IoT News Roundup

By IOT Journal

Industrial Internet Consortium releases security best practices white paper, announces steering committee election results; Inmarsat says IoT helps transport, logistics sectors drive down carbon footprint; Ecom intros industrial tablet for Internet of Things applications; Houston Communications adds SkyBitz Transportation solutions to its networking and communications offerings.

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The following are news announcements made during the past week:

PRESS RELEASE:

Industrial Internet Consortium Releases Security Best Practices White Paper

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), the world’s leading organization transforming business and society by accelerating the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), announced the publication of the Endpoint Security Best Practices white paper. It is a concise document that equipment manufacturers, critical infrastructure operators, integrators and others can reference to implement the countermeasures and controls they need to ensure the safety, security and reliability of IoT endpoint devices. Endpoints include edge devices such as sensors, actuators, pumps, flow meters, controllers and drives in industrial systems, embedded medical devices, electronic control units vehicle controls systems, as well as communications infrastructure and gateways.

“The number of attacks on industrial endpoints has grown rapidly in the last few years and has severe effects. Unreliable equipment can cause safety problems, customer dissatisfaction, liability and reduced profits,” said Steve Hanna, IIC white paper co-author, and Senior Principal, Infineon Technologies. “The Endpoint Security Best Practices white paper moves beyond general guidelines, providing specific recommendations by security level. Thus, equipment manufacturers, owners, operators and integrators are educated on how to apply existing best practices to achieve the needed security levels for their endpoints.”

The paper explores one of the six functional building blocks from the IIC Industrial Internet Security Framework (IISF): Endpoint Protection. The 13-page white paper distills key information about endpoint device security from industrial guidance and compliance frameworks, such as IEC 62443, NIST SP 800-53, and the IIC IISF.

Equipment manufacturers, industrial operators and integrators can use the Endpoint Security Best Practices document to understand how countermeasures or controls can be applied to achieve a particular security level (basic, enhanced, or critical) when building or upgrading industrial IoT endpoint systems, which they can determine through risk modeling and threat analysis.

“By describing best practices for implementing industrial security that are appropriate for agreed-upon security levels, we’re empowering industrial ecosystem participants to define and request the security they need,” said Dean Weber, IIC white paper co-author, and CTO, Mocana. “Integrators can build systems that meet customer security needs and equipment manufacturers can build products that provide necessary security features efficiently.”

While the white paper is primarily targeted at improving the security of new endpoints, the concepts can be used with legacy endpoints by employing gateways, network security, and security monitoring.

The full Endpoint Security Best Practices white paper and a list of IIC members who contributed can be found on the IIC website at http://www.iiconsortium.org/pdf/Endpoint_Security_Best_Practices_Final_Mar_2018.pdf.

PRESS RELEASE:

Industrial Internet Consortium Announces Steering Committee Election Results

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), the world’s leading organization transforming business and society by accelerating the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), announced the results of its Steering Committee officer election. The new IIC Steering Committee leadership team combines industrial giants from Europe, North America, and Asia with a fast-growing Silicon Valley company. It includes leaders in industry, IT, OT, and telecom.

“The makeup of this leadership team reflects the global business reach, technical breadth, and embrace of new approaches by the IIC. The IIC is the largest Industrial IoT consortium, and the only one that is truly international in scope and execution,” said IIC Executive Director Dr. Richard Soley.

The new Steering Committee leadership team is: Chair: Dirk Slama, Vice President of Business Development, Bosch Software Innovations; Vice Chair: Stan Schneider, CEO of Real-Time Innovations (RTI); Secretary: Wael William Diab, Senior Director, Huawei Technologies; and Testbed Subcommittee Chair: Dr. Said Tabet, Technology Lead, IoT and AI Strategy, Dell EMC.

“We’ve achieved a tremendous amount of momentum through the dedicated work of IIC member organizations who are committed to the success of the IIoT ecosystem,” said Dirk Slama, Chair of the IIC Steering Committee and Vice President of Business Development, Bosch Software Innovations. “The IIC continues to be the leading member-driven organization to accelerate the adoption of the IIoT and I’m excited to lead our Steering Committee for the next two years.”

“This unique team reflects the unique position of the IIC. We are poised to realize the huge potential of the IIoT,” said Stan Schneider, Vice Chair of the IIC Steering Committee and CEO of RTI. “I’m honored by the support of the Steering Committee and the opportunity to help lead the industry’s most important consortium.”

“IIC has cultivated a unique ecosystem that brings together IT and OT stakeholders to accelerate adoption of the industrial internet,” said Wael William Diab, Secretary of the IIC Steering Committee and Senior Director, Huawei Technologies. “I am honored to have been elected and look forward to working with IIC members, partners and my colleagues on the Steering Committee.”

