Worried about The Donald and IoT? Mmm, little bit.

Regardless of which side of the political fence you fall, all of us agree that information is power.  To get a sense of this, watch these people try to explain why they’re protesting Donald Trump.  The punch line is, they can’t explain it.  They haven’t any real information, so histrionics is their only response. 

Ask people about their fear of connecting their home and business to the internet and you’ll get much the same response.  Lots of emotion, few facts.   Sure, there are the creepy stories of baby monitor hacks and cars that take control of themselves but those are corner cases.  

The Internet of Things [IoT] represents a fundamental tilt in the lens through which we view the world and like electing Donald Trump, may a bigger change than we realize right now. (Haven’t heard of IoT? Check out this Forbes overview). If you have a wearable device such as a fitness band or a connected thermostat, you’re just getting started. 

IoT Growth

Gartner estimates that by 2020 there will be 26 billion devices connected to the web, which is roughly 4 devices for every man, woman and child on the planet.  Now IoT isn’t as much about connected devices as it is about sensors, which can be attached to everything from your morning cup of coffee to the copier and coffee pot at work.  All of these sensors are sending data to businesses to help them understand what’s working and what’s not — for you, the consumer and employee.  Here are some of the latest predictions on IoT from leading analyst as captured in this Forbes article:

Forrester – Enterprise customers and consumers will automatically ask product sellers about the sensor capabilities in the mobile app for a new machine, tool, or a refrigerator.

IDC – By 2018, 60% of Global 1000 companies will integrate IT and Operations Technology (OT) at the technology, process, security and organization levels to fully realize the value of their IoT investments.

Gartner – More than half of major new business processes and systems will incorporate some element of the Internet of Things (IoT) by 2020.

While much of this data will be captured, stored and analyzed at the edge of networks, some of these newly smart devices like building controls, vehicles, industrial equipment, durable goods and, yes, wearables that will have user data and control information in them that is worthy of being backed up. 

My family and I toured an automobile manufacturing plant in our home state of Texas.  We watched with fascination as a massive robot picked up and flipped around the body of a pickup then placed it with great precision onto the waiting chassis so the newly assembled truck could move down the line to finish the process. 

Imagine if this robot went down!  Sure, it could be repaired and reprogrammed but the entire assembly line that connects truck bodies with chassis would stop until the robot was back on line. Given the cost of pickups these days, I have to believe a few hour outage would be a loss even The Donald would notice. 

Securing IoT

So regardless of your suspicions about IoT, its coming and by all accounts, quickly, either to your home, your business or both. So now is the time to ask yourself a few questions and get a plan in place.  Will you put user or record data on connected devices?  If you do, how will you back it up and ensure IoT data security

And while you’re working on that, perhaps Mr. Trump can back up a few of his claims – maybe think about building some bridges instead of walls Big D — so when January 2017 rolls around, we won’t be worried about him or IoT.

Learn more in our technical brief, How are You Protecting Your IoT Data?