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IoT Time Preview: Agriculture Chapter

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IoT Evolution, the leading media brand for the Internet of Things (IoT), has published a book outlining more than 150 of the leading trends in the IoT industry, entitled “IoT Time: Evolving Trends in the Internet of Things.” The book, written by IoT Evolution Editorial Director, Ken Briodagh, seeks to explore the factors that have shaped the recent past of the developing industry and use those to predict the trends that will drive the next period of growth. Each of the trends is explicated and illustrated with a case study or product review that supports each position.

In this weekly series, we’ll be previewing chapters for you to read in the hopes that you’ll like enough to read the whole thing. To do just that, for free, click here. Alternatively, there’s a paperback version available on Amazon for $14.99.

Chapter 17: Privacy
Trend: Noncompliance is the rule
Fewer Than Half of Canadians Use Proper Security

Intel Security’s “McAfee Most Hackable Holiday Gifts” list identifies potential security risks to consumers from holiday gift items. The study was of Canadian consumers. Surprising no one, the report said that the most hackable gift category was laptop and desktop computers. Next were tablets and smartphones, followed by a variety of Smart Home and Connected transportation technologies. Intel Security also conducted a supplemental survey to identify risky behaviors and educate consumers on how to protect themselves.

“Unsurprisingly, connected devices remain high on holiday wish lists this year. What is alarming is that consumers remain unaware of what behaviors pose a security risk when it comes to new devices,” said Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist, Intel Security, and featured speaker at the upcoming IoT Evolution Expo Security in the IoT Summit. “Consumers are often eager to use their new gadget as soon as they get it and forgo ensuring that their device is properly secured. Cybercriminals could use this lack of attention as an inroad to gather personal consumer data, exposing consumers to malware or identity theft or even use unsecured devices to launch DDoS attacks as in the recent Dyn attack.”

While a majority of Canadians reported being aware of the vulnerabilities in older connected devices like laptops and mobile devices, they showed a lack of awareness about the potential risks from emerging IoT connected devices, like fitness trackers, Smart TVs, drones, toys, and virtual reality. In fact, the report indicated that, while 80 percent of consumers believe it’s very important to secure their online identities and connected devices, almost half say they don’t know if they are taking the proper security steps.

“Connected devices are a popular holiday present because they offer convenience and entertainment,” said Brenda Moretto, Canadian consumer manager, Intel Security. “But Canadians need to be aware that connected devices that aren't properly secured can expose important personal and financial information.”

Trend: Associations start to help
Online Trust Alliance Releases Consumer IoT Security & Privacy Checklist

In support of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Online Trust Alliance (OTA), a not-for-profit organization with the mission to enhance online trust, released its OTA Consumer IoT Security & Privacy Checklist. The checklist includes steps that consumers should take to help increase their own security, privacy and safety in the Smart Home and with connected and wearable technology, and other IoT devices.

“In this increasingly complex world of connected devices, consumers cannot take it for granted that their devices remain safe, secure and private year after year,” said Craig Spiezle, Executive Director, Online Trust Alliance. “As people acquire more devices, the long term risks to their family and community rise exponentially.”

Not unlike changing the batteries on a smoke detector once a year, consumers should tune up and optimize IoT device settings regularly, OTA recommends. The Alliance said it hopes that by having consumers play an active role in smart device security and privacy, consumers will not only have better security and privacy protections, but also more confidence and trust in their devices and the IoT industry.

“Millions of consumers are the victims of identity theft and online scams each year, and many may not realize that the smart devices that make their lives easier can also make them more vulnerable,” said Bob Ferguson, Attorney General, Washington State. “OTA’s recommendations are an important step toward helping people protect their privacy and personal safety.”

Nearly 100 organizations, including private businesses, consumer and privacy advocates, international testing organizations, academic institutions, and U.S. governmental and law enforcement agencies, contributed to the Checklist.

Following are the OTA’s consumer security and privacy recommendations:

Inventory all devices within your home and workplace that are connected to the Internet and network. Router reports can help determine what devices are connected to your network. Disable unknown and unused devices.

Contact your ISP to update routers and modems to the latest security standards. Change your router service set identifier (SSID) to a name which does not identify you, your family or the device.

Check that contact information for all of your devices is up-to-date, including an email address regularly used to receive security updates and related notifications.

Confirm devices and their mobile applications are set for automatic updating to help maximize protection. Review their sites for the latest firmware patches.

Review all passwords, create unique passwords and user names for administrative accounts and avoid using the same password for multiple devices. Delete guest codes no longer used. Where possible, implement multi-factor authentication to reduce the risk of your accounts being taken over. Such protection helps verify who is trying to access your account—not just someone with your password.

Review the privacy policies and practices of your devices, including data collection and sharing with third parties. Your settings can be inadvertently changed during updates. Reset as appropriate to reflect your preferences.

