Legacy model no longer enough to secure devices

08 Jun 2015
The infrastructure must shift to a services-based architecture as opposed to a nodal configuration methodology, Avaya says
Dubai: When every machine will have an IP address and are connected with the internet and with people, security is definitely a “primary concern”.
There are ongoing debates around the world today on personal data protection; Internet of Things (IoT) is under threat because of the security concerns and the many ways that things can be hacked and used in malicious ways.
Roads, bins, toasters and lights will be able to talk to each other for more efficient control and monitoring.
“There will now be many more negative perceptions towards IoT, which is knee-jerk reaction,” Jean Turgeon, vice-president and chief technologist at Avaya, told Gulf News.
In the bigger picture, he said that technology has evolved to address all these issues and debates are healthy to ensure that governments protect citizens and citizens get value without their privacy being breached.
“But this requires a shift in the way we architect and design the next-generation Smart infrastructures. The legacy model [client-server architecture] which has served us reasonably well for 15 to 20 years is no longer adequate to protect hacking, snooping and spoofing. It is that simple,” he said.
According to research firm International Data Corporation, the global Internet of Things market will grow to $1.7 trillion in 2020 from $655.8 billion in 2014, as more devices come online and a bevy of platforms and services grow up around them.

The firm predicts that the number of connected devices such as cars, refrigerators and everything in between will grow from 10.3 million in 2014 to more than 29.5 million in 2020.

Devices, connectivity and IT services are expected to account for the majority of the global IoT market in 2020, with devices alone accounting for 31.8 per cent of the total.

Turgeon said that it requires complex static configuration at the edge. The legacy model is making it “extremely difficult”, next to impossible, to provide an automated provisioning process suitable to support IoT and Smart Services enablement. The infrastructure must shift to a services-based architecture as opposed to a nodal configuration methodology.

“All this can now be fully automated through zero-touch provisioning while eliminating all hacking and security exposure to services elasticity. There are political concerns that are specific to countries that determine the dynamics of big data residing with and being accessed by the government. This is something that we will ultimately leave to decision makers and people to determine. The good news is that there is technology available today that ensures that data is protected and leveraged to deliver greater value,” he said.

In my view, he said the debate we should be having is how far technology can deliver security to citizens and governments? Can we today catch a crime even before it happens?

“Of course, we can and we are moving quickly in bringing these innovations. For example, ATM frauds are one of the biggest concerns of financial institutions and users alike. So how can you prevent an illegal ATM withdrawal before it happens, using IOT and data analytics? How can CCTVs and video teller machines in the country become a crime prevention tool by integrating facial recognition, eye scans, fingerprints to a national database, and contextually enable the communication process to alert the nearest police to an ATM being illegally used?”

Any public security and safety scenario can today be addressed and solved with “integrating and customising a number of technologies” to deliver a specific outcome.

This article appeared in the Gulf News on 8th June 2015.