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Knowledge & Information Technology
No. 290 - 16 June 2021
Guide to an IoT Standards Strategy

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) just published a white paper entitled Global Industry standards for Industrial IoT. The title is slightly awkward, with its built-in redundancy, and also a bit misleading as this is not in fact a guide to the standards themselves; instead, it is a guide to forming and executing a strategy about adopting or contributing to standards. The authors were Claude Baudoin (surprise!), Erin Bournival of Dell Technologies, and Erich Clauer of SAP SE. Sven Toothman (SAP SE) was the lead editor. The 30-page paper, freely available to all, comprises the following sections:
  • The role of Standards Development Organizations and Industry Consortia
  • Categories of Standards (de facto, de jure...)
  • Defining a Standards Strategy (Why adopt or contribute to standards? How about intellectual property?)
  • Executing the Standards Strategy (including organizational implications, such as creating a "standards watch" function or role)
  • an Appendix, which is a catalog of SDOs, associations and consortia that expands on the first section.
Kinéis Proposes Global IoT Connectivity Solutions

When deploying an industrial IoT solution in remote environments (such as mining, oil and gas, climate and environment monitoring, marine installations, etc.), a frequent obstacle is the lack of network connections. The only option is often satellite communication, which can be prohibitively expensive. Kinéis, a French startup spun off from the French Space Research Agency (CNES), aims to deploy cheap satellites that can provide low-bandwidth connections -- which are often sufficient for monitoring applications -- at an economical cost.

Sacha Kaminsky, International Business Development at Kinéis, is available to answer your questions -- just drop us a note and we will put you in touch with him.
Ransomware -- the New Hot Topic

The Colonial Pipeline incident in the US suddenly made ransomware a popular topic. Many companies have been quietly paying ransoms for years, but made sure not to publicize it as it might reveal their lack of preparedness or alarm their customers. In the case of Colonial, the impact was very visible (the pipeline was shut down for several days, and panic buying of fuel started in the Eastern US), so the issue made it onto the headlines.

The Chainanalysis Ransomware 2021 Report should be an eye opener:
  • Ransomware payments increased more than four-fold from 2019 to 2020, to over $400 million.
  • There is now such a thing as "Ransomware as a Service" (RaaS).
  • Companies that pay ransoms in order to recover their data (which has been encrypted by the criminals) expose themselves to sanctions, at least in the U.S., if the payments go to entities or individuals located in the so-called embargoed countries.

Meanwhile, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) has released a preliminary draft report (NISTIR 8374) on Cybersecurity Framework Profile for Ransomware Risk Management. Comments are accepted from the public until July 9, 2021.
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"OK, new rule: If you're going to respond to someone's tweet, you have to actually read it first."
-- Benjamin Dreyer (@BCDreyer)