IoT News Roundup

By IOT Journal

TrackX, food producer forge agreement for enterprise deployment of yard-management solution ••• WISeKey, Toppan Printing team up to securely connect inert objects to internet ••• Particle acquires RedBear to accelerate IoT innovation ••• Inmarsat finds mining industry must strengthen cybersecurity measures to profit from IoT ••• Inland Cellular, Senet partner to provide LoRaWAN IoT connectivity services ••• Thales study finds cloud use, compliance requirements shape encryption strategy ••• Altair, Ecrio partner on VoLTE over Cat-M1 for IoT.

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The following are news announcements made during the past week:


TrackX, Food Producer Forge Agreement for Enterprise Deployment of Yard-Management Solution

TrackX Holdings, a provider of software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based enterprise asset-management solutions, has announced that it has entered into an agreement for an enterprise-wide expansion of its Global Asset Management for Enterprises (GAME) solution for a previously announced customer.

Under this agreement, TrackX will deploy GAME for supply chain management (SCM) across all four existing distribution yards for the U.S.-based baked goods manufacturer, which generates more than $1 billion in annual revenue. This adds to TrackX’s customer base in the food and beverage distribution industry.

“It is wonderful to be working with a client with such vision and thought leadership in their industry,” said Tim Harvie, TrackX’s CEO, in a prepared statement. “Upon completing a very detailed business process and workflow analysis, this deployment not only further validates our ‘land and expand’ strategy but will also result in further extensions to our GAME platform, allowing us to better serve other food services companies.”

TrackX GAME for SCM will track and manage complex truck and trailer activity throughout its customer’s distribution facilities, maintain yard inventory, automate gate operations, improve labor efficiency and facilitate efficient dock-door scheduling. The deployment will leverage GAME’s support for a variety of asset-tracking and Internet of Things (IoT) hardware, as well as integration into back-end enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to automate its customer’s yard- and dock-related operational processes. Passive RFID tags will be affixed to every trailer.

RFID readers at the gates, along with GPS receivers and RFID readers on the spotter trucks, will provide real-time locationing and tracking of trailers within the yard and in and out of the yard gates. IoT sensors at the dock doors will provide real-time dock-door status, facilitate dynamic task scheduling and improve operational safety. Once deployed, the solution will allow the customer to consolidate disparate distribution operations across its network onto a single platform, thereby providing it with visibility and business intelligence throughout its entire operation.

WISeKey, Toppan Printing Team Up to Securely Connect Inert Objects to Internet

WISeKey International Holding Ltd (WIHN.SW) (“WISeKey”), a Swiss based cybersecurity and IoT company, and Toppan Printing Co., Ltd (“Toppan”), the global printing company involved in the security business for more than a century, today announced that they are collaborating to provide the industry with versatile smart tags that allow any object to securely authenticate and communicate online.

In 2017, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the International Trademark Association (INTA) commissioned Frontier Economics to write a report about The Economic Impacts of Counterfeiting and Piracy. The report estimated that the value of the international trade in counterfeit and pirated products will grow from US$461 billion in 2013, or as much as 2.5% of all international trade, to US$991 billion in 2022. It also estimated that the total scale of domestic production and consumption of counterfeit and pirated products will grow from US$249 – US$456 billion in 2013 to US$524 – US$959 billion in 2022.

Although already dramatic, these estimates do not take into consideration other wider economic and social costs such as loss of jobs, Foreign Direct Investment, and fiscal revenue. Aiming to decrease these figures, this collaboration will combine WISeKey’s expertise in Internet of Things (IoT) security with Toppan’s deep roots in secure printing and anti-counterfeiting.

WISeKey Semiconductors inherits more than 25 years’ experience delivering secure semiconductors that protect sensitive data for governments and private corporations. Among other applications, WISeKey’s chips are widely used by global telecommunication manufacturers and healthcare organizations as well as Visa/MasterCard bank cards. The same certified technology is now available in WISeKey’s VaultIC lightweight hardware security modules. VaultIC chips provide a powerful anti-counterfeiting tool by enabling cryptographic security to identify any item online using contactless Near Field Communication (NFC) with an Android or Apple iOS based smartphone.

Toppan provides a complete suite of security printing technologies through the company’s century-long leadership in printing passports, identity cards, banknotes and other secure documents. More recently Toppan has extended the use of these technologies for anti-counterfeiting protection of branded goods. Similar to the way NFC secure elements are embedded in e-passport covers, Toppan also designs specific tags for a robust integration in any packaging such as wine or spirit bottles, cosmetics and perfume boxes and luxury goods. This is a natural complement to WISeKey’s expertise.

