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Internet of Things (IOT). What It Is and What It Isn’t.

Wikipedia describes IOT as the inter-networking of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as “connected devices” and “smart devices”), buildings, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enable these objects to collect and exchange data.

WHOA! Wait a second. That’s pretty technical for others that are not tech-savvy. So if you’re thinking “Have I been using IOT already then?” Well yes… and no. Wait! What? lets dig deeper into this, Shall we?

Anything that connects to the internet is “Things” of IOT. But that doesn’t mean it is a part of IOT. To become part of IOT, your device is connected to another device and that device is also connected to you. Think of it as a spider web. Every thread is connected to another thread. Meaning that you can get to any thread from any other thread no matter where that thread, that you started on, is at.

“Should I be connected to IOT?”

Well that depends on what you are doing and why you need to do it. Let’s take a home security system for example. If you have a security system that has cameras and that will send you alerts via text message or any other form of communication, some security systems are connected already to the Home Security Provider. Let’s say you want them to monitor your home while you are on vacation. Bingo! IOT. And let’s say that you want to view your cameras while you are on the beaches of Maui soaking up the sun while drinking a margarita. There you go again. IOT. The same thing goes with home automation software. If you turn on the lights to your living room from your smart phone, Yup! You got it. That’s IOT. But just because you can’t do that kind of stuff doesn’t mean that you aren’t a part of the IOT community. It’s basically controlling anything from anywhere at any time.

“Is IOT Safe?”

Mostly yes. But some “Things” have better security than others. But that does not make it unsafe either. Compatibility is another big one. Just because your house can turn on and off the lights by pressing a button does not mean that it can be controlled by any other device. Your device MUST be compatible with the device you are wanting to communicate with. Not everything can communicate with everything. Some devices have their proprietary software to control whatever they have. Some great, some not so great. And with that come hurdles. Such as not being able to view your front porch from that beach on Maui from your smart phone. Just in the simple fact that your phone is simply not compatible with the camera. It happens all the time. Now let’s get back to safety. Whatever “Thing” that you are trying to connect to, make sure you are connecting to it with software that is for, or comes with, that device. Some 3rd party software might have security issues that can affect the security of the connection as they, most of the time, don’t connect in the same way as the original software does.

“Have I been connected to IOT this entire time?”

Chances are that you have used IOT is some way, shape, or form. Most people use it on a daily basis and not even know it. If you have a social networking app on your smart phone, you use IOT. If you send a text message, IOT. If you check your email, you guessed it, IOT. IOT is NOT described as connecting to one other device, but rather connecting to multiple different devices using one device.

“I have a business that already has IOT. How can I stop others from accessing my IOT but still allow them to connect to their own?”

This is where that security part comes up. Businesses that use IOT are everywhere. From your common retail store to the local watering hole. Most businesses would have a Guest wifi that you can connect to. And if done correctly, can eliminate many risks of your devices getting taken over by the 14 year old that decided it would be funny to print out 100 copies of smiley faces on your office printer. This is where we come in. To secure a business, your connection is the most important, but to keep customers happy and returning is also as equally important. Some business owners do not have the proper planning nor the knowledge to keep them, or their customer safe in a world full of internet. Empire Dynamic Solutions has the ability to asses, capture real-time information, and draw out a plan to keep you, your business, and your customers safe while they tweet a picture of their favorite dish at the restaurant that they have been talking about for the past month.

“Can you help my business get on this new IOT thing that everyone is talking about?”

Well… IOT isn’t new. Its been around for decades. Although the concept wasn’t named until 1999. The first internet appliance, for example, was a Coke machine at Carnegie Melon University in the early 1980s. The programmers could connect to the machine over the internet, check the status of the machine and determine whether or not there would be a cold drink awaiting them, should they decide to make the trip down to the machine. But simple answer is yes. Empire Dynamic Solutions can help you determine what is needed and how it needs to happen to keep you safe from that 14 year old mentions earlier.

“I’m in. Who do I call?”

Well, we don’t capture ghosts  or the other stuff that go bump in the night (Haha… did you get it?), But if you are interested in hoping on the IOT train, you can call us directly at 813-444-4543 and speak with our consultants. We are always here to help you, your business, and your customers in a safe and happy IOT world.

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