As the world continues to evolve, so does the technology we rely on to make our days easier and more productive. We not only have better computers and mobile devices, but even our appliances are evolving at an exponential rate. Now, we have smart speakers, refrigerators, dolls, security cameras, doorbells, and more, and we can control all of it with our smartphones. This Internet of Things (IoT) not only makes life easier but makes us safer.
When we can control what happens in our homes, we feel protected, and we can keep an eye on suspicious behavior. Unfortunately, hackers can gain control of smart devices when not properly secured and use them against consumers. Let’s talk a bit about how smart devices can secure our homes and ensure that they remain protected.
Connected Devices and Security
When used correctly, smart home devices connected over the Internet of Things can effectively turn your home into a fortress, where no suspicious behavior can occur without the homeowner being notified or otherwise having an immediate solution. There are many smart devices that you can connect to your phone to get that instant security. Smart doorbells allow you to see video evidence of who is at your home and speak to them from inside. If you don’t recognize the visitor and want to keep them from entering, Bluetooth locks can secure your doors with the touch of a button.
Smart security cameras are key for any home that needs protection. With smart apps, the owner of one of these cameras can immediately determine if an intruder is lurking around your property. Some models also include audio that allows you to speak to the individual and warn them if a police presence is on the way. In addition to indoor security cameras, you can also install smartphone-controlled sensors that attach to doors and windows so you can be notified if an intruder tries to enter through any opening.
Technology is evolving by leaps and bounds, and many common household items that we have used in the same way for years are now more advanced than ever. For example, smart garage door openers give you the ability to open and close from anywhere and detect suspicious behavior. Also, light automation allows us to turn on lights instantly with a touch of a button or a voice command to a smart speaker. It is a great option that can deter potential criminals and allow users to see obstacles faster, ideal for elderly homeowners or those with limited vision.
When IoT Devices Are Not Secured
By utilizing smart technology through IoT, consumers can be more protected than ever. However, if the user doesn’t do their part to secure their technology, they could fall victim to cybercrime. Hackers are always a threat to advancing technology, and even though it might seem funny that a criminal would hack your smart thermostat, they are only doing it for one reason, and that is to go through your connected network to get to your smartphone or computer and steal your personal data.
Any data that they get their hands on can be detrimental to the owner. Social security and credit card numbers can be used to take out fraudulent loans to put the owner in bankruptcy. Beyond that, any information, including email addresses, birth dates, and medical histories, can be sold on the black market to other criminals. There is also the threat of ransomware, which allows hackers to control your smart devices until you pay them a sum of money. Imagine being locked out of your house by a criminal living thousands of miles away.
It would be best if you kept your smart devices protected, not only due to personal responsibility but also because smart tech isn’t always as secure as it needs to be. People love new gadgets, and to appease the masses, many smart devices are sent out without the proper security testing, and updates after the fact are also few and far between. While many protections like blockchain could thwart these issues, if the companies don’t take the time to implement these strategies, the issue continues. That is why it often falls on the shoulders of consumers to protect their devices.
Protecting Your Devices
When it comes to protecting your smart home, it all begins at the router, which is essentially the front door of your network. If hackers can determine the name of your router and your password, they can easily make their way in and reach all connected devices. To protect your router, change the name from the model number to something more creative, so it is harder for them to connect it to you. Also, adjust your encryption settings to WPA2 or WPA3, which provide the highest level of security and are harder for the hacker to crack.
Proper passwords are key to protecting your connected network, and every smart device you have should be password-protected. When it comes to passwords, don’t include your last name, your pet, or anything that can be easily learned by hackers. Instead, they should feature a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters, and the password should be paired with two-factor authentication, which is an additional security measure. The best option is a biometric scan of a fingerprint or an eye, as these are most specific to the user.
Perhaps the most important security measure you can implement is making it a habit to update your devices whenever a new software version becomes available. On top of presenting new features, these new versions often come with updated security patches that will fight against the newest threats. If you believe it has been a while since your latest upgrade, consult the product website for information.
