Analysts have been saying for a long time that the Internet of Things (IoT) is about to become a fundamental element in the transformation of businesses – its impact will end up influencing all social and industrial sectors. Recently, the technology consultancy Gartner placed this technology as one to watch (along with machine learning), and estimated that it would reach its full potential within 5 to 10 years.
IoT and the challenges of an imminent roll-out
However, according to this company it won’t be long before we can see how the Internet of Things will begin to generate visible changes – a study presented this month by the Gartner team predicts a transformation in the world of cybersecurity within the next two years, thanks to the Internet of Things. Therefore, by the end of 2017 more than 20% of businesses will be using security services dedicated to protecting businesses initiatives, and that use devices and services based on the Internet of Things.
Likewise, Gartner also predicts that IT and security strategies will need to be redefined as a consequence of adopting this new technology, along with the 26,000 thousand new devices that come with it. This, obviously, will massively increase the number and reach of technological vulnerabilities.
With the massive implementation of the IoT, intelligent gadgets will lose importance against the rise of omnipresent sensors (and the huge amount of information that they generate). In short, the lines between the physical and the digital will become blurred and BITS will act as the engine that allows devices connected to the IoT to change the state of its environment, including their own.
Gartner gives a few examples of this – a sensor that detects a temperature that is too low in a room will raise it automatically, or another that readjusts the dosage of medication for a patient in their hospital bed according to their medical records. This is without even mentioning the potential for IoT to change the way we drive on our highways (or, even better, how we stop doing it altogether).
The main challenge for the Internet of Things will be security
Businesses that adopt the IoT (the demand driven by providers and customers will ensure that they do) should increase their connectivity and readjust their maintenance policies. In any case, the main challenge will still be in the security systems. The Internet of Things is set to redraw the lines of responsibilities for the enterprise – security policies will have to be open to different profiles of employees and updating protocols, the same as what happened with the introduction of BYOD or cloud computing, but on a much larger scale, and with a far more visible impact.
“Ultimately, the requirements for securing the IoT will be complex, forcing CISOs to use a blend of approaches from mobile and cloud architectures, combined with industrial control, automation and physical security,” says Ganesh Ramamoorthy, Vice President of Gartner.
“However CISOs will find that, even though there may be complexity that is introduced by the scale of the IoT use case, the core principles of data, application, network, systems and hardware security are still applicable.”