What’s our future if we don’t secure IoT devices?

An IT industry analyst article published by SearchITOperations.


article_Whats-our-future-if-we-dont-secure-IoT-devices
When everything from the coffee maker to the manufacturing plant’s robots to the electric grid is connected, shouldn’t security be IT’s primary concern?

Mike Matchett
Small World Big Data

I was recently asked about the most pressing IT challenge in 2018. At first, I was going to throw out a pat answer, something like dealing with big data or finally deploying hybrid cloud architecture. But those aren’t actually all that difficult to pull off anymore.

We should be much more afraid of today’s human ignorance than tomorrow’s AI.

Then I thought about how some people like to be irrationally scared about the future, and bogeyman like artificial intelligence in particular. But AI really isn’t the scary part. It’s the blind trust we already tend to put into black-box algorithms and short-sighted local optimizations that inevitably bring about unintended consequences. We should be much more afraid of today’s human ignorance than tomorrow’s AI.

Instead, what I came up with as the hard, impending problem for IT is how to adequately secure the fast-expanding internet of things. To be clear, I interpret IoT rather broadly to include existing mobile devices — e.g., smartphones that can measure us constantly with multiple sensors and GPS — connected consumer gadgets and household items, and the burgeoning realm of industrial IoT.

The rush to secure IoT devices isn’t just about your personal things, as in the risk of someone hacking your future driverless car. The potential scope of an IoT security compromise is, by definition, huge. Imagine every car on the road hacked — at the same time.

IoT exploits could also go wide and deep. Sophisticated compromises could attack your car, your phone, your home security system, your pacemaker and your coffeepot simultaneously. Imagine every coffee machine out of service on the same morning. We haven’t even begun to outline the potential nightmare scenarios caused by insecure IoT devices. And I sure hope Starbucks is keeping some analog percolators on standby.

If personal physical danger isn’t scary enough, think about the ease with which a single penetration of a key connected system could cause a nationwide or even global disaster. For example, a 2003 cascading power outage that affected over 50 million people in New England was triggered by a single alarm system misconfiguration. An inability to recover or reset something easily at that scale could push one into imagining a truly dystopian future.

Vulnerable with a capital V
What worries me more than the possibility of a large, direct attack is the very real likelihood of slow, insidious, creeping subversion, achieved through IoT device security breaches. And not just by one party or a single bad actor, but by many competing interests and organizations over time — some with supposedly good intentions.

We will make mistakes, take shortcuts and ignore vulnerabilities until it’s too late.

The total IoT attack surface will be too large to keep everything fully secured…(read the complete as-published article there)

Secondary Storage in a Primary Role !?

Hey all! – This is the first of what I hope will be many little topical quick video segments, working with Dave Littman over at Truth In IT to get them recorded, produced and published.

In this one we discuss what’s going in with secondary storage these days, and how it’s perhaps more interesting than all that commodity-ish “all-flash” primary storage out there

Can secondary storage play a primary role in the datacenter?

(gotta love the Youtube freeze frame that catches us both with eyes closed!)

What’s the future of data storage technology and the IT pro?

An IT industry analyst article published by SearchConvergedInfrastructure.


article_Whats-the-future-of-data-storage-technology-and-the-IT-pro
Several enterprise data storage trends are all about getting rid of storage as an IT silo. That will have consequences for both the industry and IT pros who work in it.

Mike Matchett
Small World Big Data

Have you sensed a shift in storage these days? Maybe you’ve noticed a certain resignation among storage industry veterans contemplating the future of data storage technology. Or maybe when it comes time to refresh aging storage arrays, there’s less differentiation among competing products or no exciting new storage technologies — everyone has flash by now, right? — or flaming vendor wars to get excited about. Maybe many of your important storage needs are now met using a cloud service, a relatively no-name vendor product or even open source.

For many years, it’s been fun to watch the big storage vendors fight the good fight. They used to line up elbow-to-elbow in the front row at big shows like VMworld, vying for the biggest booth to show off their hottest products. This last year, it seemed storage has moved back a few rows. Market forces and trends such as software-defined and hyper-converged have changed large parts of the storage game, sure. But when the game shifted in the past, competitive storage vendors shifted with it. Maybe this is harder to do now that storage is getting embedded, integrated, converged and “cheapened” through cloud competition.

Many recent storage trends involve getting rid of storage as an IT silo, raising questions about the future of data storage technology. How can you sell Storage with a capital S if no one is buying stand-alone storage anymore? Are we coming to the end of storage as an important, first-class industry? The short answer is no.

But data? Lots of data
Accounting-focused industry reports show legacy storage-centric companies continue to suffer from thinning margins for their high-end hardware arrays. But the collective storage footprint in general is growing. With data volumes exploding from globalized applications, web-scale databases, big data analytics, online archiving and that little internet of things opportunity, all those new bits will have to go somewhere.

Maybe the job won’t even be called storage administrator in a few years, but rather something like chief data enabler.

All this new data simply can’t go into cheap and deep cold cloud storage. If data is worth having, as much business value as possible must be wrung out of it. And if it’s important data, it has to be governed, protected, secured and ultimately actively managed…(read the complete as-published article there)