The Internet of Things (IoT) is revolutionizingand transforming our everyday lives. People may not realize the IoT but it is already gaining traction and slowly but steadily influencing the life of people in this highly connected world. Some analysts even refer this technological paradigm shift as bigger as the Industrial Revolution.
The term Internet of Things is coined by Kevin Ashton in 2009 and it means interconnection of uniquely identifiable devices within the existing Internet infrastructure. In simple terms, the IoT is an environment where the Internet-connected sensors and devices communicate with each other in order to perform the designated tasks and its end result is efficiency, automation, safety, and convenience. The concept of IoT was originally destined to encompass a method with the help of which data could be automatically gathered (at the time by RFID, or radio frequency identification tags) and this concept was used primarily for the inventory purposes.
According to ABI Research, by 2020 there could be 30 billion devices wirelessly connected to the Internet. Further, Cisco also indicated that this numbermight be closer to 50 billion in the same time frame. The concept of IoT is designed to help consumers reduce energy, save money, and eliminate some hassles of everyday life.
Benefits of Internet of Things for Small Businesses
One recent survey,conducted by security software maker AVG, found that many small-business owners still do not even know the meaning of “IoT”. But, this innovative concept could benefit the small businesses in following way:
1. New business opportunities- The IoT does not just offer greater efficiency, but it can also open the door to many new revenue streams and business opportunities that entrepreneurs can seize upon. It has potential to change the way small businesses approach the world.
2. Real-time operations in more efficient manner- With the help of IoT, small businesses are able to connect more devices to the Internet that will provide businesses ability to strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of their business operations.
3. Effective and efficient working- Since the price of devices comes down; it is likely that most of the firms will eventually be ‘IoT’ enabled. But,the small businesses must get their data in order first, because, it generates enormous amount of information, as the IoT is very much linked to the big analytics and data. Thisenormousdata amount is seeing increasing use of cloud, making Internet of things more accessible for the small businesses. Consequently, the opportunity lies in making it more effective and efficient.
The Security Risks with IoT Devices
As with any internet-connected device, IoT gadgets and appliances have potential security vulnerabilities. In January 2014 global Internet of Things cyber-attack, hackers compromised more than 100,000 everyday smart devices of consumer and used thesesmart devices to launch more than 750,000 malicious email communications in attempt to increase the size of their botnet.
The more online data collectioninevitably means there is greater potential for the cyber criminals to hack into online data collections and steal sensitive and valuable business information. Therefore, small businesses also have to think about the security implications of the ‘IoT’. The small businesses can take help from information security companies that help to completely eliminate the risk of data theft. These IT security companies use their advance tools to save the precious data of small businesses so that their business proliferates with great pace without any security threat.
Author Bio –Neha is an info-sec expert, serving the industry since more than half a decade. She has been working with an information security company in India. Neha like to share her testing experience with the world through articles and blogs.