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Tips to increase and maintain IoT smart home security

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IoT smart home security

From the thermostat and television to lights, curtains, and security systems, the Internet of things (IoT) turns any home into one connected cell controlled by the single touch of its owner.

Once a home is transformed into a smart one, all connected devices can be controlled remotely through the Internet. However, as with every technology, it is subject to various cybersecurity risks.

According to a report by Statista, the global market revenue in Smart Home technology is forecasted to reach a value of US$77,386 million in 2020, and more than 141 billion U.S. dollars by 2023.

“A global comparison reveals that most revenue is generated in the United States (US$23,328m in 2020),” the report highlighted.

Ways to improve IoT security

Before purchasing any IoT device, users should primarily research the different devices available as well as their related security level to select the safer option in terms of security and privacy.

Thus, to benefit from the efficiency of these smart devices whilst shielding them from attacks, there are several measures that should be taken by the smart homeowners:

 1- Update the software:

According to U.S.-based cybersecurity software developer Norton, software updates related to IoT devices should not be neglected and updated frequently when notified on their smartphones.

In parallel, users should manually follow up for software updates by regularly checking online for update availability and launch dates.

Taking a step backwards, homeowners should ensure the availability of security on IoT devices to begin with, since security isn’t on the manufacturers’ top priority list, as some devices are not designed with a mechanism for updating software, leading to vulnerabilities putting it under potential risk.

2- Use strong passwords:

The second most important security measure for IoT devices after software updates, according to an article published by Forbes Technology Council, is the use of the strongest authentication possible.

In other words, passwords are to be long, complex, and hard to guess.         

“To gain control of a device, the hacker needs certain information from you. Many of these instances come when default passwords or simple phrases are used,” Richard Davis, Katalyst Data Management said.

Davis recommends using a password manager and a second-factor authentication app (rather than mobile phone SMS) to control access. These will deter the drive-by hacker by increasing the amount of work they have to put into hacking you.

3- Set up the router securely:

First off, changing the routers’ default name after purchase to a unique name that cannot be traced to the user’s home address is key to preventing unauthenticated access by cybercriminals.

Likewise, using complex and long passwords, including upper and lowercase letters as well as numbers, and special characters will help secure it even further. In addition, strong encryption protocols are highly recommended to protect Wi-fi access and network security.

The highest level of encryption is currently WPA2, which will be soon succeeded by WPA3.

“Home routers are primary IoT targets for hackers. Thus, a secure router translates to a substantially more secure smart home,” Travis Goodreau, a home Security & Safety Expert at SafeHome, was quoted as saying.

Each IoT device is to have a separate login credential so that if one device is hacked, the others remain unaffected. A password manager tool can be used to store the passwords for all the devices since there can be many passwords, one for each device, and easily forgotten users.

In parallel to that, a separate network is to be set up for IoT devices, granting sole access to the homeowner, to add an extra layer of security, whilst giving access to other networks for family, friends, and visitor use.

4- Install a next generation firewall:

The traditional firewall system may not be sufficient to secure IoT devices from cyberattacks, thus, the introduction of next generation firewall – which is an integrated platform that combines the traditional firewall with other functionalities such as virtual private network (VPN), malware protection and intrusion prevention system (IPS). 

Although next generation firewalls are quite expensive, having the right security measures in place is worth their weight in gold.

The threat of cyberattacks on digital homes is on the rise, and the importance of safeguarding smart home security is increasing as consumers acquire more developed IoT devices, and become even more connected.

Journalist for 8 years in print media, with a bachelor degree in Political Science and International Affairs. Masters in Media communications.

IoT

Telstra secures largest IoT contract with water utility firm

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largest IoT contract

Australian-based operator Telstra said it has won a 15-year contract from Yarra Valley Water to provide one million industrial IoT services on Telstra’s IoT network.

Telstra says this is its largest IoT deal to date and the first large-scale IoT deployment using Telstra’s new cloud-based platform-as-a-service IoT Connection Manager (ICM). Telstra will deploy its ICM platform to enable Yarra Valley Water gain access to near real-time data from a range of in-field sensors.

“Instead of getting four data points a year, our IoT Connection Manager will now allow Yarra Valley Water to get more than 17,000 data points annually for a much more accurate, near real-time, and robust understanding of its water infrastructure,” Telstra’s group owner of industry solutions and IoT Mark Chapman said.

Cellular low power wide area network

The Yarra Valley Water solution leverages Telstra’s cellular low power wide area network (LPWAN), which offers an IoT coverage of around 4 million square kilometers for NB-IoT and over 3 million square kilometers for LTE-M.

Yarra Valley Water Managing Director, Pat McCafferty, said: “Internet of Things devices are a game changer for the water industry. By deploying a range of different sensors into our water and sanitation networks, we can detect leaks, minimise water wastage and save our customers money.”

Telstra said that its IoT network currently has over 4 million connections in the country.

As part of the agreement, Telstra will provide the IoT connectivity and the ICM Platform to enable sensor readings to be collected automatically in near real-time.

This will enable the utility company to prevent leaks from becoming bursts, sewer blockages from becoming spills, and notifying customers about issues on their properties so they can act quickly.

17,000 data points annually

Telstra Group Owner of Industry Solutions and IoT Mark Chapman said: “Instead of getting four data points a year, our IoT Connection Manager will now allow Yarra Valley Water to get more than 17,000 data points annually for a much more accurate, near real-time, and robust understanding of its water infrastructure.”

He added: “This is a great example of how our leading IoT network and platform is helping organizations use connected technology to drive positive customer experiences and help remotely monitor its assets and complex infrastructure.”

