Intelligent Transportation Ecosystem

IoT, ITS, and the Talksum Ecosystem

We want self-driving smart cars!

Dale Russell, CTO, Talksum, San Jose


We’ve been hearing a lot about of Internet of Things (IoT) for the last decade. IoT is coming, IoT is here, IoT and Big Data…


Many of the people talking about IoT are from the computer industry. They’re selling us on a new market valued around $1.7 Trillion in 2020. While convincing us to invest in the IoT sector they will then point to a repackaging of a computer or data center solution. You can buy several brands of set top-media players listed as an IoT device. Upon further inspection they’re a small computer with a HDMI connector and a wireless network card connecting to a web service. Smart watches are but Bluetooth devices for your smart phone; a computer accessory. We have gone from Internet Hosting, Web Services, Cloud Services, and now IoT by  just a release of smaller computers and distributed web services?


That’s beginning to change and the consumers will be driving the market so to speak. We want self-driving smart cars! Automobile manufactures old and new are all working on developing self-driving modules, most governments want Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), and we as the consumer want gadgets!


What gadget is cooler than self-driving cars?


The consumer’s desire is to also bring infotainment and entertainment, social groups, smart devices, as well as personal data contracts and other services along for the ride. When you combine all the wants of the consumer we have the beginning of the Digital Transportation Eratm. We want self driving cars, traffic re-routing for first responders, reduced traffic congestion, quieter roads, and cleaner air. With all of these wonderful goals the automobile has become the consumers’ mobile data center bringing all of the same security concerns as an internet data center and many more. Automobile manufacturers, government and regulatory bodies, insurance and telematics services, and internet media providers all bring their own protocols into this new mobile data center. The new Smart Car will need to be considered part of the larger ITS and IoT clouds.

Intelligent Transportation Ecosystem

To meet the challenges of the Digital Transportation Eratm the vehicle needs to be an integral part of these new ecosystems. The Intelligent Transportation Systems will include new networks, data management, and new standards and protocols such as: Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I), Signal Phase and Timing (SPaT), and many yet to be legislated. These signals must be introduced in a manner that ensures validity and security to protect against DDoS attacks against these public networks. The introduction of Internet Services, Fleet Management, Insurance, and Telematics into this mobile data cloud also requires that firewalls and gateways are needed to ensure that the automobile is securely protected.


Automobiles already generate large streams of data from in-vehicle busses measured in gigabytes an hour. The additional radios, GPS, mobile carriers, infotainment systems, and self-driving systems will make data management and security to this new mobile cloud platform a must.


Some of the Challenges:


  • Cybersecurity Protection from DDoS, Man in the Middle, and other Internet Attacks
  • Real-time Validation and Insights from these Data Streams
  • Normalization of Standards and Protocols (CAN, LIN, I2C, WAVE, OpenXC, ASN.1…)
  • Extensible Design for Future Standards and Protocols (NHTSA)
  • Regulation Compliance


At Talksum we deliver a real-time scalable ecosystem that answers these concerns. Talksum is a Data Routing Engine that is deliverable as a Data Center solution, as a Virtual Router for Cloud deployment, as well as Embedded on select ARM, AARCH64, and customers’ boards. The Talksum product family provides a scalable and holistic ecosystem from the Dashboard to the Data Center.


We will be presenting this spring and summer at several conferences where will be discussing the Talksum Ecosystem. Until then follow this blog as next we will discuss the overlaps of the above networks and ecosystem requirements.

Preventing Target’s Massive Data Breach and the Ousting of CEO Gregg Steinhafel

Alex VarshavskyAlex Varshavsky, CEO, Talksum

Target announced last week that Chairman, President, and CEO Gregg Steinhafel has been ousted nearly five months after the retailer disclosed a massive data breach, which has hurt its reputation among customers and hammered its business. According to an Associated Press (AP) article, “experts say his departure marks the first CEO of a major corporation to resign in the wake of a data breach and underscores how CEOs are now becoming more at risk in an era when such breaches have become common.”

Preventing Target's Massive Data Breach and the Ousting of CEO Gregg SteinhafelThe Talksum Data Stream Router (TDSR) provides a mechanism for protection against security breaches. First of all, security revolves around the continued stability of a system within boundaries. A “security event” occurs when the stability of a boundary has been compromised. Ultimately, you need to know “what changed” and whether the changes were expected or unexpected. This is what the TDSR was built to do.

A couple of questions arise once an unexpected change occurs:

  1. Who is attempting to get unauthorized remote access from where, and how frequently?
  2. Why are login attempts failing on some hosts?
  3. Who is attempting to get unauthorized local (PAM) access from where, and how frequently?

In the first case above, the TDSR first looks at different layers within the data center, for example, the network layer, virtual hosts layer, and applications layer. Then it looks across sources within those layers and applies filters as necessary. For example, if a “filter 0” defines the source as an SSH, then a message is sent to a “filter 1,” which looks for a tag that equals “failed” to alert a failure. In that instance, the user, IP address, and time are immediately sent to the alerting database. In this case, the TDSR can show, in real time, how many IP addresses, for example, tried to attack the system.

In the second scenario, the TDSR looks at the physical host(s) and applications to filter anomalies that cause login attempt failures. If a “filter 0” defines its source as “NSLCD,” then it sends the information to “filter 1” that, upon a “connection_error” tag, writes a detailed message that may include time, the user, the error, the IP address, and so on, to the alerting system.

In the third example, the TDSR looks at the virtual host(s) and virtual applications, the physical host(s), and applications to filter local authentication errors. If a “filter 0” defines its source as “PAM,” then it sends the information to “filter 1” that, upon a “local_auth_error” tag writes a detailed alert that may include time, the user, the error, the IP address, and so on, to the alerting system.

These are just a few of many example security use cases that the TDSR can handle. The Talksum product uses a new approach to break down data silos to provide real-time actionability in response to security, compliancy, and compatibility-related information. In addition, the TDSR includes foundational components for regulatory compliance, government standards, and policy control, so it is easy to keep pace with on-going changes.