As the digitization process of enterprises advances, the need to protect sensitive information and data is also becoming more pressing. In fact, digital transformation is not just about mere technological advancement: it is also about constant attention to the development of effective strategies to safeguard smart networks from potential cyber-attacks. In this sense, cybersecurity assumes primary importance and must be among the priorities of a company that really wants to call itself innovative and open to the future.
Speaking of 2022 cybersecurity-themed trends, Gartner calculated that by 2025, 45 percent of companies will have been victims of supply chain cyber-attacks. However, companies that adopt mesh architecture will be able to reduce the impact of individual attacks by up to 90%.
In this context, it is more critical than ever for companies to have frameworks that identify hacker attacks, protect technology systems, and detect and neutralize threats. An Industrial Internet of Things (I-IoT) system, in addition to optimizing the production process by making it more efficient, should also include strict security controls. The basic principles of cybersecurity (the so-called "CIA" criteria, Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability) are as valid as ever in an Industry 4.0 context in which, according to Niccolò De Carlo, CEO of Sensoworks, the best approach to create an effective and functional protection system is definitely a holistic one. In fact, attention to data collection, storage, and use must be part of a broader and more comprehensive cybersecurity perspective.
In light of an industrial scenario so fertile with digital opportunities and innovations, Sensoworks stands as a partner able to offer targeted solutions to enable companies to preside over the digital transition and, at the same time, ensure that their data is always adequately protected.
Indeed, security protocols and technologies are fundamental to Sensoworks: in addition to collecting, monitoring, and interpreting data from sensors connected to machinery and infrastructure, the platform is easily configured to best preserve sensitive information.
In addition, the entire production process is protected through blockchain technology, a shared structure that cannot be modified within which data is entered that, once entered, will not be tweaked or deleted— a guarantee of the correct information that is essential to ensure all-around cybersecurity.
We have seen how developing effective strategies to protect data and networks from potential cyber breaches is now imperative. At the same time, however, as Sensoworks CEO De Carlo reminds us, it is also necessary to study effective strategies for the physical security of the infrastructure.
An example of an architecture that involves both physical and technological structure might be an integrated water system. Here, through cyber-infrastructures such as smart water networks, IoT, data-science techniques, augmented intelligence, and, indeed, blockchain, it is possible to make more informed decisions in real-time precisely because of sensors and instrumentation that are in charge of securely collecting and transmitting data.
Thus, one can see how knowledge and data security act to support business decisions, while also giving greater awareness of water consumption and value.
"We are reaching 3.5 billion connected devices globally. Our use of most of these devices to date plays a strategic role for our country," De Carlo points out.
"Let's think for a moment about road infrastructure, power generation infrastructure. They are increasingly connected and need to be preserved from any kind of risk. Thanks to technologies like Sensoworks', it is possible to identify if a device, a sensor, a device is not working properly or if it has been intentionally tampered with."
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Contact Eleonora Stragliotto, Head of Sales, to learn more about how the Sensoworks platform protects sensitive information and data.
“A control system … would have allowed us to immediately understand the conditions of structures subject to possible catastrophes and, today, would have allowed us to prevent many of the disasters that have occurred in recent times” (P. Persi del Marmo, 2018).
These are the words of the engineer Paolo Persi del Marmo, CEO of NTSG, a partner company of Sensoworks.
The solution he refers to, based on OF (acronym of optical fibers), comes precisely from the necessity to verify the health status of a structure during its life. The system, patented by NTSG to monitor the 3D and 2D deformations of an element of generic shape, employs optical fibers as a means of measurement, a solution that finds its greatest application in the control of major works (bridges, tunnels, roads, railways, dams) and buildings: a very topical aspect given the recent tragic events that hit Italy.
The data, once acquired, get transferred to the monitoring platform of Sensoworks, where they are analyzed to draw up reports and statistics, and to an artificial intelligence to carry out predictive maintenance and prevent potential, future structural damage.
Most likely, you already heard about the term “Internet of Things”. But what is an IoT platform and what are its characteristics?
In this series of articles, we will try and give a more comprehensive answer. We’ll explain the growing necessities every company that intends to start IoT projects has and how Sensoworks, with its solid technical background, can help companies to face the many challenging aspects of the IoT revolution.
2 – An “IoT data storm” is coming. Get ready.
