How Information Security is adapting to the IoT

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Gartner, Inc. predicts that there will be 8.4 billion connected devices around the world by the end of 2017. By 2020, other studies estimate this number will reach more than 50 billion. These devices will be used in cars, homes, businesses, cities, doctors’ offices, manufacturers, and more. They will store credit card information, medical information, your home’s layout and occupancy habits, and other private data. Commercially, AT&T reports that 85% of surveyed enterprises intend to deploy IoT devices. With this industry emerging and beginning to grow so quickly, it is important to step back and realize the effects these devices will cause and begin addressing IoT security.

A recent HP study estimates that 70% of the most commonly used devices contain vulnerabilities. Ensuring the security of these devices is critical protecting this sensitive information. Recently, the Federal Trade Commission filed a suit against an IoT device manufacturer who sold insecure products. They allege that this company failed to provide adequate security and also misrepresented their level of security. This is not the first suit of this type, which shows their commitment to protecting customers from vulnerabilities and companies who produce dangerous goods. The FTC also published a report titled “Internet of Things, Privacy, and Security in a Connected World,” which described threats and gave recommendations for the IoT industry.

An IoT device is only as secure as the network it is connected to. That is why it is important to create a comprehensive security plan before the IoT devices are put into place in order to ensure their sustainability. Not only will this null any existing vulnerabilities, but it will also be less expensive than incorporating these devices later.  This includes not only purchasing secure devices, but also ensuring the network and applications’ vulnerabilities are addressed. Our team predicts that as this industry grows, it will implement common security practices that will become standard for these devices and the companies and homes that implement them.

With the growth of the IoT industry, it is critical that both software and service providers create standards that will ensure security. These practices should not only protect against hackers, but also random product malfunctions.  We believe in the benefits of IoT devices and look forward to seeing what industry standards will be created and what product and security improvements will be made. To learn more about online security, technology tips and tricks, industry news, and company highlights, stay tuned to our blog!