How Will The Internet of Things Impact Cyber Security?January 10, 2020 No Comments
Featured article by Adam Edmond, Independent Technology Author
Each of us lives within the realm of the Internet of Things. Smartwatches track our steps as we walk to and fro in the office. We can order refills of paper towels or toothpaste by simply speaking to our smart speakers. As wonderful as all of this can be, it also means our data is being collected 24/7. Vulnerabilities in these smart devices can leave the proverbial backdoor open to our data. Both businesses and individuals are left exposed to a potential cyber-attack. But how does the Internet of Things really impact cybersecurity?
To begin, let’s define the Internet of Things or IoT. The Internet of Things is described as any internetworking of a device that connects to the web in order to execute a transfer of data. This includes a broad scope of devices, including smartwatches, hardware sensors, thermostats, and computer programs. Generally speaking, anything with the word “smart” affixed to the name, is recognized to be a part of the Internet of Things. Professionally and personally we are engaged with these products and programs daily.
IoT dates back to the early 1980s when researchers at Carnegie Mellon University initially devised a vending machine that could connect to the internet. This vending machine was capable of relaying information back and forth upon demand, updating on inventory, keeping tabs on supply and monitoring the temperature of enclosed drinks.
Of course, the IoT has markedly evolved since those days. It now blankets a number of devices, many of which can communicate in real-time, granting analytical information and picking up bits and pieces on the fly. With this ability to store and communicate data comes an inherent security risk.
IoT devices effectively provide a discreet opening into corporate and private networks for skilled hackers and criminals. Virtual trespassers hunt for weak links in network security. Often times this link lies within a connected device within the Internet of Things. Hackers use the data stored in these devices in a number of ways, including debilitating ransomware attacks and selling user data on the dark web. It is often up to IT companies to remedy such breaches.
Currently, there are some 25 billion internet-connected devices that have the ability to amass, share, and distribute data as they are programmed to do. Of that number, 70% of devices are susceptible to attack. Luckily, many industry leaders, including the Intellias IT software company, are working to boost security on IoT devices and safeguard the information they collect from consumers. Everything from penetration testing and fuzz testing for embedded, on-premise and web applications can be performed to establish security and defend against attack.
With continued advancements in IoT and 5g speeds, even more, common-use devices are going to be connected to the internet. Everything from washing machines to light bulbs could be penetrated. This could amount to advanced forms of security intrusions and privacy challenges for both businesses and home users.
IT software companies and developers will have to continuously work to figure out ingenious ways to foil attacks before they happen. After all, the Internet of Things won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
SECURITY, SOCIAL BUSINESS