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Insurance industry primed for big IoT impact

Few industries will see as big an impact from the internet of things as the insurance sector. Indeed, IoT has the potential to touch nearly every facet of insurance, with the promises of both benefits and risks for carriers as well as their customers. IoT will impact how insurance underwriting and pricing are done for markets including transportation, home, life, healthcare, workers’ compensation and commercial. And it will transform the way insurers gather information about customers and their environments to process claims, determine risks and calculate costs.

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What security is needed for digital assistant devices?

In the near future, digital assistants will help with all kinds of mundane work tasks -- from setting up conference calls to replenishing office supplies. The majority of these digital assistants use voice recognition technology as their primary interface, which means they are always listening, even when they are not in use. With hacker activity and state-sponsored surveillance also on the rise, will digital assistants become the proverbial Trojan horse that allows attackers to sneak past our defenses unnoticed? While digital assistants are all very convenient, will using them be at the expense of our privacy and security?

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Shielding valuable IIoT data with VPNs

Industry 4.0 promises to combine digital technologies — such as big data, data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning — with all-pervasive internet connectivity to produce vast quantities of valuable data. Companies mine, analyze and convert the information into a wealth of insights and then use the knowledge to boost factory productivity, increase supply chain efficiency and make substantial cost savings. As always, new trends bring about new security challenges. Though connecting industrial machinery to the outside world can be risky, the deployment of virtual private networks (VPNs) can ensure that Industry 4.0’s data treasures stay hidden from unwelcome observers.

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Predictive Analytics in Industrial IoT

The IIoT is the digitization of industrial assets and processes that connects products, machines, services, locations/sites to workers, managers, suppliers, and partners. The IIoT creates a universe of sensors that enables an accelerated deep learning of existing operations. These data tools allow for rapid contextualization, automatic pattern, and trend detection. Furthering this for manufacturing operations will finally allow for true quantitative capture of formerly “expert” qualitative operations. The question is whether or not we can leverage  analysis on a continual basis to have continuous machine health monitoring and preempt catastrophic failure. This is what is known in IIoT as predictive analytics. 

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Businesses Need to Get Serious When It Comes to IoT Security

There’s no single or straightforward answer for solving the major security issues with IoT, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to achieve. To start, we need to focus on improving the security for IoT altogether. As for you — a business owner, executive, or IT professional working in the industry — it’s time you get serious about the problem and come up with some ways to bolster your own security before it becomes a Pandora’s box. Deploying a real-time monitoring solution to the backup of a machine learning or an AI platform is a great start.

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Look Before You Leap Onto the IoT Blockchain Bandwagon

When IoT developers consider blockchain, they should first sit back and ask themselves the basic question we ask about any new technology – “what problems will it solve for us?” If the answer is “nothing we can think of” then it is probably safe to put blockchain on the back burner, at least for now. However, blockchain could hold some potential for the IoT, particularly in relation to applications involving peer-to-peer transactions. If there are technological innovations that make blockchain more effective or increase its benefits, it might become more relevant to the IoT – but that day is not here yet.

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Eight Ways to Use an Intranet for Better Employee Engagement

How to use an intranet to engage employees? A corporate intranet can help win employees’ loyalty, and HR managers should always be on the lookout for ways to improve it. A finely tuned intranet can help your employees find the information they are looking for easily, follow their activities and performance, stay tuned into corporate life and keep connected to their peers, thus getting support from the professional community and feeling more satisfied with the working process. Read this article to learn how to use an intranet to engage employees.

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Managing Cybersecurity in the Age of the Distributed Team

Today, you don’t have to work in the office every single day, especially if your setup allows you to tap in remotely via an internet connection. When a team is spread out like this, it can be difficult to organize certain aspects of your business. Communication and collaboration, for instance, can be sub-par if you don’t have the appropriate tools and protocols in place. Another aspect of your managed systems and networks is cybersecurity. How, then, do you better protect your remote personnel? What are some precautionary measures and strategies you can deploy in the age of distributed teams?

