It’s easy to be skeptical about new technology trends. There’s always something new that tech companies are peddling, and their devices sometimes fall short of expectations. But when it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT) — where formerly unconnected things are connected to the internet to track and analyze data — there are plenty of reasons why investors should fight the urge to be skeptical.
The IoT is already prevalent, and it’s transforming how many business keep track of their equipment, it’s creating new products for major tech companies, and it’s transforming how we interact with our homes. If you’re still skeptical that the IoT is worth investing in, take a look at some the facts…
On a clear day this summer, security researcher Ang Cui boarded a boat headed to a government biosafety facility off the northeastern tip of Long Island. Cui’s security company, Red Balloon, will spend the next year studying how its Internet of Things threat-scanning tool performs on the building control systems of Plum Island Animal Disease Center. If successful, the project could provide a critical tool in the fight against vulnerabilities in embedded industrial systems and critical infrastructure.
“The island is only accessible via a ferry. The dock is protected by armed guards and I presume patrolled by the Coast Guard,” Cui says. Those protections, though, mean nothing to potential hackers. So Cui’s goal is to “help make the island’s cybersecurity as resilient as its physical security.”
The infinite possibilities and potential applications surrounding the Internet of Things (IoT) have been well-hyped over the past few years, but the technology is at a tipping point in terms of adoption as we head into 2018.
IoT, the ability of everyday devices to connect and transfer data to each other, is already carving out a place in the consumer market, with devices like smart home locks, thermostats, lighting and energy monitors.
The latest research also claims that 29% of organisations have already implemented IoT solutions, and this is expected to surge to 48% in 2018, as businesses are increasingly sold on the cost-savings and the productivity-enhancing benefits of IoT.
In November, in a dive into what is driving enterprise interest in the Internet of Things (IoT) we found that, for the moment at least, enterprises are still wrestling with the problems the IoT poses rather than harvesting the benefits that it offers. There is nothing unusual in this given that the IoT is still a relatively new phenomena and there are considerable — and justified — security fears dominating enterprise strategies around the IoT.
A year ago at CES 2017, the proverbial Internet of Things looked full of promise, but also fairly immature.
Many top electronics, home appliance and industrial equipment vendors had only begun fleshing out their IoT offerings, proprietary solutions were often needed to control devices and seeing devices from different vendors play nice with each other was quite rare.
This time around at CES 2018, one could find pretty comprehensive home IoT product lines from the likes of Samsung (SSNLF) , LG, Panasonic, Huawei and Haier. There were also a slew of intriguing and reasonably-priced consumer IoT solutions from startups. Examples include water-monitoring devices for tracking usage and detecting leaks; tiny health sensors that can be integrated with fitness bands and track everything from blood pressure to stress levels; and bikes and scooters with built-in navigation and smart speaker function.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is heralded as a foundational technology for breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, robotics and other potentially broadly applicable advances. But for frontline decision makers—the executives charged with implementing the IoT in their company—it can sometimes feel impossible to separate the facts from the hype. It can be even more daunting to discern the practical steps required to get started with IoT in their business.
The attack was first described by the computer security firm FireEye in a blog post last week, which did not name the victim of the attack. But a confidential report obtained by Foreign Policy and authored by Area 1 Security, a computer security firm founded by veterans of the U.S. National Security Agency, identifies Aramco as the victim of the attack.
In a statement, Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s national oil company and a pillar of its economy, denied the attack took place: “Saudi Aramco corporate and plants networks were not part of any cyber security attack or breach.”
If this existing pace remains consistent, then it wouldn’t be onerous to predict the trends that we might witness in the upcoming year.
According to the predictions by Forecast, IoT is just into its beginning phases and will expand to an overwhelming volume of 75 billion devices till 2025. However, there are a few expected trends that may stun the customers and corporations all around the globe.
With the number of connected devices set to top 11 billion – and that’s not including computers and phones – in 2018, Internet of Things will clearly continue to be a hot topic.
I had the chance to speak to Bret Greenstein, VP of IBM’s Watson IoT Consumer Business, who highlighted four key trends. Interestingly three of those trends were around convergence with other distinct yet highly correlated technologies. This underlines the principle that data is the fundamental ingredient of digital transformation. The technologies predicted to make big waves in the coming year – including IoT, artificial intelligence, blockchain and edge – are all methods of collecting, analyzing and storing information.
Cybersecurity can cause organizational migraines. In 2016, breaches cost businesses nearly $4 billion and exposed an average of 24,000 records per incident. In 2017, the number of breaches is anticipated to rise by 36%. The constant drumbeat of threats and attacks is becoming so mainstream that businesses are expected to invest more than $93 billion in cyber defenses by 2018. Even Congress is acting more quickly to pass laws that will — hopefully — improve the situation.
Despite increased spending and innovation in the cybersecurity market, there is every indication that the situation will only worsen. The number of unmanaged devices being introduced onto networks daily is increasing by orders of magnitude, with Gartner predicting there will be 20 billion in use by 2020. Traditional security solutions will not be effective in addressing these devices or in protecting them from hackers, which should be a red flag, as attacks on IoT devices were up 280% in the first part of 2017. In fact, Gartner anticipates a third of all attacks will target shadow IT and IoT by 2020.