Next to “cloud” and “big data”, the “Internet of Things” is one of the most brandied phrase in the tech world. What really is the “Internet of Things”? In a nutshell, it is embedding unique identification mechanisms into a myriad of everyday objects – refrigerators, temperature sensors, retail inventory, smart meters – so they can talk and be spoken to. Interestingly this explosion of “Internet of Things” further exacerbates the need for “big data” analysis that is most effectively accomplished in a “cloud” environment. How’s that for tying the top three brandied phrases into one coherent (?) sentence!
But if one were to put on the security hat, the Internet of Things presents a very daunting security challenge – how to ensure that these connected devices are protected from the attacks that were hitherto restricted to computers & mobile devices? Apart from the wide heterogeneity of these devices, their processing prowess and limited memory make the applicability of traditional security mechanisms difficult if not impossible. The contrarian view of “let’s not secure these devices” also does not hold water since the impact of somebody getting to these devices could be devastating – case in point being a diabetic patient’s automatic glucose monitoring system being compromised by an attacker.
So where does that leave us? An explosion of connected devices, each device unique and different from one another, each serving a very narrow but critical purpose, and securing these devices is of unquestionable importance! How does security need to evolve to keep pace with this trend? Watch this space!
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