Is IoT a Superhero or Villain?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is made up of webcams, sensors, thermostats, microphones, speakers, cars, and even stuffed animals. All of these connected devices can help individuals and organizations stay connected across geographic distances, keeping tabs on and managing assets from miles away. The data they collect can be combined with other data sets to create actionable advice for better management and service.

This holds incredible promise for local governments and federal agencies charged with maintaining safe operating fleets and facilities. There's also the application for improving the routing of field technicians as well as traffic flow in general. But, as every superhero knows, with great power comes great responsibility.

As with any technology, IoT standards need to be developed for effective and safe use as well as to enable interoperability. NIST has been working on defining standards and recently released Considerations for Managing Internet of Things (IoT) Cybersecurity and Privacy Risks, but no federal agency is currently claiming jurisdiction over IoT policy and rule-making. In this vacuum, the legislative branch is getting involved. This past November, the House passed the SMART IoT Act that tasks the Department of Commerce with studying the current U.S. IoT industry. A Senate bill was introduced to manage what types of IoT devices the government can purchase, ensuring that all IoT tech in government is patchable and has changeable passwords. Finally, states are even weighing in on the proper use of IoT in government. California passed the first IoT cybersecurity law, making device manufacturers ensure their devices have "reasonable" security features.

Somewhere between the promise of efficiency and productivity and the security fears lies the real truth about IoT. There are several events that examine that middle ground to help educate government IT and business leaders alike on the applications and implications of IoT.

  • Military and IoT Sensors Summit (April 3-4, 2019; Alexandria, VA) - The summit will focus on how the continued integration of Internet capabilities onto modern sensors are transforming the future battlefield. Discussions will cover how to improve sensor capabilities and provide ways in which to secure them in the cyberspace, as well as assist in the development of IoTs throughout the DoD enterprise.
  • 7th Border Security and Intelligence Summit (April 10-11, 2019; Alexandria, VA) - A forum for members of DHS, the Federal Government, and related industry and academia to discuss current initiatives to enhance border protection and advance intelligence capabilities. The summit aims to highlight the existing gaps in effectively protecting our homeland and the technological and intelligence capabilities required to succeed in keeping our nation safe.
  • Internet of Things World (May 13-16, 2019; Santa Clara, CA) - This event looks at the full spectrum of the IoT landscape from Blockchain to Security, and from Autonomous Vehicles to Industrial application. The event is broken into vertical tracks to better tailor the delivery and discussion of information.
  • Internet of Things Developers Conference (June 5-6, 2019; Santa Clara, CA) - This conference includes executive and technical tracks to meet the diverse interests of the attendees who are software and system developers, engineers, managers, directors, and decision-makers. Sessions will help attendees better understand and tackle the complex challenges of IoT in embedded systems. Security and standards are key topics at the event.
  • IoT Tech Expo North America (November 13-14, 2019; Santa Clara, CA) - This expo is four co-located events covering IoT, Cybersecurity, Cloud, Blockchain and AI. The expo brings together business leaders from across industries (including government, energy, and transportation) and technologists to explore the innovations and impact of IoT.

Where are you are getting the latest intel on IoT? Share your event suggestions in the comments.

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