Monday, September 24, 2018
Articles

IoT and Security

It shouldn’t need to be said, but cyber security is a critical concern, especially seeing as how online and internet services have become more and more ingrained in our everyday lives. Since the beginning of the IoT (Internet of Things), the number of devices connected in our office, homes, and those we carry has grown exponentially. Connected devices currently outnumber our race (as humans) and continue to multiply at a pace that is chaotic. This includes in the fields of vehicles, ICS (Industrial Control Systems), home appliances, healthcare, and more.

Last month, there was a massive denial of service attack that was made possible by unsecured IoT devices. Because of this, people are beginning to take solutions for IoT more seriously. It is important to have an intuitive data dashboard when it comes to IoT projects.

Some businesses, such as Fathym, have been quick to identify the growing demand for such a product and have big plans for the future of IoT management.

Hackers

Some internet security firms have been sounding alarm bells for quite a while, and even backing those alarm bells up with examples of hacked police surveillance systems, car washes, and smart homes, among other things. It doesn’t matter if a hacker wants to get their car washed for free, or if they want to stalk someone by way of their fitness tracker, flaws in IoT security could make these things entirely possible.

IoT Security

A company published a white paper on this subject called Searching for the Silver Bullet. This white paper summarized the issue in three easy to understand paragraphs that can be summarized in just a few points:

  • Security needs to be a foundational enabler for the Internet of Things.
  • As of right now, there is not a consensus on how to actually implement security in the Internet of Things on a device.
  • An unrealistic, and prevalent expectation is that it will be possible to compress a full quarter of a century’s worth of security evolution into innovative IoT devices.
  • There is no such thing as a silver bullet that will effectively mitigate threats to IoT.

All of that being said, there might still be a bit of good news. The experience and knowledge are both already here, however, they need to be adapted to be able to fit the unique constraints offered by IoT devices.

Hardware Issues

This is where system security developers tend to run into another issue – hardware problems.

The thing is, embedding sensors in our everyday devices, and then allowing them to record the things we do, could actually pose a security risk that is massive, according to the chairwoman of the U. S. Federal Trade Commission, Edith Ramirez. In fact, she outlines 3 challenges for the true future of the Internet of Things:

  • Ubiquitous collection of data
  • The potential for consumer data to have unintentional uses
  • Heightened risks for security

Because of these issues, she urged companies to enhance the secure build and privacy of IoT devices by adopting an approach that is focused on security. This would be expounded on by reducing the amount of data that these IoT devices collect while increasing transparency and even providing the consumers with the option to opt out of the collection of data.

She furthered this by saying that IoT device developers haven’t spent enough time considering how to keep their services and devices safe from cyber attacks.

In Conclusion

Let’s face it, the internet is not a secure thing. There is internet born malware, sophisticated phishing, DDoS attacks, and more. We have all of this technology and yet we see more cats on social networks than advances in keeping security breaches from happening.

It is a fact that while the internet is not secure, we can’t realistically expect IoT to be. That being said, the security of IoT is evolving at a constant pace in order to meet each new challenge as it presents itself. We all need to be ready for potential breaches of security. Sooner or later, one will happen, either to you or to someone else. You should always have an exit strategy in place, a way to secure as much of your data as is possible while rendering data that has been compromised useless.

Bob Buskirk
the authorBob Buskirk
About 10 years of computer experience. Been messing around with electronics since I was 5, got into computers when I was in highschool, been modding them ever since then. Very interested in how things work and their design.
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