Security and Privacy in the IoT

Today’s post is an ad for a pair of related events this week in Washington DC. These events are important for policymakers because they’re aimed at helping them get a better grasp on what the Internet of Things actually means and how engineers are thinking about the security and privacy issues that will inevitably arise when we have five to ten times as many devices as people on the Internet.

Day One is the IEEE End to End Trust and Security Workshop for the Internet of Things. IEEE is the largest professional organization for electrical and computer engineers, but the event is so big it’s co-sponsored by Internet2, the National Science Foundation, and others. You can request an invitation by clicking here. Here’s the summary:

A Call for Technology Leaders and Innovators

IEEEInternet2, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) as well as a host of other sponsors are working together to gather industry technologists who can help drive the Internet of Things (IoT) conversation and contribute to the development of an open architectural framework.

On Thursday, 4 February 2016, IEEE has organized “IEEE End-to-End Trust and Security for the Internet of Things,” a workshop that will be held at George Washington University. Together with our sponsors, we are seeking qualified technology leaders and innovators to participate as presenters and attendees at this invitation-only event.

While it would be nice if networks could guarantee security for the IoT, it doesn’t really work that way. Today’s IoT devices are often insecure because their makers paid more attention to the features than to trust and security. We see this in cars, home automation, and even in Wi-Fi routers. The manufacturers of these devices are often not very highly skilled at authentication and security, so some best practices (and standards) need to be developed that are relatively easy to implement and keep up to date.

This workshop will be highly technical and hence somewhat intimidating to lawyers and economists, but that shouldn’t discourage people from attending just to listen.

Day Two is the third edition of the IEEE Experts in Technology and Policy (ETAP) Forum on Internet Governance, Cybersecurity and Privacy. It will begin with a pair of keynotes, one with a technical emphasis and the other with a policy focus. Following the keynotes, we’ll get a report from the technical workshop in the form of a panel discussion. People who attend the technical workshop and don’t get the big ideas should find they’re better grounded by the reports.

The second panel will include four experts on specialized areas of IoT; it’s title is “Privacy, security, and innovation challenges in different aspects of  IoT: transportation, health, Smart Cities, and Precision Agriculture.” The experts are Carl LandwehrWilliam WhyteSaifur Rahman, and Glenn Fink. I’m especially looking forward to Glenn’s take on the Internet of Cows (yes, that’s a thing.) The panel is a bit misnamed because it’s emphasis will be on innovation and security across these specialities.

Following the panels we get to the fun part, a group of parallel breakout sessions that will hopefully combine tech and policy people in addressing some specific issues. The issues will be identified by conference participants in a rapid fire round of key issues followed by reports on previous ETAPs and a prioritization step. The breakout sessions will report on their findings, we’ll identify next steps and call it a day.

The ETAP forum follows similar events in San Jose and Tel Aviv, and will be followed by events in Delhi, Beijing, and Russia.

If your remit includes Internet security and/or the Internet of Things, this is a can’t miss event. And best of all, you won’t have to go halfway around the world to get up to date on how this technology is developing and what policymakers can do to facilitate it.

Just click on the this link to apply and we’ll see you there. Questions welcome, just leave a comment or email [email protected]