Review devices' warranties and support policies. If they are no longer supported with patches and updates, disable the device’s connectivity or discontinue usage of the device.

Before discarding, returning or selling any device, remove any personal data and reset it to factory settings. Disable the associated online account and delete data.

Review privacy settings on your mobile phone(s) including location tracking, cookies, contact sharing, Bluetooth, microphone and other settings. Set all your device applications to prompt you before turning on and sharing data.

Back up your files, including personal documents and photographs to storage devices that are not permanently connected to the Internet.

Trend: Market produces solutions
Keeping Children Safe on the Internet

Do you want to make sure that your children aren’t being subjected to the inappropriate content on the Web? One company, Clean Router, founded by two entrepreneurs, Spencer Thomason and Eric Vance, won a grant from the Arizona Innovation Challenge, a biannual business competition run by the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA), to do just that. The ACA provides grants to startups and early stage companies that have reached certain business milestones and demonstrate innovation and quality and provides $3 million in grants annually to the most qualified, innovative startups and early-stage companies: $1.5 million in the spring and $1.5 million in the fall.

“It is exciting to see Arizona’s entrepreneurial ecosystem continue to grow and produce impressive startup companies, and the ACA is proud to support them. Our rigorous selection process ensures that the best and brightest startups thrive in Arizona – and their success continues to showcase Arizona as a leader in innovation. Congratulations to all of the Spring 2016 awardees, your success is well-deserved,” said Sandra Watson, CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority.

The clean router can be plugged into your existing modem or router and becomes the new router through which the Internet is accessed in your home or at any location where children could be present. The user can program the router to block pornography or inappropriate content on virtually any device, browser and operating system connected to it. It is compatible with desktops, laptops, tablets, iPods, iPhones, Androids, Windows Phones, and Blackberry devices. It is also useful with video gaming consoles, Smart TVs, Streaming Media Players, and Apple TV.

It uses a so-called IntelliFilter Technology, which is a multilevel search technology that continuously blocks unwanted content with settings the user control. It is capable of providing a safe experience for those who use it by offering an existing list of keywords and phrases, which can block content by default. The IntelliFilter features a keywords and phrases option that allows the user to control what gets blocked. It comes with URL/Domain words that block websites with specific words, image names and URL words to block images with specific names. It also allows user defined black/white lists for blocking or allowing specific websites.

In a world where children are growing up too fast, it’s important for parents and other authority figures in their lives to have the ability to safeguard them from websites and content that is inappropriate for them to see.

Trend: Government doesn’t get it
US Senate Candidates Fail to Support Critical Technology Issues, Report Says

In a recent report, Engine Advocacy and Tusk Ventures have graded U.S. Senate candidates on important issues related to technology and the IoT like Broadband Access, and Intellectual Property & Data Security. And the grades are not good.

This “Grading the Candidates on Tech” report card looks at the positions that candidates are taking on key issues facing startups and the innovation economy. Twenty-two candidates were rated based on their level of support, understanding, and familiarity with technology and the priorities of the nation’s startup community. The grades are designed to reflect the candidates’ positions, and they show that there are no overall leaders and all but four candidates received an “incomplete” on a key issue. The grades also revealed that many have failed to outline or champion any tech policies throughout their political careers. Troublingly, data security and privacy were the most ignored issues due mostly to the lack of unbridled advocacy in supporting reforms to U.S. government surveillance laws.

A few highlights:

Margaret Hassan, former Governor and New Hampshire Senator, received the highest ranking in the telecom category for pursuing initiatives to expand broadband access for K-12 public schools and supporting net neutrality.

Senator John McCain, Republican Senator of Arizona, earned the lowest grade for Intellectual Property protections because he opposed the America Invents Act and co-sponsored PIPA, a bill that would have stifled Internet freedom and innovation by forcing tech companies to police their own users.

Russ Feingold, former Wisconsin Senator, is the only candidate who opposed the expansion of governmental surveillance under the Patriot Act when the bill was first introduced in 2001 and has argued for hardened encryption standards.

Senator Mark Kirk, Illinois Republican made high-skilled immigration and STEM education key policy issues during his time in Congress and co-sponsored the I-Squared Act to accommodate more talented, high-skilled foreign workers.

“The conflict between regulators and technology companies is nothing new, but today's politicians are more distant from the tech sector than ever,” said Bradley Tusk, founder and CEO, Tusk Ventures. “The key issues highlighted in this year's report card have implications on not only millions of jobs in this country, but also on innovation that is helping to drive our economy. It's important for voters to make an informed decision at the polls and keep the pressure on Congressional leaders to take legislative action after the election.”

In this weekly series, we’ll be previewing chapters for you to read in the hopes that you’ll like enough to read the whole thing. To do just that, for free, click here. Alternatively, there’s a paperback version available on Amazon for $14.99.




Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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