What is the Internet of Things? Whatis.com says:
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a scenario in which objects, animals or people are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
What is the Internet of Things for? Wikipedia says:
The Internet of Things allows objects to be sensed and controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration between the physical world and computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit.
Basically, it is supposed to make all our lives better, leveraging the connectedness enabled by the global internet. Toothbrushes, refrigerators, clothing – all enhanced in a way that intend to provide us humans better lives – through the convenience of technology.
But alas, with convenience online there is always a tradeoff – security. And as we’ve learned thus far online – the bad guys have it much easier. Given the numeric scale that the IoT is, can and will be, it is even more important to be establishing a trust framework now.
Fortunately the Online Trust Alliance has lead that effort. The OTA is a non-profit organization whose mission includes helping to “…educate businesses, policy makers and stakeholders while developing and advancing best practices and tools to enhance the protection of users’ security, privacy and identity.”
Most recently they introduced in early August, a discussion draft of a first-ever Internet Of Things (IoT) Trust Framework. This early effort is a global, multi-stakeholder effort to address IoT risks comprehensively.
The framework presents guidelines for IoT manufacturers, developers and retailers to follow “…when designing, creating, adapting and marketing connected devices in two key categories: home automation and consumer health and fitness wearables. In the spirit of collaboration, OTA openly invites industry leaders to review the document and provide feedback.”
It’s a great collaborative effort and a much needed start for a technology space that is going to continue to explode.