Archive for February, 2019

Top 6 trends driving Trusted Digital Identities in 2019

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

What are the market dynamics and trends that will shape the digital identity industry in 2019? Data breaches have become more common in recent years with organizations suffering at least two or three per year, costing them an average of $3.86 million. At the same time, consumers have become more demanding than ever, which means that service providers are under incredible pressure to deliver digital services that are not only secure, but also provide frictionless user experiences.


The existence of Trusted Digital Identities will be a major factor in meeting those demands and here are six reasons why

1. Ongoing pressure across industry for data privacy regulations

There has been a significant raise in complaints of social media user data misuse in 2018. Facebook in particular made headlines last year with numerous high-profile data breaches including the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Customer and regulator concern about how data can be used for monetization and how identities can easily be stolen, replicated, curated and morphed for fraud are at risk of creating a climate for increased regulation as well as different regulation alignments in different countries.

Consumers are reclaiming data ownership and having increased digital interactions make them more concerned than ever about data privacy and identity theft. We will experience continuing pressure across industries for having more data protection regulations such as GDPR across the globe.

2. AI and machine learning as a double-edge sword

According to the Breach Level Index, almost 15 billion data records have been exposed since 2013. In the first half of 2018, more than 25 million records were compromised every day – that’s 291 records every second. These include medical, credit card or financial data and other personally identifiable information. Although there are many AI and machine learning techniques in place working to prevent data breaches, they will still happen as fraudsters are leveraging the same technologies we use to prevent them.

For example, thanks to advances in AI and machine learning chatbots can now be easily exploited by hackers to discover new vulnerabilities in real time in order to deceive users into clicking dubious links and handing over sensitive information. Malicious chatbots look exactly like the regular ones, but instead of providing genuinely useful information, they will ask you for your personal information, which will be used by hackers for malicious purposes.

On the more positive side, big data and AI lead to vast opportunities to enable trust and collaboration across the ecosystem of technology enablers, service providers and end users to prevent attacks. We expect an increase in the use of AI and machine learning technologies in strengthening identity verification accuracy and offering an increase in trust.

3. Protecting sensitive data in mobile devices

As more than 52% of global web traffic comes from mobile devices, it is not a surprise that fraudsters are also migrating to this platform. Research shows that 48% of phishing attacks take place on mobile and users are three times more likely to get exposed from their mobile rather than from their desktop.

Sensitive data stored in our mobile devices can be compromised through applications, the mobile network and the device itself. To ensure good positioning in this mobile economy, service providers need to ensure customer trust and data protection. Having a trusted digital identity system in place proves essential for ensuring this.

4. Monetization of mobile identity

The monetization of mobile identity will also take a new focus in 2019, by combining several attributes capable of adapting to local regulations and service providers’ enrolment requirements.

Investments in mobile technologies that capture, verify and authenticate identities based on a combination of identifiable attributes, will be a strategic step for service providers to enable security, trust and seamless end-user experience.

Furthermore, the capacity and flexibility of ensuring remote document verification will present an advantage for service providers allowing them to capture and verify customer information. Plus, they will be able to maximize their reach via mobile devices at the same time.

5. Biometrics will continue to grow

The industry keeps exploring new forms of physical and behavioural biometrics to ensure secure authentication via mobile devices across all channels. The combination of technology innovation with convenience and security will bring us closer to a “plug and play” solution, while standards like the FIDO Alliance and Mobile Connect will provide us with more options to get there.

Biometrics will continue to go mainstream and the use of multiple biometrics such as voice, face or behavioural biometrics will enable not only multi-factor authentication, but also more security with less friction.

6. Passwords will become a thing of the past

According to the Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report, 81% of data breaches involve weak, default, or stolen passwords. Furthermore, many customers claim that they are getting frustrated when creating new user IDs and passwords for digital services and tend to select one of the 25 easy to remember passwords for their accounts. Consumers no longer trust password-based single-factor authentication and are willing to shift to password-free authentication methods. There is a big opportunity here, especially for those that can offer a biometric alternative.

Banks have already started providing new means for customer authentication when making payments with adopting EMV contactless payment cards with fingerprint authentication which could allow us to pay for anything without needing a PIN code or signature. Online, organizations are exploring the potential of behavioural biometrics, which can analyze the unique way in which you type on a keyboard or even how you move your mouse.

Trusted Digital Identity services are paramount for each step of the customer journey, from onboarding through to authentication to access new services. For more information, please call our team on 01473 281 211 or email sales@net-ctrl.com. Alternatively, you can submit a Contact Form.

