenge will continue to be defining the security responsibilities of the cloud provider versus the organization.
  3. Companies will begin to shift their cybersecurity strategy from “prevent and protect” to “detect and recover”. I believe that there is a risk of moving too far away from “prevent and protect” which, in turn, will make “detect and respond” exponentially more difficult. The best strategy is a well-designed combination of the two approaches.
  4. Ransomware will be significantly worse. Variations of WannaCry and NotPetya along with Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) will result in at least a doubling of the number of ransomware incidents from 2017. The cost of ransomware damages globally will likely exceed $5 billion in 2017 and will be substantially higher in 2018. There were approximately 4 million ransomware attacks in 2015, 638 million in 2016, and the estimate for 2017 is a 250% increase. The number for 2018 will be well over 2 billion attacks. Organizations should focus on prevention methods like security awareness training, detection methods like managed security services, and recovery. Recovery may well be the most important and relies heavily on the ability to fully eradicate the ransomware and having a sound data back-up strategy.  
  5. Security awareness training of staff and contractors will become increasingly important as hackers turn away from direct attacks on network infrastructure and web applications and target the end-users with sophisticated “phishing” techniques.
  6. Significant attacks on Internet of Things and personal assistant/artificial intelligence will increase dramatically.
  7. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) will continue to gain widespread acceptance and adoption because it is designed to complement, not replace, an institution’s risk management process and cybersecurity programs.
  8. More PCI compliance audits for credit card transactions as the PCI DSS compliance requirements become even more stringent.
  9. Additional high-profile breaches as large organizations continue to fail at the fundamentals of cybersecurity.
  10. Large healthcare organizations will continue to struggle to balance patient care, the needs of physicians and other medical personnel to quickly access critical information, and patient privacy with cybersecurity fundamentals. 

If your company isn’t prepared to stop a cyberattack, is it prepared to recover from one? An old saying seems applicable for this new challenge: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

TECH THURSDAY: The Internet of Things Offers Strong Economic Opportunity for Indiana

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In late September, I had the opportunity to attend the second annual Internet of Things (IoT) conference at the Launch Fishers co-working facility. It was an energetic afternoon with substantial knowledge and information exchange about the future – and it suggests vast economic potential for Indiana.

For those who don’t know what IoT is, Wikipedia defines it as “the internetworking of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as “connected devices” and “smart devices”), buildings and other items – embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data.”

The IoT event started with a lunch and welcome by Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness who explained to guests – including legislators invited by the Indiana Chamber – the vision of how Indiana can be a global leader in the IoT field. Lunch was followed by a series of “TED talks” by Indiana industry leaders from manufacturing, agriculture, energy and logistics who shared how the connectivity of devices can improve how Indiana grows, makes and moves things.

Executives from Tom Farms, Delta Faucet, Cummins and other companies all talked about what the future looks like in their business, embellished by IoT technology.

John McDonald, president of CloudOne and chairman of the Chamber’s Tech Policy Committee, said IoT technology has “practical economic uses, ranging from farmers measuring soil samples in real time to logistics companies tracking their fleets and checking for mechanical or efficiency issues.” The Chamber believes IoT has the potential to bolster Indiana’s economic strengths in manufacturing, agriculture, life sciences and logistics.

The Chamber supports programs that advance the ability of Indiana companies to leverage technologies and skills that improve innovation in product development and facilitate manufacturing and production advancements, in order to offer superior products and services to the emerging IoT economy. This is especially true when these companies leverage other Indiana companies as the source for those technologies, skills and innovation.

Through the Indiana Technology and Innovation Council, managed by the Chamber, we will work to encourage the use of all available mechanisms, including tax policy, economic incentives, support for collaboration between Indiana companies and promotion of these efforts on national and international levels.

We believe Indiana has the potential be a national and potentially global leader in helping companies elevate their products for IoT. The impact affects both Hoosier companies that supply Internet of Things technologies and skills, such as data analytics, sensors, networks, software, technology consulting and cloud services, as well as those that consume them to make superior products and services for global markets.

Internet of Things Conference Highlights Connections

IndyIoT Event Invite

Did you know one of the first devices to be connected to the Internet was a toaster? In 1990, John Romkey and Simon Hacknett accepted a challenge to connect and control a toaster via the Internet. It was a groundbreaking feat 20 years ago – even though today you can buy a toaster that toasts the day’s weather forecast onto your breakfast.

While the name “Internet of Things” (IoT) was not yet coined in 1990, the Internet Toaster, as it became known, falls plainly under the construct of IoT: allowing connection between devices and the Internet, or between devices and devices, or between people and devices, etc.

The IoT has the potential to automate your house (control your thermostat remotely, or send your health vitals to your doctor just by stepping on the bathroom scale) and even link up entire city systems (correcting water quality or regulating traffic flow, for example).

Recently, John McDonald, CEO of Fishers-based CloudOne, addressed the Indiana Technology and Innovation Council’s inaugural meeting at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and gave an example of the potential for IoT in everyday life: your car radio and picking up on the fact that it is 3 a.m. and you aren’t driving as safely as you had been earlier; there is a 24-hour Starbucks ahead and your payment information can be beamed to the store, with your favorite hot drink ready for you when you drive through.

While the possibilities might sound futuristic, Hoosier companies are already working on these technologies.

To celebrate and acknowledge the possibilities, the IndyIoT conference will take place on September 28 from 1-5 p.m. at Launch Fishers.

The conference brings together IoT innovators, and will highlight innovations through 15-minute burst presentations. Speakers include Michael Wollowski, Ph.D., Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology; Kip Tom, Tom Farms; Michael Coffey, Roche; and Robert Rodenbeck, Delta Faucet Company.

Follow along on Twitter at @IndyIOT or visit the web site at www.indyiot.com.