Should the Internet of Things be renamed The Internet of Threat?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is set to revolutionise the way we communicate with each other, and the companies we buy from, with everything from refrigerators to cars set to be linked through the Internet.
Keiron Dalton, a mobile security expert at Aspect Software, suggests that while this will open up huge customer engagement initiatives for companies, the threat of security needs the be addressed to make sure customers are kept protected.
IoT is the process where the mass of individual objects or devices are connected via the internet, enabling individuals and organisations to send and receive data through a variety of platforms. A recent report from Gartner found that the IoT (excluding PCs, tablets and smartphones) will grow to 26 billion installed units globally by 2020.
Dalton, who is Director of Cloud Solutions EA at Aspect, said: “IoT takes us in to new territory, both in terms of automating certain aspects of our lives and the challenges that inevitably come with that. Businesses will no doubt be looking for ways to embrace IoT to make sure we are providing customers with a complete and satisfactory customer experience, but one of the primary blockers that I can see from quicker mass adoption, and businesses trying to harness it, is security.
Dalton continued: “As is the same with most technological developments and adoptions, people will look to find a way to break into objects that work on IoT in order to commit fraud or access people’s personal details, and questions will be naturally asked about safety, especially considering the vast amount of data that will be produced and stored.
“For instance, some objects purported to be coming for IoT may rely on automated Internet payments, such as a fridge that automatically orders goods for you when you are running low. It is important to ask questions around how secure your payment details are, as well as your personal details that could be used for identity fraud. Safety is also an issue: how can your driverless car be protected from someone hacking into it and taking you for a joy ride? These are the issues that need to be addressed by vendors if they are going to keep customers satisfied and loyal,” he said.
Dalton concluded: “It is important to remember that fraud always follows the channel of adoption, and as IoT develops and becomes more prominent in everyday life, hackers and fraudsters will try and find new ways of exploiting it. IoT vendors need to ensure that this threat is at the top of the agenda when dealing with customer data and they are able to deal with the threat, while maintaining the ease of access that IoT provides.”