In the past few years, Internet of Things or IoT, in short, has become the fuzzword of the industry. It was believed that IoT will be beneficial to consumers and businesses alike as big data can be connected and there is the possibility of creating higher levels of automation. However, there were also speculations that it would help cybercriminals in hacking and cyber-attacks. There are shortcomings in the development process of IoT devices which make them vulnerable to hacks. This is really a matter of concern for all emerging industries that deal with the IoT.
Here are facts that prove the concerns are not without reason.
Are Businesses Ready?
While it is said that the users of IoT would rise exponentially by 2020, IT professionals are still not sure if companies would be ready to handle IoT. This is no small number, but 85% of the technical world was surveyed, and this emerged as a top concern. The reason is that they are not sure if IoT devices can be recognized immediately once they connect to the network. There is a high chance of the network getting infected once the connection is up.
How Secure is the IoT?
Another primary concern is security. The speed of coding is what matters a lot now. Developers or businesses do not care about security much, as it is not good to be late in developing IoT devices. Hence it is the speed of coding that comes to mind for the developer, rather than security. While it may occur to many researchers that scrutiny can be done while the app approaches completion, it has to be understood that fixing the security problem can be done too late. Usually, software development involves testing in the later phases, and this means there is a change of something wrong when one is in a hurry in completing the development process. But, if business owners can go for white box testing methods, which is testing at an earlier stage, or bring in automated testing systems, they can steer clear from this concern.
Why do Hackers Love IoT?
Considering the vulnerabilities that are found with IoT baby monitors, for example, hackers would love to do reprehensible things like change the settings of your cameras or monitor your live feeds. We’ve seen enough such cases in the last few months to know that this is a real risk. The situation is similar when cars are connected to the Internet. Hackers can do things ranging from taking the entertainment system under control to shutting down the entire car. Wearables and devices that deal with patients can end up being controlled by hackers as well, and with the latter, consequences can even be fatal.
But it is not going to be a problem always, as major companies that deal with the IoT have taken actions to respond to these challenges. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix as many small businesses are developing IoT and only the giants have yet started responding to fix the security vulnerabilities.
The Importance of Being Protected
Anything that has been connected with the Internet has to be protected. While protection is essential, getting it from the right place is a crucial step. For instance, you can look for an Internet security system that integrates software, hardware, and cloud for all in one smart home security. It is not just a computer, laptop, or your mobile phone that gets protected, but also baby monitors, wearables, gaming consoles, and smart TVs would get the protection required. Such a gadget works as a home-wide antivirus software, so that none of your smart devices can function as breach points for possible hackers.
Another solution is to avoid using cheap devices. Getting devices with new 64 bit x86 CPUs seems to be an efficient solution, but this does not come cheap. It really is time for more security and standardization from chipmakers. Lack of calibration can lead to more problems, and that’s the last thing needed. With lesser platforms to allocate fewer resources for security, there is a demand for the development of higher core chips, which are part of the solution for the problem at hand.
It is essential that countinuous testing is done at the earlier stage of the System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) so that the changes can be done at the initial levels. Data encryption should be done with data authentication and verification at the earlier as well as later stages of the development cycle, to develop safe and secure IoT devices.