HoT IoT – The Internet of Things
My day starts off with the alarm buzzing at 6 a.m. and my coffee machine brews my coffee, on being notified by my clock. I sit in my car and check my schedule for the day and Ms Siri tells me the best route to my office but suddenly a car blocks the road and there is some traffic building up already….. Guess what, my car sends a message to my boss’s phone to notify that I am going to be late.
Well, this is life in the era of IoT.
IoT – The Internet of Things.
Simply, it is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet Network. And it could include everything from cell phones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else one can think of.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical devices, vehicles, buildings and any other item that has an IP address and can collect and exchange data over the network.
It is possible to assign IP address to almost everything on the planet.
A thing, in the Internet of Things, is a IP assigned thing and can vary from objects like person with a heart monitor implant, a farm animal with an embedded chip, an automobile that has built-in sensors, — or any other natural or man-made object that can be assigned an IP address and provided with the ability to transfer data over a network. The IoT allows objects to be sensed and controlled remotely across a existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for direct integration of the physical world into a IP based computer systems, and resulting in improved efficiency and accuracy as well as economical benefit.
The first Internet Appliance, was a Coke machine at Carnegie Melon University in the early 1980s. The programmers could connect to the machine over the internet, check the status of the machine and determine whether or not there would be a cold drink awaiting them, should they decide to make the trip down to the machine.
The analyst firm ‘Gartner’ say that by 2020 there will be over 26 billion connected devices and the IoT will be a giant network of connected “things” , which will also include people. The relationships could be people to people, people to things, and/or things to things.
Google Inc. had announced that it is partnering with automakers Audi, General Motors and Honda to put Android-connected cars on the roads. Google is currently developing a new Android platform that will connect cars to the Internet. Soon, car owners will be able to lock or unlock their vehicles, start the engine or even monitor vehicle performance from a computer or smart phone.
On a futuristic and broader perspective, the IoT can be applied to things like Transportation Networks, Build “smart cities”, help us reduce waste and efficiently use energy – thus helping us in many a way to improve how we work and live.
In reality IoT is a sea of virtually endless opportunities and would allow millions of connections to take place, many of which we might not be able to comprehend today. However, as IoT would bring in a million opportunities it will also bring with it too many challenges.
Security which is a big issue in current times, will start many fold with IoT. With billions of devices being connected together, the potential of risks to information and data security will be huge. If someone is able to hack my automated coffee machine, he might be able to acees my entire network, my banking, my home security and all my official and personal data – in other words, my entire network. The IoT could opens up companies all over the world to more security threats. There could be serious issues with privacy and data sharing with billions of devices are connected on the network. Also, there will be a eminent need to store, track, analyze and make sense of the vast amounts of data that will be generated.
However, innovative and promising the Internet of Things (IoT) might be, it is bound to increase the amount of security risks businesses and consumers will inevitably face. Any device connected to the Internet with an operating system will always have a possibility of being compromised, in turn becoming a loophole for letting attackers into the enterprise.
The Internet of Things (IoT) could be a revolution transforming lifestyle and how things work – however, with more value there will be additional and new avenues of risk. There will be billions of devices which will be “always on” in the network or seemingly unimportant devices and these could enable new types of attacks and be targets for potential data exposure and crime. The IoT hence, could also initiate a need to revise the risk equation and revolutionize the security of things and the network as well.