The Internet of Things (IoT) has undergone an amazing transformation, from a pipe dream to a marketing buzzword, and now an impending reality. Recent estimates expect the number of internet-connected devices to reach 26 billion by 2020, with some studies suggesting an even higher output. With an exponential increase in devices communicating with us, other devices, and with the internet at large, how can anyone keep private information safe?
IoT: Ever-connected, ever-susceptible
The phrase “Internet of Things” has been around for decades (ever since computers could connect to this global network), but it has never had more literal applications than it does right now. With the combination of readily available broadband access, decreasing costs in tech manufacturing, increasing Wi-Fi capabilities, and widespread use of smartphones; IoT has never had a launching pad quite as equipped as the modern technological landscape.
Today, the Internet of Things plays with the idea of connecting nearly every manufactured object to the internet. Beyond personal computers, tablets, and smartphones, IoT encompasses some of the more obvious items in our lives – automobiles, security systems, smart home lighting systems. Plus, some more innovative ideas; think home appliances, pacemakers, jet engines, alarm clocks, fitness trackers, energy grids, contact lenses, and even city traffic infrastructures. The future of IoT is bright, however slightly shaded with caution. The more connections that exist between our devices, and the more we transmit data across networks, the more opportunities arise for criminal hackers to get in. That is the dark side.
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