Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a rapidly-developing field which promises to disrupt many established structures in different areas of everyday life. IoT offers new ways to implement processes which have been performed in the same ways for decades. At the same time, an IoT approach promises greater insight and control of automated systems through access to large amounts of data and the ability to communicate directly with individual components in those systems. In many cases, it is envisaged that the processing power and communications capabilities embedded in such systems will enable greater self-regulation so that regular human oversight is no longer needed. IoT products and services are being developed at a fast pace by commercial companies and there is a great appetite among consumers and organisations for these offerings and the advantages that they are designed to deliver.
The two main issues facing the further development of IoT are the fragmentation of technical standards and the security risks associated with the trade-off between greater connectivity between devices and the reduction of human intervention. Both problems are exacerbated by the commercial pressure to deliver new products and build market share as quickly as possible. There are currently many competing standards, platforms and product ecosystems that fall under the heading of IoT, and the fast pace means that products and services may be offered without fully exploring the security implications. Even if security is addressed, the increased number of connected devices entailed by IoT significantly increases the attack surface available to malicious actors. The task of protecting an organisation's resources is thereby made more difficult.