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Potomac Officers Club’s ‘Internet of Things’ Summit Highlights Connected, Converged World

POClogoThe explosion of appliances, building and automotive systems connected to the Internet and that convergence’s implications for federal agencies was the focal point of discussion at the Potomac Officers Club’s “Internet of Things” summit Tuesday in McLean, Va.

Executives from GovCon firms and their agency partners gathered at the forum to share ideas on how industry should work with the federal and other governments to protect the connected and converged networks, as well as to learn about how the public sector could apply the “Internet of Things” concept in daily operations.

Vint Cerf
Vint Cerf

Agency interactions with citizens, management of public resources and security implications that surround the IoT concepts were among the main items addressed by the lineup of speakers.

Vint Cerf, widely known as a “father of the Internet” and now Google‘s chief internet evangelist, delivered the keynote address and gave the executive audience his insight into how their firms should help users and agencies understand the implications, risks and potential benefits that arise from the “Internet of Things.”

The software that runs devices and appliances will be a cornerstone in the management of IoT systems and that also includes who will be responsible for those areas, Cerf told the audience.

“A third party could offer to service devices connected to the Internet, ” he said.

“We all want the ability to augment a device’s capability but with software from an authorized source.”

Peter Romness
Peter Romness

Peter Romness, cybersecurity solutions lead for the U.S. public sector at Cisco, gave an overview of the security environment agencies and businesses face in a connected world and how companies should look at potential threats as impactful to their bottom lines.

The “Internet of Things” increases both the attack surface and number of individuals and organizations that seek to breach networks and that trend has created an arms race against hackers, Romness said.

“Hacking is industrialized and they are looking to strike at the ‘Internet of Things, ‘” IoT said.

The “IoT” summit also featured two panel discussions, with one on how agencies should secure their converged networks and a second on early adoption in the current technological era.

The first panel on IoT convergence was moderated by Angie Messer, an executive vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton, and included participants John Pescatore of the SANS Institute, Gil Nolte of the National Security Agency and Max Peterson of Amazon Web Services.

The second panel on early adoption was moderated by Walton Smith, a Booz Allen principal and included participants Kevin Kampschroer of the General Services Administration‘s high-performance green buildings office, Sokwoo Rhee of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and Michael Riley of IBM‘s Internet of Things solutions business line.

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