Editor’s note: RIoT is the Triangle-based Internet of Things focused organization that seeks to exploit commercial opportunities in the IoT industry as well as provide IoT-related training services. Tom Synder is the group’s executive director. Plus, check out this other news: RIoT is expanding far beyond NC.

WAKE FOREST – RIoT Kicked off 2017 in a big way on Jan. 24 by tackling one of the most daunting challenges posed by the Internet of Things. Security.

The excitement shown by the 400 attendees demonstrated an optimism that IoT Security is a far bigger business opportunity than technical challenge and NC is well positioned to capture the market.

John Hardin, the Executive Director of the Office of Science and Technology for North Carolina opened the session by introducing the state’s efforts to seize the Data Economy. North Carolina is working collaboratively with government, universities, startups and established industry to become the first Open Data state and lead the Data Economy. Watch for NC’s detailed plan announcement on Feb. 9.

Peter Tarbox of Electric Imp, a growing Silicon Valley-based firm, used a Doctor Who metaphor to convincingly present why “defense in depth” is critical to any IoT platform. Like traveling in the TARDIS police box, security must consider both place and time. Security becomes effective when all layers of the IoT stack are protected across both dimensions.

Kris Ardis from Maxim Integrated highlighted how as more and more devices become connected, the value of hacking those systems increases. Commensurate investment in building trusted sensors and then securing that trust end-to-end in a network has been slow catching up, but new solutions are becoming available now.

The formal program closed with presentations from John Breitenbach of Silicon Valley based Real Time Innovations and Kevin Rogers of Verizon. John laid a foundation for developing solutions for the Industrial Internet of Things through example of securing the power grid. Kevin discussed de-risking security exposure through use of Mobile Private Networks and IoT Security Credentialing at the application, authentication and data privacy layers.