8. Internet of Things: Security Issues

In my previous posts on Internet of Things, the recurring issue being highlighted across all areas of its uses or deployment  was security. This post aims to address the security implications in adopting or deploying Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things will transform our world and create a tremendous amount of value. But as billions of new devices are connected to the internet and integrated into our daily lives and the technology for collecting, analyzing and transmitting data in the IoT continues to mature, we open more avenues to being harmed.

A recent HP Research study reported that 70 percent of IoT devices have at least one security flaw and that, astoundingly, each device averages 25 security flaws, while IDC has predicted that “within two years, 90 percent of all IT networks will have an IoT-based security breach.”

Danger to Individuals

One of the dangers that can happen to individuals is privacy breach.In 2015 hackers stole details of 2000 Vodafone customers . It’s also been shown that childrens toys can also be hacked with the recent report of CloudPets falling victim to a data breach. In addition to breaches of privacy, digital attacks can also threaten personal safety, some two security experts in US have demonstrated how car hackers can use a laptop to control standard car. These examples are alarming, and they should be, but it would be misguided to think that IoT security is only relevant to individuals.

Danger to Businesses

The security of IoT devices is a growing area of concern for the enterprise as physical systems continue to be brought online and connected to the internet, these devices are creating ways for cybercriminals to hack into networks. Organised and state-sponsored hackers have evidently stepped up their game and this could lead to many unpleasant scenarios – from ransomware to the theft of intellectual property to the complete shutdown of our critical national infrastructure.

While the security implications for adopting or deploying Iot are vast, creating security policies around IoT that enforce regular security updates, secure passwords and encrypted communications to the internet and local network could be a way to tackle this issue. It should not be thought of as an add on to devices rather as an integral part of the devices’ reliability.

REFERENCES

Enisa.europa.eu. (2010). Flying 2.0 – Enabling automated air travel by identifying and addressing the challenges of IoT & RFID technology — ENISA. [online] Available at: https://www.enisa.europa.eu/publications/flying-2.0-enabling-automated-air-travel-by-identifying-and-addressing-the-challenges-of-iot-rfid-technology [Accessed 8 Mar. 2017].

Chamberlin, B. and Chamberlin, B. (2015). Securing the Internet of Things: This decade’s IT challenge – Cloud computing news. [online] Cloud computing news. Available at: https://www.ibm.com/blogs/cloud-computing/2015/07/securing-the-internet-of-things-this-decades-it-challenge/ [Accessed 8 Mar. 2017].

Windriver.com. (2015). SECURITY IN THE INTERNET OF THINGS. [online] Available at: https://www.windriver.com/whitepapers/security-in-the-internet-of-things/wr_security-in-the-internet-of-things.pdf [Accessed 8 Mar. 2017].

 

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