Mobiquity Finds Security Gaps Still Exist in Enterprise Beacon/iBeacon Deployments

Tools
February 06, 2014

Findings from newly launched Mobiquity Labs threaten benefits for retailers and other early adopters

Mobile engagement provider Mobiquity (www.mobiquityinc.com) today has determined that significant enterprise functionality lapses still exist in current deployments of beacon programs. This gap – in monitoring, authentication and authorization – could significantly impact the touted benefits of this new technology aimed at retailers and other early adopters. The findings are a result of the "Micro-Locationing Project" from Mobiquity Labs (www.mobiquityinc.com/labs) a newly launched applied technology lab that explores the feasibility of technology and aims to help Mobiquity clients design mobile solution prototypes that integrate emerging technology.

The Result: A Gaping Divide

Mobiquity Labs' "Micro-Locationing Project" found that there are currently no processes in place to monitor beacons, making it difficult to measure whether they are working or effective. Not only does this impact the value of the beacon program, but it could lead to significant security risks, such as stolen beacons.

"While beacon technology is incredibly easy to use and deploy, we were shocked at the gap that exists around enterprise-class deployment" said Ty Rollin, chief technology officer. "With no consistent tracking and monitoring system, there is no stopping the movement of beacons from one location to another, and no way to track whether a beacon is truly effective. This can – and should – be a concern for anyone looking to deploy beacon technology. We believe that beacons will greatly change mobile interaction in 2014. As a result we have employed our Labs group to identify, build and deploy strategies and solutions to solve these and other related gaps."

Additional findings:
  • Beacons are easy to clone. As part of the project, Mobiquity Labs was able to clone beacon identifiers onto new equipment, meaning unprotected systems can fall victim to crowd steering and other spoofing attacks.
  • Distance is difficult to determine with accuracy. Beacons are inaccurate when translating close distances. When put closer than 12 feet together – a real possibility in a retail setting, for example – they interfered with each other, making it difficult to decipher one from the other.
  • Technology is out ahead of services needed to manage it. Very few managed service providers are offering services to set up beacons, resulting in the lack of consistent monitoring, measurement and management.
  • Barrage of signals could hinder adoption. Once there is wide adoption of beacon technology, consumers will experience a barrage of signals, similar to spamming, likely making it difficult to understand the content being shared.
Mobiquity Labs: Exploring the Digital Experience of Technology

Mobiquity created Mobiquity Labs as a way to help clients test ideas in the real world by turning their concepts into tangible prototypes that can be used for further testing, ideation, experimentation and/or securing buy-in. Focused in the areas of M2M, wearables, retail and security, Mobiquity Labs offers three ways to experiment: Community Labs, Private Labs and Co-create Labs.

"Mobiquity Labs represent a structured framework through which we can deliver Mobiquity services," said Bill Seibel, co-founder and CEO of Mobiquity. "We are now able to provide an educational and research tool where ideation and feasibility testing help our clients explore growing areas of technology. Through the development of tangible prototypes in the Labs, Mobiquity and its clients can demonstrate real-world use cases of today and tomorrow's emerging technology."

Methodology

Mobiquity Labs' "Micro-Locationing Project" was born out of the need to demonstrate beacon technology and its effectiveness. Mobiquity Labs purchased beacon hardware from multiple vendors, built their own beacons using Raspberry Pis as well as mobile applications and services. Next, the team tested the technology in real-world scenarios, such as receiving welcome messages and awards at specific points of interest identified by multiple beacons.

Mobiquity is currently leveraging the findings from the "Micro-Locationing Project" to create more effective beacon solutions for its clients, one of which was demonstrated at the recent National Retail Federation (NRF) show. For more information about working with Mobiquity Labs, visit (www.mobiquityinc.com/labs)

About Mobiquity

Mobiquity is a mobile engagement provider creating innovative solutions that drive business value. Because mobile is in our DNA, clients benefit from how we expertly and effectively blend the three key disciplines that unleash the power and innovation of mobile computing: strategy, user-centered design and core technology. Since inception in 2011, we have worked with more than 150 companies, including CVS, Fidelity Investments, MetLife, the New York Post, Putnam Investments and The Boston Globe. To learn more, visit www.mobiquityinc.com.

