Art & Logic has worked on an increasing number of security and privacy-related projects in recent years. Through my consulting work on these projects, I’ve gotten to know several security consulting firms — very smart folks like the Citadel Information Group and Digital Maelstrom. If you want to make yourself too anxious to sleep at night, take a security expert out to lunch and ask them about all of the ways in which your personal information is vulnerable at home, work, and on the internet. It will be an eye-opening experience! You’ll hear about encryption standards, key management, multi-factor authentication, SQL injection, DDoS attacks, men in the middle, attack vectors, AppSec, OWASP, Pen Tests, social engineering, black hats, white hats, grey hats and one hundred different terrifying data breaches (Target, Sony, Anthem, Home Depot and the like).
Internet of Things (IoT) Software Development
What is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things is not a separate network. It’s not even necessarily restricted to the Internet as we understand it. Rather, the Internet of Things is like a catch-all term for the evolution of wireless technology solutions that create a kind of inter-connected, smart system that can function with or without human input.
At the heart of any IoT interaction you’ll find sensors and monitors. In some instances, these sensors will be set up specifically for a particular device or piece of equipment, as with sensors installed to monitor leaks in a facility. In other instances, these sensors could be installed in devices like your smartphone, where the data read through a biometric reader could be integrated with an app that shares information with your treating physician.
Examples of our work in IoT software development include:
- Field data collection
- Patient data collection
- Integrating satellite images into route planning
- Field sensor monitoring
- Remote smart-home applications
Our engineers are based in North America and have worked on IoT software projects for major corporate clients throughout the country. We have been working with IoT solutions since before the term came into vogue and continue to track its development for implementation within different industries and the home.
IoT and Big Data
Have you ever used a mobile app to order food, adjust a thermostat or turn on your alarm system? If so, you’ve taken advantage of the Internet of Things.
In recent years we’ve worked on many programs that would fall under the Internet of Things. We’ve worked on general, cross-industry devices as well as vertical, industry specific solutions. That work often involves devising ways to make sure that sensors and monitors are communicating effectively with one another and designed to make the most of the data that is being collected.
Data is like the fuel of IoT, and as with fuel, it must be collected and used properly in order to be effective. Making big data more accessible across multiple, different platforms, not only gives an end-user control, it also gives an end user manageable access to the types of information they need at any given moment. This type of big-data usage has tremendous implications for healthcare applications, the automotive industry, smart-home technology, smart watches, machines, and much, much more.
The Future of IoT Development
IoT is poised for dramatic growth over the next decade, much of it among consumers. Despite that growth in the visible arena of the smart-home, much of the revenue generated by the IoT will be in the enterprise sector. With increasing frequency, manufacturers, institutions, healthcare partners and even educators will need to integrate IoT devices into their infrastructure in order to grow their businesses.
You have the hardware, but now you need the software.
Perhaps you have already sourced the hardware you will need to optimize the efficiency of your business. You know where you will get your sensors and receivers, but you still have not decided on the best way to develop the software you need. That’s where Art+Logic can help you determine the best ways to make the most efficient use of your hardware.
We have helped clients save on costs merely by cutting down on the time it takes for data to travel from a sensor to a receiver. By making that process more efficient, we helped extend the battery life of the remote sensors, saving our clients money on the costs of sending out a team to replace the sensors when the batteries run down. We expect more businesses to take advantage of the benefits of IoT by installing remote sensors that gather the types of data that can help them make more informed, precise decisions. The key, though, is to make sure that the software you have developed does not just gather data, but also presents it in a useful, logical, and elegant format that is clear and intuitive.
Security Concerns of IoT
As you know, the collection and wireless transmission of data presents new kinds of security concerns for individuals, businesses and institutions. Depending on your industry, the software you require for your IoT project may have to follow specific compliance guidelines and requirements. At Art+Logic, our engineers will work with you to ensure that your software is compliant, while our UI/UX designers will integrate that software into a refined user-friendly interface and experience.
In addition to the compliance concerns of IoT software and projects, Art+Logic can also work with you to optimize the security of your software. In other words, we can help you develop secure software and then help you maintain the security of your software.
Discussing your project with one of our developers is a great way to begin the process.
We’ve developed software for over 900 clients, including Apple, Google, and NASA.
Are you thinking about the Internet of Things (IoT)? Maybe you should be — a whole new class of devices with previously unthought of capabilities is beginning to appear on the market. Corporate juggernauts and lean startups can both play the game, with home and personal devices from names like Google, Amazon, and Apple shelved alongside smartwatches from Pebble, connected LED bulbs from LIFX, and doorbell cameras from August.
The age of the Personal Area Network and the fully-connected, automated home is on the horizon, with some estimates expecting 26 billion IoT devices connected globally by 2020. Other estimates say 40 billion. Consumers and businesses have proven that they’re interested, and there are some exciting possibilities emerging for a company with a good idea.
So, now that you’re thinking about the Internet of Things, are you thinking about security for your IoT devices?
You most definitely should be. (more…)
At Art & Logic, I wear many hats … a likely consequence of having numerous interests: I am passionate about software and the development process; I am passionate about IT operations; I am passionate about information security, cryptography, privacy, and how those topics intersect when our customers seek our services. It does not surprise many of my colleagues to learn I have been closely following the legal battle between the US Dept. of Justice and Apple over an encrypted iPhone 5c … but they are often surprised by why. This case has potentially far-reaching implications for those of us who write software for a living. Equally, so might it affect our customers; companies who seek to use custom software for their own business goals.
Make No Mistake, This Is Not Just about One iPhone
The outcome of the legal debate around the case will not merely affect just the San Bernardino suspect’s iPhone. It will serve to shape legal precedent, policy, and very likely the form of ‘secure’ technology in the future. We build technology – frequently with necessary security properties requested by our customers.
If you have not been following the case, there are a couple of key facts that have emerged. One is that the work phone of suspect Syed Farook is currently protected by Apple’s OS using encryption and a four-digit PIN. That last bit is important: Neither Apple nor the FBI has the ability to undo the encryption on the phone without the key (which is partly derived from the user’s four digit PIN). Unfortunately, it appears that the key was only known by the deceased suspect. The case aside, it is a good thing that a person without the key cannot get into the phone. Encryption has so many subtle yet important uses in modern computing … if it were possible to trivially break it, our digital world could have a host of troubles. E-commerce and online banking, for example, are built on trust that our details for exchanging money are kept private between the parties involved in the transaction. Software updates for your phone, tablet, and computers rely on the ability to deliver them to the machine without tampering. Of course, there’s a desire to communicate privately between two people. All of these rely on encryption to accomplish their tasks… and require that we can trust that encryption in the first place. (more…)
If you’ve been around the blog for a while, you know that I’m a big fan of the use of encryption for the sake of privacy. I’ve ranted about PGP and S/MIME, tried to break steganography and complained about the privacy issues I face as a Gmail user. This post is to let you know about a tool for securing your communication that is so simple to use, my mother uses it on a daily basis. This tool is TextSecure from Open Whisper Systems. Go install it right now.
It used to be that encrypting your communications required installing and learning a strong, user-proof tool like GnuPG or some random IM client with an OTR plugin. Now that apps are the unit of software and users routinely install apps, it is a trivial thing to tell someone to install a new app. It’s so easy that I’m only allowing two excuses for not securing your everyday instant messaging with TextSecure:
- You don’t use an Android smartphone or
- You don’t communicate with anyone over any sort of instant messaging.
That’s all. Other excuses are invalid. (When the iOS version is available even fewer of you will have a valid excuse.) Now go install it.