Next Wave IoT: Security, Identity & Encryption

By Sophie Curtis on June 30, 2015

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At the RE.WORK Internet of Things Summit in Boston last month, we took a look at Internet of Things (IoT) common standards and security with a panel of experts from SafeLogicXively by LogMeIn, General Datatech and Ecovent.

The panel discussion covered many heavily debated aspects of the IoT, including what panel speakers deemed to be the biggest issue in security: identity. How do we handle identity in an IoT ecosystem when so many different IoT products, applications and people all need to access it?

Ray Potter, CEO and Founder of SafeLogic, joined the panel session at the summit to share his expertise in encryption. SafeLogic’s product line is focused on standards-based cryptographic engines designed for use in IoT, Cloud, mobile, server, workstation, appliance, and wearable environments. Ray’s fellow panelists included Sean Lorenz, Director of IoT Market Strategy at Xively by LogMeIn, John Ansbach, General Counsel for General Datatech, Dipul Patel, CEO of Ecovent, and moderator of the panel Nanette Byrnes, Editor at the MIT Technology Review. View a video for the panel on YouTube.

We caught up with Ray at the event to hear more of his thoughts on the recent advancements in IoT and what we can expect in the future.

What are the key factors that have enabled recent advancements in IoT?
The increase in processing power available in the small, embedded chipsets has allowed us to build more and more sophisticated connected devices, tackling more and more complicated use cases. Further, the community is embracing it as the next wave, and as a result there are a lot of companies using IoT to solve problems. And there are companies looking to solve problems with IoT.

What industries do you think will be disrupted by IoT in the future?
Maybe a better question might be "what industries won’t be disrupted by IoT in the future?" I anticipate that every sector, every vertical, and every type of business will be connected by IoT devices.

What are the practical applications of your work and what sectors are most likely to be affected?
Here at SafeLogic, we are working hard to bring strong, third-party tested encryption to every device that stores or transmits data. As you can imagine, the number and variety of those connected devices is growing quickly and soon will be too many to count. Every one of them should be leveraging independently validated crypto, and we're rethinking how that encryption is managed, deployed, implemented etc. It's a very exciting time!

What developments can we expect to see in IoT in the next 5 years?
More. More power, more devices, more capabilities. IoT is one of those terms that will fade into the past quickly, as everything will end up connected. Nobody will bother saying “I have an IoT-connected microwave” because all microwaves will be connected. We will see a lot of innovation across the spectrum, from companies building consumer / enterprise solutions to other companies providing the plumbing. And we'll see more data, which will continue to fuel the innovation.

Which areas do you feel could benefit from cross-industry collaboration?
In order to build on our current traction, IoT specialists will need to collaborate with every other sector. We have a billion use cases, each of which has a huge opportunity for innovation when they are connected. It's a challenge though, because industrial control systems have a completely different environment than, say, automotive. Each vertical will be siloed to an extent, but I think there will be innovations and lessons learned that could be applied horizontally.

What advancements excite you most in the field?
For me, it’s all about the efficiency. Smart devices just for the sake of being smart won't do us any good. Automation and machine learning makes it possible to rescue hundreds of hours that past generations have wasted. Combined with advances in healthcare, we have the potential to effectively have much more rewarding lives.We just have to remember to stop and smell the roses occasionally.

Ray Potter spoke at the Internet of Things Summit in Boston, on 28-29 May 2015, view the event summary here.

RE.WORK Connect Summit is taking place in San Francisco this November, view the event here.

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