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HomeDOCUMENTSCommittee Reports2017 Spring SessionDraft Report - 081 STCTTS 17 E - THE INTERNET OF THINGS: PROMISES AND PERILS OF A DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY

THE INTERNET OF THINGS: PROMISES AND PERILS OF A DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY

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Draft Report [081 STCTTS 17 E] by Matej Tonin (Slovenia)

Today, the number of internet-connected devices is more than double the world’s population, which stands at 7.4 billion people. Networked “smart” devices and technology, better known as the Internet of Things (IoT), present great promise for individuals’ lives, but also leave our publics with complex security challenges. Though an agreed upon definition eludes industry experts, the IoT generally refers to devices connected to the Internet, are networked with each other, and connect and interact with their surrounding environment. This includes the gamut of smart technologies such as internet-connected wearable devices (e.g. smartwatches), smart appliances (e.g. thermostats), automobiles, and even electrical grid infrastructure. The analysis presented here takes stock of IoT adoption in the private and public sectors. Further, the draft report identifies the challenges IoT presents for the public sector in regards to standardisation and privacy – ever increasing public policy issues. Importantly, this draft report builds upon the 2014 STC Special Report on Cyber Space and Euro-Atlantic Security. First, it examines the basics of the IoT, its current challenges, and European and NATO IoT efforts. Second, it looks at IoT opportunities and challenges for the armed forces. Third, the draft report zooms in on the challenges the IoT creates for critical infrastructure. The draft report ends with preliminary conclusions for policymakers and emphasizes that, as commercial adoption accelerates for these devices, NATO member states and the Alliance as a whole must be ready to adapt and integrate this emergent technology.

 

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