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Telecoms Launch & Secure IoT Solutions

02.17.2015

Across the Internet ecosystem, broadband providers and tech innovators are forging partnerships and launching Internet of Things (IoT) applications — all the while working to ensure security.

LightReading reports that AT&T is reaching out to small and midsized utility companies in partnership with General Electric (GE) to deploy smart energy solutions in its ongoing commitment to expand and leverage the role of IoT. GE’s fully connected smart meter integrates with AT&T’s network to bring smart energy connectivity to customers. The overarching goal is to help with “streamlining the process of smart grid solutions for smaller utilities that might not have the resources to implement them on their own,” says Mobeen Khan, executive director, industrial Internet of Things solutions, AT&T Mobile and Business Solutions. “It’s operational efficiency as well as risk management for the utilities," Khan adds.

Cisco is also unveiling new offerings in the IoT world. At the recent DistribuTech 2015 show in San Diego, Cisco highlighted the company’s solutions to help facilitate IoT adoption in the industrial world. For example, the new Cisco Industrial Operations Kit is designed to facilitate the adoption of secure industrial networks and drive the deployment of IoT innovations, from powering smart cities to enhancing efficiency on factory floors. In addition, through its Entrepreneurs in Resident program, Cisco is currently supporting the efforts of startups focusing on data analytics and IoT applications like Korlist, which is working to streamline the deployment of smart city solutions.

With connected devices, systems and sensors expected to grow by the billions worldwide, eWeek notes that security remains a key concern. To address this issue, Verizon Enterprise Solutions offers an enterprise portal for its Managed Certificate Services platform to help better manage security and encryption protocols to minimize the security risks associated with large-scale IoT deployments.

The security of IoT devices should also be considered as innovators design and develop their products as a recent Gartner study indicates. Given the measurable promise of IoT innovations, this needs to become a key component. According to Earl Perkins, a research vice president at Gartner, a majority of vendors are not yet at this stage, although companies are beginning to recognize that software-defined security will play an increased role in their future sales. “You already see this in prominent vendors such as Intel, who began this journey years ago and has completed several acquisitions to build out their portfolio for IoT application development and security,” he observes. However, he also says that it’s important to raise the level of awareness of enterprise users and consumers alike, advising customers to carefully evaluate the security of the products they do buy.