Research firm Gartner forecasts that 8.4 million connected things (Internet of Things; IoT) will be in use worldwide in 2017, up 31 percent from 2016, and will reach 20.4 billion by 2020. That’s a lot of smart devices communicating over the Internet.
It also presents the potential for some huge risks—namely cyber-hacking. The ability for Internet-connected smart devices –particularly electronic door locks and surveillance cameras—to be accessed remotely by unauthorized users is an issue that needs to be addressed.
Manufacturers are doing their part by adding extra layers of security to their communications platforms, but you can protect you, your home and your family even further by enlisting a knowledgeable home systems professional for help. In addition to enhancing the reliability and security of your home network and the devices attached to it, his guidance and advice on all things IoT will be invaluable.
During a Media Day held recently at the Anixter Infrastructure Solution Labs, in Glenview, Ill., (Anxiter is a global distributor of security solutions for homes, businesses, schools, and industries, with more than 300 locations worldwide) a executives presented effective ways that home systems integrators can help customers like you prepare their smart homes for IoT. Be sure to ask your home systems professional if he offers these services:
Solid Maintenance Contract: You need to feel protected from the increased risks that new technologies present, and that means having a maintenance program in place that provides you with valuable peace of mind.
Leverage the IP: This may sound a big “big brotherish”, but if your home systems professional is able to collect data (with your permission) from your home’s IoT devices, he can get a better handle on your future needs. For example, if he notices an IP-connected video doorbell is unable to “see” images after 9 p.m., he can follow up by offering you a motion triggered light—often fixing the problem before you even realize one exists.
Discover an Upgrade Path: You recognize that obsolescence as a natural part of a technology lifecycle. You’ll feel better about investing in products and services if your home systems professional provides you with a logical upgrade path from the get-go. Being upfront eliminates surprises, breeds trust, and helps you plan more effectively for their future.
A few product lifecycles noted:
Cable infrastructure: 15 years
Indoor fixed camera: 7 years
Storage devices: 5 years