I remember, while in school, being fascinated by the Industrial Revolution; so much so that when I returned to visit my grandmother, in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, the roll of film, which I shot, was of smokestacks from Bethlehem Steel not of her and I.
The Industrial Revolution 1.0, mechanized and created industry, which altered the standard of living and benefitted the general population, like nothing had before.
Today we are at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution 4.0; welcome!
The Industrial Revolution 4.0 is known as Industry 4.0 and refers to factories with wireless connected machines and sensors, which interact with computers and are able to make decisions without human interaction. Industry 4.0 ushers in autonomous operations with machines that can predict their own necessary maintenance prior to breaking down. Supply chain management, predictive maintenance and data exchange between devices make up Industry 4.0, which will usher in smart factories, smart manufacturing, smart grids and smart cities.
But business is not the only one impacted from Industry 4.0. The home is also be infiltrated by smart devices such as mobile phones, 3D printing, sensors, wearables, and cameras, all connected, and seamlessly working together.
Industry 4.0 is complex, and provides us with new opportunities including how we live, work and interact with cyber-physical systems.
As a home improvement lover, I am amazed at how stores now have available cameras, thermostats, locks, appliances that all interact with the internet. Our homes have become small cyber-physical systems, which interact with very large businesses. As we adopt smart technologies in our homes and businesses, we are becoming one. We are interacting with unprecedented speed in one language, known as the Internet.
It is Industry 4.0 that has disrupted how we do business. Uber and Lyft have disrupted taxis and limos, because of an application that has globally been able to interact with everyone who has a smart phone. Telemedicine has disrupted traditional doctor/patient relationships. Streaming video has disrupted the entertainment industry and the list goes on. It is evident that the advent of Industry 4.0 has brought unprecedented changes to our lives.
I will always remember speaking with our neighbor Phil in Florida, as he discussed the changes that he had seen in his lifetime. Phil was born during the time of the Industrial Revolution 2.0, which included the assembly line, mass production, and electricity; he lived through the Industrial Revolution 3.0, which included the computer, that he adored, automation, and robotics, and would begin to see the dawn of the Industrial Revolution 4.0.
The question for today, as we marvel at the Industrial Revolution 4.0 is how do we stay safely Connected; because whether we want to be or not, we are all Connected through the Internet of Things, IoT.
The biggest challenge today is to understand the assets that are Connected to the enterprise or to our homes; the connections serve as a direct pathway into the global business community and into our personal lives.
In August of 2019, Microsoft reported that Russian hackers infiltrated “IoT devices to access corporate networks. The group leveraged weak security in office printers, video decoders, and voice over IP (VOIP) phones.” https://www.cfr.org/blog/cyber-week-review-august-9-2019
I always tell anyone who will listen to me that we cannot protect what we cannot see. Visibility has been the key to cybersecurity since its inception; and continues to be our number one issue. If we do not know which devices have access to our lives, we risk technology altering our life for the worse, instead of for the better, as it did during the Industrial Revolution 1.0. Stay safely Connected.