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The Imminent Security Fiasco of IOT

December 9, 2016 |
The Imminent Security Fiasco of IOT

Everyone in this world has their own baggage.

Nothing in this world is so perfect that it has no drawbacks. In our last article, we shared with you how Internet of Things is the next big thing in the world of technology. It is definitely going to be a revolution in the field of internet and would change the way we live in today’s world. But, it really raises a big concern in terms of our privacy and security. With more and more daily appliances being connected to the same network through IOT, we become extremely vulnerable to online hackers. The concept of Internet of Things opens broad doorways for them to intrude into over privacy.

Companies are under a process to smarten your everyday appliances like the toaster, electrical sockets, refrigerators etc. A washing machine which was used only for washing clothes can now send an email to us on our smartphones when the clothes are done and are resting for a long period in the machine. You can control your toaster from halfway across the globe. All this sounds fascinating but seriously insane at the same time. It’s estimated that about 20 Billion things would be connected to the internet by the year 2020. 5 Billion things are already connected to the internet. The figure is huge and every one of us only sees the bright future of IOT, completely ignoring its dark side.

Let’s see an example – Many Internet of Things devices are connected to a smart hub for convenient access and use. Devices right from your smart refrigerator to your smart security lock system are all connected to the same network. Unfortunately, some of the things connected to the smart hub are very vulnerable. An attacker can walk up to your front door and open your smart lock which is connected to the same smart hub. For specific smart hub products, it’s absolutely certain if the attacker gains access over home’s WiFi network. Vulnerability among some of these devices (GPS device specifically) may allow cyber criminals to search and locate these smart locks while you drive around the city. This concept is commonly known as “War Driving”. Attackers can even monitor your activities through the security cameras once they hack into your smart hub or WiFi network.

The makers of these smart devices are sweating it out on manufacturing the next model of these products every day. But, they aren’t spending any time in improving the security of these devices. Probably that’s because they don’t have anything to lose. The sad truth is that Internet of Things has no safety standards or laws enforcing these companies to comply with.

There are various other security threats as well. Imagine your next-gen smart toilet paper holder is connected to the internet under IOT. Now this device barely has any information stored. But, if a hacker hacks into this device he can easily target your laptop connected to the same WiFi. Your laptop will have very valuable information like your passwords to several accounts, Social Security Number, banking information and lot more. All these information will be exposed to the hacker and the consequences can be dreadful.

During the inception of ‘Internet’, the idea of security was never kept in mind. This resulted in constant security challenges faced by the world every now and then. Hackers have always taken advantage of this mistake and sometimes have managed to achieve disastrous results. The mistake committed at that time should not be repeated in the case of IOT. We cannot afford to overlook the security concerns while developing the Internet of Things.

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