Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto

Link Net and SoftBank; Marvell completes Cavium buy; startup funding; cybersecurity concerns.


SoftBank Corp. reached an agreement with Indonesia’s Link Net to work together on Internet of Things technology. Hidebumi Kitahara of SoftBank said in a statement, “The global mobile industry is now entering the 5G era, with IoT becoming the central focal point of innovation. This partnership with Link Net shows our strong commitment to further boost technology innovation in the global market and further advance the ICT development in the country.” Link Net is a subsidiary of the Lippo Group conglomerate.

Marvell Technology completed its acquisition of Cavium. In addition, three of Cavium’s top executives—Syed Ali, Cavium’s chairman and CEO, and Brad Buss and Ed Frank, two of the company’s directors—were appointed to Marvell’s board.

Siemens and Synopsys have agreed to collaborate to improve interoperability between the companies for the benefit of their mutual customers. The companies also announced they have settled all outstanding patent litigation issues. As part of that deal, which includes seven years of patent cross-licensing, Synopsys will pay Siemens $65 million.

Sequans Communications completed an agreement with NTT DOCOMO to support the development of narrowband IoT devices and applications, using Sequans’ Monarch LTE Platform.

The Industrial Internet Consortium established the Smart Printing Factory Testbed, a project hosted and led by Fujifilm. It is supported by Fujitsu, IBM, RTI, and Toshiba, all members of IIC.

The RISC-V Foundation established the Security Standing Committee to promote best security practices and to identify security improvements in RISC-V-based IoT devices, embedded systems, and machine learning implementations. There are 25 members involved in the committee, including Micron Technology, Microsemi, NXP Semiconductors, Rambus, SiFive, and Western Digital.

Automotive Tech
Baidu announced that it will work with Intel’s Mobileye subsidiary to integrate the Israeli company’s Responsibility Sensitive Safety model into its open-source Project Apollo and commercial Apollo Profile program. The Chinese company also said it is adopting Mobileye’s Surround Computer Vision Kit as its visual perception platform.

Automation Anywhere of San Jose, Calif., which provides a robotic process automation platform, raised $250 million in Series A funding co-led by NEA and Goldman Sachs, bringing its post-money valuation to $1.8 billion. General Atlantic and World Innovation Lab also participated in the new funding. Established in 2003, Automation Anywhere supplies software to more than 1,000 organizations around the world for creating bots that automate business processes, replacing humans who manually manage such processes, through artificial intelligence technology.

New York-based Oden Technologies, an Industrial Internet of Things startup specializing in manufacturing data analytics, received $10 million in Series A funding led by Atomico, bringing its total private funding to about $16 million. EQT Partners, Inbox Capital, and other seed investors also took part in the funding. The company was founded in 2014. Oden offers big data technology to go with its IIoT platform for industrial-scale manufacturing.

Columbia, Md.-based Tenable filed for a $100 million initial public offering. Morgan Stanley will act as lead underwriter for the offering, with shares to trade on the NASDAQ Global Market under the TENB ticker symbol. The cybersecurity startup has raised about $300 million from private investors that include Insight Venture Partners, which now owns 35.3% of Tenable, and Accel, which holds 34.4%. Tenable calls itself the “Cyber Exposure” company, with a customer base of more than 24,000 organizations, including 53% of the Fortune 500. The company’s S-1 filing cites Qualys, Rapid7, IBM, Tanium, and CrowdStrike as competitors. Tenable posted a net loss of nearly $16.1 million on revenue of $59.1 million for the first quarter of this year; it lost $41.78 million on 2017 revenue of $187.7 million.

Ayla Networks plans to go public in the U.S. within two years, after privately raising $130 million last year, says co-founder Philip Chang, who serves as the company’s vice president and general manager of Greater China. The company is increasing its workforce in Taipei, Taiwan, to more than 30 people by the end of 2018, he adds. “Basically, we are now competing with Google and Amazon in vying for enterprise software talent,” Chang says in this interview. Ayla provides the Agile IoT platform.

Cyber 20/20 of Newark, Del., was selected by the Department of Homeland Security’s Science & Technology Directorate to develop cybersecurity capabilities for financial services. The first phase of the program, meant to provide a proof-of-concept, involves an award of $200,000.

NHS Digital, part of the National Health Service in the U.K., is teaming with IBM to improve the agency’s cybersecurity practices and expand its Cyber Security and Operations Centre. The partnership deal runs for three years.

The U.K.’s Lancaster University and Quantum Base collaborated on a quantum random number generator that they say will make cyberattacks difficult, if not impossible. Quantum Base’s number generator can be embedded within any electronic device, it was said.

Data breaches in health-care organizations are often the fault of employees who fall for phishing emails and other methods used by cybercriminals to gain illicit access to information, writes Nikolai Vargas, chief technology officer for Chicago-based Switchfast Technologies. “Seemingly innocuous activities, like sending sensitive files over email instead of a secure intranet, can actually help hackers bypass even the strongest security measures,” he notes.

SEMICON West, which takes place next week at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, will feature a Smart Transportation Pavilion and a program on big data, deep learning, and the IoT. The Wearable Technologies Conference is scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, July 11-12.


Oliver Harris says:

I believe Mr Vargas makes a very good point. In order to bypass the cybersecurity issue due to “employees who fall for phishing emails”, we at CiGen (a robotic process automation pure-play specialist) advocate the use of automation. The idea is that once you minimise RPA security risks by implementing role-based access or encryption, automation will render business operations less hazardous overall.

Overall, RPA actually lowers security-related efforts associated with training employees and teaching them security practices (e.g. password management, applications of privacy settings) because it ensures a zero-touch environment. By reducing reliance on manual work, automation minimises security risks at a macro level.

Besides security risks, the zero-touch environment of RPA also helps mitigate other human-related risks in business operations. An automated environment is free from biases, prejudices or variability, all of which mar human work with the risk of error. Because of this RPA ensures less risky and consistent work with trustworthy data.

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