What is Internet of Things?
IoT refers to “Internet of Things” as even though it may sound as a vague oncept due to the simplicity of the world “things”, it could not be better defined. Because IoT encloses a very complex and modern concept that refers to the Internet of everything and anything all collecting and sharing data. Thanks to the arrival of super-cheap computer chips and the ubiquity of wireless networks, it’s possible to turn anything, from something as small as a light to something as big as a car or an Aeroplane.
“Given the ever-increasing number of connected devices, the IoT continues its path of evolution, adding different layers to the data that is already being shared and processed, and giving rise to sophisticated algorithms that result in improved levels of automation.” https://www.trendmicro.com/vinfo/us/security/definition/internet-of-things
Examples of IoT
“Thanks to the arrival of super-cheap computer chips and the ubiquity of wireless networks, it’s possible to turn anything, from something as small as a light to something as big as a car or an Aeroplane…” — ZDNet
Home Security: The Internet of Things is the key driver behind a completely smart and secure home. IoT connects a variety of sensors, alarms, cameras, lights, and microphones to provide 24/7 security — all of which can be controlled from your iPhone, iPad, Android device, even your Apple Watch in some cases. For example, the Ring doorbell camera security system allows users to see, hear, and speak to visitors at their door via a computer, tablet, or mobile phone.
Apple Watch — Wearables: The Apple Watch was introduced on 2015 and was created for track your steps, calories burned, sleep quality, etc. This device also syncs with the smartphones through wifi or bluetooth to transmit your fitness data in understandable charts to monitor your progress. This allows users to share the information over several platforms of their preference in order to use the information gathered for their benefit to further improve their overall health lifestyle.
AR Glasses: Google Glass is essentially a small, lightweight computer that is worn like a pair of eyeglasses for hands-free work. The information is presented within the “lenses” of the glasses, which can access a variety of Internet applications, including Google Maps and Gmail. In industrial settings, workers often use them to pull up blueprints or product specifications. The latest edition of these smart glasses allows workers to stream clear “point of view” video from expert assistants in other locations using Wi-Fi.
You can see that the things that you can do are incredible but we need to keep IoT safe so let me share some drawbacks of IoT
The examples and uses are endless, yet there is no doubt that the expansion is exponential.
These numbers seem astronomical and unmeaseurable, and this huge growth brings with it inevitable uneasiness that highlights some of the drawbacks of IoT.
Drawbacks of IoT
Many IoT devices run low-quality software susceptible to the kinds of vulnerabilities that were prevalent in the late 90s and early 00s (https://www.cmswire.com/cms/internet-of-things/7-big-problems-with-the-internet-of-things-024571.php)
One of the biggests issues that, as with every technological device are data breaches. Having easy access to data is wonderful if used correctly. Unfortunately, the users’ private data is more exposed than ever too given the amount of devices to which the user is entering information and the vulnerabilities of these devices. Data breaches are extremely dangerous, and can damage both the user and the company where the information is stolen. The riskiest devices are off-brand IoT gadgets, second hand smart devices and especially any device which is left with the default login information (example user: admin password: admin)
You might think that it may be not that dangerous that one of your gadgets is hacked, but since IoT is based on the interconnectivity between a big amount of devices, if a kids toy is hacked and it is connected to your home wifi network, then every other device connected to that network becomes vulnerable to an attack, and what began as a simple car track hack, may end up in a major computer breach.
Another drawback is the dependence IoT has on the internet connection. The communication between devices is fast and easy, as long as there is an internet connection that serves that connection. If for some reason the power is out or the internet connections are down and your whole house is smart and internet dependant, then you will probably not be able to carry out simple tasks such as locking doors or turning on or off lights. Also, something less drastic, but if the connection is for some reason slower than usual, then user satisfaction decreases fast, since the users are used to extremely fast connections and downloading times. Fortunately, downtimes don’t occur often, but when they do, the impact is huge.