Whatever is connected to the internet is at risk. The internet is a powerful tool and equally unsafe. With the rising popularity of smart devices, the risk will also spike up proportionally. If you watch Stephen King’s horror movie, Maximum Overdrive where home appliances became self-aware and started attacking their owners, you will have a better understanding of the climate of the internet of things and the hacks associated with it. If we don’t properly deal with the issues surrounding the security of IOT, King’s movie may well become reality.
There are major security threats that surround the build process of IOT devices from security cameras to pacemakers, cars and home security and even your smart appliances such as your fridge. All of these flaws can be exploited. There have been several hacks in the past and the motive seems to be some sort of experimentation or targeted hack to phish for sensitive data.
Ransomware attacks on IoT devices also highlight how important it is to have adequate security measures in place for IOT and this is especially so when you look at how smart devices can be used as a focal point to hijack whole entire networks. A lot of UK hospitals were badly hit with the wanna cry ransomware and this cost the UK’s National Health Service about 100 million pounds which led to a cancellation of over 19000 appointments. The US wasn’t as affected by the attack but there were some reports of US hospitals being hit including the one where the radiology equipment was hacked.
The Mandalay bay casino hack is another clever hack that was carried out in recent times. In this hack, a high roller database was stolen through a compromised internet connected fish tank thermometer. Researchers have shown us how everything got Wi-Fi enable devices to Barbie dolls and TVs can be hacked.
The main issue with the security of IOT is that similar to the internet itself, the IOT landscape was not created with security as a priority. All of the layers of the stack from hardware to software is vulnerable and insecure across multiple platforms and manufacturers have not yet gotten the proper motivation to improve on the security.
To implement new standards and best practices across the world is a multi-faceted approach that requires supply chain logistics and governments working together to develop the global standards necessary. The companies that manufacture a lot of the cheap IOT gods are not likely to start worrying about security anytime soon.
There are a host of issues but with a model that consists of technology and policy in a suitable blend and proportion, we can begin to see an improvement in the standards and security of IOT You on a personal level have to remain vigilant and understand that anything connected to a network is liable to be hacked. Don’t assume any device you own is immune to threats online and be careful what kind of activities you engage in online.