Have you entered The Internet of Things (IoT) yet?
If you have a Fitbit or Apple watch that talks to your smartphone, then you have. Thermostats, alarm systems or lights that are controlled by computer or phone are all examples of how IoT is becoming more prevalent in our daily lives. Even if you haven’t got one of those devices yet, we’re pretty sure you will within the next 2-3 years. With the vast improvement of AI IoT will grow exponentially over the next five years.
Labelled as the most important emerging technology, the IoT will not only influence our personal lives, but our work lives as well. Efficiency is one of the main outputs with IoT; monotonous tasks can now become automated while errors and problems can be reported straight from the machine, reducing downtime. One of the early uses of IoT in business is to do with office stock. Computers can now tell when supplies of a certain product are low and order more without having any human input. The IoT creates communication between devices giving total transparency with a lot fewer inefficiencies and more information for your business. This could range from data about a customer, and how they are using a certain product or finding out when you or your employees are most efficient during the day, this can all be tracked.
Many industries will benefit from the rise of the IoT, many industrial companies are already using IoT in their factories and assembly lines. Not only are they being used to build products but also to diagnose machines in need of repair and maintenance. The health industry can use this technology to monitor heart rate, pulse and blood pressure giving live data straight to a doctor’s connected device.
This may all sound incredible; it’s almost too good to be true, well maybe it is.
As always with the positives come the negatives, IoT is still a developing technology, and this will bring flaws. The lack of security creates problems with devices that will be connected to your businesses WiFi allowing a back-gate entrance to other connected devices, potentially containing private and confidential information. In 2016 during a live demonstration, BlackBerry hacked an Internet-connected kettle and gained access to the network it was using at the time.
Diana Goovaerts of WirelessWeek.com described how they did this;
“During the hack, Murray and Winterborn tapped into the kettle by creating a replica of the secure wireless network it was connected to. Since the fraud network's signal was stronger than that of the secure network, the kettle connected to the replica network instead. Once the kettle latched on to their fake network, Murray and Winterborn were able to gain access to the pass code for the secure network, and in turn, gain access to the previously secure network.”
IoT can also offer complexity issues with the opportunity for failure being reasonably high because of the complex systems involved. A breakdown in either software or hardware can result in greater downtime than a normal IT systematic issue. As the networks used are more complicated, this means they can often be more difficult to fix. This will be costly in time and money, needing specialist people to address the problem.
Overall as with all new technologies, Internet of Things will have its positives and negatives. Hardware will continue to improve, and software will become more sophisticated. As it continues to become more commonly used throughout your personal and work life, it is up to us to choose how much of our daily lives we are willing to be controlled by technology.
The Internet of Things features as one of our 2018 security predictions, find out what the rest are here.