Apr27

How To Keep The Internet Of Things Secure

Posted by Kelly Kirkham

The Internet of Things (IoT) sounds like a fantastic way of life. It has wild promises to change the way we live, how we shop and even how we travel. The convenience the Internet of Things could bring to our lives is pretty exciting, however there is something to be said about the potential security risks that will be involved.

The Internet of Things (IoT) sounds like a fantastic way of life. It has wild promises to change the way we live, how we shop and even how we travel. The convenience the Internet of Things could bring to our lives is pretty exciting, however there is something to be said about the potential security risks that will be involved.
With the Internet of Things, the simplicity it will bring to tiresome tasks is often the first thing that comes to mind. An intelligent fridge that tracks what you put into it and either prompts you when you are about to run out or simply orders for you? Sounds fantastic.The central heating system is internet-connected, Google’s self-driving cars; there are many more options for the IoT that extend far beyond the fridge.

Most of the domestic devices attached to the Internet of Things will possess limited processing power and system resources, resulting in the redundancy of the robust security for devices such as PCs, tablets and smartphones. This poses a problem on a number of levels when these machines become active online.
To prevent any sinister intervention , PC security is equipped with antivirus programs, malware scanners, registry cleaners and operating system patches running in the background. But despite our best efforts, some PCs still become infected and are roped into botnets, hacked or used to exploit personal information.
This becomes a problem when realizing that most of the IOT devices are designed for simple tasks and rarely have the same protection that PCs do, even though they connect to the web in the same way. The limited nature of devices will make them prime targets of attack for opportunistic criminals and hackers.
Samsung’s launch of its new Smart TV attracted concern  about privacy invasion, because its voice activation listened to everything said in its presence. This sparked the usual privacy worries and Samsung – and, it has to be said its competitors – addressed the problem by warning buyers.

Although initially the Internet of Things is likely to see rudimentary security, it’s inevitable that ISPs will react with their own security measures. . The basic protective measures will focus on the point of connection, which may screen any data for security breaches.
With the personal data that will be processed, it is the proxies and gateways that will need to be policed by server operators for ultimate security.

Gartner analyst Earl Perkins said, “With the Internet of Things now, the whole concept of big data just got bigger, because, now, you’re going to be literally flooding networks with information, with data, that wasn’t on those networks before.”.

The best tips to follow are:

  • Be wary of public internet addresses and open wireless networks in cafes and hotels.
  • Think before you connect something – do you really need to connect your new washer/dryer? If not, disable the connector.
  • Are you actually going to use the voice features of your Smart TV or your gaming console? If not, disable it.
  • And finally, “passwords, passwords, passwords”. Make them secure. Read this and learn.
  • If the Internet of Things still makes you nervous, look at what the Federal Trade Commission’s advice says.

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