In recent months, there have been a number of articles written calling into question the security of the Internet of Things. This is a perfectly valid talking point that was inevitably going to come up as an issue. The whole point of the IoT is to connect devices to one another via WiFi. Given that we already live in an age of increasing concern over digital security and Internet hacking, it follows naturally that the IoT amplifies those concerns. Think of it this way: if you already need to be mindful of securing your home WiFi network against digital threats, you now also have to consider any other devices connected to that network in an IoT setup.
All that is to say that there are some very legitimate security concerns associated with the use of IoT devices. Somewhat lost in this discussion, however, is the fact that there are still many IoT practices that have been put to use in homes and in businesses that are designed to improve security. Fortifying digital networks is an effort unto itself, but a lot of the use of the IoT as it currently exists is in using such networks to make people, products, and locations safer from non-digital threats.
This is perhaps clearest in private homes, where the “smart home” concept we frequently hear about has a lot to do with security. The truth of the matter is that modern home security systems have been pretty advanced for some time now. However, an article at Innovation Enterprise points out that the IoT has taken advanced home security and given us more control over it. The obvious example is that we now have the ability to do so many things remotely, such as turning systems on and locking doors. It’s also mentioned that the IoT systems in place in a home can be used to improve security monitoring. For instance, if your television is hooked up and a burglar attempts to steal it, you can automatically be sent a message that the TV has been unplugged.
A similar monitoring of possessions and property security is taking place through the IoT on a much larger scale in the world of business. A blog post at Networkfleet discusses the various ways in which the IoT is being implemented in fleet management for large companies with shipping divisions, including measuring vehicle diagnostics, automated GPS routing, etc. There are also benefits with regard to the protection of assets. The post also discusses that IoT use in major companies can be as thorough as to involve small sensors equipped with internal antennae on containers of goods and individual pieces of equipment. On a major scale, this gives fleet managers and businesses as a whole an unprecedented perspective not just on where their vehicles and drivers are but on the location and security of individual pieces of inventory.
And finally, we’re also seeing the IoT helping with security in business where office spaces are concerned, rather than simply with regard to inventory. Much of this branch of IoT implementation looks very similar to what we might discuss with regard to home security, but there are specific business-related perks worth mentioning. Inc.’s post on the topic pointed to two in particular: the ability to change locks with ease, and the opportunity to use advanced security cameras. The point regarding locks is actually an important one for office managers and business owners to consider. Basically, if an employee leaves suddenly or is fired, locks don’t have to be changed via a slow repair process; you can just change lock codes through a mobile device connected to digitally controlled locking mechanisms. The security camera concept is more about peace of mind, but it’s still worth noting t
hat IoT-based cameras can send a feed directly to any mobile device, meaning you can have eyes on a business at all times.
Again, there are plenty of security risks associated with the spread of the IoT as well. But the features and practices discussed here are meant to underscore that there are still a lot of major security advancements being made thanks to broader understanding and use of the IoT.