Subscriber Discussion

Oh, Great: A New Buzzword Is Being Born


Ari, I'm glad you did make this post because it gave me a chance to post some "Internet of Things" links, as that will actually be of increasing relevance to security coming up. But I do also get tired of the buzzword mania and the hype that can come along with that.

So it's not new? Sorry. I was too busy cutting class in the mid 90s to keep up with buzzword development.

Ari, rather than "being born", I think it's more a case of a buzzword being "let out of the house" now that it's gotten a little older older. And it gets a new name "street name" in the process.

I remember M2M (machine-to-machine) as the term used back in the mid 1990's, to differentiate between communications that were people-to-machine and vice versa. It's been in widespread use in the control systems world; not much seen in the security world except by tech folks. As M2M advanced, and networks advanced, M2M it became network based. So you could have a sensor net and the various components could talk amongst themselves.

So since the term M2M is a decades old term, and as we don't quit think of tiny electronic devices as machines anymore (even though we still call PCs and servedrs "boxes" or "machines"), the marketers wanted to update the term and make it more "cool".

So now it's the Internet of Things, which also gives the name a different focus, as the new name emphasizes the connectedness more than the machine aspect.

But even the term "Internet of Things" is a decade old, introduced by Kevin Ashton in 1999 in the RFID Journal.

The Wikipedia article on Internet of Things is a good one, and provides an excelent overview of its development. The last section (Criticism) includes mention of the security implications of a "fully connected world".

Embedded Innovation magazine has a good article with illustrations (I like those - they make faster reading) about Intel's Intelligent Systems Framework. developed by Intel and its partners in the Intelligent Systems Alliance.

In the future, we can expect security systems to get data from such networks, and even participate in such networks. For example, an access control system could get people-counting information from a buidling controls system that uses people-counting data to predict HVAC requirements.

Of course, since it is a buzzword we'll hear it a lot as companies with related products and services jump on the bandwagon. But I guess that's to be expected. You just can't avoid the buzzwords. Intel's Intelligent Systems Framework even mentions "Big Data", although the example is stretching the refrence a bit.