Keeping On Top Of the Internet Of Things
The Internet of Things is all around us. But are you ready for the changes it is going to bring to your business and the way you work? What is the Internet of Things (IoT) anyway?
IoT is basically a universal network of things. The “things” in the Internet of Things refers to any electronic device, which could be a smartphone, tablet, Kindle, audio system, IP cameras, printer, network hardware or any device that is connected to the internet or your home network.
There are billions of “things” on the Internet of Things. Almost every computing, entertainment and printing device is on the IoT. These days, even washing machines are refrigerators are connected to the internet and are considered to be a part of the Internet of Things. All gadgets in your home network hidden behind a common firewall are a part of the IoT.
The most important thing to take care of when handling the IoT is the network security. Go ahead and check your home network. It probably has 10 to 12 devices on it. Check your camera, computer, router, printer, DVD player; even check your smart lock or light bulb. Do they have the latest software and firmware release installed on them? Did you check the default password they came with? Did you properly lock down the remote services they are connected to?
What about the UPnP and WPS? Have you locked them? Are you sure that you have made your system perfectly hack proof? While security is a major concern, if you are technically gifted, this shouldn’t present a problem to you. However, if you are nothing more than a casual user, you may not know how to safeguard your router and your connection to the wireless network.
Here’s what you should know about the Internet of Things (IoT)
According to Gartner, there will be 26 billion devices connected to the Internet of Things by 2020. This figure does not even include smartphones and computers. The “things” we speak about will be a variety of gadgets that will be used to enable our smart homes and cars, create smart workplaces and an interconnected infrastructure. If you have managed a network, you will already be aware of the IoT – your network will be on it.
The IoT is a great new innovation, which combines collaboration and communication, and features a massive range of devices. But the main issue with IoT is security. This is something that leaves you open to IP theft, hacking and security threats. The number of instances of hacking and corporate data breaches is something that is increasing every year.
What can be done about it? Networking companies such as Cisco have introduced micro-segmentation of the network, with innovative technologies such as TrustSec. A number of good practices have emerged which involve keeping different classes of IoT devices separate from each other and from the core business network.
The IoT will provide data centre owners with a lot more to manage. They will be more dependent on the network and its growing intelligence than ever before. There will certainly be new challenges along the way, especially from the security perspective. That’s why it is important to design the right sort of systems and policies which ensure that the risk is kept to a minimum.