There is No Single Way to IoT

It is called the Internet of Things (IoT) - plural - for a reason. IoT encompasses everything from traditional IT devices like laptops and phones to next-generation technologies like virtual assistants (Alexa, Google Home) to previously unconnected technologies like TVs to everyday utilities like HVAC systems and even refrigerators. With this wide range of things, agencies are finding it difficult to catalog every IoT device, making the creation of policies and processes even more challenging.

Shadow IoT--connected devices that aren't managed or monitored by an organization's IT resources--is a real concern for IT teams. In one study, 90% of organizations found IoT devices they were not aware of using their network. These devices can include fitness trackers, digital assistants, and smart televisions. Once these devices are identified, huge security challenges still remain as many of them were not designed with security in mind. There is also such a wide range of devices and manufacturers that policies cannot be applied consistently across all of the different products and systems.

Even known IoT devices can provide security challenges and concerns. Historically, systems running building automation - lights, elevators, sprinkler systems, HVAC - were separate from the IT systems. Today, these Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) regularly connect to external networks and introduce risk back into the agency networks. As a workaround, a survey of IoT leaders found that 45% of respondents said they were deploying IoT devices on a dedicated network. Continue reading

Defining the Internet of (Government) Things

The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a system of interrelated devices that may have completely different uses, shapes, or sizes, but all have one thing in common-- data and the ability to transfer it autonomously. IoT can be the microchip that helps you find your lost dog, a monitor in a heart valve that alerts doctors and patients to irregular beats, a thermostat that you can turn on remotely, motion detectors that tell you when someone is approaching your door, and so much more. Building on these everyday applications, state, local, and federal agencies are finding ways to use IoT to better serve citizens.[Tweet "IoT was named one of the top subjects discussed at federally-focused events. #GovEventsBlog"]

Since IoT was named one of the top subjects discussed at federally-focused events, we wanted to take a closer look at how government organizations are tapping into the plethora of IoT devices, networks, and capabilities to improve our country's security and welfare. The major trends around IoT in government include:[Tweet "The major trends around IoT in government include: Smart Cities, Cybersecurity and more. #GovEventsBlog"] Continue reading