Tag Archives | Business IoT

Should the Government Regulate IoT Devices?

Should the government regulate IoT devices?As security concerns rise about Internet of Things (IoT) devices, so does the debate about the necessity of government regulations. Should the government regulate IoT? Many Internet of Things devices on the market today have little to no security built in, which can compromise the privacy and even personal security of consumers.

Many consumers today are not (yet) clamoring for more regulation. A lot of them do not realize that their smart devices may be compromising their privacy in significant ways. Yet there is a growing concern from those in government and industry that something must be done. The question is, however, whether more secure devices will arise through government regulations imposed by governments that are often hacked themselves, or by the Internet of Things industry itself.

Should the government regulate IoT?

Proponents of government regulations see the following benefits to having the government regulate IoT devices:

  • Standards applied to every device that help to protect the security of consumers
  • Requirements for patches that take new security concerns into account

Opponents take a different view. Should the government regulate IoT devices, they are concerned about:

  • Regulation and bureaucracy stifling innovation
  • Expensive regulations eliminating smaller companies, reducing consumer choice and competition
  • The government lacks the expertise to effectively regulate these devices

What are lawmakers doing today?

Several countries are already proposing regulations related to this issue. For example, in Australia, lawmakers have proposed a certification for IoT devices with requirements such as:

  • Changeable, non-guessable, non-default passwords
  • Not to expose ports to the wider internet
  • Software updates to fix known vulnerabilities

In the United States, lawmakers are working on a bill related to devices purchased by the federal government that includes requirements such as:

  • Devices must be patchable, rely on industry standard protocols, and be built without hard-coded passwords and known security vulnerabilities
  • Alternative network-level security requirements for devices with limited data processing and software functionality
  • Cybersecurity coordinated vulnerability disclosure policies will be required of all contractors that provide connected devices to the U.S. Government

It is essential that Internet of Things devices become more secure in order to protect consumers, governments, and organizations alike, while complying with international data privacy regulations. Whether that is done through government regulation or industry self-regulation remains to be seen. Likely it will be a combination of both. As consumers and organizations alike become more aware of the security risks of IoT devices, the market demand for more secure devices will grow, increasing the supply in a market-driven economy. Likely we will see the government regulate IoT devices, while the market demand increases.

What do you think?

Should governments regulate Internet of Things devices? Or can the industry self-regulate? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

And if you’d like to learn more about the Internet of Things, check out our newest course program: IEEE Guide to the Internet of Things.



List, J. (2017, 16 Oct). Aussies Propose Crackdown on Insecure IoT Devices. Hackaday.

Corsec. (2017, 27 Sept). IoT Security Facing Government Regulation. Corsec blog.

Thierer, A. and O’Sullivan, A. (2017, 12 June). Leave the Internet of Things Alone. US News & World Report.

Thomson, I. (2017, 15 Feb). You Know IoT Security is Bad when Libertarians Call for Strict RegulationsThe Register.

Continue Reading 0

How to Make IoT Batteries Last Longer

Make IoT Batteries Last Longer: IEEE Wake-Up Radio InfographicAnalyst firm Gartner predicts that there will be 8.4 billion connected “things” in 2017, which will then expand to 20.4 billion Internet of Things (IOT) devices by 2020. That number is staggering. And it is reasonable to expect that a great many of these devices will run on batteries. Yet battery life can be limited. How do we make IoT batteries last longer?

Consider the use cases:

  • Wearable medical devices that cannot be hard wired
  • Logistics sensors on vehicles, moving from place to place
  • Agricultural IoT devices in the middle of fields
  • Smart home consumer devices that are easier to install without hardwiring, increasing market adoption

…and these are just a few instances of the many IoT use cases that will require battery operated devices. Given the sheer number of devices, it is essential that IoT manufacturers create devices that have a long battery life while maintaining optimal performance. We must make IoT batteries last longer.

This is why the IEEE 802.11ba standards working group is developing the IEEE Wake-Up Radio standard. This technology has the potential to increase battery life in IoT devices from months to years. When you consider the cost of replacing 20.4 billion batteries (both the batteries themselves, as well as the time involved), this will have significant economic impact.

