TechHub: Industrial Hacks, Automated Cars and Smart Elevators

Top cyber security conference kicks off with water treatment plant hack

In case you couldn’t make it, we’ve got updates from one of the world’s largest security events happening this week in San Francisco, CA.

The RSA Conference gathers the industry’s top security and technology leaders and pioneers—including a Gray Matter cyber security consultant– promoting a forward-thinking global community to foster innovative ideas and new approaches to inspire and empower the industry.

FBI cyber division at industrial RSA 2017

The FBI Cyber Division recruitment booth at the RSA Conference 2017.

The event featured keynote speakers such as a defense intelligence officer for cyber at the Defense Intelligence Agency, senior cryptographer at Microsoft Research, director of information security at Google, a senior security engineer for Fitbit and more.

This year, it started off with a bang– kicking off with an intentional ransomware attack on a water treatment plant launched by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

According to Nextgov, a National Journal Group, the attack successfully shut down valves, adjusted chlorine levels and falsified readings.

This demonstration highlighted the increasing fear of malware attacks on utility companies, much like what’s been happening to power plants, banks and others.

Industrial control systems are becoming increasingly vulnerable, and are oftentimes connected to the Internet without intention.

To get ahead in cyber security, the first step is finding out what you don’t know.

Take our cyber challenge to test your knowledge and find out what you know — and don’t know — about your own system.

What’s Your Score?

Ford’s Billion-dollar self-driving car deal creating 200 high-tech jobs by end of 2017

This week Ford announced a partnership with Argo AI– investing in the company to create an engineer and test center for self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, PA.

Argo AI is run by alumni of the Carnegie Mellon National Robotics Engineering Center and specializes in development of artificial intelligence. They are looking to work with Ford to develop autonomous vehicles by 2021, according to Trib Live media group.

It’s estimated that the partnership will add 200 high-tech jobs in Pittsburgh, Michigan and California by the end of the year­– amounting to over 1,000 jobs within the next five years from the Ford deal, according to Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald in Trib Live.

Uber has already been testing self-driving cars in Pittsburgh since 2016, according to Wired, where pre-selected Uber users within a 12-square-mile radius of downtown have the option of riding in one of the autonomous vehicles — with a human engineer behind the wheel, naturally.

“Pittsburgh continues to make global headlines on this growing industry,” said Bryan Salesky, Argo AI CEO. “Which stems from the hard work and brainpower of our friends at Carnegie Mellon and the many industries they continue to seed and grow throughout our region.”

Partners in Global Alliance and Digital Enterprise

The GE Global Partner Summit hosted by GE Digital in Napa, CA, features premiere alliances in all committed to supporting the growing industrial data marketplace.

Starting on Tuesday, the summit showcased the newest technologies and innovations in the industry. Not an alliance partner? Don’t worry — Gray Matter was there to help bring you up to speed.

The buzz of the event was success stories in digital transformations.

“The world needs a system to take industrial data from the edge and move it to the cloud,” said Harel Kodesh, Vice President of Predix and Chief Technology Officer of GE Digital.

That system is Predix.

Predix is an operating system for the Industrial Internet that connects industrial equipment, analyzes data and delivers real-time insights as a result.

Four themes of Predix were outlined throughout the summit: scale the platform, support the digital twin, edge-to-cloud platform and advance developing experience.

Predix has been implemented for various issues, including elevator safety.

Imagine you’re stuck in an elevator, alone. Who will know you’re in there and come to save you?

The solution is connected elevators.

By using GE Digital’s Predix software, Huawei Technologies developed IoT enabled elevators — reducing operational and maintenance costs by detecting potential risk immediately and in turn improving passengers’ safety.

GE Digital’s partnership with Gray Matter Systems is a part of their growing industrial ecosystem. The goal is to help companies undergoing digital transformations in every industry.

In the two-minute video spotlight with Gray Matter CEO, Jim Gillespie, GE focuses on the journey of two Gray Matter customers, Procter & Gamble and Anadarko. Watch the video here:

The Internet of Things and All That Jazz

Hyperbole about the ‘Internet of Things’ — or IoT —  is omnipresent.

