The Internet of Things: what is all the buzz about?

The Internet of Things: what is all the buzz about?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming more prevalent and talked about as more companies invent common household appliances with the internet built into them. There are so many products that now have the capability to be controlled from your smart phone or computer. A few examples – turning your heat on from your phone before you get home so you can come home to a warm house, turning the lights on in your house before you arrive, checking your fridge camera at the grocery store to see what items you need. These are just a few of the things that have been created by the Internet of Things.

IoT

Experts are praising the IoT because it promises cost savings, efficiency, and ease of use. Being able to monitor and control your electricity or heat settings from your phone while you are away from home can help keep your bills down. If you keep the heat off until right before you get home it can help save money, rather than just leaving the thermostat on the auto settings.

Some experts also see the bad side of the IoT. Daniel Burrus, CEO of Burrus Research said, “Of all the technology trends that are taking place right now, perhaps the biggest one is the Internet of Things; it’s the one that’s going to give us the most disruption as well as the most opportunity over the next five years“. This is interesting because one of the biggest complaints about the Internet of Things is the security – or lack of – within it. These devices and products are being made, but the security aspect of them is sort of being pushed to the side. This opens up a whole new world for hackers to get into. Imagine if a criminal hacked into a self-driving car and rerouted it or even caused a crash, or if someone hacked into your security features at home and made it so they could enter the home whenever they pleased.

We still have a long way to go concerning the Internet of Things, but it is growing faster than we realize. There is a non-profit organization called the Internet of Things Security Foundation that is dedicated to raising the bar of security in the IoT world. Their website says they do this by “promoting knowledge and clear best practice in appropriate security to those who specify, make and use IoT products and systems”. My only concern is that the security issues of all of these devices get figured out before they are exploited by hackers who are wanting to do harm. I love what technology is enabling us to do with our homes and cars, but we need to ensure that our safety is always going to be the number one priority.


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