Cyber Threats: The Need for Security of the Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet of things concept overlaying a cityThe Internet of Things (IoT) integrates smart technology with everyday devices, giving these objects the capacity to collect, compute and share data between networks; this, in turn, allows them to respond better to human needs and preferences. Smart speakers, for example, can organise work calendars, turn off house lights or record personal memos, all via voice-activated technology.

While IoT provides convenience and innovation, the same connectivity has led to potential safety concerns over breaches with user data. Here are some of the concerns:

Information Shared on a Network of Devices

The widespread distribution of IoT has led to a drive to implement safer networks and connections, given that personal data travels across different devices frequently. In home applications, for example, smart bulbs can receive instructions from a smartphone, which is the same device responsible for opening locks and engaging in online transactions.

Trusted satellite operators and service providers now include security measures such as stricter firewalls and data encryption, improving protection as packets of data navigate different applications and endpoints.

Trusting Manufacturers with Personal Data

With many businesses involving themselves with the IoT trend, companies can utilise collated data from different devices to target their marketing campaigns more strategically. However, the data collected also include sensitive information such as home addresses and credit card numbers.

Most reputable businesses invest in intensive data security to provide reliability and accountability for customers; however, in the wrong hands, IoT can lead to dangerous data breaches.

Awareness, Knowledge and Transparency

With IoT technologies, the rate of production of new devices is far ahead of the enforcement of an industry security protocol or standard. For example, in the US, a cybersecurity act focused on IoT was only introduced last year, while in Australia, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute is still calling for regularisation and standardisation of IoT devices.

Industry leaders and government bodies need to take steps to provide platforms for the development of new technologies while maintaining the safety and security of its users. With smart devices becoming a staple in every home, proper measures are not only preferable but necessary.

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