Internet of Things in Business - A study on applications, regulations, and security

Bhatt, Abhas
Major Professor
Townsend, Anthony M
Committee Member
Townsend, Anthony M
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Internet of Things is being used in all possible places as they provide promising opportunity to any user from a simple application to a network of complex operations. The advancement of technology is providing an imaginary space and a virtual playground for everyone to interact with each other. Machines are not exception to this, especially IoT devices. The low cost and easy compatibility of wireless technology and device sensors has made it extremely easy to use IoT devices in virtually any environment. Cloud technology is supporting the sustainability of these IoT devices through rapid and improved communication. The user of these devices most of the time do not have to worry about the implementation solution as various autonomous processes are built into these devices for collecting, processing, acting, and storing data. There are various applications of IoT devices in consumer and organizational spaces. In organizational space, medical and healthcare has a huge market for IoT devices. From remote monitoring to emergency notification system, IoT does it well. These are also very popular in clinical and health insurance settings. The accurate, real-time data with timestamps being generated by these devices has a potential to save huge expenditure in the health and insurance industry. Similarly for transportation sector, the sensors provide smart traffic control, smart parking, fleet management, digital toll collections, and as a whole safety to the consumers. As the IoT hardware are being deployed, the software for those IoT devices is being created as well. And the variety of hardware and software vendors are not making it easy to centrally regulate the protocols and best practices when an IoT device is deployed in the network. As a result, there are various non-standard practices going on in the IoT world. In the IT Security industry today, one would even rename the term “Internet of Things” to “Internet of Trash”. So, a business or an individual needs to be very careful in using such devices, especially when they interact with or connect to sensitive data, either of an individual or of customers. Lately the IoT devices are also under scrutiny because their surface area for attacks is increasing because of wide usage. In the recent years more than half of the cyberattacks are being done to IoT devices. A successful compromise of an IoT device can be patient zero to move laterally in an organization network. And because of non-standard practices, launching attack vector from a compromised device becomes extremely easy to the attacker and extremely disastrous to a business. To mitigate the risk, there are various guidelines provided by federal and private agencies that a business can utilize to keep these devices safe and usable in a business environment. Hence, this review overlooks the IoT device types, their application is various industries, the trends, and characteristics of IoT devices, how it interacts with the technology, the pitfall and security issues it brings to the workspace, examples of security issues in the past, real world analysis of an IoT device, and how we can mitigate and/or minimize those security issues to make them usable for organizational benefits.