After the initial IoT hype and the consequent disenchantment, we arrived at the beginning of the widespread adoption of technology and productivity. Customers recognize IoT as a fundamental element in their digital transformation and are willing to take the right steps to be part of it.
Sensors and actuators of all kinds are added to the Internet at an unimaginable speed and the IoT market continues to be one of the fastest growing markets.
After all, customers will always pay more attention to estimates and results when it comes to investments in the field.
The amount of data that “objects” generate and download on the Internet every day has never been addressed before and will need new technologies and new paradigms to be able to collect, store, process and analyze the IoT data flow.
But how much data are we talking about when we say “data storm”?
Just to give an example on a real monitoring scenario, I’d like to show you that of a tunnel - for the control of convergence and longitudinal deformations, when it is located on a ground subject to landslides.
Here are some photos that show one of the fundamental activities of IoT, that is to enable objects to “speak”, in order to communicate information. These are the tunnel walls along their entire length.
Monitoring of a gallery:
This is a simple scenario, but there are monitoring scenarios that require sampling frequencies of 1000 Hz, which may then require the transfer of 1000 measurements per second on the internet.
Just to give a general idea, let’s have a look at this table, which shows the range of data related to a group of sensors of a hypothetical IoT project:
|Amount of data of a hypothetical IoT project||# of bytes to digest over the internet|
|Small||< 100 MB per day|
|Medium||< 1-10 GB per day|
|High||< 50-500 GB per day|
|Huge||> 500 GB > 1 TB > 100 TB > …?|
For today’s standards, the data shown in the table are quite realistic when it comes to the division between small, medium, high, and huge traffic of data. Given that in the near future these numbers will only increase exponentially, the consequence will be that the longevity of IoT solutions will be increasingly shorter. Therefore (again), it is important to adopt open, modular and scalable solutions and, above all, a correct methodological approach that takes into account the future IoT growth, if we want to make the best out of this revolution.
Here at Sensoworks, we are well aware of solutions and configurations too little adequate that had to be redesigned from scratch multiple times. As a direct result, companies face further expenditures, at risk of keeping fully or partially inoperable structures they already invested in.
IoT solutions will be increasingly used because they play a key role in the digital transformation. They are constantly proving to be a fundamental element in every sector and market division. Cloud technologies, analyses, and IoT will extraordinarily improve tech companies and will yield greater productivity, safety, intelligence and profitability. Unfortunately, most IT associations have almost no knowledge or training on operational structures, such as monitoring and data acquisition supervision systems (SCADA).
So, if you are serious about starting an IoT project for your organization, choosing an appropriate IoT platform and an experienced service provider is essential.
This is only the first step. Eventually, we’ll have to move on to the analysis of new features that, in turn, will become basic in the coming years, such as:
WHAT IS THE INDUSTRIAL IOT?
To understand what Industrial IoT is, let’s first take a step back and explain in a nutshell what we mean when we say “Internet of Things”.
In 1999 Kevin Ashton, a researcher at the MIT in Boston, described the Internet of Things as a set of technologies that allows to control, monitor, and transfer information by connecting a device to the Internet.
The Industrial Internet of Things, usually abbreviated with IIoT, is therefore a verticalization of the broader concept of IoT, focused on the industrial ecosystem and enabled by technologies such as cybersecurity, cloud, edge computing, big-data analysis, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
According to a report signed by IndustryARC, the Industrial IoT market will reach 124 billion dollars by 2021 and should exceed 771 billion dollars by 2026. The CAGR (compound annual growth rate) in the period forecast 2018-2026, is instead estimated at 24.3%.
The key to this growth lies in the fact that data obtained in real time not only allows allow for better management of the production process, but also for better management of all the company assets, offering a clear and immediate picture of the company’s performance in all its areas.
IIoT SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE
The ordinary structure of an IIoT system is a modular architecture organized in 4 Levels:
ADVANTAGES OF INDUSTRIAL IOT
The high availability of data collected makes it possible to monitor and maintain (also in a predictive manner) strategic infrastructures. With AI and machine learning algorithms, we are able to generate estimates and forecasts on possible risks and suggest measures to take before failures occur.
For example, in the infrastructure sector, IoT sensors and predictive algorithms could allow the continuous monitoring of:
The result of Industrial IoT projects is the reduction of energy and maintenance costs, as well as the general improvement of business productivity and work quality.
