What is the Internet of Things?
Out of all of the technological improvements that look poised to make day-to-day life easier than before. Few have as much potential as the Internet of Things. A term used to describe the increasing inter-connectivity between electronic devices. This increasing exchange of data between appliances has virtually unlimited possible applications.
By constantly gathering data, processing it, and then corresponding with other devices that are part of the same network, each device is capable of processing real-time solutions without any input from a human user. For instance if a distributor was running low on stock, the inventory system would take note of this and interface with the ordering software that would then order replacements as needed-all without external prompting.
What are the possible benefits?
The financial implications of such systems are predictably enormous, with estimates leaning towards a more than $1 trillion contribution to the global economy in the near-future. As more and more data is fed back over time to business owners via the Internet of Things. No doubt even more improvements to firm’s operations can be made as inefficiency’s are detected and subsequently corrected.
There are so many applications for this type of technology that organisations either large or small and in any industry will benefit. One major predicted beneficiary will be those organisations that rely on climate controlled ‘clean rooms’, as the combined sensor systems will be better than ever at detecting unwanted external intrusions and particles, before proceeding to automatically purify the environment as needed.
Such a scope for detecting issues as they immediately arise or even predicting them before they occur removes the issue of human error from the equation, and ensures that not even the smallest elements will get overlooked.
What are the possible issues?
Yet as with any radical innovation though, there will almost certainly be various challenges that need addressing. Cyber crime is forecast to be the biggest threat to such systems, as more electronic devices with network connectivity exposes yet more vulnerable points for exploitation. Already a massive issue with everything from bank accounts to political elections being targeted maliciously. It stands to reason that the Internet of Things will continue to be exploited wherever possible.
Indeed, as objects that aren’t traditionally hooked up to networks become intertwined then the question that needs asking is are there effective safeguards to prevent them from being remotely controlled by hackers? Cars for example may very well be driving themselves in a few years. But are the anti-virus/malware industry capable of protecting their systems in a similar manner to computers? With the sheer number of electronics already needing protection, is it feasible to expect a solution that can 100% guarantee the safety of each and every one?
What can be done?
However there are numerous preventative measures that can be put in place to guard products hooked up to the Internet of Things, and defences will almost certainly improve over time as tech firms become more knowledgeable about the capabilities of such innovations. The initial bugs and glitches will be worked out and staff overseers will become more capable at identifying when things are proceeding smoothly and when an error may have occurred. Education for the workforce will be key in this regard and is certainly an area in which businesses should invest (although they should already be doing so in regards to general IT security practices).
Given time, it’s highly likely that the Internet of Things will yield tremendous benefits to businesses around the world as processes become more automated and therefore increasingly efficient and precise. Experts within the IT security and support field will become more aware of the methods used by hackers, and defences against them will become more sophisticated and robust. Whilst the dangers of using such technology will never go away, overall it would appear that the Internet of Things will do far more good for businesses than bad.
This article was written by Cheeky Munkey, providers of IT support services in London and the surrounding counties.