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IoT DevCon 2017

Silicon Valley’s internet of things developers conference has laid claim to a key audience within the IoT ecosystem: the developers who create the software and embedded systems to connect devices to the internet and analyze the data they generate.

The show filled a wing of the Santa Clara Convention Center with people who were hungry for information about everything from machine learning to residential Wi-Fi. Keynote speakers addressed standing-room only crowds throughout the day, and the exhibit floor traffic was heavy.

Security, autonomous driving, and low-power connectivity were among the themes that came up repeatedly in formal presentations and informal conversations. Cellular connectivity was discussed much less than Bluetooth, Zigbee, LoRa, and Wi-Fi.

Exhibitors included makers of IoT gateways, modules, and embedded security software. Major chip vendors including Intel, Microchip, Silicon Labs and Global Foundries were also represented.

Several exhibitors were showcasing embedded security software solutions. Mocana, a small San Francisco company that claims to have secured more than 100 million connected devices, says it provides security for all GE devices that are and will be connected to the Predix machine. Centri, another provider of embedded security software, says it compresses data by up to 80% to conserve power and bandwidth. Baro Silex, which makes IP cores, said its security solutions leverage decades of experience in security ASIC design.

Security for the connected home was the topic of a very popular keynote delivered by Art Swift, president of the Purple Foundation. Swift noted that Americans say they value security more than ease of use when it comes to technology in their homes, and yet most of us have not even taken the simple steps that can secure their home routers. Swift said home router security will become critical as we start to connect more systems to our home Wi-Fi networks. Below are the Purple Foundation’s ten recommendations for securing home Wi-Fi routers.

  • Regularly check for router firmware updates
  • Change default password on router (not your Wi-Fi password, your router password)
  • Configure firewall policies
  • Enable MAC filtering
  • Use guest network for guest devices
  • Use guest network for home devices (connected machines)
  • Disable UPnP
  • Close all ports on your firewall
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