We’ve seen technological advancements over the years and most of us have adopted new technologies with an open hand. Though these technological inventions and innovations have made our life easy and many of these advancements are useful in our daily life. Every day we come across with amazing inventions. But at the same time, human beings are getting lazy too.
Recently we’ve come across an interesting article about the microchip implant for human beings under the skin in Sweden. Over last three years, thousands of people like us in Sweden have chosen to inject a microchip under their skin that has all types of useful personally identifiable information, starting from railways passes, credit card details, digitally secured house keys, club and gym passes.
The fact, this is a tiny chip and it has a size of rice grain and it could hold the key to important facets of your life. This must be surprising for some of us and it’s a nightmare too but in Sweden, it is a reality and the numbers are growing for convenience loving people but on the other hand, it has raised concerns about the potential personal data violations when your chip exchange data with utilities.
IoT is exponentially growing and it was exclusively limited to things and the latest innovation under skin microchipping for human beings has started to engross the mankind. IoT in present scenario literally has occupied us and present in all aspect of our lives. This is the modern technological advancement and when it comes to sharing your data with utilities and potential security of leaked data.
With a growing engrossment of IoT devices in our personal lives, it isn’t okay for consumers to read the stuff which they do not understand often. On production side programmers, developers, technology companies and maybe, finally, policymakers, should take an initiative and ensure that the entire IoT ecosystem is safe and secure for users.
Undoubtedly, numerous advantages are associated with progressively connected communications, data-driven world, ranging from the customization of available content to provide assistance to data drilling experts. But before we jump to integrate anything – from a household device or a microchip implant in human being or tracking devices all come under the Internet of Things, as a company who produce and sell IoT products or a user need to assess and gauge the risk and familiarize the new technology accordingly.
Security Concern Areas
Though the microchip is the quietest and the most prominent need for IoT data protection and the privacy, frankly you can feel safe but you are not as the risk starts at the elementary level. Even the dumbest of your personal data and yours’ daily lives.
A smart parking system, for example, not only gather data about where you went for shopping or a restaurant and how much time your car was in the parking, how many gallon of fuel you have filled in a month, or how many times your car went to the garage for servicing and how many kilometres you drove etc. Likewise, a health wristband usually collect information about how many steps you walked, how much calories you burnt, what is your stress level and what is your blood pressure etc. Usually these devices collect your information and accordingly they analyze the collected data and create marketing and advertising strategies to market their product and services.
Although such prospects for data collection is understandable and matters to those who are in tech world, marketers and advertisers, consumers never realize that the personal data which have been collected by IoT devices are analyzed and used in either way, it may be for good or bad reason.
Abuse or Data Misuse or both
Users who do not bother or believe they are safe about the legitimate collection of their personally identifiable information, security is questionable. Organisations, agencies or companies not only take advantage of collected data for safe marketing or advertising but also some companies sell collected data to individuals or companies who have questionable intentions. Countries and their respective governments around the world have accredited, a huge collection of personal data could be used in many ways and may result in discrimination in terms of religion, race or disability.
The risk is huge and specifically in the sector like employment, credit, insurance, industries, and housing, where the gathered personal data could make it tough for certain people who wants to access the required service they need. Companies might use the gathered data and reveal the information about an individual publicly and most people would like to keep it private, for example, companies may send targeted content based on health or financial data. Most of the companies have no intentions but the carelessness in the handling of personal data leads to bad experiences and have undesirable experiences for individuals like us.
The misuse and mismanagement of collected data go beyond the individual, too, with terrible consequences to the society. We noticed the Facebook effect in United States presidential election where user’s data is being abused for political campaigns and as a result, it has an influential effect on public opinion.
These security concerns and the associated risk is not limited to social media or apps. Even an IoT connected device to exchange data and collect personal information and it could be dangerous if it gets into the wrong hands.
Vulnerabilities and Security Hacks in IoT
Even after the precautions taken by companies who use consumer data, it has hacks and security breaches that can result into theft and undesirable misuse. Leading IoT security companies are struggling to safeguard your personal data. It is quite easy for hackers to access consumer data through IoT devices. Often companies who have thousands of IoT devices find it is difficult to monitor all, check bugs and send update notifications. A hacker can enter and destroy the entire network and steal personal data just by hacking a webcam. In other words, it is a complete mess so many devices are connected to a single network is like everything is in one basket that adds to high vulnerabilities.
Hackers can tamper with consumer data by hacking your devices for their own advantages. A home assistants product from Amazon’s Alexa, are dangerous and it opens windows for intrusion into your personal lives.
As per our research we found that the most vulnerable IoT devices that include medical devices, home appliances, home assistant and security devices are important ones and they collect the most of your personal information about an individual or the family and data which these devices collect should be secured and it becomes more important to minimize the risk associated with such kind of data. IoT companies are making every possible effort to make sure about the security of data through these devices they are engaged in testing their devices in extreme conditions and trying to secure their devices before they release the product for sale.
Future for IoT device security becomes most important and the companies like Tesla and an initiative by Google for self-driving cars seem to be a future. The risk is the human driver isn’t the alone safety but ensuring that it is hacker proof so that you can enjoy the best of the ride quality.
Key to Guard Against IoT Vulnerability
As a user, you are not the only person who is worried but the professionals are also worried about the risk associated with security and its vulnerability due to connected devices around the globe. Gartner a reputed consulting firm has predicted that the spending on IoT security will reach $1.50 billion in the current year worldwide. This is an increase of 28% spending as compared to 2017, that amounted to $ 1.2 billion, this could be one of the lucrative opportunity for companies who are engaged in providing high-level cybersecurity solutions.
In my opinion, threat prevention on IoT security should have multi-security layers. Companies and individuals can use third-party solution providers for IoT devices and its platform rather than taking it lightly and should not really be in the hands of the device manufactures. Among prominent Cybersecurity companies, one name often comes in mind like Trustwave a specialized data security company and breach prevention, for traditional software but also working toward stopping the hacks in IoT devices. As third-party companies and consultant are growing to handle the threats in IoT sector, now consumers can feel safe and they do not have to bother about their security online.
On the production front, companies that handle the gathered data should take preventive measures against data theft and make sure that the date which they sell to another company should be of repute and keep the data under strict surveillance and multi-level security checks.
For consumers, the companies should keep their policy and the terms and conditions should be precise and should be short simple and accurate. They should also mention how the data is collected and used. The important thing for companies is they should not provide misleading and vague statements.
The lawmakers and policymakers need to come out with stringent steps to make sure the offered IoT device and products by companies are sold in compliance of security for connected devices. The punishment for violations should be tough for those whoever breaches the security of collected data. Every product should pass the quality and the security test before it is released into the market.
Its an early stage for IoT and it has to go a long way. Regrettably, security is being taken for granted on IoT products. It is always better to take precautions before a disaster happens. But at the same time, IoT has various advantages and we will have to figure out how we can connect the benefits that IoT device brings without compromising the risk of potential security associated with IoT devices. And this way we can make sure a consumer security is not compromised, the consumer has paid for convenience is appreciated.