Media Relations for a Connected World
How to Build a Safer Internet of Things
How to Build a Safer Internet of Things - Today's IoT is full of security flaws. We must do better!. Icon Labs contributed article at IEEE Spectrum Magazine
Imagine a criminal using your nanny cam to watch your house or to scream at your child—or even to post footage of your home on a crime boss’s website. And suppose your refrigerator were spewing spam e-mail, enraging people you’d never even met.
The Internet of Things has been touted as many things. But what you haven’t heard is that it could be your worst enemy. Yet all of these incidents have actually occurred, according to news reports. And it’s likely that even more disturbing transgressions have been taking place unbeknownst to homeowners. For example, researchers have discovered that in some cases, they can hack the Internet of Things to intercept each document you print and divert it to a remote site, use your smart TV to bug your house, and even control the traffic light on the corner outside your home.
For although the Internet of Things offers great convenience by linking our gadgets—an estimated 50 billion of them worldwide by 2020—it can also let hackers take control of your house, your car, and even your body.
The vulnerabilities lie all around you. A recent HP Research study reported that the average Internet of Things gadget has an astounding 25 security flaws, and 70 percent have at least one such vulnerability. Many of these problems may yield to solutions like those adopted by the personal computer industry decades ago. As I’ll explain later, there are also some that require new approaches that take into account the vast scale and narrow profit margin of the emerging world of Internet-augmented products.