The Internet of Security Issues

May 8, 2015
Daniel Wolfe

On our blog, we’ve talked before about the Internet of Things (IoT) and what its ascendance has in store for the data center industry. An Internet made up of connected technologies that use computers (from televisions, to air conditioning units, to machines used by doctors in hospitals) is revolutionizing nearly every market that exists today.

But before everyone sets off to turn this new technological frontier into a stream of revenue, it would be good to stop and acknowledge one key fact: the IoT presents a great many security threats.

In fact, the IoT probably won’t be secure for a while. Eighty-seven percent of consumers haven’t heard about the IoT, so it’s not like making it safe is priority number one for many people today.

The whole idea may seem kind of silly. After all—can a washing machine really pose a threat to your data?

The answer is yes—at least theoretically. The average device in the IoT has about 270 security vulnerabilities, in fact.

Your laptop stays safe and secure because, in the event of a vulnerability in the code, Microsoft, Apple, or whomever your software came from sends you a patch and updates what before was a vulnerability. But who would send out a timely patch for the software in your washing machine that’s hooked to the Internet? Companies that make washing machines are generally more concerned with the device’s ability to rinse clothes than they are with its Internet connection. And cybercriminals know how to infect a device with malware without interfering with its primary function.

Suddenly, you have a bunch of new botnets to deal with.

The good news is that the free market should help straighten this problem out. Consumers will demand that all of their household/business technologies remain safe from malware, and manufacturers should theoretically make security a priority. It’s also a good bet that our security measures in general will become more sophisticated in the next few years.

That said, a little bit of knowledge goes a long way. The IoT is projected to reach 26 billion devices by 2020. Be prepared.

Learn more, join us at MarketplaceLIVE as we take an in-depth look at cyber security in the following session: Session #2 - Cyber Security: the Risks, Threats & the Future

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