There have been reports of IoT-connected thermostats offering judgmental comments to their owners returning home to the nest a little later than usual. “Home kinda late, don’t you think,” one display read, and “Where do you think you’ve been,” read another. AI should improve the syntax over time, but the comments struck a chord nonetheless. And then there are the unexpected comments levied of late by various fitbands connected to smartphones. Consumers report feedback like “You didn’t really run that last mile, now did you?” and “My grandmother can do more pull ups than that, you bum.” The snark is palpable but hardly encouraging.

The larger conversation we should be having about — and potentially with — the growing force that is the Internet of Things is how to quantify the improvement these connected devices bring to our lives. And if these things are not completely beneficial, is the invasion of our privacy — remember that nostalgic concept? — really worth the price of admission, because we are admitting an increasing number of devices to our networks every day, to the tune of $62 billion this year alone.

The Analog-Digital Balance

As individuals, we should be concerned about the growing intrusion of devices in our lives, but as organizations that employ individuals, we should fear the thermostat and the fitband. And the blender, the microwave, the fridge, the copier, and even the home security system. All of these devices, while offering a smoother human path in some form or fashion, become in some small way a portal into your organization’s network and data. The smoother your staff’s path, the more vulnerable your organization becomes. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Call ICS today. And hurry. The thermostat is watching suspiciously.