The Internet of Things (IoT) encompasses everything that is connected to the internet, ranging from smart toasters which will send a notification to your phone when the bread is finished toasting, to devices that can monitor anything from your blood pressure, heart rate or even your pace maker.
All of these devices collect and share data for a specific purpose, and they allow us to become more efficient at completing tasks, saving us time, money and sometimes even our life. The IoT market was worth $2.99 trillion in 2014, with a projected growth of $8.9 trillion in the next two years with the amount of internet connected devices expected to more than double from 23 billion to 51 billion by 2023.
With that being said, IoT devices are not always built with security in mind. An increasing number of these devices are being compromised by malicious actors. Imagine a scenario where your internet facing security cameras have been compromised and a hacker can view these in real time. If that isn’t concerning, there has also been proven capability that attackers can hijack an internet connected car, compromising electronic systems, your brakes or even turning the engine off.
Take a smart thermometer, for example; while compromise of this device may seem insignificant, this can often reveal some information to those you may not want to, and a burglar may be able to figure out when you are out of the house based on your heating usage.
The National Cyber Security Centre have issued steps that manufacturers can take to produce more secure products and decrease the likelihood of these highly targeted IoT devices being compromised.
Just because we have the ability to connect almost every device to the internet, do you think we should?