View the original post by Gemalto.

The Evolution of Wi-Fi 6: Part 2

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

In part one of this series, we explored the evolving 802.11 Wi-Fi standard and its support for various radio bands (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz), as well as peak PHY rates and spectrum utilization. In this blog post, we’ll be taking a closer look at MU-MIMO, OFDMA, and 1024-QAM.

Wireless User Streams

One important metric for the 802.11 Wi-Fi standard remains the maximum number of single user streams. The original standard offered only a single transmit chain and a single receive chain that supported one stream of data. In sharp contrast, the upgraded Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n) standard offered four radio chains, effectively bolstering throughput and efficiency by supporting the transmission of four parallel streams to the same device. Subsequently, Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) provided support for up to 8 streams.

Wi-Fi & MU-MIMO

Although both Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) support transmitting 8 streams, it should be noted that client devices will have to offer support for this mechanism. More specifically, wireless access points (APs) support 8 streams because they are relatively large and connect to a dedicated power source. However, consumer client devices are typically small and battery-operated. As such, Wi-Fi manufacturers don’t typically build 8 chain clients. In fact, clients usually have only one or two chains. So, even though an AP supports 8 streams, the average client device is likely only capable of transmitting and receiving two streams.

This is precisely why the IEEE introduced the Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO) mechanism, which divides 8 streams into four groups of two devices and transmits them to consumer devices such as smartphones. Indeed, Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) allows the AP to talk to four devices at the same time, while Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) extends this capability to 8 devices. Moreover, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) supports MU-MIMO in both the upload and downlink directions, while the early Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) standard only supported MU-MIMO in the download direction.

OFDMA & 1024-QAM

Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) also introduces a new modulation scheme known as orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA). Although this mechanism is new to Wi-Fi, it has been thoroughly vetted in LTE deployments, much like many other wireless technologies. In addition, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) adds a modulation scheme of 1024-QAM which allows Wi-Fi to achieve higher data rates. More specifically, the maximum number of OFDM tones is increased from 64 in Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n) to 2,048 on the 160 MHz channel in Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax). It should be noted that ‘tones’ and subcarriers are used interchangeably. For example, a 20 MHz OFDMA channel consists of a total of 256 subcarriers or ‘tones.’ Moreover, subcarrier spacing has been reduced by 4x from 312.5 kHz to 78.125 kHz. The narrower subcarrier spacing optimizes equalization and enhances channel robustness required for outdoor operation.

View the original post by The Ruckus Room.

The evolution of Wi-Fi 6: part 1

Thursday, February 7th, 2019

In this series, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at the evolution of the IEEE 802.11 standard and its latest iteration: Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax). We’ll start with a high-level overview of various Wi-Fi 6 building blocks and then take a closer look at each. Specific topics include OFDMA, OFDM vs. OFDMA, OFDMA vs MU-MIMO, Long OFDM Signal, 1024-QAM, BSS Coloring and Target Wake Time (TWT). We’ll also explore IEEE and WFA commercial activities, along with multiple W-Fi 6 use cases.

2.4GHz & 5 GHz and Wi-Fi 6

Before getting into the nuts and bolts of Wi-Fi 6, let’s first take a brief trip down memory lane. 802.11 has steadily evolved over the past 20 years, with industry engineers working on the ever-changing standard since the early 1990s. The first iteration was published in 1997 and 20 years later, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) is on the cusp of being ratified, while Wi-Fi 6 products are already being manufactured, sold and shipped. The first iteration of 802.11 supported only 2.4 GHz, although support for the 5 GHz band was subsequently added to Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n). Perhaps not surprisingly, Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) only supported the 5 GHz band. The thinking behind this decision was to encourage people to move towards 5 GHz because it was a much cleaner frequency.

However, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) supports both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. This is primarily due to the proliferation of 2.4 GHz IoT devices that are hitting the market today. In addition, the FCC is slated to open the 6 GHz unlicensed spectrum for Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax). Regarding channelization, the IEEE 802.11 standard began with 20 MHz and subsequently expanded to 40 MHz for Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n) and up to 160 MHz for Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) as well as (802.11ax). Today, we don’t see very many 160 MHz applications, although with 6 GHz, this might become a reality.