“Counterfeit goods often lead to bad user experience in addition to dramatic loss of revenue for companies and significant socio-economic costs for economies,” said Olivier Debelleix, Director of Brand Protection & Wearable Security Business Unit for WISeKey. “WISeKey’s technology brings anti-counterfeiting labelling into the Internet age. Our collaboration with Toppan leverages our respective strengths in new geographic markets and applications.”

“The durability and counterfeit-resistance of Toppan’s security printing solutions are trusted all over the world,” said Tomoji Isaka, Sales Manager for Toppan Europe. “WISeKey’s VaultIC cryptographic module will further increase the security levels we provide our customers to protect their assets.”


Particle Acquires RedBear to Accelerate IoT Innovation

Particle, the most widely used Internet of Things (IoT) platform, today announced it has acquired RedBear, an IoT hardware development company based in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, China. Particle’s first-ever acquisition is designed to help any developer or enterprise bring real IoT solutions to market faster, marking a significant step in the company’s growth as a full-scale IoT organization. Particle’s acquisition of RedBear’s design and development capabilities is part of the company’s core strategy of investing in innovation that accelerates business for IoT builders working at any stage, from prototyping to full-scale deployment.

RedBear was founded in 2012 and successfully fundraised early products on Kickstarter, building a loyal developer community alongside an acclaimed product. The RedBear team will add expertise in building Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Wi-Fi-enabled IoT hardware to Particle’s growing product lines. RedBear CEO Chi-Hung Ma will lead Particle’s development team in China.

“Particle is committed to building the best team in the business to enable anyone to create IoT solutions that produce real value,” said Zach Supalla, Particle co-founder and CEO. “The RedBear team impressed us with their track record of enabling IoT makers to bring their ideas to life in a third of the time and a tenth of the cost as in the past. This acquisition enables Particle to bring new products to market faster and scale to meet soaring demands for IoT connectivity, adding valuable expertise from the heart of the electronics industry in Shenzhen.”

Particle recently partnered with RedBear to develop and manufacture Particle Mesh, its next-generation portfolio of Mesh development kits that enable IoT systems to cover more ground and capture more data with higher reliability at a reduced cost. Particle Mesh debuted in February and sold over 20,000 units in the first month of pre-orders. RedBear’s previous developments also include cloud platform partnerships with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and ARM Mbed.

“Particle and RedBear share the same laser focus on creating connected solutions that help product creators at any stage create value with IoT,” said Chi-Hung Ma, CEO of RedBear and Particle Director of New Product Development. “Becoming part of Particle will expand our team’s resources to build innovative hardware solutions that better connect anything to the internet. We’re already at work on more game-changing products and look forward to sharing them soon.” Particle will support customers of RedBear’s DUO and Nano hardware through 2019.


Inmarsat Finds Mining Industry Must Strengthen Cybersecurity Measures to Profit from IoT

Mining businesses are struggling to meet the new security challenges presented by the Internet of Things (IoT) as they look for ways to exploit the technology. This is according to recent research from Inmarsat (LSE:ISAT.L) which states that while mining businesses stand to gain a significant advantage over their competitors by deploying IoT, without the right cybersecurity measures in place, these initiatives may come crashing down before any gains can be made. To view the research microsite and download the full report – ‘The Future of IoT in Enterprise’ – visit:

Market research specialist Vanson Bourne interviewed respondents from 100 large mining companies across the globe for Inmarsat’s ‘The Future of IoT in Enterprise’ report, and found that the sector is struggling to counter the security challenges created by IoT. Worryingly, 94 per cent admitted that their approach to cybersecurity could be improved and 67 per cent stated that their data security measures would need a complete overhaul to be fit for IoT deployments.

The availability of skills emerged as a key area of concern in the research, with over six in ten (64 per cent) respondents stating that they required additional cybersecurity skills in order to safely deploy IoT. However, despite recognizing the enhanced security threats of IoT, just 44 per cent are investing in new security technologies, and only 17 per cent reported that they were taking steps to plug their security skills gaps by hiring new staff.

Commenting on the findings, Joe Carr, Director of Mining at Inmarsat Enterprise, said: “Mining companies stand to make considerable gains by exploiting digital technologies such as IoT, but as the industry becomes more digitally-oriented, the risks for these businesses increase. A more connected mine is a more vulnerable one and as IoT connects evermore parts of a mining company’s operations to the internet, they open up new avenues for attack, whether that’s from environmentalist groups seeking to disrupt operations or from state-sponsored actors conducting cyber espionage.