How it Works

IoT devices have an embedded radio that has to “wake up” in order for data to be transmitted. The longer the device is awake, the more power it consumes, but the higher the performance. To solve the power issue, a 2nd, low-power, duty-cycled Wake-Up Radio is added to the device that waits for transmissions. This Wake-Up Radio only wakes up the main device when it is needs to, allowing a longer device sleep state without compromising performance. Ensuring that the Wake-Up Radio uses duty cycling increases the battery life even more.

The result is a high-performance IoT device that last for years rather than months on a single battery.

The impact is clear. IoT devices that will run on IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi®) connections need IEEE Wake-Up Radio. Device manufacturers need this information now, in order to build this into their IoT devices of tomorrow.

IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio

To help IoT device manufacturers prepare for IEEE Wake-Up Radio even before the standard is released, IEEE is offering a technology report that outlines the technology, use cases, and more. The report will be released on 2 November, 2017, and is available for pre-sale now. Device manufacturers that begin planning for IEEE Wake-Up Radio now will have a competitive advantage, especially in consumer categories where IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi®) connections are ubiquitous. They will be able to make IoT batteries last longer in their devices.

Increasing battery life in IoT devices is essential. When it comes to devices that run on IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi®) connections, IEEE Wake-Up Radio is the solution. Pre-order the IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio now, and prepare your organization for a competitive advantage in the future.



Tung, L. (2017, Feb 7). IoT Devices Will Outnumber the World’s Population this Year for the First Time. ZDNet.

McCormick, D. (2017, Nov 2). 802.11ba Battery Life Improvement – Preview: IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio. IEEE Xplore.



Continue Reading 0

Study Reveals Most Organizations Are Unprepared for Cyber Attack

Study Reveals Most Organizations Are Unprepared for Cyber Attack

A recent study released by Arctic Wolf Networks (2017) has found that many organizations are completely unprepared for cyber attack, and Internet of Things (IOT) devices are only making the problem worse. In the wake of attacks such as the one on Equifax, it has become clearer than ever that every organization needs a comprehensive cyber security strategy in place.

The study revealed that 100% of the companies that were included use at least one IOT device. Because these IOT devices often do not have the necessary security infrastructure built in, they are easy targets. While nearly every company had a firewall and antivirus system in place, that is unfortunately just the beginning of what is needed. The advanced threats seen today easily bypass these measures and many organizations are unprepared for cyber attack.

The Equifax attack, for example, was an attack on a web application. (2017, Wolff-Mann) This type of attack tricks an interactive web page, such as a form, into giving up far more from the database accessed than requested using a SQL Injection Attack. So for example, rather than just providing the requested information, any information stored in the database could be captured by hackers, and used for nefarious purposes. Unfortunately, many organzations focus on network security instead of software security, resulting in data breaches such as the one experienced by Equifax. Rohit Sethi, COO of Security Compass, believes that the automated testing and scans that many organizations rely on cannot measure up to what a trained human being can do.

Several industries have found themselves subject to attacks on IOT devices, with transportation leading the way. 29% of transportation companies have reported being subject to an attack, followed by 22% of energy, oil and gas; utilities, construction and property; and IT, Technology and Telecoms. And this number is expected to rise as cyber criminals become more sophisticated in their attacks. The infrastructure maintained by these industries is critical, and organizations cannot ignore the necessity to put trained personnel and advanced systems in place to protect the people that they serve. As hackers become more sophisticated, ignorance is no longer an excuse to be unprepared for cyber attack.

It is up to every organization to get the training and put the systems in place needed to defend against cyber attack, and protect their organizations and customers.

Does your organization need cyber security training? IEEE offers both cyber security and ethical hacking training to help organizations prepare. Learn more about organization pricing and request a quote here.



Wolff-Mann, E. (2017, Sept 8). Equifax hack exposes a major cybersecurity gap. Yahoo! Finance.

Arctic Wolf Networks. (2017, Sept 7). Ransomware of Things: When Ransomware and IoT Collide.


