The recent wave of cyber attacks is a clear reminder of the importance of proper information security. The latest Equifax breach didn’t just leave over 140 million customers exposed and vulnerable; it also emphasized the need for better security in today’s digital age.
The risk of cyber attacks is even more severe in the realm of Internet of Things or IoT. Hackers can do so much more than carry out digital attacks on unsecured IoT devices. They can actually gain access to physical things. Fortunately, a security standard for IoT devices may come sooner than experts predicted.
Demand of Businesses
It is interesting to note that IoT is entering different industries faster than anticipated. The convenience and the wealth of possibilities offered by IoT made the concept very interesting in the eyes of businesses.
Instead of controlling the climate inside a factory manually, for example, a combination of smart sensors and IoT can now take over the same task and do it more efficiently. This type of implementation also brings the possibility of full automation and so much more.
Even top University programs are discussing IoT regularly, giving perspectives on how the Internet of Things will impact the Global Economy and how it has started changing the way Enterprises design their products and services. Those who want to be ready for a world where everything will be connected should consider learning the latest business practises in a digital society, for example by pursuing an executive MBA degree online addressing the business impacts of the Internet of Things.
Unfortunately, the unsecured nature of most IoT devices is a challenge for businesses. An internet-enabled door lock that can be hacked is a big risk because it means hackers can access the physical location easily. A better security standard is required and the demand of businesses should help the IoT world get there faster.
A Joint Effort
Michela Menting, the director of Digital Security Research, confirmed a move in the right direction. Top players in the IoT industry are taking security more seriously and in a more unified fashion. A standard in implementing IoT security will help boost confidence and trust in the technology as a whole.
“Without such trust, IoT adoption may prove disastrous. And not just financially. Failure of critical devices, such as connected cars or medical appliances, could have life-threatening implications,” said Menting.
Getting to a unified security standard will be challenging. First, the industry needs to agree on an architecture as a reference and other technical frameworks to support it. Only then can proper IoT security standards be established.
The Big Push
More research institutions, governments, corporations and non-profit entities are approaching the table and joining the big push. The latest research by ABI Research predicted a jump to a whopping 48 billion IoT devices by 2021. Having even a small portion of that market occupied by vulnerable devices will be disastrous.
“Standards can and will play a significant role in enabling this trust. Security standards specifically can provide a foundation for building robust and trusted IoT devices, both from a digital and a physical security perspective.”
Whether we can reach an agreement and have an IoT security standard soon remains to be seen. The entire industry can learn one important message from the Equifax breach and that is to never wait until it is too late.