Electronica: CEO forum rambles on IoT security, safety

November 08, 2016 // By Peter Clarke
The traditional CEO forum at Electronica continued a theme from two years before: the Internet of Things (IoT) but this time tried to shed some light on how to ensure safety and security. From left to right: Stefan Auerbach of Giesecke and Devrient, Carlo Bozotti of STMicroelectronics, Rick Clemmer of NXP Semiconductor, Professor Frank Fitzek of TU Dresden, Reinhard Ploss of Infineon Technologies and moderator Kilian Reichert.

The moderator Kilian Reichert, started by pointing that a global distributed denial of service attack (DDOS) had taken place only a couple of weeks ago that had paralyzed such Internet dependents as Paypal and Facebook. His opening position was that IoT being a crucial part of automotive but that the idea of vehicles being connected to infrastructure and each other danger lurked around the corner. "The more I am connected the more I am at risk?"

Rick Clemmer, CEO of NXP Semiconductor, pointed out that autonomous driving is not an all-or-nothing offering. Long before fully autonomous driving becomes mainstream and requiring the ultimate in security level 1, 2 and 3 autonomy would be making driving safer, he said. "90 percent of accidents come from human error. It's about the applications and solutions and making driving easier and safer."

Stefan Auerbach, responsible for mobile security at Giesecke and Devrient, a company focused on printing, bank note and smart card security, stressed the importance of "end-to-end security" and his faith in hardware and software working in tandem and the need for scalable solutions. However, this is clearly something easier said than done.

Professor Frank Fitzek, Deutsche Telekom Chair of communications networks at Technical University Dresden, a none-CEO on the panel made the point that 5G will bring with it functions such as software defined networks (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV) that will help to speedily identified risks and nullify them. "Communications have to become a mesh, not a centralised cellular system but it will also be an opportunity," he said.

"Who are the enemies?" asked the moderator.

Professor Fitzek: "It started with school kids, but now it is all sorts of people, including governments, but remember also the technology can err. Airbus has I think five computers all doing the same calculations on different platforms to catch errors.  It's about investing in global network security; a bit like the police."

STMicroelectronics