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Saturday, 3 June 2017

The Internet of Things: Accessibility or Major Threat?

"The Internet of Things (IoT) is the inter-networking of physical devices, vehicles (also referref 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" - Wikipedia

For those of us born in the 1980's and early 1990's (Otherwise known as Millenials or Generation Y), technology is no stranger. We were fortunate enough to experience most of the major technological introductions and advancements we today expect should be present everywhere we are. Timetoast provides quite an interesting timeline showing which major technologies were introduced from 1980 to 2013.

The idea of IOT seemed to have started in 1999, and snowballed into the multi-billion dollar industry we know today. Autodesk released a video a while ago, explaining their vision of improving the world through the use of their software solutions. There are thousands of visionaries out there asking those provocative questions like: "What's next?" and "How can I change things?" - The future is now, after all!

However, there is a darker side to the IOT as well, recently highlighted by the cyber attacks in the UK and Russia, among many other countries. A short history by The Telegraph of high profile hacks that took place the last few years is disturbing to say the least...

Interestingly enough, back in 2014 James van de Zande from HOK and All Things BIM, raised the issue of Hacking BIM. Similarly, John Lovell (A former US Army Ranger with his own Youtube channel) recently released a thought provoking interview with a white hat hacker (The good kind, a Warrior Poet). I would highly recommend watching this video, as the information provided fully ties into the possible threats of the IOT. 

Imagine one virus, one malware gaining access to all of our connected devices? How will this affect the BIM industry? I am certain that there are threats to the IOT. I am also certain that I can get into an accident every time I get in my car or walk across the road. This is the era we are living in. However, there are so many organisations fighting the black cap hackers every hour of the day. And to be honest, every month there is a newer, better, more efficient laptop, cellphone, or tablet which is released. Every month there is a newer, better, more efficient anti-virus software program or update released.

Our equipment enable us to do our work. If we maintain our equipment on a regular basis by updating to the latest service pack, hotfix or update release, we will decrease the chance of something going wrong. If you can regularly service your vehicle, regularly water your plants, regularly feed yourself... What is the excuse for not regularly maintaining your equipment? 

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