“I am honored and delighted to join the IIC leadership to continue to build on the success of IIC and help shape the industry’s future,” said Dr. Said Tabet, IIC Testbed Subcommittee Chair and Technology Lead, IoT and AI Strategy, Dell EMC. “I am looking forward to working closely with all of our members and to delivering on the industrial internet potential.”

Success in the IIoT requires an ecosystem of partners who can provide broad expertise. Since it was founded in 2014, the IIC has grown to more than 250 member-companies in 31 countries and has established 36 liaison relationships. IIC foundational documents have become de facto industry guidelines for companies investing in the IIoT. IIC testbeds, where new technologies, applications, products, services, and processes can be initiated and rigorously tested before coming to market, are delivering results.

The Steering Committee member organizations now include representatives from ABB, Bosch, Dell EMC, Fujitsu, GE, Huawei, IBM, MITRE, Real-Time Innovations (RTI) and SAP as well as IIC Executive Director Dr. Richard Soley.

PRESS RELEASE:

Inmarsat Says IoT Helps Transport, Logistics Sectors Drive Down Carbon Footprint

The Internet of Things (IoT) will play a pivotal role in enabling the transport and logistics sector to reduce its carbon footprint and minimize any negative impact on the environment. This is according to research from Inmarsat (LSE:ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, which found that 95% of companies in the sector are actively implementing IoT technologies to improve their environmental sustainability.

The research conducted by Vanson Bourne for ‘The Future of IoT in Enterprise’ report collected responses from 100 large global transportation companies and found that 44% of companies are prioritizing environmental monitoring as a key area for IoT deployment. Moreover, 15% stated that they had increased their environmental sustainability as a direct result of their IoT deployments, and a further 65% expected to do so in future, highlighting the effectiveness of the technology in this area.

Mike Holdsworth, Director of Transport at Inmarsat Enterprise, explained the importance of adopting IoT solutions in enabling the transport and logistics sector to reduce its carbon footprint: “The International Transport Forum estimates that heightening travel demands could see global CO2 emissions from transport increase by 60 per cent by 2050, a figure that is based on the assumption of significant progress with the adoption of greener technologies. Without such progress, that figure is expected to be considerably higher. The transport industry needs to get smarter if it hopes to limit its impact on the environment, and it is clear that many in the sector are looking to the latest IoT technologies to help them achieve this goal.

“IoT could have an immediate and considerable impact on the emissions of logistics companies today. For example, CO2 emissions can be exacerbated by faulty equipment, engine damage and poor route planning but IoT can address these issues by utilizing smart telematics devices, diagnostic sensors and accelerometers to gather engine status data and automatically notify fleet managers with instant alerts of damage or faults. This information can be used to limit engine wear-and-tear and increase average miles-per-gallon (MPG), indirectly reducing overall emissions and minimizing wastage by extending the lifespan of each vehicle.”

Holdsworth continued: “There are multiple opportunities for businesses, from collecting, storing and analyzing real-time data from crowdsourcing or sensors located in vehicles and machinery across their supply chain and it will be invaluable for those hoping to reduce their carbon footprint.

However, making informed decisions in real-time depends on having the data available at all times, but you need continuous and reliable connectivity, and it is impossible to achieve that without mobile satellite communications.

“By utilizing the IoT over a satellite connection and making immediate strategic adjustments, transport organizations will have a distinct advantage over their competition in achieving environmental sustainability,” he concluded.

Inmarsat’s L-band services offer a global satellite network that can provide critical connectivity for reliable end-to-end communications with up to 99.9% uptime, even in isolated or remote environments with minimal or no mobile coverage.

PRESS RELEASE:

Ecom Intros Industrial Tablet for Internet of Things Applications

The Pepperl+Fuchs brand ecom, specialist for mobile devices for use in hazardous areas, introduces a new family member and successor to its groundbreaking tablet series Tab-Ex: The Tab-Ex 02, based on the latest Samsung Galaxy Tab Active2. The new tablet combines high performance with innovative applications such as augmented reality. With the Tab-Ex 02, the mobile user can communicate in real-time, anytime, anywhere, as well as collect and retrieve data, parameters and information remotely.

The Tab-Ex 02 is ideally suited for IoT-capable applications and simplifies data exchange with SCADA / DCS systems, enterprise resource planning systems (SAP, IBM Maximo), project management systems and computer-aided system planning. As a compact lightweight tablet, it is the ideal companion for a wide range of tasks such as inventory, material tracking, maintenance, supply chain and asset management. The Tab-Ex 02 will be available from May 2018 as an ATEX/IECEx Zone 2 / Div. 2 certified industrial version. Certification for ATEX/IECEx Zone 1 / Div. 1 will be available from autumn 2018.

