Is IoT Ready for the Security Industry?
What about actual IoT applications in the security industry? Our team has been working on just such a project over the last year to leverage IoT to manage intelligent locksets and other sensors and devices. Until this last year, IoT looked to us like another overhyped three letter acronym filling our inboxes. We learned how far along the ecosystems needed to make IoT secure and practical had come. First to address the questions about how all these “things” are supposed to be secure and communicate with each other, we learned that by 2016 the basic direction had been found.
The state of the IoT was essentially where the Internet was prior to the development of the Web in the early 1990s. Web standards enabled interconnectivity, discoverability, and security for the Internet. They continue to evolve to keep up with security needs and new feature demands. The World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C, the major standards body for the Web, refers to the use of Web standards for IoT as the “Web of Things”, or WoT. On their WoT page at w3.org/WoT, they explain “The Internet of Things (IoT) is widely recognized to have lots of potential, but its commercial potential is being held back by fragmentation. The Web of Things seeks to counter the fragmentation of the IoT, making it much easier to create applications without the need to master the disparate variety of IoT technologies and standards.” Wikipedia’s Web of Things article states that “Rather than re-inventing completely new standards, the Web of Things reuses existing and well-known Web standards.”
We also found that Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) had moved out of the experimental phase into practical tools for product developers. One example of this is found in detectors for vaping. These smoke detector-like devices can be used where normal surveillance cannot, such as K-12 bathrooms. One model claims to be able to detect not only vaping, but whether THC is present. The same device claims to detect smoking, whippets (Nitrous Oxide), ammonia, light, raised voices and aggressive behavior. The list of devices with surprising capabilities at ever lower price points is growing daily. A key game changer is happening with integration among both devices and applications. This area has evolved to the point that integration can now be done by non-programmers using visual editors. This is termed “no code” development and has a sibling, “low code” development. It means capabilities normally only in the hands of OEMs are suddenly available to everyone. Other technologies like 5G, the next generation for mobile device communication, is highly optimized for IoT and will only accelerate its growth.