CES 2016 – The fully connected world is here

CES 2016 Notes

We got to see some cool new tech at at CES 2016 and we also got to show off some of our new embedded security technology.

The most prevalent common thread among most products is that they are all in some evolution of being connected to everything. This is the Internet of Everything in its infancy. They may soon have to change the definition of CES to mean Connected Everything Show because that is what is happening as we speak.

The Connected Home, the Connected Building, etc. are being marketed as the Smart Home, Smart Building, Smart Infrastructure, Smart Grid, etc. Fitness devices to measure your activity, healthcare devices to monitor your health and administer medication or treatments remotely, remote controlled robots, remote managed self-driving truck fleets, Johnny Cab… you get the picture. Self-driving automobiles are already being tested on our highways. The Tesla already has a hands-free driving mode. The new VW Passat has active cruise control where it keeps you at a safe distance and maximum speed you set. This is all great except for a few things that need to be worked out.

Self-driving automobiles brings forth discussions around privacy, liability and new laws. I sat in to listen to a panel of key people from AAA, Cal-Trans, GM, legal experts, etc. who discussed scenarios that will need to be dealt with such as insurance liability when an auto-drive car malfunctions. Or when someone hacks into your car’s “black box” to determine exactly where you were at 11:05 pm last Friday night. Or can the law require you to turn over that information if you are going through a divorce to prove infidelity. And of course, is there security embedded in these new systems that can prevent hacking and automobile takeover?

That’s where it gets interesting. If these self-driving, connected vehicles and all other connected things do not have security embedded into their core, nothing is safe from hacking, takeover, manipulation and outright sabotage. I asked the panel this question, “It seems we are launching automated driving and other connected things without real security embedded at the core. Shouldn’t the Internet of Things device manufacturers be embedding device and user authentication as part of the design?” Their response was “Absolutely!” One car manufacturer does claim to have “a level of security” built in but even that is being reviewed for additional facets of secure connectivity since the car is becoming a super-computer on wheels and will be connected to the Internet.

That’s where we come in since we provide embedded security at the chip level with our partners, NXP and Freescale. Sure, my question was a deliberate plant but it hit the nail on the head. I certainly don’t want my car to be hacked into. I don’t want my smart home to be haunted by a hacker or my garage door opened without my authentication. Embedded security is extremely important for the IoT industry and we are happy to be part of the security solution for the Internet of Things.

We also showcased our new IoT security gateway at CES 2016. The IoT security gateway is light weight security software that is installed on any edge devices securing access to smart resources; such as data, physical controls, critical infrastructure. Using the Fido standard (www.fidoalliance.org) makes the user authentication experience both easy and transparent eliminating the need for users to remember discreet passwords for every edge device/network.

Contact us if you are looking to secure your devices.