15 February 2019

Trust is the new Gold!

Devices in the smart world and their data are interconnected to virtual service layers. Our bright visions of smart cities, smart industries, autonomous driving or personalized health depend on a complex data supply chain.

The dependencies are manifold. The rise of machine learning and artificial intelligence is tied to the integrity of the data feeding the machines. Not so long ago it was often claimed that “Data is the new Oil” needed for the future of a connected economy and society.

But this is only partly true.

In fact: You need “trusted” data and “trusted” devices providing data services. As machine learning is relied on more often for automated decisions, Cybercriminals can try to attack machine learning algorithms. Influencing the training data is highly dangerous, with the goal of manipulating the results of the machine learning algorithm predictive model.

So, data without trust becomes worthless, even worse: poisonous. Without trust our bright vision of smart services will go nowhere. That’s why we must claim “Trust” as the new Gold.

Trust in the supply chain

But it is not only the data itself that depends on trust. In the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) the optimization of industrial processes by interconnected service will be the main enabler for the next industrial revolution – aka Industry 4.0. Turning industry towards a smart ecosystem is a paradigm shift towards cybersecurity models and an interconnected mindset.

Trust will become essential.

Industry has always been highly aware of safety and security. In automotive manufacturing a single downtime of a factory assembly line can easily cause costs of USD 22.000 per minute. Reliability in the manufacturing process is everything.

In decades of digitalization this industry has built a strong network of reliable suppliers and strong certification processes. But now, with the rising connectivity of the Industrial Internet of Things, such well-balanced digital industrial compartments face a new complexity. The Industrial Internet of Things requires a strong security and trust chain. Trust needs to be an integral part starting from hardware platforms, operating systems, quantum safe encryptions towards data integrity. A single weak point in the chain can break the security of the overall system.

With interconnection of industrial processes, we can increase tremendous productivity but only by leaving the closed compartment architectures. Industry must challenge this paradigm shift and implement a holistic view of cybersecurity. Otherwise the promised fourth industrial revolution will become stuck.

Trust is a global and holistic challenge

Currently we can see that trust is becoming a scarce commodity in the race of the global economic superpowers. The question of trusting providers of components for critical digital infrastructures is on the political agenda. Digital distrust has become a significant political topic, whether you look at the discussions in the United States, Asia or Europe. The rise of distrust is starting to affect the speed of digitalization.

It is impossible to build a 5G infrastructure for future data highways or a smart power grid infrastructure, when distrust dominates the technical supplier ecosystem. What we need is trust in global digital supply chains. That’s why Trust is the “new Gold” pays into the building of our future infrastructure for Smart Cities, Industry 4.0 and Smart Government.

Siemens has identified early on that trust is the fundament of digitalization. With the Charter of Trust the company has initiated a community movement to implement Trust on a broad level. Starting from traditional industrial companies towards the software industry and political stakeholders. The partners of The Charter of Trust have committed to a common value set and the goal to foster Trust with a holistic approach in their daily business.

Without trust in digitalization we are nothing. With trust, we can gain everything. That’s why I appreciate the Charter of Trust.

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