The Internet of Things brings both magical opportunities and devastating vulnerabilities.
The basic idea of IoT, internet of things, is taking all the things in the world and uniting them to the internet. As we know, that by connecting a device to the internet; you give it the ability to send data and receive data. For example, connecting our smart phones to the internet lets us view the weather and read the news, of all around the world. (McClelland, C. 2017)
Likewise, an example of IoT helping the world would be that farmers can remotely get a report about the soil moisture of their farm. Such can help them in judging when they need to water their crops. (McClelland, C. 2017)
It’s all sun and shine till we get to the part that connecting anything to the internet makes it more vulnerable to hackers and automated hacking attempts.
Security Is Getting Ignored.
Regrettably, time and care to security, are what IoT hasn’t got. The promise of IoT has blinded the tech sector in a way; to the point, they have omitted the security part.
To give an example of the disruption that neglecting security can bring; the world’s largest container shipping company A.P. Moller–Maersk suffered the most disastrous cyber-attack in history last year. They were forced to shut down all their IT systems; isolating a fleet of ships at sea and halting work abruptly at all its 76 port terminals around the world. (Milne, R. 2017)
The Problems Are Deeper Than The World Perceives.
The baffling part is that many firms such as Moller-Maersk are growing more reliant on IoT based devices for their operations. These devices were not designed with security in mind and are easy to be misused. The Moller–Maersk fiasco are warning signs of the lingering security issues affecting connected devices as part of IoT. (Cooper, C. 2018)
Something Needs To Be Done.
Considering these harmful outcomes; it’s important that something is done to ensure the security. The safety of this platform needs to be stressed more than ever as the usage of this technology is snowballing. (Cooper, C. 2018)
Efforts have been made to form standards alliances to address the fragmentation in the industry over IoT standards. It’s an initial step to ensure the security the devices. However, they have been futile as the industry remains unsettled due to conflicting views. (Cooper, C. 2018)
What Can Be Done To Assure The Security Of IoT Devices?
In theory, regulators can use the law to compel the industry to agree on standards. Also, make them strive for more secure devices. (Cooper, C. 2018)
Although, it may not be the best solution as it’s not as easy to put into practice. (Cooper, C. 2018)
With the rising usage of this technology, if security is left unprioritized, then we may be bracing ourselves for some of the most adverse events in human history. In whichever form it may be, there has to be some way to regulate and ensure a security norm for devices as part of the Internet of Things.
RSA panellists are implying that more active regulatory intervention is in the national interest. (Cooper, C. 2018)
What Can We Take Out Of This?
Phrasing a famous quote from the comic Spiderman “With great power comes great responsibility.” Throughout history, humans have collectively worked together to invent many things that have made living better than before. With each invention came the responsibility to handle it properly. Unfortunately, we haven’t always dealt with that responsibility as well as we could have.
It is hard for the masses to care and act about these issues, as they don’t know enough in this field. That is more so why it is vital that those who are informed in this field, and have the ability; to stand up and do their part.
Cooper, C. (2018, April 21). Is Regulation the Answer to Fixing IoT Security? Retrieved from https://www.symantec.com/blogs/feature-stories/regulation-answer-fixing-iot-security
Milne, R. (2017, August 13). Maersk CEO Soren Skou on surviving a cyber attack. Retrieved from https://www.ft.com/content/785711bc-7c1b-11e7-9108-edda0bcbc928
McClelland, C. (2017, May 30). What is IoT? – A Simple Explanation of the Internet of Things. Retrieved from https://www.iotforall.com/what-is-iot-simple-explanation/