Continue Reading 0

Power Players in the Internet of Things

Low Power Internet of ThingsInnovators, businesses, and consumers alike are eagerly catching the Internet of Things (IoT) wave as it gains momentum and magnitude. The technology that will continue to power this wave of connected devices remains debatable, however, as there are a number of power players contending for the spotlight in the low power Internet of Things space. Below are several big names that have emerged thus far:

  • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE): BLE (a.k.a. Bluetooth Smart) is the low-power version of its parent Bluetooth standard, which has often been considered a leader in the short-range wireless audio market (Frenzel, 2017).  Combining different radio and technical techniques along with low-power sleep modes and low duty cycles allow BLE to reduce power consumption and extend the battery life on a coin cell for years (Frenzel, 2012).
  • Wi-Fi® and Wake-Up Radio (WUR): Wi-Fi® is also a major short-range option widely used today, but the original standard versions alone may not be optimal choices for the Internet of Things (IoT) because “power consumption is generally high and its available data rate goes far beyond what’s needed for most applications” (Frenzel, 2017). White-Fi (a.k.a. 802.11af) and HaLow (a.k.a 802.11 ah) are both good options for long-range uses though. Wake-Up Radio, currently in development from the IEEE 802.11ba standards task group, is a groundbreaking solution for the Wi-Fi® power consumption dilemma, designed to preserve efficiency while consuming little power.
  • 5G: According to a 2017 Ericsson Mobility Report, 5G is projected to transmit data approximately 10 times faster than 4G LTE in the long-range cellular network (Shields, 2017). Such a change will reduce low latency, i.e. allow devices to quickly process and transmit large amounts of data, thereby increasing efficiency (Shields, 2017). Agwani (2017) calls 5G a “catchall for the next generation(s) of cellular networks” because it will be “ultra-reliable” and it will “enable real-time low-energy, low-bit-rate, seamless connectivity for billions of new IoT devices.”
  • LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network): Called LoRa for short, this specification from LoRa Alliance “is designed for long-range, low-power operation with sensors and controls that work off batteries or energy-harvesting devices” (Wong, 2017). It has a wide breadth of applications, spanning from the logistics industry to smart infrastructure and agriculture, and it is particularly beneficial for buildings because its range can penetrate barriers like walls (Wong, 2017). The only downside is that LoRa does not operate quickly, topping out at 50 kbits/s, but otherwise “LoRa fills a gap between LANs* like Bluetooth, Zigbee, and Wi-Fi and wide area networks like cellular” (Wong, 2017).

*LANs: Local Area Networks

These power players are only a few among numerous low power Internet of Things connectivity options that vary along the wireless range. With a growing number of IoT devices entering our personal and professional lives, utilizing a low-power option will be increasingly crucial.

Are you interested in learning more about Wake-Up Radio and how to utilize this technology with IoT devices in your organization? Check out the IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio: An Application, Market, and Technology Impact Analysis of Low-Power/Low-Latency 802.11 Wireless LAN Interfaces coming this November. Pre-order now!


Frenzel, L. (2012, Nov 29). What’s the difference between Bluetooth Low Energy and ANT? Electronic Design.

Frenzel, L. (2017, May 16). Long-Range IoT on the road to success. Electronic Design.

Frenzel, L. (2017, Jul 21). How Bluetooth Mesh impacts IoT design. Electronic Design.

Shields, N. (2017, Jun 15). Here’s how 5G will revolutionize the Internet of Things. Business Insider.

Wong, W. (2017, Jul 10). LoRaWAN is made for IoT. Electronic Design.

Continue Reading 0

Disney’s Take on the Internet of Things: A Magical MagicBand Wristband

Disney's Take on the Internet of Things: A Magical MagicBand Wristband from IEEE Innovation at WorkWhile more and more organizations are seeking out ways to implement the Internet of Things (IoT) to boost efficiency and connectivity, Disney World is ahead of the game.  If you haven’t heard about it yet, Disney’s take on the Internet of Things comes in the form of a magical wristband.

Officially called the Disney MagicBand, these colorful silicon wristbands look deceivingly simple on the outside. Beneath the surface, however, they actually contain an RFID chip and long-range radio with a transmit range of 40 feet in every direction (Kuang, 2015). With batteries meant to last two years, these wristbands enable park visitors to digitally consolidate a number of things, such as park tickets, credit card information, and room keys.

