In today’s age and time many interconnected devices have incorporated into our lives and our dependence on them is growing too. The day is near when tiny computers will be embedded in almost everything we make use of. These devices connected via the internet are aimed at giving us access to everything we want while on the go. It doesn’t bound us to the cubicle in an office or doesn’t demand our physical presence at home.
Since most of these devices are built with Wi-fi capabilities, access to the internet is readily available from almost anywhere and everywhere. This is made possible with the use of smart phones which are connected with devices elsewhere. Gartner has already predicted that there will be nearly 21 billion interconnected devices by the year 2020.
The idea has even led to the conception of ‘smart homes’ where everything will be done for us by the click of a button. For example one doesn’t have to physically open and lock their front doors, it can be done by home security system connected to your phone once you leave home. The shower can automatically turn on as notified by your alarm clock once you get up in the morning. You can also know in advance if the traffic is flowing smoothly on the route you to take to work or if you need to divert. Not to mention that you can easily monitor your baby at home via baby monitors and webcams once you reach office. The list does not end here, there are many more examples of how Internet of Things can make our lives much simpler and easier.
The question however remains:
In making our lives much easier have we not made it more insecure?
Security is undoubtedly one of the biggest concerns surrounding the operation of Internet of Things. Since the connection is between humans and machines and then between machines and machines, it is likely that security breaches will take place. When millions of devices are connected together and data is being shared amongst them, chances are that some ‘intelligent minds’ will penetrate through. Hacks can easily keep track of your coming and going through the home security system and if they are able to get through to the baby webcam then the whole house is exposed to them.
Cybercrime has seen a drastic increase with these interconnected devices. Hackers can get access to everything we own even our cars and can easily make it immobile if they want to. The recent Jeep Cherokee hack was an eye-opener for the IoT industry. Enterprises too are concerned about securing the vast amount of data they store especially on the cloud. The repercussions can be many, the organization can lose valuable data along with its name and repute. The same data can be used for nefarious means by the hackers as well.
All these security concerns have compelled the IoT industry to streamline their processes in order to avoid these. Some leading tech firms have joined hands together in the shape of Internet of Things Security Foundation to address these issues. One of their spokesperson remarked:
“By creating a dedicated focus on security, our intention is simple — drive excellence in IoT security. IoTSF aims to be the home for providers, adopters and beneficiaries of IoT products and services.”
Steps are taken to beef up infrastructure security by many organizations to avoid any data leakages but one needs to be vigilant at the individual level too. Since most of the devices are connected with the phones, one must frequently change credentials and add passcodes. The best we can do is help in averting these security gaps and make full use of the potential of IoT.
The day is near when we will see the leap from living in ‘smart homes’ to ‘smart cities.’ So if we want to provide a secure living environment to our children, we must ensure that all security measures are in place.