Internet of Things Security
Security presents a major challenge for IoT. Sensors on devices and other “connected things” may collect extremely sensitive data. The number of collection points and what people say or do near a device for example. Keeping that information secure is vital. More focus needs to be placed on security basics for IoT encrypting data in transit and at where it is stored.
Flaws in software — even old and well-used code — are discovered on a regular basis, but many IoT devices lack the capability to be patched. Hackers are now actively targeting IoT devices such as routers and webcams because their lack of security makes them easy to compromise and roll into giant botnets.
Flaws in “smart-home” devices like thermostats, cameras, refrigerators, ovens, and dishwashers leave them open to hackers. Researchers found 100,000 webcams that could be hacked with ease. Some internet-connected smartwatches have been found to contain security vulnerabilities that allow hackers to track the wearer’s location, eavesdrop on conversations, or even communicate with the user.
IoT bridges the gap between the digital world and the physical world, which means that hacking into devices can have dangerous real-world consequences. Hacking into the sensors controlling the temperature in a power station could trick the operators into making a catastrophic decision; taking control of a driverless car could also end in disaster.
Who will reap these benefits? There are three major entities that will use IoT ecosystems: consumers, governments, and businesses. For more detail, see the Industries Affected by IoT.