Wait, so what is the Internet of Things?
By now, I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase Internet of Things (IoT) in some context or another. In fact, I bet you have products in your home that fall under the umbrella of the IoT. So, what is the Internet of Things? Short answer: a lot of things.
Today, I’ll go over the basics of the IoT. I’ll cover how it works and what can it mean for your business. But first, what is the Internet of Things?
The IoT is built on cloud computing and networks of physical devices (like cars, light bulbs, watches, and so much more). This infrastructure allows for machine-to-machine communication.
These devices use sensors to collect data that is then used to make choices regarding specific functions and actions.
For example, let’s say your house uses “smart” lightbulbs. Instead of switching a physical light switch, you use the Apple HomeKit app to control the lightbulbs. This means that when you enter the room, the light bulb turns on automatically. Why? Because the app transmitted data to the smart light bulb telling it, you are walking to in the room.
The smart lightbulbs also can use data like weather, time, and sunrise/sunset to control everything from the levels of tone to timing.
Needless to say, IoT devices are becoming everyday household items. They make our lives convenient and more comfortable. But IoT has more applications than controlling the temperature of your house– IoT also has business applications.
IoT can automate office maintenance.
IoT can take some of the pressure off and automate the office routine with some IoT devices. For example, if your employees keep forgetting to lock the front door, you could get your company a “smart” lock that does it automatically.
IoT can improve the transport and delivery of products.
Smart tags and IoT sensors are incredibly valuable for small businesses sending products. The implementation of IoT means that organizations can track the transport and delivery of packages with real-time precision.
But what if someone hacks my smart printer?
Yes, there are security concerns with IoT. One of the more significant concerns is the potential for surveillance and the sale of personal data. The best way to protect your data is to team up with an IT security professional. You’ll not only need someone who can help you make decisions, but also someone who can explain the risks that go along with each choice.
Also, don’t take security lightly. At the bare minimum, you need to keep your software updated, use proper firewalls, practice good internet habits, avoid phishing scams, and watch out for spoof sites.