ABAX has already some years ago Security in the IoT environment discussed. Due to the rapid development around digitalization it is time for an update.
In the first part of our series about IoT and security, read why IoT is now a fixed part of our everyday life.
What is IoT? What is Industry 4.0?
Let's start with a definition of the two terms IoT and Industry 4.0 IoT - Internet of Things - is a collection of devices connected to the Internet. At first you think of things like a laptop or smart TV, but Internet of Things encompasses more than that: many electronic devices that were not online in the past, such as photocopiers, refrigerators at home or the coffee pot in the office, are now equipped as standard with the technology that makes it possible to connect to the Internet. Almost any device that has an on/off switch can, at least theoretically, connect to the Internet and is therefore part of IoT. Internet of Things introduced the innovative industry 4.0, terms like Smart Factory or Smart City are ubiquitous. Industry 4.0 is the fourth industrial revolution in which work processes are digitalized and automated through networked and more efficient production. Companies can use it to improve their services, develop new products or open up entirely new markets by providing innovative solutions to meet customer requirements that have not yet been on the radar screen of companies.
Why is everyone talking about the Internet of Things now?
The Internet of Things is a hot topic as we are just realizing how many things can be connected and how this can affect businesses. A combination of things makes the Internet of Things ripe for discussion, including
- Cheaper options for building technically skilled equipment
- A growing number of products are Wi-Fi compatible
- The sharp increase in smartphone use
- The ability to manage other devices using smartphones
For all these reasons, Internet of Things is no longer just IT jargon. It is a term that every entrepreneur should know.
Industry 4.0 still has to learn IT security
Advantages of IoT and common IoT applications in the workplace
Many investigations and studies show that IoT devices can improve business operations. According to Gartner, employee productivity, remote monitoring and optimized processes are among the most important IoT benefits for companies.
But what do IoT applications in companies actually look like? Every company is different, but here are some examples that are already in frequent use:
- Language wizards like Siri or Alexa open apps that let you take notes, set reminders, access your calendar, send email, and more.
- With intelligent locking systems, a company can manage access centrally and, for example, grant a supplier access outside business hours.
- Intelligently controlled building services such as thermostats or lights are switched on and off by the owner to save energy costs.
And, most importantly...
And in the current corona situation, solutions that make existing systems, such as CCTV cameras, more "intelligent" can be used to monitor customer numbers in stores or take temperature measurements, for example. You can find examples here.
The advantages of IoT are undeniable. However, high-profile attacks combined with the uncertainty about proven security methods and the associated costs prevent many companies from adopting the technology. You will read more about this shortly in the second element of our series.