Software Monetization Featured Article

Licensing and Entitlement Management: Securing and Optimizing the Internet of Things

December 03, 2014

There can be little doubt that we have entered what I have described as “The Age of Awareness.”  It will be an era where literally “E”verything, including the clothes we wear,  will have either embedded sensors or attached ones of all shapes, sizes and capabilities. It has been characterized more commonly as the coming era of the Internet of Things (IoT).  The repercussions of this connected world will be profound.

Depending upon whose report you like, the coming IoT era (which includes the subset market of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) will see a world that in just three or four years will optimistically contain over 80 billion connected devices generating over $280 billion in revenues by 2017 growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 30 percent.  Other reports are a bit more conservative but still point to huge and accelerating markets. What all this portends, regardless of whether one believes the robust or conservative projections is that  IoT will be generating all kinds of data leveraging the Internet from simple alerts about the status of us, the devices we rely on and the business processes we use to real-time video from surveillance capabilities. There is going to be a lot of smarts out there to be captured, analyzed and acted upon by machines and humans.

What all this translates into is vast revenue generating opportunities. In fact, at the top of many OEMs’ list of opportunities is taking the raw IoT data and turning it into new monitizable applications and services.  However, to get from here to there is not going to be without significant challenges. Indeed, security has emerged a top priority for getting this right. The scenarios for what happens when IoT based applications and services get hacked are software developer and IT professionals’ nightmare in the making. 

This means getting it right throughout the development and deployment phases and assuring that security can withstand threats throughout what are projected to be long lifecycles in many cases. 

The good news is IoT ecosystems players understand this, and solution with state-of-the-art license and entitlement management capabilities can solve both IoT security concerns and open up monetization opportunities, including using the big data generated to spur more innovative applications and services.

How so?

A roadmap for getting it right is a new whitepaper from software licensing and entitlement management solutions provider SafeNet (News - Alert) entitled, Security Enabling Monetization License and Entitlement Management in the Era of the Internet of Things.  This comprehensive paper delves into many of the IoT opportunities, and does a deep dive into both the security and monetization challenges and how they can be overcome.

Without going into the details of the white paper, the graphic below should whet readers’ appetites.  It shows how a professional software licensing and entitlement solutions both enhances security of IoT applications while at the same time reducing complexity of managing what will be an extraordinarily diverse and densely populated environment.

Source (News - Alert):  SafeNet white paper: Security Enabling Monetization License and Entitlement Management in the Era of the Internet of Things (click to enlarge)

It is all about protection across the entire supply chain, and regardless of where data is generated, how it is moved, stored, accessed and manipulated. This is precisely why, for example, embedded hardware vendors who are not transforming into software services companies, need license and entitlement management solutions that offer flexible hard- or software-based encryption engines.

As SafeNet concludes, “Basically every IoT application needs an appropriate license and entitlement management solution. This can be easily implemented by purchasing a solution from an appropriate vendor. But Independent Embedded Software Vendors (IESVs) are also in a position to offer such technologies by implementing plug-ins for easy feature integration right into their engineering environments, making license and entitlement management a feature of application programming software.”

In the white paper, SafeNet states that while there are numerous stakeholders in developing the right strategy for license and entitlement management, when it comes to securing and monetizing IoT opportunities ecosystem partners need to look at such solutions not merely as tools for protecting intellectual property (IP) along with the dire consequences when a link in the supply chain is compromised, but also as what they call a “door-opener” for new business models.

 What the white paper highlights is that when it comes to IoT licensing and entitlement management systems should not be an afterthought for OEMs and Independent Embedded Software Vendors (IESVs) but rather central to their security and monetization strategies now and obviously going forward.  

Edited by Maurice Nagle