###

Kristin Parran Faulder
mobiquity@inkhouse.com
781-966-4126

- See more at: http://www.mobiquityinc.com/news/press-releases/2014/mobiquity-finds-security-gaps-still-exist-enterprise-beaconibeacon-deployme#sthash.fgBTwVFD.dpuf

February 06, 2014

Mobile engagement provider Mobiquity (www.mobiquityinc.com) today has determined that significant enterprise functionality lapses still exist in current deployments of beacon programs. This gap – in monitoring, authentication and authorization – could significantly impact the touted benefits of this new technology aimed at retailers and other early adopters. The findings are a result of the "Micro-Locationing Project" from Mobiquity Labs (www.mobiquityinc.com/labs) a newly launched applied technology lab that explores the feasibility of technology and aims to help Mobiquity clients design mobile solution prototypes that integrate emerging technology.

The Result: A Gaping Divide

Mobiquity Labs' "Micro-Locationing Project" found that there are currently no processes in place to monitor beacons, making it difficult to measure whether they are working or effective. Not only does this impact the value of the beacon program, but it could lead to significant security risks, such as stolen beacons.

"While beacon technology is incredibly easy to use and deploy, we were shocked at the gap that exists around enterprise-class deployment" said Ty Rollin, chief technology officer. "With no consistent tracking and monitoring system, there is no stopping the movement of beacons from one location to another, and no way to track whether a beacon is truly effective. This can – and should – be a concern for anyone looking to deploy beacon technology. We believe that beacons will greatly change mobile interaction in 2014. As a result we have employed our Labs group to identify, build and deploy strategies and solutions to solve these and other related gaps."

Additional findings:

    Beacons are easy to clone. As part of the project, Mobiquity Labs was able to clone beacon identifiers onto new equipment, meaning unprotected systems can fall victim to crowd steering and other spoofing attacks.

    Distance is difficult to determine with accuracy. Beacons are inaccurate when translating close distances. When put closer than 12 feet together – a real possibility in a retail setting, for example – they interfered with each other, making it difficult to decipher one from the other.

    Technology is out ahead of services needed to manage it. Very few managed service providers are offering services to set up beacons, resulting in the lack of consistent monitoring, measurement and management.

    Barrage of signals could hinder adoption. Once there is wide adoption of beacon technology, consumers will experience a barrage of signals, similar to spamming, likely making it difficult to understand the content being shared.

Mobiquity Labs: Exploring the Digital Experience of Technology

Mobiquity created Mobiquity Labs as a way to help clients test ideas in the real world by turning their concepts into tangible prototypes that can be used for further testing, ideation, experimentation and/or securing buy-in. Focused in the areas of M2M, wearables, retail and security, Mobiquity Labs offers three ways to experiment: Community Labs, Private Labs and Co-create Labs.

"Mobiquity Labs represent a structured framework through which we can deliver Mobiquity services," said Bill Seibel, co-founder and CEO of Mobiquity. "We are now able to provide an educational and research tool where ideation and feasibility testing help our clients explore growing areas of technology. Through the development of tangible prototypes in the Labs, Mobiquity and its clients can demonstrate real-world use cases of today and tomorrow's emerging technology."

Methodology

Mobiquity Labs' "Micro-Locationing Project" was born out of the need to demonstrate beacon technology and its effectiveness. Mobiquity Labs purchased beacon hardware from multiple vendors, built their own beacons using Raspberry Pis as well as mobile applications and services. Next, the team tested the technology in real-world scenarios, such as receiving welcome messages and awards at specific points of interest identified by multiple beacons.

Mobiquity is currently leveraging the findings from the "Micro-Locationing Project" to create more effective beacon solutions for its clients, one of which was demonstrated at the recent National Retail Federation (NRF) show. For more information about working with Mobiquity Labs, visit (www.mobiquityinc.com/labs)

About Mobiquity

Mobiquity is a mobile engagement provider creating innovative solutions that drive business value. Because mobile is in our DNA, clients benefit from how we expertly and effectively blend the three key disciplines that unleash the power and innovation of mobile computing: strategy, user-centered design and core technology. Since inception in 2011, we have worked with more than 150 companies, including CVS, Fidelity Investments, MetLife, the New York Post, Putnam Investments and The Boston Globe. To learn more, visit www.mobiquityinc.com.

###

Kristin Parran Faulder

mobiquity@inkhouse.com

781-966-4126