This report combines my last two or so weeks of travel again, starting out (strangely enough!) in Boston. A few years ago, Mass Insight, a local not-for-profit supporting Massachusetts and New England regional efforts, started up an exceptional institution dedicated to bringing together local expertise in cybersecurity, and increasing that community to support local, regional, national and international cybersecurity activities. The Advanced Cyber Security Center, under the exceptional leadership of Michael Figueroa (with the support of Mass Insight's Bill Guenther), instituted local meetings of Chief Information Security Officers to share threat and attack information, as well as build expertise in the area. In addition, they hold a superb annual conference, now hosted in the iconic Federal Reserve Bank of Boston building. I was honored to be part of the program, focusing not only on Object Management Group® (OMG®) cybersecurity efforts and the Industrial Internet Consortium® (IIC™) Industrial Internet Security Framework but also the business of cybersecurity ― increasing competence across the board. Chaired by OMG and IIC member (and MITRE CIO/CISO) Joel Jacobs, the panel addressed about 250 cybersecurity leaders, mostly from the Boston area. The entire event, including an exceptional keynote from former United States National Security Advisor Richard Clarke, was extremely valuable.
I then found myself once again crossing the pond (some people call it the Atlantic Ocean) to Europe for the Industrial Internet of Things Europe 2017 conference in Munich. This smaller event featured primarily users of Internet of Things (IoT) technology looking to understand the coming disruptions in their markets ― not only manufacturing and production, but also agriculture, healthcare, energy and many other industries. I delivered a keynote on exactly that disruption, discussing coming standards (including OMG standards of course) driven by real experience (including of course the IIC testbed program). Though not able to stay for the entire event, I was able to understand more of the hopes and fears of disruption in many industries.
Next stop on this particular world tour was Sofia, Bulgaria, at the specific request of the national cybersecurity advisor and old friend George Sharkov. It turns out that in previous lives, George and I just missed meeting each other: he was an Artificial Intelligence researcher (as was I) but in communist (COMECON) Bulgaria in the late ‘80s, trying to use the latest technology in his work. He apparently attempted to buy a 386 Hummingboard, one of the fastest AI systems in the US at the time ― it was made by A.I. Architects, of which I was the Chairman and CEO. I didn't know him at the time of course, and sadly had to turn down the order as our product included parts that were considered "dual use" (advanced technology controlled by the U.S. ITAR restrictions). Apparently he was able to buy one anyway, through a shell company in France. We discovered this 30 years later walking down the street in Moscow during a conference ― an unbelievable coincidence! As George points out, American U-2 spy planes used to take off and fly over Bulgaria and take photos; now they take off from NATO member country Bulgaria and fly over other countries. George and I are fast friends.
And George knows how to put on a conference. The Back to the Cyber Future 2017 conference was small, but attended by hand-selected, Bulgarian cybersecurity leaders. I focused my keynote on cybersecurity work under way at OMG, IIC and especially the Consortium for IT Software Quality™ which is disrupting the software quality and security landscape with standards supporting automated source code assurance. Clearly topical for this group and it was quite well received.
Focused on the world's problems and opportunities, DAVOS seeks to understand the future and present it to the assembled leadership. A tough multi-year process goes into developing those understandings, and it has been my honor and pleasure to be part of that process for the last two years as a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on the Digital Economy and Society. Clearly the work we do at OMG and in our IIC, CISQ and Cloud Standards Customer Council™ programs is deeply relevant to a changing economy (and therefore a changing society). These Councils focus on issues to prepare position statements collaboratively with many experts, providing input for DAVOS and other WEF events and briefings. At this year's event in January, we were proud to have presented two IIC testbed programs (chosen by IIC member WEF of course) as examples of the future digital economy.
The Councils meet all year long by teleconference, and once a year all of the Councils meet together in Dubai at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils (that's a mouthful!) hosted by the ruler of Dubai himself. This year, I participated not only in the Council to which I was assigned, but also in a cross-Council working group on Investment in Infrastructure. Although I won't be at DAVOS myself, I do think the assembled leaders there will get a strong taste of the future positive (and negative) disruptions facing many industries.
After the WEF event, I was privileged to spend a day in nearby Abu Dhabi for the important Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (ADIPEC) to meet with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). Classic Internet of Things has found its way into ADNOC with its Panorama project, pulling together information from across the company's infrastructure into one place where it can be efficiently optimized and predictively maintained.
At the urging of several members of CABASE (a new member of the IIC), I added one more stop, to CABASE's headquarters. Tucked away inside this beautiful century-old building is the center of Argentina's star-shaped Internet; some 60% of all Internet traffic in Argentina runs through these walls. High ceilings and lovely old stained glass windows belie the high technology ― and good old-fashioned mess of wires -- within. There we had a lively discussion of possible testbeds that CABASE and other Argentinian companies are very interested to build, especially in support of the oil and gas industry, an important one in Argentina. It's simply amazing how much interest there suddenly is in the oil and gas industry in Industrial Internet and digitalization technology!
Next on my itinerary is Burlingame, California where OMG and IIC have both scheduled their member meetings from Dec. 4-8. During the week, OMG has also organized Special Events in security, retail, data residency, business process modeling and smart manufacturing that anyone can attend. On Friday, December 8th, IIC has organized its World Tour event in San Francisco, which is also open to the public. There will be executive keynote presentations, panels on testbeds, security and standards & architecture, testbed demonstrations and networking opportunities. If you are in the area, please stop by.
I’ll be back in the Boston area this Thursday which is the annual Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. During this day, friends and family come together around the dinner table to commemorate an autumn harvest feast held by the Pilgrims from Massachusetts Bay Colony with local Native American tribes. Today, it includes watching football games ― from high school to college and the NFL ― and parades around the country. Happy Thanksgiving!