Secure IoT now or risk a dystopian future, cybersecurity experts warn

In its current form, the IoT represents a considerable threat to consumers due to inadequate regulations regarding security and privacy, say experts

Must Read

Sumit Deb begins new journey as CMD of NMDC

Senior PSU leader Sumit Deb has assumed charge as Chairman-cum-Managing Director of NMDC Limited. He succeeds N. Baijendra Kumar.

Spearheading transformation towards sustainable future in times of Covid-19

Bringing the governments, businesses, academia, and communities together to spearhead the transformational and systematic effort towards a sustainable future is needed

Tata Communications gets local telecom license in Saudi Arabia

Under Type B telecom license, Tata Communications will be able to provide Internet Service Provider and related telecom services to enterprises in a defined capacity, along with local currency billing for end-customers

In its current form, the Internet of Things () represents a considerable threat to consumers due to inadequate regulations regarding security and privacy, say experts interviewed by the Cyber Security Research Institute for the new report “: Pinning down the IoT”. Swift action is recommended to avoid a predictable descent into a dystopian future. The report which was sponsored by said that with the number of connected devices now likely exceeding the human population of Earth, the IoT is already nearly inescapable. “Millions of connected devices have already been compromised to be used a part of the Mirai . Many consumers aren’t aware of inherent risks of their connected devices and that manufacturers often rush products to market without considering basic security requirements and settings,” said F-Secure.

“This situation could create an even more frightening scenario than the UK tabloid newspapers’ ‘phone hacking’ scandal, due to a massive adoption of insecure IoT devices,” the report states. Even as millions of new connected devices come online every day, consumers are still generally aware that their new “smart” appliances will go online. But the lust for consumer’s data could change that in the future.

“Eventually almost every household device will be online, and they will largely be invisible to the end user as a smart device,” Mikko Hypponen, Chief Research Officer of F-Secure, says in the report. “They will look like dumb devices, but they will be smart devices though they won’t offer any features to the consumer because the real reason for them to be online will be for them to report home and report analytics to the company that built the device.”

Already it’s difficult to find any model of some devices, such as televisions, that do not connect to the internet. The laws of supply and demand have not yet yielded an IoT that’s built for the future. If consumers aren’t demanding security, manufacturers will never prioritize it. But given the extraordinary dependency society is likely to develop on billions of IoT devices, governments may have to step in to demand security requirements.

In the report, Michael Barton, the Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary said: “There needs to be regulation but I’m fighting shy of heavy regulation here. You can’t sell toys with pins in them so that children are blinded. You can’t sell cars where the brakes work intermittently. Nor should you be able to sell something on the IoT that allows people’s bank accounts to be emptied.”

In addition to educating consumers about the risks of existing IoT devices as the U.S. appears ready to do**, governments also need to address the quality of technology being put in consumers’ hands and homes, the report finds. Product manufacturers should be regulated to ensure that products that come to market are not lacking in security or privacy measures.

Subscribe to receive the day's headlines from Tech Observer straight in your inbox

Leave a Reply

*The moderation of comments is automated and not cleared manually by techobserver.in. Embedding of any link and use of abusive or unparliamentary language are prohibited.
- Advertisement -

Latest in TECH

Tata Communications gets local telecom license in Saudi Arabia

Under Type B telecom license, Tata Communications will be able to provide Internet Service Provider and related telecom services to enterprises in a defined capacity, along with local currency billing for end-customers
- Advertisement -SAP Hana

Related Articles