Business impact, risks and controls associated with the internet of things

Van Niekerk, Anja (2017-03)

Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : Modern businesses need to keep up with the ever-evolving state of technology to determine how a change in technology will affect their operations. Adopting Internet of Things to operations will assist businesses in achieving the goals set by management and, through data integration, add additional value to information. With the Internet of Things forming a global communication network, data is gathered in real time by sensor technologies embedded in uniquely identifiable virtual and physical objects. This data gathered are integrated and analysed to extract knowledge, in order to provide services like inventory management, customised customer service and elearning as well as accurate patient records. This integrated information will generate value for businesses by, inter alia, improving the quality of information and business operations. Business may be quick to adopt the Internet of Things into their operations because of the promised benefits, without fully understanding its enabling technologies. It is important that businesses acquire knowledge of the impact that these technologies will have on their operations as well as the risks associated with the use of these technologies before they deploy the Internet of Things in their business environment. The purpose of this study was to identify the business impact, risks and controls associated with the Internet of Things and its enabling technologies. Through the understanding of the enabling technologies of Internet of Things, the possible uses and impact on business operations can be identified. With the help of a control framework, the understanding gained on the technologies were used to identify the risks associated with them. The study concludes by formulating internal controls to address the identified risks. It was found that the core technologies (smart objects, wireless networks and semantic technologies) adopt humanlike characteristics and convert most manual business operations into autonomous operations, leading to increased business productivity, market differentiation, cost reduction and higher-quality information. The identified risks centred on data integrity, privacy and confidentiality, authenticity, unauthorised access, network availability and semantic technology vulnerabilities. A multi-layered approach of technical and non-technical internal controls were formulated to mitigate the identified risks to an acceptable level. The findings will assist information technology specialists and executive management of industries to identify the risks associated with the implementation of Internet of Things in operations, mitigate the risks to an acceptable level through controls as well as assist them to determine the possible uses and its impact on operations.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Moderne ondernemings moet tred hou met die voortdurende ontwikkeling van tegnologie om te bepaal hoe ʼn verandering in tegnologie hulle bedrywighede sal beïnvloed. Inkorporering van Internet van Dinge in bedrywighede sal besighede help om die doelwitte wat deur bestuur gestel is te bereik en, deur data integrasie, additionele waarde te voeg tot inligting. Met Internet van Dinge wat ʼn globale kommunikasienetwerk vorm, word data in regte tyd versamel deur ensortegnologieë wat ingebed is in unieke identifiseerbare virtuele en fisiese voorwerpe. Hierdie versamelde data word geïntegreer en ontleed om kennis te onttrek om sodoende dienste te lewer, soos voorraadbestuur, pasgemaakte kliëntediens en e-leer sowel as akkurate pasiënt rekords. Hierdie geïntegreerde inligting sal waarde genereer vir ondernemings deur, inter alia, die gehalte van inligting en sakebedrywighede te verbeter. Ondernemings mag vinnig Internet van Dinge in hulle bedrywighede inkorporeer as gevolg van die beloofde voordele, sonder om die instaatstellende tegnologieë ten volle te verstaan. Dit is belangrik dat ondernemings kennis inwin oor die impak wat hierdie tegnologieë sal hê op hulle bedrywighede sowel as die risiko’s wat geassosieer word met die gebruik van hierdie tegnologieë voordat Internet van Dinge in hulle sakeomgewings ontplooi word. Die doel van hierdie studie was om die besigheidsimpak, risko’s en kontroles wat geassosieer word met Internet van Dinge en die instaatstellende tegnologieë te identifiseer. Deur die instaatstellende tegnologieë van Internet van Dinge te verstaan, kan die moontlike gebruike en impak daarvan op sakebedrywighede geïdentifiseer word. Met behulp van ʼn kontroleraamwerk, is die begrip van die tegnologieë gebruik om die risiko’s wat geassosieer word met hulle te identifiseer. Die studie sluit af met die formulering van interne kontroles om die geïdentifiseerde risko’s aan te spreek. Daar is gevind dat die kerrntegnologiekomponente (slim voorwerpe, draadlose netwerke en semantiese tegnologieë) menslike eienskappe aanneem en die meeste handsakebedrywighede omskakel na outonome bedrywighede, wat lei tot verhoogte sakeproduktiwiteit, markdifferensiasie, kostebesparing en hoërgehalte-inligting. Die geïdentifiseerde risiko’s is toegespits op data integriteit, -privaatheid en - vertroulikheid, egtheid, ongemagtigde toegang, netwerkbeskikbaarheid en semantiese tegnologiekwesbaarhede. ʼn Multilaagbenadering van tegniese en nie-tegniese interne kontroles is geformuleer, om sodoende die geïdentifiseerde risiko’s tot ʼn aanvaarbare vlak te versag. Die bevindinge sal inligtingstegnologie-spesialiste en uitvoerende bestuur van industrieë help om die risiko’s verbonde aan implementering van Internet van Dinge te identifiseer, risko’s te versag tot ʼn aanvaarbare vlak met kontroles sowel as hulle te help om moontlike gebruike en hulle impak op bedrywighede vas te stel.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/101409
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