Disney mails the MagicBands to park visitors before their visit, not long after they purchase tickets online and settle on an itinerary. Those that sign up for the “Magical Express” eliminate all paperwork, and significantly reduce inefficiencies from the time they land in Orlando until they leave the park. All the information needed is contained within the band (Kuang, 2015). No need to pick up luggage, rent a car, wait in long lines, carry cash, or even order food at a restaurant, at least not when these things can be taken care of ahead of time with internet access and the MagicBand.

Although designing and implementing the plan for the MagicBand took several years and a lot of work, the band’s integration within the amusement park now seems quite seamless (Kuang, 2015). Band readers are set up at various locations around the park, particularly at entrances to the park and rides. Visitors only need to touch the band’s Mickey icon to the reader’s circled Mickey icon: a successful connection results in a green light and a pleasant tone from the reader, while an error results in a blue light.

So far MagicBands are only used at Disney World in Orlando, but it is likely that Disney will integrate similar aspects of the MyMagic+ program into other parks soon (Pedicini, 2014). Their ease-of-use and multiple capabilities have already gained popularity among park visitors, and other industries are taking note. According to Kuang (2015), “Despite their futuristic intentions, they’re already invisible.”

Want to learn more about the Internet of Things and how it’s being used today and in the future? Check out our newest online course program  IEEE Guide to the Internet of Things. Interested in learning more about how to create Internet of Things devices with significantly longer battery life? Learn more about the groundbreaking IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio, coming soon!


Kuang, C. (2015, Mar 10). Disney’s $1 billion bet on a magical wristband. Wired.

Pedicini, S. (2014, Dec 25). MyMagic+ on its way to other Disney parks. Orlando Sentinel.

Image: Julie Friend (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Continue Reading 0

Can You Extend Battery Life in Your Wearable?

Extend battery life in your wearable with Wake-Up Radio from IEEE

Wearables have taken the accessory market by storm. Gone are the days of wearing a simple analog watch that only tells the time; at least not when you can get one that tracks your steps, monitors your heart rate, syncs with apps on your smart phone, and much more. But how long will your wearable last between battery charges? Devices that can extend battery life are becoming essential.

According to Lauren Goode (2016), “Battery life is, arguably, the biggest pain point in wearables right now.” Many activity tracker or smartwatch batteries last anywhere between five days and several months on a single charge, depending on how much they can do. James Park, Fitbit co-founder and CEO, agrees that battery life is a difficult issue to address, as most advancements rely on the processor makers (Goode, 2016).

While there has been little significant progress within batteries themselves, the connectivity that wearables use can also affect power consumption. For sending a small amount of data over a short range, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is ideal, but higher quantities of data are better suited for Bluetooth Classic or Wi-Fi (Gough, 2016). Sensors and trackers placed at farther distances (as opposed to a smartwatch that is often close to a smartphone) will need low power, low latency options to extend battery life and preserve efficient data transfer.

Wake-Up Radio being developed by IEEE 802.11ba standards task group is one such option that can be used in conjunction with a Wi-Fi radio. This device only activates the Wi-Fi radio when it receives a signal unique to that device; otherwise, it “sleeps” quietly while using minimal power. Using Wake-Up Radio can significantly extend battery life to years, which would make Internet of Things (IoT) devices like wearables more useful and worthwhile.

You can find out more about Wake-Up Radio and how to utilize this technology with IoT devices your organization develops in the IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio: An Application, Market, and Technology Impact Analysis of Low-Power/Low-Latency 802.11 Wireless LAN Interfaces, coming soon!


Goode, L. (2016, Jan 15). Don’t expect battery life miracles in wearables anytime soon. The Verge.

Gough, P. (2016, Aug 17). Provisioning reliable wireless connectivity for wearables. Electronic Design.

