GSA Meetup: Cyber Security Continues as Major Obstacle for IoT Adoption

Overview:

As 2016 ended as another year of consolidation within the semiconductor industry, GSA Global examined what’s ahead for 2017 and what are the driving factors at the February 22, 2017  GSA Meetup in San Jose, CA. Most forecasts predict 2017 to be a growth year for the semiconductor industry and those were explained at the Meet Up.  Five presentations from market research, private equity and systems integrator firms  addressed the status and market drivers for the chip industry.

Highlights:

At the February 22, 2017  GSA Meetup in San Jose, CA, several market research firm presentations referenced the Internet of Things (IoT) as a key market driver for the semiconductor industry.  Many new IoT forecast were made and several significant survey results were revealed.

One of the most important was that 92% of potential IoT users are concerned about cyber-security, according to Vijay Joshi of KPMG.  That includes security functions like authentication, encryption, threat mitigation, anti-malware protection, etc.

There’s been a rapid increase in “ransomware,” where a hacker demands a ransom after penetrating a connected car, factory with connected devices, or a wearable connected device.  One solution would be to embed security functions noted above in hardware or firmware in the IoT connected device along with default credentials.  [Author opines that there don’t appear to be any widely accepted standards for the actual security mechanisms to be used-see note below.]  In addition to hardware based security functions, an “unpatched OS”  (Linux, Android) was recommended, but not defined by the KPMG speaker.

Public and private sector IoT adapters must know what is going on around them so that they can identify when an attack has taken place or when an attack is imminent.  Hence, real time monitoring and analytics are mandatory.  That is best achieved by including comprehensive cyber-security within an IoT framework.

Author’s Note:  We completely agree, but don’t see solid IoT security happening yet.  The LPWA (Low Power Wide Area) networks and wireless LAN standards organizations/spec writing bodies are not incorporating network security into their standards/specifications which primarily deal with only the network access (MAC and PHY).

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Golnar Pooya of Accenture noted that IoT has become an increasingly complex landscape.  She made several interesting IoT forecasts:

  • 40% of all data transmitted/received will come from connected sensors by 2020
  • 50B connected devices expected by 2020
  • 4.2B people will access 4G-LTE networks by 2020
  • 80% of Fortune 100 could offer public APIs
  • 31 Exabytes of Mobile data traffic per month by 2020
  • IoT will produce an “outcome based economy,” where the “proper outcome (?)” will come from new connected ecosystems, an IoT platform enabled marketplace (see Platform Wars below, and a shared risk environment.

IoT Vision and Value:

IoT vision will have (Internet or Gateway connected) devices talk to each other and also to cloud based compute and storage servers.

Value of IoT is to draw insights and drive action from the raw data.  Lots of data transmitted has limited value unless analyzed to generate insights that drive decisions and/or actions.

IoT Platform Wars:

There are currently over 300 IoT Platforms, with different functionality and implementations.  The resulting “platform wars” are causing confusion which is reducing the rate of IoT adoption.  Mr Pooya predicted that only 10% of the IoT Platforms would succeed in the market.  Software and analytics will be the key differentiating factors.

Example of Ecosystem Strategic Partnerships: Intel & Accenture ESP:

• Bring end-to-end solutions to market

• One stop shop / one partner to manage

Author’s Note:  The details of this partnership were not described. However, we found this link which provides a thumbnail sketch of the strategic partnership:  https://www.accenture.com/us-en/service-accenture-intel

Recommendations [Author ?s]:

  • Suppress the Platform Suppression [How to narrow down the number of platforms when there is no reference model for the functionality an IoT platform should contain?]
  • Pick the Right Teammates/Partners [How to evaluate partners?]
  • Support Standards Bodies [Which one’s- official or private alliances/forums?]
  • Prioritize Use Cases and Outcomes [Methods and procedures to do this?]

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Consider the connected car/vehicle as a huge potential IoT market.  According to Jim Hines of Gartner, 80% of all new vehicle models in mature markets will have built-in data connectivity by 2020.  Several different types of car connectivity were hypothesized, including: wireless and wireline Ethernet connections within the car, Vehicle to Home, Vehicle to Vehicle (V2X),  Vehicle to Smart City/Smart Factory, Intermodal (not defined).

