The risks of the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a term which is only a few years old.  You may be asking yourself, what exactly is IoT?  When defining IoT, the image to the left provides a good high-level explanation of the primary different groups of IoT and IoT devices.

Many of us experience IoT devices on a daily basis.  It may be a health tracker that you wear, or an application on your smartphone that tracks your steps, food intake, and water consumption.  Further, home-based applications and appliances such as smart thermostats, Amazon Echo, or Google Assistant are continuing to extend the edge of internet connectivity.  An important note to accompany the definition of these devices is that the developers are concerned with producing a product and selling it.  Their primary purpose is not to ensure proper security is implemented, but rather that the product gets to market.

The primary risk to the average consumer is the compromise of consumer privacy. Weber (2015) provides the example of collecting health data on wearable technology and the data then being connected back to the individual and exposing potential health risks.  Additionally, there is the risk of IoT devices being compromised.  These compromised devices can then be used to carry out other cyber attacks.  To gain a more in-depth explanation of security risks of IoT devices please  check out the intermediate and advanced blogs.

 

References

Weber, R. H. (2015). Internet of things: Privacy issues revisited. Computer Law & Security Review, 31(5), 618-627. doi:10.1016/j.clsr.2015.07.002

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