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Database as a Microservice: Stateless in a Stateful World

Microservices have become dominant over the last few years, so much so that it is hard to imagine encountering a modern application built with a SOAP API. The wide spread usage of stateless microservices has allowed for modern applications to be easily and quickly deployed horizontally and directly on the edge.  The lightweight nature of REST APIs due to their statelessness, have allowed for applications with less overhead, quicker integration times, and a much more enjoyable programming experience.  Microservice adoptions at both the application and middleware layer have driven much of the advances in edge computing.

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Safety and reliability must be a cornerstone of IIoT deployments

People often see the Industrial IoT (IIoT) in a narrow view, namely the ability to increase efficiency, productivity, and cost savings. While that’s true, it’s a limited list of benefits based on one’s understanding of connectivity, data, and information to influence behavior. There are several ways to lead organizational change, and it all depends on one’s role and how they view their role in the organization. With IIoT sensors and analytics, continuous condition monitoring is available in a cost-effective manner to have information flowing in real-time to further enhance productivity, efficiency, health, and safety.

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Defining The IoT Opportunity for Field Service Providers

The field service component, distribution, channel, aftermarket service/repair, and integrator are the glue to the entire IoT value chain. The opportunity service organizations have to leverage IoT to transform their business is incredible. It is a tool that will allow field workers to spot issues continuously as an expanded “remote monitoring” opportunity, maybe as a SaaS model. This could be a new revenue stream, but really a chance to see more issues with continual data streaming in instead of quarterly route-based maintenance. The value lies in domain specific expertise and vertical specialization, but delivery is the key.

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Seven Principles for Stronger IoT Security – Part 2

It is necessary to differentiate between indirect attacks and direct attacks on IoT devices. In indirect attacks, the goal of compromising IoT devices is to use them to conduct cyberattacks against other external targets. In direct attacks, the goal is to conduct some sort of ‘local malfeasance’ right there at the device itself. The IoT security asserts that manufacturers and deployers of IoT devices and systems, especially potential targets for direct attacks, have a moral obligation to vigorously and comprehensively address security. The following seven principles can serve as guideposts to enable stronger IoT security.

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Customer Centric IIoT Projects are the Key to Success

For an IIoT project to be successful, you need to have customer-centric IIoT approach. Start by gaining internal agreement on your target customer such as what business outcomes do they expect from your IoT-enabled products and services. Then the targeted segmentation will deliver more engaging customer experiences, higher customer lifetime value, and more valued customer outcomes. As you bring your products to market, learn from your wins and losses. Continuously flesh out user issues, new product features, and integration requirements. So put the odds of IIoT success back into your favor. Take a customer-centric, integrated team (IT) approach.

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Making The Connection Between IoT And Big Data 

In the fast-changing world, it has become difficult to catch up with all the new concepts and technologies. It is even more complicated to distinguish which of them are really useful and which ones is just hype. In the field of data analytics, it was big data that started this era of doubt. Now, when this concept is clearer, a new wave is coming: Big data for IoT. Despite all the hype around IoT, it is just one of multiple big data sources. But how exactly IoT is connected to big data?

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From the IoT Evolution to the Revolution of the Cognitive Age

IoT can positively change the way we do business and the way we live our lives.   IoT is a new revolution in our society, or it is just one more step in the technological evolution of the digital revolution. Today, the debate continues but whether evolution or revolution, The Internet of Things is here to stay. IoT is often presented as a revolution that is changing the face of society or the industry in a profound manner. It is an evolution that has its origins in technologies and functionalities developed by visionary automation suppliers.

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Seven Principles for Stronger IoT Security –Part 1

IoT security breaches are expected to reach an all-time high. It’s important to differentiate between indirect attacks, using IoT devices to conduct cyberattacks against another target, and direct attacks, where the end goal is to compromise and access the IoT device itself. With direct attacks, the goal is access to the IoT device – and by extension the sensors, machines, and environment that the device is connected to. As such, this type has the potential to be even more disruptive and destructive. Criminals, terrorists, and malicious foreign governments may use connected devices to cause havoc or harm. Seven principles can serve as guideposts to enable stronger IoT security.

