Lately, we’ve all been hearing about the latest tech buzzword - the Internet of Things and the impact it’s going to make on our lives. Although this technology brings great opportunities for almost every industry, the rise of IoT does come with its fair share of concern and security challenges. To get to the bottom of this issue, folks behind SafeAtLast have come up with an insightful infographic, pointing out some key facts and stats about the latest technology trend that is the IoT.
Our team has also decided to take matters into our own hands and has tried to demystify whether or not the average consumer should worry about IoT privacy. Before we move on to the top security challenges that IoT is going to face, let’s see what the IoT exactly is, since 87% of people are still unaware of the term IoT.
What is the IoT?
The Internet of Things is an interconnected ecosystem of a vast array of electronic devices that transmit and receive data through the internet. In a nutshell, it’s a world where all devices, including both smart and ‘’dumb’’ ones, can communicate with us and each other. The reason why someone would consider connecting washers and thermostats to the internet is simple - for convenience. Now, let’s take a look at some of the major concerns regarding IoT security and see why people haven’t fully embraced the IoT yet.
Not a day seems to go by without news of another cybersecurity threat or data breaches hitting the headlines. Tech companies produce, store, process, and transmit vast amounts of data through IoT devices. In case there is no longer need to share specific data across different companies and externally, the rules should be set for privacy and security of data. Cached or obsolete data should be taken care of and disposed of securely.
Industries can use digital signatures to secure their data and sensitive information. Blockchain platforms come in handy for easy distribution of IoT data and also ensure the integrity of confidential information.
Updating software running on IoT devices can be a tricky task. Avoiding downtime during a software update might not possible for some devices. On the other hand, obsolete devices might not even support advances updates, and it’s crucial for tech companies to update their devices regularly. Enterprises should take security very seriously and update IoT devices so that they are less vulnerable to getting hacked.
Device owners might choose not to apply the updates. However, those who opt to utilize them should take responsibility for tracking versions that are deployed on each device. The users should be notified when about the ongoing updates through different channels so they can secure their devices accordingly.
Data storage might not be a problem, but it’s more open to a hacker attack. Countless bytes of data can be stored online in various places, but the source may be vulnerable to getting hacked. Anyone can steal your sensitive data and compromise your privacy. For instance, you saved a lot of IoT data on your smartphone which you forgot at the restaurant when you had lunch with your colleagues. Who can guarantee that your data is safe if someone steals your phone? To avoid such situations, one should use strong mobile passwords and enable two-way authentication.
Challenges of IoT Testing
With projected 50B IoT devices by 2020, it may not be possible to test all the aspects related to security. Tech companies are still careless when it comes to handling device-related security risks. If the device is not secure, it may be prone to hacks and other security issues.
The growing demand for IoT devices compels IoT manufacturers to prioritize fast production of devices, often overlooking security issues. This can leave consumers exposed to hacks because of outdated hardware and software. Each and every device should be tested properly before it is launched into the market.