While IoT has surely made lives easier and more productive, smart devices within these networks are not without their faults. By staying educated on trends and being proactive with security, you can have the nicest gadgets without worrying about intrusions.
Developing cellular IoT solutions is a complex dance that takes place inside what’s called a mobile core—effectively the “brain” of a mobile network.
Your wireless end users want a seamless customer experience. As builders of cellular IoT solutions, we know that a seemingly minor issue throughout the wireless network can threaten the viability of the entire IoT solution, disrupting that experience.
Which is why it’s critical for you to get to know a key component that can make or break your project: The mobile core.
In this whitepaper, you’ll learn more about:
The ways mobile cores can impact your IoT solution,
Key components of the “brain” of your mobile network and,
Differences between distributed IoT vs centralized mobile cores.
Kajeet offers a comprehensive secure wireless solution to enable your telemedicine and telehealth programs. Bring your application and we can provide all you need to take your solution to market and scale as you grow. Kajeet Connected Health is a highly secure and reliable solution to enable the successful delivery of these services anytime, anywhere to help strengthen caregiver–patient relationships, drive better patient outcomes, increase staff productivity and lower costs for healthcare providers.
Secure Connectivity. Access to private network integrations with cellular carriers for secure access to connectivity without data ever hitting the public internet.
HIPAA-Friendly Solution. Personal Identifiable Information (PII) is never collected or stored by Kajeet, making it HIPAA-friendly.
Simplified Management. Effortless control over embedded wireless connectivity, IoT networks, data, devices, and security from a centralized management console.
What’s Included In Kajeet’s Connected Health Solution:
End-User Devices. Fully kitted Samsung A11 or A12 Smartphone OR Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.4”
Kajeet’s Secure Wireless Network. Verizon data-only plan on Kajeet’s network at 500MB, 1GB, or 2GB per month
Device and Data Management Platform. Kajeet’s Sentinel platform for device and data management that includes real-time data usage, security and policy controls, and open APIs for easy integration
Fully Managed Services. Procurement and provisioning of devices, user profile configuration and ongoing mobile device management
Ongoing improvements to information technology (IT) have opened new opportunities for businesses to increase their revenue stream over the past few decades. These new areas of focus are altering business strategies, bringing IT to the forefront, and placing more responsibility on the role of the Chief Information Officer.
The Changing Role of IT
Over the years, IT has changed from an expensive new fad that businesses were forced to experiment with to a powerful business driver. IT continues to evolve, helping to grow revenue and shape business strategy. As a part of that evolution, the role of the Chief Information Officer has also changed.
Today’s CIO has a seat at the decision-making table, helping to develop strategies, draft policies, and increase revenue. This is occurring through a shift from IT as a cost center toward a creator of value. This shift utilizes digital transformation, leveraging big data, the cloud, and other hallmarks of IT to create novel business models that drive revenue and meet long-term goals while ensuring quality operations.
How IT Increases Revenue
IT is driving revenues for companies by providing tools to make the following innovative improvements:
Increased complex problem-solving: better hardware and smarter applications enable stronger information research and big data analysis, with resultant improvements to scalability planning.
Better decision-making abilities: Improved IT allows for solid market research through video conferencing, social media, online industry forums, and web-based surveys for consumer feedback. Powerful digital tools for analytics allows for data interpretation and stronger, more informed decision-making.
Improved marketing: Sales depend on reaching the right customer; predictive technology makes personalized marketing possible, and high-tech analytics provide feedback about the effectiveness of the marketing strategies, enabling real-time pricing shifts to maximize revenue.
Upgraded customer support: Complex and powerful customer relationship management systems help businesses support their customers through a variety of platforms, including emails, webinars, phone calls, and social media platforms.
Enhanced resource management: Cloud technology allows employees to access their enterprise-level software from any device in any location, improving productivity and, ultimately, the bottom line.
