Wednesday, July 15th, 2015
20 years later: what have we learned?
The current technological trend toward connectivity bears an uncanny resemblance to past ones. Some might call it “déjà vu.” Others might lean toward history repeating itself.
Either way, the sensation is true. The Internet of Things (Iot) and the movement toward connecting all the things, the so-called “Internet of Everything,” is not unlike past technological advances.
Automobiles, radios, televisions, personal computers, the Internet…they all took time to come to maturity. During that phase, people championed and dismissed the objects. “It’s only a fad,” some said. “It’s the future,” said others.
The others were proved right. The objects—the radios, the TVs—went mainstream. Everyone had the Internet before they knew what could be done with it, in fact, before they knew the risks associated with it. No publicly agreed-upon standards and few safeguards existed then; they had to be created as the Internet continued its leap forever forward.
It’s the same with IoT. Standards are many but none have yet to be widely adopted. Security and privacy concerns run rampant. The question, though, is what to do about it. The answer is found in using the past as a benchmark. We learn from it, build against it in some cases, and secure the present and future.
The standards stymie
It’s reality that standards are many. Nothing can be done about that. That doesn’t leave us without options.
We can assess existing standards and see how they perform against the rigors of an always-connected world. Traction is important, too. Which ones are being more and more widely used? That gives an inkling of where the future lies, and we’ll be ready to embrace it.
Devices, like standards, are many, albeit on a much larger scale. A new wearable or smart device seems to come to market each day. Which ones will stand the test of time?
Again, it’s hard to tell at this point. Our best option is to look for ones that have been designed and built by security. They may not be the winners in the end, but at least we’ll have done due diligence in protecting people and their data in the present.
Applications are just as abundant as devices, maybe more so. Here, preparing for the future is two-fold. One, which apps are pertinent to the business? Which ones help people and improve the workplace? Two, which apps are secure? Just as devices have to be designed by security so do apps. The two work in concert to provide security, safety, and privacy.
When it comes to implementing IoT in the workplace, it’s important to give security guidelines and policies and to offer ongoing security trainings and briefings to people. A person with a FitBit may not have a huge impact on his or her family at home; at work, a person’s wearable could have a huge impact on not only other people but also the workplace. When data is shared for the collective good, everyone has to be involved in securing it.
What have we learned from the past? This: to be prepared for whatever comes and to do so with security and safety at the forefront of every business decision we make.