The connected vehicle will be characterized by:

  • Human-Machine Interface
  • Digital Security
  • Data Analytics
  • In-Vehicle Ethernet
  • OTA (over-the-air) Updating
  • Vehicle Information Hub Location-Based Services
  • Embedded OS (no specific OS suggested)

Hines said that “automotive applications are leading semiconductor market growth.”  [Perhaps that’s why Qualcomm is acquiring NXP- a leader in automotive semiconductors]

His recommendations were as follows:

 Focus on the key technologies for enabling connected car functions: – Sensing technologies – Human-machine interface – High-performance processing – Wireless communications

 Align your product and service offerings with connected car leaders

 View automobiles as mobile sensors and connected devices that will enable new digital business models

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Dan Hutchinson of VLSI Research said that IoT  will drive a data supply chain explosion. It’s one of the strong engines of the next “virtuous cycle” for the IC industry, which will propel the demand for semiconductors.  The other drivers, according to  a chart attributed to Gary Dickerson of Applied Materials are: visual computing, artificial intelligence and cloud computing/storage).  The “smart factory,” presumably chock full of IoT devices, is projected to generate 1M Gbytes of data per day (timeframe not provided).

The cyclicality of the semiconductor industry has moderated for semiconductors, but not for semiconductor production equipment, according to Hutchinson.  [Yet semiconductor/chip growth has declined sharply from 2000-2005 period as per a chart shown.]

Summary & Conclusions:

  • Moore’s Law has created $13 Trillion of market value for semiconductors
  • Without semiconductors: – All those Unicorns would be hornless – No Google – No Facebook – No Amazon – No Netflix – Just to name a few …
  • Things are looking up for 2017 & 2018
  • However … Let’s NOT party like it’s 1999

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IoT Conclusions [Author’s Opinion]:

IoT certainly offers tremendous potential and power to create an entire new ecosystem and supply chain.  However, the problems identified 10 years ago for Machine to Machine (M2M) communications and IoT have still not been resolved.  At least the security problem was discussed at length by the KPMG presenter and noted by the Accenture speaker.  That’s a good start, but follow up by IoT industry participants and official standards bodies is urgently needed.

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About GSA:

GSA is comprised of 375 members that represent nearly 75% of the $350B industry and boasts the broadest group of executive membership from the entire semiconductor ecosystem.

Image result for GSA Global semiconductor pics

 GSA is the only organization that brings together the entire semiconductor ecosystem in order to represent industry-wide interests and thoughts.

 GSA provides a neutral environment for executives within the semiconductor industry to meet and collaborate on ways to improve efficiencies and address industry wide topics and concerns.

 GSA identifies and discusses emerging trends & opportunities, and how our membership can best participate and impact change.

 GSA encourages and supports entrepreneurship through various Leadership Councils, Technical Interest Groups and Resources.

 GSA promotes the visibility of our members and their contributions to our industry.  Testimonials: http://www.gsaglobal.org/gsa-membership/testimonials/

Two New GSA Interest Groups: 

  1. VLSI design trends
  2. Materials, Manufacturing, Packaging and Test

 GSA will be providing an opportunity for our members to join us in two individual interest groups to address the technical and business challenges unique to their specific ecosystem.

 Opportunity to discuss technology, materials, scale, equipment and manufacturing, as well as common issues and concerns.

 Plan is to meet twice a year

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2 thoughts on “GSA Meetup: Cyber Security Continues as Major Obstacle for IoT Adoption

  1. Excellent overview, Alan, of the state of the IoT market. As you have been pointing out for years, security is going to be paramount, particularly as the connected world becomes one with the physical world and could have real-life impacts (e.g. connected cars, pipeline valves, etc.). With lives potentially in the balance, getting security right is probably even more critical than in the virtual world.

  2. 92% of IoT users may be very concerned about cyber-security. However, the solution providers can collectively only offer fragmented approaches. From a security vulnerability perspective, IoT vertical industry segments are deemed to be different, mostly because of the perceived explosion in IoT applications and future high volumes (e.g. 20B connected things by….). No visible, industry-wide effort is being made to define, classify and standardize end to end security requirements, the absence of which will very likely dampen the growth projections of IoT. Thanks for the GSA Meet-Up event summary.

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