Why being ‘reliable and dependable with no frills’ will always be underrated…

Ask any basketball fan who the greatest "big man" of all time is and you may get a few different answers.  Some may opt for the most athletic (like Wilt Chamberlin)....some will choose the great defenders (like Bill Russell)....some will go for the great scorers (like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and some will go for the player most likely to eat a 96oz steak at one of those steak restaurants (like Shaquille O'Neal).  These players are all incredible athletes and deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.

Few will mention players that didn't have a dominant part to their game but were instead just great all around players....like Tim Duncan.  Even his nickname was boring..."the Big Fundamental".  Duncan was just extremely good at everything, so perhaps we just didn't appreciate what he did....he was reliable and dependable with no frills.

So, what does this have to do with IoT?

A lot of people ask me what the killer application is in IoT, and I tell them that you already have most of the components.....it is connecting your remote devices to the systems that you may already have.

Say you have a remote machine(s) located all over a city, state or the country.  Getting real-time information and returning it to your "back-end" system is an application that will change your company.....and not just some companies, but pretty much any company.  And, you only need one remote asset to make this a useful application.

In most cases, a simple, reliable modem is the only missing part to this solution

Take a look at your remote device....it may have a port (serial, USB or Ethernet) port on it.  If so, you likely don't need a fancy, expensive modem to bring your key data back....you just need a good, reliable one.  Sure, there are situations where you need a higher-priced modem (like if you need special security items, extra ruggedness, connectivity for sensors or special ports connectivity), but for most applications, you don't......you just need the equivalent of a really long cable back to your server.

Once the data reaches your key server, the amount of work to get the solution going depends on what you have.  Many applications are either able to accept this live data (as opposed to being manually entered) or need minor modifications to do so.  In some cases, you may wish to have the data sent to a cloud-based application.  Either way, a simple, reliable modem is really all most solutions need to get this all started.

The Bottom Line

I think many of us forget that it is often the "not sexy" things that work the best.  Your business doesn't need glitz and glamour.  It needs reliable and dependable solutions that you can rely on.  There is a reason why the Spurs have been a model franchise for close to two decades.  Sure, they had the luxury of having several future Hall-of-Famers (including one of the best coaches in sports history), but it all was built on the solid foundation that was Tim Duncan.  All businesses who want to be great should remember that sometimes boring is great...

A virus targeting IoT devices? Maybe we have finally ‘made it’.

By: Larry Bellehumeur | Oct. 3rd, 2016

Over the weekend, while looking for something to watch for a long treadmill run, I came across some of the old Roasts from the Comedy Network.  The one that really cracked me up was the Roast of David Hasselhoff…quite funny if you like that sort of humour. 

What brings this to mind is the idea that you “only roast the ones you love”, which also means that you only roast someone when they have achieved a certain level of success in the world.  In a weird way, this is similar to how viruses work…you only bother writing one when they are enough devices to make it worthwhile to attack.

It is actually for this reason, not necessarily because of its impenetrable nature, that Windows devices are more hit by viruses than Mac-based ones…why go after 10% of the PC market (with mostly students, academics and artists who tend not to have as much money anyways) when you can target 90% of the market with Windows-based attacks, including most businesses in the world?

Over the past month or so, I have been following the activity closely on the Linux/Mirai virus, which seems to want to attack IoT-based devices, Web cameras and even DVRs.  It does so using default passwords and terminal services on many devices.

So, it makes me wonder, with a tear in my eye, does this mean that IoT has finally “made it”?

Viruses are not a joke, but it is good to finally be on their radar.

At one point, no one bothered to attack IOS-based devices, believe it or not.  There simply was not enough of them to justify the effort.  Well, that certainly has changed, as there are now millions upon millions of them.  The same now seems to hold true for IoT-based devices.  It seems that hackers are starting to delve into this area, mainly due to its increasingly growing base and maybe because they often are attached to some pretty desirable targets…like ATM devices, hydro meters and traffic light controllers.

With the level of importance in our day to day life increasing, it is to be expected that IoT devices will be targeted at an even greater frequency.  We have all heard stories about how baby monitors have been hacked, how people can use it to open garage doors and even stories about how some cameras have been hacked.  However, as we move more and more of our devices to the world of IoT, security is playing a huge role in this.

One way to secure yourself is to simply use a good modem.  Lower cost modems often lack many of the security functions that are needed to ward off such attacks.  It doesn’t mean that you need to spend thousands of dollars per site, but you need to choose a modem that will provide you and your information with 7x24 security to protect your business.

The Bottom Line

No device is now immune from attack on the Internet, I think we all know that…or, at least we should.  Simple steps can prepare your modem to prevent such attacks.  Our friends at Sierra Wireless have posted a Technical Bulletin to help their customers with this issue.  We will post any other vendors information as it becomes available.