It should also be noted that Wi-fi 6 (802.11ax) supports 20 MHz-only clients, which is especially important for the IoT. Indeed, 11ax supports 20MHz-only clients because the Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) draft amendment was written with IoT devices in mind as they are low cost, consume little power and pack very small batteries. Using management frames, client stations will be able to inform a Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) AP that they are operating as 20 MHz-only clients. A 20 MHz-only device can transmit/receive in either the 2.4 or the 5 GHz band. Moreover, the Wi-Fi 6 standard implements a protocol in which the 20 MHz-only devices communicate only on the primary 20 MHz channels.

Essentially, this means a 40 MHz channel could potentially be extended to 80 and 160 MHz. All 20 MHz packet exchanges of these clients are in the primary 20 MHz. One can have a packet exchange of normal clients in the upper secondary – as well as additional mixing and matching. More specifically, ‘normal’ clients would be named as the primary, along with 20 MHz-only clients. It is important to understand that 20 MHz-only devices are only required to operate in the primary 20 MHz channels.

Peak PHY Rates & Spectrum Utilization

The peak 802.11 PHY rate supported 2 Mbps per second, which has increased to 10 Gbps per second for Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax). Although there is a lot of industry chatter about high throughput, what really matters is how efficiently the wireless spectrum is utilized. Yes, high throughput sells products because it’s easy for everyone to understand, but again, what really matters is how well the standard exploits available spectrum. One way of quantifying this is with link spectral efficiency. For example, the first 802.11 Wi-Fi standard pushed 0.1 bps/Hz. In sharp contrast, Wi-Fi 6 pushes a staggering 62.5 bps/Hz.

It should be noted that overall spectrum performance is also indicated by the name of the standard. Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n) was known as HT or a high throughput, followed by Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) which was referred to as VHT, or very high throughput. Continuing this naming pattern, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) is designated HE for high efficiency. As we’ll further discuss in this series, spectrum efficiency is one of the most important features of the new Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) standard.

View the original post at The Ruckus Room.

Internet of Things – A Reality?

Thursday, February 7th, 2019

The Internet of Things (IoT) has become a widely used buzz-word appearing not just in technical circles but in everyday language used by consumers and the media. Just like other technical terms which have entered common usage, such as Cloud Computing, IoT means different things to different people.

The current IoT ecosystem

Over the past decades we have seen a trend where devices that often start out aimed at the consumer market gain popularity and enhanced use-cases in business environments. Our current technological era, which started in 2008 with the widespread adoption of smart phones and tablets, is a great example of this.

The range of “Things” is staggering, some of which are incredibly useful, others questionably less so – Smart Toilet anyone?

I meet many technical industry peers who’ve turned home automation and the world of IoT into an all-consuming hobby. They spend long hours integrating disparate devices and systems together into various complex climate, security and infotainment systems. While I don’t count myself amongst their ranks, (outside of my professional work) the good news is that things are improving. There are more intuitive apps and systems that enabled smoother integration, across multiple manufacturers, all with greater ease. If This Then That (IFTTT) is a good example – and is freely available for anyone to experiment with.

IoT in the enterprise

How does this translate to the wider environment outside of our homes? From enterprises, to public entertainment venues and Smart Cities, IoT devices and their interaction with each other is gaining in popularity and sophistication.

The challenge is the number of IoT communication protocols which are battling it out for market dominance. They are also almost exclusively wireless in their medium of communication. If you’d like to learn more about the three key standards of interest, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Zigbee and LoRa, which all service different types of IoT devices and scenarios, I’d recommend this great blog by my colleague Sascha Hirschoff: “Smart Building Radio Technologies” (original in German)

This presents the business owner with a challenge – how to support multiple wireless standards in a cost effective, reliable and manageable manner?

Salvation lies with the ubiquitous Wi-Fi Access point.

If we consider as I discussed in one of my previous blogs that Wi-Fi is synonymous with internet access, and therefore considered an essential service everywhere, Wi-Fi access points will always be nearby. Hence if a Wi-Fi access point can extend its capabilities to become a multi-standard radio device, we can architect a simplified, efficient and manageable solution.

In business, these solutions can become a reality when a key infrastructure provider is able to simplify the deployment of an IoT solution. They should be utilizing the existing Wi-Fi access points, to securely aggregate disparate IoT communications to a centralized platform. From this platform, open standards Application Programming Interface (API) coding must allow ease of integration to any standards compliant third- party application. Life gets much more interesting when a Rules Engine platform is introduced, allowing seemingly disparate IoT devices to interact and operate according to sets of logic.

The world is truly becoming a place where if you can find a way to code it, you can make almost any IoT device interact with another, only limited by your imagination and creativity.

View the original post by Neil Goddard.