How IT Affects Corporate Strategy
Business strategies are shifting to maximize the revenue-driving power of IT. The revenue-generating CIO will consider the following strategic issues:
Capitalize on mobility: Cater to the continued mobile platform growth by increasing the value of mobile apps for customer service.
Embrace the Internet of Things (IoT): Employ data analytics to harness and utilize big data resulting from the IoT.
Actively collaborate: A key collaboration between the CIO, with expertise in information infrastructure, and the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), with access to a bank of customer data, should focus on transforming big data into growth and revenue opportunities.
Experiment with Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI use can reduce cost and increase productivity, and its efficiency is growing exponentially stronger. As a revenue-generator, AI’s power analytics can be harnessed to turn big data into understandable and usable business information.
As technology continues to improve, the role of IT and, by extension, the role of the CIO will continue to evolve and become even more critical to business success. Cost-saving and improved productivity is not enough to provide strategic advantage anymore. A company that can harness and leverage. IT’s revenue-generating possibilities will see improved bottom lines well into the future.
It’s hard to believe that businesses that were fortunate enough to survive the pandemic are now facing another calamity. The labor shortage or wage shortage (depending on where you stand) could cripple the economic recovery efforts of the US as we head towards potential runaway inflation. The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) is at 5 percent with no end to rising prices.
America’s Work Ethic
Do others around the world see Americans as lazy, entitled teenagers pining for a better allowance? As of May 3, the World Health Organization states that the US was leading other countries in vaccination rates, while other countries like India continue to suffer. Talk to business leaders around the globe, and they’ll find it laughable that America is now “held hostage” by low-skilled, low-wage workers.
Frustrated business owners are left to wonder why those sidelined during the pandemic aren’t rushing back to work. We are experiencing something historic that goes beyond “lazy and entitled Americans.” Three factors are driving the labor shortage as census data comes out:
Low labor force participation rate at 61.4%, according to a February report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Covid did not cause the labor shortage; it did, however, accelerate it. There’s no simple one solution answer, such as raising the minimum wage to address these challenges.
It’s Not a Labor Shortage, It’s a Wage Shortage
Solve the labor shortage by raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Big corporations like Amazon, Costco, and Best Buy have taken steps to address this. However, most of America’s makeup is the small business owner who may not afford such a drastic increase in wages.
This philosophy (coming from heartfelt intentions) can hurt both the business and the worker. For example, a dishwasher making $10 per hour is now demanding $15 per hour. That’s a 50 percent increase. Being fair and equitable, that business owner will have to offer a 50 percent increase across the board. Now, the kitchen manager making $20 per hour will be asking for the same 50 percent increase at $30 per hour.
Other expenses for the business owner come with a significant wage increase, such as unemployment insurance, taxes, and worker’s comp. Businesses are now raising their prices triggering, massive inflation rates. As prices increase, many of these workers fighting for higher wages may not afford these products or services as the CPI continues to climb.
Bend, Don’t Break: AI-Driven Technologies to the Rescue
As a 50-year-old, I remember the Carter years – parents complaining about inflation and long gas lines. Back then, technological advancements weren’t available to help businesses. Artificial Intelligence, often defined as the ability for a computer to think and act like a human, has been democratized in recent years and can serve as a tool to help companies address acute labor shortages.
The labor uprising goes beyond just retail and restaurants. While we see AI-driven digital menus like iOrder, the landscape industry innovates with Graze, the AI-driven lawnmower. Both platforms help address the lack of available workers and improve margins decimated by rising labor costs. In 2017, McKinsey released a study that indicated that by 2030, 30 percent of jobs could be automated with intelligent robots.
Covid unearthed systematic and societal issues with low-skilled, low-wage workers that need to be addressed. In the meantime, businesses will need to look at ways to keep both labor and prices in check- after all, they are the job creators, and these workers on the sidelines will eventually have to pay their bills.