Fifteen billion connected smart devices represent a real security threat, but that threat holds huge promise for innovation in the secured infrastructure industry.
At the Amphion Forum this week, it was announced that Intel has developed the Intelligent Systems Framework to address connected device security. Amphion Forum is an event bringing together leaders across many industries to figure out how to address the security issues brought on by the proliferation of connected devices.
Amphion Forum 2012, San Francisco
The collection of industries affected by connected device security issues is wide, and it's not just the government, infrastructure and defense industries. Bev Crair, general manager of the Intelligent Systems Framework, gave her keynote address on how the Internet of Things is a definite security threat that needs innovative solutions, and one that is being hindered a bit by the lack of leadership.
Specifically, what Crair and several of the other panelists mentioned was the lack of any kind of governmental leadership in this area. The US government has been a leader on technological issues in the past, but for connected device security, it is way behind.
Additionally, one of the reasons there has been so little movement on connected device security issues at the government level is that vendors are pressuring Washington to not implement any new standards. Obviously, these vendors are the very companies who are selling devices to the government for example, and the less changes they have to make, compliance wise, the better for their bottom lines.
The Internet of Things impacts healthcare and manufacturing industries in particular.
Smart devices are being seamlessly integrated in the enterprise, and the data they supply is supremely valuable, Crair said. That makes it a target for attack, and because this includes devices like mobile phones and tablets like the iPad, virtually no one is really safe.
That's not a scare tactic or just a way to drum up security business. In fact, in the consumer electronics world where iPads and iPhones exist, many don't really care that much about security. But for hospitals, governments, enterprises and many others, the issue will only grow in importance.
Intel's Intelligent Systems Framework
Intel has put together a set of interoperable solutions designed to address connecting, managing and securing devices in a consistent and scalable manner, Crair said. Doctors love iPads, she said, and the ability for them to access patient files in the office and update those files with data from connected heart monitors is a good example. It means the iPad has to be secure as well as whatever devices are sending it information.
Intel is working to get hardware and software manufacturers to work together on this issue, in part because of the lack of government standards. It will work with the Open Data Center Alliance to ensure seamless integration of intelligent systems with the data center and cloud, Crair said.