The Internet of Things is increasingly touted as the next big thing: at the Microsoft World Partner Conference in Washington earlier this month it was described as ‘the Internet of Your Things’. Taking its capabilities to the biggest extension, it has the potential to be the equivalent of the Industrial Revolution for the 21st century.
But, to borrow a phrase, with such great power comes great responsibility and the security considerations are significant. As things become more and more connected the risk of criminal misuse rises exponentially. Imagine a house broken into and the owner’s car being stolen by somebody hacking their digital locks. On a different scale, think of terrorists shutting down a power station by cloning the identity of a trusted control station. The greater the number of connected devices, the greater the points of attack.
The flip side of course is the potential of the IoT as an enabler. If we can manage our own ecosystem of connected devices in a simple yet secure manner, we could have fridges that automatically add to your grocery order when you run low on items, smart watches that open doors and start cars, phones that turn on the lights as you approach a building and off as you leave a room…if you can imagine it, the chances are it will be possible.
This is a potential goldmine, generating new product vendors and service providers some of which probably don’t even exist today.
Security may not be the element that fires the imagination of consumers or even manufacturers but it is vitally important, and if we get it right we can step into a brave new world where technology makes our lives better. But if we forget the security bit on the charge to a brighter future, we are all leaving our digital front doors wide open!
Read a wider discussion of this issue in Intercede’s latest White Paper, Protecting the Next Industrial Revolution.