What is the Internet of Things (IoT)? What Are Its Benefits and Risks?

Written by Ratnesh

We are living in an era where technology is progressing as we write. Gone are the days when desktop and mobile were considered to be breakthrough inventions. Today, it is about the interconnectivity between exclusively identifiable devices within the current internet infrastructure. Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing but an environment in which internet-connected devices and sensors communicate with each other that assists in performing the stipulated task. This way, it ends up in providing automation, safety, efficiency, and convenience – to name a few.

The IoT ecosystem is expected to grow to 212 billion connected ‘things’ in the year 2020. Next year, the IoT market is estimated to grow to $8.9 trillion. Can it get any better than this? This is the time when you need to invest in IoT development and IoT implementation. No doubt, the future is all about IoT devices integrated into our daily lives. Consumers always concentrate on the positives however, they are unaware of the security risks.

In the forthcoming sections of this write-up, we have provided a comprehensive outlook about the benefits and security risks of IoT. We promise that after reading this piece of content, you will be at a far better position to adjudge whether IoT is the need of the hour or not.

Let’s start with some of the benefits provided by IoT devices.

IoT devices have made the lives of consumers very easy. The very fact that they help in reducing energy, getting rid of the inevitable hassles of everyday life, and saving money is enough to consider them as a viable option for our daily life. Some of the benefits of IoT devices include:


What is the Internet of Things-Thermostats


Google acquired Nest, a company that manufactures a home thermostat to read your heating and cooling trends and then adjusts the temperature. There are certain things that you should know about these thermostats. Always remember that it is dependent on the internet connection that assists in accumulating and scrutinizing usage data. It can be controlled with the help of a smartphone app.


What is the Internet of Things-Refrigerators


Another example of IoT implementation is smart refrigerators. It is designed to manage food purchases efficiently. This way, you do not have to think about whether you have vegetables for tonight’s dinner. Or for that matter is there a need to purchase vegetables from the supermarket. These things are done by your smartphone app. The smart refrigerator has been designed to keep a track of the things that are already present in the refrigerator and the ones you need to get. Isn’t that wonderful?

Door Locks

What is the Internet of Things-Door Locks


With the help of smart door locks, it is possible to get rid of the need for keys. By connecting your smart lock with your smartphone, you can instant notification if a person moves in or out of your house. Besides that, you can always grant access to your family members and friends with the aid of a digital key if you are not in the house. Ingenious, what do you say?

Medical Devices

What is the Internet of Things-Medical Devices


IoT is going to have a lasting impression in the healthcare industry by improvising the doctor-patient relationship. With the help of an IoT device, it is possible for the doctor to monitor a patient remotely and conduct a real-time diagnosis. Alternatively, if a patient suffers from a sudden abnormal increase in heart rate, medical professionals can immediately be dispatched to assist the patient.

Now that you have looked at the benefits of IoT devices, it is time to divert our attention to the potential risks of using IoT in our day-to-day life.

Security and Privacy

There are lots of things that have been written about the security threats pertaining to IoT. Check out these things that talk a lot about these threats:

● Stealing personal information of companies;
● Thieved identities;
● Capturing of app-connected cars.

These are some of the things that can cause severe anxiety amongst people. Everyone today knows that digitally-connected things have security risks. If you keep the IoT devices at default settings it gives free access for hackers to steal the information. Hence, several organizations have stringent protocols in place. Access controls are the best resort in such scenarios. You can consider it to be the same as having a username/password combination of “admin” and “password”.

Even if you have the technical know-how of configuring the connected devices in the right way, certain things are about to go missing. One of them being, connected device manufacturers are notoriously slow when it comes to releasing patches or updating the firmware. It is even possible that you might not get any support from them. The best thing that they can do is to resolve the security issue with the next version. Hence, it is entirely your call to provide security and privacy to your network things. This can seem to be an unfair deal especially when you are implementing the technology.

The Intricacy of Data

IoT tends to generate infinite bits of data. However, this is not the way business measure its value. It is done with the scrutinization of trends and patterns. For example, imagine you are employing a solitary sensor to report one of ten possible values every week. This way, in 365 days, you’d collect 52 points of data. However, the point of possible connections of those 52 points is 1×1052. Now, if you roughly calculate the total number of atoms on the entire planet, it would be 1×1050. This is a lot fewer.

Now, imagine the difficulty level to collect data from thousands of sensors. The sensors conduct this activity on an hourly basis across a single organization. It is in times like this when you need a plan to process and scrutinize these enormous chunks of data. This way, it would become easier to come up with findings that will assist you in getting better business practices.

Business & IT Buy-in

It can be challenging to persuade stakeholders to purchase the IoT. The reason being, there is always an element of doubt related to security and complexity. Also, there are other factors too that are holding the progress back. You also need to evaluate the perceived costs and risks to lay the foundation. There are a wide array of cloud-managed IoT products available online, but, they do not provide enough support when it comes to introducing an IoT strategy to their enterprise.