Telstra, which had launched 5G in May 2020, is currently using its spectrum in the 3.6 GHz band to provide 5G technology across Australia. Some of the cities in which Telstra offers its 5G service are Canberra, Central Coast, Brisbane, Sidney, Cairns, Gold Coast, Adelaide, Hamilton, Melbourne and Perth.

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IoT in healthcare set to skyrocket at $469.4 bn by 2027

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IoT in Healthcare

It is without a shadow of a doubt that the pandemic has brought the world to a golden age of technology, as it accelerated digital transformation and technological innovations that will forever shape how we lead our lives.

The obvious champion of the pandemic was the healthcare industry, which saw it being infused with a plethora of tech-oriented solutions, inventions, and render the experience as seamless as possible.

Technological advancements are making a mark across the healthcare industry to a considerable extent. Monitoring and diagnosing patients are of utmost importance in the healthcare sector. The increasing use of connected technologies like IoT has resulted in overwhelming innovations.

Thus, all these factors bring immense growth prospects for the IoT in healthcare market.

IoT, or the Internet of Things, is a form of connected technology that uses data to customize real-time monitoring aspects and enhance customer experience. IoT is used extensively to enable real-time health monitoring and usually accesses patient health data.

The data proves to be a treasure for the stakeholders in the healthcare sector as it helps in enhancing patient health. Thus, all these advantages help in boosting the growth prospects of the Internet of Things in healthcare market.

A new study by Transparency Market Research (TMR) analyzed the overall development of the IoT in healthcare market in recent times. TMR experts project the IoT in healthcare market to record a whopping CAGR of 20.9 percent across the forecast period of 2019-2027.

The global IoT in healthcare market is estimated to reach a valuation of $469.4 billion by 2027, the end year of the forecast period.

With the advent of IoT in healthcare, patients’ interactions are not just limited to text messages, visits, and calls. IoT in healthcare has enabled doctors and clinicians to monitor the progress of their patients frequently.

 The data provided by IoT helps in increasing patient engagement and satisfaction due to more efficiency and accuracy. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic will have a massive positive impact on the growth of the IoT in healthcare market.

Vaccine to boost IoT in Healthcare

COVID-19 vaccines are the key to reducing the effect of the pandemic around the world.

Mass vaccination drives are being conducted across the globe through varied vaccination drives; thus, connected technologies play an important role in the manufacture and supply of vaccines.

The Smart Fridge by Weka is a classic instance. This fridge uses IoT to allow remote monitoring of vaccines and ensures that the vaccines are stored at the right temperature. These factors will play an important role in increasing the growth rate of the Internet of Things in healthcare market.

Connected Ambulances

IoT in healthcare is not just limited to devices; the technology is making a great impact on emergency services as well.

Ambulances play a major role in providing emergency services. These ambulances, if connected with the IoT can help in addressing the issues of the patients with utmost care.

Unlike standard ambulances, IoT-enabled ambulances are connected to remote consultation rooms. It enables the paramedics to consult patients remotely and diagnose their problems immediately without wasting much time. All these factors bode well for the growth of the Internet of Things in healthcare market.

IoT in Healthcare Market: Uses in COVID-19 Pandemic

The growing transmission levels and the increasing strain on the healthcare facilities boost the need for connected technologies extensively. Here’s how the IoT in healthcare is playing a significant role during the pandemic according to the study by TMR:

  • IoT devices are speeding up the COVID-19 detection processes by capturing patient data and other information.
  • During the COVID-19 quarantine period, the patients can be monitored remotely by the authorities through wearables and similar technologies.
  • Crowd monitoring devices powered by IoT will help ensure social distancing in public spaces.

While these innovations and inventions have massive room to disrupt the healthcare market, many experts have made the point that we remain at the tip of the technological iceberg, with much more to come.

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Global eSIM shipments to reach 822 mil by 2025, as smart cities drive growth

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smart cities

A new Juniper Research study found that the number of global eSIM module shipments will increase from 430 million in 2020 to 822 million in 2025; representing a growth of 90 percent.  

The research identified the public sector as the fastest-growing area, with shipments of eSIM‑enabled public sector sensors expected to increase by 500 percent over the next four years, as smart city services benefit from the flexibility of the growing eSIM ecosystem. 

The new research, eSIMs: Sector Analysis, Emerging Opportunities & Market Forecasts 2021-2025, found that smart street lighting sensors will account for 88 percent of eSIM shipments within the public sector by 2025.  

“We predict that smart city providers will leverage cellular networks, underpinned by eSIMs, as gateways to low-power connections for the monitoring and management of smart city services,” the report pointed out.  

NA Smart Cities achieve global dominance 

The report predicts that the U.S. will remain the largest market for public sector eSIM adoption; accounting for 30 percent of eSIMs installed in devices by 2025.  

It highlighted that “operators in North America have led the development and roll-out of 5G networks, which has enabled new levels of city-wide automation and information sharing in smart cities.”  

Government authorities in other regions must follow the example set by smart cities in North America to ensure the smooth transition from legacy technology to smart sensors underpinned by robust eSIM technology. 

Standalone 5G Networks Key for Future Smart Cities 

The study urges eSIM vendors to develop 5G-capable modules to capitalise on the growth of next‑generation 5G standalone networks, which enables the deployment of 5G-enabled eSIMs within smart cities. 

Research author Scarlett Woodford noted: ‘To support smart city initiatives, eSIM vendors must invest in the development of 5G-enabled form factors. By combining flexible network connectivity with high bandwidth transmission and reduced latency, 5G-capable modules will enable local authorities to monitor connected sensors in real-time and allocate resources accordingly.’ 

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