CRITICALITY OF THE IIoT
However, these critical issues must not discourage investments in IIoT projects. The long-term benefits are extremely superior to the short-term efforts in terms of human and economic resources.
IIoT for Sensoworks
Well before the IoT became a research trend, Sensoworks' parent company (GreenVulcano) was already developing an IoT proprietary solution to offer this kind of services to its customers.
A leader in the integration market, thanks to an experience of more than 10 years, GreenVulcano has recently spun-off Sensoworks, to market its monitoring product: a cloud based (that can also be used on premise), plug and play, dedicated to the management, remote control and predictive maintenance solution able to monitor complex infrastructure systems.
Find out which could be the right solution for the needs of your company and don’t hesitate to write to us for further information.
It has been over a decade since Internet of Things was first coined by Kevin Ashton. Since then, it has expanded alongside a growing technological hub spanning a diverse set of industries. In many ways it makes our everyday life more efficient, bridging the gap between physical objects with the collection and sharing of data on the internet.
Internet of Things has paved the way forward for objects to interact with each other without the need of management by people. Decisions are taken in real time, supported by data that help you detect any changes happening in the surroundings.
The potential of this sector within urban cities is increasingly evident and there are many realities ready to invest in this type of innovation. Debates have run high as to the potential this technological age may bring forward. However, one thing we know for sure is that it is enabling opportunities in areas we would have never imagined.
Its impact expanded into developing countries, where it has the capacity of changing existing processes and improve efficiency in sectors in need of new solutions to a variety of challenges. By providing a cost-efficient model for enhancing the development in different processing mechanisms through the improvement of various projects in the research, monitoring, and evaluation stages, there are higher chances for these countries to live in more sustainable environments.
Developing countries have always faced the challenges that come with the distribution of water and the improvement of sanitary conditions. IoT technologies created a path in which different countries are addressing the same problems in innovative ways. The startup CityTaps began an experiment in Niamey, Niger, partnering with the local water utility struggling to afford to maintain, operate, and handle the barometers, which drives the costs high and hinders useful restorations.
Their solution was partnering with utilities and setting up a network of IoT systems supported by a Low Power Wide Area Network that allows the generator to create payments and detect malfunctions in real time. By leveraging data from the sensors, more accurate performances can result. The process works by having the consumer pre-pay for water services at home through a mobile device. In this way, it is easy for the consumer to pay any amount at any time, while the provider is guaranteed with the payment for the service delivery.
In India, we find Smarter Homes, a startup tackling water consumption with at-home monitoring systems. In response to a 2014 water crisis in Bengaluru following population growth, IBM’s IoT division collaborated with the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board in forming a command center where they were able to track the water flow and pressure, while the IBM Intelligent Water Software alerts officials about any discrepancies in the system.
Healthcare in developing countries is another sector benefitting from the IoT innovations. Nexleaf Technology is improving health conditions by making the vaccination settings better via a wireless remote temperature monitoring system called Cold trace. The system sends storage temperature and power status to individuals through SMS whenever there are changes in the environment. IoT’s role is having the sensors in these containers monitor temperature, humidity, and light.
It also is a means for developing emergency response tactics when disasters strike these regions; where poor infrastructures and high population densities play a significant role in how the circumstances unfold.
Known for its susceptibility to earthquakes, Mexico uses an early warning system called SkyAlert that detects seismic activity 120 seconds before impact in accordance to the distance of the epicenter. Thus providing greater opportunity for people to take shelter before the earthquake hits.
Brazil launched a first of its kind state-of-the-art intelligence center in 2010, as a response to the fatal landslides that took place in the spring. Motion sensors generate data feeds on traffic, weather, police and medical services in real-time. Once the data is generated, anticipated problems are detected and defenses are set into place. If potential emergencies arise, citizens are alerted via sms and other media platforms. Those prone to at-risk areas receive a siren call for evacuation instruction.
With a new technological advancement happening in the developed world, and the impact that IoT has had in industries like agriculture and transportation, there are numerous applications where it can be of use in the developing worlds. Who knows? Maybe the Internet of Things is a possible solution to the processes needed for these countries to overcome these challenges.
For more information, please visit the link below to visit the World Economic Forum’s Guidebook to building a more sustainable society using the Internet of Things.