Internet of Insecure Things- Adopt Now or Wait?

The usage of internet ready devices is growing day by day. From the release of the first smartphone marked in 1999, the journey has witnessed an enormous evolution in terms of features, processors, and operating systems. This evolution has also witnessed a growth in security risk factors.

Smartphone started kicking in IoT. Even after a decade, smartphones are still not 100% secure. As per Kaspersky Lab’s analysis, Adware (malware that automatically downloads advertisements when a user is online) is the most common malware at 26.7% followed by trojan SMS messages at 22%. Some of this malware are harmless whereas the others can seriously hamper your personal data.

Nevertheless, smartphones have become an integral part of our life. Using smartphones for the day-to-day activity like booking a cab or making a quick online transaction is very common.

But the question remains whether adopting Internet of Things is a wise idea when its current subset itself is vulnerable to security issues.

A recent survey conducted by Accenture reveals that 47% of people considered security concerns and privacy risk as their main concern on adopting a new IoT device.

Baby monitoring devices got into the news recently when hackers hacked into the system and started spying on toddlers sometimes even transmitting disturbing messages. Following the incident, researchers at Rapid7 conducted a thorough study on these baby monitors and found most of these systems had security flaws which needed immediate attention. Apart from this, a pair of security researchers perfectly demonstrated how internet connected car can be remotely hacked and controlled.

Wearables are at threat too, as hackers can collect information from the sensors embedded in smartwatches, stealing information or health data easily from any untraceable location. Research on Smart Bulbs revealed that switching the bulb on and off five times resets the device, which enables a new hotspot setup for connection. These are some glaring examples of the insecurities of IoT.

All this suggests that the existing modern security solutions such as encryption, firewall, tokens etc are ineffective.

There is no doubt IoT is bringing a new era of connected - digital and machine world, enhancing our speed and efficiency. Home appliances to automobile the whole universe of gadgets and electronics can be connected to the internet and controlled remotely offering a major impact on business and market shares. Even in this year’s CES “connected devices” took the center stage.

What needs to be done to make IoT secure?

First and foremost, the gateway connecting IoT devices to company and manufacturers needs to be secured. Improvising the existing authentication process which is vulnerable to infiltration and moving to a more secure and robust authentication process.

Attackers will also target the huge repositories, where IoT data will be stored. In the wake of data theft and breaches more efforts needs to be made to keep these repositories safe and secure. Ensuring privacy of consumers and the functionality of businesses and corporations should be the highest priority.

With many countries investing in the future of IoT, we need to have unified standards for IoT devices. Setting up standard protocols and rules which will work in the favor of IoT community. So far not enough is being done to ensure IoT isn’t the next big hacking target.

It’s too soon to conclude that more connected devices mean more attacks and more opportunity for hackers to target us or adoption is the key, like in the case of smartphones, even after the security issues we can’t resist it.

Drop in to have a discussion to put across your thoughts on “Should we wait a bit longer to adopt IoT?”

Internet of Insecure Things- Adopt Now or Wait? was last modified: June 7th, 2016 by John Harris

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