Making The Internet of Things Work For You
The Internet of Things. You’ve probably been hearing about it a lot recently – we’ve even mentioned it in a post. But it’s not exactly the most descriptive term and has left many people scratching their head in wonder. We all know what the Internet is, and we all know what the general term “things” means – but when the two are strung together the entire concept becomes a bit hazy.
The term means, essentially, the inter-connectivity of items that can communicate with each other by sharing data, completing processes, or both. A common example is the ability to use your cell phone to set your DVR while you’re away from home. The Internet of Things, however, is much more complex. It isn’t related to just household devices – although they do make up a large portion of the “things” in question – it’s also related to medical devices, vehicles, office equipment, and various types of software and sensors that could be found as a component in just about any piece of machinery.
While there are certainly a number of benefits that come from this type of inter-connectivity of items – imagine being able to track inventory, control manufacturing equipment, and process shipments from a single device. There are also some substantial risks, namely hackers. Connecting various pieces of equipment, software, and databases together means that access to important data might be gained by a exploiting a weak spot in any of the peripheral devices or software within the system.
That said, the value certainly outweighs the risks. With the proper IT Security protocols, processes, and equipment in place you can mitigate potential risks, and reap huge rewards by building more efficiency into your daily operations. Microsoft recommends “implementing a strategy to capitalize on the Internet of Things trend” so that you can “stop running your business and start making it thrive.” They advise looking at it as “The Internet of Your Things.” Their game plan is simple in theory: take an inventory of your current systems and devices, and look for the first easily interconnected pairing. From there, build upon your systems and devices – upgrading where necessary, adding where possible, until everything is running together smoothly.
Realistically though, you can’t simply force one device to collect data from another, or manipulate any software program to begin controlling a piece of equipment. These things take time, professionals and of course, security. At TSI, our team of Engineers are up to the task.
For more information on how to make the Internet of Things work for you, and how to protect your current systems and devices from vulnerabilities, call us at (508) 543-6979 or email email@example.com.