When I began my career in the tech industry, one of the first things I noticed was the unique linguistics. IPv6, Big Data, Cloud Computing and a laundry list of nebulous concepts (pun intended) that mean very little to „normal“ businesspeople goes on-and-on. It was hard to keep up!
Under constant pressure for innovation, the Tech Industry carries the burden of upholding CITOC (change is the only constant). As a result, acronyms and neologisms are developed to describe complex concepts that not only takes time to understand, but also how those abstract ideas have concrete impact to our businesses and the world around us. Enter IoT and BYOD.
What is the Internet of Things? IoT describes the connecting of [everyday] components to the Internet for the purposes of remote access, central management and data accumulation.
Imagine your garage door opens automatically as you pull into the driveway. Using your phone’s fingerprint scanner, your door unlocks without a key as you approach it. Your home illuminates as you walk down the hall, all the while enjoying the temperature your thermostat set 30 minutes prior to your arrival. This and your home security system managed from a phone app.
Home automation is a burgeoning industry and just one application of IoT, however there are far more commercial implementations to explore (as illustrated in the graphic below courtesy of Libelium). It’s estimated that there will be over 100 billion Internet-connected devices by 2020!
What is BYOD? Bring Your Own Device (as you might guess) is an IT policy that allows employees to literally bring their own devices to connect to the corporate network, often for the purposes of reducing hardware and service cost for the business.
Though IoT and BYOD represent two separate concepts, their challenges are not dissimilar: Device management, privacy rights and securing data are the leading concerns for each, the latter being the most discussed. And rightly so! Imagine someone hacking your A/C unit and having complete access to your security system, door locks and can extrapolate data about your schedule! That’s exactly what happened to Target as explored in Think Like a Hacker.
IoT in Industry: Remote access to Internet-connected embedded systems is seeing explosive growth. The real-time access to information has been known to save tremendous cost and time. For example:
A leading chemicals distribution company I speak to dispatches tanker trucks of product out to their clients, in many cases on-demand. Because they have no way of knowing how much product is available in the vehicles in the field, they have to send new trucks from their distribution headquarters with each unscheduled request. If they had the ability to utilize remote access and IIoT, they could ostensibly redirect field operators in real-time, saving them countless logistical costs: delivery hours, fuel, employee costs, etc.
What the Heck does it all mean for me?
IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) product developments are enabling a wide variety of industries like machine makers, critical infrastructure, oil & gas, medical and OEM with remote access and management unlike they’ve ever experienced! Security, user management and regulatory compliance are key concerns as a breach may have significant economic impact.
The borderless network is expanding, and if your company is part of the 74% using or planning on using BYOD policies, then it’s critical that you implement a network security architecture and solution set that can protect your organization.