“At the same time, the increased dependency the sector has on data for its operations and profitability means that the risks of not having adequate security in place grow exponentially. Whereas a decade ago a data breach or intrusion would have been an inconvenience, today a mine might grind to a complete halt, so it is worrying that so many mining companies are struggling in this area.”

Carr concluded: “For mining businesses to thrive in this climate, IoT and digital security needs to be at the top of the agenda and it is essential that boards raise their understanding of the risks they face. This involves ensuring that the fundamental network infrastructure underpinning device connectivity aligns with the highest security and reliability standards, and that the end points are configured correctly.”

Satellite communications networks can offer a highly secure and reliable method to enable mining companies to safely transport data from their connected things anywhere on the planet. Optimized to deal with mission critical communications and with up to 99.9% uptime, Inmarsat’s L-band services are enabling IoT solutions in the mining sector globally, even in the most remote and hostile environments.


Inland Cellular, Senet Partner to Provide LoRaWAN IoT Connectivity Services

Senet, a leading provider of cloud-based software, global connectivity service platforms and network build-out for the Internet of Things (IoT), and Inland Cellular, a provider of local, nationwide and international cellular coverage, today announced a partnership to deliver Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) connectivity across Inland Cellular’s coverage areas and extend Inland’s branded services to support the rapid growth of IoT applications.

Through this partnership, Inland Cellular will begin offering LoRaWAN connectivity in the coming months for a broad range of IoT applications and markets, including tank monitoring, water metering and management, smart agriculture and smart cities. The companies will work closely to expand Inland’s coverage footprint and IoT application support through Senet’s Radio Access Network (RAN) Operator services, which provide coordinated go-to-market activities between operators, solution providers and system integrators ready to take immediate advantage of highly scalable and secure connectivity purpose built for the IoT.

Adding LoRaWAN to their connectivity portfolio supports Inland Cellular’s strategic expansion into IoT with the recent launch of their Emerge Technologies brand. Emerge Technologies provides products and services for industrial IoT, enterprise, smart home and consumer solutions.

“Partnering with Senet to offer LoRaWAN connectivity services gives us a first mover advantage and allows us to become more competitive by supporting one of the fastest growing IoT connectivity technologies in the world,” said Chip Damato, Vice President at Inland Cellular “With Senet’s support, we have the ability to rapidly scale our network coverage to support many new business opportunities and the expansion of our Emerge Technologies IoT brand, while maintaining our commitment to providing industry leading customer service and support.”

“Inland Cellular is a great example of a forward-thinking operator strategically leveraging their existing infrastructure to deploy IoT services and develop new revenue streams through ecosystem partnerships, said Noelani McGadden, VP of Strategic Accounts at Senet. “We are very excited to be partnering with Inland Cellular to help them create additional business value and reach new customers across existing and rapidly emerging market segments in the IoT.”

As part of Senet’s Low Power Wide Area Virtual Network (LVN), Inland Cellular’s LoRaWAN network is powered by Senet’s cloud-based Operations Support System (OSS) and Business Support System (BSS) platforms, providing extremely efficient, scalable and secure options to connect and manage low-power, low-cost sensors at massive scale. The Senet LVN was recently recognized by Frost & Sullivan’s Manufacturing Leadership (ML) Council as a Manufacturing Leadership Award winner for its outstanding achievement in the Industrial Internet of Things.

“We are experiencing a growing trend in which operators are recognizing the benefit of supporting multiple connectivity technologies to support a variety of customer needs and IoT use cases,” said Bruce Chatterley, CEO at Senet. “With a multi-year head start over competing LPWAN providers, critical technical advantages and disruptive go-to-market models, Senet has become a trusted partner for operators like Inland Cellular who are ready to join the IoT services economy today.


Thales Study Finds Cloud Use, Compliance Requirements Shape Encryption Strategy

Thales, a leader in critical information systems, cybersecurity and data security, announces the results of its 2018 Global Encryption Trends Study. The report, based on independent research by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by Thales, reflects some of the changes and challenges organizations are experiencing in a world marked by widespread cloud deployments, use of multiple public cloud providers and new regulations such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

This year, 43% of respondents report that their organization has an encryption strategy applied consistently across their enterprise. This strategy is leveraged to protect sensitive data against cyber criminals, help organizations address complex compliance requirements, and guard against human error. Encryption, which is achieved with software or hardware tools such as hardware security modules (HSMs), is often coupled with best practice-based key management. Encryption is also playing an increasingly large role in protecting the enormous adoption of organizations deploying to the cloud.

