Internet of Things (IoT): Real World Security & Why its Important

Internet of Things

 What is the Internet of things?

The internet of things is the idea of products you use everyday–from your refrigerator to wearable devices using built in sensors to collect data and share with the network. The data collected is sent to a management application where its filtered, analyzed, and used to make a decision for the end user.This growing network of products collecting and transmitting data is becoming a reality for everyone not just technology professionals. Business insider projects there will be 34 billion devices connected to the internet by 2020.

The internet of things is suppose make our lives easier, alerting us when its time to replace or replenish items. Iot is not simply a bunch of sensors cause that really wouldnt be cool. Iot is the interaction between sensors and machines and real time analysis to communicate pertinent information.

Internet of things and Security

Shopping platform Iot scenario:

Amber always has trouble with shopping at the supermarket. She never really writes a list and forgets the items she needs during her visit to the market, and rarely ever checks for coupons. Her local grocery store launched a platform to assist their customers in shopping. The platform uses smart storage, sensors connected to refrigerators, cabinets etc. and is able to check customers stock on regular products. When Amber visits the store she logs into the application it notifies her on what items are low at home, what items are on sale, and allows her to shortlist what she needs.

This scenario is not far fetched and is a soon to be example of what IoT is all about. Currently there are items such as the egg minder which count your eggs, notifies you when your low, keeps track of freshness, and is IFTTT compatible!

Is the internet of things secure?

Security is currently a huge challenge with information systems and concerns continue right down to the internet of things. These devices collect mountains of information and share this information with companies where its stored for future analysis. Security experts are afraid not enough is being built into products to secure devices connected to the internet which leave these things open to hackers. Today criminals aren’t attacking IoT devices because currently there isnt much monetary value in doing so but in due time…when everything is connected, there could be value in a IoT attack on someones home.

Key security issues with IoT

Perception: Recent research reported 44% of Americans are concerned about what they are sharing with the internet of things and who has access. In the future manufacturers will need to address concerns in order for these devices to really take off commercially.

Hacking: Samsungs smart home platform was recently hacked showing the vulnerability of these devices.

Should companys launch IoT products?: Yes, and they are. The vast majority of companies around the world have a form of what is considered a IoT device. What all these companies dont have are people to understand the data and the security needed to keep information secure.

Conclusion

Be aware for what you are signing up for when using devices and products connected to the internet. Information is being shared at an all time high with little security. Take precautions to protect your data and read disclaimers to understand how your information is being used. The internet of things is happening and will continue to grow, embrace it, make it work for you, but most importantly understand it.