In recent years, we have seen a wave of automation sweeping across major industry verticals. Automation is no longer limited just to offices but Homes as well, thanks to the emergence of IoT and the concept of smart homes. Quoted as the next big technological revolution, the Internet of Things (IoT) is bound to bring about a major shift in the way we work, live and entertain ourselves. By the time we step into 2020, we will be awestruck by the fact that a whopping 60 billion IoT connected devices will vouch for its popularity. Labelled as a novel technology that has the potential to transform every sphere of human life, here are all the ways IoT has become the talk of the town.
IoT can present ample opportunities for businesses. Allowing them to tread the path of workflow automation and optimisation, IoT can offer a plethora of possibilities to minimise human efforts. With IoT, human intervention concerning both technical and manual operations can be cut down by a large extent.
IOT platforms can also help the organisations to reduce cost by improved process efficiency, asset utilisation and productivity. With improved tracking of devices/objects using sensors and connectivity, they can benefit from real-time insights and analytics, which would help them to make smarter decisions. The growth and convergence of data, processes and things on the internet would make such connections more relevant and important by creating more opportunities for people, businesses and industries.
The IOT is disrupting traditional business models and creating massive opportunities for companies to create new services based on real-time sensor data and information. One of the biggest benefits of the IOT is the efficiency it can offer. Many companies are using it to automate business and manufacturing processes, remotely monitor and control operations, optimise supply chains, and conserve resources. Today’s technology is helping to improve decision making, automate routine tasks, fast-track communication, and more. Example of IOT can be; car manufacturers and tech companies are using the IOT to help drivers in connected cars (or smart cars) to avoid accidents, predict maintenance issues, find parking spots, and more.
IoT sensors are now making headway in the sphere of pressure, temperature and light further introducing us to the concept of “Home Automation”. These sensors which are interconnected with each other take the form of a network that can be used to build and control lighting and heating systems for consumers to use. These IoT devices will help you step into an automated world when your AC will be automatically turned on once your bedroom becomes warmer than your living room; without your intervention. IoT devices which are connected to your smartphone can be used to perform certain functions like turning on the lights or the heater which is already set to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Sensors in the device will be triggered once your phone is within a certain range, prompting other devices to work in unison. This spares you the effort to even lift your index finger to turn on a switch or rotate the knob of a fan regulator.
However, there are also serious security risks associated with this technology. As the IoT ecosystem expands, so does the attack surface for cybercriminals to exploit. In other words, the more we rely on connected technology in our day-to-day lives, the more vulnerable we are to the cyberthreats that are increasingly tailored to exploit vulnerabilities and design flaws in IoT devices.
Although many experts are calling for regulatory bodies to implement industry wide standards to hold IoT device manufacturers and developers accountable for these pervasive flaws, progress has been slow on that front. In the meantime, IT professionals and device owners must take security into their own hands by following basic IoT best practices.
Awareness is one significant key to IoT Security. As with any technology, an organisation’s IoT deployment is only as secure as the human beings who operate it. Awareness training and on-going education throughout all levels of the enterprise, therefore, are critical. The IoT has the potential to boost efficiency and productivity in both domestic and enterprise settings. However, the exposure of IoT data — or the illegal takeover of devices themselves — can cause immeasurable damage to a business’ bottom line and reputation. The keys to unlocking the benefits and avoiding the pitfalls of this technology include embedding security into apps and devices throughout the development life cycle, investing in robust data protection solutions and prioritising security education throughout the organisation.
-- by Zakir Hussain - Director, BD soft, Country Partner of Bitdefender.
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