In our last post we did a recap on defining the “Internet of Things” or IoT. We described the IoT as a huge interconnected network of digital microprocessors and sensors embedded in everyday objects. These objects could then be monitored and managed from anywhere in this network.
To clarify, what we mean by everyday objects, consider TV’s, coffee makers, refrigerators, thermostats, cars and believe it or not, even cows! Why cows? Well imagine a cow equipped with an IOT wireless sensor… this would allow the farmer to instantly know whether his prize cows get sick or pregnant, or perhaps wanders off. How’s that for real-time monitoring.
The explosive growth of the IoT means that people who live in large urban environments will be surrounded by thousands of track-able objects at every moment. Each object will leave an increasing digital trail offering new forms of cyber security risks.
As traffic escalates so too will the risk of cyber security breaches. A highly reputable security firm recently ran a damning critique of IoT security challenges, with the unflattering headline, “Internet of Crappy Things”. They raised serious concerns citing the possibility of hacked smart homes, carwashes and even police surveillance systems. IoT security flaws could make it possible for hackers (or thieves) to stalk someone using their fitness tracker, or disable your home security/monitoring for purposes of no good.
A number of industry experts believe that developers of IoT devices have not spent time thinking about how to secure their devices and services from cyber attacks. Many of these ‘cyber attackers’ are hardened veterans with more experience than the IT professionals meant to defend against attacks. Most organizations defending against disruptive threats are outdated. Threats today are “campaigns” aiming at disrupting entire business sectors in many-waved attacks. The barrier of entry in tech has never been lower, leaving many new organizations to later grapple with unsatisfactory security.
The Infographic below highlights the scope and potential severity of some of these IoT security risks. Not to be taken lightly as we boldly go forward into the exciting new realm of IoT.