Continue Reading 1

Five Ways the IoT is Transforming Agriculture

5 ways the Internet of Things is transforming the agriculture

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been called the next industrial revolution, and the agricultural sector is already on board. Farmers are looking to innovative technological solutions to meet the rising food demands of a growing population (Meola, 2016). Below are five ways the IoT is transforming the agriculture:


  1. Remote control: Farmers are increasingly able to control equipment (such as self-driving tractors) from a distance, which allows them to focus on other tasks and improve efficiency.
  2. Pest Control: The IoT is enhancing pest control with the use of drones to detect water and nutrient deficits, analyze soil and weather conditions, and assess ripeness of crops (Popova, 2017). Further, infrared cameras allow farmers to identify pest-infested crops and weeds for more accurate applications.
  3. Irrigation: Brands such as PrecisionKing sell products that grant farmers the ability to remotely monitor soil moisture, water levels, pivots, and irrigation pumps (Campbell-Miller, 2017). Such monitoring makes a tremendous difference in water conservation.
  4. Animal tracking: Employing sensors on roaming animal herds makes it easier for farmers to monitor their animals’ well-being and location (Popova, 2017). Some tools can also provide direct advice to farmers regarding a sample of pasture “to supplement the herds’ grazing to maximize both yield and quality” (Kepes, 2017).
  5. Supply chain management: Sensors are further improving food manufacturing and transport. According to Briodagh (2017), “IoT sensors can help the industry keep track of their produce from farm to fork, ensuring import standards are adhered to, regularly monitored, and never breached.”

Using satellite imagery and sensors to gather data for the purposes of improving production output, minimizing costs, and preserving resources is called precision farming or precision agriculture (Meola, 2017). This type of farming will continue to evolve with the emergence of more IoT tools and capabilities, such as those mentioned above. Thanks to the IoT, farmers are reaping more benefits while sowing less environmental consequences.

Interested in learning more about the Internet of Things? Check out the IEEE Guide to the Internet of Things.


Briodagh, K. (2017, Jul 6). IoT speeds globalization of food industry, says Inmarsat. IoT Evolution.

Campbell-Miller, S. (2017, Jul 3). McGehee farmers deploy Internet-of-Things irrigation products. Arkansas Business.

Kepes, B. (2017, Jul 3). The Internet of (Living) Things: Tracking dairy cow eating habits. Network World.

Meola, A. (2016, Dec 20). Why IoT, big data & smart farming are the future of agriculture. Business Insider.

Popova, K. (2017, Feb 23). IoT as a solution for precision farming. IoT Agenda.


Continue Reading 0

Low-Power, Low-Latency IoT Devices Will Transform the Logistics Industry

Low-power, low-latency logistics industry

We often hear about the Internet of Things (IoT) in consumer devices, but the IoT is transforming industry as well. From smart warehouses to smart agriculture to retail to environment, there seem to be as many use cases as their are devices and sensors. And all of these devices need power as they collect and share data. To conserve power and efficiency with the wide breadth and sheer magnitude of the IoT, it will be crucial to utilize low-power, low-latency IoT devices. This is especially true for businesses in supply chain management, as these devices will particularly transform the logistics industry.

Delivery and fulfillment companies generally use third-party logistics (3PL) in their operations, which involves a business transporting products and resources through outsourced services. According to Meola (2016), the IoT will impact the following aspects of this process:

  • Asset Tracking in Supply Chain Management: Whereas freight and shipping companies have previously tracked and managed inventory using barcode scanners, IoT solutions (such as RFID tags) are beginning to offer more valuable data and make these scanners obsolete.
  • Inventory and Warehouse Management: In addition to RFID tags, logistics companies are using more internet-connected and satellite trackers to track specific items as they travel to their destination. Bluetooth tags and beacons allow tracking in smaller areas; retailers tend to use them for monitoring customer traffic and customizing marketing messages.
  • Fleet Management: IoT solutions using GPS and other tracking technologies provide real-time data on where vehicles are located and how they are operating. These solutions carry the potential to impact physical asset movement and delivery, consumer transportation, and field-service vehicles.

Combining the capability of IoT devices with low-power, low-latency attributes means longer-lasting devices as well as more reliable and more efficient analytics. More efficient analytics means more powerful customer support services and greater revenue. Wake-Up Radio from IEEE 802.11ba standards task group provides a low-power, low-latency solution that may be critical to IoT devices and sensors developed for the logistics industry.

