The ‘Internet of Things’ Could Put Online Security At Risk

Experts suggest that almost every piece of technology will be connected by the ‘Internet of Things’ within the next twenty years. This term refers to the idea that smart devices will soon feature even more heavily in our daily lives, performing a variety of functions and sharing data over a connected wireless system.

With this new technology topic receiving an increasing amount of attention, talk is turning towards what this means in terms of security, and according to a recent article on Tech Radar, which summarises some of the risks involved, the news isn’t looking very good.

One of the key risk factors, the article states, is the sheer magnitude that the industry is expected to reach. Research indicates that there will be around 25-30 billion devices by 2020, ranging from wearable technology to smart cars to energy meters. This means that any unauthorised access to these technologies has the potential to cause widespread damage.

Worryingly, a new study from Hewlett-Packard has revealed that 90% of devices collected at least one piece of personal information via the device or cloud, and 70% of all devices – including smart TVs, smart phones, webcams and even thermostats – were found to be hackable, with each device typically containing 25 different vulnerable points.

This shows that devices are currently lacking in security measures, which is a particular worry when you consider that embedded and wearable technologies are predicted to hold vast amounts of information about an individual. This means that, in theory, if a hacker breaks into one device they may be able to gain access to a world of sensitive personal information.

According to TechRadar, manufacturers are continuing a long-term habit of producing pieces of equipment without giving enough thought to the security that might be needed to support them. It is essential, experts argue, that designers and manufacturers fix these security issues before the vision of everybody living a “connected life” becomes a reality.

On a positive note, most experts feel that there is still time to find solutions to these concerns in the next five years or so.

If you’re looking for further guidance about online data and security issues, or if you have a more general IT enquiry, contact Geeks the Rescue today. Simply e-mail us at info@geekstotherescue.com.au, or give us a call on (08) 9313 1855.

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