What is the “Internet of Things (IoT)?”

what is iot

Living in the 21st Century, we are surrounded by the “Internet of Things.” From the moment we wake up and brew a pot of coffee to when we set the alarm system before bed.

What is Internet of Things (IoT) ?

IoT is a network of smart devices that are connected to the internet so they can share data to report any functionality issues that can ultimately lead to a better performance experience for the user.

Examples of IoT

Companies like Google, Apple, and Microsoft are all increasing their presence in the world of IoT. The latest race amongst the big three has been to release the top performing, and selling, home assistant technology that can, in theory, make your life easier. Common IoT technology used by the everyday consumer would be: smart watches, smart appliances (refrigerators, thermostats, laundry machines) and connected cars.

Larger industries like healthcare, agriculture, and heavy equipment are all using IoT technologies that work together to bring a seamless experience for the end user or consumer.

IoT and Small Business Security

The sheer volume of devices that are being produced and connected are becoming a “Nightmare on Tech Street” for IT departments. By 2020 there will be 20.4 billion connected smart devices around the world(according to analyst firm Gartner.) Because IoT devices can run on a variety of different operating systems (as opposed to the regular four or five) it can be difficult for security teams to secure and manage the volume of additional devices.

A compromised IoT device is an opportunity for hackers to access a company’s network. Something as simple as a poorly secured smart TV or security camera can put a business at risk. The simple truth is that it can be hard to be aware of the full IoT presence in a business environment.

Education is Key

It’s true that IoT does create a massive opportunity for entrepreneurs to create new business opportunities; it also gives existing SMEs the opportunity to learn something new. Learning the risks that come with IoT devices and teaching employees how to avoid those risks and protect company data is a strong defense against any potential threat.

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This blog is meant to provide a starting point to implementing cyber security practices within your company. Due to the rapid progression of technology this is an ongoing and ever-evolving subject!