Magazine article HRMagazine

The Internet of Things

Magazine article HRMagazine

The Internet of Things

Article excerpt

Today, sensors and other embedded devices are ubiquitous: They are used to track the transportation route of packages, to transmit data from implanted medical devices and to control household appliances from smartphone apps. And all of these devices have the capacity to send and receive data through the Internet. Technology experts refer to this rapidly expanding global nervous system as "the Internet of Things"- and it is likely to revolutionize the way work is done across industries.

Its implications for HR are great. The Internet of Things, or IoT, will influence the way data about workers and work processes are collected, analyzed and used. It will affect recruiting and benefits administration as well as employee safety and disaster planning.

Unfortunately, because so many devices can connect in ways never before possible, the IoT is also susceptible to malfunction and hacking. In July 2014, Hewlett-Packard's Fortify on Demand application security testing service released its Internet of Things State of the Union Study. It showed that 70 percent of the most commonly used IoT devices contain serious vulnerabilities; the most common were related to privacy, authorizations, Web interfaces, software protections and transport encryption.

Some of the consequences of such vulnerabilities could be extremely serious, and few industries are immune. Wired magazine reported earlier this year that hackers could remotely gain control of medical devices such as drug infusion pumps or heart defibrillators and even take down critical hospital and lab equipment during emergencies. …

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