What is The Internet of Things?
IoT stands for The Internet of Things, which is a system of inter-connecting objects, appliances and mechanical systems with computers and the internet to allow for remote control and access.
The object can be anything that is fitted with a Unique Identifier, or UID, and assigned an IP address that can transmit data. It harnesses the power of artificial intelligence (AI).
How IoT Works
Objects fitted with sensors transmit data via an IoT gateway to a smart device—like a computer or smartphone for remote access or control.
The history of IoT dates back to 1999, when the term was first coined. Although it wasn’t until a decade later that it started to receive more attention. Some examples of IoT in use can be seen in;
- Smart Homes
- IoT in Industries
- IoT in Medicine
- Autonomous Vehicles
Security Challenges of IoT
With all the internet connectivity, there have to be risks, and we need to understand the many challenges that IoT devices can pose.
- Outdated Devices
Some IoT security issues arise from software and hardware going out of date and not getting updated regularly enough. It leaves them exposed to cyber threats and makes them prone to attacks.
- Weak Credentials
Weak passwords make the systems more susceptible to cyber-attacks. Once the passwords are cracked, anyone can gain access to your devices.
There are many ways cybercriminals and hackers can gain access to your data, such as through malware, taking advantage of cracks in the system. Oftentimes, the users may not even realize their security has been compromised until it is too late.
- Data Protection
With our data switching through so many devices, any vulnerability along the way can cause our data to fall in the wrong hands. At times even the service providers could be sharing your data, either because you unknowingly comply with such terms or else because they don’t follow the regulations.
- Data Management
With so much data transmitting and storing, a single hiccup in the configuration could be critical and cause an outage. This would prove especially detrimental in the healthcare industry.
- Home Security
In the race to join the IoT world, smart homes and entire apartment buildings are being set up with smart technologies. That means if your system is hacked into, you could lose access to your home, while someone else gains it.
- Autonomous vehicles
With self-driving cars coming on the market, it will be AI taking the wheel, rather than a real person. With that, again arises the risk of skilled hackers hijacking the system remotely and taking over the controls.
With the things around us connecting directly to the internet, there immediately arise vulnerabilities. While IoT is undoubtedly a step forward in technological advancements in this digital age, there is yet a need to focus more on security.
What is your opinion on IoT and its security challenges?