Internet of Things: the Dangerous Revolution?
The Internet of Things (IoT) has been dubbed many names: Internet of Systems, The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Industry 4.0; despite the multiple names, there are universal concerns.
Security is one of the biggest key issues when it comes it IoT. There is a greater potential to hack more systems. Products need to find a way to stay updated. They should be changed frequently or be strong. Otherwise, these are some of things that had happened:
- “Smart” traffic lights were hacked; driving could be a nightmare
- Hackers at the Black Hat security conference compromised a Nest thermostat in front of a live audience: the thermostat transformed into spy that can learn routines of the inhabitants of a certain home or office
- Bugging and hacking an entire home
- Car electronics taken over remotely: The electronics within a car can be hacked, taking control of the headlights, locks, steering and even the brakes.
- IoT botnet - thingbot: An IoT botnet (or thingbot) is a group of hacked computers, smart appliances and Internet-connected devices that have been co-opted for illicit purposes
Privacy, although similar, is not the same as security. There is a high risk for identity theft, going after financial information, obtaining information from corporations or governments. And guess what --- the Big Money in IoT is in Big Data. This is dangerous because these sensors are learning everything about you. Your routine, habits…the more they know about you and how you behave, the easier of a target you’ll be.
3. Device Interaction
Things will be full of bugs, constantly requiring updates, newer versions will come out. Also, how do we know how to track and monitor things? Measure and optimize performance? How will the devices communicate with each other? Are smartphones the constant link to the devices? How do we deal with malicious attacks? There’s a lot of questions and issues to address
Protection: Fight Back!
Despite these concerns, IoT is a growing investment being made. We can only well equip ourselves. What can we do?
1. Strengthen your networks:
Ensure that only authorized devices and people can get access; consent and knowledge is always the first line of defense against attackers
2. Stay up to date
Make sure your software is up to date: security updates, but also staying on top of potential issues your devices might have
3. Know what you are putting in or on your body
WiFi pacemakers can’t hurt you if you’re not using it. Smart contacts might be a thing of the future but what happens if it goes wrong? You’ll only be hurt if you allow them to and consent should be given by you. For example. if you will be getting something new implanted on yourself, get all the details on what device is capable of. Read the fine print or seek professional opinion if necessary
The Internet of Things still has a bright future. It may always be vulnerable and unsafe, but we can do our best to prepare ourselves, as a producers and consumers of the new world that is coming.