internet of things: are we there yet?
Canberra talk-fest weighs in behind IoT as the next “wave.”
Australia’s peak industry body, the Australian Information Industries Association has weighed in behind the internet of things (IoT). This week’s Canberra talkfest offered a front-line look at the IoT – unsurprisingly, this is the next big thing for industry, government, finance, education and other core sectors.
Drawing on “insights” by government and industry experts, this forum rehashed some old trends around the IoT. And more recently, the internet of everything (IoE). These ubiquitous networks connect people, places and devices in a restless, uncharted territory. If we’re not looking, another business will capture “mind-share” and make zillions from connected devices that’re festooned around the mother-of-all internets.
In lock-step across the planet
This transformation incorporates the mind-numbing aspects of traffic management. Consumer devices will integrate smart meters in formation, fire up our pace-makers, and monitor every move, at home, work or play.
Magically, these devices will march in lock-step, across a connected planet, meshing billions of devices, and us with it.
This connected terrain is capped at more than US $7 billion by 2020. Industry surveys flag the IoT or IoE as the industry’s most amazing money-making venture, since, well, when the internet was first invented, inside the dusty Washington-based Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. If you’re not ready for this internet onslaught, you risk being a dinosaur, with no place to hide, or are stuck in Neanderthal territory.
Follow the pack?
One thing is certain: internet-enabled devices are here to stay. The inventory grows, and we may soon spawn a more futuristic IoT-savvy Marc Zuckerberg.
Among the magic quadrant pundits, Gartner estimates this market as “ballooning” to 25 billion devices. There’s the popularity of fitness trackers, smart-TVs, watches, glasses and everything else in-between.
Behind the sensors, tracking systems, and smarts built into connected devices, a more compelling warning comes from the US Federal Trade Commission. In a recent report, the commission spotlights a core global concern – and, this is IoT security.
After the fact
You may be forgiven for thinking that, somehow, connected devices come with built-in security, says the FTC. In this runaway space, security is often an add-on, unhappily after the fact.
One recent commission report nailed come concerns on the head. Among these, once the dust settles, business and governments need to take “concrete steps” to protect consumer privacy and security against the avalanche of IoT products or services.
Fashion statement or trust?
This is all about building trust around how consumers engage with connected devices, and securing our “wearables.” You don’t need to be Vogue’s Anna Wintour to appreciate that your data is vulnerable. Be this for healthcare, financial services, or personal communication.
The directive from the FTC, and other industry watchdogs is to build security into devices, at the outset. Moreover, staff needs training around security that cuts across the enterprise, and is not an after-thought.
The onus is also on service providers to maintain reasonable standards, and better manage multiple layers of security. The challenge is: how do you prevent someone else from borrowing your device? And do you know where your personal data resides?
Worldwide, legislators are tightening the laws around better security for devices, as these mushroom across the planet. The focus is to educate consumers, offer business guidance, endorse “multi-stakeholder” efforts, and improve advocacy.
Behind this bureaucrat-speak, we appear no close to refining the details around IoT or IoE security. Before you head to the next talk-fest, revisit this earlier FTC document that has some currency. The question is: yes, the IoT is here. But are we there yet?
Upcoming talkfests at these sites offer insights from the trenches.