Beware the Hidden Dangers of the Internet of Things

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Convenience and Price over Security

IoT device vendors might want to give consumers an Apple-like experience, of simplicity and convenience, or they might want to compete based on price. Both strategies can be at the expense of security. Plug-and-play without configuration should not be possible – there needs to be some configuration by the consumer because they at least need to program the IoT device with a passcode or password that only they know. If you can just plug a device into your corporate or home network with no configuration, then you have likely unwittingly created an opportunity for a cyber criminal.

Consumers in particular need to be more technology-savvy and again vote with their wallets – only buying products that offer sufficient levels of security. There are no industry standards for IoT device security, and many products are not interoperable using differing technologies. Therefore, the best way for consumers to become IoT-security savvy is to read the online reviews and forum posts to educate themselves.

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been the subject of industry analyst and tech-media excitement for just about forever. However, in 2015, it finally feels as though we are about to hit the point of no return with IoT – where all, and not just some, IT departments need to consider and address the IT management and security implications of the IoT. The IoT also impacts consumer-world behavior – with technology users needing to ensure that they understand, and fortify themselves, against the security risks associated with the IoT.

From an IT security perspective, cyber criminals must be giddy with excitement when they read that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission estimates that there are now twenty-five billion devices online, with separate research from HP stating that 70 percent of IoT devices are unsecured. Then there's the recent Apple pay-by-phone capability using biometrics and the near field communication (NFC) technology. NFC is nothing new; Juniper Research reports that 300 million NFC-enabled phones are out there already with global NFC transactions worth $50 billion.

What IoT means to cyber criminals is more opportunity to make more money. And it's not as though cyber crime is currently a small market. Europol states the "Total Global Impact of CyberCrime [has risen to] US$3 Trillion, making it more profitable than the global trade in marijuana, cocaine, and heroin combined." In this slideshow, Sarah Lahav, CEO of SysAid Technologies, has identified eight IoT risks that corporate IT departments, and consumer users, need to consider and address.

 

Related Topics : Blade Servers, Business Integration, Ethernet, LAN, Network Protocols

 
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