The lightweight and robust Tab-Ex 02 with the high-performance Android 7.1 Nougat operating system features a powerful Octa Core processor with 1.6 GHz and 3 Gigabyte RAM. Thereby ecom provides the technological basis for complex applications that connect people, processes and systems through the Internet of Things and will be a decisive factor for a company’s success in the coming years. The improved hardware of the Tab-Ex 02 enables, for example, to identify objects in an installation via augmented reality applications. The software delivers all the underlying, existing data directly into the user’s field of vision in real time, while also making it shareable within the company network. Augmented reality ensures greater transparency, higher availability and faster as well as safer processes – from the planning to the operation and maintenance of a plant.

Similarly, documents and templates that due to their size are virtually impossible to edit with a smartphone or PDA can be displayed on the tablet’s 8-inch display without scrolling, and can be operated more easily and quickly. The Tab-Ex 02 guarantees seamless access to all information, including detailed master and repair data, allowing employees, experts, teams and project groups to collaborate faster, more agile and flexible in real time.

Video conferencing applications are one of the best examples of how mobile wireless solutions in hazardous areas open up a new way of working. With the Tab-Ex 02’s improved 8 MP rear and 5 MP front cameras, damage can be detected and repaired during inspection or maintenance. The employee on site simply streams videos directly from the Ex-area and is remotely supported during his walk through the plant. Experts or responsible employees in the control center can provide real-time diagnosis and initiate necessary measures or repairs immediately without wasting valuable time. Without a specialist having to visit the plant or offshore platform in person, the use of mobile hardware and video telephony saves time and money.

Various wireless connections (4G LTE, WLAN) are available for real-time communication and the mobile use of apps and video. LTE Cat. 6 (300Mbps) enables technicians everywhere to quickly and easily access the data they need to work on their tasks effectively and efficiently. Even in areas where only WLAN or no network connection is available, the Tab-Ex 02 can be used to avoid cost-intensive expansion of the infrastructure. The Tab-Ex 02 also supports the latest Bluetooth standards and enables communication via Bluetooth SmartReady Low Energy 4.2 (BLE) devices as well as with devices of older Bluetooth standards.

The key to new and more flexible IoT-applications lies in the interplay of diverse technologies and interfaces. A digital system solution relies on a high information density along the entire process chain. With Pepperl+Fuchs as an umbrella brand, customers benefit from a consistent and future-proof solution and global service portfolio for hazardous areas that opens up completely new possibilities for the entire process automation. Mobile devices, sensors and HMI solutions can be optimally matched to each other. In addition, the Tab-Ex 02 is part of ecom’s interlocked, explosion-proof mobile worker concept, which includes smartphones, tablets, peripherals and software applications. Mobile users can integrate additional Tab-Ex solution packages from a single source, such as ecom’s data capture, measurement and monitoring devices, headsets, AutoID and Bluetooth beacons for tracking.

In addition to worldwide consulting and support services, ecom also relies on a selected, long-standing partner network of globally leading manufacturing and development partners such as Samsung, IBM, Honeywell and Airbus. The cooperation with Samsung on the Tab-Ex 02 provides customers with increased investment security, a long product lifecycle, state-of-the-art technology, maximum reliability (TCO) and security thanks to Samsung KNOX.

PRESS RELEASE:

Houston Communications Adds SkyBitz Transportation Solutions to Its Networking and Communications Offerings

SkyBitz, a leader in commercial IoT telematics, and Houston Communications, Inc. (HCI), a communications, networking, and technology solutions dealer, has announce a partnership to bring advanced fleet management solutions to transportation sector companies. HCI’s offerings include SkyBitz software solutions and services for operational oversight, vehicle and asset tracking, and powerful data analytics.

SkyBitz products and services allow fleet managers to ensure drivers maintain company standards. The GPS products and software integration protect businesses by accounting for related expenses, safety procedures, and compliance with the law, while giving fleets real-time data to streamline operations and find budget savings.

“We look forward to helping fleets deliver top-tier service with less overhead through our partnership with Houston Communications,” says Henry Popplewell, President, SkyBitz. “HCI’s commitment to this businesses is evident and SkyBitz is proud to contribute its fleet management and logistics solutions to the HCI roster.”

Thorough research proved SkyBitz to be a top-performing brand, and the company’s solutions passed a strict vetting process. “Our customers have high standards, which means we have to have even higher standards,” says Keir Johnson, President, HCI. “SkyBitz checked all the boxes, and we’re excited to offer this solution to solve our customer’s problems.”

With SkyBitz technology, fleets across service sectors can monitor temperature, fuel purchases, route conditions, routes taken, speed, maintenance, and driver behavior through an app on a mobile device. Starting March 13th, access SkyBitz products through the HCI website.