I was glad to see that security found its niche in CRN’s rundown of the 50 coolest IoT companies of 2021 along with other companies who have launched innovative connectivity, hardware, industrial IoT, and software IoT technology solutions. In such listings, security technology is typically overlooked, rarely referred to as cool, and not even considered the least bit sexy. But call it what you want, solutions geared toward protecting networks and Industrial systems from IoT-based cyberattacks has vaulted security technologies to the forefront of the IoT economy. While the global pandemic slowed down the IoT juggernaut in 2020, it seems that the industry is poised for another growth spurt as indicated by increased investment in IoT technologies, recently reported in a Gartner survey.
Some of the new wave of IoT security solutions leverage emerging technologies like blockchain, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence while others illustrate new, innovative use cases for more mature technologies like public and private key cryptography, authentication, and authorization techniques. Other solutions are focused on securing devices and data in specific industries like transportation and healthcare. In any case, the common denominator is protection of connected IoT devices from malicious cyberattacks.
While these emerging security companies are making headlines and turning heads in the financial community and with industry analysts, let’s not overlook the significant contributions in these areas made by industry organizations. The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), for example, has been focused on accelerating growth of the Industrial IoT by promoting best practices across multiple areas to speed safe commercial use of IoT technologies. The technical collaborations by IIC, whose members include technology innovators like Wibu-Systems, Infineon Technologies, and many other corporations, universities, and government organizations have led to several publications, white papers, test bed analyses, and other initiatives that provide the expert guidance and best practices to help launch these new technologies successfully into commercial operation.
One critical area of focus of the IIC is security. The IIoT is being shaped by many participants from the energy, healthcare, manufacturing, transportation and public sectors, and each area needs to address security, in some shape or form. To identify security hazards and mitigate vulnerabilities, it is important to build early consensus among the participants on the best approach to implementing a sound IIoT security strategy.
The Industrial Internet Security Framework Technical Document released by IIC in 2016, remains as one of the most in-depth cross-industry-focused security publications to provide a broad industry consensus on how to secure Industrial IoT systems. The security framework represents a great example of how industry organizations can help lay the foundation to guide emerging companies and accelerate the commercial application of their next generation technology innovations.
Co-founder of WIBU-SYSTEMS AG, President and CEO of WIBU-SYSTEMS USA
Marcellus Buchheit earned a master's degree in computer science from the University of Karlsruhe, Germany, in 1989, the same year he co-founded Wibu-Systems. He is known for designing innovative techniques to protect software from reverse-engineering, tampering and debugging. He frequently speaks at industry events and is co-author of the IIC's Industry IoT Security Framework publication. He is currently president and CEO of Wibu-Systems USA, Inc. based in Edmonds, Washington State.