The Internet of Things (IoT) has become quite a buzz word in recent years, exploding in popularity as businesses attempt to collect more information from their users, and consumers use smarter devices to power their homes.
The IoT is a blanket term that covers any environment where multiple devices are connected to one another via the Internet.
IoT is a wide-ranging definition, essentially covering any device that is capable of communicating with other devices over the Internet. So far IoT is seen both in the consumer space as well as in industry.
The scope of IoT is widening all the time, as almost every device imaginable is becoming ‘connected’ in some way or another.
Examples of IoT devices in the home include the newest refrigerators, smartphones, desktop and laptop computers, smart thermostats, connected security cameras and even smart speakers such as Amazon Echo.
IoT industrial uses are widespread with everything from industrial sensors managing the flow of cargo in the shipping industry, manufacturing using IoT to automate repair calls, and plants and commercial buildings using IoT to cut down energy use. Even the farming industry is using IoT to help monitor crops and cattle yields.
Along with the positive applications that IoT can bring there also comes the danger that connected devices can help cause a security problem. Every day more and more appliances and objects are connecting to the Internet meaning greater opportunities for cyber-attacks. Compromised IoT networks have alone driven some of the largest DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks in history, putting websites and services offline worldwide.
The security industry is a bit lagging in this field as well. While there’s lots of anti-malware, firewall, and software security solutions for traditional endpoints such as computers and laptops, there are really no comparable solutions for most IoT devices.
Nevertheless, the possibilities for IoT are endless, but it will take some time before we truly understand its effect on our lives and the economy. For IoT to really take off, we need the rest of the technology industry to catch up.
As we see new IoT management tools, operating systems, and communication standards becoming developed we will start to see an even wider acceptance of IoT in both home use applications as well as industrial uses.