IoT Definitions

This glossary explains the meaning of key words and phrases that information technology (IT) and business professionals use when discussing IoT and related software products. You can find additional definitions by visiting WhatIs.com or using the search box below.

  • C

    control network

    A control network is a network of nodes that collectively monitor, sense, and control or enable control of an environment for a particular purpose.

  • D

    device attack

    A device attack is an exploit in which the attacker takes advantage of a vulnerable device to gain network access.

  • device mesh

    A device mesh is an ad hoc network in the internet of things (IoT). The term, which was coined by research firm Gartner, describes an ever-changing mesh network consisting of the endpoint devices that people use to access applications, information and other people.

  • drone (unmanned aerial vehicle, UAV)

    A drone, in technological terms, is an unmanned aircraft. Drones are more formally known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or unmanned aircraft systems (UASes).

  • drone photography

    Drone photography is the capture of still images and video by a remotely-operated or autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), also known as an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) or, more commonly, as a drone.

  • drone services (UAV services)

    Drone services, also known as unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) services, is the emerging market for services built around flying robots that can be remote-controlled or flown autonomously using software-controlled flight plans in their embedded systems.

  • E

    embedded device hacking

    Embedded device hacking is the exploiting of vulnerabilities in embedded software to gain control of the device. Attackers have hacked embedded systems to spy on the devices, to take control of them or simply to disable (brick) them.

  • embedded firmware

    Hardware makers use embedded firmware to control the functions of various hardware devices and systems much like a computer’s operating system controls the function of software applications.

  • embedded operating system

    An embedded operating system is a specialized OS for use in the computers built into larger systems. An embedded system is a computer that is part of a different kind of machine. Examples include computers in cars, traffic lights, digital televisions, ATMs, airplane controls, point of sale (POS) terminals, digital cameras, GPS navigation systems, elevators, digital media receivers and smart meters, among many other possibilities. 

  • embedded software

    Hardware makers use embedded software to control the functions of various hardware devices and systems. Embedded software controls device functions in the same way that a computer’s operating system controls the function of software applications.

  • embedded system

    An embedded system is a combination of computer hardware and software, either fixed in capability or programmable, designed for a specific function or functions within a larger system.

  • embedded system security

    While trends like BYOD, the IoT and automation speed ahead, the security of embedded systems often lags. As attacks on embedded systems and firmware become more common, however, it becomes increasingly crucial to protect these ubiquitous devices.

  • embedded systems programming

    Embedded systems programming is the programming of an embedded system in some device using the permitted programming interfaces provided by that system.

  • F

    fog computing (fog networking, fogging)

    Fog computing, also known as fog networking or fogging, brings the benefits of the cloud closer to where data is created: at the network's edge.

  • G

    gateway

    A gateway is a network node that connects two networks using different protocols together. While a bridge is used to join two similar types of networks, a gateway is used to join two dissimilar networks.

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