The IoT Brings Opportunities and Security Concerns

By Bob Violino  |  Posted 2015-02-19 Email Print this article Print
Internet of Things

The potential benefits of IoT are clear, but how do you ensure the security of the data moving from machine to machine or being accessed via corporate networks?

The organization will continue to leverage the RTLS technology throughout the campus, adding nursing units and the Emergency Department later this year, with a goal of better understanding and improving patient flow through that department to inpatient units.

"We are also working toward interfaces between the RTLS engine and our EMR [electronic medical records], scheduling and other platforms to bring more real-time decision making capabilities and to improve operations," Simmons says.

A Parking Experiment

Also experimenting with IoT technology is the city of San Mateo, Calif. The primary use has been for smart parking sensors in public parking spaces in downtown, says Matt Bronson, assistant city manager.

The city launched a pilot project in 2012 with Streetline and Cisco to test out the use of these sensors in select parking spaces to help customers find parking more easily and to help the city improve parking management.

San Mateo has seen multiple benefits from the initial implementation, Bronson says. The use of sensors at select on-street parking spaces provides real-time information to help drivers find available parking more easily.

"This technology also helps the city better manage its downtown parking inventory with reliable [continuous] data about parking occupancy, turnover and violations," he adds.

Ensuring security and privacy is important to the city, Bronson says. "We make sure that parking data is reported on an aggregate level rather than reporting on individual parking events," he explains. "In addition, no personal information is collected, such as license plate data. Lastly, the city retains ownership of all data collected as part of this activity on public streets."

The city plans to expand its use of sensors to help improve downtown parking by providing better information to customers and parking operators.

"Beyond parking, this technology benefits the city by exploring the IoT concept as a tool for municipal operations," Bronson says, "and also demonstrates the city's openness to using new approaches in providing services and maintaining assets.

"We see great potential for expanding the IoT approach to help the city manage everything from buildings and streetlights to parking and wastewater operations."


Bob Violino, a Baseline contributor, is a freelance writer and Editorial Director at Victory Business Communications.


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