Claims of transformative powers are greatly overstated and hypotheticals about how these data will be used equally far-fetched.

There are some serious implications and real opportunities and the IoT trend has serious bottom-line impacts for businesses.

Still, the IoT trend  can have some serious implications, real opportunities, and honest bottom-line impacts on businesses.

To capture the potential value in IoT, industrial firms are carefully weighing the infrastructure requirements to justifying these investments.

Large numbers of early adopters are leveraging energy efficiency investments within warehouses to implement IoT strategies.

Other IoT applications maintain the quality and consistency of manufacturing processes by using networked sensors, cameras, lasers, and continual data processing; identifying the current condition of a machine part.

[su_pullquote align=”right”]Although it may seem a bit of science fiction, some imminent applications of IoT are already permeating the landscape. [/su_pullquote]

Smart parking via IoT is monitoring parking spaces available and the building’s structural health is evaluated by monitoring vibrations and material conditions in buildings, bridges, and historical monuments.

IoT is creating intelligent highways with warning messages and diversions based on climate conditions as well as accidents or traffic congestion.

On Gartner’s Radar

Patrick Thibodeau, recently reported in Computerworld that Gartner’s annual list of strategic technologies in 2015 includes IoT.

Gartner analyst David Cearley at the firm’s annual Symposium/ITxpo, focused on merging the real world with the virtual one, what that means for analytics and the type of IT that has to emerge to deal with it.

Cearley’s advice to IT managers is to experiment, get ideas going and empower individuals in IT organizations to develop uses for connected devices and sensors.

Cearley believes IoT has enormous potential to deliver value to businesses, and said even small sensors that can detect problems in equipment before failure occurs, can save a business thousands of dollars.

Similarly, Ben Rossi at Information Age stressed the important role that IT service management will play in the future of the Internet of Things, especially since a recent foundational technology for IoT is a good proxy to illustrate the enormity of the most significant market disruption since the dawn of the Internet – IPv6.

With IPv6, everything can have a unique number or IP address, making it easier and quicker for devices and data to find their way around the Internet.

[su_pullquote align=”right”]In comparison to IPv4’s 4.3 billion IP addresses, IPv6 can assign about 340 trillion addresses and corresponding devices. [/su_pullquote]

Gil Press, a Forbes contributor, shared that Gartner released its latest Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies.

Last year, Big Data reigned supreme, at what Gartner calls the “peak of inflated expectations.” Press said, “Big Data has moved down the ‘trough of disillusionment,’ replaced by the Internet of Things at the top of the hype cycle.

In 2012 and 2013, Gartner’s analysts thought that the Internet of Things had more than 10 years to reach the ‘plateau of productivity’ but this year they give it five to ten years to reach this final stage of maturity.”

All this velocity of data is driving big names in business to monetize the opportunity.

GE & The Predix Platform

General Electric just announced alliances with enterprise technology leaders using its Predix platform, designed to add intelligence to various Internet of things end points.

GE will deliver more than $1 billion in incremental revenue from a menu of more than forty industrial Internet services. GE currently monitors and analyzes 50 million data points from 10 million sensors on $1 trillion of managed assets daily.

From Oracle to Cisco to Intel to thousands of Industrial Software companies, everyone is working to capture a piece of the IoT pie.

Gartner reported that IoT-connected physical objects will grow to 26 billion units by 2020 (excluding smartphones, tablets, and laptops), and IoT products and service suppliers will generate incremental revenue of more than $300 billion in 2020.

With all the recent breeches in security — Target and Home Depot well-known credit card data appropriation — there is more caution needed in the technology infrastructure through which all these data are floating in the cloud.

Just because we can put sensors on a machine does not mean those data are useful, meaningful, or efficacious.

Undoubtedly the real value of IoT is several years away and must prove more helpful than parking space vacancies.

What does this mean to you? Are you trying to take advantage of what the Internet of Things has to offer? Let us know!

In the mean time, contact us to learn how we fix complex data problems in all industries.

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