Among the findings: 84% of respondents either use the cloud for sensitive/non-sensitive applications and data today, or will do so in the next 12-24 months; 61% of respondents are using more than one public cloud provider, and 71% plan to in the next two years; 39% encrypt in public cloud services (such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud), a number that has risen 11% since last year’s report; overall HSM use grew to 41% — the highest level ever. The most common use cases for HSMs are SSL/TLS and application level encryption, with 20% of respondents reporting that they use HSMs with blockchain applications; and 49% of enterprises are either partially or extensively deploying encryption of IoT data on IoT devices and platforms.

This year’s statistics are encouraging, but the report does show areas of challenge. Data discovery rates as the top data encryption planning/execution challenge by 67% of respondents, a number that is 8% higher than 2017. Respondents from the UK, Germany, the US and France have the most challenges, which likely points to activities associated with preparation and compliance of data privacy regulations such as GDPR which comes into effect in May this year.

When considering the majority of organizations polled are using more than one public cloud provider, the report also raises questions about how organizations are enforcing consistent encryption and key management policies across multiple cloud vendors. Securing data in a multi-cloud environment can be especially problematic for organizations seeking compliance, particularly if they are attempting to instantiate a single organizational policy using different native tools from multiple cloud providers. Not surprisingly, policy enforcement is second only to performance as a most valued feature of encryption solutions in this year’s study.

Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of The Ponemon Institute, says: “While enterprises are rightfully encrypting cloud-based data, 42% of organizations indicate they will only use keys for cloud-based data-at-rest encryption that they control themselves. Similarly, organizations that use HSMs in conjunction with public cloud-based applications prefer to own and operate those HSMs on-premises. These findings tell us control over the cloud is highly important to companies increasingly under pressure from data security threats and compliance requirements.”

John Grimm, senior director of security strategy at Thales eSecurity, says: “Companies navigating today’s threat landscape are understandably seeking out fast, scalable encryption tools that encompass enterprise and cloud use cases, and enforce policy consistently across both models. Fortunately, enterprises have more data protection choices today than when the race to the cloud began. These options include bring your own key (BYOK) and bring your own encryption (BYOE) solutions, which allow enterprises to apply the same encryption and key management solution across multiple platforms.”

The Global Encryption Trends Study is now in its thirteenth year. The Ponemon Institute surveyed more than 5,000 people across multiple industry sectors in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Brazil, the Russian Federation, Mexico, India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Korea.


Altair, Ecrio Partner on VoLTE Over Cat-M1 for IoT

Ecrio, the leading provider of LTE real-time communications client software, and Altair Semiconductor, a leading provider of LTE chipsets, announced today their partnership to deliver VoLTE over Cat-M1. Ecrio’s iota, the highly optimized VoLTE software for IoT, will be embedded into Altair’s ALT1250 fully integrated Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) LTE solution.

Built on the FlexIMS architecture, Ecrio’s iota brings security, messaging and communication to the Internet of Things (IoT). iota is compliant with IMS/VoLTE standards targeting LTE Cat-M1 devices. It is ideal for resource limited devices, such as wearables, PoS terminals, parking meters and alarm panels requiring voice calling capability. iota is optimized for Real-Time OS (RTOS) environments and fully leverages Ecrio’s deep expertise in IMS and VoLTE with over a decade of product deployments across device platforms.

The Altair ALT1250 is an LTE Release 13 Cat-M1 and NB1 IoT chipset, featuring ultra-low power consumption. The ALT1250 is highly integrated, including an LTE baseband processor, RFIC, PMU, memory, Power Amplifiers, filters and antenna switch, as well as an integrated GNSS cellular-based location engine and MCU subsystem for customer developed applications. The ALT1250 is ideally suited for IoT applications, such as tracking, wearables, security and healthcare.

“We are pleased to extend our partnership with Altair to deliver our VoLTE solutions across LTE device categories,” said Michel Gannage, Founder and CEO of Ecrio. “Close on the heels of our mccs solution embedded in Altair’s Cat-1 devices, we look forward to enabling new and innovative voice services with iota on Altair’s Cat-M1 IoT devices targeting the ongoing evolution towards LPWA LTE networks.”

“Ecrio has been an excellent longtime partner for enabling IMS/VoLTE capabilities across our LTE chipset offerings,” said Nohik Semel, Altair’s VP Products and Engineering. “By adopting the iota solution, we are looking forward to seamlessly covering VoLTE for Cat-M1 devices as well, and are meeting the demand for mobile operators requiring voice services at ultra-low-power and cost.”