The internet of things is a big enterprise – that much is clear. Its possible applications are pretty much innumerable, as is its potential to streamline efficiency and improve our overall quality of life.
It’s no wonder, then, that so many businesses and industries are so interested in developing IoT technology. In fact, IoT statistics reveal that the number of connected devices is predicted to surpass 30 billion this year.
We’re all enraptured by the benefits that the IoT promises, but that excitement tends to blind us to a severe problem: security vulnerabilities.
Here are three issues to keep an eye out for this year.
Problem No. 1: Abundance of Devices
As this technology spreads, increasingly more homes are becoming hotbeds of IoT activity. There’s already an average of 20 smart devices per US household, and that number will likely rise in the future.
Such a high number of devices poses a real cybersecurity challenge solely on the merit of quantity. Twenty machines only means twenty ins for a cyber attacker, after all.
Hackers typically seek to exploit the weakest points of a given system that provides them easy entry. Keeping just a few devices safe is difficult enough on its own, but doing so for 20 of them is exponentially harder.
Problem No. 2: Poor Password Protection
People tend to play it loosey-goosey when it comes to their passwords. The fact that “password” is among the most common password phrases is proof enough. This is pretty dangerous, as you can imagine.
But users themselves aren’t the only ones slacking off when it comes to password protection. Oftentimes, products come with hard-coded passwords that are pretty weak, as well. Some are even publicly accessible, which is clearly a red flag.
It’s easier than ever for Cybercriminals to figure out your password. Your weak password is a liability. Only long passwords with varied characters will be able to repel hackers’ efforts to crack them.
Problem No. 3: Lack of Standardization
Your typical IoT network consists of a series of different software and hardware pieces produced by different manufacturers. It’s a pretty fragmented market, with companies from all over the world following their own ordinances.
For a multitude of reasons, these manufacturers rarely comply with the same protocols for security standardization. Not only that, but the standards themselves change quite rapidly, leaving many companies to play catch-up.
As a result, some devices will inevitably fall short of the recommended set of security measures to keep their devices viable. Due to its sheer scope, solving this problem requires expansive solutions. It would most likely entail creating compliance measures that few organizations beyond IEEE can offer.
These are just a few of the many issues plaguing a seamless application of IoT technology. While we can go on at length about more of them, the point here is to increase awareness of the biggest underlying problems inherent to the IoT as it currently exists.
These three vulnerabilities will be the biggest hurdles for the IoT in 2020. But addressing them correctly will provide the greatest leap forward for the technology. The solutions aren’t quite there yet, but they’re on their way.