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Is Your Organization Ready for Industry 4.0?

As companies embark on their journey toward the 4th Industrial Revolution, the ones that are willing to bring in new leadership and make the organizational enhancements to power new digital customer relationships will be the ones that rise above the fray. Digital transformation is both a technology and a management challenge. Focusing on one without the other is not a recipe for success. Instead, companies should adopt a more holistic approach – one that starts with the target customer and ends with organizational alignment based on your targeted outcomes. Remember, start your organizational changes slowly. 

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What is the Internet of Data?

We hear a lot about the Internet of Things, but what is the Internet of Data?  When people talk about the “Internet of Data”, what they are referring to is the collection of data from edge devices and performing deep analysis of that data to gain insights.  To truly enable the “Internet of Data”, machine learning and AI processing need to be moved directly to the edge.  In order to do this companies need to look for solutions that can handle the entire data value chain directly on the edge and do not create throughput bottlenecks, but use a more democratized architecture. 

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Smart building security: Cyber-resilience must be built in

While the progress towards smarter building infrastructure is impressive, it is important to remember that it is not without risk. Unfortunately, the diverse range of IoT systems within smart buildings are still running old, unpatched software and frequently communicate using nonstandard protocols. This makes malicious activity and potential security threats much harder to detect. Moving forward, it is imperative that the building industry and developers strictly deploy smart systems that have security built in from the start. When it comes to connectivity, the implementation of VPNs is critical for protecting smart buildings and ensuring device data is kept private and secure.

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Ready, Fire, Aim – 3 Common IIoT Mistakes to Avoid

There are three foundational elements which seem to be consistently ignored in from IIoT projects themselves. One of these three foundational elements is more engaging customer experiences, higher customer lifetime value and more valued customer outcomes. The second one is to establish a target organizational end-state and a roadmap. Start with a minimum viable organization (MVO) to get started and make course corrections as needed. The third one is to ensure that valuable and measurable outcomes are not only delivered to your customers, but also to your employees, your company, and your partners.

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The Intelligent Edge

Organizations around the world are investing enormous amounts of resources in pushing computing to edge devices.   There are use cases across most industries like self driving cars, smart grids, healthcare, and many more.   These solutions are beginning to take on similar architectural patterns as they evolve from concept to reality.  The data value chain is going to move directly to the edge over the course of the next few years as more and more organizations see the need for real-time analytics directly on an intelligent edge.    

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Boost built-in IIoT security with VPNs

Developments in IIoT data protection are currently failing to keep up with the rapid rate of innovation and demand. The top three challenges for IT professionals are IIoT integration, migration/installation risks and privacy concerns.  Built-in security is the answer to establishing a trusted standard of IIoT security. Centrally managed VPN software provides vital data encryption for the many thousands of remote connection points that make up an IIoT environment. In combination with built-in security features and processes, VPNs provide robust protection for maintaining the privacy and integrity of highly sensitive IIoT data.

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The Number One IOT Challenge: Use Case Identification, Validation and Prioritization

There is a bounty of business use cases from which the business can choose in order to monetize their IOT efforts. The best approach is to build out your IOT Business Strategy with one use case at a time. In this manner, not only do you incrementally build out your IOT analytic, data, technology and architecture capabilities, but this enables the organization to build upon the work of previous use cases – to capture, share and refine the IOT data and analytic assets that are key drivers to IOT monetization.

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Are Prescriptive Applications IIoT Nirvana?

Success requires a direct link between analytics and positive process outcomes. This requires a closed-loop process. One that enhances application intelligence based on analytic insights. This is what I call Prescriptive Applications. Prescriptive Applications integrate analytics to dynamically change application content, access, and workflow. If something broke, fix it. But be aware that the process can be a complex journey. Prescriptive Applications enable a closed loop process to optimize outcomes based on integrated insights from analytics-descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive. So, Prescriptive Applications provide a complete solution. While IIoT faces many challenges, could Prescriptive Applications be a key missing piece?


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