Sunday, June 5, 2016

(The Big Disrupt) IoT security: why IoT could prove to be a terrible idea

The history of internet it has been one of growth and expansion as we're more connected than ever however the timing of the internet continued expansion into the physical world through the Internet of Things couldn't be worse. The internet of things (IoT) has to be one of the most talked about technology with a vast number of companies entering the IoT marketplace but their rush to market has seen them relegate security as an afterthought which, given the scale that IoT operates, is highly irresponsible. 

As mentioned above, IoT is at base an expansion of the internet into the real world which on the face of sounds like a great idea but after some consideration, it just might be one of the worst ideas to come out of Silicon Valley. Connecting a car for example to the internet may sound like a great idea until you remember your driving a car connected to the internet.  

The internet as we know it is a truly strange place at the best of times but introducing an Audi TT on to a network that's all too vulnerable to being hacked is not only careless  but really stupid. The rush to market by so many players in a market tipped to be worth over $1 trillion in next five years is understandable from a business sense but from a security perspective, the players in question are playing with fire. 

Why organizations would be this careless makes no sense as organizations left and right have had their fingers burned to the nub in costly lawsuits  and reputational damage over the last few years as they struggle to secure their networks from external threats and suffer humiliating data breachesWith the advent of IoT and the security concerns that come with it, the recent growth spurts in the cyber insurance and IoT security markets look set to explode in the next few years.    

Expanding the internet through IoT is a truly crazy idea when most CIO's and CISO's expect to get hacked and are at a serious disadvantage as hackers only have find one vulnerability while CIO's and CISO's have to find them all and stamp them out. Add to that that hackers collaborate with their peers and CIO's and CISO 's don't, connecting cars, watches, CCTV cameras, refrigerators, smartphones and the like to a network is a disaster waiting to happen as the people tasked to keep these networks secure are in no position to do so. 

In sum, IoT is likely to be one of the most important technologies in the 21st century but given it's glaring yet unaddressed flaws and the scale it operates at, IoT can also prove to be a truly terrible idea we all might regret. 

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