IoT Security, is it important? Why?

The Internet of things or better known as IoT is the concept of devices or, in this particular case, known as “Things.” These are interrelated and interconnected as a network in order to connect and exchange data within the network. So what exactly is the difference between “The Internet” and “The Internet of Things”? Ironically IoT is a subset of the Internet. This means the Internet of things exists within the Internet itself. The technical term for the general Internet that we use is the Internet of Everything or IoE, which implies the superiority of the Internet over the Internet of Things.

IoT targets specifically physical components or things, while IoE targets almost everything connected to the network, including liveware or the users. The birth of IoT is marked as the early 2000s or the late 90s. The more time passes, IoT becomes closer to our lives. And that is why IoT security has become a significant concern among cybersecurity experts. Giant tech companies have been throwing money at researches focused on IoT security. Even though today’s world experiences an enormous amount of cyber protection, we can not apply the same methods for IoT security.

In the book “Practical Internet of Things Security” by Brian Russell and Drew Van Duren, it is explained to its fullest.

“IoT security is not traditional cybersecurity, but a fusion of cybersecurity with other engineering disciplines. It addresses much more than mere data, servers, network infrastructure, and information security. Rather, it includes the direct or distributed monitoring and/or control of the state of physical systems connected over the Internet. In other words, a large element of what distinguishes the IoT from cybersecurity is what many industry practitioners today refer to as cyber-physical systems. Cybersecurity, if you like that term at all, generally does not address the physical and security aspects of the hardware device or the physical world interactions it can have.” (Brian and Drew, 2016).

“The Internet of Things (IoT) is a general term describing any device used to collect data from the world around us and then share that data across the Internet where the data can be intelligently processed to provide information and services. This definition can be extended to an industrial closed-loop control system where data is acquired, coalesced with related data, transmitted to an intelligent station, analyzed, and then acted upon to influence the environment. The technology consulting firm Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 20.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide by 2020. The total spending on endpoints and services will reach nearly $3 trillion in 2020.1 They also forecast that worldwide spending on IoT security2 is expected to reach $3.1 billion by 2021. In a similar study, IDC Forecasts Worldwide Technology Spending on the Internet of Things will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.6% over the 2017–2022 forecast period and reach $1.2 trillion in 2022.3 The authors believe that IoT is a ripe field for not just securing the IoT devices but also for innovations in secure system design, secure building block technologies, and secure hardware and software development practices that together turn the Internet of Things into the Secure Internet of Things” (Sunil, Ned, David, and Anil, 2019).

As of the above two quotations witnesses, it is crystal clear that IoT security is vastly different from ordinary Internet security. Moreover, it should be taken very seriously, for IoT is way closer to our day-to-day lives than we think they are. Chinese leading Tech giant Xiaomis’ smart camera security breach. After Dio-V, who owns a Google Nest Hub and several other Xiaomi Mijia cameras around his home, the incident came to light. He claimed that he received images from other people’s homes randomly when he streamed content from his camera to a Google Nest Hub. And another famous IoT security breached incident is the widely reported “Faxploiting” incident. Yaniv Balmas and Eyal Itkin, security researchers from Check Point, discovered that fax machines have security vulnerabilities that could allow hackers to steal data through a company’s network using just a phone line and a fax number. These incidents should make you feel less secure for your own good. As much as IoT helps people with their lives, it can mess up too. That’s where the thin barrier of IoT security comes to the scene. Even though IoT has advanced from its beginning state, there are still some serious flaws. Indeed incidents like these can not be entirely prevented, yet tech companies are trying their best to reduce the chances of getting cyber-attacked by hackers and cybercriminals. Staying up to date with the latest software is the least we users can do. In the modern world, privacy is becoming a distant memory day by day. The question is whether IoT will fasten the process or slow it down?

Wandering the internet with a great interest in technology.