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How Safe Is the Internet of Things?

DZone's Guide to

How Safe Is the Internet of Things?

How safe are our connected devices? As more and more data is collected, the security of IoT devices becomes a pressing issue.

· IoT Zone ·
Free Resource

People are buying internet connected appliances for their own personal use, as they see an increased efficiency and output through using these devices in their day-to-day lives. The internet has always seemed to make the lives of the user easier through connecting to other people by computer or smartphones. Now, it looks to connect through the ‘Things’ installed in houses, streets, shops, organizations, and multiple other places. The range of devices includes smart TVs, smart wearables, sensors, smart grid, smart cameras, smart home appliances, and many more. As we all know that these devices interact with each other, they provide an individual the desired result that he/she needs to make an informed decision based on its findings. Every piece of information is recorded through the smart devices that store data in a manner that can be retrieved later.

Back in prehistoric times, when cavemen ignited the first fire, they must’ve thought, is it safe? Over the years, there have been many breakthroughs in day-to-day appliances that has affected many lives and made the world a better place. We never knew for sure what was safe and what wasn't; howwever, we have always learned newer ways to make our lives easier by implementing certain techniques and technologies. When it comes to the Internet of Things, there is a lot to learn as we are still understanding the technology and how we can successfully apply it to our daily routine. There are multiple areas that are poised as the best places to install a device to connect with other devices for the sharing of data so that the appliances can serve us. Due to the distribution of data to multiple connected devices, some might say the privacy of data goes for a toss. When there are devices installed in various areas that are connected to each other and continuously transfer data, concerns regarding data privacy arise and give birth to data theft, which leads to the inappropriate use of data.

IoT offers various benefits to consumers by creating numerous ways to interact with technology as the connected applications offer ease in living, while merging the virtual and the physical world by combining the data. There are some concerns  related to security, privacy, and safety of the data created and shared by the Internet of Things. A huge amount of data is created when these devices are interconnected. They interact with each other to combine data for an end result that an individual can use for one purpose or another.

Concerns regarding the authenticity of these devices are always questioned, because they not only collect sensitive data, but they also transfer it and open windows for misuse. The misuse of data that contains observations about the daily activities of a user will obviously call concerns regarding data privacy. As the IoT evolves, there will be billions of connected devices in years to come, and even more data will be produced. Every device raises a security concern for a business, organization, or indivudal because it shows a potential threat of data leaks through any connection that might lead to an attack by cybercriminals. The threats under IoT are broadly classified under these three areas —safety, security, and privacy of data. There have been reports on IoT devices that suggest attacks through these devices and can even cripple systems to cause failure and lack of downtime will lead to a loss in business.  Since IoT has critical infrastructure components, it makes it a very strong target for attackers and information espionage within organizations. The safety of such infrastructure is critical as it holds important information.

Privacy is another major concern when these devices carry such important data of millions of users. One thing we need to know is that IoT is still in its development phase. No one has mastered the application of these devices. There can be areas of failures. We are still trying to improve and get things right. Therefore, we need to be very observant while these machines act autonomously, generating and distributing our personal data. Last, but not the least, security is another major concern. It can collapse your entire infrastructure along with the loss of crucial data. It is essential to keep an eye on the devices that are connected and see to it that no one tampers with them. Attackers change the functionality of the machines and request them to act in a slick way. This is so that they can change the operation of devices, while not following the device owner’s commands. Attackers fiddle with connected devices to make inappropriate use of the data collected by them.

Conclusion

The rapidly growing trend of IoT devices is catching eyeballs of every citizen as they wish to implement this technology in their day-to-day life. But, with every technology, there is one issue that remains a topic of interest —  security. Security measures the needs to be taken to smoothly implement and use the technology without harming any individual.

Topics:
internet of things

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