You can read more about Wake-Up Radio and how to utilize this technology with IoT devices your organization develops in the IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio: An Application, Market, and Technology Impact Analysis of Low-Power/Low-Latency 802.11 Wireless LAN Interfaces, coming soon!


Meola, A. (2016, Dec. 21). How IoT logistics will revolutionize supply chain management. Business Insider.

Continue Reading 0

Rise of the Machines: Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things

Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things from IEEE Educational Activities

As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow at an astonishing pace, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is advancing at practically the same rate. While the IoT concentrates on the connectivity of multiple devices, AI focuses on the automation of those devices to perform tasks independently. What happens when the two worlds of Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things collide?

As John Ginovsky and Mark Jaffe point out, we can see some effects already:

  • Voice-responsive devices such as Siri and Alexa provide solutions and connect to other devices as requested
  • Smart machines are capable of sensing low supply and reordering supplies on their own (e.g., washing machines)
  • Wearable technology connects users to other devices and personalizes the users’ experience

It’s easy to see that, when used correctly, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things devices can make our lives easier and more efficient. But we’ve only scratched the surface, and there’s far more to come. Here are some possibilities that are on the horizon:

  • Billions of autonomous, connected devices will gather and transmit information on everything from logistics to weather patterns to retail experiences without human intervention (Aite Group)
  • Self-driving vehicles will manage parking meters or pay other cars to move for passengers needing faster transport (Zilvinas Bareisis)
  • Devices will track your health and send real-time updates to your health care provider, saving you a trip to the doctor’s office

And far, far more.

One major advantage that is encouraging businesses to incorporate both IoT and AI is the ability to improve customer support through analytics and personalization. According to a study conducted by Zebra Technologies, “Nearly 70% of retail decision makers surveyed are ready to make changes to adopt the Internet of Things, and 65% plan to invest in automation technologies” over the next few years.

Needless to say, the omnipresence of Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things working together in homes and businesses is only just beginning.

For more information on the IoT and how to prepare your organization for this shifting digital landscape, check out the IEEE Guide to the Internet of Things.


Ginovsky, J. (2017, June 9). Preparing for AI and IoT’s coming collision. Banking Exchange.

Jaffe, M. IoT Won’t Work Without Artificial Intelligence. Wired.

Continue Reading 0

Should you Hire an Ethical Hacker?

Should you Hire an Ethical Hacker? from IEEE

With cyber attacks on the rise, how can you ensure your organization’s digital work space is secure? More and more, companies are looking to train or hire an ethical hacker for help in finding and fixing security issues. Ethical hackers, also referred to as “white hat” hackers or bug bounty hunters, find flaws to help companies instead of exploit them (Sharma, 2016). While some major companies such as Facebook and Google offer rewards programs open to any interested ethical hackers, not everyone is sold on the idea.

So what does an ethical hacker do? With your permission, ethical hackers test your system as an unethical hacker would, and report on findings so any problems may be fixed. In order to stay updated with the latest skills, however, ethical hackers often disguise themselves in order to gain information from the underground. Knowing that they come in close contact with malicious hackers in doing so can be enough to make some uneasy about hiring an ethical hacker.

Some “grey hat” hackers fall in between the spectrum of ethical and unethical hackers, finding vulnerabilities legally or illegally and then sharing that information with other hackers as well as officials. One may seek out these hackers to learn from their findings, or even attempt to follow in their footsteps. Some companies allow their own security experts to venture into the domain of grey hacking, though they must be extremely careful to obtain information without making themselves vulnerable in the process.

Your company can take multiple routes when it comes to defending your network; hiring an ethical hacker or supporting ethical hacking from within are just a few options to consider. Ultimately, the choice you make depends on what best protects your company.

For tips on ethical hacking for your company’s technical professionals, check out IEEE’s new course: Hacking Your Company: Ethical Solutions to Defeat Cyber Attacks.


Conran, B. (2014, March 1). Why not to hire an ethical hacker. Security Magazine.

Sharma, S. (2016, April 1). Bug bounty hunters and the companies that pay them. Gadgets 360.


Continue Reading 0